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Armenia-TL-art - 2/24/99


"Medieval Armenia and Cilicia Timeline" by Keran Roslin.


NOTE: See also the files: Balkans-msg, Khazars-msg, Hungary-msg, Russia-msg, fd-Turkey-msg, Byzantine-msg, cl-Byzantine-msg, Byzant-Cerem-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org




by Keran Roslin


WHERE  - Greater Armenia was east and south of the Black Sea.  Its

               boundaries changed during the centuries as invaders

               carved out chunks for the empires of Rome, Byzantium and

               the Mongols. It was eventually absorbed into the Ottoman



         Cilicia or Lesser Armenia  - Cilicia was an important Armenian

               kingdom from 1198 to 1375.  It was along the eastern end

               of the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor. Its port cities

               included Tarsus, Korykos, and Ayas. Cilicia's western

               neighbor was Isauria. The Amanus mountains were on the

               east. In the north, the plains meet the Taurus mountains

               and these peaks separate Cilicia from Cappadocia.  In

               its mountains were the many large castles which controlled

               the mountain passes, including the famous Cilician Gates,

               through which pilgrims and Crusaders travelled to the

               Holy Land and luxury goods from the east travelled to




        Agathangelos (5th century)     Moses of Khorene

        Gregory of Narek               Smbat the Constable

        Faustus of Buzanda             St.  Nerses Shnorhali

        Ananias of  Shirak

        Lazarus of  Pharpi             Vardan of  Maratha

        Thomas Ardsruni                Mkhitar Heratsi

        Amirdovlat Amasiatsi           John V of Draskhanakert (also

                                         called Yovhannes Drasxanakertci)




   36 B. C. - Marc Antony attacks the Parthians and loses 80,000

           troops.  He captures King Artavazd of Armenia and his

           family, who he sends to Cleopatra of Egypt in golden



   31 B. C. - Artavazd is beheaded in Egypt without revealing the

           whereabouts of the royal Armenian treasury


   66 A. D. - King Trdat (Tiridates) is crowned by Nero in Rome

           and given 50,000,000 sesterces, reimbursed for the

           cost of his 9 month overland journey to Rome, and skilled

           artisans to rebuild his capital.


   257 - Grigor (Gregory) Partev (the Parthian) is born (approx. date)

           He is to be St. Gregory the Illuminator, who helped

           to convert Armenia to Christianity


   301 - Traditional date when Armenia becomes the first official

           Christian state (303 is the alternate date) as declared

           by King Trdat (Tiridates) III of Greater Armenia.


   305 - St. Grigor becomes head or catholicos of the new Armenian



   325 - St. Grigor dies in his cave on Mt. Sepouh


   352 - Nerses becomes Catholicos, head of the Armenian church


   364 - Nerses goes to Constantinople to ask for help against Persian



   368 - Pap becomes king of Armenia with Roman help at age 22


   371 - Battle of Bagrevand against the Persians is won by a

           combined Roman and Armenian army


   374 - King Pap is murdered at a Roman banquet


   406 - Official acceptance of the Armenian alphabet created by Saint

           Mesrop-Mashtotz and his staff.  The alphabet contained 36

           characters until the 12th century when 2 more were added.


   428-885 - the Armenian "Dark Ages", internal civil wars and wars with

           Persia, Byzantium, Baghdad and Egypt


   451 - Armenian troops commanded by Vardan Mamikonian fight the Battle

           of Avarayr against the Persians and lose Armenian churches

           commemorate this battle and honor the Armenian dead annually


   590 - the Persian lose Armenian lands to the Byzantium


   600s-700s - the Byzantines and Arab Abbasids use Armenia for a

           battleground; Armenian nobility and commoners who could traded

           their Armenian lands for lands within the Byzantine empire

           and many abandoned Greater Armenia to the invaders


   885 - Ashot I crowned king of Armenia by his peers and acknowledged by

           Byzantium and the Caliph


   965 - Byzantium reconquers Cilicia


   1042 - Ablgharib becomes governor of Tarsus and Mamistra in Cilicia and

           makes it a refuge for displaced Armenians


   1045 - Gakik II of Ani forced to abdicate leaving no opposition to stop

            the invading Selchukid (or Seljuq) Turks


   1064 - Alp Arslan, the Seljuk, conquers Greater Armenia


   1071 - Seljuq Turks defeat the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Mantzikert,            

