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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

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


Page 454

 454 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II 
congenial Fakhr-ad-Din, aroused the suspicions of the crusaders. Even Freidank,
the Swabian poet who "always spoke and never sang", generally well disposed
toward the emperor, expressed his sorrow that Frederick veiled his actions
in secrecy.90 
 Having committed himself to extensive concessions of territory, al-Kãmil
could no longer defend his earlier promises in the face of criticism from
his subjects. This consideration for Moslem opinion now became his chief
concern. When Thomas of Acerra and Balian of Sidon were again sent to resume
the negotiations, the sultan left his headquarters at Nablus and went to
his camp at Harbiyah northeast of Gaza in order, as the Eracles reports,
"to keep at a distance the emperor and his words."91 
 Frederick now prepared to impress the sultan by a show of force. He planned
to use, as bases for operations against the city of Jerusalem, the cities
of Caesarea and Jaffa, which in October 1 227 Henry of Limburg had begun
to refortify. In November 1228 Frederick set out on a march from Acre to
Jaffa. The masters of the Temple and the Hospital, Peter of Montaigu and
Bertrand of Thessy, refused to associate with the excommunicate, but followed
at a distance of a day's journey. In the vicinity of Arsuf, however, Frederick,
recognizing the dangers to his small following, yielded to pressure from
some of the leaders and induced the Templars and Hospitallers to join the
main body of the army, agreeing that future orders would be issued not in
the name of the emperor but "in the name of God and Christianity".92 The
expedition moved success fully to Jaffa, where the work of fortification
was pushed forward. Although at first heavy storms hindered the landing of
supplies, by the close of the year 1228 abundant provisions flowed into the
city.93 
 As the work on the coastal fortifications was nearing completion in January
1229, disquieting dispatches arrived from Italy, where John of Brienne, who
since 1227 had served the curia as Protector of the Patrimony, was reported
to have taken San Germano and to be threatening Capua. Ordering a part of
the fleet to be held in readiness, the emperor appealed to his loyal subjects
in Italy to hold out until his return. At the same time he ordered his admiral,
Henry of Malta, to send twenty galleys to Syria by the following Easter.94
Frederick's situation was now most awkward. If he delayed too long 
  Bezzenberger, Freidankes Bescheidenheit, p. 211. For the attitude of the
patriarch toward Frederick's Saracen relations, see Huillard-Bréholles,
III, 104. 
91 Eracles (RHC, 0cc., II), p. 372. 
92 Ibid., pp. 372 ff. 
93 Huillard-Bréholies, III, 90-91. Eracles (RHC, Occ., II), pp. 373—374.


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