Post-classical history

Sword, Order of the

The Order of the Sword was an order of chivalry founded by King Peter I of Cyprus (1359-1369). With its motto, C’est pour loiauté maintenir (To maintain loyalty) it clearly imitated other fourteenth-century chivalric orders from western Europe.

According to the contemporary author Guillaume de Machaut, its foundation dated from before Peter’s accession, but Machaut’s story of its origins is open to doubt. There is no indication that membership of the order was conferred on Cypriot nobles, and in creating his order, Peter was evidently recognizing the need to appeal to Western knights and Western knightly values if he was to gain support in waging war on the Muslims. Not much is known about the function of the order, but by the fifteenth century it would seem that Cypriot kings were investing aristocratic visitors from the West with membership as a way of honoring them at little expense to themselves.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!