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Perspectives on the Crusaders’ Armenia: Cilicia from 1071 to 1148

Perspectives on the Crusaders’ Armenia: Cilicia from 1071 to 1148

By Raymond Givan

Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians, Vol.16 (1995)

Introduction: Armenia has always been on the periphery of European interests. The vast majority of medieval historians writing on the Middle East have focused on Byzantium, the Crusaders, and the Saracens, but there is an abundance of primary materials on Armenian history. Peter Kaweru claims that more than fifty historians and chroniclers write in Armenian on Armenian history from the 4th century to modern times. “There are few non-European countries whose springs of historical materials flow more richly than those of Armenia.”

Cilicia is an ancient country. The name itself is mentioned in Hittite cuneiform records as early as 1600 BC. Cilicia is not pictured in modern atlases, but its ancient borders roughly correspond to those of the modern Turkish provinces of Adana and Maras. It has a Mediterranean coast of about 75 miles and it is bordered by the Taurus, Antitaurus and Amanus Mountains.

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