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James II of Cyprus

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Reign  1463 - 10 July 1473
Father  John II of Cyprus
Children  James III of Cyprus
Issue  James III of Cyprus
House  Ramnulfids
Successor  James III
Role  King of Cyprus
Predecessor  Charlotte
Name  James of

James II of Cyprus James II of Cyprus Wikipedia
Mother  Marietta of Patras (concubine)
Died  July 10, 1473, Famagusta, Cyprus
Spouse  Catherine Cornaro (m. 1468)
Parents  Marietta de Patras, John II of Cyprus
Grandparents  Janus of Cyprus, Charlotte of Bourbon, Queen of Cyprus

James II (the Bastard) of Cyprus or Jacques II le Bâtard de Lusignan (Nicosia, c. 1438/1439 or c. 1440 – Famagusta, July 10, 1473), was the illegitimate son of John II of Cyprus and Marietta de Patras.


Archbishop of Nicosia

James was a great favourite of his father, and in 1456, at the age of 16, he was appointed to the archbishopric of Nicosia. After murdering Iacopo Urri, the Royal Chamberlain on 1 April 1457, he was deprived of the archbishopric and fled to Rhodes on a ship of the Catalan Juan Tafures. He was pardoned by his father, and the archbishopric was returned to him.

King of Cyprus

In 1458 his father died, and his half-sister Charlotte became Queen of Cyprus. In 1460, with support from the Egyptian Mamluk sultan Sayf ad-Din Inal, James challenged her right to the throne, blockading her and her husband in the castle of Kyrenia for three years. When Charlotte fled to Rome in 1463, James was crowned King. In gratitude, he made his friend and supporter Juan Tafures Master of his Household and Titular Count of Tripoli.

Marriage, death and succession

In Venice, on July 30, 1468, seeking political support, he married a 14-year-old Venetian, Catherine Cornaro, by proxy. She finally travelled to Cyprus and married in person at Famagusta in October or November, 1472. James died a few months later, amidst some suspicion that he might have been poisoned by agents of Venice, possibly by Catherine's uncles. According to his will, Caterina, who was pregnant, became regent. The couple's son James died under suspicious circumstances in 1474 before his first birthday, leaving Catherine as regent of Cyprus. During her reign the island was controlled by Venetian merchants. In 1489 Venice forced her to abdicate, and Cyprus became a colony of the Republic of Venice until it was captured by the Ottomans in 1571.

In popular culture

The civil war between James II (called "Zacco") and Charlotte of Cyprus forms the historical background to the events of Dorothy Dunnett's novel Race of Scorpions.

Illegitimate children

Prior to his marriage, King James II had four natural children:

  • Eugene of Lusignan also styled d'Armenia (d. Venice,1536), married Dona Paola Mazzara of Sicily, with issue.
  • Janus of Lusignan (d. after 1552), married (1) 1504, to N de Toro, married (2) 1547 to Virginia Cosanza dei Duchi di San Sava., with issue.
  • Charlotte of Lusignan (d. c. 1469), married after 1463 Sor de Naves
  • Charla of Lusignan (1468 – in prison in Padua, 1480), she was either married or engaged to Alonso, batard d'Aragona (1460–1510) a son of Ferdinand I of Naples
  • References

    James II of Cyprus Wikipedia

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