Sovereign House of His Serene Highness, the Prince of Cappadocia
The Historical Periods of Cappadocia
Between 5000 B. C. and 4000 B. C., Cappadocia had several independent principalities. The most important city during that period was Puruskanda. Seventeen of these principalities united in 2300 B C. to fight against the Assyrian king Naram Sin, constituting the first of many alliances in the history of Anatolia.
THE KINGDOM OF CAPPADOCIA
It is believed that the name “Cappadocia” comes from the word Katpadukya, or Land of beautiful horses. The horses of the region gained fame for being offered as a gift to the Kings Asurbanipal, of Assyria, and Dario and Xerxes, of Persia.
Period of Colonies of Assyrian Trade
At the beginning of the II millennium a. C., Anatolia lived a brilliant stage in which attracted numerous inhabitants. The Assyrians, famous for their ability to trade, settled in the region attracted by this wealth, and organized bazaars called Kârum. The most important Kârum is that of the citadel of Kanesh (today Kültepe). The Assyrians carried tin, textiles and perfumes, and bought gold, silver and copper in Anatolia. This type of trade lasted one hundred and fifty years, until it was dispersed by the wars between kingdoms of the region.
In 1925, an archaeological team discovered in Kültepe the “Tables of Cappadocia”, which describe this mercantile colony in Assyrian times, and which mark the oldest written record known about the history of Cappadocia.
Although there is little certainty about the origin of the Hittite civilization, the truth is that this civilization flourished in Central Anatolia in the second millennium B. C.; being Hattusas (now Boğazköy) its centre of power in the region, which they called Tabal. The Hittites founded several villages in conjunction with the inhabitants of the region, and formed an empire that extended to Babylon. The empire lasted six to seven centuries, and put an end to the rule of the Semitic dynasty of Hamurabi. Special place in the Hittite history have the XV and XVI centuries a. C., which mark the period of greatest development of civilization. At the end of the millennium, the wars with Egypt (which would culminate in the peace treaty of Kadesh, from 1286 BC) weathered the empire, which finally fell to the invaders of Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, Cappadocia crossed the darkest period of its existence, between the 10th & 7th centuries B. C.
Cappadocia fell into Persian hands in the sixth century B. C., state that would maintain until the conquest by Great Alexander two centuries later. The Persians divided Anatolia into provinces, assigning one governor (satrap) to each. The principalities were linked to the port of Ephesus (near the Turkish city of Kuşadası) by the “Vía Real”, which started in that city, and passed through the cities of Sardes and Mazaca (now Kayseri), reaching Mesopotamia and Suze, capital of Persia. The satraps sent to Persia the taxes they collected, in the form of gold, rams, donkeys and the famous horses of Cappadocia.
In the 4th century BC C., Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great undertook the conquest of Asia Minor, after the famous episode of the Gordian knot, snatching Cappadocia from the Persian hands. He left his lieutenant Cabictas to control the region, which was under Macedonian rule until the death of Alexander in 323 a. C. A year later, Cappadocia regained its independence and sovereignty under the leadership of Ariarates I.
Cappadocia began its long history of relations with Rome, under the reign of Ariarates IV, first as enemies (supporting the cause of Antiochus the Great), and then as allies, fighting against Perseus of Macedonia. From then on, Cappadocia always allied with the Republic. In 130 a. C., Ariarates V marched next to the Roman proconsul Crassus against Aristónico, that reclaimed the throne of Pérgamo. When liquidated along with his army, he brought with him internal struggles that marked the end of the dynasty. Cappadocia then chose a local leader named Ariobarzanes I, with the support of Rome, in 93 BC. C. However, Ariobarzanes could not begin his reign until thirty years later, when Rome paved the way for him by setting aside the Armenian kings. In the civil war that Rome held before the accession to power of Julius Caesar, Cappadocia changed sides between Pompey and Caesar. Later, the Ariobarzanes dynasty would end, and the region would maintain its tributary independence until year 17 A.D., when the Emperor Tiberio would reduce to the region to be a Roman province. Two Roman legions would form permanent garrisons under Emperor Vespasian, who sought to protect his province of Levante. The garrisons increased and became fortresses under Trajan, who also built military roads in the region. In the third century, commercial relations between Cappadocia and the regions of Izmir and Ephesus were so developed that coins were issued with the names of these cities.
From the fourth century, Cappadocia began a further transformation, this time influenced by the monasteries of Palestine and Egypt, whose models were followed in the introduction of the Christian religion, under the patronage of the Byzantine Empire. In the sixth and seventh centuries, the first painted churches appeared. These churches, like most houses in the region, were not built as buildings, but “dug” into the rock. These artificial caves were later decorated and conditioned. There are more than six hundred churches of these characteristics in the region. The iconoclastic period of Byzantium (years 725 to 843) had its repercussion in the churches of Cappadocia, and numerous wall paintings suffered damages, because the representation of all the sacred figures was forbidden.
