Frederik II

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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...