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We have already, in the second 
part of this vork, briefly related how 
Christianity vas first introduced into 
Armenia; the present volume is in- 
tended to give a separate and more 
complete historical sketch of the Ar- 
menian Church. 






O F 




Origin of Cbristianity in Armenia. — Abgar^s Messengers to 
Alarinus. — Abgar^s letter to Jesus Christ. — Our Lord's 
answer. — His portrait. — Thaddeus the Apostle. — 
Prince Sanadrug. 

The origin of Christianity in Armenia 
dates from the time of its king Abgar, who 
reigned at the beginning of the Christian 
era ; he had his seat of government in the 
city of Edessa and was tributary to the Ro- 

Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Judea, 
was hostile to king Abgar but was unable to 
injure him except by exciting the Romans 
against him ; he therefore accused him falsely 
to the Emperor Tiberius of rebellious projects. 

— 10 — 

King Abgar on being made acquainted 
with this accasation, hastened to send mes- 
sengers to the Roman general Marinos, then 
governor of Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, 
for the purpose of yindicating himself. 
During their stay in Palestine these mes- 
sengers — among whom was Anan6, Ab- 
gar's confident — hearing of the wonders 
that were wrought by our Saviour, deter- 
mined to visit Jerusalem, in order to gratify 
their curiosity. 

When therefore their mission was con- 
cluded, they proceeded thither and were fill- 
ed with wonder at witnessing the miracles 
performed by Jesus our Lord. On returning 
to Armenia they related all the parti- 
cular to their master. Abgar after having 
listened to their narrative, became satisfied 
that Jesus was the son of God, and imme- 
diately wrote to him as follows : 

« Abgar, son of Arsham, to Jesus, the great 
Healer, who has appeared in the country of 
Judea at the city of Jerusalem — greeting. 

Lord, — I have heard that thou dost not 
heal by medicines but only through the 
word; that thou makest the blind to see, 
the lame to walk ; that thou cleansest the 
lepers and makest the deaf to hear; that 
thou castest out devils, raisest the dead, and 
healest through the word only. No sooner 

— 11 — 

had the great miracles, that thou perform- 
est, been related to me, than I reflected 
and now believe that thou art God and the 
son of God, descended from heaven to per- 
form these acts of beneficence. For this rea- 
son I have written thee this letter, to pray 
thee to come to me, that I may adore thee 
and be healed of my sickness by thee, accor- 
ding to my faith in thy power. Moreover I 
have heard that the Jews murmur against 
thee and seek to slay thee. I pray thee, 
therefore, come to me ; I have a good little 
city, which is enough for both of us, and 
there we can peaceably live together. » 

Abgar in sending his messengers, gave 
them instructions to offer sacrifices for him 
at the temple at Jerusalem. It is said also, 
that he sent with them a painter in order 
that if the Blessed Saviour would not come, 
he might at least possess a portrait of him. 
Greek historians, however, relate that the 
painter was the same Anan6, the king's con- 
fident, who was skilful in painting. 

The messengers on their arrival at Jeru- 
salem, wished for an opportunity to see 
Christ ; but not presuming to approach him, 
as the day happened to be that of His tri- 
umphal entry in Jerusalem, they applied to 
Philip, one of the Apostles, and said, « We 
wish to see Jesus to deliver our Master's 

— 12 — 

message to him. » Philip then, accompanied 
hy Andrew, went to Jesus and acquainted 
him with the ohject of the messengers' visit. 
Jesus thereupon testified much joy and dic- 
tated the following reply which was written 
down by the Ap. Thomas. 

« Blessed be he who believes in me with- 
out having seen me; for thus it is written 
of me : Those who see me shall not believe in 
me; and those who do not see me, they 
shall believe and be saved. In as much a? 
you have written to me to go to you, know 
that it is necessary I should fulfil here all 
for which I have been sent. And when I 
shall have done so, I shall ascend to Him 
who sent me; and then I will send you one 
of my disciples, who shall remove your 
pain, and shall give life to you and those 
around you. » 

It is related that the before - mentioned 
painter in seeking to take the features of 
our saviour, being unable to execute his 
design, on account of the multitude, was at 
last seen by our Lord, who causing him to 
approach, took a handkerchief, and passing 
it over his sacred face, miraculously impress- 
ed on it an admirable likeness of his count- 
enance, and giving it to Anane, desired him to 
take it to his master, as a reward for his faith. 

— 13 — 

Abgar's messengers returning to Edessa 
presented our Lord's letter, together with 
his sacred likeness, to their Master. The 
king on receiving them was filled with joy, 
and reverentially causing them to be placed 
in meet custody, awaited the fulfilment of 
our Lord's promise. 

After the Ascension, Thomas the Apostle, 
according to our Lord's desire, sent Thad- 
deus, one of the Seventy, to Abgar. On his 
arrival at Edessa, he went to one Tobias, a 
prince of the Pakradunian tribe and conse- 
quently a Jew by origin. This prince having 
received the Apostle in his house, became a 
believer in Christ. The Apostle then began 
to perform many miracles upon sick people, 
and his fame being spread throughout the 
city, reached king Abgar, who thereupon 
sent for the prince Tobias, and desired him 
to bring the Apostle to him. This was done, 
and Thaddeus being introduced to the king, 
instructed him in the faith and healed him 
of his sickness. He likewise miraculously 
bealed many of the sick, and having instruc- 
ted all the people of the city in the new 
doctrine, baptized them, together with the 
king and his Court. All the temples, dedi- 
cated to idols, were shut up, .and a large 
Church was built. Thaddeus then created a 
bishop to rule the new congregation, select- 
ing a silk -mercer, the king's cap -maker, 

— 14 — 

for that office and giving bim the name of 

It is related that apon the principal gate 
of Edessa, was placed the statae of a Greek 
idol, which, all who entered the city, were 
obliged to reverence. King Abgar ordered 
this to be taken away, and placed in its 
stead the sacred portrait of our Lord, with 
this inscription : « Christ God, he who hopes 
in thee, is hot deceived in his hope ; • at the 
same time ordering all those who entered 
the city, to give it divine honour. 

This conversion of king Abgar and of the 
Edessians took place in the 30^*» year of the 
Vulgar Era, or in the thirty third year after 
the birth of Christ. 

Shortly after, Thaddeus, desiring to spread 
the light of the Gospel in other parts of the 
country, went to Inner Armenia to visit Sa- 
nadrug, who then resided in the province of 
Shavarshan or Ardaz. Sanadrug became a 
christian shorly after the arrival of fhe A- 
postle and was baptized, together with his 
daughter Santukht and a great number of 
the chiefs and common people. Here Thad- 
deus, also consecrated a bishop, named Za- 
chariah, and then proceeded to Upper Ar- 
menia; but finding the people there unwill- 
ing to listen to his preaching, he left them 
and went to the country of the Aghuans. 

Abgar, in his zeal for the faith he had 

just embraced, wrote to the Emperor Tibe- 
rius in favour of Christ, informing him how 
the Jews unjustly crucified him, and exhort- 
ing him, at the same time, to believe and 
command also that others should adore the 
Saviour. Thus many letters passed between 
the two monarchs on the subject of. his di- 
vine mission. He also wrote to Ardashes, 
king of Persia, and to his son Nerseh, the 
young king of Assyria, exhorting them to 
become believers in Christ. However, before 
he received replies to these, he died, in the 
third year of his conversion to Christianity. 


King Anane. — Martyrdom of the bishop Adde. — King Sa- 
nadnig. — Quecu Helena. — Return of S. Thaddeus to 
Armenia. — Chrysos and his followers.— Martyrdom of 
S. Thaddeus. 

On the death of king Abgar the kingdom 
was troubled by the pretensions of Sanadrug, 
his nephew, who proclaimed himself king of 
Armenia in the province of Shavarshan, 
while Anan6, the son of the deceased mon- 
arch, ascended the throne of his father in 

The first acts of king Anan^ in assuming 

— 16 — 

the crown, were to apostatize from the faith 
he had so lately embraced, and to endeavour 
to persuade his people to follow his exam- 
ple. He reopened the temples , and pub- 
licly worshipped the idols which they con- 
tained. He projected ^;he removal of the sa- 
cred likeness of our Saviour, which had beea 
placed by king Abgar in a niche over the 
principal gate of the city. 

But Add6 , the bishop , being inform- 
ed of the king's design, in company with 
some of the faithful, went by night to the 
spot, and covered the niche with a wall, 
thus endeavouring to turn the king's 
thoughts from the execution of his design. 
Anan^ then sent to Add^, directing him to 
make for him a diadem, as he had done be- 
fore for his father. The bishop replied : « My 
hands shall never make a diadem for the 
head that bows not in adoration of Jesus 
Christ. » The king, incensed at this reply, 
immediately directed that the feet of the holy 
bishop be cut off. The executionner found 
Add^ in the church preaching to the people, 
and immediately fulfilled the atrocious or- 
ders he had received from the king. The 
holy bishop died in consequence, and thus 
became the first christian martyred in Ar- 

• At this period Anan6 began to repair his 
royal mansion at Edessa. Being present di- 

— 17 — 

recting the workmen who were placing a 
large marble pillar, it suddenly fell upon 
him and broke his legs, in consequence of 
which he died; thus was he punished for his 
savage barbarity towards the martyred bi- 
shop Md6. 

Sanadrug, who reigned in Shavarshan, 
had also apostatized from Christianity. On 
being informed of the death of Anan^, the 
late king, he immediately marched to Edes* 
sa. The people of the city, who were christ- 
ians, alarmed at the news of the approach 
of Sanadrug, sent to him and ofEerod to 
submit, if he would swear not to molest 
them in the exercise of their religion, nor 
commit any kind of violence on them. This 
oath Sanadrug took ; but once in Edessa, he 
massacred all the males of the house of Ab- 
gar. He sent queen Helena, Abgar's relict, to 
Eharan, giving her the government of Me- 
sopotamia, in return for the kindness he had 
received, through her, from his uncle. Queen 
Helena remained firm in the christian faith; 
highly endowed with the gifts of divine 
grace, she went on a pilgrimage to Jerusa- 
lem, and a famine breaking out there, in 
the days of the Emperor Claudius, she sent 
for a large quantity of corn from Egypt, arid 
distributed it to the poor. On her death she 
was interred with great pomp before one of 
the gates of Jerusalem, and having been re- 

— 18 — 

garded as a public benefactress, a magnif- 
icent mausoleum was erected over her re- 

When the news of the apostasy of A- 
nan^ and Sanadrug reached Thaddeus, he 
was greatly grieved ; and although he was 
then in Cesarea of Cappadocia, where he had 
erected several churches and appointed as 
bishop one Theophilus, he determined to re- 
turn to Edessa again to preach the Gospel 
to Sanadrug. On his reaching the borders of 
Mesopotamia, he fell in with an embassy 
sent by the Romans to Sanadrug, composed 
of five persons, patricians, of whom the 
chief was called Chrysos. Thaddeus convin- 
ced them of the truth of Christianity, con- 
verted and baptized them, and conferred 
priest's orders on Chrysos. They then, giv- 
ing up all their property, followed the A- 
postle and became preachers of the Gospel, 
and were known by the name of Followers 
of Chrysos. In the course of time each of 
these good men obtained the crown of mar- 

On the news of these conversions reach- 
ing Sanadrug, he invited Thaddeus to meet 
him in Shavarshan, where as soon as he ar- 
rived, he put him to death not sparing 
even his own daughter Santukht, who re- 
fused to apostatize from the faith she had 
learned from the holy Apostle. At her death 

— 19 — 

manj miracles were wrought, which were 
the cause of the conversion to Christianity 
of many of the heathens ; among whom was 
a very celebrated chief, who being baptized, 
together with all his family, was called Sa- 
muel, and was put to death by order of the 
king. A princess of the name of Zarman- 
takht became also a convert together with 
all her household, to the number two hun- 
dred persons; all of whom suffered death in 
consequence^ As for Chrysos and his follow- 
ers, they retired on the Dzaghgui mount 
near the source of the Euphrates , and 
devoted themselves to an ascetic life. 


The Apostle Bartholomew and the portrait of the Virgin.— 
He erects a Nunnery. — Several conversions effected by 
him. — He is martyred. — The nuns. — Jude the Apostle. 
— Relics of the Apostle St. Thomas. — Some of the Se- 
venty two disciples. — Chrysos and Sukias. — The mar- 
tyrdom of Chrysos and his followers. 

At this time, A. D. 50, Bartholomew the 
Apostle came into Armenia, bringing with 
him the portrait of the Virgin Mary, of 
which portrait Moses of Khoren says, that 
« St. John the Evangelist having painted 

— 20 — 

tho portrait of the holy Vii^n upon C3rpTes3 
wood, when her last hour arriyed, the A- 
postles prayed her to ble» it, that it might 
be a consolation to them, and a meaos for 
healing the sick. The holy Virgin in fblfil- 
meut of their wish^ placed the portrait upon 
her &ce, and then gave it to them as a re- 
membrance. » 

After the death of the holy Tii^in, Bar- 
tholomew^ who was not present at hor last 
hoar, coming to Jerusalem , • was much 
grieved at not finding her still alive. He 
then prayed the other Apostles to permit 
him to open her tomb, that he might see 
her for the last time. Upon granting this 
request^ they discovered that her assump- 
tion had taken place ; and the Apostles, in 
order to comfort Bartholomew, gave him 
the portrait on cypress wood in accordance 
with his wish- This portrait the Apostle 
brought with him to Armenia, and arriving 
in the territory of the Antzevatzies, he 
wrought many miracles through the same ; 
then having built a church near a river, 
and dedicated it to the Holy Virgin, he de- 
posited the sacred relic therein, and on a 
mountain near by he erected a Gross. 

He erected also near the church a nun- 
nery calling it « The Convent of Souls, » 
appointing Mary, sister of a chief named 
Hussig, to be Abbess. Then the Apostle 

— 21 — 

preaching the Gospel in Lower Armenia, 
converted numbers to Christianity ; among 
others Okohi or Takuhi, the sister of Sa- 
nadrng, with the principal oflOicer of her 
household. Sanadrug on being informed 
of this, caused her to be seized and put to 
death. He also laid hands on Bartholomew, 
&jed him alive, and then crucified him in 
the city of Arevbanus, where his remains 
were interred. 

Then Mary, the Superior of the Convent 
founded by Bartholomew, gave up the care 
of it to Anna her second, and crossing the 
river built a hut on a lonely spot, where 
she led a solitary life , during the remainder 
of her days. Anna, her successor, shortly after 
following her example, ended her days in 
religious isolation. The other nuns, who 
were left behind in the convent, ended their 
lives some in austere seclusion, some by 
martyrdom. This Convent was, afterwards, 
rebuilt by St. Gregory the Illuminator, of 
whom it is recorded that he took the Cross 
erected by St. Bartholomew, and carried it 
with him wherever he went, by which 
means many miracles were performed. After- 
wards this same Cross was placed upon 
the tomb of king Tiridates. 

Jude, another of the Apostles, also came 
into Armenia, and was put to death in the 
city of Ormi where he was also buried. We 

— 22 — 

are also told, that some of the bones of the 
Apostle Thomas, who suffered in India, were 
brought into Armenia, and placed in the 
village of Hoghtz, in the province of 

At this time Eghish&, also a disciple of 
Thaddeus, who was ordained bishop by St. 
James the brother of our Lord, accompanied 
by three disciples came into Upper Arme- 
nia, where, by his preaching many converts 
to Christianity were made. He suffered mar- 
tyrdom on the plain of Zartuni. 

Eusthatius, one of the Seventy, Came also 
to Armenia, and was put to death in Sunia, 
and his remains were interred in the place 
now called by his name Sdathev or Dathev. 

Thus was Christianity introduced in Ar- 
menia, and such were its principal promot- 
ers, who, with their own blood, sealed the 
truth of the Gospel. On account of the a- 
postasy of the king and of the chiefs, the 
nation again fell into idolatry, and the faith- 
ful few who remained firm in the new 
doctrines, were obliged to conceal their 
religion in order to avoid persecution. 

King Sanadrug was succeeded by Er- 
want ^ and Erwant by Ardashes the Second. 
It was during his days. A. D. 92, and about 
forty three years after the death of St. Thad- 

1 See hist, of Armen., p. 94. 

— as -, 

deus, that Chrysos and his followers, who 
lived an ascetic life on the mount of Zagh- 
gatz, and were grown very old, left their 
hermitage and went down to the city of Ar- 
dashad. There they preached the Gospel and 
their zeal was crowned with success. For 
some of the near relations of the queen, 
listening to their preaching , believed in 
Christ and were baptized. These were seven- 
teen persons , who had accompanied queen 
Sathinig ^ from the country of the Aghuans, 
-when she came a bride to king Ardashes. 
They all followed Chrysos into the wilder- 
ness, and adopted the life of hermits; their 
leader was named Sukias. 

Some time after, Ardavazd, the eldest son 
of king Ardashes, having met them on the 
mountains, sought to induce Sukias and his 
followers, to leave the wilderness and return 
with him to the world ; but they remained 
firm in their faith, which so enraged Arda- 
vazd, that he caused Chrysos and his fol- 
lowers to be put to death. 

Sukias and his followers were left unmo- 
lested, and after burying their murdered 
brethren remained in the wilderness, lead- 
ing a life of austerity, their nourishment 
consisting of herbs. But willing to suffer 
yet more, they retired to an unfrequented 

i Se« hist, of Arm., p. 98. 

— 24 — 

mountain which was called afterwards by 
their name Sugav. Eventually, in the be- 
ginning of the 2°^ century, they suffered 

In concluding the narrative of this first 
epoch of Christianity in Armenia, we may 
note that the first list of the saints, whom 
we yearly commemorate, is formed of those 
who suffered martyrdom from the date of 
king Abgar down to that of Sukias. 

~ 25 — 


€Iinsf«aiis in Armenia during the time of king Chosroes« — * 
Anag. — Gregory the lUumiQiitor and his sons. — Tin* 

The seeds of the Christian faith, once 
being sown in Armenia through the preach- 
ing of the Apostles, took root so firmly, 
that no persecutions were able to eradicate 
them. It is recorded in the history of the 
nation, that in the time of king Chosroes 
the First, who reigned A. D. 214, many 
christians were scattered over the kingdom, 
who were subject to persecution, and many 
were put to death by order of the king be- 
cause of their faith. Others were compelled 
to work in the erection of cities, towns, and 
villages, and other buildings which the 
king had undertaken. 

Nevertheless the real history of the con- 
version of all Armenia to Christianity, be- 
gins with that of the public life of St. Gre- 
gory the Illuminator, who bore high the 
light of Truth in his country, and expelled 
thence for ever the darkness of idolatry. 
2 2 

— 26 — 

We have related in the history of Arme- 
nia* how Anag, of the tribe of the Sure- 
nian Pahlaviea, who resided in Persia, temp- 
ted by the bribe which was promised by Ar- 
dashir the Sassanian, usurper of the crown 
of Persia, undertook to assassinate Chosroes, 
the Armenian king. 

Taking his family with him, Anag pre- 
tended to flee from Arda»hir, and came to 
Armenia, feigning all the time to be perse- 
cuted by Persian troops. Chosroes being de- 
ceived , sent an escort to protect him. 
Thus Anag first arrived in the province of 
Ardaz, and resided for a short time in the 
very place where the remains of St. Thad- 
deus the Apostle were deposited. 

It is said that here it was that Okohy, 
the wife of Anag, conceived her child, after- 
wards St. Gregory the Illuminator. Anag 
removed thence to the city of Vaghar- 
ahabad^ where the king Chosroes had 
fixed his residence;, and here St. Gregory 
was born, in the year of our Lord 257. 
Anag seizing an opportunity, struck Chos- 
roes to the heart and fled. But he was 
pursued by the soldiery and drowned in 
the river Arax. The troops then seized the 
family of Anag, and massacred every 
member of it , except St. Gregory , who 

I Hist, of Arm., p. 106. 

-- 27 — 

■was saved by his nnrse Sophia , assisted 
bj her brother Euthalius, both of whom 
were Christians and natives of Cesarea, 
whither they fled with him. He was there 
baptized and named Gregory. 

Whea he attained the age of maturity, 
Sophia caused him to marry Mary, the 
daughter of one David a christian, of whom 
two sons were born named Vertanes and 
Arisdagues. After they had been married 
three years, they parted by mutual con- 
sent, and Mary entered a convent of nuns, 
where she died. Arisdagues, her younger 
son, afterwards became a monk ; but Verta- 
nes, the elder, took wife, by whom he had 
two sons, Gregoris and Hussig. 

Ardashir, the usurper of the crown of 
Persia, being informed of the death of king 
Chosroes, entered Armejiia and put all the 
members of the family of the ' murdered 
ting to death, with the exception of the 
younger Tiridates and his sister Chosrovi- 
tukht ^ . 

Tiridates having grown to manhood, dis- 
tinguished himself in the Roman Army ; and 
St. Gregory hearing of his renown went 
to Rome, after he had parted from his wife, 
and obtained service near his person. Thi& 
be did without disclosing his real name^ 

1 See hist, of Armen., p. 407r 

— 28 — 

and with the object in view of compen- 
sating by his services for the mischief his 
father had done to the prince's house. 

When Tiridates was proclaimed king of 
Armenia, he proceeded to the province of 
Egueghiatz, where, in the town of Eriza, 
was a temple of the goddess Anahid, that 
is Diana daughter of Jupiter, whom the 
Armenians worshipped as the guardian of 
their country. There Tiridates offered sacri- 
fices to the Goddess in gratitude for the 
many favours he thought he had re- 
ceived from her. There he invited Gregory 
to join him in his idolatry and offerings 
to the Goddess of crowns, branches and 
flowers. Gregory refused, saying that he 
only worshipped the God of heaven and 

Tiridates astonished at hearing this re- 
fusal, directed that Gregory should be kept 
in strict confinement. Then ordering him 
to be brought into his presence, and being 
unsuccessful in making him renounce Christ- 
ianity he caused him to be tortured in 
twelve different modes. At length discov- 
ering that he was the son of Auag, the 
murderer of his father, he ordered him to 
be taken to the fortress of Ardashad and 
to be thrown into a deep pit, where it was 
the custom to throw criminals ; there Gre- 
gory remained fourteen years, being sup- 

— 29 — 

ported all that time, through the mercy of 
the Lord, hy the charity of a pious Christ- 
ian woman. 

Tiridates after many victories against the 
Persians, whom he drove from Armenia, 
ordered sacrifices to he every where offered 
to the Gods in thankfulness for the favours 
he had received from them. But being in- 
formed that there were many christians 
scattered over his kingdom, who would 
never conforna to the wish of the king in 
offering sacrifices to idols, he ordered them 
to be persecuted, directing the governors 
of the provinces to torture them and to 
confiscate their property. 

— 30 — 


Tbe Ripsimians. «^ A divine punishment inflicted upon the 
king Tiridates and bis people. — - Gbosrovitukht receives 
a divine revelation. — Sf . Gregory is released from the pit. 
— Tbe relics of the Ripsimians. — The healing of the king 
and his people. 

Now there was in Rome a convent of 
nuns, amongst whom was a young girl of 
great beauty, named Ripsim^. The abbess 
of the nunnery was called Kayan^, a pious 
and worthy woman. 

The Emperor Diocletian wishing to pos- 
sess a handsome wife, sent people express- 
ly in search of the comeliest woman in 
his empire. These men entered the con- 
vent by force, admired Ripsim6's angelic 
beauty, and painting her portrait, placed 
it before the Emperor. Diocletian was so 
much delighted with it that he immedia- 
tely ordered the original to be brought to 
him, at the same time giving directions 
for the celebration of the nuptials. 

But Kayan^ and the nuns, seeing the 
danger to which their pupil and their 
community were exposed, decided to leave 

— 31 — 

the coDvent immediately and to take re- 
fuge in foreign countries. They, therefore, 
in company with several pious priests, and 
to the number of more than seventy, went 
different ways toward the East, and scat- 
tered themselves over different localities. 
Kayan^ and Ripsime, however, together 
with thirty five of their companions, took 
the direction of the province of Ararat and 
arrived near the city of Ardashad, where 
they took refuge in the vineyards, and 
settled themselves in a building which 
served to keep the vats for wine. 

Diocletian seeing the failure of his plans 
and the disappointment of his hopes, insti- 
tuted a search for the nuns; and hearing 
they were gone to Armenia, he wrote to 
Tiridates, directing that Ripsim^ should be 
forwarded to Rome, unless he choose to 
retain her as his own wife. 

Thereupon Tiridates ordered inquiries to 
be made, and shortly after the place was 
discovered where the nuns had taken re- 
fuge. Precautions were taken to prevent 
their escape, but the fame of the beauty 
of Ripsim6 being spread about, the people 
of the neighbourhood crowded there to 
admire her; and the report being brought 
to the king, he ordered his men to bring 
her with great pomp to him. His wish 
was to marry her ; but Ripsimd, being ex- 

— 33 — 

horted by Kayan6 to die rather than to 
deny Christ for the sake of terrestrial ho- 
nours, would not go to the king; where- 
upon Tiridates ordered her to be brought 
by force. This was done, but the Virgin 
proved triumphant against the solicitations 
of the monarch; she being strengthened by 
divine power^ fought and vanquished the 
king when he attempted to violate her. 
Tiridates though ashamed of being vanquish- 
ed by a young girl , ordered Kayan6 to 
be brought, that she should exhort the 
Virgin to comply with the king's wish. 
But she, instead of fulfilling the order of 
the monarch, exhorted Ripsim6 to keep 
herself pure and to despise the grandeur 
of this world. Then the king trying again, 
was again overcame by the Virgin ; where- 
upon Ripsim^ opening the doors, ran out 
and passing through the astonished guards, 
crossed the streets of the city and gained 
the country. She went directly to her com- 
panions and related to them all that had 
passed between her and the king. Then 
she retired to a high place and knelt down 
in prayer. 

Tiridates ashamed and incensed at being 

repulsed by a girl, ordered Ripsim6 to be 

tortured and put to death. The men sent by 

the king, proceeded to the place where Rip- 

.•im6 was engaged in prayer, and there^ 

-^ 33 — 

after inflicting upon her many dreadful 
tortures, they cut her body to pieces, thus 
putting an end to her sufferings. Her com- 
panions assembled to inter the body, but 
were arrested by the soldiery and put to 
death. They were in number thirty two. 
But one of them being sick, had remained 
in the wine press; she was killed on the 
spot by the soldiery. The bodies of these 
martyrs were thrown out on the fields as 
food for the beasts of prey. 

The day after Tiridates ordered Kayan^ 
with her two companions to be put to death. 
Thus the number of these martyrs amoun- 
ted to thirty seven. This occurred in the 
year 301 on the 5*^ and 6**^ of October. 

Shortly after the king and many of the 
chiefs and people of his household were 
visited by the wrath of God with a sore 
disease for their persecution of the saints. 
A general consternation prevailed among 
them and they ran about like mad people, 
possessed of devils. 

