Schwarze Diener und Sklavenmusiker am Hof Friedrich des II. (1239-1240)

Ausgehend von den amtlichen Aufzeichnungen des staufischen Hofes, sowie den Berichten über die Feinde Friedrichs II. können wir ein Gefühl für die Vielfalt der Menschen bekommen, die am und für den Hof beschäftigt und gekauft wurden. Die Begegnungen Friedrichs II. mit muslimischen Führern im Mittelmeerraum gaben ihm einen leichten Zugang zu muslimischen Kriegern und Unterhaltungskünstlern. Nach dem Vorbild der Römer hoffte Friedrich, ein Bild von sich selbst als kosmopolitischer, universaler Herrscher zu schaffen. Er war auch daran interessiert, gute Beziehungen zu seinen besiegten muslimischen Untertanen zu unterhalten, was seinen Feinden Kritikpunkte zur Verfügung stellte

Jeff Bowersox and Astrid Khoo (translated by Lilian Gergely)


English

Mandate wie diese waren die Mittel, mit dem die Verwalter oft alltägliche Angelegenheiten durchführten. Dieses Mandat ordnet die Ausbildung von schwarzen Sklaven eines bestimmten Alters als Trompeter an. Die Tatsache, dass das Mandat den Kauf von schwarzen Sklaven vorsieht, wenn keine bereits vorhanden sind, unterstreicht die symbolische Bedeutung der schwarzen Trompeter für die Symbolisierung der Erhabenheit und Reichweite des Reiches Friedrichs II., eine von seinem Vater Heinrich VI.  übernommene Praxis. 


By the imperial mandate created by master R. of Pietrastornina, G. of Consenza has written:

Frederick, etc., to Obbertus Fallamonachus, the secreto of Palermo, etc. Entrusting this request to your fidelity, we order that you should make a selection out of the black slaves of our court, if there are any suitable. If you do not find any suitable black slaves in our court, you should buy up to five using our funds, who are from the ages of 16 to 20, and see to it that they are trained to play the trumpet. Let four of them be trained for the trumpet, and one for the high trumpet, and you should send them as quickly as possible, once they have been trained, to our presence, along with four trumpets and one high trumpet. Besides, since we have understood that certain Jews who have recently come to live at Palermo wish to cultivate our date plantation there, and are prepared to do so, we order you to make arrangements with them to this end, even if that means relaxing some of the rights of the Crown.

Given at Cremona, 28th November, 13th indiction.


Source: J.-L.-A. Huillard-Bréholles, ed., Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi, vol. 5, part 1, trans. by Astrid Khoo (Paris: Excudebat Henricus Plon, 1857), 535-536.


In diesem Mandat bestellt der Bevollmächtigte des Kaisers hochwertige Silbertrompeten und die Lieferung von Sklaven, die sie spielen können. Die hier genannten Sklaven sind die im vorherigen Dokument erwähnten schwarzen Sklaven. Diese Mandate geben uns ein Bild von einer der Rollen, die Sklaven am kaiserlichen Hof spielen konnten. Die Trompeter wurden offensichtlich sehr geschätzt, da ihre Instrumente und ihre Ausbildung erhebliche Investitionen erforderten.


P. de Capua has written by imperial mandate:

Frederick, etc., to the secreto[1] at Messana, etc. Since we wish to have four trumpets and one high trumpet[2], all silver, in our chambers, entrusting this request to your fidelity, we order you to oversee the production of the trumpets and high trumpet, all silver, and to send them, well-made, to our chambers; for we wish them to be presented by the present messenger.

Given at Aretium, 14th January, thirteenth indiction[3].

By the same mandate, the same man has written:

Fredericus, etc., to Obbertus Fallamonachus, the secreto of Palermo, etc. Entrusting this request to your fidelity, we order that which we have already ordered you in our letter about teaching slaves to play the trumpet and high trumpet and sending these slaves to our court with their trumpets and high trumpets, according to what we have ordered you to do. Do take care to quickly carry this order out and fulfill this wish by sending the slaves with their trumpets and high trumpet to our court along with the carrier of this message. Do also make sure to provide all the necessary items to them for the journey, whether they will travel to our court by sea or by land. We also order you to repair the area of Minsa[4] below our palace, so that you might seem to hurry the work; construct a dovecote there, and feed doves for the purpose of our court.

Given at Aretium, 14th January, thirteenth indiction[5].

[1] A secreto is a type of secretary.
[2] Italian trombetta.
[3] An ‘indiction’ is a fifteen-year cycle used in medieval manuscript dating. A list of indiction years can be found here. Frederick II reigned from 1220 to 1250, hence the two possible years for these mandates are 1225 and 1240.
[4] Latin ‘Locum Minse’, with ‘Minse’ usually capitalised – perhaps this is the name of a town.
[5] See note [3] above.


Source: J.-L.-A. Huillard-Bréholles, ed., Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi, vol. 5, part 2, trans. by Astrid Khoo (Paris: Excudebat Henricus Plon, 1857), 676-677.


