It turns out Emperor Frederick II & my mother share the same birthday (different years). Gosh, that explains a lot.

The emperor grew up in Palermo, a Sicilian-Norman-Arabic blend of cultures.

He was attired for burial in a mixture of Cistercian & Arabic robes.

He was interested in mathematics : he sponsored & encouraged the famous Fibonacci.

He wrote a treatise on falconry which is still cited.

Castel del Monte is a weird, unusual place, sort of like my poem.

"Poets, envy the crystallographers!" (Mandelstam)

(I'm finding some of these facts in a book by Heinz Gotze, Castel del Monte.)

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