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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 657

between his sister Rita and Michael IX, the son and associate of Andronicus
II Palaeologus; in order to establish an alliance with the Byzantine empire,
he went in person to Constantinople, ac companied by his brother Toros. But
during his absence another brother, Sempad, who had won the support of the
catholicus Gregory VII and of pope Boniface VIII, seized power (1296). 
 Cilicia was torn by this internal strife. Hetoum, returning from his fruitless
journey to obtain the support of the Mongols, was intercepted near Caesarea
by Sempad, and imprisoned together with his brother Toros; Toros was strangled
and Hetoum partially blinded. Sempad was overthrown by his younger brother
Con stantine, who freed Hetoum but retained the power (1298). A year later
Hetoum, having recovered his sight, resumed the king ship for the third time
and exiled his brothers Sempad and Con stantine to Constantinople, where
they died. 
 These fratricidal wars and the discords which reigned also among the Mongols
encouraged the Egyptians to invade Cilicia once again. In 1298 their armies
sacked Adana and Mamistra and took eleven fortresses. Among these were Marash
and Tall Hamdun, which the Armenians had ceded some years earlier, but which
they had apparently recovered in the meantime. 
 Hetoum still counted on the Mongols to defeat the Egyptians, and it seemed,
for a short time, that his hopes were to be fulfilled. The Syrian expedition
led by the II-khan Ghazan, whom Hetoum joined at the head of 5,000 men, routed
the Mamluk army near Homs in December 1299. But Ghazan departed shortly after
and the Egyptians recovered Syria. A second campaign in 1301 was seriously
hampered by bad weather, and the third expedition, in 1303, ended in disaster.
The Mongol forces were decimated, many of the soldiers were drowned in the
flooded waters of the Euphrates; He├žoum retreated with the remnants
of the Mongol army and went to the court of Ghazan before returning to Cilicia.
 The road to Cilicia again lay open before the Moslems. Already in 1302 the
emir of Aleppo had made a rapid raid, burning the harvest and gathering vast
booty. In July 1304 the Egyptians took Tall Hamdun, which Hetoum had recovered
after the Mongol victory of 1299. They returned to Cilicia the following
year and, although the Armenians, helped by a company of Mongols who had
come to collect the annual tribute, inflicted heavy losses on them, they
were defeated after the arrival of fresh Egyptian troops. Marino Sanudo summarizes
in graphic terms the unhappy state of the country. "The king of Armenia,"
he writes, "is under the 

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