While they were in this deplorable con- 
dition, the virgin Chosrovitukht, sister of 
the king, received a divine revelation ; ac- 
cording to which she was ordered to send 
to Ardashad and to release Gregory from 
the pit; he would heal the king and all 
the people of their disease. But this seem- 
ed incredible to all; as it was fourteen 
2 2* 

— 34 — 

years since Gregory had been thrown into 
the pit, and be no doabt bad died, like 
many others. Nevertheless the same vision 
baying been repeated five times on the 
second day with threats, they were oblig- 
ed to send to the spot one of the chiefs 
named Oda ; who proceeding with bis men 
to Ardasbad, went to the pit and found 
that Gregory was really still alive. He was 
taken oat of the pit and brought imme- 
diately to Vagharshabad, where the chiefs 
awaited the fulfilment of the vision. 

They were all overjoyed on seeing the saint 
so miraculously preserved during so many 
years ; and the king, as well as the chiefs, 
prostrating themselves before him besought 
him to pardon them all the mischief they 
had caused him. But the saint comforting 
them exhorted them to acknowledge their 
creator, who only was able to redeem them. 
Then he asked them where they had put 
the bodies of the Martyrs ; and on their 
being astonished, not knowing to what he 
referred, he said ; the saints whom you kill- 
ed for their belief in God. Then they 
brought him to the place where the bodies 
of the martyrs were thrown, and they saw 
that after nine days and nights of exposure 
the holy relics had suffered no injury. 

He then collected the bodies of the saints 
and transported them to the wine -press. 

— 55 — 

There establishing himself, he ordered the 
kiog and all those who suffered, as well as 
the people, to fast five days and to recom- 
mend themselves to the mercy of God. Then 
for sixty consecutive days, he, in the same 
place preached the gospel, instructing them 
about the Creation, the Holy Trinity, the 
incarnation of the Word, and explaining to 
them what the Prophets and the Apostles 
had said of Christ. 

On the sixty sixth day, the king and all 
the people besought him earnestly to heal 
them from the disease of which they suffer- 
ed; for they could not depart from the 
presence of the saint without being tormen- 
ted by the devils. St. Gregory, however, 
before healing wished them to build a place 
for the repose of the bodies of the saints, 
through whose intercession God would par- 
don them their sins and heal them. And 
forthwith he related to them a vision he 
had in the same place, in which he saw 
the son of God coming down from heaven. 

Thereupon the king and the Nobles and 
all the people, helped St. Gregory in the 
construction of three chapels, where were 
deposited the relics of the saints, each of 
whom was placed in a separate coffin and 
sealed with the sign of the cross. Then they 
enclosed with a wall the place where St. 
Gregory had seen the vision, that they 

— 56 — 

might there build a church in dne tima 
There they also erected the sign of the Cross 
before which all the people prostrating 
themselves, worshipped. And the people 
being continually enlightened by the 
preaching of St. Gregory , believed in the 
true God. 

Beholding this St. Gregory ordered them 
to kneel down and to pray to the merciful 
God to heal them. Which the people having 
done, he also prayed to God for them, and 
suddenly a miraculous healing was produc- 
ed, and the king, the chiefs and all who 
suffered of the disease, were overjoyed to 
see themselves free from their sufferings. 

Then Gregory and Tiridates began to 
exterminate idolatry in Armenia ; they 
destroyed temples , statues , and idols 
throughout the land wherever they found 
them, the people assisting them in the 
ivork and becoming faithful to Christ. 



St. Gregory {s elected to bo spiritual head of the Armenians* 
— His journey to Cesarea and his consecration. — The re- 
lics of St. John^ — St. Gregory returns to Armenia. -^ 
King Tiridates and his Court are baptized. — Elehmiadzia 
is buih. — Festivities. — Arisckgues appointed vicar. ^ 
St. Gregory and Tiridates go to Rome. — St. Gregory is 
appointed by Pope St. Silvester High Pontiff of the Ar- 

After having preached the Gospel through- 
out Armenia, and having performed many 
miracles in destroying the idols, St. Grego- 
ry , together with the king and the chiefs, 
returned again to the city of Vagharshabad, 
the seat of Government. There Gregory ad- 
vised the king to choose some one for their 
spiritual head, that he should baptize them 
and unite them in one family in the Church. 

Thereupon an assembly was held by the 
king and the chiefs, and all agreed in elect- 
ing Gregory for their spiritual head. He, 
however, would not accept at first, arguing 
his unworthiness ; but at last he was oblig- 
ed to conform to the desires of the people. 

Immediately preparations were made and 
be was conveyed to Cesarea to be ordained 
bishop of Armenia by Leontius Metropolitan 
of that city. 

— :8 — 

Gregory entered Cappadocia and arrived 
at Gesarea, and was broaght to the presence 
of the blessed Leontias by his escort, com- 
posed of fifteen among the most illustrious 
chiefs of Armenia. They brought Leontius a 
letter from king Tiridates, in which he relat- 
ed to the holy bishop all that had passed 
between him and all the Armenians, and 
besought him to lay hands upon Gregory 
and ordain him bishop of Armenia. 

Leontius overjoyed at this news, imme- 
diately united his bishops, and ordained 
Gregory Archbishop of Armenia. This oc- 
curred in the year 302. He then presented 
him with some relics of St. John the Bapt- 
ist and of the bishop Athanagenes, and sent 
him back to Armenia with great honour. 
Gregory brought with him from Cesarea, 
according to the recommendation of Leon- 
tius, two monks named Antonius and Ghro- 
nides, together with their disciples, in order 
that he might erect monasteries and found 
the monastic system in Armenia. In the 
same way, passing through Sebastia, Gre- 
gory invited many learned christians to go 
to Armenia with him, where being ordain- 
ed priests, they assisted him in preaching 
the gospel. 

Then Gregory entered Armenia preach- 
ing the Gospel, baptizing the people of the 
country and erecting churches every where. 


King Tiridates being made acquainted 
with the return to Armenia of Gregory, in 
company with queen Ashkhen and hie sister 
Ohosro^itukbt, and his troops, went to meet 
him. He stopped in the province of Pakre- 
vant, where, after one month, he was joined 
by Gregory in the city of Pakavan. There 
Gregory again instructed the king and his 
retinue in the christian doctrines, and after 
ordering them to fast, he baptized the king, 
his Court and thousands of the people in the 
river Euphrates, giving to the king the 
Dame of Johannes, in honour of St. John 
the Baptist. Then returning to VagLarsha- 
bad, to the seat of the Government, Gregory 
began to build the Church of Etchmiadzin, 
on the very spot where he had seen the vi- 
sion, and which he had already surrounded 
with a wall. He thenceforward ordered a 
yearly commemoration to be held, which is 
done to the present day on the eve of the 
Assumption of the Holy Virgin. In the same 
way he ordered many other festivities and 
commemorative days of Saints, namely of 
the Virgin, of the Ripsimians, Eayanians, 
St. John the Baptist and other saints, whose 
intercession the Armenian Church diligently 
invokes in performance of the wise regula- 
tions of St. Gregory the Illuminator. 

Then St. Gregory, in company with the 
king, proceeded to the other provinces of 

— 60 — 

the kingdom , every where administering 
the holy baptism, destroying the remains 
of idolatry, bailding churches and ordaining 
bishops and priests to instruct the people. 
In the mean time he erected also convents, 
nunneries, hospitals and schools, appointing 
teachers for the purpose of preparing those 
worthy for the service of the church. Ac- 
cording to the writings of national histo- 
rians, the number of bishops ordained by St. 
Gregory in Armenia, amounted to more than 
four hundred; and the number of the priests 
was also immense. In this way he diffused 
the light of the Gospel throughout the land, 
being assisted by king Tiridates who en- 
deavoured by every means to assist him. 

Now Gregory having put his church in 
order, began to retire frequently to solitary 
places for the purposes of devotion and fast- 
ing. This he renewed so often and for such 
periods, that the king could not endure his 
absence, and therefore prayed him to re- 
main near him. On Gregory's being unwill- 
ing to do this, the king requested him to 
ordain one of his two sons, who were in 
Greece, as Vicar, who should remain per- 
manently near the person of the king. On 
Gregory's consenting, they sent for the two 
sons; Arisdagues, who was a hermit, reluc- 
tantly came and was ordained bishop, in 
the year 313. Gregory took Arisdagues with 

— 41 — 

him and set out on a tour through the 
country visiting carefully his people. 

In the course of a short time news reach- 
ed Armenia that the Emperor Constantino 
was a convert to Christianity ; .whereupon 
Tiridates and St. Gregory undertook a jour- 
ney to Rome, A. D. 315, to visit him. On 
their arrival at Rome, they were received 
with great honours hy the Emperor Cons- 
tantino and St. Silvester ; an alliance between 
the two nations was solemnly agreed upon, 
and Gregory was consecrated by St. Silves- 
ter, High Pontiff of all Armenia. 

After a stay of one month in Rome, they 
set out on their return to Armenia. Gregory 
was presented by St. Silvester, with the 
left arm of the Apostle Andrew, and also 
with that of Luke the Evangelist, as well 
as with some relics of the Apostles Peter 
and Paul, and of other Saints. On their ar- 
rival in Armenia, Gregory built a church 
and a Monastery at the foot of Mount Tau- 
rus, where he placed the holy relics, and 
appointed twelve monks and a bishop nam- 
ed Eliazar, for its service; the place was 
called Eliazar's, and also, the Apostles' Mo- 

— 52 — 


The Council of Nice. — The FirsI Nalional Council, — The 
addition made by St. Gregory fo the Nicean Creed.— 
Death of Si. Gregory. — His remains. — Arisdagues. — 
Vertanes. — SU Jacob of Nisibis. — Si. Gregoris Pontiff of 
the Aghi.ans. — ^ Death of king Tiridales. — Queen Asb- 
Lhen and KhosrovituUit. — Death of the Pontiff Vertanes* 

In the year 325, the famous Council of 
Nice was held, to which the Emperor Cons- 
tantine invited Tiridates with St. Gregory to 
assist. They, however, being prevented from 
going, sent St. Arisdagues in their stead, 
who was received with great honour by the 
bishops of the Council as a holy man and 
as son of a Confessor. He, after the conclu- 
sion of the Council, took copies of the Creed 
of the Fathers and the twenty Canons esta- 
blished by the Council, and returned to Ar- 
menia. St. Gregory immediately assembled 
his bishops in the city of Yagharshabad 
and held the first National Council, in 
which he read the Nicean Creed and the 
Canons. The council accepted the decisions 
of the Council of Nice, and St. Gregory 
admitting the Creed, added to it the follow- 
ing prayer : 

« As for us, we glorify 'Him who was be- 

— 43 — 

fore all ages, adoring the Holy Trinity and 
the only Divinity of the Father, Son and 
the Holy Ghost, now and througt world 
without end ^'» 

This prayer is recited up to the present 
day in Divine service at the end of the 
Nicean Creed. ♦ 

After this event, in the year 331, St. 
Gregory withdrew himself from all enter- 
course with men, and retiring into Upper 
Armenia, took up his ahode in a cavern in 
Mount Sebuh. Here he lived, more like an 
heavenly spirit than a creature of Earth, 
until his departure from this life to inherit 
the reward of the righteous. He superin- 
tended the Armenian Church during a pe- 
riod of thirty years. 

His body was found by some shepherds, 
who buried it in the same spot raising there- 
on a heap of stones. There it lay unknown 
for a few years, when it was discovered by 
a hermit named Karnig, who, it is said, was 
directed to the spot by divine revelation. 
His remains were then placed in Thortan ; 
but afterwards they were transported to the 
city of Vagharshabad. There they remained 
a long time, when they were transfered to 
Duin; but afterwards his remains were 
spread here and there over the country as 

1 Liturgy, p. 43. 

— 44 — 

relics, some were carried to Constantinople 
and theuce to Naples, where they are pre- 
served in the Church and Convent which 
was built on purpose and is called San Li- 
gorio or Gregorio Armeno. 

After St. Gregory's death, A. D. 332, 
Arisdagues, his younger son, occupied the 
pontifical chair. He governed the Armenian 
Church with prudence and zeal ; he built a 
number of churches and convents, and made 
many laudable improvements in the spiri- 
tual welfare of the people. He was unremit- 
tingly zealous in the discharge of his func- 
tions, admonishing without distinction the 
prince and the peasant, when their conduct 
was blameable. One of the Armenian chiefs, 
called Archelaus, styled prince of the Fourth 
Armenia, having been admonished by Aris- 
dagues on account of his aversion to him, 
was so much incensed , that waylaying 
the Pontiff while on his way to the province 
of Zops, he killed him. His body was con- 
veyed to the province of Egueghiatz and 
buried in the village of Thil, which had 
been given by Tiridates to St. Gregory. A- 
risdagues presided over the Church in Ar- 
menia seven years, 

Vertanes, his brother, succeeded him, A. 
D. 339. He was a man of uncommon piety, 
wisdom and zeal, and ever on the alert to 
improve the state of his church. It is related 

— 45 — 

of him that being desirous of introducing in 
the Armenian churches, the ceremonies of 
the church of Jerusalem, Vertanes sent to 
Macarius, the patriarch of that city, for in- 
formation thereupon. The latter having held 
a synod, wrote to Vertanes and furnished 
him with eight canons , which although 
their authenticity be contested by some, 
we think worthy of resuming here : 

1. Deacons may not administer the sacrament 
of baptism; if however they have^ through igno" 
ranee or following local customs done sOj they are 
guiltless; but if hence forward they dare do sOj they 
shall be punished, 

2. The baptismal font shall be erected in the 
church where baptisms ought to take place. If^ 
however^ the minister finds the place unprovided 
with a church or baptismal font^ he may baptize 
without them by immerging thrice, 

3. Church ministers shall every where and eS" 
pecially in church, comport theynselves respectfully^ 
and in an orderly muinner maintaining each his 
due rank, 

4. The holy oilj i. e. the holy Chrism^ shall be 
blessed by the High Pontiff^; but if in consequence 
of the distance of a place ^ there be no possibility of 
carrying it thither ^ then by order of the Pontiffs a 
bishops assisted by two or at least by one other 
bishops may bless il. The oil^ however^ for the use 

— 46 — 

of the Catechumen^ and that for the sictc^ shall he 
blessed by the pnest. 

5. No one conscious of unrefented sin^ nor any 
one of weak failhj shall dare approach the sacra' 
went of Eucharist, 

6. During the celebration of Mass members of 
other communions may not be present, 

7. Newly made bread and unmixed wine shall 
be brought by the deacons to the Altar^ for the 
prie t to bless and make use of in the sacrament, 

8. The Altar shall be furnished with a curtain; 
a curtain shall likewise hang down before the 
sanctuary^ within which only the minislet^s celebro' 
ting the Mass may enter: the other ministers 
present shall take their stations outside it^ each 
according to his rank* 

At this period St. Jacob, patriarch of Ni- 
sibis, cousin of St. Gregory , and son of 
Chosrovitukht sister of Anag, -was much 
famed for his -wisdom and sanctity. Many 
miracles were wrought by him, and even 
the dead were restored to life, it is said, 
through his prayers. He was one of the 
members of the Council of Nice where he 
was much honoured by the Fathers and also 
by the Emperor Constantino. St. Vertanes 
wrote him a letter asking information upon 
prayer, faith and other subjects. St. Jacob 

— 47 — 

thereupon, composed for him eighteen trear* 
tises, which contain most excellent doctrine. 

St. Vertanes, after this, agreeably to the 
wish of king Tiridates, consecrated his eldest 
son Gregoris archbishop, and sent him 
amoDgst the Aghuans, where he became an 
example to all of sanctity and virtue. But 
not long after he was martyred there, the 
Aghuans being unwilling to modify their 
conduct in accordance with his admonitions. 
It is supposed that from this mission the 
pontificate among the Aghuans must have 

In the mean time, notwithstanding the 
zealous labour of St. Vertanes, many of the 
Armenian chiefs became relax in the obser- 
vance of their christian duties, by taking 
concubines and committing other indecen- 
cies. Tiridates and Vertanes endeavoured to 
make them desist from their iniquity, and 
to lead a life consistent with the purity of 
the christian faith : but perceiving the in- 
efficacy of their exhortatiois, and that the 
chiefs daily departed from the paths of vir- 
tue, the king became disgusted and retired 
from the government. He secluded himself 
in the same cavern, on Mount Sebuh, for- 
merly occupied by St. Gregory, he there liv- 
ed a life of the greatest mortification and 
self-denial, wholly devoting himself to the 
worship of his Creator and the Blessed Sav- 

— 48 — 

iour. The chiefs, however, endeavoured to in- 
duce him to return, promising to amend 
th6ir lives. On his refusal, they poisoned him 
out of revenge. His remains were interred in 
the fortress of Ani. They a^t^xnpted also to 
kill St. Vertanes, but when they attempted 
to execute their bloody design, their hands, 
it is said, were withheld by an invisible 
power, and the bishop passed through them 
unhurt. He retired to his village of Thil, 
and there remained. 

As for queen Ashkhen, the consort of 
king Tiridates and Chosrovitukht his sister, 
they retired to the city of Karny, to the re- 
sidence built expressly for them by him. 
Here they lived a life of peace, devotion and 
mortification, and in due time were called 
away to God. They were counted among 
the Saints, and their memory is yearly 
celebrated in the Armenian church. 

St. Vertanes, the Great pontiff, having 
lived a life of the greatest holiness, and gov- 
erned the church of Armenia for a period 
of more than fifteen years, died, and accord- 
ing to his desire, was buried in the village 
of Thortan, in the year 355. 

— 49 — 


Hussn^* — > Julian tlie AposUf e« — Daniel. — The two 
t>f Hussig. — Parnerseli. — MiersDS. — Hie Council of 
Ashdifthad and the iroproyements introduced by St. Pf ierses 
in the government of the Church. — He is consecrated by 
the Armenian bishops High Pontiff of tbe Armenians. 

Vertanes "was succeeded in the pontifical 
chair by his youngest son Hossig. During 
the life of his father Hussig had married 
the daughter of Diran *, who at this time 
was king of Armenia. He had by his wife 
two soBS named Bab and Athanakines. For 
a long time previous to the death of the 
late Pontiff, Hussig had secluded himself 
from the world, leading a life of the sever- 
est mortification. He was universally esteem- 
ed for his intimate acquaintance with the 
holy Scriptures ; and the fame of his sanc- 
tity was so great, that at the death of his 
father he was unanimously appointed his 

Julian the Apostate being at this time 
Emperor at Constantinople, declared war 
against Shabuh the Persian king. He was 
assisted in his expedition by Diran to whom, 

i See hist, of Arm., p. 143. 

2 3 

— 50 — 

as a mark of his favour and esteem, he 
gave his portrait, on which were repre- 
sented also figures of devils, requesting him 
to place it on the eastern side of the church 
in the Armenian metropolis. Diran, to comp- 
ly with the wish of the Apostate, was in 
the act of hanging the picture with his own I 
hands, when Hussig the PontiflF arrived on 
the spot, and exhorted him to desist from 
BO horrible an abomination. But the king 
persisting in his design, the holy pontiff 
unable any longer to restrain his indigna- 
tion, snatched the picture from the hands 
of the king, and throwing it on the ground, 
trampled it to pieces. Diran, fearing that 
Julian would attribute this to disrespect on 
his part, and that he would, consequently, 
be visited with the Emperor's vengeance, 
in a fit of violent rage caused Hussig to be 
seized and scourged so severely that he ex- 
pired under the punishment. His pontificate 
lasted six years. His remains were interred 
near those of his father in the village of 

The Armenians then appointed to the 
pontifical chair an old man named Daniel, 
a Syrian, and disciple of St. Gregory, by 
whom he had been consecrated priest. His 
sway, however, lasted a very short time; 
for being brought to the presence of the 
king, he thought proper to admonish him 

~ 51 — 

for the nnjust death of Huftsig. The king 
being inceDsed, ordered him immediately to 
be strangled. His body was taken, by his 
disciples, to the convent to which he had 
formerly belonged , called the Garden of 
Hatzies (ash - trees), and there buried. 

The Armenians then wished to appoint a 
descendant of their Illuminator to the oflSce 
of Pontifif; none, however, of that family 
was found fit for the station. Hnssig had 
indeed left two sons, Bab and Athanakines, 
but both of them were addicted to vicious 
habits. So great, however, was the venera- 
tion of the people for the memory of St. 
Gregory, that they hoped for a change in 
the conduct of his two unworthy descen- 
dants, and therefore, in order to be able to 
choose one of them, they caused them both 
to be ordained deacons. It was soon evident 
that their reformation was hopeless, for they 
became more and more irregular, until 
they were punished for their impiety by a 
visitation of the anger of the Almighty, 
being, as it is t^aid, consumed by fire from 

Athanakines left one son named Nierses, 
who proved worthy of his descent froiA 
tlie good St. Gregory. He was sent into 
Cesarea at a very early age, and there care- 
fully instructed in the fear of the Lord. 
He made a rapid progress in Greek litera- 

— 53 — 

ture, and having afterwards gone to Con- 
stantinople, he continued his studies with 
still greater profit. It was at this city that 
he married the daughter of a great prince 
named Aspiones. On the death of his father 
and uncle, the Armenians invited him to 
return amongst them ; hut in consequence 
of delay in complying with their desires, 
they appointed one Parnerseh or Paren to 
he Pontiff, in the year 362. This individual 
was a priest from the convent of St. Johan- 
nes Garahied, in the city of Ashdishad. He 
enjoyed the dignity three years when he 
died, in the second year of king Arshag the 

Then the king and the chiefs together 
elected Nierses, the son of Athanakines to 
the pontifical dignity, and as he resided 
still at Constantinople, they sent a deputy 
to him, renewing the former invitation. 
Nierses complying with the wish of the 
people, hastened to Armenia and was con- 
ducted to Cesarea where he was invested 
with the pontifical dignity. It is related 
that on his consecration, the Holy Ghost 
appeared resting over him in the form of 
a dove. 

Immediately after he had assumed the 
government of the Armenian church, he in- 
troduced into it various regulations which 
be had seen in use at Constantinople, and 

— 5 > — 

renewed the ancient and impressive cerenKV 
Dies, which, in the preceding pontificates^ 
iad been permitted to fall into disuse. Many 
irregularities having also crept into the 
forms of public worship, he convened a large 
assembly in the city of Ashdishad, in the 
year 365, to which all the bishops of the 
country and many of the principal chiefs 
were invited. In this assembly every thing 
objectionable vvas condemned and expun- 
ged, and the whole established on a new 
and sound footing. In conformity with the 
decisions of the assembly, he erected more 
than 2000 convents , and appointed , as 
superintendents over them, Shaghida, a 
eood and just man, the disciple of St, 
Daniel, with Epiphan, Ephraim and Kint 
Segbguny, all of them worthy servants of 
our Lord. 

He also built asylums for widows and 
orphans, inns for the accommodation of 
strangers, with numerous hospitals and 
almshouses, for the support of which the 
cities and villages were charged. Over these 
^tablishments he placed governors, and 
*te whole were put under the immediate 
superintendence of his deacon, whose name 
Was Khat, a native of the village of Marak, 
in the province of Garin. 

At that time it was the practice among 
the chiefs to marry their near relations in 

— 54 — 

order to secure the immunity of the privi- 
leges in their families. This St. Nierses pro- 
hibited under puniiiihment of excommuni- 

Thus St. Nierses was unremittingly em- 
ployed in furthering the welfare of his 
church, the whole of his time being taken 
up in visiting the cities, villages, churches, 
convents, and hermitages, throughout the 

St. Nierses mediator of peace between king Arsbag and 
Theodosius. — He anathematizes king Arshag. — St. Nier- 
ses proceeds to Constantinople. — His banishment and 
release. — Assistance granted by the Greeks to the Arme- 
nians. — The Council of Vagharshabad. — Death of St. 

In the year 3! 6, the Emperor Valentiniaa 
having been offended by king Arshag in 
the person of his ambassadors, sent Theodo- 
sius with a large Army to invade Armenia. 
King Arshag being afraid of the conse- 
quences of the invasion, applied to St.'Nierses 
for assistance. The saint thereupon, accom- 
panied by several holy and eminent persons, 
went to meet Theodosius whom he persuad- 
ed to suspend hostilities until he should re- 

— 55 — 

ceive * further orders from the Emperor. 
Nierses then proceeding to Constantinople, 
obtained an interview with Valentinian and 
succeeded in appeasing him. The Emperor 
being pleased with the Saint, granted him 
ail his wishes, treated him with great res- 
pect, and sent him hack to Armenia. 

After this event Arshag's conduct became 
worse and worse. He not only gave orders 
to strangle his father Diran and to kill 
Kuenel *, his own relation, but even married 
Parantzem, the wifie of the murdered Euenel, 
although his queen Olympias was still in 
existence. St. Nierses noting this criminal 
conduct and seeing that his admonitions 
were of bo use, anathematized the king, 
and quitting the city of Vagharshabat, he 
retired to a convent where he lived in re- 
tirement. He, however, was again obliged to 
lend his assistance to Arshag ; for the Ar- 
menian king, finding himself again in dan- 
ger between his rebellious chiefs and an in- 
vasion of the Greeks, earnestly besought 
the saint to assist him. St. Kierses on 
the reiterated entreaties of Arshag, at 
length consented to be the mediator be- 
tween him, the Armenian chiefs and the Em- 
peror. First he pacified the chiefs, and then 
he proceeded to Tlieodosius, General of the 

i See liist. of Arm., p. llS. 

— 56 — 

Greeks, \7h0m he entreated to desist from 
his intention of ravaging the country* 
Theodosius complied with the Saint's 
prayer, and on his return to Constantinople, 
earnestly hegged the holy man to accom- 
pany him. St. Nierses consenting, Ehat hi& 
deacon, whom he had lately consecrated 
bishop of Pakrevant and Arsharunians, was 
appointed to preside over the Church during 
his absence. 

Theodosius having thus peaceably settled 
the question with king Arshag, set out on 
his return to Constantinople \ where, on 
arriving, he informed the Emperor Valens 
of all he had done, presented him a letter 
from the Armenian king, and several hos- 
tages he had brought from Armenia. 
He also wished to entroduce the Pon- 
tiff Nierses to the Imperial presence ; but 
the Emperer being extremely angry on ac- 
count of the treaty of peace Theodosius had 
concluded with the Armenian king, refused 
to read the letter. Neither would he see St. 
Nierses, but ordered him to be immediately 
banished, and the hostages to be put to 
death. Theodosius however interceding, the 
hostages were spared, but for the Armenian 
Pontiff there was no commutation. The 
blessed saint was, forthwith, placed on board 
ship, in order to be conducted to the spot 
appointed for his exile. It was the winter 

— 57 — 

season and the &liip had not proceeded far, 
when a violent storm arose which cast 
them away on a desert island. Although 
the vessel went to pieces on striking 
land, yet the holy Nierses and the crew 
succeeded in getting safe ashore. They 
found the island extremely barren, affording 
no nourishment fit for man. They were obli- 
ged at first to eat the roots of the trees 
which grew there j but by the providence 
of God, in a short time, the sea threw such 
abundance of fish upon the dry land, that 
during the eight months they resided there 
they were never in want. Some time after- 
wards St. Nierses obtained his liberty. 

