Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
I: The Norman Kingdom of Sicily and the Crusades, pp. 2-43 PDF (56.8 KB)
42 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II program of Mediterranean expansion in three directions, towards North Africa, Constantinople, and the Near East. As regards North Africa, Henry fell heir to the agreement between William II and the "king of Africa" (emir of Tunis), received the tribute, and continued in good commercial relations with him. To settle his account, both inherited and personal, with the emperor in Constantinople, Henry wrested from the weak Alexius III Angelus the concession of a high annual tribute. Finally, for his ambitious plans in the Near East he proclaimed, prepared, and launched a crusade, the first German expedition to start from Italian bases.53 The crusade began under good auspices, for even before it got under way, king Leon II of Cilician Armenia and king Aimery of Cyprus (the later titular king of Jerusalem) asked to receive their crowns and lands at the hands of Henry or his representative. But death cut short all these hopes, and it was Henry's son Frederick II who was destined to be the first king of Sicily to wear the crown of Jerusalem, although by then not much more than prestige would be attached to The traditional Norman-Sicilian policy would inspire and direct later kings of Sicily, the Hohenstaufen Manfred and the Angevin Charles. But the great days of Sicilian prominence in the politics and commerce of the Mediterranean had come to an end with the death of William II. 53 See below, chapter III, pp. 116-122. 54 See below, chapter XII, pp. 442-462.
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