Frederick Ii. Essay

1582 words - 6 pages

Was Frederick II Anti-Papal?"There were three great frauds in history. Moses, Jesus and Mohammed."Frederick II.All religions must be tolerated...for...every man must get to heaven in his own way."Frederick IIFrederick II was perhaps one of the most influential individuals of the period, both for his open secularity - which was highly unusual for his time - and for his quite blatant moves for change within the Empire and what this achieved. Was he "anti-papal?" It would seem that he indeed was, however history would tell us that this perceived anti church stance was purely a result of its own ambitions for power in the Empire, which placed it directly in the way of Frederick's political and religious reforms which earned him his nickname of Stupor Mundi - The Wonder of The World. However, there is also evidence to suggest that Frederick was deliberately manipulating Western European politics to weaken the position of the Church, as well as a possibility that it was actually Innocent III's mistake to have placed Frederick between the Hammer (Germany) and Anvil (South of Italy, or Two Sicilies) which had caused Frederick to take certain actions and earn himself the "anti-papal" title.Only Frederick's policies, when carefully examined have the potential of solving the enigma of his attitude towards the Papacy. Frederick's problem from the very beginning were his unfortunate family roots which consisted of a Sicilian mother, and a German father which would allow Frederick II to essentially extend control over both sides of the empire, granting him not only immense power, but leaving the papacy authority in Rome in between - which could be crushed at any time. Purely due to Innocent's own fault, Frederick was crowned German king in 1212, after the Pope's political manipulations caused Otto of Brunswick to attempt imperial control over Italy. However, after Frederick had formed an alliance with King Philip of France, Otto and his forced were defeated at Bouvines in 1215 which left Frederick not only the King of Germany, but of the Two Sicilies as well. Thus - the very hammer and anvil situation Innocent III was trying to avoid - he ended up bringing on himself. Frederick thus commanded tremendous power - but did he at this point begin harbouring anti-papal policies or was he simply carrying out his own vision of the Empire?No source is more reliable in this issue than Frederick himself, who was present within papal affairs after Innocent III had honoured his promise to Constance of Sicily to look after her son - the future king of Germany. The young king had grown up in the Norman court (his mother's origins) which was "full of Arabs," according to the "Medieval Sourcebook." We can therefore assume that Frederick had been able, from a very young age to gage a Muslim view of Christianity and vice versa, giving him a much wider outlook than most of his compatriots and future opponents. What's more, and perhaps rather strange is that the young King himself...

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