Henry II of Jerusalem

Henry II (* 1271, † 1324 Strovolos, Cyprus) was a king of Cyprus and also the last King of Jerusalem.


Ascension and coronation

Henry was a son of King Hugh III. (I.) and his wife Isabella of Ibelin. He suffered from childhood epilepsy. Henry followed his brother John in 1286 with fifteen years on the throne I ( II ) - to be involved where he was suspected in the poisoning. Charles of Anjou, who had John's claim to the throne was not recognized, died in 1285, which allowed Henry to take Acre repossessed: With a fleet he attacked the city and Charles deputy Odo Poilechien, and captured the city on 29 July. On 15 August he was crowned here himself king of Jerusalem, appointed his uncle Philip of Ibelin Bailiff and returned to Cyprus.

Loss of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Acre was at that time the most important coastal city in what was left of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 1287 conquered the Mamluk Tyre, Beirut, 1289, and the County of Tripoli. The Siege of Acre began on 5 April 1291st Henry was sick on Cyprus at this time, the command in Acre led Henry's brother Amalric. When Henry had recovered, he came to the besieged city on May 5, 1291 a fleet of 40 ships, one hundred horsemen and 2,000 foot soldiers to help, and took over the command of the Verteider. When the Mamluks finally on May 18 broke through the city walls and pursued into the city, Henry rescued along with his brother Amalric with a ship to Cyprus. Shortly after the fall of Acre, the last strongholds of the Crusaders on the mainland had to be abandoned.

Strengthening the rule in Cyprus

After the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem Henry ruled only in Cyprus, but claimed the other titles continue for itself. He also planned retaking the mainland. He allied himself with Ghazan, the Mongol Ilkhan of Persia, when he attacked the Mamlukenreich 1299, and Lesser Armenia. Furthermore, he tried to bring Genoa to cease trade with the Mamluks to weaken economically. When this failed, he gave Pisa and Barcelona trade privileges, which the Genoese angry. The great rival of Venice in 1306 received trade concessions. Heinrich wrote twice to Pope Clement V for a further crusade.

After the fall of Acre in 1291 directed a both the Templars and the Hospitallers commanderies on the island. Their relations to the Crown were stretched.

Under Henry's reign Cyprus became prosperous again. He cared intensely about the administration of the island. He ordered that the Haute Cour for the first time drew up written reports ( in Italian or French more than in Latin) and expanded its functions from a feudal council to a Criminal Court. However, the resources of the island were not enough to fulfill his ambition to reconquer the Holy Land. The nobility was displeased. Even the powerful Ibelin family now seems to have intrigued against the king.

Usurpation by Amalric

In the spring of 1306 ill Heinrich difficult. Then seized on April 26, his brother Amalric, with the support of the Templars the power and took over as " Gubernator et Rector " the rule, however, his brother had to leave the royal dignity. Henry recognized Amalric not as regent. He retired first back to his estate in Strovolos Lefkosia. After he had recovered from his illness, he moved to the castle of Nicosia, which offered more security. Their exact location is still not proven safe.

Amalric had his brother alleged to have surrounded himself with advisers disabled and neglected to support the Armenian allies and sent letters corresponding to Poitou in 1307 Pope Clement V. This began in 1308 a commission to investigate the case after him letters of Henry had achieved. The Commission was active until 1310, but their reports are not delivered. It is believed that the so maligned ruler was the model for the " Beast of Limassol and Famagusta " in Dante's Paradiso ( Canto 19, 145).

1308 Amalric was Heinrich force in recognition of his reign. However, his approach became increasingly unpopular. By order of the Pope, he had participated in the suppression of the Knights Templar in 1308, which cost him his most powerful allies. 1309 forced Amalric Heinrich to publicly declare him as regent, but sent him, as it did not calm the situation, in February 1310 as a prisoner to Cilicia. He was with Isabella of Armenia, daughter of King Leo III. married and had therefore good relations with the Hethumiden.

Amalric was assassinated on June 5, 1310 by Simon of Montolif. Henry was released after lengthy negotiations the following month and again took over the throne.

Marriage to Constance of Sicily

In 1319 he married Constance, daughter of King Frederick II of Sicily, but the marriage remained childless.

Death and succession

Henry died 1324 in Strovolos and was buried in the Church of Saint Francis in Lefkosia. Was succeeded by his nephew Hugo, son of his deceased brother Guido. His oldest sister Maria was unhappy with King James II of Aragon and Sicily, the brother of Frederick II of Sicily married, who derived a claim to the crown of Jerusalem and Cyprus it.