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This Week in History: January 17th to 23rd

January 17, 2020

January 17th:
On this day in 1369, Peter I of Cyprus, the King of Cyprus from 1358 to 1369 was murdered at the age of 40. In 1353, he married Eleanor of Aragon, a member of the House of Barcelona – whom he was passionate for. According to sources, Peter always slept with Eleanor’s night-dress in his arms. Five years after they were married, Peter I was crowned King of Cyprus by the Latin Bishop of Limassol and decided to continue the crusader tradition of sea raids against nearby lands. He travelled across Europe during the 1360s, meeting with various monarchs. In 1365, he led the Alexandrian Crusade against Egypt, conquering the city of Alexandria for three days before abandoning it. In 1366, he invaded Tripoli but was ultimately unable to raise armies from Europe, forcing him to end his raids and return to Cyprus. He became a tyrant after he found out that his wife had been unfaithful during his travels in Europe, and was eventually murdered by three of his own knights in his own bed at the Palace of La Cava in Nicosia. Peter was considered to be the epitome of chivalry, and his death ironically led to his wife seeking vengeance against those who killed him. In 1372, the Republic of Genoa invaded Cyprus at her invitation, but they took power for themselves after avenging Peter. Cyprus would be ruled by several foreign powers until it was sold to the Republic of Venice in 1488.

January 18th:
On this day in 1913, the Greeks were victorious against the Ottoman Turks at the Naval Battle of Lemnos. The Battle took place during the First Balkan War and defeated the second and last attempt of the Ottoman Empire to break the Greek naval blockade of the Dardanelles and reclaim supremacy over the Aegean Sea from Greece. Following the loss of a number of Aegean Islands to Greece during the first phase of the war in 1912, and its first defeat at the Battle of Elli, the Ottoman Navy sought to check Greek progress by destroying the Greek fleet docked at the port of Moudros in Lemnos. The Greek navy, led by Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis, forced the Ottoman Navy to retreat to its base within the Dardanelles, from which it did not venture from the remainder of the war, thus ensuring the dominion of the Aegean Sea by Greece.

January 19th:
On this day in 1669, Leo Allatius, a Greek scholar, theologian, and keeper of the Vatican Library died. Born on the island of Chios, Allatius converted himself to Catholicism from Greek-Orthodoxy before he was taken by his maternal uncle to Italy to be educated at the age of nine. He was admitted to the Greek college in Rome – where he ultimately spent his career as a teacher of Greek, devoting himself to the study of classics and theology. In 1661, Alexander II made him custodian of the Vatican Library, where he remained until his death. Allatius was known to labor earnestly to effect the reconciliation of the Greek Church with that of Rome and to this end wrote his most important work, De Ecclesiae Occidentalisatque Orientalis perpetua consensione, in which the points of agreement between the Churches are emphasized, while their differences are minimized. He also edited or translated into Latin the writings of various Greek authors.

January 22nd:
On this day in 1942, Mimis Domazos, the Greek footballer, was born in Ambelokipi, Athens – near the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. Domazos, also nicknamed The General, began his playing career at the age of thirteen with a neighborhood team. Less than four years later, Panathinaikos scouted his talent and offered him a professional contract. Domazos did not pass up the chance to play for his favorite team and in 1959 (the year the first Greek National Championship took place) Panathinaikos officially signed him. Domazos went on to become a living legend for Greek football and more specifically, for Panathinaikos. He served as team captain for most of his tenure with Panathinaikos (for over 15 years), making 498 appearances and scoring 134 goals. In 1979, after 20 years with the same team, he had an argument with his coach and transferred to AEK for one year. He returned to Panathinaikos in 1980 when the new team president, Yiorgos Vardinogiannis, asked him to end his career with the team that loved him so much. When he retired from playing that year, Domazos was declared the longest-active footballer in the history of Greek football, having played for more than 21 years.

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