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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 457

Ch. XII THE CRUSADE OF FREDERICK II 457 
as, in many instances, it was unreasonable. Gerald's letter to the pope in
particular reveals that he was opposed to the concluding of any sort of peace
with the sultan. For him the paramount purpose of a crusade was to shed "infidel"
blood, not to engage in concilia tory negotiations that recognized the rights
of Moslems within the city sacred to the name of Christ. 
 The Templars, not wholly for the same reasons, were in sympathy with Gerald's
views. It was a tenet of their faith, the raison d'itre of their order, that
they were to fight unremittingly against the "infidel". The acceptance of
Frederick's terms would impose upon them peaceful relations with the Moslems
for at least ten years. Already they had experienced hardships and suffered
disease and privations in winning control of fortified places from which
they could pursue the conquest. Now, at a single stroke, a Christian emperor,
notoriously friendly with Moslems, had set their achieve ments at naught,
ignored their rights, perhaps, indeed, pledged himself to prevent their further
conquests. 103 It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that both the patriarch
and the Templars felt keenly that the treaty had ignored their special interests.
The pat riarch was not secured in his former possessions, and the Templars
had profited, at most, to the extent of one or two insignificant villages.
Moreover, Frederick had made concessions to the Saracens which, as the Templars
believed, would make Christian occupation of the holy city difficult, and
expose it to reconquest by the enemy. 
 It was no difficult matter for the patriarch and his supporters to depict
Frederick as a betrayer, an enemy of the church, and to treat his recovery
of the Holy Land as an illusion. Even though Gerald may have recognized some
positive gains for the emperor, he dis missed them as of no account to the
church. When, therefore, Hermann of Salza approached him with a sincere proposal
for a reconciliation, Gerald saw only trickery and deceit. From this point
on he sought to destroy Frederick and all his works. His first effort was
to prevent the emperor's triumphal entry into Jerusalem by forbidding the
army, under the threat of excommunication, to follow, and by placing the
city itself under interdict. It was with this object that he sent archbishop
Peter of Caesarea post-haste to the crusading army. But Frederick had moved
more swiftly than the patriarch had anticipated. 
 When Hermann of Salza had failed to win Gerald over, Frederick set out immediately
with the crusading army and a great body of 
103 See Böhmer, Regesta imperil, V, part 3, introd., p. xxxvii. 


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