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Alexandrian Crusade
Part of the Crusades
Date October 9–12, 1365
Location Alexandria, Egypt
Result Cypriot victory
Belligerents
Armoiries Chypre Kingdom of Cyprus
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Venice Republic of Venice
Hospitalers Knights Hospitaller
Mameluke Flag Mamluk Sultanate
Commanders and leaders
Armoiries Chypre Peter I of Cyprus Unknown
Strength
165 ships Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown


The brief Alexandrian Crusade occurred in October 1365 and was led by Peter I of Cyprus against Alexandria. Relatively devoid of religious impetus, it differs from the more prominent Crusades in that it seems to have been motivated largely by economic interests.[1]

HistoryEdit

Peter I spent three years, from 1362 to 1365, amassing an army and seeking financial support for a Crusade from the wealthiest courts of the day. When he learned of a planned Egyptian attack against his Kingdom of Cyprus, he employed the same strategy of preemptive war that had been so successful against the Turks and redirected his military ambitions against Egypt. From Venice, he arranged for his naval fleet and ground forces to assemble at the Crusader stronghold of Rhodes, where they were joined by the Knights of the Order of St. John.

In October 1365, Peter I set sail from Rhodes, himself commanding a sizable expeditionary force and a fleet of 165 ships, despite Venice's greater economic and political clout. Landfall was made in Alexandria around October 9, and over the next three days, Peter's army conquered and looted the city before permanently withdrawing on October 12[1] against Mamluk forces.

Peter himself understood that Alexandria would have been impossible to rule, given its great distance from Cyprus.

InterpretationsEdit

Jo van Steenbergen, citing Peter Edbury, argues that the crusade was primarily an economic quest. Peter wanted to end the primacy of Alexandria as a port in the Eastern Mediterranean in the hope that Famagusta would then benefit from the redirected trade.[1] Religious concerns, then, were secondary.

Van Steenbergen's description of contemporary Muslim accounts, such as that of Alī al-Maqrīzī, indicates that the crusading force succeeded partially thanks to superior diversionary tactics. The Alexandrian defensive force occupied itself fighting in the area around the western harbor, while the "real" force, including cavalry, made landfall elsewhere in the city, apparently hiding in a graveyard, undetected by the defenders. The crusading force was thus able to attack from both the front and the rear, panicking the Alexandrians, who did not recover from this setback.[1]

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 31°11′59″N 29°52′16″E / 31.19972°N 29.87111°E / 31.19972; 29.87111

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