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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)

Page 353

Ch. X THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS, 1291—1 369 353 
trusted adviser and devoted friend. The reign began with the usual complicated
dealings with the Genoese and the Venetians, but its major interest here
lies in the king's preoccupation with his intended crusade, his indefatigable
efforts to bring it about, and his actual achievement. The achievement was
ephemeral in its results, but that the ruler of a small island state of limited
resources, situated on the very confines of the enemy's territories, should
have been able to bring his plans for a crusade to any sort of fruition,
and that moreover in the second half of the fourteenth century, was a remark
able tribute to his unflagging zeal, his persistence in the face of discouragement,
and his sense of vocation. In the matter of the crusade he was a dedicated
His first stroke was accomplished quite early in his reign, when the citizens
of the fortress of Corycus on the Karamanian coast, rightly doubting the
ability of their own sovereigns of the tottering kingdom of Cilician Armenia
to protect them against the Turks, offered their town to Peter. A similar
offer made previously to Hugh IV had been declined by that cautious monarch,
but Peter accepted with alacrity the gift of a valuable base on the mainland
of Anatolia. It was to remain in the possession of the Cypriote kingdom until
lost in 1448 under the feeble John II. Fortified by the control of this foothold,
Peter's next objective was the important walled Turkish city of Adalia ("Satalia,"
now Antalya), against which he assembled at Famagusta an expedition whose
vessels, great and small, numbered one hundred and twenty. It was an appreciable
force and included four galleys contributed by the master of the Hospitallers,
Roger de Pins, two by pope Innocent VI, every craft that Peter himself could
muster, and several privateers. The operation was completely success ful.
Adalia was taken by storm on August 24, 1361, not to be recovered by the
Turks until 1373, when Cyprus was, as we shall see, heavily embroiled with
Now began Peter's most difficult task, one requiring the utmost efforts that
diplomacy, persuasiveness, a handsome presence, and an engaging personality
could jointly contribute. The task was to induce the rulers of the west to
combine in launching a major crusade against the heart of the Saracen power,
that is to say, an expedition compared with which the attacks hitherto made
on the Turkish coast would amount to no more than preliminary skirmishes.
In October 1362 the king sailed from Paphos accompanied by his young son
and heir, the future Peter II; Hugh de Lusignan, his nephew and former competitor
for the throne; Philip of Mézières (1327—1405), chancel
lor of the kingdom (who in his later years was to describe his 

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