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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

XVII: The Kingdom of Cyprus, 1191-1291,   pp. 599-629 PDF (17.1 MB)

Page 604

the reversion. Guy was succeeded by his younger brother Aimery 
 After being duly chosen by the barons of Cyprus, Aimery's first task was
to replenish his treasury, badly depleted by Guy's genero sity. Since his
brother had given away almost all the land (and at fixed values, while the
lands had appreciated to almost double), Aimery called together the knights
and said: "You are my men. You know well that I have so little land that
each one of you has more than I. How should it be that I, who am your lord,
should be so poor and you so rich? That is not seemly. Therefore, I ask that
you take counsel among yourselves and that each man of you surrender to me
some of your rents and of your land." After each had done "what he could",
Aimery took measures "either by force, or by friendship, or by agreement",
so that at his death his revenues in Cyprus had risen to at least 200,000
 Since Aimery "feared the emperor of Constantinople, who was a Grifon",15
he determined to strengthen his position by asking for the crown of Cyprus
from emperor Henry VI. The emperor, prevented by illness from leading his
projected crusade, appointed the imperial chancellor, bishop Conrad of Hildesheim,
to head the expedition, and entrusted the coronation to him. In the autumn
of 1 1 97, Aimery did homage to the chancellor in Nicosia and was crowned.
This coronation was to bear bitter fruits in the Lombard war of Frederick
 Meanwhile Henry of Champagne died in September 1 1 and the high court of
Jerusalem, prompted by the imperial chancellor, offered the crown to Aimery.
Aimery accepted, but disappointed Innocent III, who saw the potential advantage
to the Holy Land of a king with the resources of Cyprus at his command, by
stipulating that the revenues of the kingdom of Cyprus should not be used
to bolster up the kingdom of Jerusalem. He married the widowed queen Isabel
(his first wife Eschiva of Ibelin had died), and was crowned with her in
October 1 197. Thenceforth he resided more frequently at Acre than at Nicosia.
He proved himself a notable ruler until, in the Lenten season of 1205, he
died of over indulgence in the choice daurades which the fisherfolk brought
him. "King of the two kingdoms, first of Cyprus and then of Syria," 
14 Eracles (RHC, 0cc., II), pp. 190—19 1 (MS. C gives 300,000 bezants;
MS. G, 200,000). 
Before Henry of Champagne died, he and Aimery, who had been at odds, patched
up their differences in an agreement which remitted the 60,000 dinars which
Aimery still owed; it also provided that Aimery's three sons marry Henry's
three daughters, but when the time arrived for this, Hugh (see below, p.
605) was the only surviving son. 
 15 I.e., a Greek, Alexius III Angelus (1195—1203): Eracles (RHC, 0cc.,
II), p. 209. For the plans of Henry VI, see above, chapter III, pp. 116-120.

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