Frederick II of Germany

The Crusade is a series of eight military campaigns between 1096 and 1270 in which Europeans attempted to wrest control of the Holy Land from the Muslims who ruled the Middle East. Members of these groups are said to be recruited after a meeting of the church council in France where the Pope had called upon “knights” to go to the Holy Land and free the Christians from the Muslim rule. Aside from these, the Crusades are also tasked to regain the Holy Sepulcher. After the said meeting, the traveling preachers were said to be the ones responsible for propagating the concept which was then openly accepted by the people.

That was said to be the start of the eight crusades in the next 200 years of history. Along with the mounted knights, many more foot soldiers were to “take the cross,” or become Crusaders. These included archers, crossbowmen, spear men and foragers. Under the feudal system, they owed their allegiance to landowning lords. Crusades were costly enterprises. The money for outfitting the soldiers on their expeditions to the East might be provided by the feudal lords or raised through taxes, sales of land or other property, or loans.

Payment of the loans could be delayed until their return, and no doubt some had dreams of coming home with some of the treasure hinted at by the Byzantine emperor. Of course, a great many never came home at all. However, the Crusades failed to achieve their objective and cost untold lives. However, they did expose Western Europe to new ideas, and resulted in a heightened desire for adventure and an urge to see distant places. This curiosity was eventually channeled into the exploration of the New World. Frederick II of Germany who then headed the Fifth Crusade was blamed after its failure.

Although he was considered a leader of the crusade, he was not around to actually lead the group. He did sent his army to support every actions made by the crusades yet many of the crusaders feel that they might have done much better or yet outperformed what they have done should Frederick II was present to show his leadership skills. After this incident, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights named Hermann von Salze told Frederick II to marry Yolanda who is then the Queen of Jerusalem, in order to save the bad impression of those who had expected the victory of his crusade.

Frederick was such a fickle minded and irresponsible man. He was said to have reaffirmed his vow to the pope but he kept on changing minds and switching dates as to when he could meet the deadlines . With such an act, Pope Gregory believed that the delaying tactics being done by Frederick was a sign of his being coward. Soon after, Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Gregory. After several excommunication orders imposed upon Frederick II, the Knights Templar and other members of the Teutonic Knights refused to help him again.

After no help has been extended to Frederick, he decided to talk to the Sultan of Jerusalem and came up with an agreement. They quickly came to an agreement, with Jerusalem being granted to the Christians, and both parties agreeing to a ten-year truce. Al-Kamil was criticized by his people for making this agreement, but he knew that he could retake the Holy Land whenever he wanted. Frederick was similarly criticized by the Christians, who protested that he was sent to kill the heathen, not dine with him and sign treaties.

Additionally, they were now noticing the defensive vulnerabilities of Jerusalem that the Sultan had counted on when he made the deal. The Emperor entered Jerusalem on March 17, 1229. On the next morning, Sunday, Frederick went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to celebrate mass, only to find that no priest was there. Undaunted, he proceeded to crown himself King of Jerusalem. This act, combined with the conquest that he represented, earned Frederick the hatred of most Palestinian barons.

He had liberated Jerusalem and become its King, but it was immediately evident that his grasp on the Holy Land was tenuous at best. The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. In 1244 the Khwarezmians retook Jerusalem, after the end of a ten-year truce following the Sixth Crusade. The fall of Jerusalem, no longer an earth-shattering event to European Christians who had seen the city pass from Christian to Muslim control numerous times in the past two centuries, did not prompt an immediate call for a new crusade.

Pope Innocent IV and Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor were engaged in a continuation of the papal- imperial struggle. King Louis IX who lead the seventh crusade was having difficulty trying to fix and prepare another set of knights to compose the seventh crusade after all previous crusades had failed. France was perhaps the strongest state in Europe at the time, as Provence had mostly fallen under Parisian control after the Albigensian Crusade, and Toulouse was led by Louis IX’s brother Alphonse, who joined him on his crusade in 1245.

