Last Queen of Cyprus
The history of medieval Cyprus is so saturated with dramatic events that they put a serious imprint on the fate of this small island. After in 395, the section of the Sacred Roman Empire took place on Eastern and Western, he became part of one of the provinces of Byzantium. Starting from 647 and 806, Cyprus was periodically exposed to the invasion of Arabs (or Saracin, as they were called in medieval Europe), and then was also occupied by them. This happened because the Byzantine Empire, experiencing economic and political difficulties during this period, could not properly protect their outskirts. But already in 965, the strengthened Byzantium returned Cyprus to his property.
In 1191, a member of the third cross campaign of the legendary English king Richard Lion’s Heart almost without any resistance captured the island, but, forced to go further to the East, sold it to the Knight’s Order of the Templars, and then Cyprus moved to the deployed Jerusalem king Gyu de Lusignan. In 1192, the dynasty was founded on the island of almost 300 years. This period of Cyprus history (1192 – 1488.) Right called "Frankocracy" – "domination of frankov".
The Kingdom educated by Lusignans was a typical feudal state with limited royal power. Noble French knights who were in the King’s Sweetheart got large feudal estates together with the cultivation of this land Cypriot peasants deprived of all civil rights. The economic oppression, which was subjected to the local population, was accompanied by a blowing national. At the same time, the persecution of Orthodoxy began on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, who soon dominant due to the support of the feudal Catholics. The Catholic Mir attached great importance to Cyprus, which became the main trading and intermediary center, which supported trade between Christian Europe and the Muslim East. Venice, Genoa, Barcelona – these largest cities of the Mediterranean competed for the right to have trade privileges on the island.
In the second half of the XIV century, the Cypriot Kingdom is the last state of the Crusaders in the Middle East, a long time quite successfully conducted external wars and the extensive stronghold of Western feudalists in this region – declining. But the ultimate power of the Cypriot kings was broken after the defeat of Cypriots in the battle with Mamluki at Hilokia in 1426.
In 1432, the King of Cyprus became John (Jean) II, who was married to the niece of the Byzantine emperor – Elena Paleologina. He had two children: the legitimate daughter of Charlotte and Son from Grechany from Patras of Jacques (Jacques). The king of John, very loved the extramarital son, brought up him in the palace, and the children were friendly among themselves, despite the mutual hatred of mothers.
It is necessary to say a few words that in the XV century, as researchers write, assimilation of Frankish surnames in Cyprus and the cultural influence of the Greek medium lead to the fact that they were more than Greeks than Latinians. For example, Charlotte preferred to communicate in Greek, he knew Greek literature very well, and French perceived as a foreign language. Greek influence in Cyprus has become so significant that the island seems to be returned to the power of the Greeks. Cypriot French in the West called "Greeks" or "Levanty", Later, many of them became Greek teachers in various Western Universities. From the second half of the XIV century, the population of the island is generally increasingly referred to "Cypriots".
In 1458, the king and queen died, leaving the Cypriot throne with her legitimate heiress Charlotte. High-ranking royal courtes did not allow Yakov to attend the coronation of the sister. The young man decides to take revenge on his enemies at the court, but, a dedicated servant, was forced to run to Egypt. Sultan and his courtiers were simply fascinated by a fugitive, and the fact that he was an illegal son of the king, did not have any meaning for Muslims. Not the last role was played and rich gifts listed by Yakov.
Having enlisted with the support of the Egyptian Sultan, accompanied by the detachment of Mamlukov and the infantry of Yakov returned to their homeland to grab how he believed his throne. After the long-term struggle with the sister for the throne, he becomes King of Cyprus in 1464, while generously awarding his supporters for supporting support. Charlotte, after twenty years of unsuccessful attempts to get help from European royal courtyards and from the most Pope died in Rome.
Since the time of the war, Yakov has been preserved close friendly connections with Venice and especially with Marco Cornaro, who helped him a major summary. This rich and noble Venetian was a beautiful daughter Katerina (Katharina). At that time (1468 g.) The girl was only fourteen years old. The appearance of charming Venetian in different years captured Titian, Bellini, Veronese and other famous artists of the Renaissance. Conquered by the beauty of young Katerina Cornaro, whose portrait, as contemporaries said, did not accidentally happen in the royal rest, Yakov decides to take her wife.
The engagement took place in Venice, where his trustee was present instead of the groom. The bride was accompanied by the bride accompanied by the bride accompanied by the bride, the bride was accompanied by the bride.
