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The Cypriot Peasant Revolt of 1426

Mentalities and Resistance in the Eastern Mediterranean

In: Frankokratia
Author:
Chrysovalantis Kyriacou European University Cyprus Nicosia Cyprus

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Abstract

The Cypriot Peasant Revolt of 1426 represents a unique expression of peasant resistance during the period of Frankish rule in Cyprus. The island’s Mamluk invasion in 1426 was followed by the defeat and capture of King Janus of Lusignan at the Battle of Khirokitia and the subsequent sack of Nicosia; upon the Muslim withdrawal, the peasants took up arms against the Frankish nobility, establishing their own hierarchy and proclaiming a peasant king: Alexis the serf. Based on the little information we possess on the event, this paper attempts to understand the nature of the revolt by transcending the methodological dichotomy of pure ethnic/national vs. pure class/social conflict.

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