Armenian Knights of Cilicia

Armenian Knights of Cilicia

In the regular Armenian army, knights were mostly nobles. However, individuals with sufficient military training were also recruited into the army, receiving the rank of dziavor (Armenian: horseman), that is, the rank of a knight. Knights in the Armenian army also served as heralds.

Actively involved in organizing palace receptions and celebrations, knighthood was one of the pillars of Cilician kings.

There is an opinion that perhaps there were no Armenian knightly orders in Cilicia since it already had a regular army. However, there is also information that Cilician Armenians have at some point introduced chivalry to their army.

A knight initiation was performed with strictly prescribed rites and at important events – for example, coronations, holidays, victories, palace celebrations, etc.

According to the “Instructions on Chivalry”, which reached us as an original, knights were dedicated to persons from the feudal lord circles who had reached the age of 14.

Armenian knights were dressed in blue clothes with images of a cross and a horseman.

Armenian knighthood had two ranks. The first category included the Ishkhans (Princes), Sparapets, and Marajahts (Marshals). The second category included azats and lower-ranking officials. Interestingly, knights have often been educated as diplomats.

Warriors of Mountain Cilicia.
Reconstruction. Armenian knights in the Battle of Grunwald (1410), on the side of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Reconstruction of the Knights of Cilicia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *