In this collection of studies by James M. Powell, two related centres of attention can be seen. One is the campaigns undertaken by western Europeans in the eastern Mediterranean, chiefly in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries - the Crusades - the reasons for them and manner in which they were organized and promoted. The other is the Kingdom of Sicily under Frederick II, himself a Crusader, and its society and economy, including its Muslim population. A characteristic feature is the author's interest in ordinary participants and the attempt to get behind the generalizations of macro-historians to the extent that may be possible.
James M. Powell (1930 - 2011) was Professor of History Emeritus at Syracuse University, USA.
Contents: Preface; Crusading : 1099-1999; Myth, legend, propaganda, history: the First Crusade, 1140-ca.1300; Frederick II and the Muslims: the making of an historiographical tradition; The role of women in the 5th Crusade; Frederick II, the Hohenstaufen and the Teutonic Order in the kingdom of Sicily; Innocent III and Alexius III: a crusade plan that failed; Patriarch Gerold and Frederick II: the Matthew Paris letter; Matthew Paris, the lives of Muhammad, and the Dominicans; Innocent III, the Trinitarians, and the renewal of the Church, 1198-1200; Crusading by royal command: monarchy and crusade in the kingdom of Sicily (1187-1230); Honorius III and the leadership of the crusade; The Papacy and the Muslim frontier; Francesco d'Assisi e la Quinta Crociata: una missione di pace; Frederick II and the rebellion of the Muslims of Sicily, 1200-1224; Genoese policy and the kingdom of Sicily, 1220-1240; Economy and society in the kingdom of Sicily under Frederick II: recent perspectives; Medieval monarchy and trade: the economic policy of Frederick II in the kingdom of Sicily (a survey); Index.