Cilicia

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Peter Ara Guekguezian (Conculture 27891, Mar 17, 2007 ):

As far as a potential personal contribution goes, I've been thinking of developing the medieval Armenian kingdom of Cilicia.

I figure Cilicia would offer itself to the Crusaders as a base for their operations in the Levant. I understand that the Crusades apparently are longer *there* than *here*. Cilicia could play a role in that, as well as in the eventual end of the Crusades. After the ruling class gets heavily Europeanized/Catholicized, the Armenian peasants and apostolic clergy would chafe under their presence, and eventually rebel. If the Armenians allied with the Judaeans, the Lebanese Druze, and maybe the Assyrians, the 'Alawites, and some other assorted Arabs, they could probably kick out the Crusaders around maybe the 15th centuries. Of course, they would fall to squabbling, and the Ottomans would extend their empire over them.

Cilicia would be in the same position as Lebanon and Judaea as regards relation with the Empire. As Armenian nationalism would have played a role in kicking out the Crusaders and establishing a (short- lived) state, they would probably succeed in resisting Turkification of their area. After the First Great War, they'd probably try to carve up some of Turkey; when the Turks respond with their ultimatum against the Armenians and Kurds (and presumably other such minorities in the vicinity), many Armenians would go southwest to Cilicia, as well as those going east to (previously Russian controlled?) Armenia. There would probably exist (and have existed) some tension between Cilician Armenians who were oriented toward the Levant and Caucasian-ward Armenians who were oriented more toward Persia and Russia. There could be both a language and a religious split there. Eastern Armenia could become SNOR-ist, while Cilicia would be in line with Judaea and Lebanon (and perhaps Syria and/or Kurdistan).


Jan van Steenbergen (Conculture 28401, Aug 5, 2007):

Great ideas! It's good that someone is willing to work on the more ancient past, which - except for a few places - hasn't been worked on much. Of course, the further you go back in history, the smaller the differences will be. But that certainly doesn't make it less interesting to work on!

It might be interesting to note that Armenia until now hasn't really been worked on by anyway. Being half-post-USSR and half-Middle East *here*, it falls a bit under Steg's jurisdiction, a bit under mine. It's very underdeveloped. If you'd be interested in working it out in detail, you have my blessing!

Your last name suggests you're Armenian yourself. Is that true? Do you know the language?


Peter Ara Guekguezian (Conculture 28447, Aug 9, 2007):

I'm more interested in the Eastern Mediterranean/Middle East, myself. But working on the Caucasus would be fun, too.

Yep, I'm Armenian. I'm not quite fluent in Western Armenian, but I have a good knowledge of how it works.

I've already been working on a language for Cilicia, basically Medieval Armenian with massive influence from Cappadocian Greek and Old French. I've decided on most of the sound changes throughout its history; Modern Cilician [dz\iLidz\e4e~:] sounds kinda like a cross between Portuguese and Polish.


Jan van Steenbergen (Conculture 28455, Aug 11, 2007):

In any case, they are up for grabs. A little, but not much, work has been done on Georgia. About Armenia and Azerbaidzhan we know virtually nothing.


Peter Ara Guekguezian (Conculture 28461, Aug 11, 2007):

I recall reading that *there* the Visigoths, in the midst of their century-long folk movement across the Roman Empire, stopped in Armenia, where they were offered land by some Emperor. I was thinking about having a few of them stay in NW Armenia (i.e., around Trebizond, Erzerum, Erzincan), mix with the locals, and create another of the interesting, unique little pockets that IB is (or should be) famous for.

Cilician is very much a work-in-progress. Let's see where I am in a few months or so...

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