domenica 4 marzo 2007

Armenia and the Turco-Mongol Invasions

Turco Mongol Invasions
In the early 1220's when Mongol troops first passed through the Caucasus, the Armenian population, living there and in many other localities across Asia Minor, dwelled under considerably diverse circumstances. The many states in which the Armenians were settled in the late 12th and early 13th centuries had arisen as the result of the Saljuq Turkish invasions of the mid 11th century, and for our purposes may be viewed as differing from each other principally on the basis of the amount of political and cultural autonomy enjoyed by their Arnenian inhabitants. The nature of the Saljuq invasions/migrations and certain aspects of the consequences of Turkish domination merit a brief examination prior to reviewing the Turco-Mongol invasions/migrations of the 13-14th centuries because, in a certain sense, the invasions of the 11th century were a dress rehersal for several subsequent invasions of Armenia from the Orient. A characterization of the Saljuq invasions and domination will provide not only an introduction to the complexities of medieval Armenian society, but also will throw into sharper relief fundamental similarities and dissimilarities with the Khwarazmian, Mongol, and Timurid invasions and administrations. This chapter first examines briefly some of the more salient features of political [64] history associated with the pre-Mongol period: (1) the Saljuq invasions of the Armenian highlands; (2) the Turkish domination and its consequences; and (3) the new situation created by the resurgence of Georgia; the second part of the chapter details the invasions of the 13-14th centuries.
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