Flushed with a sense of triumph after his victory at Casal Imbert, the Imperial Marshal Riccardo Filangieri made the strategic decision to strike at Cyprus. Just as he had seized at the city of Beirut while the Lord of Beirut was still on Cyprus with his fighting men, Filangieri took his army back to Cyprus while King Henry and the entire Cypriot host was in Syria -- without a fleet.
|St Hilarion Castle|
"... ladies dressed themselves as shepherdesses and their children as shepherds' children, and these women went to glean the grain which was there, and on this they lived, both themselves and their children, in such great misery that it is pitiful to relate. [The Wars of Frederick II against the Ibelins, CXI)
Any way one looked at it, Cyprus had been occupied by a hostile force not interested merely in control of strategic positions, but vindictively concerned about obtaining hostages with which to extort concessions from their foes. It was probably during this period of Imperial occupation that the only incident in three centuries of Lusignan rule of religious violence against Greek Orthodox clergy occurred. Sometime in early 1232, 13 Orthodox monks were burned at the stake on the orders of a Dominican friar.
Cyprus had good reason to wish for the return of her young king....
These events are depicted in detail in my latest release: