Antioch, under the government of the Crusades, for 200 years was ruled judicially by a series of assizes the original text of which remains lost.
In 1870 an Armenian scholar-priest, Father Hovhaness M'krian of Constantinople, published a letter in an Armenian periodical to which he added a few notes, stating that he had discovered an Armenian manuscript belonging to a Mr. Manoug Aslanian that contained various codices. This collection of religious and civil laws was copied in a.d. 1331 for the king of Armenians, Levon, son of Oshin. The scribe of this manuscript was the well-known Sarkis, surnamed Bidzag, who illuminated it and decorated it with a fullpage miniature in gold and colour, showing King Levon seated in court to pass judgment. In this law book was incorporated an Armenian translation of the Assizes of Antioch with seventeen articles about liege lords and serfs, and their rights as well as their obligations towards each other, and twenty-one assizes dealing with civilians. This manuscript was secured for the library of the Mekhitarists in Venice and is kept there now.