Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
X: The Kingdom of Cyprus, 1291-1369, pp. 340-360 PDF (10.3 MB)
Ch. X THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS, 1291-1 369 351 planned by the same partners on a larger scale for the following year was rendered abortive by the preoccupation of Philip VI of France with a threatened invasion of his country by Edward III of England. But negotiations for a resumption of such activities were kept alive and resulted in the formation, in 1343, of a new league composed of the pope, the Hospitallers, Venice, and Cyprus. In 1344 the expedi tion dispatched by this alliance against the SelchUkids captured the city of Smyrna, which remained in Christian hands until recaptured by Timur the Lame in 1402. 11 Hugh took no personal part in this or any other campaign, but he continued to contribute in ships and money to the patrolling of the Turkish coasts. Under his cautious rule his kingdom reached the zenith of its prosperity as the exporter to the west of its valuable products such as barley, wine, cane sugar, silk, and cotton, and as an important entrepot for the stuffs and spices of the farther east. Though king Hugh thus governed his realm with wisdom, his character can scarcely be called an attractive one. Even to members of his own family he was capable of showing sustained cruelty, as to his son-in-law Ferdinand of Majorca, whom he pursued with vindic tive hatred. When his sons Peter and John, titular prince of Antioch, determined to travel to the west in defiance of their father's objec tions and succeeded in leaving the country with the help of an amenable knight, one John Lombard, Hugh had the knight hanged after the amputation of a hand and a foot. When the young princes were eventually caught off the coast of Sicily and brought back home, the incensed monarch incarcerated them in Kyrenia, where they remained until released at the pope's intercession. On the other hand, he was a patron of scholars and artists, and Boccaccio dedi cated to him his Genealogy of the Gods, written at the king's request. 12 Hugh IV died in 1359 after a successful reign of thirty-five years. He had become reconciled with Peter, the eldest surviving son, whom he had caused to be crowned king of Cyprus in his own lifetime, in 1358. He took this step, no doubt, in the hope of avoiding a disputed succession, which nevertheless occurred. For the eldest of all his sons, Guy, titular prince of Galilee, had died in 1343, leaving a son Hugh, who claimed to be the rightful successor to his grandfather. In modern practice his claim would have been valid, and it was in fact supported by the pope and the king of France; Peter rejected it on 11. See also above, pp. 294—308. 12. See G. Boccaccio, Genealogie deorum gentilium libri, ed. V. Romano (2 vols., Bari, 1951), I, 1, and cf. II, 784—785.
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