Guy of Lusignan

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Guy of Lusignan (c. 1150 – 18 July 1194) was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194. Having arrived in the Holy Land in the 1170s, Guy rose to prominence within the royal courts of Baldwin IV before marrying Sybilla in 1180 to prevent a political incident within the kingdom. As Baldwin's health deteriorated, Guy was appointed regent of Jerusalem; upon Sybilla's succession to the throne, Guy was crowned king-consort in 1186. Guy's reign was marked by increased hostilities with the Ayyubids ruled by Saladin, culminating in the disastrous Battle of Hattin in July 1187—during which Guy was captured—and the fall of Jerusalem itself three months later.

Following a year of imprisonment in Damascus, Guy was released by Saladin. After being denied entry to Tyre, one of the last crusader strongholds, by Conrad of Montferrat, Guy besieged Acre in 1189. The siege would develop into a rally point for the Third Crusade, led by Philip Augustus of France and Sibylla's cousin Richard the Lionheart. Guy entered a bitter row with Conrad over the kingship of Jerusalem; despite Richard's support for Guy, Conrad was elected king by the nobility of the kingdom. Conrad was assassinated by the Hashshashin days after the election; Richard's and Guy's involvement in the incident is suspected, but unproven. Nevertheless, Guy was compensated for the dispossession of his crown by being given lordship of Cyprus in 1192, which Richard had annexed from the Byzantine Empire en route to the Levant. Guy ruled the Kingdom of Cyprus until his death in 1194, when he was succeeded by his brother Amalric.


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