Post-classical history

Khirokitia, Battle of (1426)

A hotly contested battle (7 July 1426) fought near the village of Khirokitia (mod. Khoirokoitia, Cyprus) between Nicosia and Limassol, resulting in the crushing defeat of the 4,600 troops of King Janus of Cyprus by the 5,000 invading soldiers of the Mamlûk sultan of Egypt, Barsbay.

The cause of the Mamlûk invasion was the raiding mounted from Cyprus by Cypriot, Genoese, and Catalan corsairs, as well as an attack on the Syrian coast by Janus himself. In retaliation Barsbay had attacked Cyprus in 1424 and 1425. On 1 July 1426 he landed on Cyprus with a larger Mamlûk force and proceeded to capture the town of Limassol. The Cypriot forces were defeated at Khirokitia, and Janus was taken prisoner; the Mamlûks went on to capture and sack the capital, Nicosia (11 July), carrying off 6,000 captives. The king was ransomed for 200,000 ducats eight months later and returned to the island in May 1427, having agreed to become the sultan’s vassal, paying an annual tribute of 5,000 ducats.

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