In the mean time political afiiairs in Ar- 
menia were in the most deplorable state *. 
King Arshag was a prisoner in Persia; 
queen Parantzem and several of the chiefs^ 
had been carried away by order of Shabuh, 
king of Persia. A great number of the 
chiefs, had taken refuge in Greece, and the 
country was devastated by the apostate 

St. Nierses becoming aware of this sad 
condition of his country, solemnly, entreaiJ- 
ed the General Theodosius to grant his as- 
sistance and to raise Bab, the son of Ar- 
^^Ag) who was a hostage in Constantinople^ 

i Sh hist, of Arm., p. 129. 

2 3* 

— 58 — 

to be king of Armenia. Theodosius, there^ 
upon referred the question to the Emperor 
at Constantinople, who complying with the 
prayer of the Armenian Pontiff, invested 
Bab with the ensigns of royalty, gave him 
Greek troops, and sent him to Armenia. 
The Persians were quickly driven out, and 
Bab restored to the throne of his father to 
the great joy of all the Armenians. 

Immediately after this, St. Nierses con- 
vened a third assembly atVagharshabad, in 
the year 3/3, composed of all the chiefs, and 
princes of Armenia, with the bishops and 
other dignitaries of the church, at which a 
aolemn covenant was made, that every one 
should henceforward lead a life of righteous- 
ness and peace. 

Bab, however, was one of the first who 
disregarded its observance; he abandoned 
himself to indulgence and debauchery, and 
vices of the worst description became his 
ruling passion. Nierses much afflicted at 
this change in the king's habits, endeavour- 
ed to lead him back to the paths of virtue. 
The king instead of mending his ways, was 
incensed at being continually admonished 
by the Saint, and therefore he caused him 
to be secretly poisoned in the village of 
Khakh, in the province of Egueghiats. 
Thus was the most brilliant light of the 
cburch extinguished, after illuminating it 

— 59 — 

for a period of eight years, though some 
writers erroneously say twenty, and some 
thirty four years. 

Just before his death the holy Pontiff fore- 
told many important events, according to 
a vision which he had while in exile. He 
declared that after the lapse of fifty years, 
the pontificate would never more be possess- 
ed by the posterity of St. Gregory, and that 
in future, the kingdom would be troubled 
by the incnrsiona of the tribes of Archers. 
In like manner he foretold that at the end 
of seven hundred years the Armenian chiefs 
would be subdued and fall under the author- 
ity of the Greeks, etc. It is related, that, 
on this mournful event, Shaghida the Sy- 
rian, and Epiphan the Greek, disciples of old 
St. Daniel, who lived as hermits, the former 
on a mountain called Arewdz, the latter on 
a hill named the Throne of Anahid or Diana, 
formerly sacred to the heathen Gods, both 
beheld St. Nierses surrounded by a host of 
angels, ascending with glory into heaven. 
The sight afforded them infinite joy, and 
subsequently meeting, each told the story 
of his vision to the other. Finding that the 
time at which they beheld it corresponded 
with that of the Saint's decease, they re- 
ported the circumstance in all parts of the 
Nierses left one son, named Isaac, resi- 

— 6a — 

iiug at the time of his father's death at Con- 
stantinople, where he perfected himself in 
the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and 
df the dififerent sciences, and eventually, as 
we shall see, became Ponti£ 


Sfiabag. — ZaTen. — Asburagues. — Isaac the Partbexiir-^ 
The Urn containing the relics of the Ripsimians. — St> 

Shahlig of the &mi!y of Albianus, bishop 
ef Hark, born in the city of Manazguerd in 
the provijice of Abahunies, succeeded Nier- 
ses in the pontificate ; he was a good man, 
eminent for every virtue, and well worthy 
the high office to which he was elected. He 
was raised to the pontifical dignity through 
king Bab, whoj observing the general 
mourning throughout the nation on the 
death of Nierses, procured the nomination 
of Shahag, on account of the universal re- 
verence and esteem in which he was held. 
This Pontiff having presided over the church 
for two years, or according to other infor- 
mation, four years, died, A. D. 370, and was 
iKicceeded by Zaven, also of the family of 

-- 61 — 

Albianus, who died a year, or according i0 
other accounts, four years 'afterwards. 

Asburagues, a relation of the last Pontiff, 
then assumed that dignity, and died in the 
third, or as some state, in the fifth year of 
his pontificate. 

On the death of Asburagues, Isaac the 
Parthean was appointed Pontiff of the Ar- 
menians A. D. 3^j9, with the consent of 
king Chosroes and of the whole Armenian 
nation. He was the son of the Pontiff 
Nierses the Great, and consequently a 
descendent of St. Gregory. According to 
the old chronicles he was a mirror of every 
virtue, a great preceptor of the church, 
and one whose exemplary character form- 
ed an admirable contrast ta the pride 
and licentiousness of the other nobles of the 

Being educated in Constantinople, he was 
versed in the Greek language and literature, 
and during his abode there had married 
and had one daughter called Anush. But 
after the death of his wife , he secluded 
himself from the world and gave himself 
up to a life of sanctity and devotion, which 
example was followed by sixty of his dis- 

Now, a short time after the elevation of 
Isaac to the pontifical dignity, several of 
the chiefs^ who were at enmity withChos- 

— 62 — 

roes, finding that the Saint had been ap- 
pointed without *any reference to king 
Shabah^ seized the pretext and accased 
their king to the Persian monarch of med- 
itating rebellion against the Persians, and 
therefore had appointed Isaac Pontiff of 
the Armenians without asking the con- 
sent of the Persian monarch. 

Thereupon Shabuh being angry, order- 
ed Isaac to be deposed from the ponti- 
fical chair; but shortly after Ardashir, 
son of the Persian monarch, reinstated him 
in the pontifical authority. 

Armenia now being a little tranquilli- 
zed under the wise government of Vram- 
shabuh ^ the successor of king Ghosroes, 
A.'D. 395, St Isaac commenced repairing 
the churches which had fallen into decay. 
He entirely rebuilt the church of St. Rip- 
sima, which was destroyed by Shabuh; 
while prosecuting this work, he dis- 
covered the urn of the Saint sealed with 
the cross -engraven signet of St. Gregory. 
St. Isaac having affixed his own seal on 
the urn, near that of St. Gregory, care- 
fully replaced it. 

At this time St. Mesrob became famous 
for sanctity and wisdom. He was the son 
of a pious man named Yartan, of the vil- 

1 See hist, of Armen., p. 439. 

— 63 -i- 

lage of Hatzeg in the province of Baron, 
and having become well versed in the 
sciences and Greek literature, had attach- 
ed himself to St. Nierses the Great and 
become his secretary. After the death of 
St. Nierses, as he was perfectly acquaint- 
ed with the Greek, Syrian and Persian lan- 
guages, Aravan, an Armenian chief, soli- 
cited him to remain at the Court, where 
he became Chancellor. But seven years 
after, realizing the transient nature of the 
glory of this world, he retired into the 
province of Koghten where he entered a 
Convent. There he led a solitary and peace- 
ful life of penitence and virtue, which 
so influenced several people that they 
became his attached disciples. 

Now St. Mesrob, hearing of the fame of 
St. Isaac, and of all the deeds which he 
performed in behalf of the Armenians, was 
induced to leave his solitude and set out 
to visit him. He attached himself to the 
Pontiff, and being duly authorized, he 
taught and preached in all parts of the 
kingdom, instructing every body in the 
true faith. Having been informed of the ex- 
istance of a heathen and diabolic sect in 
the province of Koghten, he besought the 
chief of that place to grant him his as- 
sistance in expelling the evil. The chief 
helping him willingly, he succeeded in his 

— 64 — 

purpose and entirely and for ever extir- 
pated the sect. But although we are told 
in the Armenian history of the existence 
of this sect, we have no account of its 

— 65 — 


Inyenlion of tbe Armenian Alphabet. — Transfation of the 
Bible. — GonfusioD iu Armenia. — St. Isaac and Mesrob 
take refuge in tbe Greek diviMoo of Armenia. 

The most important eTent that occurred 
in the biginning of this century, was the 
invention of the Armenian alphabet, the 
conseqaence of ^hich was the translation 
of the Bible into Armenian. The Arme- 
nians until this period having no national 
characters for the purpose of writing, they 
used the Greek, Syriac, or Persian alpha- 
bet, all of them quite insufficient to give 
correctly the Armenian pronounciation. The 
Scriptures were, for the same reason, read 
in the Armenian churches in the Greek 
or Syriac languages, unintelligible to the 
majority of the people. 

St. Mesrob, who had dedicated himself 
entirely to the good of his country, hav- 
ing met with no success in his applica- 
tions for assistance to the learned, sought 
to gain his desire by prayer and by hia 

— 66 — 

own eflforts. It is related in his biography, 
written by one of his disciples, that du- 
ring his prayer he received, in a vision, 
from the Almighty the object of his inces- 
sant supplications. He invented the Ar- 
menian characters in exquisite perfection, 
and forthwith began to translate the book 
of Proverbs and the New Testament from 
the Greek; in this labour he was assisted 
by two of his pupils, John of Egueghiatz, 
and Joseph of Baghin. This event occur- 
red in the year of grace '06. 

Through the influence of St. Mesrob 
many schools were opened, in which the 
Armenian characters were introduced. 

St. Isaac then commenced translating 
the Old Testament from the Syriac, as the 
apostate Merujan having burned all the 
Greek manuscripts , he did not possess a 
good copy in that language. 

Thus the light of divine science became 
diffused through the country, by means of 
the incessant labour of the Saints Isaac 
and Mesrob, whose names were immorta- 
lized in that age of learning, which was 
tightly styled the Golden Age qf Armenian 
Literature, Several learned disciples were 
sent by the two Saints to Edessa and Con- 
stantinople, for the purpose of translating 
Greek books into Armenian. These indi- 
viduals having found \x^ the imperial libra- 

— 67 — 

ry an exact copy of the Old Testament, 
according to the Septuag-int, and a correct 
one of the New Testament in the Greek 
language , brought them into Armenia, 
where St. Isaac, assisted by St. Mesrob, 
commenced translating them anew. And as 
some difficulties occurred, they sent their 
pupils to Alexandria and Athens to perfect 
themselves in the knowledge of Greek. 
After their return the translations were fin- 
ished by the removal of those difficulties 
which had impeded the labours of their 

About the year 418, Hazguerd, king of 
Persia commenced a cruel persecution of 
the Christians and many were martyred 
by him. Of these martyrs several are year- 
ly commemorated in the Armenian Church. 
St. Isaac being much esteemed by the 
Persian monarch, and seeing that the 
persecution became daily more violent, took 
a journey into Persia, and by mild lan- 
guage and good counsels, succeeded in soften- 
ing the monarch's heart. The persecution 
ceased and the christians were left to enjoy 
a little peace. 

During this period Armenia was in a 
state of great confusion. There was no reign- 
ing king, the Persians being unwilling 
to allow an Armenian on the throne, as 
they cherished a wish to alienate them 

— 68 — 

from the christian faith. The Armenian 
chiefs lived separately in their strongholds, 
and the Persian division in Armenia was 
in the greatest anarchy for a period of 
three years. The Persian king also, who 
had succeeded Hazguerd, heing much in- 
censed against the Armenians, cruelly ha- 
rassed the inhabitants of the country. 

St. Isaac observing these calamities, de- 
termined to leave that part of the country, 
and taking with him St. Mesrob and his 
three grandsons, Vartan , Hemayag and 
Hamazasbian, went to the Greek division of 
Armenia. But the chiefs here would not 
acknowledge him their PontiflF, being under 
the spiritual government of the bishop of 
Cesarea; neither would they allow St. 
Mesrob to instruct their children in the 
knowledge of the Armenian letters. 

St. Isaac, oflTended at this, despatched 
letters to the Emperor Theodosius, and At- 
ticus the Patriarch of Constantinople, as 
also to Anatolius, general of the Greeks in 
the East, praying to be permitted to exer- 
cise the authority of Pontiff in the division 
of Armenia under the government of the 
Emperor. He also begged for permission to 
institute schools for the instruction of youth 
in the Armenian language by means of the 
newly invented characters. These letters 
were entrusted to St. Mesrob who was ac- 

— 69 — 

companied by Vartan. The Emperor having 
perused the letters addressed to him, and 
being pleased with the elegant manners of 
St. Mesrob, granted St. Isaac's request and 
likewise appointed Vartan Generalissimo of 
the Armenian troops belonging to his di- 
vision of the country. Atticus, also, the 
patriarch, as far as regarded his spiritual 
authority, had no objection to St. Isaac as- 
suming the government of the Armenian 
church. He appointed St. Mesrob an hie- 
rarch, who proved himself vigilant and 
wise in the performance of his sacred func- 

On the return of St. Mesrob the Arme- 
nians received St. Isaac as their spiritual 
guide, and also founded schools for the in- 
struction of their youth in the knowledge 
of the newly invented Armenian letters. 
This occurred in the year 421. 


Return of St. Isaac fo the Persian diVIsion of Armenia. — 
Regulation of the Church ceremonies- and of the Ritual. — 
The Council of Yagharshabad and its canons. 

Vram, king of Persia, having for three 
years cruelly harassed the inhabitants 
of his part of Armenia, in the year 422 

— 70 — 

found that it was almost dci||ypi}ated ; he 
therefore relaxed his severilyand propos- 
ed terms of peace, promising at the same 
time to appoint king over Armenia the son 
of Vramshahuh the former monarch of the 

The Armenian chiefs accepting the terms, 
immediately wrote to St. Isaac and hesought 
him earnestly to return. He thereupon leav- 
ing St. Mesroh in the Greek division of Ar- 
menia to superintend the Armenian church 
and the instruction of the people, repaired 
to the Persian division, where he was 
expected in the city of Vagharshabad. With 
Mesroh he left two grandsons, taking Var- 
tan alone with him. 

The chiefs of the Persian division of Ar- 
menia having been convened in a meeting 
at Vagharshabad , elected Sumpad the 
Pakradunian and Vartan the grandson of 
St. Isaac, and sent them to Yram the king 
of Persia, promising him allegiance. There- 
upon Ardashes or Ardashir was appointed 
king of Armenia. For about six years the 
inhabitants of that country enjoyed a little 
peace, during which time, in the year 425, 
St. Mesrob also repaired to Vagharshabad 
to confer with St. Isaac. Having consulted 
each other on literary points, they decided 
to send some of their most talented pupils 
to Edessa for the purpose of transcribing in 

— 71 — 

armenian characters those books which 
they might find there written in the ar- 
mcDian language but with syriac charac- 
ters. In the mean time they would also 
translate into Armenian the works of the 
Syrian Fathers. 

This being decided upon some of their 
pupils were sent to Edessa, others to Con- 
stantinople. These were six in number, who 
working hard for about seven years, render- 
ed signal service to their country and en- 
riched their national church and literature 
with precious works. 

While these were working in foreign coun- 
trieS; St. Isaac and St. Mesrob commenced 
regulating the church ceremonies. They 
compiled the Breviary, appointing the ser- 
vices, for the Dominical Feasts and those for 
the saints , for which object they consulted 
^he ecclesiastical books of the Greek 
church. Thus these two Saints are reputed 
the first authors of the five ecclesiastical 
hooks of the Armenian Church ; namely, 

The Breviary, which was completed after- 
wards by their pupils Kewd and John Man- 

The CaJendar, which afterwards also re- 
ceived additions. 

The Liturgy, which was enriched by John 
The booh qf church hymns , which was 

— 72 — 

afterwards augmented by Moses of Khoren 
and others. 

The Eittial or book for the Admini- 
stration of the Sacraments and other offices. 

This last book was completed by St. 
Mesrob, who, through the assistance of his 
pupils, having collected many prayers of 
the old Fathers and lessons of the Scrip- 
tures, also added to them of his own, and 
thus, with the consent of St. Isaac, formed 
the Ritual of the Armenian church, which 
was named Mashdotz after the name of St. 

Although all these ecclesiastical ceremo- 
nies had existed in Armenia since the time 
of St. Gregory, yet they were conducted 
according to Greek and Syriac custom. 
Isaac and Mesrob, however combined the 
two rites, or borrowing from both, and com- 
pleting with original additions, thus form- 
ed the Armenian Rite which is one of the 
glories of the Armenian Church. 

Then, St. Isaac, wishing to reform the 
discipline of the Church, convened an as- 
sembly of bishops in the city of Vagharsha- 
bad, in which many canons were proposed 
and accepted. 

Some of these canons refer to suffragan 
bishops, as the following : 

— 73 — 


1. Men of virtue trnd dUcreUon only shaU be 
chosen for suffragans. 

2. The suffragans ought to provide that the 
altar for the holy Sacrament be kept in order with 
its ornaments^ and that the light of a lamp never 
fad before it. 

3. The baptistery with its font shall be near 
the altar or in the sacristy. 

4. Jlie prescribed service shall be held in the 
dmrch at the appointed time. 

6. TTie suffragans should superintend the church 
ceremonies^ and every year they mast visit the 
dtdcese^ to see how the service is performed in the 
churchesj and $o amend and redress where ne- 

6. Should they find any of the priests negligent 
in the service of the churchy they shall punish 

7. If they find among the clergy any intempe- 
rafe^ or licentious j or idle^ they shall suspend him 
from the ministry, 

5. They shall take care that no one bom of 
unlawful marriage^ or living with two wives, be 
admitted to orders. 

9« They shall never dare to torment the people, 
2 4 

— .74 — 

10. They shall behave themselves discreellyj 
shewing a good example to those entrusted to their 
spiritual care. 

Other canons regard the Priests, and are 
the following : 

1. The priests should not be ignorant or de- 
bauched persons. 

2. They should see to the instruction of their 
oum children.^ 

3. The chief priest * shall remain always in 
the churchy but the others shall be changed week 
by week. 

4. When the priest baptizes^ no woman shall 

5. When there is a priest present at the baptis- 
mal service^ deacons are not to officiate. 

6. The officiating priest shall remain in the 
churchy or in the residence of the chief Priest. 

7. Two thirds of the revenues of the church 
shall appertain to the chief priest. 

8. Every year^ after Easter ^ the priests shall re- 
ceive the holy oil of the chrism from the High Pon- 
tiff or Catholicos. 

9. The priests must never lend the curtain of the 

4 Vartabied or Priest -doctor in theology; he is an un- 
auurried priest to whose care the church is intrusted. 

— Ty — 

fihnr for the purpose of omameniing (he nuptial 
bed; nor u^e Ihc chalice as a drinking pot; and he 
who is 10 irreverent as to do so sholl be deprived 
of orders, 

10* Priests may not exercise the office of an 
agent in the house of a layrnan. 

1 1 . Priests shall be inferred near the public ce^ 
metenj, and notj for honour^ in the church and be^ 
fore the altar* 

12. Pries fs shall never take the holy Sacrament 
to the house of laymen j except in case of sickness. 

13. They shall teach the people to abstain from 
evilj and to punish those who do not amend ihem-^ 

14. They shall never permit marriages between 

15* In the same way they shall never unit4 
adults in matrimony^ without their mutual consent. 

16. They should carefidly ascertain that na 
fraud be committed^ nor any violence used by pa* 
rents to effect marriages between their children. 

17. They shall perform the service all together. 

18. If they know that a communicant had 
already eaten at home and demands to partake 
of the Sacrament^ they shall not permit him to 
do so. 

19. Laymen may not divide among themselves 
offerings presented to priests in the church. 

■ — • 76 — 

20. The funds y which according to andeni custom 
ihe priests derive from laymen^ shall not he spent 

21. Priests shall never allow intemperate drink- 
inffj nor clamorous mournings and lamentations at 
the interment of the dead. 

22. Priests shall never expell those of their 
people who have done any wrong without having 
first made due investigation ; likewise they shall not 
punish those who belong to another congregation. 

23. Moiiks and conventuals shall never inter' 
meddle with things belonging to laymen^ but live a 
life of complete self- denial. 


Deposition of St. Isaac from his authority. — Surmag, Piir- 
Jii&how^ Shemuel. — The Council of Ephesus. -^ The letter 
of the Fathers of the Council. — The Syribo heretics. — 
The assembly of Ashdishad. 

"While in consequence of these opportune 
regulations the Armenian Church was in 
the enjoyment of a little peace, the discon- 
tent among the nohles which had already 
for some time existed against Ardashir on 
account of the vicious habits to which he 
abandoned himselfy broke out in open hostil- 

— 77 — . 

ity. Relinquishing all hopes of his reform^ 
they besought St. Isaac to join them in so* 
liciting from Vram the deposition of Ar- 
dashir, and the appointment of a Persian 
governor in his room. 

St. Isaac rejected their proposal with in- 
dignation : « I cannot consent, said be, to 
betray the smaller criminal into the hands 
of the greater, or to exchange my infirm 
sheep for a healthy wolf. » 

The chiefs then proceeded to Vram and 
complained both of Ardashir and St. Isaac. 
The Persian king immediately sent for the 
accused, saying to the complainants : « It is 
not customary with us to condemn the ac- 
cused upon the bare assertion of the accu- 
sers. Let us hear their defence. » 

Ardashir and St. Isaac having arrived in 
Persia were judged , and although they 
were found innocent, yet the Persian king 
desirous of possessing the whole of Arme- 
nia, deposed Ardashir and removed St. I- 
Baac from the pontifical chair, confining 
bim in prison and confiscating all his pro- 
perty. This event occurred in the year 428. 

The Persian monarch then appointed 
one named Surmag to succeed St. Isaac in 
the government of the Armenian Church. 
He was a priest from the city of Ardzgu6> 
in the province of Puznunies, who had join- 
ed the chiefs in the plot and had falsely 

— 78 — 

complained against St. Isaac, the chiefs 
having promised him on that condition the 
pontifical chair. His conduct, however, be- 
coming insupportable in his new dignity, 
he was expelled by the chiefs from the gov- 
ernment of the Armenian Church, after 
possessing it for the brief period of one 
year. On his expulsion he retired to his 
province, where he bitterly repented of the 
injury he had done St. Isaac. 

Purkishow, an Assyrian, then became 
pontiff, in the year 42 *, but proved worse 
than his predecessor, by forcibly extorting 
the private property of the bishops.. The 
chiefs soon became disgusted with him, and 
wished for his removal. Some were desirous 
of reappointing St. Isaac, others of seeing 
another in the pontifical dignity, ^oth par- 
ties signified their wishes to Vram, who 
seeking to please all, restored St. Isaac to 
his dignity, but permitted him to act only 
in a strictly spiritual capacity, nominating 
another, named Shemuel, a fc^yrian, as his 
colleague, whose oflfice was to supervise 
the temporal matters of the Armenian 

Shemuel, the Syrian, was a disgrace to 
the pontificate. He was more intolerable, 
and of a more avaricious nature than Pur- 
kishow ; for the latter used to confiscate the 
property of the bishops after their death, 

— 79 — 


but Shemuel that of those who were still 
alive. If any bishop happened to die, he 
would not allow St. Isaac to consecrate 
another in his stead; in order that he 
might be free to dispose of the property 
and the revenues of his diocese. 

About this period, A. D. 431, the great 
Council of Ephesus, in which Nestorius, 
the patriarch of Constantinople, was ana- 
thematized and deposed from his dignity, 
took place. St. Isaac was invited to the 
Council by the Emperor, but he being still 
in Persia, had not the apportunity of being 
present. On the conclusion of the Council, 
however, several of the principal bishops, 
among whom Cyril of Alexandria, wrote a 
letter to the Armenians, notifying what 
the Council had deliberated, and how Nes- 
torius and his doctrines were condemned. 
This letter was trusted to those pupils of 
St. Mesrob, who were still iii Constanti- 
nople, occupied in the translation of Greek 

These translators hastened back to Ar- 
menia and meeting St. Isaac and St. Mes- 
rob in the city of Ashdishad, in the prov- 
ince of Daron, delivered the letter of the 
Fathers of the Council. Thereupon an as- 
sembly was held of Armenian bishops, 
priests and abbots, in which the letter of 
the Acts of the Ephesian Council being* 

— 8C — 

read, the doctrine of the Fathers was ac- 
cepted by them, and Nestorius and his fol- 
lowers were anathematized. 

The doctrines of Nestorius , however, 
were introduced into Syria by his follow- 
ers, where the books of Theodore of Mop- 
sueste, his master, were also translated in- 
to Armenian, with the intention of spread- 
ing false doctrines in Alrmenia. This 
being brought to the knowledge of St. 
Isaac and St. Mesrob, they watched care- 
fully oyer the Armenian chmrch^ and so 
much the piore, because Shemuel, occupy- 
ing the pontifical chair and being a wick- 
ed man and a Syrian, favoured the in- 
troduction of the Nestorian heretics, his 
countrymen , into Armenia , where they 
endeavoured to spread their heresy. A na- 
tional assembly was held again in the city 
of Ashdishad, where the books of Theodore 
of Mopsueste being examined, were con- 
demned by all the Armenian clergy. The 
Acts of this assembly were notified by St, 
Isaac to Proclos, patriarch of Constanti- 
nople, who overjoyed at the news, wrote 
a most congratulatory reply. 

t ' 

— 81 — 


Death of Shemuel, of Si. Isaac and St. Mesrob. — Joseph of 
Hoghotzim. — The assembly of ShahabiVan. — Conse> 
quence of the Vartanian religious war. — Melide is elected 
Pontiff. — Marly rdom of the St. Levontians. -^ Suffer- 
ings of the chiefs and their return to Armenia. 

Shemuel the Syrian after holding the 
pontifical dignity seven years died, A. D* 
439, to the great relief of the Armenians. 

On this event the chiefs came to 8t« 
Isaac, and soliciting his forgiveness for the 
injuries they had done him, besought him 
to be their sole Pontiflf. He refused ta 
comply informing them that he had had 
a vision, wherein he was forwafned of the 
removal of the pontificate from the house 
of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and of the 
kingdom from the race of the Arshagunies. 

He then rethed to a village called Plur, 
in the province of Pakrevant, and there 
died on the 1^^ of September U39, the an- 
niversary of his birth. His body was buried 
in the village of Ashdishad. A magnificent 
church was erected over his remains, and 
an annual commemoration held^ on each 
2 4^* 

— 82 — 

return of which, we are told, many mi- 
racles were wrought. 

Mesrob or Mashdotz, surnamed the Bles- 
sed, succeeded St. Isaac, and died after a 
short pontificate of six months. This event 
took place in the city of Yagharshabad ; 
his remains were interred in the village of 
Oshagan. An annual feast was also insti- 
tuted in remembrance of him. 

