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

Page View

Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

XVII: The Kingdom of Cyprus, 1191-1291,   pp. 599-629 PDF (17.1 MB)


Page 603

Ch.XVII THE KINGDOM OF CYPRUS, 1191-1291 603 
a terrified population to be reassured, for the ferocity of the Tern plars
had caused inhabitants of both town and country to seek refuge in the mountains.
When Guy "had the land, he sent out word to restore confidence to the villeins
and he repeopled the cities and the castles; and he sent word to all the
countries round about that all knights and Turcopoles and burgesses who wished
fiefs and lands should come to him and he would give them to them. So they
came from the kingdom of Jerusalem, from Tripoli, from Antioch, and from
Armenia. And there were established fiefs worth four hundred white bezants
for a knight and worth three hundred for a turcopole with two horses and
a coat of mail; and they were assigned lands and he gave burgages in the
cities." 10 Guy enfeoffed knights dispossessed by Saladin; widows, whom he
dowered and married off; orphans; and even "Greeks, cobblers, masons, and
writers of the Saracen tongue." In all he parceled out about three hundred
fiefs to knights and two hundred to men-at arms, besides further grants to
burgesses and to the common people, so that he had left scarcely the wherewithal
to support twenty knights. 11 The Eracles compares this policy favorably
with that of the first Latin emperor at Constantinople a decade later: "And
I tell you truly that if count Baldwin had thus peopled the land of Constantinople,
when he was emperor, he would never have lost it. But, by bad advice, he
coveted all and so lost all, both his body and his land." 12 
 Having laid the foundations of a new feudal monarchy in Cyprus, Guy died
some time after August 18, 1 194.13 He had never assumed the title king of
Cyprus, but only that of dominus. His contem poraries judged him weak and
lacking in discernment, even simple minded, yet unquestionably he possessed
considerable courage. Though possibly he was too open-handed in his distribution
of lands, he showed wisdom and common sense in his arrangements for Cyprus.
Richard had granted the island to Guy for life only and, upon quitting the
Holy Land, had transferred his rights to Henry of Champagne, but neither
Richard nor Henry claimed 
 10 Eracles (RHC, 0cc., II), pp. 191—192. 
11 Ibid., pp. 188—189 (MS. G). 
 12 Ibid., p. 189 (MS. D); Mas Latrie, Histoire de l'ile de Chypre, II, 9.
Baldwin I of Con stantinople did of course distribute flefs, but chiefly
to Latins, thus alienating many Greeks (see above, chapter VI, pp. 192—193,
199). 
 13 Until recently the accepted date of Guy's death has been April 1194,
but Jean Richard has discovered in the State Archives of Genoa the only known
charter of Guy as Lord of Cyprus, dated August 18, 1194: his "Nouveaux documents,"
Procès-verbaux, p. 261. For varying estimates of Guy, see M. W. Baldwin,
Raymond III of Trip olis andthe Fall of Jerusalem (1140—1187) (Princeton,
1936), pp. 6z if., and volume I of the present work, chapter XIX, pp. 603,
611. 


Go up to Top of Page