Another brother, Charles I of Anjou, also joined Louis. For the next three years Louis collected an ecclesiastical tenth (mostly from church tithes), and in 1248 he and his approximately 20 000-strong army sailed from the ports of Aigues-Mortes, which had been specifically built to prepare for the crusade, and Marseille. Louis IX’s financial preparations for this expedition were comparatively well organized, and he was able to raise approximately 1,500,000 livres tournois.

However, many nobles who joined Louis on the expedition had to borrow money from the royal treasury, and the crusade turned out to be very expensive. They sailed first to Cyprus and spent the winter on the island, negotiating with various other powers in the east; the Latin Empire set up after the Fourth Crusade asked for his help against the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea, and the Principality of Antioch and the Knights Templar wanted his help in Syria, where the Muslims had recently captured Sidon.

However, Egypt was the object of his crusade, and he landed in 1249 at Damietta on the Nile. Egypt would, Louis thought, provide a base from which to attack Jerusalem, and its wealth and supply of grain would keep the crusaders fed and equipped. On June 6 Damietta was taken with little resistance from the Egyptians, who withdrew further up the Nile. However the flooding of the Nile had not been taken into account during the campaign, and it soon kept Louis and his army grounded at Damietta for six months, where the knights sat back and enjoyed the spoils of war.

Louis ignored the agreement made during the Fifth Crusade that Damietta should be given to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, now a rump state in Acre, but he did set up an archbishopric there (under the authority of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem) and used the city as a base to direct military operations against the Muslims of Syria. In November, Louis marched towards Cairo, and almost at the same time, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, as-Salih Ayyub, died. A force led by Robert of Artois and the Templars attacked the Egyptian camp at al-Mansourah, but they were defeated and Robert was killed.

Meanwhile, Louis’ main force was attacked by the Mameluk Baibars, the commander of the army and a future sultan himself. Louis was defeated as well, but he did not withdraw to Damietta for months, preferring to besiege Mansourah, which ended in starvation and death for the crusaders rather than the Muslims. In March of 1250 Louis finally returned to Damietta, but he was taken captive on the way there, fell ill with dysentery, and was cured by an Arab physician. In May he was ransomed in return for Damietta and 400 000 livres, and he immediately left Egypt for Acre, one of the few remaining possessions of the crusaders in Syria.

Meanwhile, the Mameluk soldiers of Egypt revolted. Turanshah, as-Salih’s successor, took control of Cairo, creating a Mameluk dynasty that would eventually conquer the last of the crusader territories. Louis made an alliance with the Mameluks, and from his new base in Acre began to rebuild the other crusader cities. Although the Kingdom of Cyprus claimed authority there, Louis was the de facto ruler. Louis also negotiated with the Mongols, who had begun to appear in the east and who the Christians, encouraged by legends of a Nestorian kingdom among them (cf.

Prester John), hoped would help them fight the Muslims and restore the Crusader States. They, like the Muslims who were similarly negotiating with the Mongols against the Christians, were unaware that the Mongols were not interested in helping either side and would eventually be disastrous for both. Louis’ embassy to the Mongol ruler Mongke Khan, headed by William of Rubruck, was a failure. The Khan rejected Louis’ invitation to convert to Christianity, and instead suggested Louis submit to him. In 1254 Louis’ money ran out, and his presence was needed in France where his mother and regent Blanche of Castile had recently died.

His crusade was a failure, but he was considered a saint by many, and his fame gave him an even greater authority in Europe than the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1270 he attempted another crusade, though it too would end in failure. As clearly stated in this paper, it has been said that entering truce agreements with the enemy is a not acceptable for the Crusades. In the case of Frederick II, most of his supporters had failed to be identified with him and also was not accepting the thought of being a traitor to their country.

The crusades can be synonymous to heroes of each country in the world where they are often roused by the spirit to fight for what is right and what is advantageous for their countrymen. BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. “Sixth Crusade. ” http://everything2. com/index. pl? node_id=1387038 (accessed May 6, 2007). 2. “The Crusades, Science and its Times:700-1449. ” http://www. bookrags. com/research/the-crusades-scit-021/ (accessed May 6, 2007). 3. “Seventh Crusade. ” http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Seventh_Crusade (accessed May 6, 2007).

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