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

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

Page 152

surrender of the island of Sicily to the Angevins.3 None of these projects
amounted to anything. But after his defeat at Khirokitia in 1426, king Janus
(1398-1432) had to acknowledge his dependence on the Mamluk sultan of Egypt,
who, from that time on, confirmed the kings of Cyprus in their office. The
republic of Venice had to obtain the consent of the sultan in 1489 in order
to take possession of the island.4 
 Aimery's direct line died out in 1267. The high court recognized Hugh III
(1267—1284), son of Henry of Antioch and Isabel of Lusignan, as heir
to Hugh II, and thenceforth Cyprus was ruled by a branch of the princely
house of Antioch. However, it took up the name and the traditions of the
Lusignans: the Lusignan arms of a lion on a field of white and blue bars
were quartered with the lion of Cyprus, the lion of Cilician Armenia, and
the cross of Jerusalem. Further, the Lusignan colors, white and blue, were
adopted for the silken cords on documents from which hung the king's seal.5
 Rules for the succession were not firmly established. Preference was given
to male heirs (in 1385 James I, a brother of Peter I, was chosen over Marietta,
Peter's daughter), but Hugh III derived his rights from his mother, Isabel,
and Charlotte, the daughter of John II, succeeded. her father in 1458. The
principle of choosing the heir closest to the last holder of the crown was
retained: thus Hugh III was preferred to Hugh of Brienne, and Peter I was
preferred to his nephew Hugh, the son of his older brother Guy, who had died
in 1346 before their father, Hugh IV, did, although it was necessary for
Hugh to have his second son, Peter, crowned in his own lifetime. Henry 11(1285—1324)
formally deprived the children of his brother Amalric of any claim to the
throne in order to leave it to Hugh IV, the son of another brother, Guy.
 In case of dispute, the high court decided. But in 1460 James (II), the
illegitimate son of John II, appealed to the sultan Inal and obtained from
him the investiture of the kingdom, which his half-sister Charlotte and her
husband, Louis of Savoy, had been requesting. This investiture legitimized
the forceful takeover which had won him the crown. Likewise the high court
intervened to nominate regents. The barons were able to set aside Henry I's
mother, Alice, widow of Hugh I (1205—1218), in order to commit the
regency successively to Philip and to John of Ibelin. Henry II's brother
Amalric, titular lord of 
 3. Les Registres de Boniface VIII, ed. Georges A. L. Digard, Maurice Faucon,
André A. Thomas, and Robert Fawtier (4 vols., Paris, 1884—1939),
III, 847—864 (no. 5348). 
 4. Richard, "Chypre du protectorat a la domination vénitienne." 
 5. Richard, Documents chypriotes, p. 133. These non-Lusignan "Lusignans",
from 1267 on, are hereafter designated "de" rather than "of" Lusignan. 

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