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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume VI: The impact of the Crusades on Europe

V: The institutions of the Kingdom of Cyprus,   pp. 150-174 PDF (13.4 MB)

Page 166

stantial compared to the holdings of the vassals and of the church, did not
suffice to permit doing without extraordinary taxation. 
 The presence of colonies dependent upon the merchant cities of Italy, Provence,
and Catalonia did not have the same characteristics on the island as in the
Frankish states of Syria. The rights which the Pisans and Venetians had acquired
in the time of the Byzantines, or of Guy of Lusignan, were modest. In 1232
Genoa received the first somewhat extensive privileges, thanks to the support
of John of Ibelin. But it was not until 1291, at the time of the loss of
their trading establishments in Syria, that the Pisans and Catalans obtained
some privileges; the Pisans established some small colonies in which a privilege
of 1321 permitted them to have parish churches.49 Venice asked for a charter
of privileges in 1302, but did not acquire it until 1328. Venice aspired
to its own quarters in Nicosia, Limassol, and Famagusta. In fact, it was
only in Famagusta that there were communities of privileged merchants: Sicilians,
Provencals, Pisans, and Barcelonans. Their main privilege was that of paying
the comerc at a very low rate; Pegolotti recounts how he managed to obtain
the same favor for the Florentines when he was the factor of the Bardi in
Cyprus (1324-1326).~° Only the Genoese and the Venetians — who
enjoyed a complete franchise — had any notable establishments there:
a hail where their consul presided, a church, and a street of houses.51 
 They alone also played an important role in the history of the kingdom.
Venice, for example, by threatening the king with a boycott, seriously affected
the operations of Peter I against the Moslems, which had compromised Venetian
interests by the sack of Alexandria. The boycott would have been all the
more effective since the Venetians controlled practically all the exports
of two of the principal resources of the monarchy, salt and sugar.52 
 49. Richard, "Le Peuplement latin Ct syrien en Chypre au XIIIe siècle,"
Byzantinische Forschungen, VII (1979), 162—163. Aimery's diploma for
the Marseillais must be dismissed as a forgery: Hans Eberhard Mayer, Marseilles
Levantehandel und em Akkonensisches Fälscheratelier des 13. Jahrhunderts
(Tubingen, 1972). The authentic privileges given the Provencaux in 1236 (ibid.,
pp. 193—194) make no allusion to a permanent establishment. On the
Pisan churches see Richard, Documents chypriotes, p. 73, note 7. 
 50. Pegolotti, Pratica, pp. 70—71. 
 51. Venice seems to have had a consul for the Venetians in Cyprus since
1296; the title "bailie" appeared in 1306. Cf. Giovannina Majer, "Sigilli
di baili veneziani in Oriente,"Archivio veneto, 5th ser., XXIX (1941), 117—124,
a list which may be completed by consulting L. de Mas Latrie, Histoire, III,
840. On the existence of a consul distinct from the bailie, cf. Livre des
remembrances, no. 224, n. 1. 
 52. On salt cf. Jean C. Hocquet, Voiliers et commerce du sel en Méditerranée
(Lille, 1978), pp. 227—232; on sugar see the texts in the Livre des
remembrances. Every year, in the fall, a 

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