University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 635

and is watered by the Cydnus, Sarus, and Pyramus; its principal cities in
the medieval period were Adana and especially Tarsus; Seleucia was its chief
port. The upper or eastern plain is separated from the western and the sea
by the ridge called Jabal Nür. The city of Mamistra commands the passage
of the Pyramus on its way from the upper to the lower plain; Anazarba and
Sis are farther north on tributaries of the Pyramus. To the east the plain
is limited by the range of the Amanus, and it is here that Cilicia was more
vulnerable, for the passes which lead into Syria are broader and shorter
than the famous Cilician Gates. 
 The policy followed, with varying fortunes, by the Roupenid princes was
determined to a great extent by the configuration of the land. It was an
absolute economic necessity to descend from the mountain strongholds into
the arable lands of the plain; to have control of the large cities which
were situated on the trade routes; to reach the coast and have an outlet
on the sea. To protect them— selves from attacks from the northwest
and west complete control of the Cilician Gates was essential, and this brought
them into conflict with the Hetoumids; to safeguard their eastern borders
control of the passes of the Amanus was essential, and this brought them
into conflict with Antioch. But their principal adversary during the entire
twelfth century was Byzantium, to which Cilicia belonged. 
 Toros I (1 100-1 129), the son and successor of Constantine, proceeded carefully.
He refrained from taking part in the struggle between the Greeks and Latins
over the possession of the principal cities of the plain, and captured only
Anazarba. He strengthened that city and made it the seat of his barony; he
erected a church dedicated to St. George and St. Theodore on the ruined remains
of which part of his dedicatory inscription is still visible. He remained
on good terms with the Byzantines in spite of the seizure of Anazarba and
the plunder and destruction of Heraclea, where he killed the sons of Mandale
to avenge the murder of king Gagik. His chief concern, however, was to maintain
friendly relations with the Latin princes who had been enlarging their possessions
at the expense of the Armenians. 
 In 1098 Baldwin of Boulogne became master of Edessa, following the murder
of Toros by the populace. In 1 104 batoul of Marash, after successfully resisting
the attacks of Bohemond I and his kinsman Richard of the Principate, was
forced to cede the city to Joscelin I of Courtenay. Between the years 1 1
15 and 1 1 18 Baldwin of Le Bourg seized the domains of Dgha Vasil and those

Go up to Top of Page