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

XII: The Crusade of Frederick II,   pp. 429-462 PDF (20.5 MB)


Page 438

 438 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES II 
symbolizes the end of an era. Henceforth, crusades were to receive their
impulse, not from papal leadership, but from the realistic policies of ambitious
temporal rulers.29 The bitterness of Honorius III found expression in his
letter to the emperor of November 19, 1221, in which he reminded Frederick
that for five years the Christian world had hopefully awaited his departure
for the Holy Land, and yet he had failed to fulfill his vow, thus subjecting
both the pope and himself to criticism. Honorius declared that he himself
had been remiss in failing to exert greater pressure, and added that he could
no longer remain indulgent. Even before receiving this letter, Frederick
had written to the pope in October expressing his desire to take immediate
steps to send aid to the Holy Land.30 
 In December Honorius sent cardinal-bishop Nicholas of Tus culum to Frederick,
and in the following April (1 222) they returned together to Veroli, where
Frederick conferred at length with the pope. Honorius informed Pelagius that
they had reached agreement on all points, and that Frederick would busy himself
speedily with efforts to recover the Holy Land. He mentioned also another
meeting to be held in November 1222, at Verona, to which princes, prelates,
and vassals had been summoned, to consider the projected expedition.31 This
meeting, however, took place not in Verona but in Ferentino and not until
March 1223. It was attended not only by the pope and the emperor, but by
king John of Brienne, Ralph of Mérencourt, patriarch of Jerusalem,
the masters of the knightly orders, and many others. 
 Frederick renewed his crusading vows, and the new date for the expedition
was set for June 24, 1225. At the same time, as the empress Constance had
died in June 1222, arrangements were made for his marriage to Isabel, daughter
of John of Brienne and heiress to the kingdom of Jerusalem. This marriage
would give Frederick a very substantial interest in the future of Jerusalem,
and thus afford a guarantee that he would fulfill his vow. John of Brienne,
who was only titular king, might expect to strengthen his own position, while
the curia could feel reassured as to the ultimate recovery of the Holy Land.32
Once more, crusading preachers were sent into all parts of Europe to seek
to restore interest in a crusade which, this time, the emperor himself would
lead.33 
 29 See especially the elaboration of this by Kestner, Kreuz. Fried., pp.
15—16. 
 30 For the two letters, see Böhmer, Regesta imperii, V, part 3, nO.
6489, and Huillard Bréholles, II, part I, 206—207, 220 ff. 
31 Böhmer, Regesta imperii, V, part 3, no. 6510; MGH, Epp. pont., I,
137. 
 32 Richard of San Germano (MGH, SS., XIX), p. 343, and Röhricht, Beitrage,
I, II. 
  Chronica regia Coloniensis, p. 252: ". . . cum gloriso imperatore
Friderico parati sint mare transire." Also in MGH, SS., XVII, 837. 


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