Although the kingdom was established on 1198, its foundations were laid in 1080 by Ruben I when the Rubenid principality of Cilicia was founded.
The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was a state formed in the Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia. It was near the Mediterranean Sea in what is today southern Turkey. The country was independent from around 1078 to 1375.
The Armenians were the most important of the Crusaders' allies, from the local troops recruited in the Crusader States. Many Armenian mercenaries became available in the early 12th century.
Thoros II was a powerful Armenian prince who offered the transfer of 30,000 Armenian warriors with their families to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The king and barons were interested.
King Thoros of Armenia proposed that King Amalric of Jerusalem evict the Saracen peasants of his realm and replace them with 30,000 trustworthy Armenian warriors, who would come with their families to populate and defend the country.