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Constantine I, Prince of Armenia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Constantine I
Lord of Cilicia / “Lord of the Mountains”
Lord of Armenian Cilicia
Reign1095 – c. 1100
PredecessorRoupen I
SuccessorThoros I
Monastery of Castalon
SpouseAn unnamed great-granddaughter of Bardas Phokas
IssueThoros I
Leo I
FatherRoupen I

Constantine I or Kostandin I (1035–1040[1] – c. 1100[2]) was the second lord of Armenian Cilicia or “Lord of the Mountains” (1095 – c. 1100). He ruled the greater part of the Taurus Mountain regions, while managing the towns and lands within his domain.[2] He provided ample provisions to the Crusaders, for example during the difficult period of the siege of Antioch in the winter of 1097.[2] He was a passionate adherent of the separated Armenian Church.[3]

Early years

He was the son of Roupen I;[1] his father declared the independence of Cilicia from the Byzantine Empire around 1080.[citation needed] According to the chroniclers Matthew of Edessa and Sempat Sparapet, Constantine is also identified as being either a prince of King Gagik II, or some kind of a military commander in the monarch’s clan in exile.

Upon the murder of King Gagik II, Constantine’s father gathered his family and fled to the Taurus Mountains and took refuge in the fortress of Kopitar (Kosidar) situated north of Sis (today Kozan in Turkey).[4] By 1090, Roupen was not capable of leading his troops, therefore his son Constantine inherited his command and conquered the castle of Vahka.[1] The mastery of this mountain defile made possible the assessment of taxes on merchandise transported from the port of Ayas towards the central part of Asia Minor, a source of wealth to which the Roupenians owed their power.[citation needed]

His rule

After his father’s death in 1095,[1] Constantine extended his power eastward towards the Anti-Taurus Mountains.[3] As an Armenian Christian ruler in the Levant, he helped the forces of the First Crusade maintain the siege of Antioch until it fell to the crusaders.[5] The crusaders, for their part, duly appreciated the aid of their Armenian allies: Constantin was honored with gifts, the title of "marquis", and a knighthood.[2]

The Chronographie of Samuel of Ani records that Constantine died soon after a lightning bolt struck his table in the fortress of Vahka. He was buried in Castalon.[2]

Marriage and children

According to the Chronicle of Aleppo, his wife was descended from Bardas Phokas.


  1. ^ a b c d Ghazarian 2018, p. 47.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ghazarian 2018, p. 49.
  3. ^ a b Runciman 1999, p. 196-197.
  4. ^ Ghazarian 2018, p. 46.
  5. ^ Ghazarian 2018, p. 47, 49.
  6. ^ Morton 2020, p. 86.


  • Ghazarian, Jacob G. (2018). The Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia during the Crusades: The Integration of Cilician Armenians with the Latins (1080–1093). Taylor & Francis.
  • Morton, Nicholas (2020). The Crusader States and Their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187. Oxford University Press.
  • Runciman, Steven (1999). A History of the Crusades: The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. I. Cambridge University Press.

External links

Constantine I, Prince of Armenia
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Roupen I
Lord of Armenian Cilicia
1095– c. 1100/1102/1103
Succeeded by
Thoros I
This page was last edited on 6 May 2021, at 22:54
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