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

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

Page 459

his plans. Evidently he suspected an ulterior motive in their sudden change
of attitude. He merely replied that he would discuss the plans in detail
at another time. Then mounting his horse he rode so rapidly in the direction
of Jaffa that those accompanying him had great difficulty in keeping up.
 Mysterious as Frederick's conduct appears, his sudden departure is to be
attributed not to the interdict, but rather to his urgent desire to return
home as swiftly as possible to secure his Sicilian kingdom. He did, however,
leave some of the knights of the crusading army behind to defend Jerusalem.
106 Moreover, at least a beginning was made in the restoration of the fortifications,
ap parently by the Teutonic Knights.107 The Templars' last-minute offer to
cooperate reflected no desire to work with the emperor, but rather their
intention of seizing a favorable opportunity to further their own interests.
Indeed, both patriarch and Templars had recognized that the gains which Frederick
had made could be turned to their own advantage. 
 Frederick hastened by way of Jaffa to Acre, where he found the patriarch
using the funds bequeathed by Philip Augustus to the kingdom of Jerusalem
— which had been placed in his hands for safekeeping — in an
effort to raise and equip troops, with which he hoped to make himself master
of Jerusalem. The Templars were only too eager to lend their aid to such
plans. When Frederick demanded an explanation, Gerald offered the excuse
that the treaty had been made with the sultan of Egypt, not with the governor
of Damascus, who was still in a position to attack Jerusalem. When the emperor
ordered him to desist, the patriarch replied that he owed no obedience to
an excommunicate. Through heralds Frederick now summoned the crusaders and
the inhabitants of the city and, in a large assembly before the city gates,
attacked the patriarch and Templars for their recalcitrance. He ordered all
knights who were armed against him to leave the country, and authorized Thomas
of Acerra to inflict severe punishments upon those who resisted the order.
 Despite these measures, the opposition continued and Frederick now resorted
to force. He had the gates of the city guarded by his followers and forbade
anyone of the opposing party to enter. In the city itself his men occupied
positions from which to attack the palace of the patriarch and the houses
of the Templars. Gerald 
 106 This is revealed in a letter of the pope to the Templars, February 26,
1231: Huillard Bréholles, III, 267. 
 107 Huilard-Bréholles, III, 98. 108 Ibid., III, 137 ff. 

Go up to Top of Page