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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 463



CESSION OF JERUSALEM. 457 to have it, or to acknowledge, in any way, the treaty. Frederick rode into the city to find the church empty and deserted. With his knights and soldiers he marched up the aisle, took the crown from the altar, and put it on his own head, without oath or religious ceremony of any kind. Nor did he affect any religious zeal or manifest any u emotion. I promised I would come," he said, " and I am here." It was his answer to the world, and his defiance of the pope. His vow was fulfilled, in a literal sense ; but the Crusade was ruined ; he had done more than any other king since Godfrey ; he had recovered the city, but without slaughtering the infidel, and subject to the conditions that the Mohammedans were to practise their religion within its walls. What did Frederick care for a religion which he confounded with the gloomy teaching of his ecclesiastical enemies ? " I am not here," he confided to his friend Fakhr-ed-din, " to deliver the Holy City, but to maintain my own credit." And two days after his coronation he went away again, in cynical contempt of the city and its church. He wrote a letter to the pope and sovereigns of Europe, stating that he had, " by miracle," taken the city, which was henceforth Christian. The pope, in an agony of rage at the way in which his enemy had ignored his excommunication, foamed at the mouth, and called the treaty a treaty of Belial. Moreover, he could not but feel the awful irony of the situation, when Jerusalem itself, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, were forbidden to have the service of the Christian religion performed in them, because their deliverer, a Christian king, was under the interdict of the pope. And here, reluctantly, we must leave the fortunes of Frederick ; not, perhaps, a good man, but a better man than the arrogant and implacable monk who opposed him ; and, perhaps, from an unecclesiastical point of view, the best man in a high place at that time in all the world. The treaty was signed in 1229. Frederick in leaving


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