"I wait outside the pilgrim's
With insufficient schemes."
It was also in 1241 that
Frederick appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Order of
Preachers, the Dominicans,
to join him in his struggle against the papacy. The
Dominicans and Franciscans
were known as wandering mendicants or pilgrims.
"1241 He made desperate efforts to detach Genoa from the
pope and even to win
over the Order of Preachers."
There was some sympathy with Frederick's cause, on
the part of the mendicants,
as they also felt the church should not be involved
the accumulation of
wealth and power. Nevertheless, Frederick's schemes were
insufficient to gain
the allegiance of the Dominicans
"St. Dominic wandered around
Spain barefoot to symbolize poverty, and preached
to the common folk against
St. Francis preached against the wealth and temporal power of the
that Christ was poor, and so should be the
Like the "keeper of the keys", the pilgrimage idea also refers to Rome.
"In the absence of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, still in dispute with
Moslems, the visit to the seven basilicas crowned the Christian life. Soon
proverb was born: 'All roads lead to Rome.' From the furthest horizons
Europe, from all walks of life, the pilgrims bound for Rome came flooding
- A History of Rome and the Romans
From Romulus to John XXIII
By his treaty with the Moslems in 1229, Frederick had enabled pilgrimages to
the Holy Land ; an outcome of the sixth Crusade. Curiously, the crusaders were
also called "pilgrims" and Frederick had indeed waited "outside the pilgrim's
(crusader's) door with insufficient schemes" before finally launching his
Crusade in 1228.
"Stream after stream of pilgrims poured ceaselessly into Brindisi. A few turned
, but they did not perceptibly reduce the masses who poured on. Many of the
pilgrims had travelled by way of Rome. A swindler, disguised as Vicar of the
Pope, took up his station at the gate of St. Peter offering to release the
pilgrims from their vows, without detriment to their indulgences, for the sum
of four silver marks. The Romans looked on this comedy with great amusement and
did not interfere. It was weeks before the Pope, who was in Anagni, heard of
the affair and hastily put the "vicar" out of action.
It would have been no bad thing if more pilgrims had bought themselves off in
Rome. We cannot attempt even an approximate estimate of actual numbers, but
gradually an appalling horde of crusaders had accumulated in the pilgrim's camp
at Brindisi--immensely more than the Emperor had calculated on or provided for.
In spite of all preparations the ships were insufficient ; the pilgrims ran out
In the middle of August a terrible plague broke out to which the Crusaders
succumbed in shoals, while it was said that tens of thousands fled from the
plague-camp and scattered over Italy. Many of the German nobles also died of
the disease, and finally the Emperor himself caught it - postponing the Crusade
till after his complete recovery."
- Frederick II
by Ernst Kantorowicz
idea, the outgoing quest, appears in mystical literature under
aspects. One is the search for the "Hidden Treasure which
desires to be
found." Such is the "quest of the Grail" when regarded in its
mystic aspect as
an allegory of the adventures of the soul. The other is the
long, hard journey
towards a known and definite goal or state. Such are
Dante's "Divine Comedy"
and Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress"; each in their
manner faithful descriptions
of the Mystic Way. The goal of the quest--the
Empyrean of Dante, the Beatific
Vision or fulfillment of love--is often called
Jerusalem by the Christian
mystics: naturally enough since that city was for
the mediaeval mind the
supreme end of pilgrimage. By Jerusalem they mean not
only the celestial
country Heaven, but also the spiritual life, which is
"itself a heaven."
The album embodies this
dual notion of the pilgrimage (the medieval axiom "As
above, so below"). In
metaphysical terms, the pilgrimage is towards the
alchemical union of
opposites symbolized by the sun and moon, while
Frederick's "known and
definite goal" is Rome. Or, more precisely, a unified
kingdom headquartered in Rome and free from papal interference.
However, judging from his conduct in the Holy Land and the activities at
court, he ultimately sought a union of earthly opposites, of East and
Moslem and Christian. Frederick was not to realize either of these
"The age-old revival dream of the German Emperors thus flamed up once more in
Frederick II, and as he sought to requicken not merely Roman forms (like his
predecessors) but Roman life, the ancient state-life of the Romans, his
ended by heralding the Renaissance. From the revival of the ancient State,
Italy was led to the re-birth of the ancient man. Rome was to be the capital of
a united Italy, and Italy herself the centre of the Roman Empire. Frederick, it
is true, realised his dream only in part, but the vision never faded--Dante
took it up and gave it a soul."