Monday, March 25, 2013

King Richard's Island

This small country has in been the news quite a bit of late, but few know that Cyprus, a small island  off the coast of Turkey has two governments. The northern regions of the island are ruled by a Turkish sponsored entity, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the larger, southern part of the island as the Republic of Cyprus.

The two regions have been at war with each other since independence in 1963, though there has been a UN sponsored peace since 1974.

It was not always thus . . . 

Cyprus has a very interesting history. It is here that Richard the Lionheart landed in search of his bride Berengaria who had been lost at sea. They were reunited but not before the Lord of Cyrpus, Comnenus had insulted Richard and found himself bound in chains of silver (Richard had apparently promised not to bind him in iron) and his island conquered and acquired by the King of England. Richard was wed to his queen upon the island before he traveled over to engage Saladin.

Later he sold it to the templars who in turn sold it to the dethroned King Guy of Jerusalem who was in turn ousted by Henry II of Champagne who eventually put Guy's brother Aimery on the throne of Cyprus.The Kingdom remained intact until 1489.

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