The Reign of Jacques II
Jacques thus took possession of the throne and was crowned in 1460 king of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia, but appealed in vain to Rome for recognition of his accession. 

The outstanding success of his reign was the recapture of Famagusta from the Genoese, who had been in possession of that town for nearly a century.

Jacques II and the fate of the House of Lusignan
In 1468, King Jacques II took a step which was destined eventually to bring his kingdom under the power of Venice. With the object of forming an alliance with that republic, as a protection to the claims of the House of Savoy, Jacques sent ambassadors to Venice to ask for the hand of Caterina Coronaro, daughter of a Venetian noble of ancient family. 

The republic had for long coveted possession of Cyprus as a centre of their trade in the Levant and as a source of timber for their fleets. In the proposal of King Jacques, Venice recognised a convenient means of accomplishing her purpose. At a solemn function in the cathedral of St. Mark, Caterina Coronaro was married by proxy to King Jacques II, was publicly declared to be the adopted daughter of the state, and was presented with a dowry of 100,000 ducats. She was escorted by the Venetian fleet to Cyprus and was welcomed at Famagusta with enthusiasm.

The next year King Jacques II died at Famagusta after a brief illness of only nine days, in circumstances which led to the suspicion that he had been poisoned by the uncles of the queen, Andrea Coronaro and Marco Bembo.

  • From: Newman, P., (1940), "A Short History of Cyprus", Longmans, Green & Co., London.

Chronological History