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Outside the Armenian Highland and distinct from Armenian the Kingdom of Antiquity, Armenian Cilicia was a Christian kingdom formed by refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion. In 1198, with the crowning of Levon the Magnificent, Armenian Cilicia became a kingdom. The capital was originally at Tarsus, and later at Sis. Cilician Armenia thrived economically, with the port of Ayas serving as a center for East to West trade. The kingdom adopted Western European feudalism and customs for the nobility including chivalry, fashion, and the use of French titles, names, and language. The fall of Sis and then the fortress of Gaban to the Mamluks put an end to the kingdom in 1375. The last king, Levon V, was granted safe passage, and died in exile in Paris.
Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon I the Magnificent, 1198 - 1219 A.D.
Leo, having governed the country twelve years as Baron and twenty-two as King, felt his end approaching, and appointed in an assembly of the whole nobility of the kingdom, a certain baron named Atan to be Regent of the country and guardian of his daughter. Leo died soon after and was buried in the church of Agner; a part of his body was brought into the town of Sis, and a church was built thereupon. -- Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia MinorME85078. Silver tram, cf. Bedoukian CCA 237, Nercessian 289, F, toned, weight 3.005 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 315o, 1198 - 1219 A.D.; obverse Armenian legend: Levon King of the Armenians, Levon seated facing on throne ornamented with lions, wearing crown and royal mantle on shoulders, cross in right, lis in left, feet on footstool; reverse Armenian legend: By the will of God, patriarchal cross, flanked on each side by a rampant lion facing outwards and looking back inward; $80.00 (Ä68.00)
Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Roupen I, 1080 - 1095 A.D.
Roupen I declared Cilicia independent from the Byzantine Empire in 1080, founding the Roupenian dynasty, which ruled Cilician Armenia until 1219. He led bold and successful military campaigns against the Byzantines, including capturing the fortress of Pardzerpert (today Andirin in Turkey), which became a stronghold of the new kingdom.SH65204. Bronze Pogh, Bedoukian 1, Nercessian 245, VF, weight 2.476 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, obverse Armenian legend: Raiben. (Roupen), cross within circle, pellets in quarters; reverse Armenian legend: Tsara ay (Servant of God), cross within circle, pellets in quarters; rare; SOLD
Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Hetoum I, 1226 - 1270 A.D.
As the Mongols approached, King Hetoum made a strategic decision to send his brother Smpad to the Mongol court in Karakorum and agree to become a vassal state of the Mongol Empire. In 1254, Hetoum himself traveled to Mongolia to renew the agreement. The account of his travels, "The Journey of Haithon, King of Little Armenia, To Mongolia and Back" is still important for its observations of Mongol, Buddhist, and Chinese culture, geography, and wildlife. The Mamluks invaded Armenia in 1266, taking 40,000 Armenians captive, including Hetoum's son, Leo. Hetoum abdicated in 1270 in favor of his son Leo, and lived out the rest of his life in a monastery, as a Franciscan monk.SH65348. Copper tank, Nercessian 356, Bedoukian CCA -, EF, bold strike, superb green patina, superb for the type!, weight 7.394 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Sis mint, 1226 - 1270 A.D.; obverse Armenian inscription: Hetoum King of the Armenians, Hetoum seated facing on bench-like throne, fleur-de-lis tipped scepter (mace) in right, globus cruciger in left; reverse Armenian inscription: Struck in the City of Sis, cross with wedges in the angles; SOLD
Bedoukian, P. Coinage of Cilician Armenia. ANSNNM 147. (1962).
Bedoukian, P. Medieval Armenian Coins. (Paris, 1971).
Bedoukian, P. "Two Hoards of Levon II Trams" in Selected Numismatic Studies II. (Los Angeles, 2003).
Kovacs, F. "Additions and corrections to Armenian coins and their values" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 30/3. (2004).
Metcalf, D.M. "Classification of the Trams of Levon I of Cilician Armenia" in RBN CXVIII. (1972).
Nercessian, Y. T. Armenian Coins and Their Values. Armenian Numismatic Society, Special Publication No. 8. (Los Angeles, 1995).
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