Asia Minor was at this time, divided between the Eastern Roman Empire and the kingdom of Iconium (now Konya) under the Seljuk Turks. But, on the southern coast opposite Cyprus, separated from the Turks by the Taurus mountains, lay the little kingdom of Armenia, the ancient roman province of Cilicia, which had become an independent kingdom at the same time as the Lusignans came to Cyprus.
The populations was comprised chiefly of Christian tribes which had taken refuge in the mountains when Greater Armenia had fallen under the rule of the Seljuks. The Armenian church owed allegiance neither to Rome nor to Constantinople, though its alliance was sought both by Pope and Patriarch. The Armenian Catholicos, after a century and a half in Mesopotamia, took refuge at Sis, and there founded an independent church at the close of the thirteenth century. The main policy of Armenia was to secure independence against the Turks by obtaining money from the West and arms from Constantinople.
The fortunes of this little kingdom were to be involved ever closer with those of the Lusignans, until eventually the crown of Armenia was united to that of Cyprus. The native dynasty of Armenia, which was founded by Leo I at about the same time as the Lusignan dynasty in Cyprus, had maintained a precarious existence by alternate alliances with Rome and Constantinople. The tenth king of the dynasty, Oissim, had assisted the brothers of Henri II of Cyprus in their conspiracies against him. Leo IV, the last of the native dynasty, succeeded his father, Oissim, in 1320 and by the intervention of the Pope made peace with the Lusignans, who sent him military aid against the Sultan of Egypt. The whole reign of Leo IV was a continual struggle with the Muslims who were pressing him on every side, until his territory was eventually reduced to a few mountain fortresses. He was assassinated in 1342, and with him the native dynasty of Armenia came to an end. To succeed him the Armenians elected as king the son of Hugues IV, Guy de Lusignan (from his first marriage to Marie d’Ibelin), who thereby brought the Armenian crown into the Lusignan family. The crown of Armenia, like that of Jerusalem, became a nominal title only and ended with the fall of the Lusignan kingdom of Cyprus.