Frederik Ii Essay

2370 words - 9 pages

How do you account for the changing responses of Frederik II to the crusade to the East declared by Innocent III (1215-1229)? The aim of this essay is to list and explain the changing responses of Frederik II to the crusades to the East declared by Innocent III. The main issues that will be discussed are the relationship between the emperor and Innocent III, and the main consequences of this relationship with regard to crusading, Frederik II's ambiguous part in the failing of the Fifth Crusade, the emperor's excommunication by Gregory IX in 1227 and, finally, how the excommunicated Frederik managed to conclude a treaty with al-Kamil at Jaffa in 1229, which ended in the restoration of Jerusalem to the Chris- tians.When Innocent III came to power in January 1198, he immediately in- augurated a policy in the East which he was to follow throughout his pon- tificate. Everything was subordinated to the recapture of Jerusalem and the reconquest of the Holy Land. Innocent III was intensely interested in cru- sading. Between 1198 and 1229, it became clear that the crusade was the only instrument a pope was able to rely upon for widespread support, whe- ther it be to recover the Holy Land, to combat heresy, or to defend the Church itself. Consequently, one of Innocent III's first acts as pope was to promote another crusade, the Fourth Crusade. Unfortunately however, this crusade suffered a series of mischances and never reached the Holy Land at all. Through the intervention of Venetian commercial interests and dis- inherited Byzantine princes, it was diverted against the current govern- ment of Byzantium and ended in the disastrous capture of Constantinople in 1204. Although the Byzantines eventually managed to recover their ca- pital in 1261, the Fourth Crusade undoubtedly did lasting damage to their empire. By the time it was over, the frictions and misunderstandings be- tween East and West, which had begun with the First Crusade, had turned into permanent hatred. (http://www.groene.nl) On 11th November 1215 Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Coun- cil in Rome. Above all, this Council symbolized the power and supremacy of the pope within the Church. At the end of the Council, Innocent III once again proclaimed a crusade, the Fifth Crusade, directed this time against Damietta in Egypt, in recognition of the strategic reality which Richard had noted. The departure was set for 1217 and the crusade had great initial success. Sadly, Innocent III died in 1216, before the Fifth Cru- sade was well and truly on its way. At the time of his death, however, he felt that a great movement had been started. (Peters, 1971).In Europe however, the preaching of yet another crusade was met with great opposition. Temporal princes were strongly opposed to losing juris- diction over their subjects who took part in crusading. Due to the fact that they were absorbed in political schemes, these princes were unwilling to send the military forces on which they depended so far...

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