THE KINGS OF JERUSALEM
Les genealogies de soixante et sept tres-nobles. (with) Les droicts, autoritez et prerogatiues que pretendent au royaume de Hierusalem, les princes & seigneurs spirituels & temporels cy apres nommez.
Paris, Guillaume le Noir, ruë S. Iacques, à l’enseigne de la Rose blanche couronnee, 1586.
FIRST EDITION of the second work. Two works in one. 4to. 1) ff. (iv), 128. 2) (viii), 40. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device on both titles, full page woodcut of Melusine holding the arms of Luxembourg and Lusignan on â4 verso of first volume, floriated woodcut initials, grotesque headpieces, early inscription (illegible) on fly, autograph Pf Van Meldert de Deveal in C19th hand on verso, modern armorial bookplate on pastedown, C19th label above, ‘Ad usum don[?]’ in contemporary hand on fly. Light age yellowing, tiny worm trail at gutter well away from text. Very good copies, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties.
Second edition of this important and early genealogy, bound with the first edition of the second work “Les Droicts, Autoritez et perogatives que pretendent au Royaume de Hierusalem.” Estienne de Lusignan was born in Nicosia, capital of Cyprus, and chose an ecclesiastical career under the guidance of the Armenian Bishop, Julian. After the fall of Cyprus he escaped to Italy and spent his fortune buying back his enslaved parents from Turkey. He moved to Paris in 1577 and was nominated Bishop of Limasso in Cyprus.
“The work of Veccerius … became an important source for the Généalogies of Estienne de Chypre de Lusignan (1537 – 1590). As his name suggests, Estienne was a descendant of the Lusignan Kings of Cyprus and Bishop of Limassol. He wrote his Genealogies for Francois de Luxembourg-Piney, in which he presented the genealogies of sixty-seven noble dynasties that can all be traced back to the Merovingians. … In this book, Melusine and the search for her true historic identity are a recurrent theme. This may be unsurprising, since it is that very figure that enabled the author’s own glorious dynastic roots to be connected with those of his patron, or, as he wrote, ‘The house of Luxembourg, according to our opinion and that of many others, derived from the House of Lusignan.’ He also sees Melusine on the crest worn by “all members” of the house of Luxembourg and Lusignan as clear proof of his hypothesis.” Pit Péporté. “Constructing the Middle Ages.”
The second work is the first edition of Lusignan’s interesting treatise on the various claims of the main European noble houses, including the Papacy and the Patriarchy, over the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The first chapter concerns the rights over the Kingdom exercised by his own family. He then discusses the rights of each of the Royal families of Europe and their connection to the Kingdom, including the English Royal family through the exploits of Richard the Lionheart. Very good crisp copies of these two works.