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The complete failure of the undertaking of Andrew II. and Count William was generally ascribed to the Emperor Frederic II., who had taken the cross in 1215, but steadily refused to fulfil the promise given. Compelled by the Pope, Gregory IX., he finally embarked (Aug. 15, 1227) at Brundusium, but returned a few days afterwards, protesting that he was sick. Utterly provoked, the Pope put him under the ban; and the next year he actually went on the expedition. He was very successful. Palestine was reconquered; and in 1229 he crowned himself King of Jerusalem, and returned to Europe, defying the Pope and the excommunication. Jerusalem, however, was not long in the possession of the Christians. The uproar which the Mongolian avalanche caused in Southern and Western Asia reached also the Holy Land. The Chawaresmians, a Turkish tribe, overran the whole country, and (1247) Jerusalem was taken and pillaged. In the following year Louis IX. of France took the cross for the rescue of the city, and landed with a great armament in Cyprus. After spending the winter on that island, and making still further preparations, he went (in 1249) to Egypt, and conquered, Damiette and Mansura. But, when he attempted to penetrate farther into the country, he suffered very severe losses, and was finally compelled to surrender with his whole army. In 1254 it cost France most of its wealth to ransom its King and its warriors. Notwithstanding this great misfortune, Louis IX. did not give up the idea of delivering the Holy Land from the sway of the infidels. In 1269 he began a new crusade, the last; and the whole French nobility followed him. Political reasons led him to open the campaign with an invasion of Tunis; and there he died (Aug. 24, 1270). His son and successor, Philippe III. made peace with Tunis, and returned to France.
|Thomas F. Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2000. Hbk. ISBN: 0847694291. pp.143-155. Amazon.com|