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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

XVIII: The Kingdom of Cilician Armenia,   pp. 630-659 PDF (12.6 MB)

Page 637

Joscelin II of Edessa, was at first able to withstand their attack, but finally
was surprised in an ambush and was taken to Antioch. His captivity lasted
only two months. The menace of a Byzantine expedition, directed against Antioch
as well as Cilicia, probably hastened his release and, according to Cinnamus,
the Latins and Armenians even established some kind of alliance against the
 As soon as he was set free, Leon rushed to the western borders of Cilicia
and laid siege to Seleucia in the vain hope of stopping the Greek advance,
but was soon forced to raise the siege. In a rapid march across the plain
John Comnenus recovered Tarsus, Adana, Mamistra, and finally Anazarba, Leon's
only point of stiff resis tance. John also took Tall Hamdun and, without
pausing to pursue Leon and his sons, who had fled to the mountains, marched
on Antioch. The conquest of Cilicia was completed in the winter of 1137—1138;
Vahka fell in spite of its strong position and the prowess of a nobleman
called Constantine; the fort of Raban and the surrounding areas were also
seized.9 Leon, his wife, and two of his sons, Roupen and Toros, were carried
in chains to Constan tinople, and Armenian rule in Cilicia seemed destroyed
for ever. 
 Very little is known about internal conditions during the Byzan tine occupation.
The Greek garrisons do not seem to have been very strong, for even before
John's return to Constantinople, while he was besieging Shaizar, the Selchükid
Mas'üd had seized and held Adana for a short time, carrying some of
its inhabitants as captives to Melitene; and in 1138—1139 the Dãnishmendid
emir Muhammad took Vahka and Gaban and various localities in the region of
Garmirler (Red Mountains). But, with the captivity of Leon I, the center
of Armenian resistance was destroyed; the only strong princes who remained
in Cilicia, the Hetoumids and their allies, were vassals of Byzantium and
always faithful to their suzerain. John crossed Cilicia peacefully at the
time of his second expedition to the east (1 142). When, after his death
and the departure of his son Manuel, Raymond of Antioch captured some of
the castles along the Syrian border, the Armenians of that area took no part
in the battle, nor did they when the Byzantine forces sent by Manuel defeated
 However, the situation was soon to change. Leon's younger son, 
Toros, had been allowed to live at the imperial court after the 
 9 Nicetas Choniates, Historia: De Johanne Comneno (CSHB, Bonn, 1835), pp.
29-33. The Cilician Chronicle (p. 160) and Sempad (RHC, Arm., I, 616) also
mention three other local ities: Khalij, Amayk, Tjakhoud. The first two have
not been identified, the last is probably the province which lies roughly
to the east of Sis. 

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