Smbat Sparapet's


[100] In the year 656 A.E. [1207] the counts of Venice and Flandre [Baudouin IX de Flandre] came to Constantinople and took the city from the Byzantines. They destroyed and caused everyone to flee, and thereafter the kingship of the Byzantines was removed from Constantinople. In the same year King Lewon, because of some problems, seized the sebastius Henri and his sons Kostants' Kumartias, Joscelin, and Baudoin and put them into prison in fetters. Henri was the son-in-law of Lord Yohane's, kat'oghikos of the Armenians. Thereafter there was discord between King Lewon and the kat'oghikos, Lord Yohane's. The hatred between them grew so great that the king completely repudiated [Yohane's], and the leaders and princes of Cilicia designated the archbishop of Mamistra and prelate of Ark'akaghni, Lord Dawit', as kat'oghikos of the Armenians in opposition to him. Lord Yohane's remained in Hor'omklay like a refugee but he was sustained by his bravery and wisdom. He resisted through many clandestine and open actions against him. Now Sultan Xosrov-Shah, Kilij-Arslan's son, ruled over the land of the Romans as monarch and began to menace King Lewon. Through the encouragement and collaboration of Lord Yohane's, [Xosrov-Shah] came with many troops against Berdus which he battled against and captured. He seized its lord, Grigor, Lewon's son, and thereafter Berdus was no longer under Armenian authority. This happened in the year 657 A.E. [1208] [g215].

When Constantinople was taken by the Roman troops and the princes had been put to flight, a certain Byzantine became powerful and, ruling on this [eastern] side of Constantinople, he seized Nicaea, Philadelphia, Pega, Adramyttion, Ephesus, and Smyrna as well as the fortresses and cities near them. This man, called Lascari, was courageous and warlike and he ruled over them. He bordered on [the territory of] Sultan Xosrov-Shah. Due to friction between them, they went to war in the district of Xonas. The sultan was slain by Lascari's forces. Then his son, 'Izz ad-din Kaykaus (Aze"tin Gagayuz), ruled in his stead. This occurred in 658 A.E. [1209].

[101] In this period King Lewon, at the urging of his mother, Rita, displayed to all those obedient to him, the grandees and the common folk, his [chosen] heir apparent to his kingdom, Ruben, the son of the daughter of his brother Ruben. For he had reached old age and was feeble due to the pain he experienced in hand and foot, [an aliment] called "the disease of kings." Furthermore, he had no male heir. Consequently, once, twice, three and more times he made all those under his sway pledge their support to the lad Ruben following his own death. He seized prince Gorg, Mleh's illegitimate son, and had him blinded, for [Gorg] was a contentious man, very brave in military affairs who kept a splendid table; and there were many who cleaved to him and liked him [g216]. Thus the king was suspicious of him, that he would go against his [plans for the] inheritance, awaiting an opportune moment. And this [neutralizing of Gorg] happened because of the slander of certain people. In the same year the king started an extended war against Antioch, and he devasted all the villages, destroying not people, but their vineyards and orchards. And he did this for many months on end, demanding the patrimony of the lad Ruben through law and warfare. But he was unable to force the one-eyed count [of Antioch] into compliance. So he harassed Antioch greatly, for the entire year without any letup.

When the year 658 A.E. [1210] had arrived King Lewon sent Het'um, lord of Lambron, who was called Henri and who had become lord of Drazark, to the Pope of Rome and to the emperor of the Germans. [Lewon] requested a crown for his "son" Ruben, and [Het'um] returned in honor, bringing the crown. During this period King Lewon went to the island of Cyprus and took for a wife the sister of the island's king [a woman] who did not share the same father [as her sister]. She was named Sybil, a wise, modest and God-fearing woman. He also took the sister of his queen, who did not have the same father, for the lad Ruben and brought her here, held the weddings, and remained in joy.

In the year 660 A.E. [1211] Lord Dawit', the kat'oghikos, reposed in Christ. In the same year Het'um, the abbot of Drazark, went to Lord Yohane's, the kat'oghikos in the citadel, and was able to reconcile the patriarch and the king. Simultaneously he freed the son of Henri, Joscelin, and Baudoin [g217] though the other one had died. In the same year Tughril-Shah, lord of Karin city, moved against the city of Caesarea with a multitude of troops at the instigation of King Lewon who had gone there with his troops to assist him. Together they made war against [Tughril-Shah's] brother's son, K'ayk'auz. After remaining there for some days, they each returned to their homes, unable to capture it. In this year the great prince Zak'ari (Zak'are') [Zak'arean/Mxargrdzeli] died. He was the lord of Ani and the brother of Iwane' (Ewane'), and the sparapet of the Georgian queen Thamar [T'amar, 1184-1212], daughter of King George (Gorge') [George III, 1156-1184], who was the king of the House of the Georgians during the time of King Lewon. [Thamar] had died the previous year [i.e., in 1210] and so, in this period, the kingship was held by her son who was called Lasha [George IV, the Resplendent, 1212-1223].

