chapter  7
8 Pages

Between Jaffa and Jerusalem: a few remarks on the defence of the southern border of the kingdom of Jerusalem during the years 1229–1244 KAROL POLEJOWSKI (ATENEUM UNIVERSITY)

These are words from a letter written by Emperor Frederick II in March 1229 to the counts and barons of his empire, announcing the treaty he had signed in Jaffa a few weeks prior with the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Kamil. Under the terms of this treaty the following places were also returned to the Franks: Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the villages and farms located on both sides of the road leading from Jerusalem to Jaffa. The emperor was obliged to defend the restored lands and to ensure the free and secure access of Muslims to the Holy City. 2 Although the treaty was not broken by either the king of Jerusalem nor the sultan of Egypt, the pilgrim routes which led from Acre, through the maritime cities of Haifa, Caesarea, Arsuf and Jaffa, and from there inland through Ramla, Lydda and Latrun to Jerusalem, were frequently attacked by local Muslim forces, for example those operating out of Kerak. 3 Especially vulnerable was the route from Caesarea to Jaffa and from there to Jerusalem – more than 120 km of open space, protected only by the Templars operating from Atlith and Caesarea and Frankish forces from Jaffa.