Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Caterina Cornaro

CATERINA CORNARO (1453 - 1510)
Queen of Cyprus (1469 - 1489)

Caterina was the daughter of a prominent Venetian merchant family.

She was married by proxy to Jacques (James) II (1468), and given surname Veneto - 'daughter of St. Mark' . This ensured that as a daughter of Republic, Cyprus would pass to Venice if Caterina survived both her husband and heirs. Caterina underwent a formal marriage at Famagusta (1469).

Following the death of husband, Jacques II, Caterina's infant son Jacques III succeeds but mysteriously dies aged 2 months old (1469).

Caterina succeeds to Cyprus in own right (1473). However, it is not before long that power is taken out of her hands by Venice (1489) and she is "persuaded" to abdicate. Venice assumes direct rule of Cyprus.

Caterina spent remainder of her years in voluntary exile in Italian town of Asolo.

~~~ Melisende (first pub: 1998 Women of History)


Anonymous said...

This story is quite amazing. I went on five sites to try to learn about Caterina and here she tells me everything I need to know and more! Thanks!

Melisende said...

Thanks - I first published this on my "Women of History" website back in 1998 (and she's back there too).

Caterina is an interesting woman, who once she managed to grasp hold of the control of the throne of Cyprus was literally forced to hand it over.

Thanks for your kind words.