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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 615

 Ch.XVII THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS, 1191—1291 615 
December, envoys arrived with a letter alleged to be from the Great Khan
Goyuk to initiate the first of the abortive pourparlers for an alliance with
the Mongols. Later, the emperor Baldwin II of Con stantinople sent his wife,
Mary of Brienne, to ask for aid to ward off the threatened attack of the
Greeks on Constantinople.42 
 When Louis finally sailed from Cyprus, the island chivalry sailed with him
— king Henry, the seneschal Baldwin of Ibelin, the constable Guy of
Ibelin, and the archbishop Eustorgue, who died at Damietta. King Henry rode
with king Louis on the solemn entry into Damietta, on June 6, but soon departed
for Cyprus, leaving one hundred and twenty knights to serve for a year under
Baldwin and Guy, who were also in command of one thousand knights from Syria.
After the surrender at Mansurah (April 6, 1250), the Ibelins narrowly escaped
with their lives from the massacre planned by the mamluks subsequent to the
murder of the sultan Türãn-Shãh. "There came at least
thirty [mamluks] to our galley, with naked swords in their hands and Danish
axes round their necks. I asked my lord Baldwin of Ibelin, who knew Saracen
well, what these people were saying; and he replied that they were saying
that they were coming to cut off our heads."43 The Ibelin brothers were among
the negotiators for the renewal of the agreement which Louis had made with
Türãn-Shah, and returned to Cyprus with the other Cypriote captives
who were released on May 6. 
 Hugh III, first as regent and later as king of both Cyprus and Jerusalem,
had to deal with the fanatical and determined Mamluk sultan Baybars (1260—1277).
His task was formidable. Hugh tried to reconcile warring Christians —
Venetians, Genoese, Templars, Hospitallers, and others — for a concerted
effort against Baybars, but even his Cypriote vassals, preferring the relative
security of their island estates to the ceaseless struggle on the mainland,
would not always support him. 
 In the spring of 1271, when prince Edward of England (after wards king Edward
I) arrived from Tunis with one thousand men, Hugh crossed from Cyprus to
plan a campaign with Edward and Bohemond VI of Tripoli. Baybars took the
opportunity of Hugh's absence from Cyprus to fit out seventeen galleys camouflaged
 42 Hill, History of Cyprus, II, 144, errs in his interpretation of Joinville
when he says that Mary's ship was torn from its mooring at Paphos and driven
to Acre "whence she was fetched back to Lemesos by Joinville." Actually,
Joinville met Mary at Paphos, where she was left with nothing to wear but
the clothes she had on, since her ship with all her "harnois" had been driven
off. Joinville brought her to Limassol, and later sent her fine cloth for
new clothes (Joinville, 137 [ed. Wailly], p. 76). On the situation of Baldwin
and the Latin empire, see above, chapter VI, pp. 225—226. 
  Joinville, Histoire de Saint Louis, 354 (ed. Wailly), p. 192. 

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