Page 1375

1375 THE CRUSADES-FALL OF THE CROSS.

in hand, he crossed into Asia Minor, and

began the herculean task of making his way

towards Antioch. In this movement he was

opposed, as his predecessor had been, by

every inimical force in man and nature. He

was obliged to make his way through heated

deserts and dangerous passes with the Turcoman hordes darkening every horizon and

circling around every encampment. But

they were never able to take the old hero off

his guard. He overcame every obstacle,

fought his way through every peril, and

came without serious disaster to Iconium.

Here he was confronted by the sultan, whom

he defeated in battle, and whose capital he

took by storm. By this time the name of

Frederick had become a terror, and the Moslems began to stand aloof from the invincible

German army.

Here, however, was the end of Barbarossa's warlike pilgrimage. While moving for-

ward steadily, he came, in Cilicia, to the

little river Calycadnus, where, on the 10th of

June, 1190, he met his death. But Tradition,

with her usual painstaking obscurity, has not

decided whether he died of a fall from his

horse, or from carelessly bathing when overheated, in the ice-cold waters of the stream.

Evil was the day when Frederick died.

It was soon discovered to what a great degree the success of the German invasion

had been due to his genius. The Moslems

had properly judged that the leader was

the soul of the Christian army, and, learning

of his death, they returned to the charge

with impetuous audacity. Disease and famine

began to make terrible havoc among the

German soldiers. The command devolved

upon the son of Barbarossa, who was in

many respects worthy of his father's fame.

Slowly the Crusaders toiled on, harassed

by the almost daily onsets of the Saracens,

whom to repel was but to embolden for another charge.

At last the worn out warriors reached

Antioch. Nine-tenths of their number had

perished, but the remnant had in them

all the courage and steadfastness of their

race. The Principality of Antioch was at

this time held by the forces of Saladin, and

their numbers far exceeded those of the

Crusaders. Nevertheless the German Knights,

disregarding their numerical inferiority, fell

boldly upon the Moslems and scattered

all before them. Antioch was taken, and

the Saracens retreated in the direction of

Damascus.

Having achieved this marked, albeit unexpected, success, the Crusaders pressed forward to Acre. They were received with great

joy by the Christian army, but the force

was so wasted by sickness and continuous

fighting that the addition to the numbers

of the besiegers was scarcely noticeable. In

a short time the gallant Duke of Suabia died,

and the magnificent army of Barbarossa was

reduced to a handful. The leader, however,

did not perish until he had had the honor of

incorporating into a regularly organized body

the Order of Teutonic Knights, which had

hitherto held a precarious and uncertain

course since the date of its founding, as already narrated in the preceding chapter. A

papal edict followed, putting the new brotherhood on the same level with the Hospitallers

and Templars, under the sanction and encouragement of the Church.

At this juncture a new figure rose on the

horizon-a warrior armed cap-a-pie, riding a

powerful war horse, brandishing a ponderous

battle ax, without the sense of fear, stalwart,

and audacious, a Crusader of the Crusaders,

greatest of all the mediaeval heroes-young

Richard Plantagenet the Lion Heart, king

of England. In that country Henry II,

founder of the Plantagenet dynasty, had

died in July of 1189. The siege of Acre was

then in progress, and Frederick Barbarossa

was on his march to the Holy Land. King

Henry himself had desired to share in the

glory of delivering Jerusalem from the Turks,

but the troubles of his own kingdom absorbed

his attention. Greatly was he afflicted, or

at least angered, by the conduct of his sons,

Richard and John. The former was headstrong, the latter cunning, and both disloyal

to their father and king. Richard had conceived a romantic affection for Philip Augustus