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

XII: The Crusade of Frederick II,   pp. 429-462 PDF (20.5 MB)

Page 447

lent weight to the suspicion that he was seizing this opportunity to destroy
a political enemy. Perhaps Gregory obtained greater satisfaction from Frederick's
failure than he would have from his success. His letter to the emperor, written
in late October I 227 and setting forth conditions for the lifting of the
ban, referred less to the crusade than to Frederick's alleged violations
of papal claims in Sicily. 
 In his circular letter publishing the excommunication, Gregory branded Frederick
as the wanton violator of his sacred oaths taken at Aachen, Veroli, Ferentino,
and San Germano, and held him responsible for the sickness and death of innumerable
crusaders at Brindisi. Gregory charged him with delay in providing and equip
ping the necessary ships, and alleged that he had feigned illness, preferring
the pleasures of Pozzuoli (where he had moved from Otranto) to the rigors
of a crusading expedition. Finally, he accused him of failing to enlist the
specified number of troops and to meet the financial requirements imposed
upon him at San Germano. Some of these charges, however, are flimsy. The
700 German and Austrian knights, together with the 250 Sicilian mercenaries,
the ioo from Frederick's household, and the others recruited probably exceeded
the number agreed upon. More over, there is no evidence to indicate that
the pope, prior to this time, had expressed dissatisfaction with the handling
of the pledged sums. The wanton misrepresentation in these instances subjects
the entire list of charges to suspicion. In contrast with the pope's unrestrained
anger, the defense offered by Frederick in his letter "to all crusaders"
of Europe leaves the impression of a straight forward factual statement,
the sincerity of which is emphasized by the appeal to the Germans to prepare
to join him in May for the expedition which he would lead at that time.64
 Meanwhile the fleet which had sailed in August 1227 had probably arrived
in Syria in early October. The second fleet, that of the Teutonic master
and the patriarch, touched first at Limassol in Cyprus, where the constable
of Jerusalem, Odo of Montbéliard, Balian of Sidon, and other notables
awaited the emperor. Upon learning of his delay, they accompanied the fleet
to Syria.65 The absence of the emperor, "the crowned king from the west",
  64 For the pope's circular letter or encyclical of Oct. 10, 1227, see Huillard-Bréholles,
III, 23 ff., and for Frederick's letter defending his actions see ibid.,
pp. 37 ff. The letter of the pope to Frederick concerning his alleged misdeeds
in Sicily is in ibid., pp. 32 ff. The contents of this letter clearly indicate
the readiness of Gregory to readmit Frederick to the fellowship of the church
provided he submit to the papal demands with regard to Sicily. See also Kestner,
Kreuz. Fried., pp. 37 ff. 
 65 Röhricht, Beitrage, I, 20. 

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