Rupen I, Prince of Armenia

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Armenian: Ռուբեն, Հայոց իշխան
Death: 1095 (70)
Place of Burial: Castalon
Immediate Family:

Father of Kostandin I Prince of Armenia and Thoros

Occupation: King of Armenia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rupen I, Prince of Armenia

Fonde un principauté arménienne dans le Taurus, enlève aux Bizantins la forteresse de Partzerpert vers 1080 (R. Grousset)

Founded an Armenian principality in the Taurus, took hold of the Byzantines Fortress Partzerpert around 1080 (R. Grousset),_Prince_of_Armenia

RUPEN ([1025/35]-Kormogolo [1095][354], bur Castalon). Rupen was among the Armenian emigrants who left their Caucasian homeland, following the Seljuk conquest, and settled in Cilicia. He likely served the Byzantine emperor in the eastern themes in a military or administrative capacity[355]. Rupen's parentage is unknown, although Matthew of Edessa states that he was descended from Prince Kakhig[356]. The Chronicle attributed to King Hethum II records that, after the death of Gagik king of the Armenians, in the year [2 Mar 1081/1 Mar 1082] "Ruben his relative" migrated to "the confines of Kositar, thence reaching the village of Kormogolo where he died"[357]. The Lignages d'Outremer record that "Rupin le Grand…un des parents et princes d'Armenie Kakig" arrived "au pays Kawsitar" after the death of Kakig and settled "au village de Gürümze" where he died[358], presumably based on the same original source. The claims in these primary sources of a family relationship with the kings of the Bagratid dynasty are implausible. It is felt that, if such a connection had existed, the sources would have given specific details, given the otherwise reasonably complete genealogies which can be reconstructed from the information which they contain. The editor of the Recueil des historiens des croisades places "Kormogolo" (Gorozomol) in the plateau of the Cilician Taurus mountains in the part "appelée aujourd'hui Zeïtoun"[359]. Kirakos Ganjaketsi's History of Armenia recounts a presumably legendary story how the "forbear of King Lewon", who had been with "his relative King Gagik" as a young boy when the king was murdered, captured "a fortress…Bardzrberd" by surprise, in vengeance for the death of the king[360]. m ---. The name of Rupen's wife is not known. Rupen & his wife had [two] children:

  • 1. KOSTANDIN ([1050/55][361]-[24 Feb 1102/23 Feb 1103], bur Castalon). Matthew of Edessa names "le grand chef arménien Constantin, fils de Roupen" who occupied "le mont Taurus dans la contrée de Gobidar, qui dépend du district de Maraba", commenting that Constantin "était sorti des rangs de l'armée de Kakig"[362]. The same source confirms that he served in the army of Prince Gaghik, son of Ashot[363], although this may have been to emphasise the regime's continuity with the old Armenian dynasty rather than on the basis of historical fact. The Chronicle attributed to King Hethum II records that, after the death of Rupen, "his son Kostandin took Vahka" in the year [Feb 1090/Feb 1091] and "was the first to rule over the Armenian people in Cilicia"[364]. The Lignages d'Outremer record that Kostandin son of "Rupin le Grand" captured "Vahka" and the surrounding mountainous area[365]. Lord of Vaghka and Partzerpert[366]. The fortress of Vaghka is located on the Göksü River[367]. Smbat Sparapet's Chronicle records that "Kostadin, Ruben's son, and the prince of Edessa Toros" invited the crusading army to expel the invaders from Cilicia in [1097][368]. Matthew of Edessa records that Kostandin and his fellow Armenian princes, Pazuni and Oshin, sent provisions to the Frankish crusading armies in 1097/98[369]. The Armenians took advantage of the collapse of Turkish power in Cilicia to expand their sphere of influence, after the capture of Tarsus, Adana, and Mamistra in Sep 1097 by Tancred (nephew of Bohémond Duke of Apulia)[370]. Kostandin established his capital at Sis. Matthew of Edessa records the death of "le grand prince arménien Constantin, fils de Roupen" in the year [25 Feb 1099/24 Feb 1100], stating that he had been one of the army chiefs of "Kakig, le Bagratide, fils d'Aschod" and was buried "dans le couvent de Gasdaghon"[371]. The Chronographie of Samuel d'Ani records that "Constantin fils de Roupen" died soon after a lightning bolt struck his table in the fortress of Vaghka, dated from the context to [1100/1104][372]. The Chronicle attributed to King Hethum II records that "Kostandin paron of the Armenians" died in [24 Feb 1102/23 Feb 1103] and was succeeded by "his senior son Toros"[373]. The Lignages d'Outremer record that Kostandin was buried at "Kastaravn"[374]. m --- [Phokas], daughter of ---. The wife of Kostandin was "descended from Bardas Phokas", according to the Chronicle of Aleppo[375], although the precise relationship is unknown. From a chronological point of view, it is more likely that she was the great-granddaughter of Bardas Phokas, assuming that the relationship with him is factually correct. Kostandin & his wife had three children:
    • a) THOROS (-[17 Feb 1129/16 Feb 1130], bur Trazarg). ...
      • i) KOSTANDIN (-murdered 1129 after 17 Feb, bur Trazarg). ...
      • ii) [OSHIN .
    • b) --- (-before 1118). ... She was known as BEATRICE after her marriage, but her Armenian name is not known. m ([1100/04]) as his first wife, JOSCELIN de Courtenay Lord of Turbessel, son of JOSCELIN Seigneur de Courtenay & [his second wife Elisabeth de Montlhéry] (after 1065-1131). Prince of Galilee 1112-1118. ...
    • c) LEWON (-Constantinople 14 Feb 1140). Matthew of Edessa names "Thoros et Léon" as the two sons of "le grand prince arménien Constantin, fils de Roupen"[392]. The Lignages d'Outremer name "Thoros et Leon" as the two sons of Kostand[393]. He succeeded his nephew in 1129 as LEWON I Lord of the Mountains. - see below.
  • 2. [THOROS (-after 1104). According to Rüdt-Collenberg[394], Thoros was the brother of Kostandin Lord of Vaghka and Partzerpert, and also father of Arda who married Baudouin de Boulogne Count of Edessa (later Baudouin I King of Jerusalem). It is not known what evidence this claim is based on but it should be treated with caution. There appears to be confusion between three individuals: (1) Thoros Governor of Edessa, who adopted Baudouin de Boulogne (see below, Chapter 5.B.); (2) Thatoul Governor of Marash; and (3) Taphnuz or Tafroc, who was the father of Arda, although (2) and (3) may have been the same person, see below, Chapter 5.C. None of the primary sources so far consulted mention that Kostandin had a brother named Thoros.]

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Rupen I, Prince of Armenia's Timeline

Age 25
Age 70