Proud that his daughter will be the queen of Cyprus, Marco Cornaro gave a huge dowry behind her. The Venetian state received the right to possession of the Cypriot kingdom, in the event that Yakov and Katerina will die without leaving the offspring.
Four years later, the harrowing Katerina Cornaro, considered as if the daughter of St. Mark – the patron of Venice, was carried out with the royal honors to Cyprus. Together with her, the representative of the Venetian Republic was departed. Marriage took place in Famagusta and from now on the Frankish kingdom of Cyprus fell under the patronage of Venice.
For a young and charming queen, accustomed to spend their leisure or communicating with galanta, who received European education, Cyprus could seem just a pathetic province. Indeed, the island was quite removed from major European cities, and sometimes the culture of local knights left much to be desired. But at the same time, you should not forget that the king of Yakov was a contemporary of Florentine Medici and the ideas of revival reached the little island. According to historical sources, the king paid enough attention to education. At that time, the Academy existed in Nicosia, where people from noble families studied. There was a seminary or, differently, a university for representatives of different classes. The fact that schools were discovered in many ways to study foreign languages. The chronicler emphasizes that from different places in Nicosia during this period, representatives of various professions related to art. Not in order for the young queen to be not so sad away from their homeland?
Holding most of the time in the walls of the royal palace surrounded by elegant courtiers, Katerina was unlikely to see the hungry eyes of the Cyprus peasants. Island at that time suffered from drought and frequent locust raids, besides, the epidemic of plagues was rampated during two and a half years.
Just a year after the wedding lived King Yakov with a young wife. In the summer of 1473, returning home from hunting, he Zanemor and soon died, testifying Katerina Cypriot Kingdom. Solemn funerals, because of the lack of wax in the country, they did not suit, the body was only disgraced and buried in one of the temples of Famagusta. Misfortunes continued to pursue the queen: in a year she lost her newborn son.
After the death of King, the country began to manage the Council from eight people, most of which were the Spaniards who scolded strength at the late king. The main in the Council was Uncle Queen Andrea Cornaro. In an effort to limit the influence of Venetians to the Queen, the Spaniards, led by the Archbishop, prepared a plot, accusing Uncle Katerina and his friends in the poisoning of the king. Soon the conspirators killed Andrea Kornaro and his nephew. In order not to lose your position on the island, the Venetian Republic sent a Squadron to Cyprus, consisting of ten ships. Having learned about her approach, the Spaniards fled from the island, without forgetting to grab their values. Their supporters were arrested by the arrived admiral.
The Venetian Chronograph tells about the fact that soon after the death of the son of Katerina in 1474, the Cypriot peasants tried to raise the uprising in order to proclaim the king of the Count de Ruch, the confidant of the Queen. The plot was revealed, and the graph was imprisoned in Venice.
To assist Katerina in the management of the kingdom, the predictor and two advisers-Venetian were inappropriate. They were they who led the Cypriot kingdom on behalf of a dog. To prevent the attempts of new conspiracies to stop attempted and forever, the mother of the late king and his extramarital children were taken from the island.
If, in the first years of his reign, Katerina still complained about the lack of power, he was then born with this and began to be content with only loud royal title and high incomes. She led such a luxurious life that her mother visiting her, the relative of Emperors Trapezund, was simply amazed by the wealth of his daughter.
Supporters of Jacob’s supporters hiding in Egypt, did not leave hope to return to their homeland, and for this they decided to give Katerina to marry the nepolitan prince. Their plans represented a serious threat to Venetians. In Cyprus, a brother of the Queen arrived at the big remuneration to persuade her to pass the island under the authority of the Venetian Republic. But it was necessary to do this so as not to arouse the suspicions of Sultan, which closely followed the events occurring on the island.
When 1488, the official renunciation, to which the Venetians sought, was finally signed, Katerina Cornaro – the last Queen of Cyprus, left the island. There were tears on her eyes. That she mourned, the dreams who were never destined to come true or the unknown of the future? This is not given to anyone.
Still beautiful in his 35 years, dressed in a black velvet dress, emphasizing her beauty, Katerina appeared before the admired venetians who made her a solemn meeting.
From now on, the former Queen of Cyprus is forever in the province of Azolo presented to her, where leads luxurious life surrounded by her heart of art representatives: artists, musicians, poets, writers and philosophers. Its outstanding personality and rich in adventure life, served as plots for writing about it by Italian authors of literary and musical works.