Wido de Lusignan had brought no less than three hundred knights and two hundred squires in his train. These Knight Templars at once erected a
lodge to their order in Limasol, and twenty years afterward their numbers had greatly increased; some were English and German, but the majority
Italians and Frenchmen. A reign of chivalry now arose which drew the eyes of Europe to this small and famed island. Wido, the first king of the Lusignan dynasty, only reigned three years, but his reign was marked by strenuous efforts to complete the subjection of the Cypriotes by the building of strong castles and fortresses. Order and justice distinguished his sway.Amalrick, his brother and successor, was no sooner installed than he summoned his followers and announced
his intention of at once offering his crown as a fief to some monarch powerful enough to protect him from all enemies. An embassy was sent to
offer allegiance to the Emperor Henry the Sixth, of Germany, who recognized the importance of the step, and consented to uphold Amalrick as his vassal.
The Archbishop of Trami and Brindisi was dispatched to bear a sceptre to the royal vassal, and desire that the coronation might take place in the emperor's presence when he visited the Holy Land.
Amalrick, however, was averse to this delay, and his royal master therefore consented that the ceremony should be performed before a deputy.
In September, 1197, Bishop Hildesheim, the Imperial Chancellor, arrived, and received the oaths of the new king. The coronation was then celebrated before him in the principal church in Nikosia. Now commenced a long career of knightly deeds and chivalrous enterprises, led under the banner of the King of Cyprus, and many notable feats were performed by sea and land.
From 1285 to 1373 must be regarded as the most glorious period of this career of enterprise, the reigns of Henry the Second, Hugo the Fourth, and Peter the First being particularly distinguished in the annals of the times; Smyrna and Alexandria were conquered, and the emirs upon the coast compelled to pay tribute.
At this epoch, Cyprus was the centre of Eastern commerce, and merchandise was brought thither from Asia and Europe, either for exchange, or to be forwarded to other hands. The towns of Limasol, Paphos, and Keryneia, were crowded with merchandise from Constantinople, Beyrout, Damaseus, and Alexandria, from Venice, Pisa, Genoa, Barcelona, and Marseilles. Famagusta was regarded as the principal mart of the Mediterranean, and a constant stream of pilgrims enlivened all the havens of Cyprus.
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