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

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

Page 117

he was well aware. The civil wars between Saladin's sons and their uncle
al-'Adil Saif-ad-Din ("Saphadin"), the sultan of Egypt, were an
added inducement.39 Whether the campaign would be a war of revenge against
the Byzantine state depended, first, upon the conduct of the eastern emperor
with respect to this second German effort, and second, upon circumstances
within the empire at home. Constantinople had reason to be more fearful of
a crusade led by Henry VI than of those led by Conrad III or Barbarossa.
And the young Henry knew from the history of the negotiations between his
father and Isaac that it was only necessary to be firm to get what he wanted.
In any case the Hohenstaufen plans for the integration of Italy and Germany
into a strong central European state must not be upset by attempting the
impossible in either the Byzantine or the Moslem east. In this respect there
is no reason to suppose that Henry was any less wise than his father. 
 When the news of Barbarossa's death reached him, Henry was already faced
with the problem of conquering his wife Constance's inheritance, the Norman
kingdom of southern Italy and Sicily. His first effort failed before Naples.
By 1 his second effort, financed by Richard's ransom, had succeeded. Meanwhile
the birth of a son at Iesi opened to him the prospect of transforming the
German empire into a hereditary monarchy similar to the monarchies of the
west. In exchange for papal support of this important step Henry was ready
to offer his personal leadership of a crusade. These plans, however, were
thwarted by the opposition of archbishop Adolf of Cologne, and the ultimate
refusal of the papacy to consider the coronation of his son Frederick. Henry
knew only too well how difficult it would be to reconcile the inhabitants
of the Norman kingdom to their new German master, or to render the papacy
content with German possession of a kingdom, which had long been a papal
fief. Now that the truce in the east with Saladin had expired, a successful
crusade might accomplish many desirable ends, even without Henry's personal
direction. It would strengthen the position of the emperor among the German
nobility, lay and ecclesiastical. It would enhance the dignity of the empire
in Europe. It might restore the relations of papacy and empire to some kind
of harmony, and this might, in turn, facilitate the pacification of the newly
acquired Norman kingdom of Sicily. Thus, if carefully prepared and managed,
the resumption of his father's effort to restore the kingdom of Jerusalem
would almost certainly contribute to the solidification of the German empire.
 39 On Aiyubid affairs, see below, chapter XX, pp. 693-695. 

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