“The most likely source of this knowledge is the First Crusade. During the struggle for the possession of Jerusalem in the summer of 1099, Robert of Normandy, in personal combat, seized from one of the Saracen Emirs an object which is described as a very long pole covers over with silver, having at its top a golden ball or apple (pomum aureum). This was called a standard, a word which was evidently at that time of recent introduction, for the contemporary historians, some of whom had been eye-witnesses of the events they relate, have various ways of spelling it, and usually refer to it such a way as to indicate that the word was not in familiar use.”
“According to Albert of Aix this standard was borne in front of the army of the “King of Babylon” and was the center around which the flower of the army gathered and to which stragglers returned. A few year later Fulcher of Chartres notes the capture of three more “standards,” but does not describe them.”
“We have already noticed the name “standard” appears first applied to a Saracen ensign. Further corroboration of this is supplied by the Chanson d’ Antioche and Le Conquete de Jerusalem. In the poem the author (Richard the Pilgrim) has imagined a wonderful standard carried on an iron chariot and made of ivory and various precious woods, and of an enormous height: L. toises longes I puet on brachoier Onques nus homs de char ne vit si haut clochier.”
“Dark-skinned Muslims found in medieval plasters, paintings, poetry and romances are not always monstrous, but their blackness indicates that they are evil…The monster that encapsulated all three of these entities – Saracen, Jew, and black African – is the Black Saracen. This is a hybrid monster, an African (implicated as Satan by his dark skin), Jewish (depicted executing a saint), and Muslim (by the monker “Saracen” as well as by the turban he often wears)”(Arjana, 2014, p. 49).
Source: “FEAR OF BLACKNESS SERIES: Guide to the Ethnic Origins of the “Infernal” and “Black Saracen”
“The eighth scene in the series has given rise to much discussion. It portrays a Christian knight in the act of unhorsing a pagan warrior with a mighty thrust of his lance and bears the inscription: R DVX NORMANNORVM PARTVM PROSTERNIT. Robert’s legendary combat with the emir ‘Red Lion’ during the great battle of the Franks against Kerboga, as related in the Chanson d’ Antioch”
“The Chanson d’ Antioch also narrates another spectacular exploit in which Robert overthrew and slew the great emir ‘Red Lion’ during the same battle…..The later compilation of the Godfrey matter, edited by Reiffenberg, contains no mention of Robert’s combat either with Kerboga or with Red Lion; but it relates a very similar exploit in which he overcame a ‘Saracen king of Tabarie.’ With his lance at thrust, and raising the triumphant war cry “Normandy!”, he bore down upon the Saracen with such force that he pierced his shield a full palm’s breadth and a half, and wounded him deeply “between lungs and liver.:” Finally, mention must be made of Robert’s prowess in the legendary battle on the plain of Ramleh before Jerusalem, as told in the fantastic account of the Chanson de Jerusalem. This time it was a Turkish King Atenas whom he slew, and many others besides, so that the ground was strewn with the enemy dead.”
“It may be noted in passing that the battle of Ascalon Robert performed an actual feat of arms (cf. supra, pp. 115-116) which may perhaps form the basis of all legendary exploits which we have been passing in review. The references to the enemy’s ‘standard’ in Wace (supra, p. 190) and in the Chanson d’ Antioch (supra, p. 195) would seem to lend some color to this view. But it should be borne in mind that such exploits of knightly valor are commonplace of the chansons de geste, and are attributed to Godfrey and to other chiefs as well as to Robert.”
Source: Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy By Charles Wendell David
“Tabarie. The identity of this name has a number of possibilities. Perryman observers “Tabarie may refer to a famous battlefield near the sea of Galilea…but it is common in romances as a Middle Easter kingdom” (p. 114n1117). Like the name of the kings, it is likely just an exotic flourish, though there may be some connection to the brief romance “Hugh of Tabarie.”
Source: The King of Tars edited by John H Chandler
“The Emperor of Persia, named Barbaquan, whom one of the Tartar princes had overthrown, as I have already described, came with his army into the kingdom of Jerusalem, and took the fort of Tabarie, which had been by Monseigneur Eudes de Montbeliard, the constable, who was the lord of Tabarie through his wife”
Source: Saint Louis, King of France
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