Stephanie of Armenia

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Stephanie/Rita
Princess of Armenia
Pretender to Armenia
Born after 1195
Armenia
Died June 1220
Spouse John of Brienne
Issue John, Crown Prince of Armenia
House Rubenid dynasty
Father Leo I, King of Armenia
Mother Isabelle
Religion Armenian Orthodox, later probably Roman Catholic

Stephanie of Armenia (after 1195 – June 1220), also known as Rita, was the only child of Leo I, King of Armenia by his first wife Isabelle, whose origins are uncertain.[1] She was a member of the Rubenid dynasty.

Early Life and Family[edit]

Stephanie was brought up by her paternal grandmother Rita of Barbaron.[2] She was around ten years old when her mother died, who had not bore Leo any more children.

Stephanie's maternal family is disputed. It is believed that her mother was a niece of Sybille, wife of Bohemond III of Antioch.[3] Others [4] believe that her mother was of Austrian and German origins.

Stephanie's paternal grandparents were Stephen of Armenia and the previously mentioned Rita. Stephen was son of Leo I, Prince of Armenia.

Around 1210 Stephanie's father remarried to Sibylla, daughter of Isabella I of Jerusalem. From this marriage she gained a half-sister, Isabelle.

Later life[edit]

In April 1214, Stephanie married John of Brienne. John had only recently lost his first wife Mary of Jerusalem, who was a sister of Stephanie's stepmother Sibylla. Stephanie became stepmother to John's daughter who later became Isabella II of Jerusalem. Stephanie herself gave birth in 1216 to a son named John.[5]

In May, 1219 Stephanie's father died. He had made the barons swear an oath of allegiance to his great-nephew Raymond-Roupen, who became his heir. However, on his death bed King Leo changed the succession. He made his daughter Isabelle [6] his heir and released the barons from their oath of allegiance. Stephanie was still alive at the time and would have had more right because she was the older daughter. Also, Stephanie had her son John.

Stephanie's husband, John pressed the claim on behalf of his wife.[7] Raymond-Roupen also pressed his claim on the throne.

John left the Fifth Crusade in February 1220 intending to visit Armenia to press Stephanie's and their son's claim. However, in June 1220 Stephanie died followed not long after by her four-year-old son. John of Brienne had no longer a claim on the throne of Armenia.[8][9]

Raymond-Roupen was captured and ended his days in prison in 1222. This left Isabelle as the sole heir of Armenia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cawley, Charles, Armenia, Medieval Lands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy ,[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ Armenia
  3. ^ Armenia
  4. ^ Translation from Portuguese
  5. ^ Cawley, Charles, Jerusalem, Medieval Lands, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy ,[self-published source][better source needed]
  6. ^ Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades – Volume III.: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades
  7. ^ Nickerson Hardwicke, Mary. The Crusader States, 1192-1243
  8. ^ Armenia
  9. ^ Runciman, Steven. A History of the Crusades – Volume III.: The Kingdom of Acre and the Later Crusades