The ill-disciplined Crusaders, especially in the German Crusade, had caused a number of incidents with the passage of the crusading army through the Balkans. The Byzantine emperor, Manuel I Comnenus, feared that the troops of the crusaders would strengthen the Principality of Antioch, which he wanted to restore to his sovereignty, and also would weaken the Byzantine-German alliance against Roger II of Sicily. While Conrad III and Louis VII refused to pay homage to the Byzantine emperor in the fall of 1147, they retained the Byzantine troops. Consequently, Roger II seized Corfu and Cephalonia, and plundered Corinth and Thebes.
The French and Germans decided to take separate routes. Conrad's army was defeated at the Battle of Dorylaeum October 25, 1147.
The remnants of the army of Conrad were able to join the army of the king of France. The armies followed the path left by the first Crusaders advance to Philadelphia in Lydia. In this city, the Germans were still exposed to attack and decided to return to Constantinople. Conrad III, reconciled with Manuel, captured Acre with Byzantine ships. The troops of Louis VII followed the coast and then took the road to the east. The Seljuks waited on the banks of the river Meander, but the Franks forced the passage and marched to Laodicea, which they reached on January 6, the day of the Epiphany. They then marched to the mountains that separate the Phrygia of the Pisidia.