Aimery of Cyprus

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King of Jerusalem (jure uxoris)
Reign 1197–1205
Predecessor Isabella I of Jerusalem
Successor Maria of Montferrat
Co-ruler Isabella I of Jerusalem
King of Cyprus
Reign 1194–1205
Coronation 22 September 1197
Predecessor Guy
Successor Hugh I
Born 1145
Died 1 April 1205 (aged 59–60)
Spouse Eschiva of Ibelin
Isabella I of Jerusalem
Helvis, Princess of Antioch
Hugh I, King of Cyprus
Sybilla, Queen of Armenia
Melisende, Princess of Antioch
House House of Lusignan
Father Hugh VIII of Lusignan
Mother Burgondie de Rancon, Dame de Fontenay

Aimery (Latin Aimericus; 1145 – 1 April 1205), born Aimery of Lusignan, was the second King of Cyprus (1194–1205) and tenth King of Jerusalem (1197–1205). He was an older brother of Guy of Lusignan.[1] Older scholarship mistook the names Aimery and Amalric (Amaury) as variant spellings of the same name, so these historians erroneously added numbers for kings Amalric I (1163–74) and Amalric II (actually Aimery). Now scholars recognize that the two names were not the same and no longer add the number for either king. Confusion between the two names was common even among contemporaries.[2][3]

The Lusignan family was noted for its many Crusaders. Aimery and Guy were sons of Hugh VIII of Lusignan, who had himself campaigned in the Holy Land in the 1160s. After being expelled from Poitou by their overlord, Richard the Lion-hearted, for the murder of Patrick of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Aimery arrived in Palestine c. 1174, Guy possibly later. Aimery married Eschiva, daughter of Baldwin of Ibelin. He then took service with Agnes of Courtenay, wife of Reginald of Sidon and mother of Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. The pro-Ibelin Chronicle of Ernoul later claimed that he was her lover, but it is likely that she and Baldwin IV were attempting to separate him from the political influence of his wife's family. He was appointed Constable of Jerusalem soon after 22 April 1179. Guy married the king's widowed older sister, Sibylla of Jerusalem in 1180, and so gained a claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem.

Aimery was among those captured with his brother after the disastrous Battle of Hattin in 1187. In 1194, on the death of Guy, he became King of Cyprus. By his first wife, Eschiva of Ibelin, he was the father of Hugh I of Cyprus and was crowned in Nicosia on 22 September 1197. After Eschiva's death in October 1197 he married Isabella, the daughter of Amalric of Jerusalem by his second marriage, and became King of Jerusalem in right of his wife and was crowned at Acre in January 1198. This was only possible, because the candidacy for the crown of Aimery, who was a vassal of Roman-German Emperor Henry VI., was supported by the German crusaders.

In 1198, at the end of the Crusade of 1197, he was able to procure a five years' truce with the Muslims, owing to the struggle between Saladin's brothers and his sons for the inheritance of his territories. The truce was disturbed by raids on both sides, but in 1204 it was renewed for six years.

Many members of the royal family died in rapid succession in early 1205, including Aimery himself. Aimery's two older sons, Guy and John, boys of about eight years of age, died early in 1205. Aimery died of dysentery (allegedly brought on by "a surfeit of white mullet") or even poisoned at Saint Jean d'Acre on 1 April 1205, just after his son Aimery and four days before his wife, and was buried at Saint Sophia, Nicosia. The kingdom of Cyprus passed to Hugh, his only surviving son, while the Kingdom of Jerusalem passed to Maria, the daughter of Isabella by her previous marriage with Conrad of Montferrat.

Wives and children

His first wife, married before 29 October 1174, was Eschiva of Ibelin (c. 1160 – Cyprus in Winter 1196–1197), daughter of Baldwin of Ibelin and first wife Richilde de Bethsan or Bessan. They had six children:

  1. Bourgogne of Lusignan (1176–1180 or c. 1178 – c. 1210); married as his third wife Raymond VI of Toulouse 1193, repudiated and divorced 1194 or 1196 without issue, married Gauthier I de Montfaucon aka Walter of Montbéliard (killed in action at the Battle of Satalia, 20 June 1212) 1197 or bef. 1205, by whom she had issue.
  2. Héloise/Helvis of Lusignan (c. 1190 – 1216–1219, 1216/1219 or c. 1217); married firstly c. 1205 Eudes de Dampierre sur Salon, Lord of Chargey-le-Grey, div. 1210, married secondly before 1210 or in September 1210 Raymond-Roupen of Antioch
  3. Guy of Lusignan (1197–1205); died young
  4. John of Lusignan (1197–1205); died young
  5. Hugh I of Lusignan (c. 1194–1218)
  6. Alix de Lusignan (1197–1205), died young

His second wife was Queen Isabella of Jerusalem, married January 1198 in Acre. They had three children:

  1. Sybilla of Lusignan (October–November 1198 – c. 1230 or 1252), married King Leo I of Armenia
  2. Melisende of Lusignan (c. 1200 – aft. 1249), married 1 January 1218 Bohemund IV of Antioch
  3. Aimery or Amaury of Lusignan (1201 – 2 February 1205, Acre)


  1. Gerish, Deborah (2006). "Aimery of Lusignan". In Alan V. Murray (ed.). The Crusades: An Encyclopedia. 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 24. OCLC 70122512.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. George Francis Hill, A History of Cyprus, vol. 2 (Cambridge University Press, 2010 [1947]), p. 32 n. 3 and 45 n. 1. Hill calls him Aimery and cites the Sieur du Cange as one of the only modern historians who had done so before him.
  3. Harry W. Hazard, "Caesarea and the Crusades", Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies, No. 19, The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima, Volume I: Studies in the History of Caesarea Maritima (1975), p. 108 n. 125.

Other sources

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Amalric" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Cyprus
Succeeded by
Hugh I
Preceded by
Isabella I
as sole ruler
King of Jerusalem
with Isabella I
Succeeded by
Isabella I
as sole ruler