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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 614

however, that if that kingdom, "for which the Ibelins and their allies fought
so stubbornly in the thirties and forties was lost before the end of the
century, the institutions which they fought to preserve continued in Cyprus
for two centuries more, and the rights of the individual and the limitation
of the crown were the cornerstones of the Cypriot constitution as long as
the Lusignan dynasty lasted."37 
 In 1239, during the Lombard war, the truce which Frederick II had made with
al-Kämil, the sultan of Egypt, had expired, and, as we have seen, the
crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall had followed.38
The most tangible result of their efforts was the fortification of Ascalon.
Cyprus remained largely apart from all this, however, and in 1244 king Henry
ignored an appeal for aid when Jerusalem was threatened by the Khorezmians,
and finally fell on August 23, though he later sent over a force of three
hundred men, who all perished at the disaster of Iiarbiyah (La Forbie) on
October 1 7.39 In 1247 Henry furnished eight ships under Baldwin of Ibelin,
seneschal of Cyprus, to aid in the attempt to relieve Ascalon, which fell
on October 15. 
 A year or two before he sailed on his crusade, Louis IX sent a sergeant,
Nicholas of Choisy, to Cyprus to collect provisions. Tuns of wine were stacked
in great piles along the seashore. "Wheat and barley they had put in heaps
amid the fields; and when one saw them, it seemed as if they were mountains;
for the rain which had beaten on the grain for a long time had made it sprout
on top, so that there appeared there only green grass. So it happened that
when they wished to take the grain to Egypt, they cut down the top layers
with the green grass and found the wheat and barley as fresh as though it
had just been threshed."40 Louis landed on September 1 8, 1248, at Limassol,
where he was welcomed by king Henry and the Ibelin lords. John of Ronay,
vice-master of the Hospital, and William of Sonnac, master of the Temple,
came from Acre to plan the campaign. Louis "was eager to press on to Egypt
without stopping,"41 but his barons persuaded him otherwise, and not until
May 13, 1249, did he depart. The long delay was costly in money and bad for
morale. An epidemic broke out in the French camp and, though the troops were
dispersed around the island, many died. Diplomatic activity, however, did
not slacken. In 
 37 LaMonte's introduction to Philip of Novara, The Wars, p. 56. 
 38 See above, chapter XIII. 
  See above, chapter XVI, pp. 56 1—564. 
 40 Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, 130—131 (ed. N. de Wailly,
Paris, 1874), pp. 72—74. For this crusade, see above, chapter XIV,
pp. 493—495. 
 41 Ibid., 132 (ed. Wailly), p. 74. 

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