James II (Cyprus)

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Jacob II

James II of Cyprus (around 1440 - 10 July 1473 ) was King of Cyprus from 1463 to 1473 .


Jacob II was the illegitimate son of King John II and Marietta of Patras . He was his father's favorite, who made him Archbishop of Nicosia in 1456, at the age of 16 . After Jacob murdered the royal chamberlain, he was deposed and fled to Rhodes . His father forgave him and gave him back the archbishopric.

In 1458 his father died and his half-sister Charlotte became Queen of Cyprus. In 1460 Jacob claimed the throne from her and besieged her and her husband for three years in the castle of Kyrenia . When Charlotte fled to Rome in 1463 , Jacob was crowned king.

He was married to the Venetian Caterina Cornaro , but died a few months after the wedding. Rumors emerged that he had been poisoned by Venetian agents, possibly by relatives of Caterina. When his posthumously born son Jakob died before the age of one, Caterina first became regent and then the last queen of Cyprus. In 1489 she was forced to abdicate by Venice ; with this Cyprus became a Venetian colony until the conquest by the Ottomans in 1571.

James II left behind several illegitimate children, including two sons ( Eugène and Jean ( Janus ) d'Arménie ). These were held captive by Venice for most of their lives because, as pretenders to the throne, they could have posed a threat to Venetian rule.


The power struggle between Jacob and Charlotte is the central theme in Dorothy Dunnett's novel The Game of Scorpions .


  • Sabine Rogge: Cyprus - island in the focus of cultures. Waxmann Verlag, Münster - New York - Munich - Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-83-095878-9 , p. 221 ff.
  • Jörg Reimann: Venice and Venetia 1450 to 1650 - politics, economy, population and culture. Kovač, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 978-3-83-002590-0 , p. 65 f.
predecessor Office successor
Charlotte King of Cyprus
Jacob III