Leo II, King of Armenia

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Leo III
Լևոն Գ
Leo III of Armenia.jpeg
Portrait of Prince Levon by Toros Roslin, 1250.
King of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
Reign1269/1270 – 1289
Predecessor Hetoum I
Successor Hetoum II
Born1236
Died1289(1289-00-00) (aged 52–53)
Spouse Keran of Lampron
Issue
…among others
Hethum II
Thoros III
Sempad
Isabella of Armenia, Princess of Tyre
Constantine I
Rita, Byzantine Empress
Oshin
House Lambron
Father Hetoum I
Mother Isabella

Leo II or Leon II (occasionally numbered Leo III; Armenian : Լեւոն Բ, Levon II; c. 1236 1289) was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1269 [1] /1270 to 1289. He was the son of King Hetoum I and Queen Isabella and was a member of the Hetoumid family.

Contents

Early life

The Mamluks kill Thoros and capture Leo at the disaster of Mari, 1266: illumination from Le Livre des Merveilles, 15th century DisasterOfMari1266.JPG
The Mamluks kill Thoros and capture Leo at the disaster of Mari, 1266: illumination from Le Livre des Merveilles , 15th century

Leo was born in 1236, the son of King Hetoum I and Queen Isabella. Hetoum and Isabella's marriage in 1226 had been a forced one by Hetoum's father Constantine of Baberon, who had arranged for Queen Isabella's first husband to be murdered so as to put Constantine's own son Hetoum in place as a co-ruler with Isabella. They had six children, of which Leo was the eldest. One of his sisters was Sibylla of Armenia, who was married to Bohemond VI of Antioch to bring peace between Armenia and Antioch.

In 1262, Leo married Keran (Kir Anna), the daughter of Prince Hetoum of Lampron.

In 1266, while their father king Hetoum I was away to visit the Mongol court, Leo and his younger brother Thoros fought to repel Mamluk invaders, at the Battle of Mari. Thoros was killed in combat, and Leo, along with 40,000 other Armenian soldiers was captured and imprisoned. When King Hetoum returned, he paid a large ransom to retrieve his son, including a large quantity of money, handing over several fortresses, and accepting to intercede with the Mongol ruler Abagha in order to have one of Baibars's relatives freed.

Reign

A view of the busy port of Ayas when Marco Polo visited it in 1271, in "Le Livre des Merveilles". AyasMarcoPolo.JPG
A view of the busy port of Ayas when Marco Polo visited it in 1271, in "Le Livre des Merveilles".

Hetoum I abdicated in 1269 in favour of his son, and entered the Franciscan order. He died a year later. The new king Leo II was known as a pious king, devoted to Christianity. He pursued active commercial relations with the West, by renewing trade agreements with the Italians and establishing new ones with the Catalans. He also endeavoured to reinforce the Mongol alliance, [2] as his father Hetoum I had submitted Armenia to Mongol authority in 1247.

In 1271, Marco Polo visited the Armenian harbour of Ayas and commented favourably about Leo's reign and the abundance of the country, although he mentions his military forces were rather demoralized:

"The king [Leo II] properly maintains justice in his land, and is a vassal of the Tartars. There are many cities and villages, and everything in abundance.(...) In the past, men were courageous at war, but today they are vile and chetive, and don't have other talents than drink properly."

Marco Polo "Le Livre des Merveilles" [3]
The Mongols and the Armenians were defeated by the Mamluks at the Second Battle of Homs in 1281. 1281BattleOfHoms.JPG
The Mongols and the Armenians were defeated by the Mamluks at the Second Battle of Homs in 1281.

In 1275 the Mamluk sultan Baibars invaded Cilicia for a second time. The following year, Armenia fought off an invasion by the Turkomans, but the Constable Sempad, Leo's uncle, was killed in combat.

Mongol alliance

In 1281, Leo joined the Mongols in their invasion of Syria, but they were vanquished at the Second Battle of Homs. Leo had to sue for peace, and in 1285 obtained a 10-year truce in exchange for important territorial concessions in favour of the Mamluks. [4]

Leo died in 1289 from arsenic, and was succeeded by his son Hetoum II.

Descendance

Leo II, queen Guerane, and their five children, 1272. LeonIIQueenGueraneAndTheirFiveChildren1272.jpg
Leo II, queen Guerane, and their five children, 1272.
Leo II and Queen Guerane. Armenian manuscript of Queen Keran gospel, 1272. Queen Keran Gospel, 1272.jpg
Leo II and Queen Guerane. Armenian manuscript of Queen Keran gospel, 1272.

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During twenty-one years of marriage Leo had sixteen children by his wife Keran, ten sons and six daughters. Five of his children reached the throne. The eldest, Hethum II of Armenia, abdicated after four years in favor of his younger brother Thoros III of Armenia, but was placed back on the throne in 1294. In 1296, their brother Sempad of Armenia blinded Hetoum and in 1298 he strangled Thoros, in order to seize power. Sempad was then overthrown in 1298 by their younger brother Constantine I of Armenia, who was replaced by older brother Hethum II, who then abdicated in 1305 in favor of Thoros III's son Leo III of Armenia, [1] who was murdered in 1307 with his uncle Hethum II at the hands of the Mongol general Bilarghu, being succeeded by one of the youngest surviving children of Leo and Keran, Oshin of Armenia. Eventually, the inheritance of the Armenian Kingdom was passed to the descendants of Leo and Keran's eldest surviving daughter Isabella of Armenia, wife of Amalric of Lusignan, Prince of Tyre.

