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Crusader diary project
Transcript of Crusader diary project
I December MXCV
I am going on a Crusade! I am going to fight the Saracens in the Holy Land. Us Christians need to show those Muslims how important Jerusalem is to us. There are many reasons why I would like to go. Firstly, to win back the centre of Christianity. Secondly, to win the love of a lady. Thirdly, to get revenge on those Saracens who took over our beloved city. Fourthly, to get gold, silver, land and, most importantly, money. But it is also to get a ticket straight to heaven.
If you die in battle or on the journey there, you are forgiven for all your sins. This means you get a free ride to heaven. However, nobody will ever get to heaven, as we will thrash those Saracens! Diary entry II
X December MXCV
Today I got my new shield with my heraldry on! As any body will know, heraldry is how one knight recognises another. Without his heraldry, a knight would be chopped to pieces by his own friends! My heraldry has three diagonal stripes. There is white at the top, then red, then white at the bottom. It also has two golden hedgehogs in the red line. This is because the hedgehog is careful. Not that I will need to be careful fighting those Saracens! They could not hit me from half a yard away! My motto is "Is quisnam pello pepulli pulsum lemma totus" which translates as "He who beats them all". That will not be hard against the Muslims! Diary entry III
XV April MXCVI
I am on the journey to the Crusades! And what a great start to the journey. We set off from dock and our luck was brilliant. A strong Southerly wind took us across to Calais in only six hours! The mayor here treated us as heros and so did everybody else. A great first day. Diary entry IV
Our luck has changed for the worse. It was a normal journey to Marseilles when, disaster! One of our crew had caught the plague! I had heard about it before, but I didn't think it was that bad. Boy, was I wrong! You get swellings under your arms, you vomit all the time and much more horrible things happen. I can not wait to get to the Holy Land, if I do! Diary entry V
I am still alive, but I do not know for how much longer. We Crusaders are so hungry. Some have even robbed food from other people. Now the Italians do not like us and we have to stay away from cities. First the plague, then starvation, what next? Diary entry VI
I August MXCVI
We reached Constantinople and the people there welcomed us with open arms. Then what do the Crusaders do? They start looting! They steal the treasures of the city and are then paid a fortune to leave. Plague. Starvation. Shame. What else could possibly go wrong? Diary entry VII
Finally, something goes right! We had our first experience with the Turks today. And it was not as easy as I expected. They fought hard and we could not get through the first time. But me and King Richard survived and defeated them on the second time. One thing I noticed was that they pray a lot; five times to be precise. Now we know their weak point. From Acre to Jerusalem, no problem. Diary entry VIII
Our good luck is here to stay! Our journey from Acre to Jerusalem would have been a long one and we were about to set off when along came... a warship! We got a place on it and it was sailing down the coast to the Holy Land. Our journey to Jerusalem will be much shorter when the ship docks. Our luck just keeps getting better! I have heard that they have a prophet called Mohammad who is a prophet like Jesus. Apparently, he is God's favourite prophet, but that is obviously Christ! Diary entry IX
Another army beaten! Earlier today, we spotted an army ahead of us. Richard gave the orders and we charged forward. Boy, was it a walk over! Those Turks did not put up any sort of defence and we thrashed them in to the ground. Surely, there can not be many more armies lying between us and Jerusalem now. It looks like we have already won! Another thing about the Muslims: they do not gamble. That just proves that they are chickens! Diary entry X
XXVIII June MXCVIII
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! We have defeated another army of Turks! This time it was a major force, the hardest one probably. In the process, we caught some stallions, so the journey ahead is sure to be smooth. The Muslims have a Holy Month coming up called Ramadan where they do not eat during the day. That is another weakness we will thrive on! Also, where we Christians have the Ten Comandments, they have the Five Pillars. Some of them are strange, like they can not eat pork. Diary entry XI
We Crusaders are bound to win as we have got a great leader! We have King Richard I of England. To make a good leader, especially in this time of war, you need to be brave, intelligent, fearless and, most of all, good at fighting. We have a fearless, powerful, ruthless man as our leader. We can not lose! But there is just one problem. Being ruthless, our king is also very strict. One step out of line and you could be beheaded. Apparently, the Muslim leader is not so bad. He is not as cruel and would not behead people if they do one thing slightly wrong. But he is not as ruthless, so I think King Richard is better. Diary entry XII
The kingdom of Jerusalem is ours! This is great! The Crusade has been successful and Jerusalem is taken. I never doubted the journey for a second as I knew God was on our side. Here are the steps of how we caught Jerusalem... I. We arrived at the walls of Jerusalem to find corpses of other Crusaders. It turns out that, just like us, they were hot and starving. They had died of exhaustion. So not the best start. II. Then the battle started. There was not really a first move. It all started at once. The Crusaders started firing arrows and firing rocks at and over the walls of the Holy City, hitting some of the Muslim defenders. III. The Muslims had cunningly built a ditch, or moat, around the walls. Then we cunningly filled it up with rocks and stones so we could put up our siege towers. Siege towers are big towers that are used to get up to the walls of a castle or city. IV. On top of the walls were two women. Well, it was obvious what they were going to do. They were about to cast a spell on us so there was only one thing we could do. We aimed one of our trebuchets at the women and it hurled a huge rock on top of them. They would not be casting any more spells on us! V. Then a drawbridge was lowered from the siege tower. All siege towers have these to be able to get on to the walls of the castle or city they are trying to attack. As soon as the drawbridge was down, us Crusaders rushed across, slaughtering the Muslims. VI. The Muslims thought that gigantic bales of straw would stop our battering rams getting through the walls. That idea did not work. We also tunnelled under the walls which made them collapse, letting us through. VII. The Muslims had one last trick up their sleeve. They shot balls of some substance which, when it hit our siege towers or anything else for that matter, it exploded and set fire to it. The only thing that could put these fires out were well-aimed buckets of vinegar. VIII. As it turned out, that was not their final trick. They sent burning, hot oil and tar down on to us Crusaders. If you were hit, you were pretty much dead. But we still got the walls and when we got inside... IX. We slaughtered everybody in sight! We stole like some of the Crusaders did in Constantinople. It was a great win for us Crusaders and, most importantly, we have our beloved city back. Diary entry XIII
There seems to be many advancements in this Arab world. They have things that people in Europe do not have. They have "stirrups", which make it easier to get on and off of your horse and they also have these strange war things that have a pin at the top. You pull the pin out and throw them and they blow up! They call them "grenades". They have also introduced something to keep money (a bank) and a pocket navigator (compass). They have new words like "bazaar" (wierd) and "chess (war based game where you have to kill the king). But there is so much new food! There is "rice"(a plain but very nice food) "melons", "dates" and "raisins" (new fruits) and "sherbet" (a sweet, powdery substance). But the thing I find the strangest is that they use a new numbering system! They have the symbols 1 (I), 2 (II), 3 (III), 4 (IV), 5 (V), 6 (VI), 7 (VII), 8 (VIII) and 9 (IX). Also, they have invented a new symbol, 0. So instead of MLXVI they write 1066. For sums: XXII
Instead, they do:
It will never work! Nobody will understand it! They also have Greek and Roman books but who wants them? So, that was my journey to the Holy Land. I hope next year will be as successful, MC.