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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 151



VI.] GERMAN AND SPANISH EMBASSIES. 145 to dwell, however, on these points; in 1176 there were at the English Court at Westminster, on the 12 th of November, embassies from Constantinople, and from Frederick I, the Eastern and Western Caesars, from France, both Rheims and Flanders, and from Henry the Lion; the same year the Sicilian envoys came to demand Johanna in marriage for their king, and the kings of Navarre and Castile applied to Henry to arbitrate on a great international dispute in Spain. It is true that on this last occasion there were some difficulties of interpretation; the English could not understand the Spanish envoys, a fact which seems to indicate that thus early Spanish Latin had become somewhat rusty, for of course it must have been in Latin that the negotiations would be conducted ; but the difficulty was surmounted and the arbitration settled; the documents concerning it, which are totally without interest to the English mind except in so far as they contained a full pedigree of the Spanish dynasties, being circulated among the chroniclers of the time, and so preserved in several authorities. With Italy and Sicily, owing first to the constant recourse to^ Rome during the Becket and other Canterbury quarrels, and secondly to the sustained connexion with the Sicilian Normans, which came to its climax in the marriage of Johanna, the offer of the Sicilian crown to Henry himself, and the contract of marriage between Arthur of Brittany and king Tancred's daughter, the relations of the English were very close. But in fact the diplomatic activity of Henry II throughout his reign was enormous; all nations of Europe came by envoys to his court, and his ministers, especially Richard of Ilchester and John of Oxford, ran about from one end of Europe to another. Spain, the most distant in interest of all, became familiar by the pilgrimages to Compostella and by the substitution of service against the Moorish infidels for service against the Turks. Both Henry and his eldest son i


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