            north of Lake Van


   1091 - Gakik II is murdered at Cybistra Castle and his body hung out

            over the castle wall


   1115-1124 - sometime between these dates Gagik II's death revenged, his

            weapons and clothes found, and the sons of Pantaleon tortured

            by Thoros


   1096-1102 - The First Crusade


   1097-1098 - Bagrat contacts the crusading forces at Nicaea and accompanies              

            them across Asia Minor. He forms an alliance with Baldwin of                    

            Boulogne, but Bagrat was later tortured as a traitor


   1114 - large earthquake destroys the Hesuants vank' monastery, devastates

            the countryside and kills 40,000+  people


   1118 - another earthquake

          Baldwin I of Jerusalem dies


   1130 - The Franks conquer parts of Cilicia during the First Crusade but

            their hold is insecure because of Byzantine invasions and the

            objections of the native Armenian princes who get the upper

            hand in the late 1130s


   1137-1138 - Byzantine conquest of Cilicia followed by seven years of

             relative peace ruled by Byzantium


   1143, April 8 - John Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor, died as a result of a

            poisoned arrow


   1147-1149  -  The Second Crusade


   1151 - Rubenid family controls the Cilician plain, allies and marries

            Franks and fights the Turks and Byzantines

            Hromkla is given to the Armenian catholicos by Beatrice


   1153 - Nerses of Lampron born


   1158 - Manuel and the Byzantine army invades Cilicia, Thoros is forced to

            make peace in penitential garb and receives confirmation of his

            position in  Armenia, but Byzantine governors are left in the

            main townships


   1164 - Thoros, Bohemond, Raymond of Tripoli and the Greek commander at

            Tarsus, Constantine Coloman, attacks Nur-ad-Din and wins.  A

            large force of Nur-ad-Din's troops come and Thoros advises

            withdrawal and leaves.  The other leaders are captured and only

            released when Thoros threatens to burn his captives alive.

            Thoros' brother Stephen is lured by the Greeks into the castle

            of Hamus and boiled alive.


   1168 - Thoros dies, Thoros' brother Mleh invades with Moslem troops and

            throws out the regent and heir


   1173 - Nerses the Gracious, Catholicos dies in August, and  Grigor

            Tgha is elected catholicos


   1174 - Mleh's use of Moslem aid is very unpopular so the Armenian barons

            rise and kill him


   1179 - religious synod held at Hromkla to discuss:  the celebration of

            Christmas on December 25, instead of the Armenian custom of

            combining it with the Epiphany on January 6; the method for

            choosing the date of Easter; the use of fermented bread at

            mass; and changes in the church service


  1180 - death of Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comneus


  1188 - Saladin campaigns against Antioch and destroys Baghras which

            Leon later rebuilt


  1189-1192 - The Third Crusade


  1190 - Levon (or Leon)sends Nerses of Lampron as ambassador to meet Emperor

            Frederick Barbarossa when he approaches Cilicia, but on June 10

            Barbarossa drowns in the Saleph River near Silifke, ending

            negotiations for Levon's royal crown


  1193 or 1194 - Catholicos Grigor Tgha dies and his nephews, Hetoum and

            Shahnshah, are assassinated

            Gregory V is elected catholicos (patriarch) but doesn't get

            along with Levon and is imprisoned and dies trying to escape


  1198 - January 6 - Levon I or Leon I is crowned king of Lesser Armenia

            by the new Armenian catholicos with a crown from the

            Hohenstaufen emperor.  In return, he is forced to recognize

            the German emperor as his lord and the pope in Rome as the

            head of the Armenian Church.  The Armenian church however

            stalls and does not change or adopt the Roman Catholic

            forms of worship

            (The Cilician kings named Levon are numbered differently by

            various historians.  It is easier to understand who is who by

            the dates of their reigns than by I, II, etc.)


