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

XIII: The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239-1241,   pp. 463-486 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 465

 The death of al-Kãmil (1238) led to an equally grave division among
the Moslems.3 His two sons, al-'Adil Abü-Bakr and as Salih Aiyub, became
respectively masters of Egypt and Damascus, but their uncles and cousins
immediately prepared to contest this division of the Aiyubid domains. 
 The treaty of San Germano in July 1230 had temporarily reconciled Frederick
II and pope Gregory IX, who now sincerely tried to bring peace to the kingdom
of Jerusalem. But the pope was never really reconciled either to the truce
with the Moslems or to Frederick's attempts to rule in Jerusalem. On September
4, 1234, Gregory dispatched a letter to the people of England to urge them
to prepare for a new crusade. He pointed out that when the truce between
the emperor and the sultan should expire in July 1239, the Holy Land would
have need of Christian troops. All who went on the crusade would receive
indulgence for all venial sins duly con fessed. Those who could not go but
contributed money would receive the same benefits. The persons and property
of crusaders would come under papal protection. No usury was to be collected
from crusaders. In November similar letters were sent to the people of France.
All the clergy were directed to preach the crusade, but apparently the pope's
chief reliance was on the Dominican friars. The preaching was so successful
that in September 1235 the pope was obliged to order the prelates of France
to prevent crusaders from starting before the appointed time. 
 Pope Gregory well knew that one could always persuade a fair number of barons
to embark on a crusade. But few barons could afford it. Hence the chief problem
was to raise money, as became particularly apparent in the summer of 1 235.
The most important lord who had assumed the cross was Amalric, count of Montfort
and constable of France, who not only had no money but was over whelmingly
in debt. The pope had already authorized the men preaching the crusade to
permit those who could not go in person to buy absolution from their oaths,
but he doubted that these "redemptions" would yield enough. In June 1235
he wrote to all prelates to say that he hoped to maintain an army in Palestine
for ten years after the end of the truce (1239). Every Christian who was
not a crusader was to pay a denarius a week for this purpose. For each year
in which this tax was paid the payer would be relieved from two years in
purgatory. As time went on and more and more impecunious barons took the
cross, Gregory was obliged to think of other financial expedients. The clergy
were asked to pay a series 
 For a detailed account of Aiyubid affairs, see below, chapter XX, pp. 705—706.

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