Italian traveler Marco Polo, shown in this medieval painting leading his 13th-century caravan across Asia, crossed paths briefly with the much-dreaded Assassins. Unlike many, Polo lived to tell about it.

Richard the Lionheart

Blood in the Sand: Shiite Assassins

By Mark S. Longo

Their name has been synonymous with murder for almost a thousand years, but few people know the full truth about the enigmatic organization known as the Assassins. Read more

Richard the Lionheart

Unholy Sabbath in Flanders

By William E. Welsh

With his one good eye, French King Philip II looked east down the straight line of an old Roman road in the disputed county of Flanders on Sunday, July 27, 1214. Read more

King Saladin and Richard the Lionheart were larger-than-life men who dazzled contemporaries and left potent legends that resonate to this day.

Richard the Lionheart

King Saladin Compared to Richard the Lionheart

by Eric Niderost

Myth can of course distort as well as exalt, and the stories of the Richard, the English King, and King Saladin, the Kurdish Sultan have created stereotyped caricatures of the two great protagonists. Read more