Frederick II, the “stupor mundi”

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor belonged to the Suevian noble Hohenstaufen family and was the last ruler of this dynasty to reign in Sicily. He descended on his mother’s side from the Normans of Hauteville, conquerors of Sicily and founders of the Kingdom of Sicily.
Known as the stupor mundi (“the wonder of the world”) or puer Apuliae (“Son of Apulia”), Frederick II was endowed with a culturally lively and fascinating personality that has always attracted the attention of historians. He surrounded himself with Jewish and Muslim philosophers and scientists, and Arab poets.
The Suevian sovereign was full of curiosity and funded much scientific research.
In Palermo, during his reign as many works were written in Latin as were written in Greek and Arabic.
At his court, poets and singers composed their works in the vernacular and gave life to the Sicilian School of Poetics, also mentioned by Dante Alighieri in De vulgari eloquentia (On eloquence in the vernacular).