  1. Son (b. 15 January 1262/14 January 1263 – d. young).
  2. Constantine (b. June 1265 – d. young).
  3. Fimi [Euphemia] (b. ca. 14 January 1266 – d. young).
  4. Hethum II (b. ca. 13 January 1267 – murdered 7 November 1307), King of Armenia (ruled 1289 to 1293, 1294 to 1297, 1299 to 1307). [5]
  5. Isabella [Zabel] (b. 13 January 1269/12 January 1270 – d. bef. 1273).
  6. Thoros III (b. October 1270 – murdered 23 July 1298), King of Armenia (ruled 1293 to 1298). [5]
  7. Ruben (b. 13 January 1272/12 January 1273 – d. young)
  8. Isabella [Zabel] (b. 12 January 1273/11 January 1274 – d. bef. 1276)
  9. Sempad (b. 12 January 1276/11 January 1277 – d. 1310 or 1311), King of Armenia (ruled 1297 to 1299). [5]
  10. Isabella [Zabel] (b. 12 January 1276/11 January 1277 – murdered May 1323), twin with Sempad; married in 1293 with Amalric of Lusignan, Prince of Tyre, son of King Hugh III of Cyprus. [5]
  11. Constantine I (b. 11 January 1277/10 January 1278 – d. aft. 1308), King of Armenia (ruled 1299). [5]
  12. Rita (b. 11 January 1278/10 January 1279 – July 1333), renamed Maria upon her wedding; married in 1294 with Michael IX Palaeologus, [5] co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father Andronicus II Palaeologus.
  13. Theophanu (b. 11 January 1278/10 January 1279 – d. 1296), twin with Rita; renamed Teodora upon her betrothal; she died en route to marry Theodore, son of John I Doukas, Lord of Thessaly.
  14. Nerses (b. 11 January 1279/10 Jan 1280 – d. 26 May 1301), a priest.
  15. Oshin (b. 10 January 1283/9 January 1284 – murdered 20 July 1320), King of Armenia (ruled 1308 to 1320). [5]
  16. Alinakh (b. 10 January 1283/9 January 1284 – d. 28 August 1310), twin with Oshin; Lord of Lampron and Tarsus.

Ancestry

Notes

  1. 1 2 Cambridge Medieval History, Volume IV, p. 634
  2. Mutafian, p.60
  3. BN Fr 2810, f.7v. Quoted in Mutafian, p.65
  4. Mutafian, p.61
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Runciman 1999, p. Appendix Table 2.

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Smbat was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1296 to 1298. He was the son of Leo II of Armenia and Kyranna de Lampron and was part of the Hetoumid-family.

Constantine I, King of Armenia

Constantine I was briefly king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia from 1298 to 1299. He was the son of Leo II of Armenia and Kyranna de Lampron and was part of the Hetoumid-family.

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The Hethumids, also known as the House of Lampron, were the rulers of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia from 1226 to 1341. Hethum I, the first of the Hethumids, came to power when he married Queen Isabella of Armenia who had inherited the throne from her father.

Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia Former country

The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, also known as Cilician Armenia, Lesser Armenia, or New Armenia and formerly known as the Armenian Principality of Cilicia, was an Armenian state formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia. Located outside the Armenian Highlands and distinct from the Kingdom of Armenia of antiquity, it was centered in the Cilicia region northwest of the Gulf of Alexandretta.

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Princess Isabella, Isabelle or Zabel of Armenia was the daughter of Leo II of Armenia.

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Keran of Lampron was a by-birth member of the House of Lampron and by marriage Queen consort of Armenia.

King Leo, also Leon, Levon, and Lewon may refer to:

Hayton of Corycus

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Sempad the Constable

Sempad the Constable (1208–1276) was a noble in Cilician Armenia, an older brother of King Hetoum I. He was an important figure in Cilicia, acting as a diplomat, judge, and military officer, holding the title of Constable or Sparapet, supreme commander of the Armenian armed forces. He was also a writer and translator, especially known for providing translations of various legal codes, and the creation of an important account of Cilician history, the Chronique du Royaume de Petite Armenie. He organized and fought in multiple battles, such as the Battle of Mari, and was trusted by his brother King Hetoum to be a key negotiator with the Mongol Empire.

Battle of Mari

The Battle of Mari, also called the Disaster of Mari, was a battle between the Mamluks of Egypt and the Armenians of Cilician Armenia on 24 August 1266.

Bilarghu, also Pilargh'ou, was a Mongol general of the ruler Ghazan during the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century.

Margaret of Poitiers-Lusignan (1276–1296) was Queen of Armenia as the first wife of King Thoros III. She was Queen from 1293 until her death, three years later. She had two sons, Leo III, who ruled for four years as king, and Bohemond, whose fate is unknown.

Mongol Armenia

Mongol Armenia or Ilkhanid Armenia refers to the period in which both Armenia and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia became tributary and vassal to the Mongol Empire in the 1230s. Armenia and Cilicia remained under Mongol influence until around 1335.

References

Leo II, King of Armenia
Born:c.1236 Died: 1289
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Hetoum I
King of Armenia
1270–1289
Succeeded by
Hetoum II