[102] When the year 661 A.E. [1212] had arrived, complete harmony was established between King Lewon and the kat'oghikos, Lord Yohane's, and [Lewon] returned all the villages and properties which he had taken from the kat'oghikos. And they rejoiced, both near and far.

In the year 663 A.E. [1213] King Lewon gave his daughter, Rita [also known as Stephanie/Estéphémie], [in marriage] to the king of Jerusalem, Jean de Brienne (E"r'e'chuan). This man was of gigantic size, completely pious, and a valiant fighter who was courageous in battle. And the magister of the Hospitallers (maystr'n Ospe't'lun) came to Antioch by boat, to the delta at Tarsus, where the King and the magister finalized the terms of the marriage [g218]. Then they took [the bethrothed] to Acre, where they were married.

In the year 665 A.E. [1216] on the 14th of February, on Candlemasday, King Lewon took Antioch through skill and wisdom. For previously he had been unable to bring it to accept him through extensive warfare. But now, by giving generous gifts and making promises, he was able to convince some of the princes, and they opened the gates for him at night. [Lewon] entered with many troops, seized the gates and all the guard towers about it, and stationed the multitude of soldiers throughout the city streets, without the knowledge of the city's inhabitants. When morning dawned [the residents] saw that the city full of troops, and they were dumbfounded. No one was harmed and nothing was stolen. On the contrary, the patriarch and all the grandees took King Lewon and Ruben to the Church of St. Peter where the patriarch ordained Ruben as prince of Antioch. And everyone swore obedience to him as though he were their native lord. Those who were [holed up] in the citadel held out for a few days and then they also surrendered and came to do obeisance to Prince Ruben. Now when King Lewon had achieved these things, he was ecstatic at his divinely-appointed success, for those who previously had served [only] themselves [Lewon] placed under his own authority. He also was delighted with Ruben, since he was a handsome lad, tall, and with fair hair that resembled gold thread. He was an admirable horseman [g219], with a royal bearing, respectful and personally pure. In this period King Lewon had a daughter who was named Zape'l. Thereafter he thought to make his daughter the heir of his kingdom, and his princes similarly advised him to do so, saying: "When the Lord God grants you a child, make it your heir, and we shall dissolve the compact which we made with Ruben and establish one with your daughter, and we shall serve her as though she were a man. What you have done for Ruben is sufficient, since you have established him on the throne of their [Rubenid] patrimony. The king agreed with the words of his princes. [103] In this period [crusaders] came to Acre by boat, [including] the duke of the Germans, Duc d'Autriche (To'str'ich) [Léopold VI], with many troops and with him the king of Hungary, André [II] with few troops. The duke of Austria, and Jean de Brienne, king of Jerusalem, and the Maitre du Temple, de l'Hopital, Couvent and the legate of Rome [Pélage, Cardinal d'Albano], all went to Egypt. They reached Damietta where a very fortified tower had been constructed over the harbor bound up with an unbreakable chain. They were unable to land for many days until [g220] they stacked up boats, came near the wall and barely were able to take the tower, suffering great losses. Then they got on to dry land and constructed a bridge over the river and crossing over on that were able to besiege the city on all sides. The sultan of Egypt, Malik al-Kamil (Yetl), Saladin's brother, and sons, It...em...n [letters missing] and Ashraf, came and encamped opposite them, but were in no way able to aid the city or to intimidate the Christian forces. Now when the Christian troops arose from Acre and wanted to go to Egypt, the Hungarian king turned around and went home, coming [first] to the land of Cilicia. King Lewon received him with great honor and took him to Tarsus, displaying much affection toward him. Then they strengthened those bonds of friendship by establishing marriage relations with each other['s families]. [The Hungarian king] gave his son as a son-in-law to King Lewon and [this son] would inherit [Lewon's] throne. They confirmed this in writing and with an oath. King Lewon sent his chamberlain (jambr'layn), Joscelin, lord of Hasan Tell, along with the king of the Hungarians to see about his son. Previously he had also made marriage relations with Emperor Lascari and gave to him as a wife Philippa, the daughter of his brother, Ruben. Now when Sultan K'ayk'auz of Iconium took Antioch, there was discord between them. He came with many troops against Kapan and harassed it, but was not able to take it. However, through the power of the devil, they seized the constable of the Armenians, Kostandin, son of Het'um, and Kyr Sahak (Ker'sak), lord of Maghvay and other [g221] princes along with them, and returned to their own place.