  1202-1204 - The Fourth Crusade


  1204 - Constantinople is sacked by crusaders of the Fourth Crusade


  1205 - Catholicos John of Sis accuses Isabelle of Austria, Levon's

           queen and mother of his daughter Rita, of adultery and she

           is imprisoned at Vahka where she died


  1210 - King Levon of Cilicia marries Sybilla of Lusignan, the

           daughter of King Aimery of Cyprus and Queen Isabeau

           Plantagenet, and later mother of Levon's daughter and

           heir Zabel (aka Zapel or Isabelle)


  1211 - Levon gives his wife's sister, Helvis, to Raymond-Roupen

           of Antioch


  1212 - The Children's Crusade


  1217-1229 - The Fifth Crusade


  1219 - King Levon I dies after reigning 32 years

         Zabel becomes queen, Adam of Baghras is regent


  1222 - Philip, either son of Raymond the One-eyed, Count of Tripoli;

           or fourth son of Bohemond IV of Antioch, marries Zabel


  1225 - Zabel's husband, Philip, is arrested, imprisoned in the

           fortress of Sis and killed


  1226 - King Levon I's daughter Zabel is forced to marry Hetoum I (or

           Hetum I) which joined the Rubenid and Het'umian families.

           Zabel runs away from her forced marriage to Hetoum, but

           eventually reconciles to it


  1233 - Kai-Khusrau I, Selchukid (Seljuk) sultan of Roum, invades

           Armenia and requires tribute, but he proves to be a

           generally peaceful neighbor and trading partner.


  1236 - Birth of Prince Levon son of King Hetum I of Cilicia


  1243 - The Mongols arrive and shatter the Turkish empire of the

           Selchukids (Seljuks) in a battle near Siwas, where

           Georgians and Armenians fight in the Mongol army

           and 2,000 Frankish mercenaries in that of Roum.


  1247 - King Hetum I of Cilicia sends his brother Smbat the Constable

           to negotiate a treaty with the Mongols


  1253 or 1254 - King Hetoum I (or Hetum I) goes to visit the Great Khan

           for three years and comes back through Greater Armenia, the

           homeland no Cilician ruler had previously been able to visit.

           He has guarantees that the Mongols will protect the Christian

           Churches in their lands.  Armenian troops fight in the Mongol

           armies, and Hetoum occupies Marash.


  1254 - Bohemond VI of Tripoli and Antioch marries Hetoum's daughter,



  1256 - Prince Levon is knighted at Mamistra


  1258 - Mongol and Armenian troops defeat Baghdad and extend

           Cilician territory to Hromkla, a fortified site east of

           Cilicia on the Euphrates River


  1260, March - The Armenians and Mongols take Aleppo and Damascus

           September - The Mongol forces are destroyed by a Mamluk army

           under their new leader, Baybars


  1261 - Prince Kostandin follows his father as lord of the fortress

           of Sarvandik'ar which dominates the main roads to Cilicia

           from the east and at Sis he marries King Hetoum's daughter



  1262 - Prince Levon of Cilicia marries Keran, daughter of Het'um of

           Lambron  (Keran and two of their children died of a plague

           after 1272 and before Hetoum's death in 1270)


  1265 - Baybars, Mamluk leader, take Syria, Caesarea, Haifa, Arsuf,

           Tibnin, and Safad and then turn on Armenia


  1266 - King Hetoum goes to the Mongols for help and while he is

           gone Princes Levon and Thoros are imprisoned in Cairo and

           the Mamluks sack Sis, Mamistra, Adana, Ayas, and Tarsus.


