In ancient times, Cilicia was mainly inhabited by the Armenians, Assyrians, Jews and Greeks. In the 10th century, the Armenian population became so dense that a new episcopal diocese of the Armenian Church was founded in Tarson. In 1080, Prince Ruben I, who settled in Mountainous Cilicia, managed to throw off the Byzantine domination and found the Rubenid principality.

On January 6, 1198, Prince Levon II was anointed Armenian king. In the 12th-13th centuries, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was a country of high international standing. The Kingdom’s immediate neighbours – the Sultanate of Iconium, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa, as well as the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Republics of Venice and Genoa – reckoned with Cilicia. In 1375, the Mameluks captured Sis, the capital of Cilicia. Having survived for about three hundred years, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia lost its independence.

The Exhibition presents:

  • photographs of Cilicia’s famous fortress cities and fortresses, copies of the specimens of miniature art
  • coins issued in the Principality of Cilicia (1080-1198)
  • coins issued and circulating under King Levon I (1198-1219)
  • coins struck from King Levon II to King Levon V (1270-1375).