Hugh IV of Cyprus

Hugh IV

coat-of-arms of Lusignan of Cyprus and Jerusaelm
king of Cyprus
Reign 31 March 1324 – 24 November 1358
Predecessor Henry II
Successor Peter I
Born c.1295
Died 10 October 1359
Spouse Marie of Ibelin
Alix of Ibelin
Issue Guy
Peter I of Cyprus
John, regent of Cyprus
James I of Cyprus
House Poitiers-Lusignan
Father Guy constable of Cyprus
Mother Eschive d'Ibelin
Basin with an inscription in Arabic that reads: "Made by the order of Hugh, favoured by God, the one at the vanguard of the elite troops of the Franks, Hugh of the Lusignans". Another inscription in French reads: "Très haut et puissant roi Hugues de Jherusalem et de Chipre que Dieu manteigne." ("Very high and powerful king Hugh of Jerusalem and Cyprus, may God maintain him"). 14th century, Egypt or Syria. Louvre Museum[1]

Hugh IV (1293×96 – 10 October 1359) was King of Cyprus from 31 March 1324 to his abdication, on 24 November 1358 and, nominally, King of Jerusalem, as Hugh II, until his death. The son of Guy constable of Cyprus (son of Hugh III of Cyprus and wife Isabella of Ibelin), and Eschiva of Ibelin, Hugh succeeded his father as Constable of Cyprus in 1318, and later succeeded to the throne of Cyprus on the death of his uncle Henry II, since Henry II had no son. He was a member of the House of Lusignan.


Hugh appears to have been content to rule Cyprus, as he prevented his son, Peter I, from going to Western Europe to recruit support for a new crusade to recover their Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1344, he joined a league with Venice and the Knights Hospitaller which burnt a Turkish fleet in Smyrna and captured the city. In 1345 the allies defeated the Turks at Imbros by land and sea, but Hugh could see little benefit for his kingdom in these endeavors and withdrew from the league.

He was crowned as King of Cyprus at Saint Sophia Cathedral, Nicosia, on 15 April or 25 April 1324. In the same year, on 13 May, he was crowned at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Famagusta as Titular King of Jerusalem. As a leader, King Hugh signed an agreement with Venice, which had to do with the activities of the Venician merchants who were settling in Cyprus. That caused problems with the Republic of Genoa who were rivals of the Venetians; however he negotiated with them and had agreement in 1329. The Genoese demanded that Hugh pay the debit of his uncle Henry II. He died in Nicosia.

During his reign, he was strict about issues relating to justice. When his two sons left without his permission for a trip in Europe, he arrested the man who helped them to leave the island, he imprisoned and tortured him, and he cut off a hand and a foot before he hanged him in April 1349. He managed to bring back his two sons and he imprisoned them.

Other sources show that he was well educated and had an interest in art, literature, and philosophy and had much knowledge of Latin literature. He owned a summer villa in Lapithos and organised philosophical meetings. The Italian writer Boccaccio, wrote Genealogia Deorum Gentilium at the request of Hugh IV.

Hugh resigned the crown to his son, Peter I (rather than his grandson Hugh) in 1358, and died on 10 October 1359 in Nicosia.


Hugh was married twice, both times to ladies of the house of Ibelin, whose fathers were both named "Guy of Ibelin", one being Count of Jaffa and the other Seneschal of Cyprus.

Three other children of Hugh whose filiation is uncertain:


Hugh IV of Cyprus
Born: c.1295 Died: 10 October 1359
Preceded by
Henry II
King of Cyprus
Succeeded by
Peter I
King of Jerusalem
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