The kingdom of Cilicia or lesser Armenia was a small mountainous country on the Northeast coast of the Mediterranean. The first Armenian settlements had already appeared in Cilicia during the rule of Tigran the Great. Towards the end of the 11th century various regions and cities of Cilicia united into a principality under the Roubenids dynasty, which was founded by former vassals of the Armenian king Gagik Bagratuni. This small country stood at the junction of Europe, Asia and Africa, where important trade routes uniting these parts of the world crossed. Lying on the route of the Crusaders, it was a kind of intermediary between Armenia and neighboring states. The city of Sis, the capital of Cilicia, was admired for its impregnable fortress and magnificent royal palace.
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