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Armenia and Armenians In Het‘um’s Flos Historiarum Terre Orientis

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In 1307 Het‘um of Koṙikos, a close relative of the Armenian king of Cilicia, composed and presented to Pope Clement V an account on the geography and history of Asian lands, the Flos historiarum terre Orientis. This work was intended as a project for a new crusade, aimed at recovering the Holy Land with the help of Cilician Armenians and the military support of the Mongols. In Het‘um’s view, Armenians are central to this plan, since they are on good terms with the Mongols and they know how to negotiate with them. Het‘um’s representation of Armenia and Armenians aims at showing this pivotal role to his European audience. The Armenia mentioned in the first two books of the Flos historiarum is Greater Armenia, and it is portrayed as the place where the Mongols’ homeland (Asya Profunda) meets the Christian Near East (Asya Major), while Cilician Armenians are not only the mediators between Mongols and the Christian West, but also between Western and Eastern Christianity.

Affiliations: 1: Pontifical Oriental InstitutePiazza Santa Maria Maggiore 7, 00185


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