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)
452 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II the military orders that the ban was to remain despite the emperor's arrival. At the same time he admonished them to have no part in the emperor's Syrian plans.85 A sharp division in the crusading army was inevitable. While the German and Sicilian knights stood firmly behind the emperor, the common soldiers, even some Germans, were moved by the religious implications of the expedition and adhered to the papal party, as did the patriarch Gerald, the Templars, and the Syrian bishops. The Pisan and Genoese inhabitants of Syria, doubtless recalling the bungling leadership at Damietta and their resulting commercial losses, supported the emperor, as did the Teutonic Knights, under Hermann of Saiza. The English, including the clergy, wavered in their loyalties, at first supporting the emperor but shifting to the papal party. It was this impossible situation which Frederick endeavored to overcome through a clever move. He gave nominal command of various units of the expedition to faithful adherents who were free of the embarrassments of the papal ban: Hermann of Saiza, Richard Filangieri, and Odo of Montbéliard.86 This made it possible for the crusaders to avoid jeopardizing their own position in the eyes of the curia. Frederick was not in a position to seek a victory through the force of arms. His army was small. Already he was committed to diplomatic rather than military action in his relations with the sultan of Egypt. Since 1226 he had been fully informed of developments in Syria through diplomatic exchanges with al-Kãmil. Indeed his friendly relations with the emir Fakhr-ad-Din, begun in 1226, had continued; from the autumn of 1227 until the emperor's arrival in Acre, Thomas of Acerra had carried on the negotiations. We do not know exactly what al-Kämil had promised, nor whether al Mu'azzam's death in the previous November had changed his arrangements. At least during the initial stages of the negotiations, Frederick probably hoped to regain the conquests made by Saladin in Syria, and thus to reestablish the kingdom as it had been before the battle of Hattin. The Arabic sources mention specifically the 85 Richard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), p. 354; Huillard-Bréholles, III, 83 ff. The choice of Reginald, who even at that time was engaged in combatting the invading forces of the curia in Sicily, indicates how little the emperor was disposed to permit the papal claims in Sicily to be injected into the discussion. Diplomatically, the choice of Reginald would doubtless have destined the negotiations to failure even had the pope been otherwise disposed to a reconciliation. See also Ernoul, Chronique, p. 462. 86 The assumption of Schirrmacher, Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite, II, 183, that the pope ordered this arrangement is untenable. For not only would the pope have chosen leaders other than the most faithful of Frederick's followers, but Frederick himself would not have submitted willingly, even meekly, to having the army taken from his command by order of the pope. See Kestner, Kreuz. Fried., p. 43, n. 2.
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