Cyprus under the Lusignan Kings c. 1300

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Map Code: Ax00154

In 1192 the Knights Templar sold Cyprus to the dispossessed King of Jerusalem, the French crusader, Guy de Lusignan. It remained in the Lusignan family until 1489. In 1285 the Lusignan dynast, Henri II, became both King of Cyprus and Jerusalem. In 1291 he lost Acre, Jerusalem’s last stronghold, to the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate and fled to Cyprus, where he made plans to win Jerusalem back. Henri II turned Cyprus into a thriving kingdom, attracting merchants and crusader refugees. Limassol was given to the Knights Templar and Hospitaller as a place of joint occupancy. The Greek Orthodox Church was granted equality with the Latin Church, which they had previously been denied. In 1306 the Knights Templar joined forces with Henri’s brother Amalric and deposed Henri. In 1300 Amalric lost the vital garrison island of Ruad, near Tortosa, to the Mamluks, making it impossible for the crusaders to reclaim the Holy Land.

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