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Leo V of Armenia

From Academic Kids

Leo (also Leon or Levon) V of Armenia (1309-August 28, 1341) was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1320 to 1341. He was the son of Oshin of Armenia and Isabel of Korikos, and came to the throne on the death of his father.

He spent his minority under the regency of Oshin of Korikos. During this period, the kingdom was much harrassed by Mamelukes and Mongols. In 1322, Pope John XXII intervened to enlist the aid of the Ilkhanate and Philip V of France on behalf of Armenia, and the kingdom obtained a fifteen-year truce with Sultan Al-Nasr Muhammad. The Regent Oshin had married his stepmother, Jeanne of Anjou, and Leo was forced to marry Oshin's daughter Alice (by his first wife, Margaret d'Ibelin) on August 10, 1321. Oshin murdered a number of members of the royal family to consolidate his own power, and Leo's reaction upon reaching his majority in 1329 was violent. Oshin, his brother Constantine, Constable of Armenia and Lord of Lampron, and Leo's wife Alice were all murdered on the king's orders, the head of Oshin being sent to the Ilkhan and of Constantine to Al-Nasr Muhammad.

Leo was strongly pro-Western and favored a union of the Armenian and Roman Churches, which deeply displeased the native barons. His marriage on December 29, 1331 to Constance, the daughter of Frederick III of Sicily and widow of Henry II of Cyprus, further aroused anti-Western sentiment.

In 1337, Al-Nasr Muhammad invaded again, taking the city of Ayas, and Leo was forced to conclude a humiliating truce, surrendering territory and a large idemnity and promising to have no dealings with the West. He spent the last years of his reign holed up in the citadel at Sis, hoping for Western aid. On December 28, 1341 he was murdered by his own barons. His only son by Alice, Hethum, had died before 1331; the barons elected his cousin Guy of Lusignan to succeed him.

  Preceded by:  
 Oshin
  Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia   Followed by:
 Constantine IV  

Bibliography

  • T.S.R. Boase, editor. The Cilician Kingdom of Armenia. Scottish Academic Press, 1978.
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