  1268, May 12 - The Mamluks take Antioch and massacre the inhabitants.

           Hetoum gets his son released from Egypt, abdicates in Levon's

           favor, and enters a monastery.


  1269 or 1270 - Reign of Levon II or III (1269-88) began


  1270 - death of King Hetum I; father of Fimi (Countess of Sidon) and

           Levon (crown prince); brother of Bishop Hohannes (John)


  1271 - Marco Polo sets out for Cathay from the Armenian port of Ayas


  1272 - Thoros Roslin illuminates a gospel book for Queen Keran


  1275 - another Egyptian (Mamluk) invasion of Cilicia


  1276 - General Sempad, Levon's uncle, traps Mamluk troops in a

           mountain pass and wins a major battle.  Sempad and 300

           knights die in the battle.


  1285 - Levon III buys a 10 year truce with Egypt with an annual

           tribute of one million silver dirhams to the Egyptians

           and a promise to build no more castles

           Levon III dies at age 53 (in 1285 or 1289) and on

           February 6 Hetoum II (or Hetum II) becomes king

  1292 - The Mamluks break the truce and take Hromkla (or Romgla) so

           the catholicosate moves to Sis.  Many church treasures

           are lost.


  1293 - Hetum II abdicates in favor of his brother Thoros (who was

           strangled by their brother Smbat or Sempad). Hetum

           retires to a Franciscan monastery


  1294 - Hetum II resumes the throne


  1296 - Hetum II's brother Smbat takes the throne, partly blinds

           Het'um II, and kills Hetum's son Prince T'oros

           Their brother Kostandin takes the throne from Smbat


  1298 - Hetum II again resumes the throne with Kostandin's help

           after regaining his eyesight

           Smbat and Kostandin are sent to Hetum's brother-in-law

           in Constantinople


  1299 - Allied Mongols and Armenians fight the Mamluks at Homs

           and win, regaining all their Cilician property


  1303 - Mamluks win the battle at Merj-us-Safer against Mongol

           and Armenian troops

           Hetum chooses his nephew Levon, age 16, as heir


  1304 - The Grand Khan, Gazan, declares Islam the official

           religion in his lands and later his son ordera all

           Christians throughout his lands to wear a black linen

           strip over the shoulder.


  1307 or 1308 - Hetum II and his nephew, now King Leon IV or V,

           visit the Mongol emir Bilarghu at Anavarza and are

           murdered with all their followers.


  1308 - Oshin, Hetum's brother, chases the Mongol troops out


  1320 - Oshin is poisoned

           Young Levon is forced to marry his regent's (Oshin of

           Corycus) daughter, Alice


  1329 - King Levon IV or V, aged nineteen, takes charge of the

           kingdom and has his unfaithful wife and her father

           both killed.


  1333 - King Levon marries Constance Eleanor of Aragon,

           daughter of Frederick II of Sicily and widow of

           Henry II of Cyprus, an unpopular match.


  1337 - Cilician port city of Ayas is taken by the Mamluks


  1341 - King Leon V, staying in the citadel of Sis, waits and

           appeals for Western help, until the barons murder him.


  1342 - The barons offer the crown to John of Lusignan who

           offers the Cilician crown to his brother Guy. Guy

           reluctantly agrees and comes to Cilicia.  He brought

           a European influence to the monarchy and encouraged

           union with the Roman Church.


  1344 - Guy Lusignan sends his younger brother, Bemon, to the Pope

           in Avignon, France for help; but the negotiations rouse

           resentment in the barons.  Guy, Bemon and their

           bodyguards are murdered.

           Constantine III, son of Marshall Baldwin of Neghr, is

           elected king.  He is married to Marie, daughter of Oshin

           (a former regent) and Jeanne of Anjou.


