Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia

Armenian Kingdom of CiliciaCilicia = ”k – i -Ii – k – i-a = half people (near) water, half people on land (mounts)”• Cilicia was a big Armenian state (Kingdom) from about 22 millennium BC until I century BC and then from XI until XIV centuries AD (1080 – 1375 AD). The mountain regions of Cilicia were the Armenian
160 territories until the end of XVIII century AD [64, p. 28], when the genocide of Armennians in Turkey began.

Ciliciais on the NE bank of Mediterranean Sea including Cyprus Island. Ciliciais around Armenian Bay in NE of Mediterranean Sea and lies to the North from sea up to Kappadokia, and to the West till half of Asia Minor, Le. almost to the longitude 30oE.

The natural conditions of Cilicia divide the country into two parts: Mountain Cilicia, where from the West to the East goes the mount ridge Armenian Tauros, and the Plane Cilicia, laying along seaboard.

The warm climate and other natural conditions are advantageous for development of people’s culture and economic structures. For irrigation the mountain rivers Pirram, Sar, Kidn (Tars) and Kallikkadn were used. Transit to Ciliciais possible only through some mountain gates as Cilician Gate (Fig. 79) and Syrian Gate.

These gates and other places were secured by castles: Lambron, Vakha, Korrikos, Levonkla, Kapan, Berdous, Annazarba, Romkla. The capital town of Ciliciais Sis, where until now is the Armenian Patriarch, Catholicos of Cilicia.

Other old and big towns are: Tars, Annazarba, Hajen, Drazzark, Kappan, Zeytoun (Ulnia), Berdus, Marrash, Skevvera, Mousaller and others. The ports-towns are: Hayas and Aleksandretta (in Armenian Bay), Addana (on river Sar), Korikkos, Selleukia, Kolonop (on the bank of the sea).

Ciliciawas a great marine country. Cilicians, using growing here the best wood-material, built big (even up to five decks) marine ships and together with Phoenicians (another Armenian great marine country) they sailed across seas and oceans to the far ”terra incognitas”, up to America at old time.

Now some of their big ships were found in Egypt (Giza, Alexandria, into the sand). Some Cilician (old Armennian) beautiful songs came to us. I shall just say about two of them: “Cilicia” and “Captain”. In song “Cilicia” author tells about the beautiful Armenian country Cilicia, the country, which gave him the Sun (means life).

Being out of the country and homesick, he wants to return and to see Ciliciaagain. The song “Captain” (Nav-a-var – ship leader) is about the captain of fisher-ship, who is a bold man going to the sea in front of the storm and being not afraid, because he was born on seaboard and all his life spent in sea as his father and brothers.

Cilicians were Armennians and used, of course, Armenian language and Armenian Alphabet” when it arose”, The same were Phoenicians. So the opinion of M. Rimshneider [61] that Greeks adopted Phoenician Alphabet from Cilicia(See PART 2) is fully right, because Ciliciais closer to Greece than Phoenicia.

Archaeological excavations are almost not done in Cilicia, so about old time history we have not real information. For belated period all kings of two Armenian Cilicia Dynasties: Roubinnians (1080-1225 AD) and Hetoumians (1226-1875 AD) are known (see Table of Armenian Kings). The last Cilician king, Levvon VI (1374-1375 AD) died in 1393 AD in Paris and was buried in Saint-Denis Basilica (Tomb N55).

An extract from the book “Armenians and Ancient Armenia” by Paris Herouni

Fortress Korrikas
Fortress Lambron
Fortress Levonkla

Panorama of the Armenian Taurus


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