Joseph, from the village of Hoghotzim, 
in the Valley of Vayotz, a disciple of St. 
Isaac and St. Mesrob, by the direction of 
the latter just before his death, took pos- 
session of the pontifical chair. Not being a 
bishop, he was not qualified to confer ordi- 
nation, this office being performed by Sur- 
mag, the expelled pontiff, of whom we 
made some mention before. Shortly after 
he held an assembly in Shahabivan, A. 
D. 447, when be established twenty canons, 
with suitable penalties attached to the 
breach of them, for the better administra- 
tion of the spiritual affairs of the people. 

During this period Armenia was in a 
dreadful state in consequence of the perse- 
cution of the Armenians, Georgians and 
Aghuans, by the Persian monarch Haz- 
guerd , who would pervert those nations to 

Armenia could scarcely resist, being 
quite demuralized by the dethronement of 

— 83 — 

Ardashir her last king and by the over- 
whelming preponderance of the Persian pow- 
er; nevertheless Vartan the Grandson of St. 
Isaac, took the supreme command of the 
national forces, and supported by several of 
the chiefs, fought against the invaderg, 
with what result we have already related 
in the History of Armenia ^ 

At the death of Vartan the general, 
Adrormizd the Prefect , bound in fetters 
and sent the following individuals to Per- 
sia; viz. St. Joseph the Pontiff, Isaac, bishop 
of the Reshdunians , the priests Mush4 , 
Samuel , Abraham , Levond and Arshen ; 
some of their scholars, among whom was 
Khopen and Abraham, with the deacon Ca- 
djadj. On the arrival of these victims in 
Persia, they were tortured on the rack by 
order of Mihernerseh, and confined in the 
common gaol. 

After this the Prefect wrote to the bish- 
ops and chiefs throughout Armenia, invit- 
ing them to an open profession of their 
religion , in compliance wath the will 
of Hazguerd. He then urged the more 
distinguished chiefs to renounce all fear and 
to visit the king. They consented to the 
Prefect's proposal on receiving Hazguerd's 
oath, guaranteeing their safety. Previous to 

i Hist, of Arm,, p. 148. 

— 84 — 

iheir Betting out in their journey, having 
BO hopes of the return of St. Joseph, they 
directed an assembly of bishops to be held 
in the city of Duin, for the election of a 
Pontiff. The assembly taking place, the 
choice of the clergy fell upon Melid^, bishop 
of Manazguerd, who forthwith assumed 
the pontifical dignity in the year ^52, and 
established his chair in Duin. 

The chiefs then set out for the Court of 
Persia, where on their arrival they were 
arrested and thrown into gaol with th« 
priests. Here they were tormented in va- 
rious ways, to force them to embrace the 
Persian religion. 

Some time after, Hazguerd engaged in 
a war with the Huns; on his setting out 
with his army against that people, he di- 
rected the imprisoned Armenian chiefs and 
priests to be conveyed in irons to the 
castle of the city of Newshabuh, and there 
made over to the charge of the chief of 
the Magi, in order that they might be 
allowed no repose. The chief Magus while 
using every torture in order to force them 
to abandon their faith, became convinced 
that the hand of the Almighty was stretch- 
ed forth for their protection, and became 
a proselyte to Christianity. It is related 
that he beheld in a vision the blessed 
•aints, the Vartanians, surrounded by the 

— 85 — 

glory of God, and rejoicings at hi» con- 

Hazguerd was unsacceesfal in his ex- 
pedition against the Huns, and enraged 
at his disgrace, he consulted bis Magi who 
assured him that his defeat was owing to 
his not having exterminated the imprison- 
ed priests, who had overturned the altars 
of the Persian Gods. Hazguerd on hearing 
this, immediately caused the priests Sa- 
muel and Abraham, whom he had taken 
with him on his expedition, to be brought 
out and tortured to death. He then sent 
Tenshabuh to the Castle of Newshabuh, to 
despatch those confined there. On his ar- 
rival he took the captives, to a distant place, 
and there martyred them on the 31*^ of 
July, 454. 

An individual, a native of Chusistan ^ 
who was secretly a christian^ buried their 
bodies. Levont the priest being the most 
distinguished among these martyrs, they 
were henceforward called Levontians. Ten- 
shabuh also tortured two of their pupils, 
Khoren and Abraham, and caused them to 
be driven into Syria. 

These glorious martyrs, i. e. the Varta- 
nians and the Levontians, who gave their 
life in defence of the faith, are counted 
among the most illustrious martyrs of the 
Armenian Churchy Their commemoration 

— Be- 
takes place in tbe last . week of the car- 
nival, and there is no Armenian whose 
heart does not beat with a sentiment of 
national glory at the remembrance of their 
generous conduct. 

After the death of the Levontians, the 
Armenian chiefs remained in fetters and in 
prison exposed to all the vicissitudes of 
heat and cold, without bedding of any 
description, scantily fed, and at times en- 
during the extremes of hunger and thirst. 
They bore all without murmuring ; and 
though Hazguerd still added to their mi- 
series, by torturing them on account of 
their religion, offering to restore them to 
their country and families, with power and 
honour, if they would deny their faith, all 
was ineffectual; they remained steadfast 
in their attachment to those doctrines in 
defence of which their ancestors had been 

After a confinement of four years, they 
were released, A. D. 456, but were not 
permitted to leave the capital. On the year 
after their release, A. D. 457, Melid6 the 
Pontiff, wh© had succeeded St. Joseph when 
he was taken into Persia, died after gov- 
erning the Church of Armenia for five 
years. Seven years after his death and du- 
ring the reign of king Phiroz, the succes- 
sor of Hazguerd, the Armenian chiefs were 

- 87 — 

permitted to return to Armenia, to the 
great joy of their faraHies as well as of 
all the Armenians. On their return home 
they united in the practice of every christ- 
ian virtue, and became eminent for the 
piety their conduct evinced. 

Mo-^es the First. — Kewd. — Cbrisfopher the Ardzcruninn. 
— Johii the Mantugunian. — Papguen of Olhnius. — The 
relics of St. Gregoris and St. Elishe. 

At the death of Melid6 Moses the First 
succeeded to the pontifical chair, A. D. 457. 
He enjoyed the dignity eight years, and 
then dying, was succeeded by a disciple 
of St. Isaac and St. Mesrob, Kewd, from 
the village of Arahetz, in the province of 
the Daik. He was a pious man and em- 
inent for wisdom and science. He was a 
great proficient in Greek literature, and upon 
the whole, a great ornament to the pon- 
tificate. Although at his election he was 
nearly seventy years old, he set about cor- 
recting the disorders which had crept a- 
monghis people, with admirable zeal and 
ardour. He was also not sparing of admo- 
nition and reproof to the profligate, where 

— 88 — 

he had an opportunity of noting their 
vices. This created him enemies and one of 
them, Kati3h6 the Khorkhorunian, complain- 
ed against him to the king of Persia. 
Phiroz hereupon sent for Kewd, and hav- 
ing examined the deeds which had distin- 
guished his pontificate, found nothing wor- 
thy of reprehension. He, however, tempted 
the Pontiff to embrace the Persian relig- 
ion , who expressing indignation at the 
proposal, was by the king's orders, re- 
moved from the pontificate, A. D. 474, and 
one named Christopher was to be elected 
in his stead. Kewd afterwards returned 
to Armenia where he died, after living iu 
retirement two years. He was buried in the 
village of Othmus after he had governed 
the Armenian Church ten years, during 
which time he had regulated the ceremo- 
nies anew and made many improvements. 
Christopher the Ardzerunian was ap- 
pointed Pontiff by Phiroz the king of Per- 
sia, in the room of Kewd, and died five 
years after. During his pontificate Bardza- 
ma, A. D. 480, bishop of Nisibis, who had 
associated himself with the Nestorian he- 
retics, began to spread abroad in Persia 
the Nestorian heresy. Christopher, on com- 
ing to the knowledge of this evil, wrote 
to all the provinces to beware of admit- 
ting it. Bardzuma attempting to dissemi- 

— 89 — 

nate these doctrines in Armenia, was expel-* 
led from the country by the chief Nersha- 
boh the Ardzerunian. 

John the Mantagunian from the Tillage 
of Zakhnod in the province of the Arsha- 
runians, a fellow disciple with Kewd, was 
appointed to succeed Christopher at the age 
of seventy five. He was an estimable cha- 
racter, and materially improved some of 
the church ordinances, particularly those 
respecting ordination. He also modified the 
book of instructions for the celebration of 
the Eucharist. He also composed many ser- 
mons and collects, and his prayers are the 
most excellent in use among the Arme- 

During the sway of these pontiffs sev- 
eral of their fellow disciples, among whom 
were Eghish6 and Moses of Ehoren, seeing 
the dreadful disorders that pervaded the 
country, retired to convents and deserts, 
where they employed themselves in relig- 
ious studies. 

During the pontificate of John Manta- 
guni, Armenia was again engaged in a 
religious war against the Persians. Yahan 
the Mamigonian was then the champion 
and the protector of the Christian faith ^ 
After several years of contest with the Per- 

i See Hist, of ArmcH., p. 159. 

— 90 — 

sians, peace was made and Vahan appoin- 
ted Prefect of the Armenians. John the 
Mantagunian after witnessing the peaceful 
state of Armenia, died A. D. i 87, after a 
pontificate of six years and a half. 

Papguen, from the village of Othmus ia 
the province of Vanant, a disciple of John 
Mantaguni , succeeded to the pontifical 
chair. Two years after, the relics of St. 
Gregoris, the pontiff of the Aghuaus, were 
discovered by Vatchagan , king of that 
people, and the relics of St. Elish6, a di- 
sciple of St. Thaddeus the Apostle, were 
also found among the Aghuans. 


The Council of Ghalcedonia. — Zeno*s letter. — The svnod 
of Vagharshabad where the Council of Ghalcedon is reject- 
ed. — The doctrine of ihe Armenian Church on this point. 

We have now reached the year of Grace 
491. This was a memorable, though dole- 
ful year in the history of the Armenian 
Church. A complete acquaintance with the 
facts that then occurred being necessary, 
we will devote a few pages to their nar- 

While Armenia was the victim of that 

— 91 -^ 

religious perijecution , raised against her 
by Hazguerd, the Persian king, A. D. 450 *, 
Constantinople was also the theatre of 
dreadful religious disorder. Eutyches, the 
Abbot of a renowned, convent in the im- 
perial city, while combatting the heretical 
doctrines of Nestorius, fell into another he- 
resy and denied the doctrine of the Tico 
Natures in Christ. This caused almost a 
revolution in the capital of Greece, and 
Flavian us, the Greek Patriarch, in endeav- 
ouring to oppose Eutyches and his follow- 
ers, was cruelly scourged by them and 
died in consequence three days alter. 

The confusion, occasioned by Eutyches' 
heresy, continuing to increase, two years 
after the death of Flavianus, A. D. 451, 
the Emperor Marcianus ordered a Council 
to be held in Chalcedonia, near Constan- 
tinople, in which Eutyches and all hig 
followers were anathematized by the six 
hundred and thirty bishops who were pre- 
sent in the Council. The doctrine of the 
Two Katures in Christ was firmly estab- 
lished, the adversaries were exiled and the 
Emperor imagined he had thus procured re- 
pose. All efforts were, however, vain, for 
the fanatic followers of the heresy spread 
themselves all over Asia, and by speech 

4 lii&t. of Arm., p. 148. 

— 92 — 

and pen endeavoured to prove that the 
Chalcedonian Council had accepted the he- 
resy of Nestorius. 

It was in the same year of the Council 
that the Armenians were most seriously 
engaged in their strife with the Persians. 
It was therefore impossible to send deputies 
to the Council, of whose decisions they had 
been left in ignorance. And now that under 
the civil government of Vahan the Pre- 
fect *, and the pontificate of Papguen, they 
began to enjoy a little peace, the follow- 
ers of Eutyches endeavoured to entrodnce 
themselves* into Armenia, sustaining the 
doctrines of their teacher and condemning 
those of the Oecuminical Council. On the 
other side the ^estorians also finding their 
opportunity, endeavoured to render Nesto- 
rius orthodox by declaring that the Chal- 
cedonian Council had positively admitted 
his opinions, and that therefore it was un- 
just to condemn him. 

While the Armenians were perplexed 
how to decide with regard to these new 
doctrines, a copy of a letter written by the 
Emperor Zeno, for the purpose of allaying 
the religious troubles excited by the here- 
sies of Nestorius and Eutyches, was intro- 
duced in the country. In that letter Zeno 

i S«e hist, of Arm., p. 459. 

— 93 — 

mentioned only the three former Conncils, 
viz. those of Nice, Constantinople and Ephe- 
sus ; that of Chalcedon he did not mention, 
or rather, nnder a certain condition he had 
condemned it. Zeno's intention, however, 
was not to condemn the Council of Chalce- 
don; nevertheless he, through the equivo- 
cal style of his letter was the. cause of 
many doubts as to the soundness of this 
last Council. And so much the more as 
the same letter bore the signatures of many 

Papguen, the Armenian Pontiff, having 
read this letter and seen the signatures of 
the bishops, adopted its contents as sound 
doctrine. And indeed it was perfectly or- 
thodox, as it agreed with the creed of the 
three holy Councils, and in some measure 
with that of Chalcedon. Different opinions, 
however, arising, Papguen, A. D. 491, con- 
vened a large assembly of bishops in the 
Armenian cathedral in the city of Vaghar- 
shabad, which was also attended by the 
Pontiffs of the Aghuans and the Georgians, 
with their bishops. Here, after anathema- 
tizing Nestorius and Eutyches, and their 
followers, they read Zeno's letter; and as- 
senting to all it contained, they rejected 
the Council of Chalcedon ; it appearing to 
them that the Greeks did not acknowledge it. 

In the same year in which the assembly 

— 94 — 

of Vagharshabad was held, Anastasius suc- 
ceeded to the imperial throne, and perceiv- 
ing that much confusion prevailed in the 
East about the Council of Chalcedon, issued 
a decree prohibiting all from speaking any 
more concerning it , either good or bad. 
The Armenians coming to the knowledge 
of this, said to each other : « If the Greeks 
do not acknowledge the Council holden by 
themselves, what occasion have we to con- 
cern ourselves about it ? » 

Thus the Armenians being deprived of 
true information about the holy Council of 
Chalcedon, and supposing that its decisions 
were not all to be relied on , rejected it, 
though they admitted and always gave 
proof of belief in the doctrine it had es- 
tablished. The cause of this (teplorable 
event which has since then been continually 
the source of accusations against the Arme- 
nian Church, was, as above stated, lack of 
information, and there can be no doubt 
that the Syrian dissidents and the enemies 
of the Council generally availed them- 
selves of this circumstance, created by the 
desolating and all absorbing warfare with 
the Persians, to influence the Armenians; 
otherwise they would never have rejected 
it, as Mekhithar, a pontiff of the Arme- 
nians in the fourteenth century said : « The 
Council of Chalcedon was rejected by the 

— 95 — 

Armenians, in consequence of that wicked 
and lying people (the Syrians), from whom 
the Holy Ghost is far off, and who wish- 
ing to sow discord in, the Church, basely 
propagated in Armenia that the Council 
had accepted the heresy of Nestorius. Some 
of the Armenians being deceived, g^ve 
credence to this imposture, and rejected 
the holy Council, believing it to have fallen 
into error. » 

Having once rejected the Council of 
Chalcedon, the Armenians, in the succeed- 
^°& years, took no care to make investi- 
gations about the true meaning of its de- 
finitions. They without doubt believed that 
their ancestors, during the time of the pon- 
tiff Papguen, in rejecting the Council had 
Daade the necessary inquiries on the sub- 
ject. The enmity also that broke out be- 
tween them and the Greeks, and the many 
calumnies they endured from the latter, 
^ere sufficient cause to embitter their minds 
^^d to render the Armenians obstinate in 
their prejudices against the Council of 

The expression it had used , the Tuo 
^dtures in Christ, also puzzled their minds, 
rhe Syrian heretics, who were the most 
^iiveterate enemies of the Council, and on 
^hom, in their isolation, the Armenians 
*^^d depended for intelligence from Greece, 

— 98 — 

had wilfully deceived them stating that it 
had adopted the error of Nestorius, and by 
the expression of the T7vo Natures it in- 
tended a division or two different persons 
in one Christ. They therefore, in order to 
avoid falling into the same error, adopted 
the expression of St. Cyril of Alexandria 
against Nestorius : « One Nature of the 
Word made flesh, » and continued to hold: 
« One nature in Christ ; » meaning hy this 
expression One personality, by reason of the 
indivisible union of the two natures. 

This expression, however, in later times 
was the cause of many contests between 
the Armenians and the Greeks, and the for- 
mer were obliged to write many articles in 
defence of its right interpretation. In these 
they clearly stated that the formula , « Tn>o 
Natures in Christ, » declared and signified 
naught but that, « Christ is One, true God 
and true man, possessing perfectly the divine 
as rcell as the human nature, united in Him 
without confusion and without division ; hav- 
ing suffered passion and death in his hum^m" 
ity, but immortal and not liable to suffering 
in his divinity, » 

In concluding this chapter we cannot 
refrain from quoting the words of St. Nier- 
ses Shnorhaly, one of the most renowned 
patriarchs of Armenia. He governed the Ar- 
menian Church in the XII **» century, and 

— 97 — 

having received a letter from the Greek 
Emperor Manael on this snbject, he wrote 
to him ia reply and explained the orthodox 
meaning of the Armenian expression. He 
says in this letter : o As for our saying One 
nature f let nobody understand it otherwise 
than as referring to the indivisible union of 
the two natures, as taught by the orthodox 
fathers of the Church, and principally by 
St. Cyril of Alexandria against Nestorius.... 
Therefore taking these for our guides in 
the way of truth which leads to God, we 
are naturally and freely induced to a two- 
fold consideration of these words ; One the 
Nature of the Word made flesh, according 
to St. Cyril , by reason of the ineffable 
union ; and Twqfoli, according to St. Gre- 
gory the Theologian, in asmuch as the two 
natures. Divine and Human, remain uncon- 
founded and unchanged. » 


Samuel of Ardzgue. — Religious persecution. 

The year following the assembly of Va* 

gharshabad, Papguen died, having enjoyed 

the pontificate five years. He was succeeded 

by Samuel, from the village of Ardzgu6, in 

2 ' 5 

— 98 — 

the province of the Peznunies. Some time 
after, when the disputes that had arisen 
ahout the Council of Chalcedon had a little 
suhsided, the fire of religious persecution 
was again kindled hy the Persians in Ar- 
menia. Cavad, the successor of Yagharsh on 
the throne of Persia , instigated hy the 
Magi, sent a Persian goTernor to Armenia, 
accompanied hy a large force and a number 
of priests , for the purpose of peryerting 
the Armenians to creed of Zoroaster. These 
began to erect and dedicate temples to fire- 
"worship, and were assisted by many of 
their countrymen resident in Armenia. The 
more timid of the inhabitants were also 
allured to embrace fire-worship. In most 
parts, however, the greatest disgust was 
exhibited and many publicly resisted their 
proceedings. Tumult and uneasiness pervad- 
ed the whole nation. Vahan the mamigo- 
nian afflicted at the renewal of those per- 
secutions, being joined by other chiefs, 
collected a force, attacked the persian gov- 
ernor and his army and put them all t« 
the sword; thus once more saving his 
country from the horrors of idolatry. 

— 99 — 



The Synod of Duin. — Succession of the Pontiffs. -> The 
sacred Likeness of our Lord. — Persecution against the 
Christians. — - Moses the Second and the reform of the 
Armenian Calendar. — Heresies of Julian of Halicamassus. 
— Hizdipuzd. — The Georgian pontiff and the Council off 

In the second year of the sixth centuTy, 
Samuel the Pontiff died after a pontificate 
of ten years. His successor -was Mush^, 
from the village of Aghperitz or Aylape- 
ritz, who died eight years after. Isaac the 
Second, from the village of Ughg, in the 
province of Hark, next became pontiff, A. 
D. SIO; he died five years after. Christo- 
pher the Second, from the village of Dira- 
ridj, in the province of Pakrevant, suc- 
ceeded him and enjoyed the dignity for 
six years; he died, A. D. 521, and was 
succeeded by Levont , from the village of 
Little Erasd, in the province of Arperany. 
He died three years after, and Nierses the 
Second, from the village of Ashdarag, in 

— 100 — 

the province of Pakrevant, was next elected, 
A. D. 524. Shortly after his induction Nier- 
ses having ohserved certain irregularities 
in the conduct of some of the priests, par- 
ticularly of those who resided in rural dis- 
tricts, convened a synod of bishops in the 
city of Duin, and with their assistance 
drew up and promulgated a code of thirty 
eight articles to he observed by the Arme- 
nian ecclesiastics. He continued in the pon- 
tificate nine years, when dying he was 
succeeded by John the Second, A. D. 533, 
from the village of Suntzeghin, in the 
province of the Kapeghenies. During his 
pontificate and in the year 539, Chosroes 
king of Persia being at war with the 
Greeks, besieged the city of Edessa. The 
citizens, perplexed at their danger, offered 
up prayers to God for their safety. Then, 
as is recorded, Eulalius, the bishop, had 
a divine vision, in which he was ordered to 
go to the chief gate of the city and take 
out from the niche, which had been walled 
up by bishop Add6, the Sacred Effigies 
granted to Atgar by our Lord. The bishop, 
accordingly, went to the spot and found 
the sacred image, forgotten there since the 
time of Add^ the first bishop of Edessa. 
Through this sacred 4relic Eulalius, it is 
said, wrought many miracles and infused 
courage among the inhabitants. All the ef- 

— 101 — 

forts of the Persians to take the city were 
vain, and finally they were obliged to raise 
the siege. Thus was the city of Edessa 

After this event Chosroes sent one Ten- 
shabuh, a Persian, as Prefect to Armenia. 
This individual renewed the old persecution, 
compelling the people to adopt the religion 
of the Magi and harassing them merci- 
lessly on finding they resisted his wishes ; 
so that many were martyred on account of 
their adherence to their religion. While 
these vexations troubled the nation, John 
the pontiflF died, having governed the 
Church with credit and advantage seven- 
teen years He was succeeded, A. D. 551, by 
Moses the Second , a man of profound 
knowledge, from the village of Eghivart, in 
the province of Arakadzoden. The chief 
event during this pontificate was the re- 
form of the Armenian Calendar. For, the 
year 552, completing the paschal period or 
cycle of 00 years, there ensued a disloca- 
tion in the Calendar of the day of the Eas- 
ter feast, as well as of all the festival days 
depending upon it. Moses, in order to recti- 
fy this deviation, immediately after his ele- 
vation to the pontificate, assembled an as- 
sembly of bishops and laymen in the city of 
Duin, in which after much discussion, the 
Calendar was remodelled and corrected. The 

- 102 — 

Armenians afterwards counted the years 
from this period ; so that the date of the 
Era of the new Calendar is reckoned from 
the 552"** year of our Lord, the first of the 
Armenian Calendar. 

Some individuals endeavoured to disse- 
minate in Armenia the heresies of Julian of 
Halicarnassus, who said that our Lord was 
not liable to bodily suffering, and that in 
Him all human passion and torments were 
apparent, not real. Moses the Pontiff there- 
upon caused them to be immediately ban- 
ished from the country. A number of Magi 
having come with Tenshabuh the Prefect 
into Armenia, and having aided him in 
persecuting the Armenians in his attempt 
to pervert them to fire-worship, the pon- 
tiff applied to the Persian king for redress, 
imploring him to give his countrymen a 
little rest, and calling to his recollection 
the guarantee of no future molestation, 
which one of his predecessors, Vagharsh, 
had given the Armenians in the time of 
Vahan the Mamigonian ; forbidditfg, at the 
same time, the revocation of that act by 
any of his successors on the throne of Per- 
sia. Chosroes, acknowledging the justice of 
the pontiff's remonstrance, recalled Tensha- 
buh the Prefect and replaced him by one 
who immediately prohibited the Magi from 
further molesting the people. A son of the 

— W3 — 

cbief Magi, however, named Makbqj, hav- 
ing become a convert to christiamty, tak- 
ing the name of Hizdipuzd, speedily suffer- 
ed martyrdom. This was the only act of 
severity in religious matters ordered by the 
new Prefect, and Armenia eajpyed several 
years of repose. Nevertheless when Suren 
Jiher Yeshnasbuhen, a relation of Chosroes, 
was appointed Prefect, the old persecution 
was revived , and the nation was again 
plunged in mourning and desolation. 

Id the year 580, on the death of the pon- 
tiff of the Georgians, a dispute arose among 
that •people respecting a successor. Not 
being able to cctoe to an agreement, they 
wrote to Moses the Armenian pontiff, autho- 
rizing him to select and con^crate a fit- 
iiing person, head of their church. Moses 
thereupon appointed Gurion a most learned 
and pious man, who though a Georgiaa bj 
origin, bad been appointed some time be- 
fore, bishop in Armenia. Immediately after 
his elevation he proceeded to Georgia, and 
caused a correct account of the proceedings 
of the Council of Chalcedon, with its ca- 
nons, to be brought from Constantinople 
and a precise translation of the code of St, 
Leo to be made. These being all examined, 
the Georgians, the Egerians, and some 
adjacent nations consented to acknowledge 
and abide by the Council and its decisions 

— 104 — 

The year after this event, A. D. 581, Mo- 
see the Pontiff, after governing the Arme- 
nian Church thirty years, became so old 
and feeble that he was unequal to the du- 
ties of his office, and was obliged to appoint 
a vicar, in the person of a Vartabied nam- 
ed Vertanes. This arrangement lasted for 
thirteen years when Moses died. 


Hie pontiff Abraham and GurivB. 

The successor to Moses was Abraham, bi- 
shop of the Reshdunians, from the village 
of Aghpathans, A. D. 59 . This pontiff be- 
came extremely dissatisfied with Gurion, 
the Pontiff of the Georgians, for accepting 
the Council of Chalcedon. He had previously 
written thrice to him to avoid receiving it. 
Gurion replied : « I am astonished that 
you are at variance with all other churches 
of Christ, which declare that the creed of 
the Council of Chalcedon is precisely the 
same with that of the three other councils. » 
Abraham not believing the council in ques- 
tion to be orthodox, and being unable to 
persuade Gurion against it , convoked a 
synod of bishops in Duin, where they ana- 

— 105 — 

thematized him and all those who accepted 
it. Thus he isolated the Armenians from all 
those who approved of the Council in ques- 

Gurion on heing informed of this action 
of the Armenian Pontiff, was much grieved 
and complained to the Emperor Maurice 
who immediately ordered an assembly to be 
held at Constantinople, to which he invited 
both Greek and Armenian bishops. Abraham 
sent the Vartabieds Vertanes and Gregory 
as his proxies , with nineteen Armenian 
bishops, all from the division of the Greeks. 

After a careful investigation and much 
deliberation, the Council of Chalcedon was 
declared orthodox, and the before mention- 
ed bishops accepted it. But Vertanes and 
Gregory refused to recognise this decisioa 
and returned to Armenia. 

