Aimery of Cyprus

Aimery of Lusignan (Latin: Aimericus, Greek: Αμωρί, Amorí; before 1155 – 1 April 1205), erroneously referred to as Amalric or Amaury in earlier scholarship, was the first King of Cyprus, reigning from 1196 to his death. He also reigned as King of Jerusalem from his marriage to Isabella I in 1197 to his death. He was the younger son of Hugh VIII of Lusignan, a nobleman in Poitou. After participating in a rebellion against Henry II of England in 1168, he went to the Holy Land and settled in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. His marriage to Eschiva of Ibelin (whose father, Baldwin of Ibelin was an influential nobleman) strengthened his position in the kingdom. His younger brother, Guy, married Sibylla, the sister of and heir to Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. Baldwin made Aimery Constable of Jerusalem around 1180. He was one of the commanders of the Christian army in the Battle of Hattin, which ended with decisive defeat at the hands of the army of Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt and Syria, on 4 July 1187. Aimery supported his brother, Guy, even after Guy had lost his claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem according to most barons of the realm, because of the death of Sibylla and their two daughters. The new king of Jerusalem, Henry of Champagne, arrested him for a short period. After his release, he retired to Jaffa which was the fief of his elder brother, Geoffrey of Lusignan, who had left the Holy Land. After Guy died in May 1194, his vassals in Cyprus elected Aimery as their lord. He accepted the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI. With the emperor's authorization, Aimery was crowned King of Cyprus in September 1197. He soon married Henry of Champagne's widow, Isabella I of Jerusalem. He and his wife were crowned king and queen of Jerusalem in January 1198. He signed a truce with Al-Adil I, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, which secured the Christian possession of the coastline from Acre to Antioch. His rule was a period of peace and stability in both of his realms.


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