Portrait of Prince Levon by Toros Roslin, 1250.
|King of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia|
|Reign||1269/1270 – 1289|
|Spouse||Keran of Lampron|
| Hethum II |
Isabella of Armenia, Princess of Tyre
Rita, Byzantine Empress
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 /1270 to 1289. He was the son of King Hetoum I and Queen Isabella and was a member of the Hetoumid family.
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.
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,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."
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.
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.
Leo died in 1289 from arsenic, and was succeeded by his son Hetoum II.
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,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.
|Ancestors of Leo II, King of Armenia|
Leo IV or Leon IV was the last Hethumid king of Cilicia, ruling from 1320 until his death. He was the son of Oshin of Armenia and Isabel of Korikos, and came to the throne on the death of his father. His name is sometimes spelled as Leo or Leon.
Hethum I ruled the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia from 1226 to 1270. He was the son of Constantine, Lord of Baberon and Princess Alix Pahlavouni of Lampron and was the founder of the dynasty which bears his name: the Hetoumids. Due to diplomatic relations with the Mongol Empire, Hethum himself traveled to the Mongol court in Karakorum, Mongolia, which was recorded in the famous account The Journey of Haithon, King of Little Armenia, To Mongolia and Back by Hetoum's companion, the Armenian historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi.
Hethum II, also known by several other romanizations, was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1289 to 1293, 1295 to 1296 and 1299 to 1303, while Armenia was a subject state of the Mongol Empire. He abdicated twice in order to take vows in the Franciscan order, while still remaining the power behind the throne as "Grand Baron of Armenia" and later as Regent for his nephew. He was the son of Leo II of Armenia and Kyranna de Lampron, and was part of the Hethumid dynasty, being the grandson of Hethum I, who had originally submitted Cilicia to the Mongols in 1247. He was assassinated with his nephew and successor Leo III by the Mongol general Bilarghu, who himself was later executed for this by the Mongol Ilkhan ruler Öljaitü.
Leo III Armenian: Լեւոն Գ, Levon III) (occasionally numbered Leo IV; was a young king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1303 or 1305 to 1307, along with his uncle Hethum II. A member of the Hethumid dynasty, he was the son of Thoros III of Armenia and Margaret of Lusignan, who was the daughter of King Hugh III of Cyprus.
Thoros III or Toros III was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1293 to 1298. He was the son of Leo II of Armenia and Kyranna de Lampron, and was part of the Hethumid dynasty. In 1293 his brother Hethum II abdicated in his favour; however, Thoros recalled Hethum to the throne in 1295. The two brought their sister Rita of Armenia to Constantinople to marry Michael IX Palaiologos in 1296, but were imprisoned upon their return in Bardzrberd by their brother Sempad, who had usurped the throne in their absence. Thoros was murdered, strangled to death on July 23, 1298 in Bardzrberd by Oshin, Marshal of Armenia, on Sempad's orders.
Oshin was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1307 to 1320. He was a member of the Hetoumid-family, the son of Leo II, King of Armenia and Queen Keran.
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 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.
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.
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.
Isabella, also Isabel was queen regnant of Armenian Cilicia from 1219 until her death.
Princess Isabella, Isabelle or Zabel of Armenia was the daughter of Leo II of Armenia.
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 was a medieval Armenian nobleman, monk and historiographer.
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.
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 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.
Leo II, King of ArmeniaBorn:c. 1236 Died: 1289
| King of Armenia |