Back to Baffes: ‘A Castle in Cyprus attributed to the Hospital?’ revisited JAMES PETRE (TOBERMORY)
During the fi rst conference of the military orders, held in 1992 at St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, and in the consequent volume published in 1994, Peter Megaw argued strongly in favour of a view conceived by John Rosser that the castle of Saranda Kolones in Paphos, Cyprus, known to the Franks as Baffes, had been built by the Hospitallers. 1 This view has now found expression in a number of articles, most recently in one by Rosser himself entitled ‘Who built “Saranda Kolones”?’, which was published in the 2009-2010 volume of the journal of the Cyprus Research Centre. 2 This proposition sits rather like an iceberg above the waterline. What lies beneath is the more fundamental argument that the castle was built de novo in what we might call the early crusader period in Cyprus, thereby quite dismissing any counter-proposals that can be adduced for a Byzantine origin. In Crusader Castles of Cyprus , published by the Cyprus Research Centre in 2012, I examined the published arguments adduced by Megaw and Rosser and offered alternative perspectives, both in respect of the historical evidence and its contexts and the archaeological dimension. 3 It must be emphasized that, as the saying goes, the jury is still out on these matters, largely because the long postponed report on the castle’s excavations has still not appeared.