— 108 — 

remarked with severity on some irregulari- 
ties in the conduct of Varazdirotz the Pre- 
fect, and of other nohles, he became an ob- 
ject of dislike to them, and they sought to 
depose hira from the pontificate. Christopher 
having observed this, resigned his oflSee, 
after exercising it only for three yeare. 
He then retired to the vicinity of the village 
of tJghis, and built a large convent at the 
foot of Mount Massis (Ararat), where, hav- 
ing collected a number of monks, he lived 
in the practice of the most severe monastic 
discipline till the end of his life. 

His successor in the pontificate was Ye- 
zer, from the village of Parajnaguerd, in 
the province of Nig. In the first year of his 
pontificate, the Emperor Heraclius, on his 
return from the Persian war visited the city 
of Garin. Many of the Armenians in the 
Greek dominion in Armenia had acknow- 
ledged the Council of Chalcedon, which not 
being generally approved of, was a cause of 
much dissension; the Emperor therefore du- 
ring his stay at Garin directed an assembly 
of bishops, Greek as well as Armenian, to be 
held in that city, for the purpose of restoring 
unanimity amongst the followers of the 
Gospel. He also invited Yezer to be present 
at it, who having accepted the invitation, 
repaired to Garin, with the most distin- 
guished bishops under his jurisdiction. 

— 107 — 

years, when John died, A. D. 616, and all 
separation between the spiritual govern ment 
of the two divisions ceased. In the same 
year also Abraham, Pontiff of the Persian 
division of Armenia died and was succeeded 
by Gomidas, bishop of Daron and Abbot of 
the convent of Clag, a native of the village 
of Aghtz, in the province of Arakadzoden, 
and a prudent and pious character. This 
pontiff having undertaken to rebuilt the 
chapel of St. Ripsima, discovered her Urn, 
which, as we have before remarked, had the 
seals of St. Gregory and St. Isaac upon it. 
Gomidas, without opening the Urn placed 
his own seal in addition thereupon, and 
built on the site a splendid church in which 
he deposited the Urn. It was on this occa- 
sion that he wrote also the hymn, begin- 
ning : « The souls devoted to the love qf 
Christ , » and caused it to be chanted du- 
ring the ceremony. He also rebuilt the cu- 
pola of the cathedral of Etchmiadzin, cons- 
tructing it with hewn stones, and adding 
many improvements to the church. 

Gomidas the pontiff died A. D. 625, after 
holding that office eight years. His succes- 
sor was Christopher the third, of a noble 
family, from the province of the Abahu- 
nians. He was a man of the most stern and 
unbending morality, equally impartial in 
his admonitions to poor and rich. Having 

— 108 — 

remarked with severity on some irregulari- 
ties in the conduct of Varazdirotz the Pre- 
fect, and of other nobles, he became an ob- 
ject of dislike to them, and they sought to 
depose him from the pontificate. Christopher 
having observed this, resigned his oflSce, 
after exercising it only for three yeare. 
He then retired to the vicinity of the village 
of tJghis, and built a large convent at the 
foot of Mount Massis (Ararat), where, hav- 
ing collected a number of monks, he lived 
in the practice of the most severe monastic 
discipline till the end of his life. 

His successor in the pontificate vras Ye- 
zer, from the village of Parajnaguerd, in 
the province of Nig. In the first year of his 
pontificate, the Emperor Heraclius, on his 
return from the Persian v^ar visited the city 
of Garin. Many of the Armenians in the 
Greek dominion in Armenia had acknow- 
ledged the Council of Chalcedon, Mrhich not 
being generally approved of, v^ras a cause of 
much dissension; the Emperor therefore du- 
ring his stay at Garin directed an assembly 
of bishops, Greek as well as Armenian, to be 
held in that city, for the purpose of restoring 
unanimity amongst the followers of the 
Gospel. He also invited Yezer to be present 
at it, who having accepted the invitation, 
repaired to Garin, with the most distin- 
guished bishops under his jurisdiction. 

— 109 — 

After much debate and the most minute 
investigation, the Armenians accepted the 
holy council of Chalcedon and its creed. 
This occurred A. D. 629. 

Yezer then returned to Duin, where he 
was met by a procession of all the clergy, 
by whom he was conducted to the principal 
church. Here he made them acquainted 
with the proceedings of the council at Ga- 
rin, with which all appeared to be content, 
except a Vartabied, named John, who, Tentur- 
iug resistance, was deprived of his clerical 
habit and driven from the city. He then re- 
tired to the convent of Mayr in the province 
of Nig, where, having made proselytes to 
his opinions, he caused much disturbance in 
the nation. Yezer thereupon ordered him to 
be banished from that convent, which, on 
hia account was thenceforward designated 
Mayrakom , while he himself was called 
Mayrakometzi. This Vartabied then took re- 
fuge in the country of the Aghuans, in the 
laost remote part of the province of Kartman 
accompanied by one disciple named Sarkis. 
These two having embraced the heresy of 
Julian of Halicarnassus, published a number 
of heretical propositions, which were an- 
swered and refuted at first by a Vartabied 
earned Gregoradur a man of profound know- 
ledge, and afterwards by Theodore Kurthen- 
avor and John the Philosopher. • 

— 110 — ' 

Tezer, after his return from Garin, splen- 
didly rebuilt with hewn stones the tomb of 
St. Kayan6, and surrounded it by dwelling- 
houses for the oflBLciating priests. 

It is worthy of remark, that after the 
conclusion of the Council of Garin, many of 
the Armenians of the Greek dominion who 
had hitherto conformed to the religious ob- 
servance of their own people, suddenly in- 
troduced changes in their ecclesiastical ce- 
remonies, particularly in three instances: 
First they leavened the bread used at the 
sacred offerings, and mixed water with the 
wine. Secondly, they celebrated the feast of 
our Saviour's birth on the 25*** December. 
Thirdly, in singing the anthem Holy God^ 
Holy and powerful, Holy and immortal^ [wh 
wert cruc^d), they omitted the last words. 
These innovations they wished to intro- 
duce into the Persian part of Armenia, ^ 
which created considerable disturbance, 
and finally caused the Armenians to se- 
parate again from the Greeks , and re- 
nounce the Council of Chalcedon. 

— Ill — 


Nierses the ^uflder and the relies of St. Gregory. — The 
Synod of Dum* — Disputes between the Greeks and the 
Armenians. — John Digorensis. — The Cross of Varak* 

About the year 636 the Saracens invaded 
Armenia carrying away the inhabitants 
and desolating the country. Yezer the Pon- 
tiff was so much affected by these calam- 
ities, that he died of grief, after ruling the 
Churcli ten years and eight months. 

He was succeeded by Nierses the Third, 
bishop of the Daik, surnamed the Builder, 
as he erected many churches and chapels 
of martyrs. He built the large church of St. 
Gregory in Vagharshabad, and placed the 
relics of the Saint under the four pillars, 
persuaded that in so doing he would for 
ever secure it from the devastations of con- 
querors. The head of St. Gregory was, how- 
ever, put in a rich urn, and deposited near 
the altar, for comfort to the devout and 
cure of the diseased. It was afterwards re- 
moved by certain nuns to Naples, where it 
is still preserved, in the church of St. Gre- 
gory or S. Ligorio Armeno. 

About the year 645 , several heretical 

— 112 — 

books having found their way into Arme- 
nia, the pontiff held a Synod at Duin, 
where all heretical and schismatical books 
were anathematized; and presuming that 
the council of Chalcedon had accepted the 
heresies of Theodore of Mopsue^ta, he re- 
jected it. He then instituted twelve canons 
for the better regulation of the Church, and 
having observed that the hymns they used 
in the service of the church had become ex- 
ceedingly numerous, directed the vartabied 
Parsegh or Basil, sumamed John, to make a 
selection which was afterwards known by 
the title of Johnendir, or John's selection of 

During this Pontiff's sway, Greek ani- 
mosity rose to such a point that Constan- 
tino the Emperor assembled a numerous 
army and set out with a determination to 
coerce the Armenians by the sword. Nierses 
the Pontiff, accompanied by a number of 
bishops, priests and laymen, went to meet 
the Emperor and after much entreaty 
succeeded in calming his anger. Then 
at Duin, and in the presence of the Emperor, 
the minutes of the council of Chalcedon 
were read before all present, and the Arme- 
nians again consented to accept its deci- 
sions ; thus a reconciliation was again eff c- 
ted between the Arnrenians and the Greeks. 
The Emperor then quitted Armenia leaving 

— 113 ^ 

there a quantity of troops with Greek gene- 
rals and priests and returned to Constanti- 
Dople. After his departure , the Greeks 
differing from the Armenians with regard to 
fasts and other religious observances, en- 
deavoured to make them conform to their 
customs. Some of the Armenians complied 
and were much honoured on account of it 
by the Greeks, but most of the people 
looked upon these latter with contempt, 
and would not allow them to partake of 
the Communion in their churches. The 
Greeks hereupon complained to the Em- 
peror, who wrote a threatening letter to 
the Armenians, directing them immedia- 
tely to refrain from the odious distinction 
they made between the Christians of the 
two churches. Thereupon the Armenians 
held an assembly in the city of Duin and 
wrote a reply to the Emperor, entreating 
bim to allow them to continue in the 
doctrines which they had received from St. 
Gregory and not compel them to adopt 
others. The Emperor willingly complied 
with their moderate desire ; still the Greeks 
whom he had left in Armenia, being less 
tolerant, continued to harass them, and the 
Greek priests principally were incessant 
in endeavouring to force them to accept 
the Council of Chalcedon. During these 
disagreements Nierses the Pontiff seemed 

— 114 — 

^ iucline towards tbe Goancil in qnestion, 
and administered the communion indiscri- 
minatdy to Armenians and to Greeks. This 
being remarked, some persons stirred up 
against him the anger of Theodore the 
Beshdunian, General of the Armenians, 
which terrified the Pontiff so much , that 
he hastily took refuge in his native prov- 
ince of the Daik, where he remained six 

On his flight Theodore appointed, A 
D. 649 , one John Digorensis , otherwise 
called Manazguerdensis, a disciple of Gre- 
goradur of Antzakhatzor ; who being a bit- 
ter enemy of the Ghalcedonians, immedia- 
tely took with him a few vartabieds and 
repaired to Manazguerd, where he held a 
meeting and rejected the Council of Chal- 
cedon. Then, as we have before mention- 
ed, several Armenians having began to 
practise the Greek rite, John enacted 
five canons against them. First, he com- 
manded that no water should be mixed 
with the wine used in the Eucharist. Se- 
condly, that no leaven should be put in 
tbe bread designed for sacred offerings. 
Thirdly, that the birth of Christ should 
not be celebrated separately. Fourthly, that 
in the fasts, neither fish, oil, wine, eggs, 
nor butter was to be made use of, except 
on the Saturdays and Sundays, of Lent. 

— H5 — 

Fifthly, that the Lord's supper was never 
to be partaken of on Maundy Thursday. 
This deed of the officiating Pontiff gained 
him such renown, that many of the people 
began to look upon him as a great man. 
After a lapse of time the proceedings of this 
council were published and erroneously 
imputed to John, the Philosopher. 

After the death of Theodore the Resh- 
dunian, which happened A. D. 653, Nierses 
the Builder returned to Duin and resum- 
ed his pontificate. Shortly after the Cross 
of Varak was discovered, and an annual 
feast appointed for the same. This Cross, 
according to the tradition, was brought to 
Armenia by St. Ripsima, and was hidden, 
until it was miraculously discovered, through 
the devotion of a holy hermit of the name 
of Thotig. 


Succession of the Pontifls. — The Saracens in Duin. — 

David Duinensis. 

Nierses the Pontiff surnamed the Builder 
died in the year 661, having enjoyed 
his dignity twenty years and nine months. 

— 116 — 

He was succeeded by Anastas from the 
village of Argury, which lay at the foot of 
Mount Ararat. He built a convent and 
church in his native place, and near it 
erected several inns and hospitals for the 
benefit of the poor. His pontificate lasted 
six years when he died and was succeeded 
by Israel from the village of Othmus, in 
the province of Vanant. He died ten years 
after, when in the year 677 Isaac the 
Third, bishop of Rodagk, from the village 
of Arkunashen in the province of Zorapor, 
became his successor. He was eminently 
distinguished in the sciences and in all 
human knowledge, and was brought up in 
the strictest observance of the duties of mo- 
rality and piety, by the celebrated and 
learned Theodore. He governed the Ar- 
menian Church for twenty six years. 

During his pontificate, the Greeks, always 
at enmity with the Armenians, incited the 
Saracens against them. Abdullah, their 
leader, entered Duin, where he seized upon 
several of the chiefs and put them in 
chains. He likewise caught Isaac the Pon- 
tiff and sent him in chains to Damascus. 
He then stripped all the great churches of 
Ararat of their treasure, with every valu- 
able ornament that decorated them, and 
seizing David Duinensis, a Persian by ori- 
giu but converted to Christianity, caused 

— 117 — 

him to be crucified. He \(^as interred in the 
church of St. Gregory, and numbered among 
the Saints commemorated by the Arme- 
niun Church. 

Thus ended the seventh century, leav- 
ing the nation with its spiritual head 
captive in a foreign country. 

The Armenians , notwithstanding , en- 
joyed peace for a few years under the sway 
of Sumpad the Pakradunian, who was ap- 
pointed governor of Armenia by the Em- 
peror Leontius ^. 

1 See His!, of Armen., p. 495. 

— 118 ^ 


Death of Isaac the Pontiff. — Eliah his successor. ~ The 
martyrs Vahan of Koghlhen pnd Susan. 

In the beginning of the eighth century 
we find Armenia threatened by a formi- 
dable invasion of the Saracens. Mohmad 
Ogba, the Saracen general, being defeated, 
collected an overwhelming army and set 
out again for Armenia, determined to spare 
no one in his vengeance. 

Isaac the Pontiff, who was still a prisoner 
in Damascus, hearing of the calamities that 
awaited his countrymen, sent to Mohmad 
entreating his permission to accompany 
him in his expedition. On his request being 
complied with, he set out to join the Array, 
but on reaching Charran he was suddenly 
taken ill and died. Before he expired, how- 
ever, he wrote with his own hand a sup- 
plicatory letter to the Saracen general, 
praying him to spare the Armenians. He 
directed his deacon, that when he heard 

— 119 — 

his last sigh he should put this letter in 
his right hand. 'When Mohmad heard of 
the PontiflPs death, he ordered that his re- 
mains should not he interred until he had 
seen them. « For, said he, if Isaac were alive 
he would come to me; and since he is dead 
I will go to him. n He then repaired to the 
place where the dead Pontiff lay. On his 
arrival he approached the hody and salu- 
ted it with words and gestures as if it were 
alive. The body of the Pontiff then, it is 
said, returned the salutation, and stretch- 
ing forth its right hand, offered the letter 
which it held. Mohmad, exceedingly ter- 
rified, took the letter, and after reading 
its contents exclaimed: « Tes, thou man 
of God, thy desires shall be fulfilled. » He 
then wrote a letter of peace and reconci- 
liation to the Armenian chiefs, and caused 
the remains of the Pontiff to be taken to 
that country by a body of Saracen troops. 
Isaac the Pontiff held the pontificate, in- 
cluding the time of his imprisonement at 
Damascus , twenty six years and a few 

He was succeeded, A. D. 702, by Eliah, 
hishop of the Puznunies, from the city of 
Ajjesh. This Pontiff, by his influence with 
the Saracens, caused the queen of the 
I Aghuans and Nierses their Pontiff, to be 
hanished for having accepted the Council 

— 120 — 

of Cbalcedou. He also persecuted all the 
Chalcedonians that lay within his power. 
During the pontificate of Eliah, Gasbm 
the Saracen governor of Armenia, decoyed 
a number of the principal Armenian no- 
bility into the Church of Nakhjuan , to 
which he set fire and burnt them alive. 
He then plundered their property and seiz- 
ed all their families. Among the captives 
was a boy of four years of age named Va- 
han, the son of Chosroes chief of Kogh- 
then. He was circumcised and educated in 
the Court of the Caliph. But in the course 
of time haying succeeded to his father^s 
estate, he returned to Armenia and reem- 
braced Christianity, whereupon he was 
martyred by the Saracens. His martyrdom 
is yearly celebrated in the Armenian Church. 
In like manner also a girl of the name of 
Susan^ daughter of Yahan the Gamsaragan, 
fell into the hands of the Saracens aud 
being tortured by them in consequence of 
her religion, perished in Charran. 

— 121 — 


Mn ihe Fouriliv — A Synod ui Duim — David lb* 
First. — Tiridates the Ftnt and the Seconds — Sion and 
the Synod he)d in Bardav. — Gnnons* 

Eliah the Pontiff, after ruling the Ar-^ 
menian Church fourteen years and a half, 
died and was succeeded, A. D. "718, -by 
John the Fourth , surnamed the Philo* 
Bopher , from the village of Otzun, in the 
province of Dashirs , whence he is also 
called Otznensis. John had been from his 
infancy under the care of the celebrated 
and learned vartabied Theodore, surnam* 
ed Kurthenavor, who instructed him in all 
the sciences. On his attaining manhood he 
became so celebrated in consequence of the 
variety of his talents and his high culti* 
vation, that he was universally denomina- 
ted the Philosopher or Sage. He was a man 
of unequalled qualities, generous, candid 
and peaceful. In person he was tall and 
wellshaped, with an extremely command-* 
ing air and remarkably beautiful features* 
He always wore under his robes and 
next his skin a dress of extremely coarse 
sackcloth. On festivals he would carry bo* 
2 6 

— 122 — 

dily discipline to 0ucb nn excess , thst 
people who beheld him were amazed. 

His fame having reached the ears oC 
Omar the Caliph, he was invited by that 
monarch to visit him and met with a 
iDOst respectful and honourable reception. 

On his elevation to the pontificate he 
devoted himself assiduously to restore tran- 
quillity to the Armenian Church in which 
much confusion and perplexity had arisen, 
occasioned by three different reasons : iBrst, 
the people were agitated and alarmed by 
two abominable sects which had recently 
sprung into existence and were denomina- 
ted Paulites and Fantastics ; secondly, much 
confusion arose from the irregular lives 
many of the clergy and laity led ; thirdly, 
the nation was undecided as to the ritual, 
some desiring to conform to that of the I 
Greeks, who administered the Lord's sup- 
per with leavened bread and wine mixed 
with water ; who also omitted the word 
crucified in the anthem : « ffolp God, Holy 
and porcerfid. Holy and immortal ( icko w^rt 
cruc^ed), have mercy tipvn vs, •* and asserted 
that the birth of Christ should be cele- 
brated by a distinct feast, with many 
other irregularities. 

John the Philosopher wishing to ap- 
ply a wholesome remedy to these evils, con- 
voked a general assembly in the city of 

— 125 — 

Dain, A. D. 719, at which almost all thd 
bishops of Armenia Major and Minor were 
present. After they had anathematized the 
Panlites and the Fantastics they enacted 
thirty two canons for the future government 
of the Church. The Pontiff shortly after 
in conjunction with the Syrians convened 
a synod, at which the Julianites were con- 

After remaining eleven years in the pen* 
tificate he died. His successor was David 
the First, from the village of Aramons in* 
the province of Godaik, A. D. 729. During 
his pontificate as the Saracen governor 
greatly harassed the Armenians he wrote 
to the Caliph and procured that function- 
ary's removal. David the Pontiff, having 
held the reins of the Church twelve years 
and a half, died and was succeeded hy 

Tiridates the First, A. D. 741, from the 
village of Othmus in the province of Vanant. 
He was a zealous . and good man, passing 
most of his time in prayer, in fasting, and 
in the exercise of acts of charity. After a 
pontificate of twenty three years he died. 

His successor was Tiridates the Second, 
from the province of Tasnavoritz in Duru- 
peran. He held his office only three years, 
when he died. 

His successor was Sion, A. D. 767, from 
the village of Pavonk in the province of 

-^. 124 — 

Arakadzoden, a man eminently distinguisli' 
ed for wisdom and piety. In the year of 
his elevation to the pontificate he held a 
synod in the city of Bardav, and enacted 
twwaty four canons for the regulation of 
the clergy and the Church. 


1. // any bishop, suffragan, or priest^ negkct 
the faithful entrusted to his care^ by seeking ho* 
nours and amusements^ he shall be destituted* 

2. Bishops 7nay not presume to make ordinations 
in a diocese not their own, 

3. Bishops may not force a delinquent to give 
pifts to the churchy but shall direct them to give to 
the poor with their oum hands* 

4. Bishops shall never allow suffragans of 
priests to erect altars, or to consecrate churches* 

5. Bishops shall not presume to bless the oil^ of 
to add any thing to that which has been already 
consecrated but they shall take it from tie residence 
of the Patriarch every year, 

6. Bishops shall nominate priests - doctors in 
thenlogy^ whose duty shall be continually to instruct 
the people* 

7. Monasfenes or Convents must be built in vil- 
^ ages J where superiors ought permanently to reside* 

— 12-5 — 

Irms and almshouses ought aUo io be buUt iher^ 
and be endowed by the same villages. ^ 

8. The baptismal font shall be respected and be 
kept clean; and the water used in baptism shall not 
be poured in unclean places. 

9. T:' e priest J whose tu7'n it is to officiate in the 
churchj shaU perform the service in a becoming 
manner J and shall recite the prayers without amis* 
sum or intenniption. 

10. No priest who marries^ nor any person who 
having been married twiee^ is afterwards consecra" 
ted priest^ shall dare to fulfil the duties of the office^ 
but shall remain in penance. 

1 1 . Priests should be attentive not to permit- in-- 
termarriages of the faithful with the infidels. 

12. The wafers for the holy sacrifice should be 
prepared by priests and not by laymen. 

13. If any priest unite for the third time in ma* 
trimony persons who have been already twice wid- 
owed and who may have cohabited illegally^ he 
stiall be anathematized and the marriage shall be 

14. The church property and fiayiiture shal 
never be sold, 

15. Monks shall not change from one monastet*y 
to another; they shall remain in the same religious 
house in which they took their vows ^ unless they 
are called to the direction of some diocese. 

— 134 - 
Ankadzodeo, a man emiQently diBtiDgniBli' 
ed for viadom and piety. In the year of 
his eleTBtJon to the pontificate he held a 
synod in the city of Bardav, and enacted 
twMity four canons for the regolatioo of 
the clergy and the Church. 

1. If any bishop, suffragan, or priest, MgM 

the faithful enlrunted to his care, by seeking ho- i 
tiourt and atmtsements, he shall be destituted. 

2. Bishops tnay nut pretwiie la make ordinations I 
in a diocete not their wm. 

3. Bishops may nnl force a delinqiienl to givi ' 
pifts lo the church, but shaU direct ikeia to give lo 
the poor with their own hands. 

4. Bishops shall never aHow svffragans or 
priests to erect altars, or to conrecrate churches. 

6. Bishops shall not prestane to bless the oil, of 
to add any thing to that which has been ntreoilj 
eomeeraled but ihey s/iutl tai.e it fi cm tie icii'det"^ 
of the Pu/riurch tvenj ijeiir. 

6. Bi'ihnpi shall nominale prie<ti-\ 
Ihenlogy, wh>^i' lUify ^huU hi- nm/iiuialls ti 
the people- 

enrfoMed 6y M« ja„,e villagei. 

''Pi'redm^nclmphc,. mum, 

9- re priVj(, «,Ao« /w-n ii w to oijicte/e .n rtp 

IT w"^ '*"" "■*' "' ""■'"•' -*>»^^ 
Jwn or mlerttiption. 

««L f ''""' """ ''°""' ""^ "'» r-r-on M, 

tor* ,; ' ""' '° '■"'" '*' '""" °^'*' »*«. 

1,11' '"'"" ''"^'""■"•'ImM (o p,„,; ,•„. 

irlU'"' "'"' """' ^"'"" "''"' "•" '■" "«- 
,^^A^''"T' "''"* '"""^ '^^ "(ready twice wid- 

*,' °"°"'~"^'"' "-x '*• »."«,:. tat. 

— 128 — 

of considerable ability and had from his 
infancy always resided with the reigning 
Pontiff. During his pontificate Armenia 
was reduced to so low a state by Saracen 
tyranny, that he fell a victim to grief; he 
died in the thirteenth year of his pontifi- 

Stephen of Duin, a chaplain, succeeded 
him, A. D. 788, and died two years after. 

Then Joab or Job held the pontificate; 
he was from the city of Ostan, and only 
enjoyed his dignity six months. 

His successor was the aged Solomon, A. 
D. 791, fr :m the province of Kegharkunis. 
He died in less than a year afterwards. 

George surnamed Hoylorpug, from the 
village of Oshagan in the province of Ara- 
kadzoden, succeeded Solomon in the ponti- 
ficate, A. D. 71>2, and ruled the Church 
three years, when he died. 

He was succeeded, A. D. 795, by Joseph 
the Second surnamed Garidj , from the 
village of St. George in the province of 

— 129 — 


Joseph ihe Pontiff and Khuxima the Governor. — David the 
Second. — Martyrs. — John the Fifth. — Bugba tb« 

While Joseph the Second governed the 
Armenian Church, Khuzima the Saracen ^ 
was sent to Armenia by the Caliph of 
Bagdad, as governor of the country. He 
governed the nation peacefully at first ; but 
some time after, changing his manner, he 
proposed to Joseph the Pontiff, to purchase 
from him three villages v^rhich belonged 
to the pontificate. Joseph refusing to part 
with the property of the Church, the gover- 
nor seized upon the village of Ardashad, one 
of the three in question, and on Joseph's bro- 
ther threatening to appeal to the Caliph, he 
caused him to be strangled. This event so 
much affected the Pontiff that he fell sick 
and died, in the eleventh year of his ponti- 

1 See Hisl. of Armen., p. S02. 

2 6» 

— 130 — 

He was succeeded, A. D. 806, by David 
the Second, from the village of Gagaz, in 
the province of Maghagh. Daring the time 
of his pontificate, two brothers, Isaac and 
Joseph, whose mother was an Armenian 
(And father a Persian, were taken by Khu- 
eima the Governor and ordered to abjure 
the christian faith. On their remaining 
firm, they were martyred in Garin. Their 
commemoration is yearly held in the Ar- 
menian Church. 

David the Second died after having pre- 
sided over the Church twenty seven years. 

He was succeeded by John the Fifth, 
A. D. 835, from the village of Vegayk in 
the province of Godaik, a good and humble 
character, delighting in the service of God, 
and living according to the most rigid 
rules of monastic discipline. 

It was during his pontificate that the 
Caliph of Bagdad sent Bugha to ravage 
Armenia, in order to avenge the death of 
the late governor Abuseth, who was killed 
by the inhabitants of Mount Shem or Sa- 
euns ^ Bugha marched into Armenia at the 
head of a large body of troops, and spread 
death. and desolation around him. Many of 
the inhabitants were forced to forsake 
Christianity , or were martyred. Among 

i See HhU of Arm., p. 204. 

