С.П. Брюн. Факторы идентичности и конфликты самоопределения в войнах Антиохии и Армении

С.П. Брюн. Факторы идентичности и конфликты самоопределения в войнах Антиохии и Армении // Исторический вестник. 2020. Т. ХXХI. С. 102—133.

S.P. Brun. Factors and Conflicts of Identity in the Antioch-Armenia Wars [Faktory identichnosti i konflikty samoopredeleniya v vojnah Antiohii i Armenii]. Istoricheskij vestnik / Historical Reporter. Vol. 31. 2020. P. 102—133.

Ключевые слова: Антиохийское княжество, Киликийская Армения, Левон I Рубенид, Боэмунд IV, Рубениды, Хетумиды, Антиохийский Патриархат, графство Триполи, Алеппский эмират.

Key words: Principality of Antioch, Cilician Armenia, Leo I Roupenid, Bohemond IV, Roupenides, Hethumides, Patriarchate of Antioch, County of Tripoli, the Emirate of Aleppo.


The article examines a series of factors, connected to the Antioch-Armenia wars, in other words — the cycle of military conflicts between the Crusader Principality of Antioch and the Kingdom of Armenia. This cycle of wars, which raged — with brief interludes — between 1185 and 1226, bled-dry the Christian states of the northern Levant, and can be rightfully called one of the most intense and complex conflicts of the Crusades. There were two motives for the continuing wars: the ambition of the Princes of Antioch to reclaim their rule over the longlost Cilician Plain, and the opposing desire of the far stronger ruler — the Armenian “Lord of the Mountains” and later on — the King of Armenia — to assert his authority over Antioch.

The cycle of the Antioch-Armenia wars divided the inhabitants of Cilicia and northern Syria in the most paradoxical ways. The “Crusader” ruler of the Principality of Antioch and the County of Tripoli — Bohemond IV — completely ignored the demands and interdicts of the Roman pontiff, literally murdered (or rather — ‘condemned’ to slow and painful death) the Latin Patriarch, restored a Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Antioch (from which — for about 2 years — he and his nobles accepted the sacraments), along with the Muslim rulers of Syria and Anatolia he continuously raided the Christian lands and settlements of the Kingdom of Armenia… Nevertheless, this excommunicated ruler was supported not only by the Latin population (including a significant part of the nobility) of Syria, but also by the Knights Templar.

Bohemond IV’s main rival — King Leo (Levon) I the Great — proved to be an equally complex statesmen, willing to renounce the religious and social ties traditional for the medieval world in order to secure the desired political alliances and to promulgate his own aims. To secure the recognition of his state and regnal title he forced the Armenian Church to accept the Union with Rome (even though the Armenians did have a plethora of the Union’s proponents, including the great theologian — the Armenian Archbishop of Tarsus St. Nerses of Lampron). In his war for Antioch he secured the support of the Knights Hospitaliers and a major part of the Frankish nobility of Antioch. Yet he proved equally acute to the ethno-religious balance in Antioch: if initially (in 1193) he tried to take Antioch used the forces of the fervent Armenian Miaphysite Hethum of Sasoun, later on the first Rex Armeniae entrusted the war for with the predominantly Greek Orthodox city and Principality to a Chalcedonian Armenian (Greek Orthodox) baron — Adam of Baghras.In his attempts to secure the sympathies of northern Syria’s population, King Leo I welcomed the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in his kingdom and handed over to him a significant part of ecclesiastic properties, confiscated from the Latin Church. This step, naturally, ensured a papal excommunication for the newly-enthroned ‘Catholic’ king. But even after a formal excommunication from the Roman Church, Leo I continued to enjoy the support of two Catholic military orders — the Hospitaliers and the Teutonic Knights. Also, this monarch — whom later-day Armenian historiography viewed as a hero of Armenian nationalism — left his kingdom to a regent who was an adherent of the “Greek faith”, and a suitor for his young daughter — whom — in any scenario would be a Latin.

Obviously, the article examines not only the motivation of the heads of state, but also of social, regional and ethno-religious communities that made this series of wars and a radical deconstruction of medieval norms and alliances possible.

The author also examines the traditional chronology of this war cycle, especially the campaigns of the so-called War for the Antiochian Succession.


Статья рассматривает ряд определяющих факторов, связанных с войнами Антиохии-Армении, т.е. с циклом военных столкновений между княжеством Антиохийским и королевством Армения. Этот цикл войн, протекавших с небольшими перерывами в период между 1185 и 1226 годами, обескровил христианские государства северного Леванта, и по праву может считаться одним из наиболее интенсивных и сложных конфликтов эпохи крестовых походов. Исходными факторами в продолжающихся конфликтах служило стремление франкских князей Антиохии восстановить свое господство над давно утраченными территориями Киликийской Равнины и прямо противоречившее этому стремление гораздо более сильной стороны – армянского «властителя гор», а позднее первого короля Армении – к утверждению своего господства над Антиохией.
Цикл войн Антиохии-Армении самым парадоксальным образом разделил жителей Киликии и северной Сирии.


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Брюн Сергей Павлович сотрудник Музеев Московского Кремля.

Sergei P. Brun — Staff member at the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

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