In the year 668 A.E. [1219] King Lewon gave the fortresses of Lulua and Lo'zat and freed the captured princes. In the same year the kat'oghikos, Lord Yohane's, came to King Lewon and he gave Hor'omklay to him, since he was being harassed by the infidels. And the king gave him Drazark, since Henri had previously died.

While it was the year 668 A.E. [1219], King Lewon grew ill and died of that illness. But while he was still alive, his princes came to him together with Lord Yohane's, the kat'oghikos. When he realized that he was departing this world, he ordered that he be taken from Sis and taken on the road to Akner, which he himself had constructed, so that when he died he would be buried there. While on he road, he summoned all of them and counseled them to remain unshakable in their love for each other, and brave in the defense of the land, and to keep unblemished faith with his young daughter, Zape'l, whom he had left as the heir of his lordship. [104] He also appointed as tutor of his young daughter the great prince Sir Adam (Siratan), who was lord of many fortresses and districts from Selewia to [the area] close to Kalo'no'ro's, which to this day is called after his name, the land of Sir Adam. His rank was seneschal (seneskal) of the Armenians, and to him did the king entrust his daughter, together with others [including] the patriarch Yohane's, and all the princes [g222], and he counseled them. Having reached the village of Mrvan, he halted there, since his body had weakened from pain. Present there was a virtuous vardapet, Grigor, who was also called Skewr'ats'i, who administered the final holy communion [to the king]. And, as we mentioned earlier, the son of the Hungarian king was in the vicinity and came to become [Lewon's] son-in-law, and [Lewon] ordered his princes to implement the oaths they had sworn to him and to wed his daughter, Zape'l, with the son of the king [of Hungary] who had arrived there, and to immediately rule as king over them. Then [Lewon's] spirit began to depart from this world of care, and he concerned himself with what was [spiritually] proper, and [the matter of] burying his body in the blessed congregation of Akner. He summoned the blessed vardapet Grigor and confessed his sins and professed the orthodox faith, and took communion from the hands of the blessed vardapet, thanking God. This happened on May 1st. Then there was contention as to where the body should be buried, for the kat'oghikos, Lord Yohane's, insisted that the body should be taken to Drazark, and the princes [insisted on] Akner, which [Lewon] himself had insisted on. When he was translated to Christ with a goodly confession, they resolved [the issue] as follows: his entrails would be removed and buried at Akner and his body would be taken to Sis and placed in his tomb in the church. May the lord God have mercy on him and forgive his sins.

In the year 660 A.E. [1220] the princes who were in Cilicia, Armenians and Greeks, paron Vahram and others at Tarsus, some 5,000 men, came against the bailli (payloyn) of the Armenians, paron Kostandin, in rebellion. Meanwhile the bailli of the Armenians was in Sis with very few troops. And when news of their coming to [g223] Mamistra reached him, the bailli of the Armenians went toward them with 300 men. When he reached Mamistra and did not find that they had arrived, he arose and went along the road to Adana and encountered them between Adana and Mamistra. Observing their great multitude, he encouraged and exhorted his few troops. When they reached a place where there was a small bridge, they attacked and put them to flight, pursuing as far as Tarsus. They put no one to death, rather they took their horses, weapons, and clothes and released them with nothing. Now the princes of Tarsus went and entered the city, closed the gates, and mounted the ramparts where they warred against those who had expelled them. A certain man from the city, named Vasil, was an informer for the bailli who had promised him whatever he wanted. In the evening he opened the gates and the bailli and his troops entered the city, looting the Greeks' property. Now those princes fled the city and took refuge in the citadel which was beautiful and impregnably fortified. The wise Kostandin, bailli of the Armenians, convinced them with his words [to surrender] without a fight. He arrested them and put them into prison. There were those among them that he freed, and those who died there. In the same year the kat'oghikos, Lord Yohane's, reposed in Christ and was buried at Drazark. Then the bishops and vardapets assembled and deliberated to select a new kat'oghikos of the Armenians. Now it happened that the princes were divided since there was no king whose choice they could implement. The bailli, paron Kostandin, wanted Lord Kostandin Bardzrberdts'i [for kat'oghikos] while paron Kostandin Lambrunts'i wanted vardapet Grigor Skewr'ats'i. God who always heeded [the wishes of] Kostandin, bailli of the Armenians, at this time also [g224] listened, and so they enthroned Lord Kostandin Bardzrberdts'i as kat'oghikos of the Armenians [Kostandin I Bardzrberdts'i, 1221-1267].