— 131 — 

these were seven men from the province 
of Aghpag tlie chief of whom was named 
Adom. Bugha having tried every method 
to induce them to renounce their faith, and 
seeing all his efforts ineffectual, at last 
ordered them to be crucified. 

The execution of these and of many 
others , took place in the years 852 and 
853. John the Pontiff subsequently appoint- 
ed a day to celebrate the feast of these 

While Bttgha was devastating Armenia, 
John the Pontiff, afraid to remain in Duin, 
wandered about various parts of the coun- 
try. He at length found an asylum in 
the convent of Makenotz in the province 
of Kegharkunies, where he died of a bro- 
ken heart, A. D. 854, after a pontificate 
of twenty two years. 


Zaehariah the Pontiff. — Photius and the Council of Chaloe- 
don. — The Synod of Sbiragavan. — George the Se- 
cond. — Ashod the Pakradanitin is crowned fctng of the 
Armenians. •— Mashdots the Second. — • John the Sixth. 

His successor was Zaehariah, from the 
village of Zag in the province of Godaik, 
and as a mark of the turbulence and cala- 

— 132 — 

mity of the times in which he lived, it is 
sufficient to say, that, as he was not in 
orders, he was ordained deacon and priest, 
and consecrated bishop and pontiff all in 
one day. He presided over the Church 
twenty one years and made many im- 
provements in the spiritual condition of 
the Armenians. 

It was during this pontificate and in the 
year of Grace 859 , that the Caliph ap- 
pointed Ashod the First, from the Pakra* 
dunian tribe, Governor of Armenia *. 

About the year 862, Photius being Greek 
Patriarch at Constantinople, began to mo- 
lest the Armenians on account of the Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon. Zachariah the Po&tiff 
then wrote him a friendly letter, in which 
he explained the reasons which induced 
the Armenians to reject the Council of 
Chalcedon. To this Photius made a long 
reply, wherein he set forth the sound doc- 
trine of that holy Council, and declared that 
whatever the Armenians had heard preju- 
dicial to it was false. He also urged Ashod 
the Governor to accept this Council, and 
forwarded him a piece of the wood of the 
true Cross. 

This letter and relic was brought by 
Vahan, or John, Archbishop of Nice, who 

i SeeHibl. of Ara).,p.2i7. 

— 133 — 

had also received directions from the Pa- 
triarch, to convene an assembly of Bishops 
to discuss the matter in question. 

On the arrival of Vahau in Armenia, the 
Pontiff and the Governor consenting,-a Sy- 
nod was held in Shiragavan, A. D.. 862. 
After many subjects had been treated of, 
Vahan delivered a long discourse concern- 
ing the Trinity and the Incarnation, and 
laid before the assembly fifteen canons, 
containing an orthodox creed, the last of 
which decreed the acceptance of the Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon. These canons are the 
following : 


1. There are one Nature and three Persons in 
the lifegiver Tnnify; the Father without origin, the 
Son from the Father^ the Holy Ghost front Their 

2. The Son of God^ one of the Trinity ^ dweU in 
the Virgiyfs womb, and took our flesh upon Bimj 
remaining inseparable from the Father and from 
the Uohj Spirit, 

3. The same Son of God^ God the Word^ united 
himself to human fleshy without confusion and with" 
out division; and is Himself eternal God and true 

— 134 — 

4. The holy Virgin Mary is truly and perfectly 
Mother of God. 

5. Christ did not assume the human person^ but 
the nature; nor^ as Nestorius falsely asserted^ was 
he divided into two, 

6. The two Natures^ contrary to the heresy of 
EuiycheSy are not confounded in Christ; neither was 
his body brought from heaven, 

7. God the Word became man, being perfect in 
his divinity and perfect in his humanity; uniting 
two natures in one person ; consubstantial with the 
Father according to his divinity^ and consubstantial 
with us regarding his humanity; in all without 

8. The Holy Trinity and Divinity is impassible. 

9. Christ suffered in his Body not in his Divinity, 

10. God the Word^ Jesus Christy is Holy j Power- 
fiUj and Immortal; He was crucified for our sal- 
vation in his body; He is merciful to every one and 
takes away the sins^ etc. 

11. The Son of God became Son of the Virgin^ 
in order to make the sons of man sons of God. 

12. The soul of Christ in the Virgin's womb was 
glorious y and had a passible body; but incorruptible 
as to the tombj as to sin^ and as to the passions ; 
f . e. not dissoluble to earthy impeccable and umnh 
passionable ; for aU that he suffered^ he did vcfunr 
tartly and truly. 

— 135 — 

13. The IradUioM of the CounciU of Nice^ Con- 
9tantinople and Ephems^ are in conformity with the 
traditions of the Apostles and Prophets* 

14. If any one knowing that the Council of ChaU 
cedon and its consecutives — that is the three pos' 
ierior Councils — are contrary or averse to the 
opostolical and prophetical traditions or to those of 
the three holy councils^ and for human adulation or 
for his own profit does not anathematize them^ be 
he anathema. 

With this canon the council intended 
still more to constrain the enemies of the 
holy Council of Chalcedon, in as much as it 
^8 not in opposition to the . doctrines of 
the Apostles and Prophets; all those who 
opposed it were subject to anathema, as is 
plainly stated in the last canon. 

15. If any person^ knowing the holy Council of 
(Chalcedon and its consecutives; the Fifths Sixth 
o«d Seventh councils; to be in conformity with and 
^^^entaneous to the apostolical and prophetical 
^trines and to those of the three holy Councils (of 
"ice^ Constantinople and Ephesus) yet persist in 
^^hematizing them or in calumniating them as 
^^^entaneous to the impious Nestoriusj he by so 
^fig anathematizes himself; for it is written: Me 
^^ anathematizes another without reason anathe- 
matizes himself J and may the anathema be on his 
/^ead; wherefore be he anathetna. 

— 136 — 

After the synod Vahan returned to Con- 
stantinople, and Zachariah the Pontiff, by 
his prudent measures and praiseworthy 
example, succeeded in keeping the Arme- 
nians united in sentiments of religion and 
peace, through which he gained the res- 
pect and esteem of all. After a pontificate 
of twenty one years, he died. 

He was succeeded by George the Second 
from the village of Karny, A. D. 876. He 
was a prudent and cheerful man, and ma- 
naged the spiritual affairs of the people in 
a praiseworthy manner. It was during his 
days that Ashod the Pakradunian was 
crowned king of the Armenians, for which 
ceremony the Caliph of Bagdad sent a 
crown and other ornaments of royalty ; the 
same did also Basilius the Emperor of the 

When Ashod the king died, Sumpad his 
eldest son was crowned king, by consent 
of the Pontiff and chiefs. But he was an un- 
fortunate king , and was betrayed by 
some of his own nobles. Armenia was invad- 
ed by Afshin the Persian governor of Ader- 
badagan, and much misery ensued. George 
the Pontiff, deeply grieved at these events, 
retired to the country of Vasburagan, where 
he died after a pontificate of twenty one 

Mashdotz the Second, from the village of 

— 137 — 

Egbivart in the province of Godaik or Ara- 
kadzoden, then succeeded to the pontifi- 
cal chair, A. D. 8,7. He was originally 
from the convent of Makenotz, where he 
had read deeply in theology, and was noted 
for extraordinary devotion. From this place 
be afterwards removed to the island of 
Sevan , where he huilt a convent and 
church; the latter he named the church 
of the Apostles. Here he assembled a num- 
ber of piously disposed persons whom he 
instructed in theology. While he was here, 
disputes broke out amongst the people in 
consequence of the Synod of Shiragavan 
having accepted the council of Chalcedon. 
On this occasion Mashdotz wrote in defence 
of the^ Synod , severely animadverting 
against and anathematizing the favourers of 
the disputes. In the course of a few years 
after this circumstance he became Pontiff, 
but enjoyed that high honour only seven 
months, when he died. 

John the Sixth, surnamed the Histo- 
rian, was his successor, A» D. 897. He was 
from the village of Trashonaguerd, and was 
a pupil and relation of Masbd&tz. 

— 138 



Emnif y t>f Yussiif. — John the PonfiflT a prisoner. — SiRft- 
pad is tortured on account of his religion. — The feast 
of the third of June. — Stephen the Second. — The^ 
dore the First. 

In the begmning of this century we find 
Armenia in ti dreadful state. Afshin and 
Yussuf, the Governors of Aderbadagan 
being at enmity with Sumpad the Arme- 
nian king, devastated the country with tbe 
most pitiless rage. John the Pontiff was 
sent by Sumpad the king to Yussuf to en- 
treat for peace; but he was seized by 
the latter and confined in a dark dungeon. 
The Pontiff, in order to get free from his 
confinement, was obliged to pay a heavy 
ransom. Then seizing . his opportunity, lie 
escaped to the Aghuans. 

At last Sumpad the king was seized by 
Yussuf, loaded with chains and tortured in 
the most horrible manner, with a view to 
make him deny Christ. The king, however, 
remained firm, and at the end death reliev- 

— 139 — 

ing him from his torments, he expired in 
the odour of sanctity. 

Ashod the son of the deceased king, was 
proclaimed king by the Armenians. Bat 
anarchy again prevailed and Yassuf once 
more devastated the country, destroying all 
those who remained firm in the Christian 

In consequence of the courage with 
which all these resisted the attempts to 
shake their faith , and the fortitude with 
which they encountered death, a feast was 
appointed to be held in their commemo- 
ration on the third of June. Three martyrs 
of this period are particularly mentioned 
in the old records; one named Michael, a 
youth of seventeen years of age, and the 
two others David and Gurguen, brothers, all 

remarkable for mental and personal endow- 

John the Pontiff during these troubles, 
being unable to help his countrymen, was 
^Wiged to seek refuge in the territory of 
' asburagan ; he here completed his history 
of Armenia and shortly after died, having 
presided over the Church twenty seven 
years and eight months. 

Stephen the Second succeeded him, A. D. 
^^5, in the pontifical chair, and settled him- 
^If on the island of Aghthamar ; he died in 
course of a year after his election. 

— 140 — 

Theodore the First then became pontiff, 
A. D. . 26, in the same Island. It was in the 
first year of his pontificate that Gagig, king 
of Vasburagan, wrote, but without obtain- 
ing any reply, to Tryphon patriarch of the 
Greeks and to the Emperor Bomanus, beg- 
ging that steps might be taken to bring 
about religious unanimity between the 
Greeks and Armenians. 

During Theodore's pontificate Armenia 
was blessed with peace. Many of the 
clergy who had taken refuge in foreign 
countries returned to their native places. 
Several convents were built, and many of 
the clergy resided in them, living a holy 
and studious life. The regulations to which 
the monks inhabiting these convents were 
obliged to conform were these : to continue 
in prayer the greater part of the twenty 
four hours; to eat only once a day; to 
possess no private property. 

Theodore, after a pontificate of ten years, 
the whole of which he passed in the Island 
oi Aghthamar, died, A. D. « 35. 

~ 141 — 


£glilshe. — Ananius Mogatti) and Jacob bishop of Scwnies.-* 
£ninit}r of the Greeks and persecution caused by lbein.~> 
Vahan and the troubles on account of the Council df 

He was succeeded in the pontificate by 
his brother Eghish^, who also made Agh- 
thamar the seat of his spiritual government. 
Five years after, owing to the calumnies 
which his enemies spread abroad concern- 
ing him, he was deposed; but the Arme- 
nian bishops opposed the appointment of a 
successor during his lifetime, and he thus 
exercised the pontifical authority for two 
years more when he died, A. D. 943. 

His successor was Ananias Mogatzy , 
head of the fraternity of Varak. During 
his pontificate one Jacob bishop of Sew- 
nies, began to disseminate doctrines and 
to introduce rites subversive of all church 
discipline , asserting also that bishops 
Were not bound to obey the Pontiff. Ana- 
nias , to punish his contumacy , anathe- 
matized both him and his adherents, among 
whom were the princes and chiefs of the 
Sewnies. Jacob shortly after died, when 
the pontiff visited his diocese, and having 

— 142 — 

broQglit it again to obedience, be revoked 
the anathema. He Hbea consecrated YaliaD^ 
from the proYince of Baghk , Archbishop 
of the Sewnies, and permitted him to have 
a cracifix borne b^re him wherever he 
virent. Ananiaa then returned to Aghtha- 

In the year 944, the Greeks were incit- 
ed to compel the Armenians who resided 
nnder the Greek government, to conform 
to the osages and rites of the Greek church. 
Those who submitted were confirmed again, 
and some were even rebaptized ; but others 
who preferred the old ceremonies, quitted 
their habitations and took refuge in Ar- 
menia Major, on the frontiers of Shirag 
and Little Vanant. Those who escaped thi- 
ther in consequence of this persecution, if 
accompanied by babes who had been prev- 
iously baptized according to the Greek 
form, caused that ceremony to be again 
performed ; imagining that the Greeks 
baptized only in the napie of man. The 
hostile feeling increased, and at length 
became so deeply rooted as to produce aa 
etimtty between the two churches, so last- 
ing ai even in our day to shew no signs 
of abatement. At that epoch, if any mo- 
d^ate Armenian proposed to bring the two 
fifttioni to a community of religious senti- 
ment^ bo was treated as a public enemy. 

— 143 -r- 

After a pontificate of twenty two yearSi 
Ananias the Pontiff died , haying resided 
five years in Aghthamar and seyenteen 
in Yarak and Ani. 

He was succeeded in the pontificate, A. 
D. 965 , by Vaban , of the province of 
Baghk, Archbishop of the Sewnies, who 
took up his residence in the city of Arkina, 
on the banks of the river Akhurian near Ani, 
the seat of the spiritual government not 
having yet being established in the latter 
city. This pontiff having formerly acknow* 
ledged that the creed of the Council of 
Chalcedon was orthodox, now proceeded to 
decree its public acceptance, thus again 
hringing the Armenian Church into una- 
nimity with the Greeks and Georgians, 
to whom he respectively made formal com- 
munication of the fact. Many, however, 
refused to accept the decision of the pontiff, 
and much trouble was the consequence. At 
an assembly held in the city of Ani, it 
was proposed to depose Yahan from the 
pontificate. Ue perceiving the object at 
which they aimed, retired secretly to the 
country of Yasburagan , where he was 
kindly received by Abusahl the king, who 
subsequently shared his views as to the 
Council of Chalcedon. 

— 144 — 


8le|)h4*n the Third* — He is miprisoned. — Kba(eli^> -*\ 
Death of Y ahan the exiled Pontiff. -< Gregor of Nareg. -^ 
A Svnoii in Ani. — Enmily of ihe Greeks. — Sarkis lb« 
First. 'o The Seat of the spiritual government is fixed in 

The assembly then elected Pontiff of tli6 
Armenians, Stephen the Third, Abbot o(| 
Sevan, who immediately after fulminat 
anathemas against Vaban and Abusahl 
Vahan thereupon anathematized Stephei 
and his adherents, and thus the country 
was filled with scandal. Stephen then, in 
a transport of religious fury, gathered a 
number of his clergy, and advanced at 
their head to take Vahan prisoner. Abu- 
sahl the king on the approach of this 
body, seised the whole and confined them 
in the island of Aghthamar. Some of 
them however repenting , were released, 
with the exception of Stephen who was 
imprisoned in the castle of Godork, where 
he died a few months after, in the second 
year of his pontificate. 

On the death of Stephen, many of the 
Armenian clergy were willing to reinstate 
Vahan in the pontificate; but considering 

- 145 — 

the commotions their decision would cause^ 
they held an assembly in the royal city of 
Ani, at which they elected Pontiff, Kha<- 
tchig the First, bishop of the Arsharunies, 
A. D. 972. 

Ehatchig haying established himself in 
the pontificate, built a palace in the city 
of Arkina and settled there in the year 
990. He erected also four splendid churches 
on a new plan, after the designs of a cele- 
brated Armenian architect named Tirida- 
tes. He also formed a large library there, 
in which the principal works of all the 
authors then known were deposited. 

During the time of Khatchig, Vahan the 
Pontiff, although an exile in Vasburagan, 
»gain endeavoured to effect an union 
between the Greeks and the Armenians ; 
and for this purpose communicatied with 
the Emperors of Constantinople, but with- 
out effect. He subsequently died, A. D. 977, 
after a pontificate of fifteen years, reckon- 
ing the time of his retirement in Vasbu- 

One of the greatest glories of the Ar- 
menian Church in this century was Gregor 
of Nareg , renowned for his wisdom and 

He, together with his brother, had been 
brought up from his infancy in the con- 
Tent of Nareg, and at the age of twenty 
2 7 

Sle|>lirMi lh« Third. — He is imprisoned. — Kbi^t- - 
Ueiilh of Vahin Ihe eiil«| PoDliff. — Grfgor ofNirtj-- 
A 8jnD.l in Aiii. — Enn.irj •>! ihe Greets. - C '- '■ 
Fits). '^ The Seal of the spiriioal govcrnmenl 

The assembly then elected Pontiff ot tto 
Armenians, Stephen tbe Third, Abbot ol 
Sevan, who immediately after fulrainateil 
anathemas against Vahan and AbusaM 
Vahan thereupon anathematized Stephei 
aud his adherents, and thus the country 
■was filled with scandal. Stephen then, in 
a transport of religious fury, gathered » 
number of his clergy, and advanced »* 
their head to take Vahan prisoner. Abo- 
safal the king on the approach of this 
body, seised the whole and confined them 
in the island of Aghthamar. Some ol 
them however repenting , were released, 
with tbe exception of Stephen who was 
imprisoned in the castle of Godork. where 
he died a 
yeer of hi 

On the de'iith of f^tcpl 


- 145 — 

«hevTir"°°° ""'' '^"''" ""U ■»»». 

An? .r J" •?""«? in tte roj.l city of 
1 if ra °'- ''"''°'' "'""' A'staranle^ 
Khatchig haYing eBtablished MmaeU ia 
tke pontiflcate, built a palace in th« city 
irkma and settled there in the year 
»»». He erected also tour eplendid churehe. 

iLmT ^''"'- ''*" "■• ''="e°» of • »=le- 
•'•tM Armenian architect named Tirida- 
M. He also formed a large library there, 

..iSi'^v"", I"""?'' ™"» »' «" th. 
«»ttior« then known were deposited. 

P. .°»°'5,','"' ''™ °' Kli'tehig. Vaban Iho 
™M, althongh an exilo in Vasburegun 
•eim endeavoured to etfecl an nfion 
Wween the Greeks and the Armenians: 
"0 lor this purpose commiinicBUed with 
» fcmpetora o! Conslantinople, but with- 
•« effect. He subsequently died, A. D. 9»7 
«»■ a pontiScate of Uleen years, rockon- 
»S the time of his retirement in Vasbn- 

^e of the greatest glories of the Ar. 

■Q Church in this century was Grecor 

renowned for his wisdom aud 

1 brother, ha;! u^ 
ifancy iu the 
the ag^ ' 

hen ^ietied Pontiif of df 
en die Third, ibfco;; 

zter fuliiiita:^! 
■ inninr* Viiiiia and AliQ=atl, 

iL^l T-iLi icamu-. -■■.:r:heii then, i: 
lasri^r: i{ -i-i..niiiis I'aiT, gathered » 
vr f i-d ^ij^rj^. iTil sdranced si 
ijrA^: z.i -akii T.ifiai! prisoner. AIie- 
"l"j* i-i^ .:(i Tie approach of ihi; 
Tf-3^: t:k^ wk.jie aiti wttfined them 
Agbcoa^iiar. Some of 
tKpemtmg . were released, 
"•D of Si(?:ben who was 
f?r"the castle of' Godork, where 
fter, io the secoDil 

tb of iStephtii, mtjij of the 
"Jng to reinstate 
hut coDsideriu^ 

- 145 — 

tlie commotions their decision would cause, 
they held an assembly in the royal city of 
Ani, at which they elected Pontiff, Eha** 
tchig the First, bishop of the Arsharunies, 
A. D. 972. 

Khatchig haying established himself in 
the pontificate, built a palace in the city 
of Arkina and settled there in the year 
990. He erected also four splendid churches 
on a new plan, after the designs of a cele- 
brated Armenian architect named Tirida- 
tes. He also formed a large library there, 
in which the principal works of all the 
authors then known were deposited. 

During the time of Khatchig, Vahan the 
Pontiff, although an exile in Vasburagan, 
again endeavoured to effect an union 
between the Greeks and the Armenians ; 
and for this purpose communicatied with 
the Emperors of Constantinople, but with- 
out effect. He subsequently died, A. D. 977, 
after a pontificate of fifteen years, reckon- 
ing the time of his retirement in Vasbu- 

One of the greatest glories of the Ar- 
menian Church in this century was Gregor 
of Nareg, renowned for his wisdom and 

He, together with his brother, had been 
brought up from his infancy iu the con- 
Tent of Nareg, and at the age of twenty 
2 7 

— 146 — 

SIX years was ordained priest. The fame 
of his wisdom being spread all over the 
kingdom, he was much honoured by the 
king, pontiff, and grandees of the country; 
so that in process of time he became Abbot 
of the convent of Nareg, from which cir- 
cumstance he was surnamed Naregatzi or 

Considering the division and enmity that 
existed between Armenians and Greeks , 
he attempted to unite the two churches, 
by persuading his countrymen to accept 
the holy Council of Chalcedon. In conse- 
quence of this several intolerant men stir- 
red up the nation against him, and disputes 
ran so high that it was found necessary 
to convene an assembly of the chiefs and 
clergy in the city of Ani. Messengers were 
despatched to Gregory of Nareg to sum- 
mon him to appear before the assembly, 
which proposed to examine his religious 

On the arrival of the messengers at the 
convent of Nareg, it is related that Gre- 
► gory received them with kindness, and 
ordered a repast to be prepared of roasted 
pigeons. The day being Friday, the messen- 
gers were offended when the pigeons were 
set before them, and addressing the Abbot 
they said : « Doctor, this day is a fast, for 
it is Friday. » Upon which Gregory repli- 

— 147 — 

ed : « Excuse me brethren, for 1 had for- 
gotten. » Then addressing the roasted birds, 
he said : •• Arise ye and depart, for this day 
is a fast. » The pigeons then, wonderful to 
relate , expanded their wings and flew 
away. The messengers observing this mi- 
racle were struck with shame and falling 
at the Saint's feet implored his forgiveness. 
They then returned to Ani and relating to 
the assembly the wonder they had beheld, 
astonished and confounded all. Many 
writers recorded this miracle , and the 
monks of Narcg also deposited an account 
of it, as is related, in their archives. "We, 
however, report this merely as an anecdote, 
as it shews the public esteem towards the 
holy man. 

In the mean time St. Gregory devoted 
himself, as is related in his biography, to- 
tally to prayer and religious meditation and 
increased in sanctity until he was per- 
mitted to behold, with his bodily senses, 
the holy Virgin with the Son of God in 
her arms. Inspired by the Holy Ghost, he 
composed a wonderful book of prayers 
called Nareg, a glory of the religious lite- 
rature of the Armenians. He was the author 
also of several elegies and hymns At the 
early age of twenty six he wrote com- 
mentaries on the Songs of Solomon, and 
on the thirty eighth chapter of the book 

— 148 — 

of Job. On his attaining his fiftieth year 
he died *. 

About the year TOO the Greeks renewed 
their enmity againsi their Armenian fellow 
citizens^ and persecoted them on account 
of the difference of their church ceremonies ; 
much dispute arising, many letters were 
addressed to Khatchig the Pontiff by the 
Greeks. As these letters were full of insnlt 
and invective, Khatchig disdained replying 
to them. Some of the friends of the Pontiif, 
however, to his great displeasure, returned 
replies in his name, couched in the same 
uobecoming style as those of the Greeks. 
Khatchig after being in the pontificate 
nineteen years, died and was buried in Ar- 
kina, A. D. 99:2. 

At his death an assembly was held by 
Gagig the king, in the city of Ani, and 
Sarkis the First was appointed Pontiff of 
the Armenians. A splendid cathedral hav- 

i In the time of Gregory of Nareg, several saintly men 
also flourished, such as St. IMacar, son of the great Armenian 
prince Michael. He succeeded St. Macarius in the bishopric of 
Antioch, and did much good 'while residing in that diocese. 
He visited Germany and Flanders. 

St. Simeon an Armenian and son of a general, was no less 
celebrated. He was educated in a convent, where the favour 
of the Almighty was shown him whilst extremely young. 
He travelled through Italy, France, Spain and the Island of 
Britain, and at length died in the convent of Benedietinet 
near the city of Mantua. 

— 149 — 

ing just been finished in the city of An!, 
he made that his residence and fixed the 
Armenian metropolis there. 

Sarkis was a man of the mildest man- 
ners and lowliest humility, and in the dig- 
nified situation of Pontiff exhibited the 
simplicity of a hermit; for, being a friar 
from the convent of Sevan, he continued 
to observe the same rule during the whole 
time of his pontificate. Having discovered 
some relics of the Bipsimian nuns, he built 
a church near the principal church of Ani, 
and dedicated it to them. 

-* 150 — 



The Sect of the Tbontraguians. — Sumpad ihe Tbontraguian. 

— Petur the Kedataitz. — Deoskorob. — A S^nod id Aoi. 

— Khatchig ihe Second. — The Greeks endeavour !o force 
the Armenians to conform lo the rites of the Greek charcb. 

— Gregory Vegayasser. — George Lorensis. — Commuoi- 
cations between the Armenian Pontiff and Pope Gregory 
the Seventh. — Parscgb is elected Pontiff in Aui. — Four 
Pontiffs at once. 

While Sarkis the Pontiff was peacefullj 
governing the Church, the pernicious doc- 
trine of the Thontraguians was revived in 
Armenia. This sect had its origin about 160 
years before ; its author was one Sumpad, a 
man of licentious morals, who resided some- 
time in the village of Thontrag in the prov- 
ince of the Abahunians, whence he derived 
his surname Tbontraguian. 

Sumpad was a layman, but assumed the 
habit of a bishop on commencing to disse- 
minate his opinions. He taught that religion 
was a farce and the priesthood vain', to 
confirm which he did not perform any or- 

— 151 — 

dination. He denied every thing belonging 
to the true faith. He taught that all au- 
thority was unjust, and that absolute li- 
berty should be the rightful guide of hu- 
manity. That there was no sin, and there- 
fore there should be no law. He was a 
voluptuary and taught that sensual pleas- 
ure was the only positive good. 

Many people of both sexes embraced his 
doctrine, and took him for their master. 
His disciples were divided into three clas- 
ses. The first residing with him at Thou- 
trag were called Thontraguians; the se- 
cond living in the village of Thulayl, were 
designated Thulaylians; the third, people 
of the village of Khenus who took the 
name of Khenunians. This sect neither 
baptized, prayed, nor performed any of the 
sacred ceremonies of Christianity , despis- 
ing all forms, but retaining the name of 

On the first appearance of this sect the 
Armenian Pontiffs fulminated their ana- 
themas against its members. It, however, 
continued to exist till the time of Gregory 
Makistros, who succeeded in completely 
rooting it out. 

