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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 449

surah in the summer of 1 22 1, the three Aiyübid brothers, sons of the
late sultan al-'Adil, who had wiped out the threat from the forces of the
Fifth Crusade, soon fell out among themselves, al-Kãmil, sultan of
Egypt, feuding with al-Mu'azzam, governor of Damascus, while the youngest
brother, al-Ashraf governor of Akhlat, cleverly shifted his allegiance back
and forth. By 1225 al-Kãmil was convinced that al-Mu'azzam was plotting
to seize the sultanate, while al-Mu'azzam was seeking an alliance with Jalal-ad-Din,
the ruthless shah of Khorezm, and so threatening, as al-Kãmil saw,
the destruction of the entire Aiyubid house. 
 Under these circumstances, almost in desperation, al-Kamil had in 1226 sent
the emir Fakhr-ad-Din to the emperor to ask him to come to Acre; he promised
to give to him many cities of Palestine which belonged to the Moslems if
he would attack al-Mu'azzam.68 Another Arab historian adds that al-Kamil
specifically promised Frederick Jerusalem.69 Frederick had sent to al-Kãmil
archbishop Berard of Palermo and count Thomas of Acerra, the emperor's bailie
in Syria, who had given the sultan rich gifts from Frederick, including a
favorite horse with a saddle of gold, inlaid with precious stones. After
a ceremonious reception, al-Kãmil had entrusted to them presents of
great value from India, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, and elsewhere in token of his
esteem for the emperor.70 Arabic sources reveal also that archbishop Berard
had continued his journey to Damascus in October 1227. Here he had attempted
negotiations with al-Mu'azzam, who had dismissed him with the curt message:
"Say to your master that I am not as certain others, and that I have nothing
for him but my sword." 
 Al—Mu'azzam had then endeavored, unsuccessfully, to make peace with
his younger brother, al-Ashraf; while al-Kamil, ap prehensive over Berard's
visit to Damascus, had hastily dispatched Fakhr-ad-Din on a second mission
to Frederick in the autumn of 1227. 71 It may well have been at this time
that Frederick knighted Fakhr-ad-Din. For, in describing the emir some years
later, Joinville says of him: "his banner was bendyand on one of the bends
were the arms of the emperor, who had knighted him."72 But hardly had Fakhr-ad-Din
fulfilled his mission when Frederick received word from Thomas of Acerra
of the sudden death of al-Mu'azzam. He 
 68 Al-Maqrizi, "Histoire d'Egypte," ROL, IX, 509 ff. 
 69 Badr-ad-Din al-'Aini, ' Iqd al-jamãn (RHC, Or., II, part I), pp.
185-186. This entire subject is treated by E. Blochet, "Relations diplomatiques
des Hohenstaufen avec les sultans d'Egypte," Rev. historique, LXXX (1902),
53 ff. 
 70 Al-Maqrizi, "Histoire d'Egypte," ROL, IX, 511. 
 71 Badr-ad-DIn al-'Aini, ' Iqd al-jaman (RHC, Or., II, part I), pp. 186—187.
 72 John of Joinville, Histoire de St. Louis (ed. Natalis Wailly, Paris,
1874), pp. 109—110. 

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