Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241, pp. 463-486 PDF (9.1 MB)
464 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II their young king's father and guardian, the Hohenstaufen Frederick II. In short, if one wished to write a burlesque of the crusades, one could do no better than to give an accurate account of this expedi tion. Yet this crusade accomplished more for the Christian cause in terms of lands and fortresses recovered from the Moslems than any other except the First Crusade. One can easily understand why Armand of Perigord, master of the Knights Templar, called the outcome a pure miracle wrought by God. The background of every crusade consisted of three chief ele ments — the situation in the Holy Land, the policy and actions of the pope and the secular princes of Europe, and the motives, resources, ability, character, and political position of the crusaders. The third of these elements was always complicated, but the first two were often fairly simple. In the case of the expedition of 1239— 1241 all three were truly magnificent mixtures of confusion, un certainty, and cross-purposes. 1 In November 1225 emperor Frederick II had married Isabel of Brienne, queen of Jerusalem, daughter of Mary of Montferrat and John of Brienne. Isabel had died in 1228 leaving her son Conrad as heir to the throne under the guardianship of his father. In 1229 Frederick had concluded a truce for ten years with al-Kämil, sultan of Egypt, by which he had obtained possession of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth with corridors connecting these places with the sea-coast. But Frederick had no intention of contenting himself with the carefully limited suzerainty enjoyed by the kings of Jerusalem. As a result he had soon fallen out, before leaving Syria for the west in 1229, with most of the prelates and barons of the kingdom. The quarrel had grown more bitter when Frederick seized control of Cyprus by replacing John of Ibelin, lord of Beirut and regent for the young king Henry of Lusignan, with Cypriote lords who supported the imperial cause. John — the ablest, most influential, and most powerful of the barons of Jerusalem — re conquered Cyprus in 1 233 after a long and savage war.2 Until his death in 1236 he led the opposition to Frederick, who was far too occupied at home to give adequate support to his agents in the Levant. In the Holy Land itself, the Christians were thus divided not only by the chronic quarrels between the Templars and Hos pitallers but also by those between the barons of the kingdom and the agents of Frederick II. 1 The major part of the material for the discussion of the background of the crusade has been drawn from the Registres de Grégoire IX (ed. Lucien Auvray, Bibliothéque des Ecoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, 2nd series). 2 On the kingdom of Cyprus during this period, see below, chapter XVII, pp. 612-613.
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