  1360 - Peter I of Cyprus gets the port castles of Korykos in

           Cilicia in return for helping Constantine VI against

           the Karamanids


  1363 - Constantine III dies of natural causes

           Constantine IV becomes king of Cilicia and marries Marie

           widow of Constantine III


  1369 - Peter of Cyprus is murdered so Constantine VI makes a

           treaty with the sultan of Cairo, which annoys barons


  1372 - Queen Marie sends Pope Gregory XI a letter requesting

           military help against the Moslems


  1373 - Constantine is murdered, and the Pope wants Marie to

           Othon of Brunswick.

           Leon or Levon, son of John of Lusignan and Soldane, is

           invited by the Armenians to become king.

           (Soldane, daughter of King Georgi VII of Georgia, may

           have been John of Lusignan's mistress and not his wife,

           and her sons may or may not have been legitimate.

           Levon's claims to his grandmother Isabella's estates

           were rejected on those grounds by the Pope.)

           Levon, delayed in Cyprus on his wife's lands, is "taxed"

           by the Genoese 280 livres of gold plus 300 ducats

           ransom  for his crown, silver plate, and clothing. His

           wife's lands are forfeited to Catherine of Aragon.

           Levon is forced to sell his personal possessions to

           travel and hire troops.


  1374 - Levon VI, a Roman Catholic, and his wife, Margaret of

           Soissons, are crowned at Sis on September 14 in both an

           Armenian and Latin ceremony. They discover an empty



  1375, January 15 - The Mamluks of Egypt capture part of Sis

          February 24 - The rest of Sis is evacuated and burned by

          Levon and his supporters

          April 13 - Levon VI, his wife, and their twin baby daughters

          surrender to the Mamluks

          July - Levon is taken to Cairo as a captive where he is

          released from jail, constantly watched and given a

          daily pension of 60 dirhems


  1376 - Levon's wife, Marguerite de Soissons, and daughters die

           in Cairo


  1382 - Levon is ransomed using money from the Kings of Castile and

           Aragon, 300 squirrel pelts, a gold and silver cup, and

           a gilded jar.


  1386 - Levon serves as an envoy to King Richard II of England


  1393, November 29 - King Levon VI (John de Lusignan) dies.

           He is interred with French Royalty in the Basilica of St.

           Denis.  He was in France for help to regain Cilicia.

           His son Guyot becomes a military man and Philippe becomes

           an archdecon.


  1402 - the Tartars take Asia Minor and Syria


  1441 - The seat of the Armenian Catholicos is moved from Sis to



  1453 - The Ottomans capture Constantinople and Armenians are

           required to move into the capital

           The Armenian patriarch is given civil authority over

           marriage, charity work, and education of Armenians

           under Ottoman control


  1462 - Zacharia of Aghthamar removes the right arm of St. Grigor

           Loosavorich, a relic required for church ceremony, from

           Etchmiadzin to Aghthamar


  1475 - Ottoman conquest of Crimea


  1477 - Bishop Vrtanes of Odzop returns St. Grigor's right arm

           to Etchmiadzin


  1556-1602 - Reign of the Mongol Emperor Akbar, one of whose queens

           was the Armenian lady Mariam Zamani Begum

           Mariam's sister, Juliana, marries an exiled French prince

           and serves as a physician in Akbar's seraglio.

           Akbar's Chief Justice is also Armenian


  1562 - Juliana and her husband Jean Phillippe Bourbon de Navarre

           found the first Armenian church in India at Agra

           Abgar of Tokat goes to Italy to study printing for

           patriarch Michael of Sebastia


  1605 - After burning and destroying what they could in the former

           area of eastern Greater Armenia, the Persians require

           their Armenian subjects to move to New Julfa and away

           from the invading Turkish troops.  Many Armenians escape

           north to the Eastern European states such as Poland.


  1620 - Eastern Armenia returns to Persian control



Copyright 1999, Karen Reinhart, P. O. Box 169, Windsor, NY 13865. <keran at hancock.net>. Permission is given to use these articles in any

educational publication as long as you credit me for the authorship of the article and send me a copy of the publication.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org