Garnier de Nablus

Garnier de Nablus was the 10th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller from 1190 to 1192.[1] He fought at the Battle of Arsuf under King Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade.

Garnier de Nablus
Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jerusalem - appellez depuis les Chevaliers de Rhodes, et aujourd'hui les Chevaliers de Malthe (1726) (14579750980).jpg
Garnier de Napoli de Sirie, by Jean-François Cars c. 1725
10th Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller
In office
Preceded byArmengol de Aspa
Succeeded byGeoffrey de Donjon
Personal details
Nablus, Palestine
Died31 August 1192(1192-08-31) (aged 44–45)
Acre, Palestine
Military service
Battles/warsBattle of Arsuf
Coat of arms of Garnier de Nablus

Battle of ArsufEdit

Richard had previously ordered no direct engagement with the enemy on the march to capture Jaffa. Situated at the rear of the military column, Garnier's Hospitallers were under heavy pressure by the Muslims. They were constantly harassed with arrows and small scale hit-and-run attacks in an attempt to disrupt and lure the crusader column into full battle. According to the 13th-century manuscript Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, Garnier was near breaking point and rode forward in person to try to persuade Richard to attack:

My lord the king, we are violently pressed by the enemy, and are in danger of eternal infamy, as if we did not dare to return their blows; we are each of us losing our horses one after another, and why should we bear with them any further?[2]

He also asked that Richard relieve the pressure with a cavalry charge. Richard refused and replied, "Good Master, it is you who must sustain the attack; no man can be everywhere at once."[2] When the pressure increased, the Grand Master and one other knight, Baldwin de Carreo, charged the Muslims. They were joined soon after by the rest of the Hospitaller force. Richard, seeing that his orders were already disobeyed, signaled for a full charge. This caught the enemy at a vulnerable moment, and their ranks were broken. Thus, in some ways, Garnier helped win the battle, though in contravention of Richard's orders.

Portrayal in fiction and filmEdit

In the video game Assassin's Creed, Garnier de Nablus (the game uses the French Naplouse) is one of the nine main assassination targets and is depicted as a man taking in those without sound mind, often by force, and experimenting on them in an attempt to cure them. While being somewhat successful, this in-game portrayal of Garnier shows him as a cruel and sadistic man, greatly contrasting with his real life persona. In addition, he is assassinated in Acre in 1191, while historically he died in 1192 after fighting in the battle of Arsuf.

Actor Donald Sumpter portrays Garnier in the 2008 BBC TV docudrama series Heroes and Villains which features a reenactment of the battle at Arsuf.


  1. ^ Flavigny, Bertrand Galimard (2005). Histoire de l'ordre de Malte. Francia: Perrin. pp. 317–319. ISBN 9782262021153.
  2. ^ a b "Book IV: Richard's march from Acre to Arsuf". Richard of Holy Trinity. Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land (formerly ascribed to Geoffrey de Vinsauf) (PDF). United States Naval Academy. Publications Medieval Latin Series. Cambridge, Ontario: York University. 2001.


Preceded by
Armengol de Aspa
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Succeeded by
Geoffrey de Donjon