Smbat Sparapet's

Chronicle


[72] In the year 575 A.E. [1126] Bohemond, son of Bohemond, came to Jerusalem with numerous troops from [the land of] the Franks. He married the daughter of its king who promised that following his own death, the kingdom would be given to [Bohemond]. [The king of Jerusalem] gave him Antioch and the land of the Cilicians. Then Bohemond got all the Frankish peoples to submit to him. He was a youth of only twenty years, tall, attractive, blond, and brave-hearted; and quite a large number of folk had followed him from the Frankish lands [to the Near East]. Thus did Bohemond become the prince of Antioch.

In the year 576 A.E. [1127] the blessed vardapet Kiwrakos passed to Christ. He had been with [the vardapet] Meghrik and the two of them had assembled ranks of monks at Drazark [g158] and had initiated the rennovation of the blessed congregation. They were both buried there.

In the year 588 A.E. [1128] the Persian aspasalar, Emir Zengi, son of Aksungur [al-Bursuki] who previously held Aleppo, came with many troops and descended into the territories of Edessa. He established friendship with Joscelin, count of Edessa, and also sought friendship with Bohemond. Then he took his troops and went to Damascus. In that year Tughtigin, lord of Damascus, died and his son ruled the city. In that same year the Persian sultan Mahmud, the son of Tap'ar, died. He had held Gandzak.

In the year 578 A.E. [1129] T'oros, son of Kostandin, died and his brother Lewon held his principality.

In the year 581 A.E. [1132] Lewon, son of Kostandin, took the Cilician cities of Mamistra, Adana, and Tarsus. The Frankish people attacked him. By their wicked behavior they devoted themselves to wrecking the country.

In the year 582 A.E. [1133] the Armenians took Egypt one day before the eight day feast of Christmas (?)

In the year 584 A.E. [1135] Ruben's son, Lewon [g159], took the fortress of Sarvantikar causing great discord between Lewon and the Franks. Lewon and his sister's son were on one side while the king and the Antiochene cavalry were on the other, together with other impious [folk]. They ruined the land and captured Christians in incalculable numbers.

[73] In the year 585 A.E. [1136] Baudoin, lord of Marash, routed Ruben's son, Lewon, and three months later Bohemond, lord of Antioch, seized Lewon. Then Lewon's sons turned against each other and, seizing their brilliant brother Kostandin, blinded him. Bohemond, after two months, took Lewon's sons as hostages, plus 60,000 dahekans, plus [the cities of] Mamistra, Adana, Sarvantikar, and then he released Lewon to return to his home. In the same year the Byzantine emperor Porphyrogenitus [John Comnenus] arose and took Xalich, Anazarb, Vahka, Amayk' Tsaxut, and many of their other fortresses. He also took the wife, sons, and daughters of Lewon. Lewon himself came to the emperor and was sent to Constantinople in fetters along with his family and the icon of the Mother of God. The emperor [g160] came to Cilicia in person for a year and six months, going as far as Aleppo and Shaizar, but displaying no [acts of] bravery.

In the year 587 A.E. [1138] Ahme't Melek' came and took Vahka, Kapan and other areas of Lewon's from the Romans.

In the year 588 A.E. [1139] Lewon, Ruben's son, died in Constantinople.

In the year 589 A.E. [1140] Porphyogenitus [John Comnenus] once again came against the areas of upper Pontus and Caesarea, and the inhabitants of the Taurus [Mountains], taking refuge in him, rebelled from the Turks. However when the emperor departed, [these people] were left unaided and ended up fleeing here and there, and Lewon's country remained a ruin. In the same year a certain one of the horsemen of Count Mah[uis] of Duluk held a grudge and stole Aintap from Joscelin. Having held it for one year, it was returned to the prince with the intercession of the count. In this period Lord Grigoris, the kat'oghikos of the Armenians, was residing in the small fortress of Tsovk', within the confines of Duluk, which the blessed patriarch had purchased from the prince of Antioch, together with 15 villages around it for 60,000 dahekans. He came and settled there with the brothers of Lord Nerse's, students, all the appointments of the blessed [patriarchal] throne, and all his kinfolk.