[105] In the year 671 A.E. [1222] they took Phillip, son of the count of Tripoli and prince of Antioch, gave him as a wife King Lewon's daughter, Zape'l, and made him king of the House of the Armenians. [This was] because the son of the king of Hungary had not come when he heard about the death of King Lewon. As soon as Phillip had become king, he became tyrannical toward the Armenian princes, loathing them, and, gathering up the the belongings of King Lewon, insulted him and gradually started taking [Lewon's accumulated] wealth to Antioch. Now the Armenian princes did not stand for such things. Consequently, they seized [Phillip] and incarcerated him, and there was great contention between them and the Antiochenes, until [Phillip] was eliminated. And then there was peace.

In the year 675 A.E. [1226] the Armenian princes, together with the kat'oghikos, Lord Kostand, assembled and enthroned Het'um, son of Kostandin, bailli of the Armenians, and also gave him [as a wife] Zape'l, King Lewon's daughter. Thereafter there was peace in the House of the Armenians, and year by year they strived for the heights.

In the year 678 A.E. [1229] the emperor of the Germans [Frederic II] crossed over the sea and went to Jerusalem, which he took from the infidels. And he exterminated them [g225].


A. Remember to Christ and say 'God have mercy.' I am Simion vardapet Aparants'i, the one who wrote this document.

B. Every man who understands his life should quickly confess and turn from his sins.

[106] In these days diabolical anger moved Queen Zape'l who wanted to go to see her mother at the Hopitaller fortress in Selewkia. She left [the king] and [this] caused discord with the king and all the Armenians. Paron Kostandin assembled the cavalry and went [after her], and encamped opposite Selewkia's Hospitaller monastery which paid a good deal to Selewkia and was frightened of Sultan 'Izz ad-Din. He wanted to give up the fortress with the queen and establish friendship with the Armenians. The Freres replied in this fashion: "King Lewon gave this fortress to us. We cannot say to his own daughter, 'Get up and leave the fortress.' So we will depart, then you take the fortress and her." In this way did they capture Selewkia and the queen.

In this period the sultan of Aleppo came with much cavalry against Baghras, but was unable to take it. In the same year Queen Zape'l gave birth to her first-born son, Lewon.

In these days a Mongol (T'at'ar) [commander] entered Rum. The sultan's mother took her daughter and fled to Cilicia. The Mongol sent to King Het'um [ordering him] to give up the fugitives. "Otherwise," he said [g226] "all the friendship you established with us will be [proven] false." They were frightened lest the Mongols pour into the country, and so they gave [them the fugitives]. Sultan K'ay Xosrov-Shah and all the Tachiks were enraged, and so [the sultan] assembled his cavalry and, under the leadership of paron Kostandin, of Lambron, entered [Cilicia] at a place down the mountain from Papar'on, burning everything. The king's father, paron Kostandin, and Constable Smbat went and entered Tarsus, while the king and his cavalry were at Adana. The Turks besieged Tarsus, descended beyond the river's mouth and enslaved the entire country, remaining for six days. Then they arose and went through the pass at Kukla. The king pursued with his cavalry, as did the king's father and Constable Smbat. They caught up [with the Saljuqs] at a place called Maytsar' and were able to retrieve countless numbers [of captives]. We were there and touched God['s mercy] and were able to descend to Putande with the wounded.

[107] After one year, in the year 695 A.E. [1246], [the Saljuqs] held many musters and two hundred sixty thousand of them came and entered [Cilicia] through the pass at Kuklka. They all surrounded Tarsus, while the king's father and Constable Smbat entered it. Were we to write about all the harassment from bombs and fighting, it would be quite an extensive account. Some [of the enemy] went into the water [of the moat?] and demolished a section of the wall. Many died on both sides but [the enemy] lost a hundred times more, since we had good Frankish warriors (?ch'arxawork') with us inside.

Then an emissary came from the Mongols for him to leave off [the siege] and depart. But he would not listen, for they had taken the city. That city, which God had often preserved for the Christians, again was spared. Sultan Ghiyath ad-Din (Xita' Atin) sat nearby in his fortress at Kalonor'os, doing nothing but drinking, and he died. The emirs were encamped over Tarsus when they heard [about the death], and so they entered into negotiations with the king. They wanted Prakana and if they received it [g227], they would go home in friendship. Thus the king surrendered it so that they would arise and go. We did not [then] know about the sultan's death, for we were being harassed. But after two years we stole back Pr'akana. Through the will of God, no one dared to flee. Not a drop of rain had fallen, but when friendship had been established, it rained for twenty days and nights without cease. And the entire land turned into one big sea. At that point, when more than one hundred thousand men arose, they were trampled and died and also perished by drowning. We burned many of the detestable [soldiers] since there was no oath. (?)

In the year 697 A.E. [1248] I, Constable Smbat, went to the T'at'ars and in the year 699 A.E. [1250] I returned to my brother, King Het'um [g228].


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