Thoros II, Prince of Armenia

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Thoros II, Prince of Armenia

Also Known As: "Thoros II Lord of the Mountains"
Death: February 6, 1169
Immediate Family:

Son of Leo I Prince of Armenia
Husband of Isabelle de Courtenay
Father of Rita of Armenia
Brother of Stephen of Armenia; Mleh I of Cilicia; Roupen Ruben of Cilicia; Unknown wife of Frankish Knight of Antioch mother of Thomas Regent of Cilicia; Unknown wife of Vasil Dgha and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
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About Thoros II, Prince of Armenia

Toros II the Great (Armenian: Թորոս Բ), also Thoros II, (unknown – February 6, 1169) was the sixth lord of Armenian Cilicia or “Lord of the Mountains” (1144/1145-1169).

Thoros (together with his father, Leo I and his brother, Roupen) was taken captive and imprisoned in Constantinople in 1137 after the Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus, during his campaign against Cilicia and the Principality of Antioch, successfully had laid siege to Gaban and Vahka (today Feke in Turkey). All Cilicia remained under Byzantine rule for eight years.

Unlike his father and brother, Thoros survived his incarceration in Constantinople and was able to escape in 1143. Whatever the conditions in which Thoros entered Cilicia, he found it occupied by many Greek garrisons. He rallied around him the Armenians in the eastern parts of Cilicia and after a persistent and relentless pursuit of the Greeks, he successfully ousted the Byzantine garrisons from Pardzerpert (now Andırın in Turkey), Vahka, Sis (today Kozan in Turkey), Anazarbus, Adana, Mamistra and eventually Tarsus. His victories were aided by the lack of Muslim attacks in Cilicia and from the setbacks the Greeks and the Crusaders suffered on the heels of the loss of Edessa.

Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, unhappy with Thoros’s progress in the areas still claimed by the Byzantine Empire, sought peaceful means to settle his conflict with Thoros, but his attempts bore him no fruits. The recovery before 1150 of the Taurus fortresses by Thoros had not seriously affected Greek power, but his conquest of Mamistra in 1151 and the rest of Cilicia in 1152 had necessitated a great expedition. As a result, during the course of the next 20 years there were no less than three separate military campaigns launched by the emperor against Thoros, but each campaign was only able to produce a limited success.

Thoros’s accomplishments during his reign placed Armenian Cilicia on a firm footing.

Thoros was of a tall figure and of a strong mind: his compassion was universal; like the light of the sun he shone by his good works, and flourished by his faith; he was the shield of truth and the crown of righteousness; he was well versed in the Holy Scriptures and in the profane sciences. It is said that he was of such profound understanding, as to be able to explain the difficult expressions of the prophets – his explanations even still exist.

—Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor

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Thoros II, Prince of Armenia's Timeline

February 6, 1169