potential muses : frederick ii of hohenstaufen, historical figure
that they are not supposed to be there does not deter him —- that his excommunication should prevent him from seeking the holy land is quite clear, actually, and he’s certain that somewhere, some clergy men are ripe with rage for his transgression. there is some of frederick that cares. that wants to care, rather, about the defiance of that very institution that had raised him. but he cannot. perhaps if they’d wished his sympathy, they would have filled his childhood with more than the barest tutelage —- perhaps they would have thought not to deprive him of warmth.
but he’s not here for them —- he’s not here on their mandate, but on his own, in the interest of his own power. whether it be by holy decree or by individual ambition, everyone seeks jerusalem at some point, he thinks, and they’ve come so close —- the beauty of the city from this distance is evident enough, and even slouched slightly on his horse, not quite heading his forces, he can see its wonder. what a waste it will be the raze it, to sack it and see its inhabitants bloodied before taking it for himself. it’s less a moral concern than it is a practical one —- frederick has never been shy of blood, but he has somewhat of an aversion to the toppling of architectural wonders. who wouldn’t?
beneath him, his mount shifts, tosses her head in impatience, and after patting the side of her neck, frederick sits up, waving his gloved hand so one of his attendants will come to him. no, they shall not sack the city, not unless such becomes necessary for its capture. he’s not come here in the pursuit of needless violence, after all ( wealth and beauty, however, have been quite pressing concerns ), so he shall not perpetuate it needlessly. like those which he wishes to emulate, he knows well to use diplomacy. it’s his one skill, whilst the rest of his life seems to fall apart.
“ send an envoy into the city, ” he tells the waiting attendant, looking onward to his prize with great envy. “ tell them we need not resort to violence while negotiation remains a feasible solution. i am an emperor, not a conqueror. ”