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)
Ch. III THE CRUSADES OF FREDERICK I AND HENRY VI 121 German arrival in Acre had been none too well received by the French, who thought at one moment of driving the Germans out of the city because of their violent occupation of the houses of Acre citizens. When once the Germans had accomplished their opening skirmishes and plundering raids upon the Moslems, they united under duke Henry of Brabant for a campaign based on Tyre, designed to bring the Syrian coast into Christian hands, to clear out a nest of pirates from Beirut, and to link the kingdom with the county of Tripoli.45 After occupying abandoned and destroyed Sidon, the Germans on the 24th of October advanced upon Beirut, which too had been abandoned and largely destroyed. They utilized the stay at Beirut to promote the candidacy of the German vassal, king Aimery of Cyprus, for the crown of Jerusalem. Their success was a decisive recognition of German strength in the east. As they moved away from the coast to clear the interior, they were blocked for months before the stronghold of Toron. Confirmation of the news of Henry VI's death led immediately to the defection of the imperial chancellor, Conrad of Querfurt, and before the end of the summer of 1198 most of the principal German nobles had left for home to protect their interests in the raging civil war. Indeed, on July 1, 1198, a truce was made with al-'Adil, who abandoned Beirut to the kingdom. The archbishop of Mainz, before his departure early in 1198, crowned prince Leon II as the first Roupenid king of Armenia.46 The German participation in these crusades ended in the double anticlimax of the deaths of the two leaders, Frederick Barbarossa on June 10, 1190, and Henry VI on September 28, 1197. The whole strenuous effort to retrieve the dismal failure of Conrad III on the Second Crusade 47 ended in frustration and tragic disaster. This setback at a time when it seemed that the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was to be raised to its height served to remind the German aristocracy of the real crusade it had left behind when it marched to the east: the crusade against the trans-Elbean Slavs. Early efforts to subject and Christianize these peoples had culminated in the abortive and absurd Slavic crusade of 1147. Since that time such men as Adolf of Holstein and Henry the Lion had made notable progress in bringing the area under control. Beyond it lay the homes of the primitive, pagan Prussians, Lithuanians, Livs, 45 On the situation in the Latin states at this time see below, chapter XV, pp. 528-530. 46 On the kingdom of Cilician Armenia see below, chapter XVIII, pp. 645-659. 47 On the Second Crusade see volume I of this work, chapter XV.
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