University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 173

Ch. V THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS 173 
 One remains struck by the loyalty which, on the whole, the peoples of the
kingdom evinced for the Frankish dynasty. The only known popular rebellion
was that of the peasants who rose up after the defeat of Khirokitia, electing
several captains and even proclaiming one Alexius "king" at Lefkoniko: it
was a sort of jacquerie, quite comparable to that which troubled the kingdom
of France after Poitiers.66 The chronicler Leontius Machaeras, in the fifteenth
century, shows himself to be a devoted subject of the Lusignans. 
 The various communities experienced a gradual coming together. Kings and
nobles made pilgrimages to Greek monasteries; the confessor of king Peter
II, a Latin priest, visited his mother, a religious in the Greek convent
of St. Mammas of Nicosia; the Dominican James ("Estienne") de Lusignan had
a brother who was a Basilian; the Audeths, who belonged to the Jacobite rite,
established religious services in the Latin and even the Greek rite, and
left legacies to Coptic, Jacobite, Armenian, Maronite, Greek, and Latin churches.
One of them even became a bishop in the Latin church.67 The use of Greek
was so widespread among the Franks that queen Charlotte spoke it better than
French, and Hugh Boussat took his personal notes in Greek.68 Latin priests
had to take measures to prevent their flock from adopting customs appropriate
to the Greek church.69 
 While the feudal institutions had been conceived for the purpose of strengthening
the domination of the Frankish element, they gradually ceased to play this
role. Greek and Syrian names penetrated little by little into the nobility,
especially from the time of James II on. Rich burgesses had before that time
acquired landed properties and become lords of fiefs. During the Venetian
domination, the Synkletikos and the Sozomenos held first place among the
liegemen,7° but well before that time the royal administration had been
filled with Greek and Syrian elements. 
 The feudal regime, though it endured until 1570, was probably no 
 66. Machaeras, Recital, caps. 636—637. 
 67. Ibid., caps. 566—571; Richard, "Une Famille de ' vénitiens
blancs'." 
 68. Edith Brayer, Paul Lemerle, and Vitalien Laurent, "Le vaticanus latinus
4789," Revue des etudes byzantines, IX (1951), 47—105. 
 69. In a contrary sense, see the reflections of Leontius Machaeras respecting
Thibaut Belpharage's conversion to the Latin rite (cap. 579). The reminder
by Sixtus IV in 1472 of the rules imposed on Greek bishops by the Constitutio
of 1260 (Mas Latrie, Histoire, III, 325—330) is evidence of the habitual
transgression of those rules, especially with respect to episcopal jurisdiction.
A 16th-century tradition has associated the name of Helena Palaeologina with
a renewed audacity of the Greek clergy, but I believe that these transgressions
were an older phenomenon. 
 70. This is not an isolated case, as can be seen by a quick look at the
schedule drawn up by the venetian administration between 1510 and 1521, which
includes a list of those enfeoffed. 


Go up to Top of Page