Armenian Highland

Ծառը ինչքան բերք տայ ու բարի, գլուխն էնքան խոնարհ կը պահի:
However much fruit a tree bears, it humbles its head that much more.

ԶապելIsabella, Queen of Armenia
Isabella, or Zabel was the queen regnant of Cilician Armenia between 1219–1252."The lawful heiress of the empire, Isabella, governed the country together with her husband, and led a pious, religious life. She was blessed for her good deeds and exemplary life by many children, the numerous offsprings of a famous race"
—Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor
Isabella emerged as the favourite of the ruling Armenian nobles and thus she was proclaimed queen by acclamation and placed under the regency of Adam of Baghras.But Adam of Baghras was murdered after a few months, and the regency passed to the only remaining influential Armenian house, that of the Hethumian family whose head was Constantine of Barbaron.
Cilician Armenia, weakened by wars and in need of strong ally, found a temporary solution in a tie with the Principality of Antioch, the regent suggested that Prince Bohemond IV should send his fourth son, Philip, to marry Isabella, insisting only that the bridegroom should join the separated Armenian Church. Philip agreed to adopt the Armenian faith, communion and customs and to respect the privileges of all nations in Cilician Armenia.
When it was rumored that Philip wanted to give the crown and throne to Antioch, Constantine of Barbaron led a revolt (at the end of 1224). Philip and Isabella were seized at Tall Hamdun (today Toprakkale in Turkey) on their way to Antioch, and taken back to Sis where Philip was imprisoned, and probably poisoned at the beginning of 1225. On the death of her husband, Isabella decided to embrace a monastic life, and fled to Seleucia. She sought refuge with the Hospitallers. The latter were unwilling to give her up to Constantine of Barbaron but feared the powerful regent; they eased their conscience by selling him the fortress with Isabella in it. Bohemond IV, in anger, determined on war, although such a conflict had been expressly forbidden by the pope as harmful for all Christendom. Bohemond IV called in as ally the sultan at Iconium, Kai-Qobad I, and ravaged upper Cilicia in 1225. Constantine of Barberon arranged for the regent of Aleppo, Toghril, to advance on Antioch. When the latter attacked Baghras, Bohemond IV had to return to his own lands.
Isabella was forced into marriage with Constantine of Barbaron’s son who was subsequently crowned King Hetum I in Tarsus in June 1226. She is said to have refused to consummate the marriage for several years.
"In the year 675 AE /1226/ the Armenian princes, together with the Catholicos, Lord Constantine, assembled and enthroned Hethum, son of Constantine, bailli of the Armenians, and also gave him /as a wife/ Isabel, King Leo’s daughter. Thereafter there was peace in the House of the Armenians, and year by year they strived for the heights"
— Smbat Sparapet: Chronicle
Constantine of Barbaron now thought it wise to reconcile Armenia with the Papacy: loyal messengers were sent in the name of the young couple to the Pope and to the Emperor Frederick II. Although Bohemond IV and later his son, Bohemond V attempted to persuade the Pope to arrange a divorce between Isabella and Hethum, but both he and King Henry I of Cyprus were specifically forbidden by Rome to attack the Armenians.

"The queen being near the end of her life, and staying in a place called Ked, she heard a voice from heaven, crying aloud, «come my dove, come my love, thy end is near.» She felt joyful on this happy vision, imparted it to the bystanders, and died in the Lord; her body was brought to the grave by a large assembly of the priesthood and laid in consecrated earth.”
—Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor

Զապել
Isabella, Queen of Armenia

Isabella, or Zabel was the queen regnant of Cilician Armenia between 1219–1252.

"The lawful heiress of the empire, Isabella, governed the country together with her husband, and led a pious, religious life. She was blessed for her good deeds and exemplary life by many children, the numerous offsprings of a famous race"

—Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor

Isabella emerged as the favourite of the ruling Armenian nobles and thus she was proclaimed queen by acclamation and placed under the regency of Adam of Baghras.But Adam of Baghras was murdered after a few months, and the regency passed to the only remaining influential Armenian house, that of the Hethumian family whose head was Constantine of Barbaron.

Cilician Armenia, weakened by wars and in need of strong ally, found a temporary solution in a tie with the Principality of Antioch, the regent suggested that Prince Bohemond IV should send his fourth son, Philip, to marry Isabella, insisting only that the bridegroom should join the separated Armenian Church. Philip agreed to adopt the Armenian faith, communion and customs and to respect the privileges of all nations in Cilician Armenia.

When it was rumored that Philip wanted to give the crown and throne to Antioch, Constantine of Barbaron led a revolt (at the end of 1224). Philip and Isabella were seized at Tall Hamdun (today Toprakkale in Turkey) on their way to Antioch, and taken back to Sis where Philip was imprisoned, and probably poisoned at the beginning of 1225. On the death of her husband, Isabella decided to embrace a monastic life, and fled to Seleucia. She sought refuge with the Hospitallers. The latter were unwilling to give her up to Constantine of Barbaron but feared the powerful regent; they eased their conscience by selling him the fortress with Isabella in it. Bohemond IV, in anger, determined on war, although such a conflict had been expressly forbidden by the pope as harmful for all Christendom. Bohemond IV called in as ally the sultan at Iconium, Kai-Qobad I, and ravaged upper Cilicia in 1225. Constantine of Barberon arranged for the regent of Aleppo, Toghril, to advance on Antioch. When the latter attacked Baghras, Bohemond IV had to return to his own lands.

Isabella was forced into marriage with Constantine of Barbaron’s son who was subsequently crowned King Hetum I in Tarsus in June 1226. She is said to have refused to consummate the marriage for several years.

"In the year 675 AE /1226/ the Armenian princes, together with the Catholicos, Lord Constantine, assembled and enthroned Hethum, son of Constantine, bailli of the Armenians, and also gave him /as a wife/ Isabel, King Leo’s daughter. Thereafter there was peace in the House of the Armenians, and year by year they strived for the heights"

— Smbat Sparapet: Chronicle

Constantine of Barbaron now thought it wise to reconcile Armenia with the Papacy: loyal messengers were sent in the name of the young couple to the Pope and to the Emperor Frederick II. Although Bohemond IV and later his son, Bohemond V attempted to persuade the Pope to arrange a divorce between Isabella and Hethum, but both he and King Henry I of Cyprus were specifically forbidden by Rome to attack the Armenians.

"The queen being near the end of her life, and staying in a place called Ked, she heard a voice from heaven, crying aloud, «come my dove, come my love, thy end is near.» She felt joyful on this happy vision, imparted it to the bystanders, and died in the Lord; her body was brought to the grave by a large assembly of the priesthood and laid in consecrated earth.”

—Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor
  • 28 October 2013
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