University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

X: The Kingdom of Cyprus, 1291-1369,   pp. 340-360 PDF (8.0 MB)

Page 359

Ch. X THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS, 129 1—1369 359 
become one of the most acclaimed figures in Christendom. He was to live barely
three more months, the most lamentable months of his life. For during his
absence he had received reports not only of the unfaithfulness of his wife,
queen Eleanor, with John of Morphou, titular count of Edessa ("Rochas"),
but of Eleanor's ill-treatment of one of his two favorite mistresses, Joan
l'Aleman, whom the queen had tried to cause to miscarry the king's child.
It was a sad homecoming for the king, already suffering disappointment at
the frustration of his plans, and that disappointment turned to bitterness
when the barons of the high court refused him justice against the queen and
John of Morphou. In clearing the couple they wished no doubt to save Eleanor's
honor as well as to spare the island the wrath of Aragon-Catalonia, but equally
to vex the king, whom they had grown to hate for his insistence on his costly
wars and his alleged preference for the knights from the west. Peter for
his part now became a capricious and cruel tyrant, imprisoning those who
opposed his wishes in a tower which, in common with his daughter and a favorite
mule, he called Margaret. 
The end of this sorry tale is best told in the account by Leontius Machaeras
of the last hour of Peter's life: 
 And on Wednesday the seventeenth of January 1369 after Christ very early
all the knights in company with the prince [John] and his brother [James
(I)] came to the king's lodging . . . . And they dismounted at the pavement
and went up the stairs and went to the loggia with all those who had been
at the prison. Then the prince knocks gently at the door. Of the ushers,
it was the day of Gilet de Cornalie; he opened, and when the king's brothers
went in, they all went in together. The king heard the stir and got up from
the bed and says: "Who are these who have come?" The Lady Echive de Scandelion
his mistress, who was sleeping with him, said to him: "Who can it be but
your brothers?" And the lady covered herself with her coat and went out into
the loggia and down into the between-room, where saddles for tournaments
were stored; and they shut the trapdoor. When the prince saw that the Lady
Echive who was at the king's side, had gone away, he went into the king's
room, and greeted the king: and the constable did not go in, nor did the
prince wish to go in, but the knights, who had another plan in their minds,
forced him to go in. Then he says to the king: 
"Sir, a good day to you." And the king said to him "Good day to you, my good
brother." And the prince said to him: "We worked all last night and have
written down our opinion, and we have brought it to you for you to see."
The king was naked in his shirt and wanted to dress, and he was ashamed to
dress before his brother, and he says to him: "My princely brother, go outside
for a little for me to dress, and I will look at what you have written."
The prince went out. Then the Lord of Arsuf pushed in, holding in his hand
a dagger like a little sword, as was usual at this time, and by him was Sir
Henry de Giblet. And when the prince had gone out, the king put on his clothes
to dress himself; and he had put on one sleeve (of his coat) and had turned
his head to put on the other, when he sees 

Go up to Top of Page