Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
XI: The Kingdom of Cyprus, 1369-1489, pp. 361-395 PDF (13.3 MB)
362 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III Despite the regent's endeavors, successful up to a point, to delay his nephew's coronations, Peter II received the crown of Cyprus in the cathedral of Nicosia in January 1372, and in the following October that of Jerusalem—continuing the precedent set by his grandfather, Hugh IV, and followed by his father—in the cathedral of Famagusta, the Cypriote town geographically nearest to the lost kingdom. It had become the established practice, when the king mounted his horse on leaving the cathedral after the ceremony, for the representatives of Genoa and Venice to lead the king's mount, one on either side, the Genoese on the right, the Venetian on the left. Between these two Italian communities in Famagusta, which were based on their respective loggias, there existed a chronic state of feud, and it required no great provocation for the tension between them to find an outlet in mutual violence. One such episode had occurred as recently as 1368, in the last year of Peter I, and the memory of it was therefore still fresh. But on this occasion the provocation, given the importance which the age attached to matters of international precedence, was anything but slight. The Venetian, perhaps deriving confidence from the presence in Famagusta of a more than normally large number of his compatriots, usurped the position of the Genoese by seizing the right-hand rein of the king's bridle, and there ensued a bloody affray which was momentarily suppressed by the regent but broke out again with increased violence at the subsequent coronation banquet. The Genoese consul, a mem ber of the great house of Doria, seems to have reacted very intem perately, even for an aggrieved party. He armed his nationals, who attacked the Venetians, and the regent's forces had to intervene once more to restore order. To make matters worse, the people of Famagusta, who hated the privileged and arrogant Genoese, sided with the Venetians, sacked the shops and houses of the Genoese, killed a number of them, and destroyed their loggia. Negotiations to compose the situation were now set on foot between the Cypriote authorities and the Genoese podestâ and might have achieved a settlement but for three unforeseen factors. First, despite the release and pardon of the Genoese who had been arrested for their part in the disturbances, and despite royal proclamations to the effect that no one should injure a Genoese on pain of losing his right hand and that the Genoese in Cyprus should remain in the full enjoyment of their customary rights and privileges, a large number of the Genoese merchants of Famagusta left the island secretly with their treasure before the Cypriote authorities could stop them.
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