The Seljuks, considered direct ancestors of the Western Turks, began to arrive in Cappadocia from the eleventh century, after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 where they defeated the Byzantine army, and began the gradual conquest of the territory. After the capture of Kayseri in 1082, the Seljuks began a large urban expansion in the region, building mosques in Kayseri, Aksaray, Niğde and other cities, and a medical academy in 1206. In addition, they built numerous caravanserais or caravans (literally, palace of caravans), a kind of refuge so that the caravans that transited the Silk Road, will sleep safely on their way; some had additional services to the hospitality, such as nursing, stables and mosques. The caravansarays are scattered throughout Anatolia, spaced about 30 km apart, and in times of war, they served as defense posts for the territory. It emphasizes the caravansaray of Agzikarahan, constructed in Century XIII. In the centuries that followed, Anatolia was the scene of conflicts between the Seljuks, Byzantines and the Crusaders. The latter took the Seljuk capital Iznik, and forced the Seljuks to migrate to Konya, in the center of Anatolia.
The Ottoman Period
The Seljuks laid the roots of the Ottoman Empire, which came to exist from the fifteenth century because not in vain the Ottoman Turks came from one of the sultanates-nucleus originating from the future Ottoman Empire-split from the Seljuk state under the command of a leader called Osman I Gazi- that would give the name of the Ottoman or osmanlí dynasty).
The Imperial Constantinian Order of Constantine the Great
The Imperial Constantinian Order of Constantine the Great was decreed by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Initially only fifty (50) Knights who had displayed extreme bravery in action were invited to become Members of this Order. Subsequently in honor of his Mother Helene, the name of the Order was changed to Imperial Order of Constantine the Great and Saint Helen and the to this day, other Knights and Ladies were initiated and became Members of the Order for their and devotion in the defense of the faith, service to the ill, to the poor, to churches which refer to the teachings of Jesus Christ and for the care, through works of mercy, of the ill and the needy. The Order, true to the precepts of Our Lord Jesus Christ, wishes to affirm and disseminate the Christian virtues of charity and humanity, without distinction of religion, race, origin or age. The Order exercises its sovereign functions and activity in the hospital field, including social and health care. The Order protects and diffuses the ecumenical spirit, promoting greater general knowledge of the tradition of the Eastern Holy Roman Empire, encourages the human, spiritual, moral and religious training of the Knights and Ladies, fostering initiatives linked to the religious nature of the Order.
The Royal House of Cappadocia
The claims of Marciano II to the Kingdom of Cappadocia, or the Principality of Cappadocia, as it was called after the Roman conquest, are founded on his rights as a direct descendant of the Eastern Roman Emperor Alexios III Angelo (1195 – 1203), in accordance with a detailed genealogical tree archived. In the 1940s, Prince Marciano II, in his position as a direct descendant of Constantine the Great and Alessio III, of the Angeli dynasty, reconstituted the Grand Mastership of the Imperial Constantinian Order of Cappadocia, and conferred on the Grand Master of that Order the sovereign title of Prince of Cappadocia, in the capacity of claimant. After the death of the imperial prince Marciano II, in Rome, on 17 October 1992, the administration of the Imperial Constantinian Order of Cappadocia was under the charge, until 4 January 2007, of a Regency Council presided over by its members in rotation, in accordance with a regulation approved by the Council itself. On 5 January 2007, H.S.H. Prince Rafael Andújar y Vilches of San Bartolomeo, born in Melilla, Spain, on the twentieth of December 1946, was appointed Grand Master of the aforesaid Imperial Order, with capacity to amend and promulgate the Order’s new Statute.”
Sovereign Constantinian Order of Cappadocia
Resolves and declares, that His Serene Highness, Prince Don Rafael Andújar Vilches, born in Melilla, Spain, on 20 December 1946, has legitimately promulgated in Lugano, Switzerland, on 22 August 2012, the following provisions:
1. Decree Legislative no. 1/2012, of transformation of the Imperial Constantinian Order of Cappadocia into the Sovereign Constantinian Order of Cappadocia;
2. Decree Legislative no. 2/2012, approving the Constitution of the Sovereign Constantinian Order of Cappadocia, with the following literal tenor:
- the position of Grand Master of the Imperial Constantinian Order of Cappadocia of the dynasty of Marciano II Lavarello Lascari Palaeologo Basileo of Constantinople – Serbia, with seat in Calle Golf de Botnia, 8 – 08198 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain;
- the possession, as pretender, of the sovereign title of Prince of Cappadocia, with the courtesy of Serene Highness, this being a condition of the Grand Master of that Order;
- the possession, as Grand Master of that Order, of the sovereign title of Byzantine Patrician of the Eastern Holy Roman Empire;
- the possession, as Grand Master of that Order, of the imperial coat of arms of the Constantinian Order of Cappadocia, blazoned as follows: “Gules, a lion outlined, crowned in the traditional style and wound about gules all of or, united to the two headed eagle of the Eastern Roman Empire. Surmounted by a crown of pretension to the Byzantine Empire, with four jeweled lappets pendant; surrounded by the Grand Collar of the Constantinian Order of Cappadocia. Motto LASCARIS FIDELITAS.”;
- the possession, as Grand Master of the Imperial Constantinian Order of Cappadocia, of the dynasty of Marciano II Lavarello Lascari Palaeologo Basileo of Constantinople – Serbia, of the shield of the Prince of Cappadocia, blazoned as follows: “Purple with the two-headed eagle of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire, crowned in the Byzantine style, resting its claws on the sceptre and the globe, all or, yoked to the mantle of the imperial prince gules lined ermine and finished by a royal crown.”