The Kingdom of Cyprus and the Crusades, 1191-1374

Overview

The island of Cyprus was conquered from its Byzantine ruler by Richard I of England in 1191 during the Third Crusade, and remained under western rule until the Ottoman conquest of 1570-1. From the 1190s until the 1470s the island was a kingdom governed by the members of the Lusignan family. The Lusignans, who hailed from Poitou in western France, imposed a new European landowning class and a Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy upon the indigenous Greek population. Nevertheless, their regime provided long periods of...

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Overview

The island of Cyprus was conquered from its Byzantine ruler by Richard I of England in 1191 during the Third Crusade, and remained under western rule until the Ottoman conquest of 1570-1. From the 1190s until the 1470s the island was a kingdom governed by the members of the Lusignan family. The Lusignans, who hailed from Poitou in western France, imposed a new European landowning class and a Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy upon the indigenous Greek population. Nevertheless, their regime provided long periods of political stability and, until the late fourteenth century, a considerable period of prosperity. In the thirteenth century the island was closely linked to the Latin states in Syria and the Holy Land by political, social and economic ties and, with the fall of the last Christian strongholds to the Muslims in 1291, it became the most easterly outpost of Latin Christendom in the Mediterranean. This new study, which is based on original research, traces the fortunes of Cyprus under its royal dynasty and its role in the Crusades and in the confrontation of Christian and Muslim in the Near East until the 1370s. It is both a major contribution to the history of the Crusades in the Levant and the only scholarly study of medieval Cyprus currently available.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... undoubtedly the most important contribution in English to the history of the Cypriot kingdom since [Sir George] Hill's work [of 1948] ... Edbury's book on the Kingdom of Cyprus and the crusades is certainly both a stimulating piece of research and an important synthesis of early and recent scholarly achievements in this field. The author does not take any authority for granted, going back to the original sources, examining them in the most critical and balanced manner, and drawing from them original and sometimes illuminating conclusions.' Mediterranean Historical Review

'There is no doubting the value of this book, which is well written and well produced ... We are provided with a compact, sustained and valuable narrative of events, and an assured guide to the intricacies of a political scene.' Simon Lloyd, History

'This book is based on an exceptional command of the sources and secondary literature, and its author argues his position with authority and prudence ... This fine work of scholarship confirms its author's status as the doyen of historians of medieval Cyprus in the English-speaking world.' Norman Housley, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521458375
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Conquest; 2. Settlement; 3. The Lusignan dynasty; 4. The house of Ibelin; 5. The defence of Latin Syria; 6. The reign of Henry II; 7. Dynastic politics, commerce and crusade, 1324-69; 8. Kingship and government; 9. Climacteric; Bibliography; Index.

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