In the year 590 A.E. [1141] the blessed patriarch, Lord Grigoris, went to the holy city of Jerusalem. He went to the [Papal] legate and they discussed [g161] doctrinal matters with each other, and whatsoever the blessed patriarch stated, [the legate] happily agreed with and revealed to all the Franks. And everyone respected him on the feast of holy Easter.

[74] In the year 592 A.E. [1143] the Greek emperor, Porphyrogenitus [John Comnenus], came to the land of Cilicia. In the area near Anazarba he went out to hunt some game. Coming upon a wild boar, he planned to shoot it with an arrow. But when he placed a poisoned arrow to the string and pulled the bow back fully, the arrow snapped, piercing his left hand. He died from the strength of that poison. Removing his organs, the princes buried them at a place called K'aghrdik, while the deceased's body was taken to Constantinople. His son, Manuel (Ker' Manil) [I, 1143-1180], a good God-loving man like the first blessed emperors, succeeded him. In this same year Baudoin, king of Jerusalem, died and his [g162] son occupied his throne. In the same year the noble sebastius, paron Het'um, lord of Lambron, died. His son, O'shin, ruled his principality.

In the year 593 A.E. [1144] the prince of Antioch was Bohemond, son of Bohemond. Although he had a powerful and gigantic physique, he lacked the brains to accompany it. Baudoin then was lord of Kesoun and Marash as well as [ruler over] many districts in the confines of Melitene as far as the gates of Antioch. Joscelin was the count of Edessa, lord of Tell Bashir, Hor'omklay, Peria, and Nzepi. In that period Zengi, lord of Harran, mustered troops and, finding an opportune moment when Joscelin was not present, he came and encamped near Edessa. He erected [siege] machines and harassed the city. Encouraging each other, the men of the city did battle with him and [the enemy] were unable to take the city. But then [the enemy] hatched another wicked plan: they dug deeply at the bases of the wall and replaced the rock pillars with wooden ones, doing this in many spots. Next they filled grass into the excavated areas, set fire to it, and caused the wall to collapse. Then they fell upon the city. The citizens [were able to] protect their rear. But [the enemy] secretly went around to the other side of the the city and were able to enter it over the wall. Putting swords to work, they slaughtered them. Hearing the clamour [the guards] left off protecting the damaged wall and then [the enemy] entered [from that side also]. Then the citizens fled toward the citadel, but the impious citadel guards [g163] shut its gates and did not allow anyone to enter the citadel, while the infidels mercilessly cut them down with their swords. No tongue can relate the bitterness which descended upon Edessa on that day. The blessed patriarch Nerse's wrote a heart-rending lament about what befell Edessa on that Saturday, the third day of September.

In the year 594 A.E. [1145] a lad named T'oros escaped from Constantinople. He was one of the sons of Lewon, son of Kostandin, son of Ruben, whom they had taken in chains to Constantinople with his House and sons. [The lad] T'oros escaped and reached the confines of Vahka in the Taurus Mountains. He disguised himself so that no one recognized him; then, intelligently, little by little, he attracted to himself capable men from among the clerics and lay folk. For he was a man who was learned and versed in theological writings, and he was also very capable in warfare. Physically he was broad-shouldered, tall, handsome, curly-haired, awe inspiring, and full of grace. With the aid of God he gradually came to rule over his patrimony, taking [g164] Vahka, Amoudain, Simanagla, Ar'ewtsberd, and other districts.

[75] In the year 596 A.E. [1147] Joscelin, count of Edessa, went secretly to the confines of Edessa, taking along with him Baudoin, lord of Marash. They went at night and stole the city and entered it. But after five days the infidels massed against it, commenced battle, and retook the city, killing Baudoin, lord of Marash. Meanwhile Joscelin and others escaped by a hairsbreadth. There was great mourning among the Christians because of Baudoin[s death], since he greatly loved the Armenian people. Lord Barsegh wrote a letter of lamentation about Baudoin and sent it to his districts, so that reading it, the people would weep. He also confessed all his sins to God on Baudoin's behalf, beseeching the Lord for forgiveness. Now in the same year the impious Zengi went against Qal'at Ja'bar boastfully because of his capture of Edessa. However God Who [g165] opposes such [people] did not allow him to endure, for while he was harassing the fortress and [subsequently] had gone to sleep, one of his attending eunuchs killed him in his bed. His son, called Nur-ad-Din, took over his principality.