Sarkis the Pontiff died shortly after 
issuing an anathema against this sect, A. 
D. 1019, having held the pontifical author- 
ity twenty seven years. 

— 152 — 

His successor was Peter the First, sor- 
Damed Eedatartz brother of the Pontiff 
Ehatchig the First. He was a man of 
great wisdom and holiness , and enjoyed 
a high reputation in all the surrounding 
nations. He received the surname of Ee- 
datartz from the fact, as the legends in- 
form us, of having miraculously turned the 
current of a river toward its source. For, 
in the year 1022 , having been, sent , by 
John the Armenian king, on a mission to 
the Emperor Basil ^ the Emperor received 
him with great honour. When Christmas 
arrived, at which time it was customary 
to perform the ceremony of blessing the 
waters, the Emperor, who had been made 
to believe that the Armenian form of bless- 
ing was vain and ridiculous, directed Peter 
to perform the customary ceremony on a 
river that was contiguous. The holy Pon- 
tiff then proceeded in presence of all to pro- 
nounce the benediction, in the act of which, 
whUe he was pouring out the holy chrism 
and making the sign of the Cross , the 
current of the river stopped, and the wa- 
ters rolled back toward their source, to the 
astonishment of all the beholders. Tlie Em- 
peror, on observing this miracle, was amai- 
ed, and treating the Pontiff with all honour 

i S«e Hist, of Arn.^ p. 262. 

— 153 — 

and respect, permitted him to return to hid 
country. Some time after, Peter retired to 
Sebastia, to which city Sennacherib, the 
king of Yasburagan had a few years before 
transferred his seat of government. 

Thence he returned to Ani ; but the year 
following hearing that Sennacherib was 
sick to death, he repaired again to Sebastia. 
From this place he removed to Gars, whence 
be returned again to Ani. 

The inhabitants of this city , however, 
as well as the king John regarded him 
unfavourably on his arrival in conse- 
quence of the long period that he had 
been absent from them , which the Pontiff 
observing, left Ani and repaired to Vasbu- 
ragan. Here he remained shut up in the 
convent of Zor four years, at the expiration 
of which, the Armenians, indignant at his 
continual absence from his duties, decoyed 
him into their power and imprisoned him 
in the fortress of Petchni, where he re- 
mained one year and five months. 

The king then , A. D. 1035 , sent for 
Deoskoros, Abbot of Sanahin, and appointed 
him Pontiff of the Armenians; but the 
bishops would not recognise his authority ; 
neither would they permit his name to be 
Daentioned before the Altar, as it was custo- 
mary to do with the reigning Pontiff; nor 
to hold any ordination of bishops. 

2 r 

-- 15'i - 

Deoskoros, however, seeing both clergy 
and people disgusted at his nomination, 
made himself still more unpopular by or- 
daining and consecrating many of the low- 
est and most ignorant people, bishops, and 
by restoring several bishops to their sees 
who had been formerly expelled for their 

The clergy observing these irregularities 
in the Church, convened an assembly, from 
whence they issued an anathema against 
the king and chiefs who had raised Deos- 
koros to the pontificate. The king together 
with the chiefs, alarmed at the curse thus 
openly pronounced against them, wished to 
restore Peter to his pontifical chair, promis- 
ing him obedience in all things ; but he 
would not listen to them. 

The king then , having consulted his 
chiefs, ordered an assembly to be held in Ani, 
and invited Joseph, the Pontiff of the Ag- 
huans, to preside over it. In this assembly, 
4,000 of the most respectable of the clergy 
and laity being present, the conduct of 
Deoskoros was examined and found blame- 
worthy; he was therefore degraded and 
sent in confinement to his convent of Sa- 
nahin, after having enjoyed the pontifical 
dignity one year and a few months. All 
those were likewise punished who had been 
conseci-ated by Deoskoros , and canonical 

— 155 — 

penances appointed them. Then the assem- 
bly again confirmed Peter in the pontifical 

After this event Armenia suffered much 
from the Greeks and the infidels, until the 
reigning power of the Pakradunian dynasty- 
was suppressed by the Greek Emperor. In 
the midst of the calamities that ensued, 
Peter the Pontiff, after much suffering, died, 
A. D. 1058 , having arrived at a very- 
advanced age, and having held the pontifi- 
cate for a period of 40 years, reckoning 
from the time of his election to his death. 

Khatchig the Second , Peter's nephew, 
was, on the death of the latter elected pon- 
tiff in the city of Ani. 

Constantino the Greek Emperor, on his 
accession to the imperial throne, sent for 
Khatchig, and demanded an account of the 
property of Peter the late Pontiff, conceiv- 
ing that the latter had come into possession 
of the treasures of the Armenian kings. 
Khatchig replying that he possessed no- 
thing, the Emperor directed him to pay a 
yearly sum to the Greek government for 
the office he held , which he refused 
to do. Hereupon two individuals came for- 
ward and offered to pay annually an enor- 
mous sum to Constantino, if he would ap- 
point them respectively Governor and Pon- 
tiff of the Armenians. They, however, wer« 

— 156 — 

fifiabk to perform this; for on the same 
day one fell dangerously ill and the other 
died. Khatchig afterwards remained three 
years in Constantinople, at the expiration 
of which he went to Thavplur, where he 
remained seven months. 

The KmperoF then proceeded to compel 
the Armenians to conform to the rites of 
the Greek church. He sent to Sebastia for 
the sons of king Sennacherib Adorn and 
Abusahl, and on their arrival at Constanti- 
nople disclosed to* them his intention. He 
then assembled an assembly of the Greek 
clergy to concert with him the means for 
bringing the Armenians to conformity. In 
this assembly, after some discussion, an Ar- 
menian vartabied, named Jacobus Sanahin- 
ensis ^ or Karapnensis , who accompanied 
Adorn and Abusahl from Sebastia, rose and 
presented to the Emperor a letter containing 
an avowal of union between the two creeds 
and rites. The assembly was thereupon dis^ 
solved, and the Emperor sending for Gagig, 
the exiled king of the Armenians, joyfully 
communicated to him the contents of the 
letter he had received. 

Gagig on hearing this replied, that the 
letter was nothing, as it did not contain 
the sentiment of the nation bat was the 
mere production of a single individual. Then 
with the Emperor's consent^ he convened 

— 157 — 

another assembly, composed entirely of Ar- 
menian clergy, and by their assistance 
drew up a statement of the religious creed 
of the Armenians; in which be declared, 
that it was impossible to force the Arme- 
nians to change their national rite for that 
of the Greeks. Thus was all hope of union 
destroyed and the Greeks irritated, treated 
the Armenians worse then ever, regarding 
them with even greater hatred than they 
did the mussulman unbelievers. 

Khatchig the Pontiff, who resided in the 
city of Thavplur, much affected on account 
of the sufferings of the nation, died after a 
pontificate of six years, A. D. 1064. 

On the death of this Pontiff the Greeks 
manifested a desire to leave the Armenians 
without a Pontiff, hoping that, left to them- 
selves, they would soon become converts to 
the Greek rite. However this did not occur ; 
for, by the influence of some favourite of the 
Empress Eudoxia , the Armenians were 
empowered to appoint a Pontiff. In conse- 
quence of which an assembly of the clergy 
was held in the city of Zamentav, where 
Gregory Vegayasser, son of Gregorius Ma- 
gistrus, was elevated to the dignity of 
Pontiff, A. D. i065. Gregory was admirably 
fitted for this high office, having from hi« 
infancy been engaged in literary pursuits. 
When young he married and was much 

— 158 — 

honoured by the Emperor, who conferred 
upon him the title of Duke, and on the 
death of his father he succeeded him in his 
government of Mesopotamia. Some time 
after this appointment hie became disgusted 
with the world , and relinquishing his gov- 
ernment, and separating himself from his 
wife, he embraced a monastic life. His ori- 
ginal name was Vahram, but on his being 
elected Pontiff he assumed the name of 
Gregory, to indicate that the chair of his 
ancestor St. Gregory the Illuminator was 
reestablished. He was surnamed Vegayas- 
ser ( lover of martyrs ) from his having 
compiled the memoirs of the Christian 

Gregory the Pontiff, six years after his 
appointment to the spiritual dignity, seeing 
the suffering of his countrymen, both from 
the invasions of Persians as well as from 
the tyranny of the Greeks, and being unable 
to apply effectual remedies, abdicated and 
appointed one George Lorensis, a vartabied 
from Kukars, his successor. He then retired 
to the Black Mountain in the regions .of 
Taurus, where with a few friars he took up 
his residence. 

The Armenians, however, still regarded 
him as their Pontiff, and in all cases of 
emergency applied to him for advice. George 
Lorensis feeling offended at this, took such 

— K9 — 

imprudent measures as rendered him odious 
to the "whole nation. 

This being observed by Gregory, he con- 
vened an assembly of the clergy in the 
Black mountain, and deposed George from 
the pontificttte, after his enjoying it two 
years. Gregory was then inducedtoreassume 
his office, and fixing himself at Mudara- 
sun there exercised the pontifical dignity^. 

Gregory, shortly after his resumption of 
the pontifical chair, visited the city of Ani, 
"where after residing a few months, he ap- 
pointed Parsegh his nephew to be his Vicar 
and retired to the Black Mountain. From 
thence he wrote to Pope Gregory the 
Seventh, and having received a friendly 
answer he proceeded to visit him at Rome. 
Here he met with a very kind reception ; 
he had several conversations with the Pope, 
&nd acquainted him with the religious ce- 
remonies of the Armenians. 

After residing at Rome a few months 
Gregory went to Jerusalem-, and thence to 
Memphis, where he stayed a whole year and 

1 About this time there resided in the city of Ilonia Varla- 
bied named Sarkis, who exercised the control of the Church in 
(bat place with the title of Pontiff. After remaining in that 
capacity three years he died and was succeeded by one 
Theodore surnamed Alukbosig, on account of the sweetness 
of his voice. Neither these two, nor George Loreusis, are 
reckoned among the regular Armenian Pontiffs. 

_ 160 — 


appointed another of his nephews, Grego- 
rius, prelate; he then returned to the Black 
Mountain and abode in the convent of Arek. 

At this period of our history, A. D. 1080, 
the Rubenian dynasty was founded in Cyli- 
cia by Ruben, a relation of the last king of 
the Armenians *. 

Gregory the Pontiff being at this time in 
Mount Taurus in Cylicia, the eastern Ar- 
menians considered themselves totally with- 
out a head to their Church ; and they there- 
fore wrote to him and obtained his sanction 
to the election of his nephew Parsegh, then 
his vicar in Ani, to the pontificate. 

Two years after this event, a prince of 
the name of Philartus having settled in Ma- 
rash, caused Paul, Abbot of the convent of 
Varak, to be consecrated Pontiff of the 
Church in that district. 

The number of Pontiffs now amounted to 
four ; viz. Gregory Vegayasser in the region 
about Mount Taurus ; Parsegh his nephew 
in Ani, Theodore in Honi, and Paul in Ma- 
rash. These were iat continual enmity with 
each other , causing much confusion a- 
mongst the Armenians. Paul, however, 
being of a lowly disposition, when he per- 
ceived the hatred which his elevated situa- 
tion drew upon him from the others, relin- 

1 S«e Hist, of Arm., p. 287. 

— 161 — 

qnished it and retired to his convent. The 
nation at large acknowledged Gregory 
alone as Pontiff. They regarded Parsegh 
as his deputy or vicar. 

At this time many of the Armenian 
clergy, not being able to endure the tyran- 
ny of the infidels who ruled over their 
country, took refuge in Cylicia and entered 
the convents that were erected there, in the 
regions of the Black Mountain. In the mean 
time Jerusalem was captured by the Latins. 
Gregory Vegayasser was at that time in 
Jerusalem, where, although much annoyed 
by the confusion that took place, he escap- 
ed unhurt and retired to the convent of 
Arek in the Black Mountain, where he col- 
lected around him a number of learned Ar- 
menians, Greeks and Syrians, with whom 
he remained long' engaged in the transla- 
tion of various foreign works* 

_N/ V7;^^-A \C:\ 

162 — 



The Zeraztulig or wrong Easter. — Parsegh succeeds to Gre- 
gory Vegay>«ser. — Gregory the Third. — The origin o( 
the ponlificale of Aghthamar. ~ Gregory and (he assembly 
at Jerusalem. — The ponlificate at Hromgla. — Kierses 
the Graceful. — The union of the Armenian and Greek 
Churches is proposed. — Gregory the Fourth, — Assembly. 
— Dudeorly a reliel. — Correspondance between the 
pontiff Gregory and Pope Lucius. — The Latin Mitre is 
adopted by the Armenian bi>hops. — The convent of Si- 
James at Jerusalem. — Gregory the Fifth. — Gregory the 
Sixth. — Nierses Lamproncnsis, — Conrad Archbishop of 
Afagunzia and his three cooditioos. 

In the beginning of this century the do- 
minion of the Armenians in Cylicia was 
strengthened by the warlike disspositions of 
ThoTos the First, who continually repulsed 
the Greeks his enemies , endeavoured to 
keep the Armenians in peace. 

In the year 1102, however, dissension 
arose between the Armenians and the Sy- 
rians on one side, and the Greeks and La- 
tins on the other in consequence of the 
wrong Easter — vulgarly called Zerazai^ 

— 163 — 

— the latter celebrating the Easter feast a 
week before the former. According to the 
Armenian calendar, this difference in ob-* 
serving Easter happens once in every nine- 
ty five years and on this occasion furnished 
an opportunity to the Greeks for harassing 
the Armenians by forcing them to celebrate 
the Easter festival with themselves; for 
their envy and hostile feeling had been 
greatly excited by the flourishing state of 
the kingdom under Thoros. The Pontiff Gre- 
gory Vegayasser having been consulted by 
the Armenians with regard to the propriety 
of celebrating Easter with the Greeks , 
answered that it was becoming to adhere 
to those customs which had been estab- 
lished by their ancestors. Thereupon some 
kept Easter according to their calendar; 
others joined the Greeks and proved after- 
wards more virulent antagonists than the 
ti reeks themselves. 

Gregory Vegayasser shortly after took up 
his residence in the Red convent at Raban, 
near the city of Kesun. Here he fell sick 
and sending for Parsegh the Pontiff and 
Prince Basilius the Crafty , gave them 
charge of his nephew's Abirad's two sons, 
Gregory and Nierses, whom he had hitherto 
brought up with the greatest care, and who 
had early shown signs of piety and superior 
intelligence. He expressed the desire that at 

— 164 — 

Parsegh's death, Gregory the elder of these 
two youths should succeed to the pontifi- 
cate. Becoming worse he received the sa- 
crament and died, A. D. 1105, having en- 
joyed the dignity of Pontiff forty years. 

Parsegh, by the death of his uncle Gre- 
gory, was put in possession of the full 
power of Pontiff, and he exercised the func- 
tions of that office henceforward, sometimes 
in the desert of Shughr, and sometimes iu 
the city of Edessa. He kept the youths Gre- 
gory and Nierses with him, and carefully 
educated them. Gregory was in due time 
ordained priest. 

Parsegh died in the convent of the desert 
of Shughr after having enjoyed the pontifi- 
cal dignity thirty^ one years, during eight 
of which he exercised the oflSce of sole ruler 
of the Armenian Church. 

He was succeeded, A. D. 1113, by Gre- 
gory, the son of Abirad, agreeably to the 
wishes of the late Pontiff Gregory Ve- 

Gregory the Third, although but twenty 
years of age at the time of his elevation to 
the pontifical dignity, was already celebra- 
ted for his learning, and for the wisdom 
and piety which all his actions displayed. 
When his election and consecration were 
announced to the churches, David, the son 
of one Thornig, then archbishop of Aghtha- 

— 165 — 

mar, refused to acknowledge him, but with 
the aid of five bishops, he caused himself to 
be consecrated Pontiff in the convent of Zor. 
This coming to the knowledge of Gregory, 
he convened a large assembly of the clergy, 
amounting to more than 5500 persons, who 
by common consent rejected the pseudo- 
poDtiff, and anathematized both him and 
his adherents. In the same assembly it was 
also enacted, that henceforw ard an element 
indispensable to the validity of the election 
of a new pontiff should be the consent of 
the four sees ; viz. Haghpad , Thaddeus, 
Petchny and Dathev. David, however, con- 
tinued to retain his assumed dignity in 
Aghthamar, and after his death others ille- 
gally succeeded him and succeed until this 
day with the same title of Pontiffs.. 

A few years afterwards, Gregory removed 
from the Red coil vent in the desert of 
Shughr, and established himself in the 
castle of Zovk his paternal inheritance. 
Having much improved this castle, and 
newly fortified it, he established the seat of 
his spiritual government there, A. D. 1125, 
and raised his brother Nierses the Grace- 
ful, to the Episcopal dignity. 

About the year 1141, a Nuncio from the 
Pope of Rome arrived at Antioch where the 
Latins held an assembly to which Gregory 
was invited. The Nuncio immediately after- 

— 166 — 

wards went to Jerusalem ; and as tbe pon- 
tiff G regory was under a vow to visit that 
city, he accompanied him. Another assembly 
was held there, when a discussion takiiig 
place respecting the Armenian religious ce- 
remonies, Gregory distinguished himself by 
an able speech which conciliated and pleas- 
ed all parties. On the Pontiff's return to 
Zovk, the Latins wrote many commenda- 
tory letters to the Pope concerning him; 
and the Pope thereupon sent him a 
pontifical sceptre and veil, accompanied 
by a letter expressive of high conside- 

In the year 1146 ^ the Scythians begin- 
ning to make inroads in the territory of the 
Armenians, Gregory quitted the Castle of 
Zovk, and accompanied by his brother Nier- 
ses and all the clergy bielonging to the 
pontificate, went to the city of HromgK 
then in the possession of the Latins. There 
he established himself and built a pontifical 
residence and a splendid church in the 
form of a Cupola. 

Having arrived at an extreme old age 
Gregory convened an assembly of the 
clergy at Hromgla, and consecrated his 
brother Nierses, Pontiff of the Armenians. 
Three months after he died, A. D. 1166, 

1 St'e Hist, of Armen.^ p. 302. 

— 167 — 

flfCer a pontificate ef 53 years ; his remains 
were interred at Hromgla. 

Nierses the Graceful on his elevation to 
the pontifical chair, with much zeal and 
activity set atout improving the condition 
of the people. He sent out missionaries to 
the dispersed Armenians, settled in various 
and distant parts of the world. He wrote an 
epistle to all the nation, both clergy and 
laity, full of inspirjltion and wisdom where- 
in he exhorted all to rectitude of conduct. 
He made excellent regulations in order to re- 
Boedy the irregularities which had crept in- 
to the Church, in consequence of the destruc- 
tion of the kingdom of Armenia. He wrote 
sUo many books, regulated the divine service 
find composed many hymns. And in conse- 
quence of the mild and gentle manner 
^ith which he exercised his* functions, and 
the peculiar elegance and sweet tone of 
liis literary productions, he was surnamed 
Shnorhaly or the Graceful. He was also cal- 
^^d Qlayensis, as he resided in the fortress 

^11 the year 1168, Nierses, through the 
Jj^edium of Duke Alexius, son - in - law of the 
^^tnpepor Comnenus, endeavoured to effect an 
Dillon between the Greek and the Armenian 
^Wches. To that end he wrote many let- 
1^5^ to the Emperor and to the Greek Pa- 
"iarch at Constantinople, who eventually 


— 168 — 

sent a Gommission to concert measuret 
with him. 

The proposals brought back by the com- 
mission being found acceptable, letters from 
both Emperor and Patriarch containing 
their consent to the union contemplated, 
were despatched to Hromgla. The Pontiff 
then summoned an assembly inviting all 
the Armenian bishops for the occasion. But 
while he was thus busil^ngaged in, he was 
suddenly taken ill, and died in the 72 ^ year 
of his age and eighth of his pontificate, 
A. D. 1173. He was numbered among the 
saints of the Armenian Church and his 
annual commemoration was appointed to 
be held on the 1 j **" of August. 

On the death of Nierses, Gregory the 
Fourth surnamed Degha ( the Boy ) his 
nephew, by unanimous consent succeeded 
to the pontificate. He was a very wise and 
virtuous man, beloved and honoured by all 
people. The Emperor on hearing of the 
death of Nierses and of the election of Gre- 
gory, wrote to the latter condoling with 
him on the loss he had suffered, and exhort- 
ing him to carry into execution the union 
proposed by his predecessor. After some 
correspondence on this subject Gregory 
convened an assembly at Tarsus , where 
Nierses Lampronensis, a relation of the 
deceased Nierses, made a splendid oration. 

The Greek Metropolitan also conyiftDed aa 
assembly at GoDstantinople, which estab- 
lished the conditions upon which tha 
union contemplated could alone be effected. 
These were , that the Armenian Church 
should accept the council of Chalcedon, and 
confess two distinct natures in Christ. 

On the receipt of the letter containing^ 
these conditions another assembly, con- 
sisting of the Pontiff of the Aghuans, thirty 
three bishops and a great number of 
priests , was convened in the city of 
Hromgla, A. D. 1179, These, supported by 
several archbishops, who though absent, had 
sent in their adhesion in writing, unani- 
mously agreed to accept the Council of 
Chalcedon and to admit distinctly two 
tiatures in Christ. They then wrote to the 
Emperor and Greek council the affirma* 
tive result of their deliberations j but 
their messenger was impeded by the dis-^ 
turbed state of the districts through which 
the road to Constantinople lay, and was 
obliged to return to Hromgla. Shortly aftef 
liews arrived of the Emperor Manuel's 
death, which untimely event unfortunately 
but effectually put an end to all further 
steps in favour of the wished -for union. 

In spite of so much unanimity and good 
feeliiig, when the news of the proceedings 
of the assembly reached the Zorakied 
2 8 


— 170 — 

and Sanfthin, a great tamult ensned a- 
mongst the inhabitants. A friar of the 
convent of Sanahin, named Gregory Du- 
deorty, wrote a rebellions letter to the 
Pontiff, who returned him a very mild 
but wise reply. This failed to produce a 
proper effect on Dud^orty and he caused 
a number of people to renounce all obe- 
dience to Gregory and to elect Parsegh 
bishop of Ani, as their spiritual chief. The 
majority of the Armenians , however, as 
well as the people of Ani, unanimously 
approved of Gregory measures , and con- 
tinued to obey him as their Pontiff. 

In the year 1184, the Greeks again 
grown hostile to the Armenians , in order 
to create disturbances represented the lat- 
ter to the Latins as followers of the he- 
resies of Eutyches. On this being made 
known to the Pontiff Gr.'gory, he wrote a 
letter to Pope Lucius , stating what hatred 
the Greeks bore his countrymen , and 
begging that the Latins would pay no 
attention to their aspersions. He liso re- 
quested the Pope to send him the regu- 
lations of the Romish Church. Lucius re- 
plied by observing that the Armenians 
should conform to the practice in use a- 
mongst all true Christians, whether in the 
East or the West, of mixing a litle water 
with the wine of the Eucharist, and of 

— 171 — 

celebrating the birth of our Lord on the 
25 ^^ December. He also sent the Pontiff 
a copy of the regalations of the Romish 
Church, with a mitre, a splendid pallium, 
and a small sash considered to be the 
chief distinction among ecclesiastical or- 
naments. From this circumstance the 
substitution of the Latin for the Greek 
mitre took place , the bishops having pre- 
viously worn the latter. 

In the year 1187 Yussuf Salahadin hav- 
ing taken the city of Jerusalem from the 
Latins, he wished to appropriate the con- 
vent and church of St. James, which be- 
longed to the Armenians. The latter, how- 
ever, at the expense of immense bribes sav- 
ed their property. 

Gregory the Pontiff after making many 
regulations and improvements in the. Ar- 
menian Church, and building a splendid 
church in Hromgla, which he dedicated to 
St. Gregory the Illuminator, died , A. D. 
1193, at the 8ge of sixty, having held the 
pontificate twenty years. He was buried in 

Gregory the Fifth, nephew, of the late 
Pontiff, although very young, was elevated 
to the pontifical dignity by order of prince 
Leo. Some opposition to his appointment 
'was made, but unavailingly , by Nierses 
Lampronensis, not only on account of his 

— 172 — 

youth but also of his incapacity. Timm 
proved, however, that he was not without 
reason; the young Pontiff after going on 
very well for a year, began to show his evil 
propensities, which causing general disgust, 
complaints were made against him to prince 
Leo. The prince thereupon caused him to 
be arrested and placed in confinement in 
the castle of Gobidar. After four months 
imprisonment he attempted to escape. But 
in letting himself down from the battle- 
ments he slipped and being precipitated to 
the ground was killed on the spot; from 
this circumstance he was surnamed « The 
Precipitated. » 

He was succeeded in the pontificate, A.. 
D. 11 5, by Gregory the Sixth, surnamed 
Abirad, nephew of Nierses the Graceful, a 
man of mature age, and of wise and vir- 
tuous principles. The inhabitants of Hagh- 
pad and Sanahin, desiring to place their 
own favourite Parsegh Aniensis in the pon- 
tifical chair opposed the elevation of Gre- 
gory. Leo the Prince, however, would not 
listen to them ; whereupon the partisans of 
Parsegh vented their anger on Nierses 
Lampronensis, conceiving that he had some 
hand in the election of Gregory the Sixth, 
and wrote complaints but uselessly, against 
him to the Prince Leo. 

In the year 1197, the « Zerazadifi » or 

— 173 — 

wrong easier, again occurred, and again 
furnished occasion to the Greeks to perse- 
cute the Armenians situated under their 
control. Gregory, upon learning this, sent 
Lampronensis to Constantinople with a let- 
ter to the Emperor Alexis Angelus, suppli- 
cating him to put a stop to the persecution. 
Lampronensis on arriving at Constanti- 
nople was received with much honour, yet 
could obtain nothing satisfactory from the 
Emperor and therefore he returned to Cyli- 
cia. He died shortly afterwards at the age 
of forty six years. He was numbered among 
the Saints of the Armenian Church and a 
yearly commemoration was ordered by 
Gregory the Pontiff. The persecution con- 
tinuing, many Armenians were forced to 
embrace the Greek rite, and others were ex- 
pelled from the territory as unbaptized in- 

In the year 1199, the coronation of 
Prince Leo king of the Armenians took 
place ^ On this occasion Pope Celestinus 
the Third sent Conrad, Archbishop of Mo- 
guntia , to Cylicia with a magnificent 
crown. On the arrival of Conrad he was 
met by Leo and Gregory the Pontiff, to 
whom he proposed for their acceptance 
three conditions, to which the Pope cou^ 

i Stt Hist, of Arm., p. 308. 