In diesem Mandat, das von einem Laurentius geschrieben wurde, der unter der Autorität von Johannes Morus arbeitete, bittet er um die Zuteilung bestimmter Diener an Nikolaus von Palermo, die für die Bewachung der königlichen Schätze zuständig sein werden. Es ist auffällig, dass die beiden schwarzen Sklaven namentlich identifiziert werden, aber es ist nicht klar, warum insbesondere Musca und Mazaruch ausgewählt wurden. Vielleicht haben sie besondere Fähigkeiten, die Nikolaus nützlich sein werden, oder vielleicht sind sie einfach nur als Symbole für die Reichweite des Hofes nützlich. Auf jeden Fall gibt uns dieses Dokument einen seltenen Einblick über einzelne schwarze Sklaven.


By the imperial mandate created by lord Ioannes Morus, Laurentius wrote:

Frederick, etc. to Alexander the son of Henricus[1], etc. Since we have ordered that Nicholaus of Palermo[2], the bearer of the current letter, should be substituted in the place of the dead Jacobinus, in order to guard our treasuries at Canosa and Melfi[3], we order that you should provide the following from the Crown funds, which are managed by you according to the assizes of our court. Out of those who are assigned to the service of the treasury – if you have them – give to Nicholaus one squire and one work-horse; similarly, give to Bartholomeus his friend, who is present at the delivery of the current letter on Nicholaus’ behalf, one squire and one work-horse. Also give to them, upon departure, two black slaves by the name of Musca and Mazaruch as their personal servants.

Given at Pisa, 24th December, 13th indiction.

[1] I have retained the Latin spellings for Henricus and Laurentius but these might be Heinrich and Lorenz, or Enrico and Lorenzo etc.
[2] Again, this could be Nicholas of Palermo, Niccolo di Palermo etc.
[3] Note that the word ‘Melfi’ can also refer to present-day Amalfi. However, Melfi (in Apulia) is more likely as Frederick II gave the castle great importance, in which he maintained a treasury. Moreover, the second order makes it clear that Melfi is near Naples, which supports the Apulian interpretation.


Source: J.-L.-A. Huillard-Bréholles, ed., Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi, vol. 5, part 1, trans. by Astrid Khoo (Paris: Excudebat Henricus Plon, 1857), 601-602.


In diesem Mandat stellt der kaiserliche Bevollmächtigte nicht nur fest, dass im westfranzösischen Aquitanien ein geschickter „sarazenischer” Tänzer „gefunden” wurde, sondern auch, dass Friedrich solche Tänzer an seinem Hof schätzte.


By the imperial mandate created by master R. of Utrecht, G. of Consenza has written a letter in response, and these acts[1]:

Frederick, etc. to the secretariat at Messana, etc.

On the subject of the Saracen dancer whom you have found in the region of Aquitaine, who, as you have written, knows how to dance in diverse styles, and whom you have made sure to reserve for our court: we want you to send him to our court, in the previous messages, etc.

Given at Foligni, 5th January, 13th indiction.

[1] “Acts” as in legal acts/orders: Latin “capitulum.”


Source: J.-L.-A. Huillard-Bréholles, ed., Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi, vol. 5, part 2, trans. by Astrid Khoo (Paris: Excudebat Henricus Plon, 1857), 721-3.


Nicolaus de Carbio war ein enger Berater von Papst Innozenz IV., der von Friedrich II. sehr geplagt wurde, und seine Chronik des Papstlebens spiegelt die Feindschaft des Heiligen Stuhls zum staufischen Kaiser wider. Zu den skandalösen Anschuldigungen, die Friedrich vorgeworfen wurden, da er bereit war, mit muslimischen Führern zu verhandeln, gehörten seine scheinbare Missachtung der christlichen Sexualmoral, seine Abkehr von christlichen Jungfrauen und seiner Umarmung des Harems.


27. On the Return of Frederick to the Kingdom of Apulia.

After this, not a long time later, Frederick returned to the Kingdom of Apulia; where, just like a raging bear who had cast off its chains, he raged heavily against secular clerics and prelates, but heaviest against the religious clergy. He expelled and exiled the Friars Minor[1], along with preachers, from the kingdom itself; some of whom were first put to the test with mockery and beatings, and then with chains and prisons. Finally they were hung up and skinned, and died punctured by swords. Moreover, so that he could fight the Church itself with a more vehement impetus, he contracted marriages with the infidels and thus joined himself to them by the bond of kinship, while also giving his daughter as a bride to Baccarius. He was also joined by a pact of friendship to the Saracens, and frequently dedicated many magnificent gifts[2] to Soldanus. Among these, in his capacity as an enemy to the Christian faith and religion, he even sent over young Christian maidens so as to win the goodwill of the Saracens; this ensured that finally, relying on their power, he could hinder the Church with a more acute tyranny. It is therefore unsurprising that Frederick and the Saracens entered into a full and intimate alliance, since he held all his own possessions in common with them. He even built a city for them in the middle of Apulia, which was rich and large, and which is still called Nocerium today. Moreover, he delegated some of the Saracens as guards to the palaces and chambers of his girls – or rather of his whores.

[1] I.e. Franciscans.
[2] Literally “parties,” “festive rites.”


Source: Nicolaus de Carbio, “Vita Innocente IV,” Archivio della Società romana di storia patria 21, trans. by Astrid Khoo (1898): 100-101.


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