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

IV: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1081-1204,   pp. [unnumbered]-151 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 136

crusaders. Manuel had to safeguard his eastern borders by making a treaty
with Mas'üd, the Selchükid ruler at Iconium, and by getting Venetian
help against the Normans at the cost of still further trading privileges.
The Normans were driven out, but they took with them an enormous booty and
a number of captured Greek silk weavers. At the same time Manuel reinforced
his alliance with Conrad when the latter journeyed through the Byzantine
Empire on his return from the Second Crusade. 
 By the treaty of Thessalonica (1148) it was evidently agreed that Manuel
had some claim on Italian territory. The text itself has not survived, but
the account of Cinnamus states that the emperor reminded Conrad of what he
had previously undertaken to do, "to restore to Irene [his kinswoman
Bertha of Sulzbach] her dowry, Italy ['IraAta] see:(image".15 However
the word "Italia" may be interpreted 
- and it has been suggested that it might mean the whole of Italy 
- it would certainly include the southern Italian lands of Apulia and Calabria.
A joint expedition proposed against Roger did not materialize. Manuel's preparations
were held up by a Serbian revolt fostered by Hungary and by Venetian intrigues;
Conrad was hampered by Welf troubles fomented by Roger, who had by now gained
papal recognition and had signed a truce with Eugenius III. But fortunately
for Manuel any active western league against Byzantium foundered on the papal
fear of increasing Roger's power and the steady pro-Byzantine policy of Conrad.
Both Conrad and Manuel were planning an expedition in Italy for 1152, when
Conrad died in the February of that year. 
 The new German ruler, Frederick Barbarossa, managed to come to an understanding
with the pope (1153) whereby both agreed that no land in Italy was to be
ceded to Manuel, "the king [rex] of the Greeks". Undeterred, Manuel
still hoped to win Barbarossa over and to continue his western offensive
by means of both diplomacy and force. When it suited his plans, the German
emperor was, indeed, willing to negotiate with Manuel; there were a number
of diplomatic approaches between the two courts, and Frederick even considered
taking a Byzantine wife. On Roger's death in 1154 Manuel took advantage of
opposition to William I of Sicily, and, without German assistance, he launched
his attack. His forces and those of his allies at first gained ground. Frederick
I, newly crowned in 1155, evidently wished to assist Manuel, or at least
to have some share in the project, but he could not get the support of his
vassals and had to go north, not returning to Italy 
 15 John Cinnamus, Historia, II, 19 (CSHB, p. 87); Dolger, Regesten, no.

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