University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

XII: The Crusade of Frederick II,   pp. 429-462 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 430

Pelagius conquered Cairo and the inland regions of Egypt, or the crusaders
accepted the sultan's offer to exchange Damietta for J erusalem. 1 But now
Frederick's chances stood out in bold relief against the background of failure
of an expedition which for more than seven years had absorbed the attention
of the western world. He alone, the leading sovereign of Europe, emperor
of the Holy Roman Empire, was in a position to redeem the losses by employing
the resources and the arms of the west in the reconquest of the Holy Land.
 Six years before (July 1 5, 1 2 1 5), at the height of the efforts of Innocent
III to stir the peoples of Europe to take the cross, and while crusading
preachers were active throughout Europe, Frederick had received the German
crown at Aachen. He had previously been crowned in Mainz on December 9, 1212,
but this second coronation was carried out in such a fashion as to emphasize
the legitimacy of his election, and to direct the attention of the Christian
world to him. The newly crowned king astonished those in attendance at Aachen,
as well as the pope, by taking the cross, and called upon the nobles of Germany
to follow his example.2 
 At the time, and again some twelve years later, Frederick said that he had
taken the cross in order to express his gratitude for the many blessings
bestowed upon him. He insisted that in doing so he had placed both his person
and the whole of his authority at the service of God by obligating himself
to work unremittingly for the recovery of the Holy Land.3 Later the pope
and the curia were inclined to question the sincerity of his motives. In
his encyclical of October io, 1227, pope Gregory IX was to remind Frederick
that he had accepted the cross spontaneously, without urging by the apostolic
see and without its foreknowledge.4 
 For the moment Innocent chose to ignore the action of his protégé,
although he was bending every effort to rally the kings 
Syria and Cyprus (tr. with notes and introd. by J. L. La Monte, with verse
translation of the poems by M. J. Hubert, New York, 1936); L. de Mas Latrie,
Histoire de l'ile dc Chypre sous le régne des princes de la maison
de Lusignan (3 vols., Paris, 1852—186 1); and R. Rohricht, Geschichte
des Konigreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898). For medieval poetry and the
crusade of Frederick II see: K. Bartsch and A. Horning, La Langue et la littératurefrancaises
(Paris, 1887); J. Bédier, Les Chansons de croisade (Paris, 1909);
H. E. Bezzenberger (ed.), Freidankes Bescheidenheit (Halle, 1872); and F.
Diez, La Poésie des troubadours (Paris, 1845). Biographical studies
include W. Jacobs, Patriarch Gerold von Jerusalem (Aachen, 1905); A. Koch,
Hermann von Salza (Leipzig, 1885); and E. Lavisse, De Hermanno Saizensi Ordinis
Teutonici magistro (Paris, 1875). 
1 On these events see above, chapter XI, pp. 403—428. 
 2 E. Winkelmann, Geschichte Kaiser Friedrichs des Zweiten und seiner Reiche
1212-1235 (Berlin, 1863), pp. 69—70. 
 Huillard-Bréholles, III, 39. Ibid., III, 25. 

Go up to Top of Page