Tag Archives: queen

Portrait of Tamar Pakraduni

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Armenian Queens: Keran

Keran (died July 28, 1285) was the wife of Leo II of Armenia. She was the daughter of Prince Hethum of Lampron. Born Anna, she was called Kir Anna (Lady Anna) beginning in 1270. This name was later shortened to Keran, or Guerane.

Many words of praise were made about Queen Keran by her contemporaries. Her son Hethum claimed that “she had a wonderful soul and a beautiful body.” The chronicler and scribe Avetis, described her as “a good friend to her husband in trouble and joy.”

They had fifteen children:

  1. Hethum II (ruled 1289–1293, 1294–1297, 1299–1307)
  2. Princess Fimi of Armenia (born c. 1266, date of death unknown)
  3. Princesse Sybil of Armenia (born c. 1269, date of death unknown)
  4. Thoros III (ruled 1293–1298)
  5. Prince Ruben of Armenia (born c. 1272, date of death unknown)
  6. Princess Zablun of Armenia (born c. 1274, date of death unknown)
  7. Princess Sybil (or Zabel) of Armenia (born c. 1276, date of death unknown)
  8. Sempad (ruled 1297–1299)
  9. Constantine III (ruled 1299)
  10. Isabelle of Armenia (died c. 1321, date of death unknown), who married Amalric of Tyre
  11. Princess Theophane of Armenia (born c. 1278, date of death unknown)
  12. Rita of Armenia, who married Michael IX Palaeologus, co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father Andronicus II Palaeologus. They were parents to Andronicus III Palaeologus.
  13. Prince Nerses of Armenia (born c. 1279, date of death unknown)
  14. Oshin (ruled 1308–1320)
  15. Prince Alinakh of Armenia (born c. 1283, date of death unknown).

Leon II, queen Guerane, and their five children, 1272

After the birth of her last son, Keran became a nun and entered the Monastery of Drazark, assuming the name of Theophania. She died on July 28, 1285 and was buried in the monastery.

Chaucer’s Armenian Queen

Armenian Fact of the Day: In the late 1370s, Chaucer wrote Anelida and Arcite, a poem based on Boccaccio’s Italian epic Teseida (Chaucer also bases the Knight’s tale in The Canterbury Tales on Teseida). It was about the Armenian queen Anelida, who was courted by the Grecian Arcite.

Armenian Queens: Sipane

King Hyudarnes III has an interesting love story connected to his name and that of his wife, Sipane. He ruled during the mid-fifth century BC and is said to have been hunting on the slopes of Sipan when he encountered a Beautiful young girl gathering flowers.

The tale is told thus:

“Where did you come from?” asks the king.
“From above,” answers the beauty, pointing to the sky.
“From the top of the mountain?”
“No, from the sky”
“And where are you going?”
“I’m not going, but coming to you”
“To me?”
“Yes”
“What do you want from me?”
“I am coming to be your wife…”

The tale says that the king believed the beauty to be a gift from heaven and named her Sipane, in honour of the location of their first meeting. Nobody knows whose daughter she might have been or where she came from, but the tale lives in in the villages.

Armenian Queens: Zaruhi

King Ervand I’s son, Tigran Ervanduni, ruled from 560 to 535 BC. According to Movses Khorenatsi, the great Armenian historian, his wife’s name was Zaruhi. In one of the battles between King Ervand’s Army and the Persians, the Armenians saw defeat and, though Tigran was a hunting partner for the Persian King Cyrus, the royal family was all taken prisoner. Customs required that the defeated pay a ransom for the return of the royal family. Tigran’s wife was one of these prisoners, and when faced with the amount of the ransom, he said, “my own life. I would give up my own life, Cyrus, to prevent my wife from ever becoming a servant.” This chivalrous answer and show of devotion and love for one’s wife moved the Greek historian, Xenophon. Surprisingly, Armenians did not flaunt their ideals and carve out such chivalrous acts in every nook and cranny like the Greeks did, meaning much was lost during the years. Tigran and Zaruhi had 3 sons: Bab, Tiran, and Vahagn. Though there is no other information about Zaruhi, the tale of their life tells of a long and loving life together.