Richard the Lionheart had conquered Cyprus not for his own gain nor for England or his dynasty. Rather, he recognized the strategic importance of Cyprus to the crusader states of the Levant and he had seized an opportunity to secure this vitally important island that controlled the sea lanes and could serve as a base for operations and a source of supplies. The Plantagenet king, therefore, made no attempt to hold on to Cyprus but rather sold it to an institution that appeared most suited and capable of securing Cyprus for the strategic purpose of supporting the established crusader states: the Knights Templar. Ironically, had the Templars managed the situation intelligently, they would have had their own independent base, similar to what the Hospitallers later established on Rhodes and then Malta -- and would have survived Philip IV's attacks and might still be in existence today. But the Templars completely fumbled their opportunity with tragic consequences.
|The Cypriot Coast from the Byzantine Castle of Kantara|
|Cypriot Coast - "The Birthplace of Aphrodite" - on a calm day.|
Barber, Malcolm. The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple.University of Cambridge Press, 1994.
Edbury, Peter. Crusades Texts in Translation: The Conquest of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade. Ashgate, 1998.
Hill, George. A History of Cyprus: Volume 2: The Frankish Period 1192-1432. Cambridge University Press. 1948.
Robinson, John J.. Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades. Michael O'Mara Books, 1994.
Cyprus is the setting of Dr. Schrader's most recent release: The Emperor Strikes Back