University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

III: The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI,   pp. 86-122 PDF (16.5 MB)


Page 116

116 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES  II 
to become the home of the Teutonic Knights. "Since the deaths of the
other princes occurred so thick and fast, and fatal day piled upon fatal
day, we could by no means note their dates."37 
 After Frederick's death the remaining Germans put themselves under Conrad
of Montferrat, and by the time of duke Leopold of Austria's arrival in the
spring of 1191 had for the most part em barked for Germany. With the arrival
of the French and English armies under Philip and Richard, Leopold's part
in the siege of Acre was but a small one. Only a few Germans were present
to witness the fall of the city.38 Leopold himself set out for home in November
or December 1191, smarting under the treatment he and the Germans had received
from Richard, and quite ready to cooperate with Richard's enemies, Henry
VI and Philip Augustus, in taking full advantage of Richard's capture after
his forced landing on the Istrian coast. 
 As a young man of twenty-three Henry VI had been entrusted with the governance
of the empire while Frederick Barbarossa went off on the crusade that ended
in his death. He was thus intimately acquainted with the hopes that had led
his aged father to undertake such a hazardous mission, and with the ambitions
that had lured the German aristocracy, lay and ecclesiastical, to follow
him in such great numbers. He had been kept informed of the progress of the
march to the Dardanelles, and had been made responsible for the execution
in the west of Frederick's plans to organize a crusade against the Byzantine
empire in case Isaac Angelus persisted in his efforts to block the advance
of the German army. He must have shared the angry resentment of his father,
and may even have attributed to the eastern emperor the ultimate responsibility
for Barbarossa's death. This resentment was kept burning by the individual
reports of those who managed to survive the expedition. 
 Henry knew also of the precarious position of the Byzantine state, of the
readiness of Serbs and Bulgars to attack it from the European side, and of
its inability to deal with those Selchukids of Iconium whom even an enfeebled
and decimated German army had managed to dispose of with comparative ease.
If the huge effort of his father's campaign were not to be wholly in vain,
it would have to be repeated and the mistakes previously made avoided. Of
the desire of the German aristocracy for a speedy renewal of the effort 
 37 The events after Frederick's death are narrated by Ansbert, pp. 92-93,
and in Chronicon Magni presbiteri, ad ann. 1190-1191 (MGH, SS., XVII), pp.
516-518. 
 38 For the siege of Acre, see above, chapter II, pp. 53, 65-69. 


Go up to Top of Page