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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

III: The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI,   pp. 86-122 PDF (14.1 MB)


Page 91

Ch. III THE CRUSADES OF FREDERICK I AND HENRY VI 91 
alternative of going along at the emperor's expense or going into exile for
three years, chose the latter and went to England. Cardinal Conrad, the archbishop
of Mainz, went to negotiate with king Bela III of Hungary for passage through
that country. It is likely that letters were sent to the "grand zupan"
(ruler) of Serbia, Stephen Nemanya, and his brothers. An embassy set off
to arrange with Isaac Angelus for passage through Byzantine territory. Godfrey
of Wiesenbach was sent to Kilij Arslan II, the Selchukid sultan at Iconium
(Konya), and Henry of Dietz was dispatched to Saladin himself, threatening
war within a year if the holy places were not surrendered. Despite all the
difficulties involved in the land route, difficulties which the emperor himself
had experienced, he must have felt that it would be simpler to remove them
by negotiation than to arrange for the transport by sea of a large German
army that might find no Christian port at which to land. 
 Saladin scornfully rejected the emperor's ultimatum, and set about arranging
an alliance with the Byzantine emperor that would harass the German progress
through Greek lands. Other embassies came to Germany to meet Frederick at
the diet at Nuremberg in late December 1188. The Serbian embassy announced
that Nish would be put in readiness for his arrival. The news of the prospective
invasion of the east by a powerful Germany army had made a deep impression.
The large embassy of Kilij Arslan, one thousand men and five hundred horse
according to some German reports, promised the emperor that no obstacles
would be put in the way of his march through Selchükid territory in
Asia Minor. The Byzantine embassy, led by the chancellor John Ducas, was
more cautious and frank. To Frederick it was explained that Isaac, "from
the time when the idea of an expedition to Jerusalem had become generally
known," had suspected that "not only the emperor but also the king
of France would lead a hostile invasion into his realm."4 Unless Barbarossa
could remove these fears, it would be necessary for Byzantium to refuse to
allow the Germans to go through the passes of Bulgaria and indeed "in
all ways" to oppose them. 
 This appeared reasonable to Frederick, and three distinguished 
German princes, bishop Godfrey of Wurzburg, the emperor's son 
Frederick, duke of Swabia, and Leopold of Babenberg, duke of 
Austria, swore before the Greeks to the pacific intentions of the 
German crusaders. Thereupon the Greek envoys, "vowed by the 
 4 Ibid., p. 15, lines 24-28. For Byzantium under Isaac II Angelus, see below,
chapter IV, pp. 146-149. 


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