Mediterranean Models and Modalities in Forging a Strong Centralized Monarchy in 13th-Century Armenian Cilicia

Lecture | March 22 | 12-2 p.m. | 270 Stephens Hall

 Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES), Armenian Studies Program

Situated on a major thoroughfare between East and West and on the intersection of sea and land routes running North and South, the Levant has always been a locus of encounter and exchange. Adopting the insights of Braudel (1966) and more recently Horden and Purcell (2000), this paper views the medieval Armenian experiment with statedom in Cilicia (11th-14th cc.) through Mediterranean optics. Revisiting the dominant discourse of how the Armenian kingdom consolidated its position in international law and sustained this through a superstructure of ceremonial, iconography, and patronage, it argues this process is best understood within the contours of broader regional trends in royal ideology and state formation.