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)
Ch. XII THE CRUSADE OF FREDERICK II 453 restoration of Jerusalem, but add the vague mention of "several other places". 87 After al-Mu'azzam's death, an-Näsir, al-Mu'azzam's son and his heir as governor of Damascus, endeavored vainly to make peace with his uncle al-Kämil, who then invaded Syria and took possession of Jerusalem. An-Nãsir sought aid from his other uncle, al-Ashraf, but the two uncles now joined in plun dering their helpless nephew, besieging the city of Damascus, and planning to divide the spoils (early September 1228—May 1229).88 Al-Kämil's position was now much stronger than when a year before he had appealed to Frederick for aid. He could now use Jerusalem to bargain with the crusaders for the greater security of Egypt. He could hardly have been fully aware, however, of the weakness of Frederick's forces, nor could he fully have comprehended the seriousness of the singular factional conflict in the ranks of the army arising from Frederick's excommunication, although he had some knowledge of these differences. Frederick sent Thomas of Acerra and Balian of Sidon to inform al-Kãmil of his arrival and to request the fulfillment of the sultan's promises with respect to Jerusalem. Although receiving the embassy with courtesy, and obviously seeking to impress them by a cere monial display of his armed forces, al-Kãmil let his visitors depart without committing himself with regard to their mission. His acceptance of Frederick's gifts and his own generous presents in return, including an elephant, ten camels, and ten horses, as well as silks and other rare stuffs, indicate his desire to maintain friendly relations. Shortly afterwards Frederick received the ambassadors of the sultan, including his old friend Fakhr-ad-Din, in his camp at Recordane near Acre. Displaying a consummate skill in the usages of Arabic diplomacy, Frederick, through his rare eloquence and extraordinary learning, impressed favorably both al-Kãmil and his clever representative Fakhr-ad-Din. A1-Maqrizi, the Egyptian historian, says the emperor was learned in geometry, arithmetic, and other exact sciences, and reports that Frederick sent several difficult questions on geometry, the theory of numbers, and mathematics to the sultan, who gave them to men of great learning for appropriate answers which he returned to the emperor.89 His learning as well as his unorthodox views on religion astonished the Moslems as they dismayed the Christians. These, together with the secrecy with which he carried on the negotiations with the 87 See beiow, chapter XX, pp. 701—703. 88 Abü-Shãmah, Ar-raudatain (RHC, Or., V), pp. 190—191. 89 A1-Maqrizi, "Histoire d'Egypte," ROL, IX, 528—529.
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