Constantine I, Prince of Armenia
|Lord of Cilicia / “Lord of the Mountains”|
|Lord of Armenian Cilicia|
|Reign||1095 – c. 1100/1102/1103|
|Spouse||An unnamed great-granddaughter of Bardas Phokas|
|Born||1035–1040 / 1050–1055
|Burial||Monastery of Castalon|
Constantine I or Kostandin I (1035–1040 / 1050–1055 – c. 1100 / February 24, 1102 – February 23, 1103) was the second lord of Armenian Cilicia or “Lord of the Mountains” (1095 – c. 1100 / 1102 / 1103). During his rule, he controlled the greater part of the regions around the Taurus Mountains, and invested much of his efforts in cultivating the lands and rebuilding the towns within his domain. He provided ample provisions to the Crusaders, for example during the difficult period of the siege of Antioch in the winter of 1097. He was a passionate adherent of the separated Armenian Church.
He was the son of Roupen I; his father declared the independence of Cilicia from the Byzantine Empire around 1080. According to the chroniclers Matthew of Edessa and Sempat Sparapet, Constantine is also identified as being either a prince of King Gagik II, or some kind of a military commander in the monarch’s clan in exile.
Upon the murder of King Gagik II, Constantine’s father gathered his family and fled to the Taurus Mountains and took refuge in the fortress of Kopitar (Kosidar) situated north of Sis (today Kozan in Turkey). As Roupen was growing old by 1090, his command seems to have passed entirely to Constantine; and it was the latter who in the same year conquered the strategic Cilician castle of Vahka (today Feke in Turkey). The mastery of this mountain defile made possible the assessment of taxes on merchandise transported from the port of Ayas towards the central part of Asia Minor, a source of wealth to which the Roupenians owed their power.
After his father’s death in 1095, Constantine extended his power eastward towards the Anti-Taurus Mountains. As an Armenian Christian ruler in the Levant, he helped the forces of the First Crusade maintain the siege of Antioch until it fell to the crusaders. The crusaders, for their part, duly appreciated the aid of their Armenian allies: Constantin was honored with the titles of Comes and Baron.
Marriage and children
- Beatrice (? – before 1118), the wife of Count Joscelin I of Edessa
- Thoros I, Lord of Armenian Cilicia (? – February 17, 1129 / February 16, 1130)
- Leo I, Lord of Armenian Cilicia (? – Constantinople, February 14, 1140)
- [he did not have a daughter who married Gabriel of Melitene as some sources state.]
- Ghazarian, Jacob G. The Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia during the Crusades: The Integration of Cilician Armenians with the Latins (1080–1093).
- Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades – Volume I.: The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
- Cawley, Charles (2009-04-01), Lords of the Mountains, Kings of (Cilician) Armenia (Family of Rupen), Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012,[better source needed]
- Vahan M. Kurkjian (2005-04-05). "A History of Armenia". Website. Bill Thayer. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
- Ghazarian, Jacob G: The Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia during the Crusades: The Integration of Cilician Armenians with the Latins (1080–1093); RoutledgeCurzon (Taylor & Francis Group), 2000, Abingdon; ISBN 0-7007-1418-9
- Runciman, Steven: A History of the Crusades – Volume I.: The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; Cambridge University Press, 1988, Cambridge; ISBN 0-521-06161-X
Constantine I, Prince of Armenia
|Lord of Armenian Cilicia
1095– c. 1100/1102/1103