Constantine I, Prince of Armenia

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Constantine I
Lord of Cilicia / “Lord of the Mountains”
Reign 1095 – c. 1100/1102/1103
Born 1035–1040 / 1050–1055
Birthplace (unknown)
Died c. 1100/1102/1103
Place of death (unknown)
Buried Monastery of Castalon
Predecessor Roupen I
Successor Thoros I
Consort to An unnamed great-granddaughter of Bardas Phokas
Issue Thoros I
Beatrice
Leo I
Father Roupen I
Mother (unknown)

Constantine I[1][2] or Kostandin I[3] (1035–1040[1] / 1050–1055[3] – c. 1100[1] / February 24, 1102 – February 23, 1103[3]) was the second lord of Armenian Cilicia[1] or “Lord of the Mountains”[3] (1095[1][3] – c. 1100[1] / 1102 / 1103[3]). 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.[1] He provided ample provisions to the Crusaders, for example during the difficult period of the siege of Antioch in the winter of 1097.[1] He was a passionate adherent of the separated Armenian Church.[2]

Early years[edit]

He was the son of Roupen I;[3] his father declared the independence of Cilicia from the Byzantine Empire around 1080.[1] 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.[1]

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).[1] 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).[1] 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.[4]

His rule[edit]

After his father’s death in 1095, Constantine extended his power eastward towards the Anti-Taurus Mountains.[2] He, in his capacity as an Armenian Christian ruler in the Levant, helped the forces of the First Crusade maintain the siege of Antioch until it fell to the crusaders.[1] The crusaders, for their part, duly appreciated the aid of their Armenian allies: Constantin was honored with the titles of Comes and Baron.[4]

The Chronographie of Samuel of Ani records that Constantine died soon after a lightning bolt struck his table in the fortress of Vahka.[3] He was buried in Castalon.[1]

Marriage and children[edit]

According to the Chronicle of Aleppo, his wife was descended from Bardas Phokas.[3]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Ghazarian, Jacob G. The Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia during the Crusades: The Integration of Cilician Armenians with the Latins (1080–1093). 
  2. ^ a b c Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades – Volume I.: The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 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]
  4. ^ a b Vahan M. Kurkjian (2005-04-05). "A History of Armenia". Website. Bill Thayer. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 

Sources[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]

Constantine I, Prince of Armenia
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Roupen I
Lord of Armenian Cilicia
1095– c. 1100/1102/1103
Succeeded by
Thoros I