Well… Chuck wants it – Chuck gets it!
Yesterday he suggested I write about what I spoke on regarding the unique archaeological discovery recently made in Tel Aviv of a Crusader inscription in Arabic.
It bears the name of Frederick II, “King of Jerusalem” and is the only Crusader inscription in the Arabic language ever found in the Middle East.
Frederick II was a Holy Roman Emperor who led the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) to the Holy Land.
Without violence, Frederick II secured major territorial gains for the Crusader Kingdom. Of course the most significant was the handing over of Jerusalem to the Crusaders by the Egyptian sultan al-Malik al-Kamil as a result of an armistice agreement the two rulers that was signed in 1229.
Frederick knew Arabic and maintained a close relationship with the Egyptian royal family and, despite having been excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX, crowned himself king of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
It is known that before this happened, Frederick fortified the castle of Jaffa and as a memorial, placed within its walls, two inscriptions – one in Latin and the other in Arabic.
The date on the inscription is “1229 of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus the Messiah”,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is toughing this as a rare archaeological find – the only one of its kind.
The 800-years-old inscription was fixed into a wall of a building in Tel Aviv.
While the Latin text is fragmented, the Arabic inscription is almost completely intact. It lists all of the titles of Frederick II, and as a Crusader inscription, there's nothing else like it anywhere in the Middle East or Europe – not even in Sicily where Frederick's main royal palace was.
Middle East Correspondent