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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 450

must have perceived at once that the removal of al-Mu'azzam would serve to
improve the outlook for al-Kãmil, while weakening his own bargaining
power. It was doubtless this realization that led him to send the marshal
Richard Filangieri with 500 knights to Syria in the following April and to
hasten his own preparations.73 
 In November 1 227, an emissary from Frederick, acting "with the consent
of the Roman people and the senate," 74 publicly read in Rome the imperial
manifesto explaining and justifying the delay. Perhaps this stimulated the
pope to send two cardinals to Frederick in late December, but Frederick refuscd
to receive them. Ap parently he had concluded that he could obtain reconciliation
with Gregory only on terms that were too humiliating to be acceptable. His
diet at Capua in December decreed that each Sicilian fief should provide
eight ounces of gold for the crusade, and each group of.eight fiefs one armed
knight to be ready to sail for Syria in May. In Swabia the emperor's circular
letter announcing the departure in May had recruited a good many ministeriales
for the crusade. 75 But Frederick could not hold the diet at Ravenna, announced
in the circular letter, because the Milanese and Veronese blocked the Alpine
passes to the Germans, and Gregory IX threatened to place under interdict
all villages or towns in which the emperor might stay.76 We are told, however,
that Frederick cele brated Easter 1228 "with all joy and exultation." 77
 In Sicily his measures of retaliation against the papacy, threaten ing the
confiscation of the property of those who obeyed the papal decrees, met with
general acceptance.78 In Rome itself Frederick's powerful supporters, notably
the Frangipani, and his many friends among the populace, whom he had fed
during the famine of 1227, rioted against Gregory IX and hounded him out
of the city, first to Viterbo and then to Rieti.79 Frederick knew perfectly
well that in his absence all his German and Sicilian enemies would join with
the pope in an effort to destroy him. Indeed, Gregory had made his plans
for the invasion of Sicily, and had been trying to find a Weif protégé
in Germany.80 At Barletta in the late spring of 1228, 
  Richard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), p. 349. 
74 Ibid., p. 348. 
 75 Huillard-Bréholles, III, 57—58. For his circular letter
see ibid., pp. 36 ff. 
 76 John Codagnellus, Annales placentini (Scriptores rerum Germanicarum ad
usum scholarum, Hanover, 1901), p. 86. 
  Richard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), p. 349. 
 78 Huillard-Bréholles, III, 50 ff.; Röhricht, Beitrage, I, 25.
 79 Richard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), p. 349; Burchard, Urspergensium
chronicon (MGH, SS., XXIII), p. 383. 
80 Winkelmann, Kaiser Friedrich, II, 16 ff.; Kantorowicz, Friedrich II.,
pp. 163 ff. 

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