In the year 597 A.E. [1148] Bohemond, prince of Antioch, was killed by the forces of Nur-ad-Din, Zengi's son, due to his arrogance. In the same period the [number of] chiefs of the [European] Christians declined and others did not arrive; there was only Joscelin. And thereafter the battle against the Christians by the infidels intensified on all sides, and they were in great crisis.

In the year 598 A.E. [1149] Mas'ud, sultan of Iconium [Mas'ud I, 1116-1155], came against the city of Marash in the month of September, and, finding it empty [of defenders], he captured it. He caused much bloodshed in the country of Tell Bashir, took captives, and looted. At that time Joscelin was at Tell Bashir, but did not dare to go out against him. Thus Mas'ud returned to his own land unharmed. Now the Armenian prince Vasil, brother of Lord Grigoris, wanted to take bread to Gargar to help the fortress [g166], and so he took as auxiliaries Joscelin's remaining troops, some 400 men and approached Gargar. Kilij-Arslan [Kara Arslan], lord of Handzit', fell upon them and arrested them all. Then he took them before the fortress and demanded [the surrender of] the fortress. Vasil's wife and sons, after securing an oath, gave up the fortress. The sultan sent them in great honor as far as Samosata accompanied by his trusted men, and gave the country to him as though he were a beloved brother. After this the remaining troops of Joscelin dispersed like sheep without a shepherd, for on all sides they encountered God's punishment for [their] sins. Thus as Count Joscelin was heading toward Antioch at night, he happened to turn aside from the road a while to fulfill a call of nature, while his comrades continued on. As he was pursuing them to catch up, he struck a tree and fell from his horse in pain. The horse took off and fled from him, and [Joscelin] remained sprawled out there until morning. His comrades knew nothing about this during the night. In the morning shepherds came and took him to Aleppo, where he was put into prison.

[76] In the year 599 A.E. [1150] once again Mas'ud, sultan of Iconium, came and captured Behesni [g167], which [the residents] surrendered to him without a fight. He likewise took Kesoun, Raban, and P'arzman. Thence he came to Tell Bashir and besieged it, but was unable to accomplish anything because the count's son [Joscelin III] was there with capable fighting men. So instead [Mas'ud] wrecked the country and went off with the spoil. When the blessed patriarch of the Armenians, Lord Grigoris, observed just how weakened the power of the Christians had become and when he saw that they had no fortress to take refuge in, he was frightened to remain in his fortress of Tsovk'. So they planned to go to the king of the Georgians in the East, since Ani was in his hands and perhaps there they might find peace and a true refuge from their enemies. He left behind his brother, Lord Nerse's, until he himself could go and return, and then they would go with all their kinfolk and belongings. Now as Lord Grigoris was traveling, it happened that he went to Tell Bashir where Joscelin's wife was. She inquired of the blessed patriarch the reason for his journey to the East, and he told her. But that lady prevented him from journeying, [instead] giving him the impregnable fortress of Hor'omklay as a residence. The blessed [g168] patriarch was delighted at this and so he returned to his brother, Lord Nerse's, in Tsovk' and explained to him the reason for his return, as well as the promise made by Joscelin's wife about Hor'omklay which would be the seat of the Armenian patriarchate. When Lord Nerse's and the others heard about this, they were all delighted, since they were greatly frightened by the infidels. Thus, taking all their belongings and kinfolk, they went to Hor'omklay and secured themselves from fear of the infidels. After a period of time they gave Joscelin 15,000 dahekans for the purchase of Hor'omklay. Count Joscelin gave to Lord Grigoris and to Lord Nerse's a document written in his own hand [stating] that Hor'omklay would remain the seat of the Armenian patriarchate in perpetuity. And they placed this document in a chest at the blessed see as a reminder for the future, so that no one would come seeking after that fortress. May the Lord grant that what was established in that physical document regarding that place be confirmed spiritually as well.

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