Polityka wschodnia Fryderyka II Hohenstaufa ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem jego stosunku do Królestwa Cypru (w świetle kroniki Filipa z Novary)

Łukasz Burkiewicz


The Eastern Policy of Friedrich II Hohenstauf with Special Emphasis on His Attitude to the Kingdom of Cyprus (in the Light of the Chronicle of Philip of Novara)

The present article focuses on the eastern policy of Friedrich II Hohenstauf in the years 1221–1250 with special emphasis on his attitude to the problem of the Kingdom of Cyprus. The author draws attention to the emperor’s links with the Orient in the light of his attempts to try and obtain the Jerusalem crown and to subjugate the Kingdom of Cyprus. He also presented Hohenstauf’s conflict with the influential Syrian family of Ibelins which also had a strong political position on Cyprus. The culminating point in the emperor’s plans and ambitions was the expedition to the Holy Land which he set out for in 1228 which was preceded by many years of careful preparations (1215–1228).
When in the year 1215 Friedrich II made his first crusade vows, the expedition to Palestine was not yet an element of his policy, but a part of the papal plans. It was only the possibility of obtaining the Jerusalem crown which was realized in 1225 through the emperor’s marriage to the successor to the Jerusalem throne Jolanta de Brienne that induced the emperor to set out on the crusade to the Orient. What was particularly important for the success of the emperor’s plans was the support of the Palestine and Syrian magnates and the imposition of the control on the Kingdom of Cyprus.
Hohenstauf’s Sicilian state also constituted an excellent starting point for the eastern policy of Friedrich II who showed an interest in making contact with the Muslim rulers of Egypt and Syria. The greatest success of the imperial expedition was the recovery of Jerusalem and the signing of the peace treaty with the sultan of Egypt al-Malik al-Kamil. On 18 March 1229 the emperor was crowned king of Jerusalem in this holy Christian city. Yet, Hohenstauf’s absolutist plans found no understanding among the Cyprian and Palestine magnates. The conflict which broke out between the supporters of Friedrich II and the Ibelin party that was opposed to him, had smouldered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and on Cyprus for the next dozen or so years (1228–1243). Cyprus which remained in the hands of the French Lusignan dynasty had played an important role in the eastern policy of Friedrich II. The chronicle of Philip of Novara, an eye-witness and participant of those events, is the best testimony to the fierceness  of the fighting which had taken place on Cyprus. The content of the chronicle bears evidence to the emperor’s special interest in Cyprus which found its expression in the emperor’s repeated attempts to impose his rule on the island.
The interference of Friedrich II into the internal affairs of the Latin states in the Middle East and the protracted fighting which had taken place on their territory, had led to huge losses, economic decline and the final disintegration of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. This exerted a direct impact on the later loss of Jerusalem and the ultimate end of the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

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