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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

V: The Institutions of the Kingdom of Cyprus,   pp. 150-174 PDF (9.7 MB)


Page 159

Ch. V THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS 159 
on horseback and who were equipped by the vassals of the king, the infantry
comprised free men, Frankish or Greek bourgeois, Armenians, and Syrians;
we know that those from Carpas were compelled to serve on horseback.27 
 From the thirteenth century on, however, the king also had to hire mercenaries.
These were so numerous in the time of Peter I that the liegemen demanded
in 1369 that no more than one hundred might be engaged without their consent.
Beginning in 1373, however, the constable James de Lusignan had to reinforce
his army with Armenian mercenaries, with Bulgarians previously in the service
of Genoa, and with eight hundred men that Thibaut Belpharage hired in Venice.
James II conquered his kingdom with a Moslem contingent, but he formed a
permanent army by engaging some men-at-arms coming from the west with their
condottieri: Peter of Avila commanded an escadre of knights, while some condostables
had charge of the sodées depié. The Venetians would later expel
from the kingdom all those Franks and Sicilians whom they judged to be unreliable.
 The marshal, for his part, was responsible for the material organization
of the feudal army. Undoubtedly it was with regard to this that a tax called
maréchaussée was levied on all owners of livestock: it was
the marshal who had to replace horses lost by vassals in the service of the
king. Moreover, his scribe (the maréchaucier) recorded the deeds which
established fiefs in the Livre des remembrances de la maréchaussee:
it is likely that he controlled the administration of homage. 
 In the thirteenth century the kings of Cyprus had no navy and had to depend
on the Genoese. The fall of Acre induced Henry II to construct some warships
in order to ensure the security of the coasts of Cyprus and to pursue pirates.
There soon appeared an admiral of Cyprus. Hugh IV maintained six galleys
in the squadron of the "Holy Union", which combatted Turkish piracy, and
the arsenal of Famagusta built some warships.28 Its activity increased under
Peter I, who entrusted the office of admiral to his most faithful aide, John
Monstry, whom the conspirators of 1369 pursued with hatred. Janus conducted
privateering operations against the Moslems with "une galée et une
galiote".29 Finally, James II built for himself a small squadron of galleys
and compelled his subjects to supply crews, and his captains 
 27. Richard, Livre des remembrances, Introduction. Free men also owed guard
duty, especially along the coasts. 
 28. L. de Mas Latrie, "Nouvelles preuves," Bibliotheque de 1' cole des chartes,
XXXIV, 52; Richard, Documents chypriotes, pp. 33-49. 
 29. Emmanuel Piloti: Traité sur le passage en Terre-Sainte, ed. Pierre
H. Dopp (Louvain and Paris, 1958), p. 174. 


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