Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198-1229

By Edward Peters | Go to book overview

IV. The Emperor's Crusade, 1227-1229

1. The Crusade of Frederick II: From the Chronicle of Roger of Wendover

After twelve years of delays, Frederick IIembarked from Italyin 1227, only to put back to port because plague had stricken his army. Pope Gregory IX, however, exasperated by Frederick's procrastination, summarily excommunicated the emperor. The crusade began without the emperor, but by 1228 Frederick, in spite of the ban of the Church, sailed for Cyprusand Jerusalem. His adventures were variously interpreted, favorably by some, very unfavorably by others. The following selections offer an alternation of views, two from chronicles, two from letters.


How a Great Stir Was Made at This Time to Assist in the Crusade, 1227

In the same year at the end of June, a great stir was made to aid the cross by all the crusaders throughout the world, who were so numerous, that from the kingdom of England alone forty thousand tried men were said to have marched, besides women and old men. This was declared by master Hubert, one of the preachers in England, who asserted that he had in fact set down as many as that in his roll. All these, and especially the poor, on whom the divine pleasure generally rests, entered upon the crusade with such devotion that they, without doubt, obtained favour with the Almighty, as was shown by manifest indications; for on the night of the nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Lord showed himself in the sky as when crucified; for on a most shining cross there

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Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198-1229
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Editor's Note vii
  • Introduction ix
  • I - The Fourth Crusade, 1202-1207 1
  • II - Crusade and Council, 1208-1215 25
  • III - The Fifth Crusade, 1217-1222 48
  • IV - The Emperor's Crusade, 1227-1229 146
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