— 1^4 — 

oBTTseL iJiL irns: ChcsaHK UH^Iit to sgvce. 
'^htt irsc T^s "ii sgjgqnBf dkt pExadpil Se&- 
'^L-nls HL liie ixx ^iu^ ^^z^cb. to ML, as 
is iime runn^lKiiiic irrLris&eiii^»i. Secondlj, 
^hac ii-r-jni serru?e a£i«iclti be perfmned 
pLiiiiii J ZL lae ^:ErT:i. *2ii ^taU the people 
iciiiiaf ntfvsr ^e ke^c oGiaJe daring the 
oeitica.'njLiiL i£ ILiSB^ TiirTilT- not to break 
zl& ^xs^ :c. EAacerevs^ in onier to aroid 
aigT'T.tX LcQ rriziised to agree, bat God- 
rsd refY^iTfd zh^z &t Least tvelTe bishops 
shccli pri-ciise oa OAtk to do sol This was 
dcoe, ftui thx^^Kipja Leo was paUiclj 
CTQvacd kir.g- in the presence of all the 
cI&gT and chief posonages of the land. 

— 175 — 



iobn the Seventh. — Illegal elections of Pontiffs. — David 
the Third. — Zacbaria^s request to have divine service 
performed in his camp, — John restored. — The Latin 
clergy driven from Cylicia by king Leo. — Constantino iho 
First. — The Assembly ef Sis and the canon lor Extremo 

In the beginning of this century the 
Armenian rule in Cylicia being still prospe- 
rous, Gregory the Pontiff died in the 
convent of Arka-Gaghin, A. D. 1202, hav- 
ing ruled over the Armenian Chuj^ch seven 

He vtas succeeded by John the Seventh, 
Archbishop of Sis, who took up his resi- 
dence in Hromgla. He vt^as called the Majes- 
tic on account of the stateliness of his de- 

The bishops of Armenia Minor dissatisfied 
with his election, appointed Ananias, bishop 
of Sebastia, to be their Pontiff. The people 
of Shirag also were not pleased with John 
and therefore made Parsegh of Ani their 

— 176 — 

spiritual leader. As king Leo took no steps 
to prevent these illegal elections, John be- 
gan to look apon him with snspicion, and at 
length totally disregarded his orders. Irri- 
tated thereat, the king convened an as- 
sembly o£ bishops in the city of Sis, and de- 
posed hem from the pontificate, one year 
only having elapsed since his election. 

He was succeeded by David the Third, A. 
D. 1203, from Arka-Gaghin, who took up 
his residence at Sis. Thus there were now 
four Pontiff in Armyenia, but they did not 
at all interfere with each other. 

In the same year Zachariah Spasalar^ an 
Armenian, General of the Georgians, being 
continually engaged in warfare, wished to 
have a portable altar in order to have 
mass regularly celebrated in his camp. He 
in consequence wrote to king Leo, and, not 
being aware of David's succession, to John 
the Pontiff requesting their sanction there- 
to. The king having consulted David, they 
convened an assembly of the clergy in Sis 
which sanctioned Zachariah^s request and 
drew up eight articles for the guidance of 
the Armenians residing in Georgia. 

These articles were the following : 

1. TKe Mass shall be celebrated with the assis- 
ittvae ofdaacons and clerks j and with pHestly mt- 

— 177 — 

menUy as was formerly the cusfom in our naiion 
and as is ustud among all chrigtians. 

2. In campj the celebration of Mass is permitted 
vnder a tent and on a moveable altar* 

3. Mags may be celebrated not only for the deud^ 
but also for the living. 

4. In the dominion of the Greeks and Georgians 
Ihe festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin 
may be celebrated in the \h^ of August^ on which 
day of the week it muy happen to fall; likewise the 
festival of the holy Cross may be held onihel^^ of 

5. On the eves of Epiphany and Easter^ fasting 
shall last until evening^ when it may be broken by 
the use of fish and oil only* 

6. Pictures representing our Lord and the Saints 
shall be honoured. 

7. No person shall be admitted to deacon's or^^ 
ders who has not previously been ordained clerk, 

8. Monks shall never possess any property in 
particular; they shall live in community in the mo* 
naileries and never eat meat* 


In the meantime John, who had receiv- 
ed Zachariah's letter, promptly despatch- 
ed a tent in the form of a cupola and re- 
presenting a church la miniature, as well 
as an altar of marble and every thing 
requisite to adorn it; these he accom- 
2 8^ 

— 178 — 

panied by a bishop named Minas, three 
priests, four deacons and several choristers, 
at the same time authorizing Zachariah by 
letter to carry out all his wish. 

On the receipt of these Zachariah conyeu- 
ed an assembly of bishops and monks in 
the city of Lory, to whom he communicated 
the success of his application ; many made 
objections , others approved. Some days 
after, Zachariah caused the sacrifice of the 
Altar to be performed in the open air in 
camp, as if actually in a church. Some dis- 
turbances were created by the innovation, 
but he succeeded in tranquilizing and ap- 
peasing all. 

On intelligence reaching Cylicia of the 
opposition made to the open air service and 
of the concomitant misunderstandings, Leo 
and John were much vexed and referred to 
each other for information. This was hap- 
pily the means of effecting their reconcilia- 
tion. David the Pontiff dying shortly after- 
wards, having held the pontificate three 
years, and being immediately followed to 
the tomb by Ananias Pontiff of Sebastia, 
John was reinstated in the pontifical chair. 

About the year 1207, disputes broke out 
between Leo and the Latins residing in his 
dominions ; which ended in his driving the 
whole of them, clergy as well as laity, out 
of Cylicia. A correspondence then passed 


— 179 — 

between him, the Pope, and the Emperor of 
Germany, on the subject; but Leo was in- 
flexible, and he would not even listen to 
John the Pontiff, to whom the Pope had also 
written, who endeavoured earnestly to per- 
suade him to revoke his decision, or at least 
to mitigate its severity. 

Twelve years afterwards John the Pon- 
tiff, surnamed the Majestic, died, A. D. 1219, 
having held the pontificate eighteen years. 

He was succeeded by Constantino the 
First, a native of Partzerpert, a wise and 
virtuous man, who devoted himself entirely 
to the good of his people. 

During this and the preceding age public 
morality in all parts of Christendom was 
exceedingly lax, nor were the clergy by 
any means exempt from the universal de- 
pravity. In the west many assemblies were 
at different times held for the purpose of 
promoting a general reform, and in Arme- 
nia, also about the year 1243, Constantino 
the Pontiff convened one in the city of Sis, 
at which not only ecclesiastics but also 
Hethum the king with the chiefs of the na- 
tion attended. 

By this assembly twenty, five canons 
werfe enacted, with a view not only to curb- 
ing the general licentiousness of the laity, 
but also for the better government of the 

— 180 — 

In compIiaDce with the request of tht 
Pope of Borne and in conformity with a 
former regulation of John the Philosopher, 
the last of these canons contained the pre- 
scriptions concerning the administration of 
Extreme Unction. 

A copy of these canons with a letter of 
benediction from the Pontiff was sent to the 
clergy of Armenia Major, who approved of 
and adopted them, although the customary 
opposition was not Wanting. The canons 
were the following: 


1 . Holy orders shall be conferred without money* 

2. (hly those who hear highest recommendatiom 
$h(M be promoted to the rank of bishop. 

3. Bishops shali be consecrated not under Iht 
cge of thirty; lay priests at twenty five^ and deacons 
at twenty, 

4. Only the worthy shaU be ordained priests awl 

5. Priests shall perform the SaerametUs of iht 
Church fasting^ except in case of danger oflife^ 

6. The Sacraments of the Church shall be admi' 
nistered with respect, 

7. The font for baptism shall be fixed in the chmoh* 

— 181 — 

8. Consanguineous marriages ahaU not be per" 
mtied until the seventh remove* 

9. Bishops or priests shall not presume to per' 
form their officCj without permission^ in a diocese 
not their oum, 

10. Instructors shall be appointed in all places, 

11. The holy Scriptures shall be transcribed only 
by learned and orthodox persons, 

12. Bishops shall hold a visitation twice every 

13. Aged and learned priests shall be appointed 
confessors ^ their duty shall also be to exhort the 
people every Sunday to confession. 

14. The holy Sacrament shall never be carried 
to the sick without a censer and wax candles, 

15. Prostitutes and diviners shall be punished, 

16. Blasphemers shall be punished by civil judge- 

17. Fasts shaU be kept without making use of 
fish and oil^ except in case of sickness^ 

18. Should priests addict themselves to trade or 
hunting^ they shaU be deprived of the care of souls, 

19. The people shaB not elect their oum curate j 
except with the permission of the bishop, 

20. Once a year the priests shallj with peeuJiar 
attention examine the conduct of their people^ to 
know how they progress, or in what they lack,. 


— 182 — 

21. The priests' incomes shall be supplied by the 

22. Priests shall provide for the bishops. 

23. Likewise the bishops shall provide for the 
wants of the pontifical chair. 

24. The two prayers of the morning and afler- 
noon services J i. e. ^ We offer thanks to Thee o Lord 
our God^ It and « Hear our prayers^ » — at the end 
of which we sing the a Holy God^ » shall be finished 
in the person of the Son by adding at the end ike 
words a Christ our God; » so that it may be seen 
evidently J that the words a Who hast been cruel' 
fied » are said of the Son. 

25. The Sacrament of Extreme Unction shall be 
performed only with oil blessed by the priest; as 
was prescribed by the great Pontiff' John the Phil(h 
sopherj successor to the Pontiff Eliah. 


A Roman Nuncio sent to Cylicia. — Doctrine of the Holy 
Ghost. — Jacob the First. — Belies of St.Nierses. — Cods- 
lantine the Second. — Stephen the Fourth. — Zerazadig. 
— The Egyptians and St. Gregory's hand. — Gregory the 
Serenlh. — Pontifical residence in Sis. — Anathema 
against theSeeof Aghlhamar annulled. — Armenian liturgy. 

Pope Innocent after this assembly sent, 
A. D. 1248, a Nuncio to Cylicia, with let- 
ters to king Hethum and to the Pontiff Cons- 

— 183 — 

tantine. The object of bis mission was to 
enquire into the religious ceremonies and 
traditions of the Armenians, as some asper- 
sions had been cast on them. In the discus- 
sion that took place, the Armenian clergy 
declared that with regard to the essential 
points of the Christian belief, they were 
perfectly in unison with all the Christians, 
but in regard to the ceremonies in use they 
declared it was impossible to make any 
change, the nation being accustomed to 
them for several centuries, and so much the 
more as they contained nothing contrary to 
right doctrine or morality. 

Two years after this , Pope Innocent 
wrote an encyclical to all the eastern na- 
tions, wherein he proposed the acceptance 
of the doctrine of the Holy Ghost proceed- 
ing from the Father and the Son as admit- 
ted by the Latins. A copy of this letter 
having been forwarded to king Hethum a 
Synod was convened by the Pontiff Cons- 
tantine in the city of Sis, where the pro- 
posal being laid before the bishops and 
clergy, was, after a little discussion, ac- 

The clergy of Armenia Major on receiv- 
ing notification of the decision of the sy- 
nod all acquiesced declaring in reply that 
it was perfectly consistent with the holy 
writings and with the sentiments of the 

— 184 — 

Fathers of the Church. The Pontiff Cons- 
tantine then wrote to the Pope to intimate 
the acceptance by the Armenians of the 
doctrine of the emanation of the Holy 
Ghost from the Father and the Son. 

Constantine the Pontiff died at a yerj 
advanced age, A. D. 1267, after governing 
the Armenian Church forty seven years. 
The pontifical chair after remaining for a 
few months vacant was, A. D. 1268, filled 
by Jacob the First, of Tarsus, who took up his 
residence in Hromgia, where also being born 
he was sumamed Glayensis. He was a wise, 
virtuous and very learned man. He caused 
numerous copies of the General Epistle of 
St. iNierses the Graceful to be transcribed 
and sent them to all the churches within 
his spiritual jurisdiction , directing the 
priests to read it often and observe the 
rules it prescribed. 

During the pontificate of Jacob, A. D. 
1272, the relics of St. Nierses the Great 
were discovered in the village of Thil. 
Thereupon Leo the king raised a magnifi- 
cent church on the spot and dedicated it 
to his memory. Jacob the Pontiff died in 
the year 1287, after a pontificate of nine- 
teen years. 

Constantine the Second, Archbishop of 
Cesarea succeeded him. He was from the 
village of Gaduk, but educated in 

— 18j — 

charch of Sis, on account of which he wm 
called Sisensis. Three years after, how- 
ever, a difiference took place between him 
and Hethum the king^ and succeeding dis- 
putes were carried to such an extremity 
that the king thought proper to convene 
a synod, by which Constantino was des- 
tituted and banished. 

He was succeeded by Stephen the 
Fourth, from the village of Khakh, in the 
province of Egueghiatz. He was called 
Hromglaensis, for having been educated in 
the pontifical residence at Hromgla. He was 
the last pontiff who resided in Hromgla. 

Two years after, A. D. 1292, discord* 
again broke out in Armenia concerning 
the wrong Easter or Zerazadig which 
then occurred. Some wished to celebrate 
it with the Greeks on the sixth of April, 
others on the thirteenth of the same month. 
Hethum the king and Stephen the Pon- 
tiff, seeing that each party obstinately 
persisted in its opposition to the other, 
convened a synod iif bishops and Yartabieds 
in the city of Sis, where having estab- 
lished the epoch by accurate calculation, 
they decreed that Easter should commence 
on the sixth of April of that year. The 
inhabitants of Armenia Major , however, 
according to their usual custom comme- 
morfited it on the thirteenth of the mouth* 

— 186 — 

In the year 1292, the Egyptians having 
invaded Armenia, laid siege to the strong 
city of Hromgla , which at length they 
captured and sacked. Hundreds of the inhab- 
itants were butchered and more carried 
into captivity. Among the latter was Ste- 
phen the Pontiff. The churches, together 
with the pontifical residence, were plunder- 
ed and the Egyptians carried off the hand 
of St. Gregory the Illuminator. It is re- 
lated however that dreadful diseases hav- 
ing broken out among the Egyptians, 
their chief was. convTnced that the ven- 
geance of the Almighty was upon them, 
and therefore restored the sacred relic 
together with the church furniture they 
had seized, besides releasing all the Christ- 
ian captives. Stephen the Pontiff, however, 
died through grief in Egypt before the 
captives were released , having held the 
pontificate four years. 

Gregory the Seventh, from the city of 
Anarzaba, then became Pontiff, A. D. 12^4. 
Hromgla, the usual residence of the pon- 
tiffs, being destroyed, he took up his re- 
sidence in the city of Sis, which was 
thenceforward constituted the seat of the 
spiritual government of the Armenians. 
Gregory was on that account surnamed 

It was during his pontificate, or perhaps 

•— 187 — 

lome time before, that king Hethum caus- 
ed the anathema hitherto in force against 
the pontificate of Aghthamar to be an- 
nulled, and peace was made between the 
two pontificates. He also decreed that the 
Pontiff of Aghthamar should thencefor- 
ward be independent of spiritual control 
in his own diocese. Gregory the Pontiff 
being a man of meek and admirable cha- 
racter, far from taking umbrage thereat, 
lived on the most friendly terms with the 
Pontiff of Aghthamar. 

His endeavours to modify the Armenian 
Ritual and to render it more similar to 
those of the Latins and Greeks, produced 
much discontent and provoked an assembly 
of Eastern Vartabieds , who wrote to the 
Pontiff recommending him to desist. 

— 188 


The Synod held in Sis. — Constantine restored. — Atfempli 
to reform the Ritual. — Origin of the patriarchate of Jrru- 
•alem. — Constantine the Third. 

In the beginning of this century the 
Armenians enjoyed perfect peace under the 
government of Leo the Fourth. Gregory 
the Pontiff, always planning the amelio- 
ration of bis charge, thought it fitting time 
to take some measures for the better re- 
gulation of ecclesiastical customs and ce- 
remonies. For this purpose he wrote, A. D. 
1305, to John Orbel Archbishop of the Sew- 
nies and temporal prince of that country, 
who possessed much influence with tbe 
inhabitants of Armenia Major , making 
known his views. He made also a similar 
communication to Zachariah Zorzorensis, 
Archbishop of Ardaz and abbot of the mo- 
nastery of the Apostle Thaddeus; also to 
the Yartabied John of Ezeng^ , surnamed 
Zorzorensis from his belonging to the con- 

— 189 — 

rent of Zorzor, and to several other em- 
inent persona. 

Disputes arose however, and principally 
between John Orbel and Zachariah Zor- 
wrensis; whereupon the Pontiff, fearing 
opposition to his projects and knowing 
that much deference was paid by the na- 
tion to Hethum, surnamed Father of the 
king, he wrote to him requesting that an 
assembly of the clergy should be sum- 
moned to decide on certain points he would 
lay before it. In the mean time the Pon- 
tiff compiled a creed and gave a copy to 
king Leo ; but before he had time to carry 
his intentions into execution he was sud- 
denly taken ill and died, A. D. 1306. 

The assembly , however , was notwith- 
standing held in Sis by order of king Leo. 
Forty one bishops, seven abbots, ten em- 
inent Vartabieds, with a great number of the 
^^^''gy, were present, as were also king 
^eo with Hethum , and a considerable 
Dumber of the chiefs. Here the creed drawn 
^P by Gregory the late Pontiff was read, 
^nd nine canons enactbd thereupon, one of 
^hich related to the acknowledgement of 
^^0 distinct natures in Christ, the re- 
iQainder to the church ritual. At the same 
assembly bishop Const an tine, a native of 
Cesarea, who had formerly sat in the pon- 
tifical chair, was elected Pontiff. 

— 190 — 

As soon as Constantine took possession 
of his office, he endeavoured to pat into 
execution the enactments passed by the 
late assembly; he found it however, im- 
possible, the people resolutely opposing 
them, and murder and strife were the only 
results ; matters were then left in abeyance 
till nine years after another synod was 
held in the city of Adana, where the same 
canons were again approved and confirm- 
ed. The nation however again acted pre- 
cisely as before, determined to retain the 
venerated customs of their forefathers. 

So potent was the spirit of fanaticism 
and so violent were the dissensions creat- 
ed by well meant and even necessary 
attempts of reform, that they culminated, 
A. D. 1308, in the murder of the good king 
Leo, of the venerated Hethum his uncle 
and of many of the principal chiefs. 

In the same year king Oshin succeeded 
to the crown. He insisted upon the canons 
of the synod of Sis being observed, and 
discord and dissension again overspread 
the land. Sarkis bishop of Jerusalem, en* 
tirely rejected the synod in question and 
disregarded the orders of Oshin and of the 
Pontiff Constantine. Then having gained 
over some of the bishops and Vartabieds, 
lie procured a diploma from the sultan of 
Egypt authorizing him to exert indepen- 

— 191 — I 

dent spiritual authority within his diocese ; | 

upon which he assumed the title of Pa- 
triarch of Jerusalem, A. D. 1311. From this 
prelate sprung the patriarchate of the Ar- i 

menians in Jerusalem. 

During this period the neighbouring 
infidel princes began to invade Cylicia, 
destroying every thing by sword and fire*. 
Their intention was to exterminate the 
Armenians. Leo the king and Constantine 
the Pontiff wrote to Pope John imploring 
aid. The Pope could only exhort them to 
patience and send them money to enable 
them to repair their towns and villages, 
and to raise troops to oppose the invaders. 
Constantine the Pontiff sunk under the 
contemplation of the distress of his coun- 
try and died in the sixteenth year of his 

Constantine the Third, from Lampron, 
succeeded him in the pontifical dignity, A. 
D. 1323, and took up his residence in Sis. 
This Pontiff succeeded in persuading the 
Sultan of Egypt to sign a treaty of peace 
with the Armenian king, to the great joy 
of all the Armenians. Having given peace 
to Cylicia, he shortly after died , having 
held the pontificate only four years. 

i Se« Hltt. of Armen., p. 344. 

— 192 — 


J«rohtbe Seeenfl. — Origin of the Unionisls.^ Mekhifhartht 
Pontiff. — Two impostor bishops. — The U7 heresies of 
the ArmeniaDS.' — A deputy sent by the ArmeniAns to 
l*ope Benedict. — Jacob Sisensis restored. — His suc- 
cessor. — The question of addin|i; wat* r to the wine. — 
Other Pontiffs and miserable condition of Armenia. 

Jacob the Second, from Pis, then became 
Pontiff, in the year 1327. During his pon- 
tificate , an Armenian Yartabied named 
John, — who had gone to Aderbadagan 
and had become a disciple of a Latin bi- 
shop named Bartholomew, — having learn- 
ed the latin language came back to Ar- 
menia. There he began to make disciples 
with whom he undertook to change the 
religious customs and church ceremonies 
of the Armenians. This was the cause of 
many dissensions aoiong the Armenians, 
until the bishops together with the king, 
were obliged to drive away the instiga- 
tors of the troubles. But by this measure it 
was impossible to pacify the factions; so that 
at length dissension also broke out between 
the king and the Pontiff, whereupon the 
former caused the latter' to be destituted, 
alter a, pontifirate of fourteen years. 

— 193 — 

Mekbithar from the village of Kurna *m 
the province of Erentchag, succeeded him> 
A. D. 1341. The change of the Pontiff, how- 
ever, did nothing but increase the virulence 
of the factions. For the Yertabied John, 
whom we have beforementioned, had already 
formed a fraternity on the model of the Latin 
order of Dominicans, under the appellation 
of Unionists, their object being to unite the 
Armenian Church to the Latin, by alter* 
iog the national rites. Having increased in 
number, they spread confusion every where, 
as they did not allow to be orthodox the 
forms of baptism, confirmation, and receiv- 
iDg holy orders as practised by the Arme- 
nians, and all their proselytes were obliged 
to be re-baptized and confirmed by them 
according to the Latin rites. Priests on 
embracing their tenets were also obliged to 
renew their ecclcbiastical vows before 
they could recommence their duties. They 
sought to substitute for the whole of the 
ceremonies of the Armenian Church thosQ 
in use with the Latins, and in consequent 
contention arose throughout the kingdom 
and continued for a considerable time. Oi|r- 
ing to the determined resistence they en- 
countered from the mass of the people,, these 
innovators speedily began to decrease and 
finally became extinct. 

Borne time previous to the elevation of 
2 9 

— 19'i — 

Mckhithar to the pontificate, Nierses Ba- 
lientz, entitled bishop of Orrni, and Simeon 
Beg called bishop of Garin, having joined 
the Unionists began with more, than ordi- 
nary zeal to spread their doctrines, and 
much mischief was done by them in the 
Church. The irritated Armenians at length 
expelled them from the country. Simeon 
took refuge in Cyprus and Nierses fled else- 

When the latter heard of Mekhitbar's 
accession to the pontifical chair, he came to 
him, hoping to be able to make a proselyte 
of him. But Mekhithar on examining the 
deeds and the doctrines of Nierses, excom- 
municated him as subverter of wholesome 
institutions and laws. Irritated at this 
Nierses forthwith proceeded to Avignon 
where Pope Benedict then resided, and ac- 
cused the Armenians as abounding in here- 
sies, a scurrility similar to that which had 
already been committed to writing by Si- 
meon Beg. There were at this time in Av- 
ignon several of the followers of the Union- 
ists, who together with certain ignorant 
Latin vartabieds who boasted of being per- 
fectly acquainted with the rites of the eastern 
churches, headed by Nierses invented a 
number of falsehoods, and compiling them 
in a small book, presented it to the Pope, 
as containing 117 heresies in vogue among 

— 195 — 

the Armenians. This book was forwarded 
by the Pope with a letter to the Pontiff 
Mekhithar and king Leo. 

Thereupon, A. D. 1342, a large assembly 
of bishops and priests was convened in 
the city of Sis, where all the accusations 
contained in the book were investigated and 
confuted as being most unfounded calum- 
nies. The report of the proceedings of tbe 
assembly was then forwarded to the Pope, 
who rejoiced thereat and was convinced 
that the charges brought against the Ar- 
menians were mere calumnies. 

After some correspondence between the 
Armenian king and the Pope on religious 
affairs, the ex-pontiff Jacob Sisensis was 
sent on a mission to his Holiness. On his 
arrival at Avignon he was presented to the 
Pope and succeeded in unmasking the true 
nature of the charges which their calum- 
i^iators had laid against the Armenians, 
thus putting them to confusion and shame. 
On the envoy's return to Cylicia the Pontiff 
Mekhithar died, A. D. 1355, after having 
held that office fourteen years. 

Jacob Sisensis was then again appointed 
to the pontificate, but he enjoyed this dig- 
i^ity only four years, at the expiration of 
which he died. 

Then Mesrob from the province of Ardaz, 
Abbot of the convent of St. Thaddeus, was 

— KG — 

elected to the pontificate, A. D. 1359. Du- 
ring bis days much contention arose 
amongst the Armenians on account of 
some of the clergy adding water to the 
wine of the Holy Eucharist, while the na- 
tional custom was to use wine only. Being 
unable to calm the excitement, Mesrob held 
an assembly in the royal city of Sis, com- 
posed of bishops and priests, where after 
many disputes, seeing that it was impos- 
sible to unite the parties, he ordered all the 
clergy thenceforward to conform themselves 
to the old custom, consecrating the Sacra- 
ment with pure wine. Thus the custom o( 
adding water, which was admitted by some 
of the clergy after the councils of Sis and 
Adana, A. D. 1307, was abolished among 
the Armenians. He died in the year 1372, 
after holding the pontifical dignity thirteen 

Constantino the Fourth succeeded him for 
two years , when he died and was suc- 
ceeded by 

Paul the First, A. D. 1374. During the 
days of all these Pontiffs, Cylicia was in a 
dreadful condition; the Egyptians made 
continually incursions with the purpose of 
destroying not only the Armenian power 
but even Christianity itself in that country. 
At length they succeeded in their intention, 
and by the captivity of king Leo the last, 

— 197 — 

royalty among the Armenians became ex- 
tinct *. 

Paul the Pontiff, having witnessed this 
sad event, died, A. D. 1378, after a pontifi- 
cate of four years. 

Theodore the Second succeeded him. He 
fixed his chair in the ruined city of Sis ; 
yet seldom went there except for the pur- 
pose of ordaining priests and blessing the 
chrism. Neither he nor his successor had 
any certain place of residence, being oblig- 
ed by the distracted condition of the coun- 
try to wander from place to place to obtain 
sustenance and security. 

During the pontificate of Theodore, Ta- 
merlane the Tyrant, invaded Armenia, and 
spread destruction and desolation every 
where. Many of the Christians were tor- 
tured in order to make them deny their 
religion; whereupon great numbers were 
martyred. Theodore also the Pontiff was 
seized by one Melick Omar, a chief of the 
Kurds, who put him to death in the eigh- 
teenth year of his pontificate, A. D. 1395. 

Garabied the First succeeded Theodore 
as Pontiff, and died two years after. 

David the Fourth was then elected pon- 
tiff, and died after a pontificate of four 

i Seo Hisf . of Arm., p. 358. 


— 198 — 

During the time of all these last pon- 
tiffd, ArmeDia being continually ravaged 
by the invasion of the infidels and con- 
sequently in the most deplorable civil 
state, no religious event happened worthy 
to be mentioned, except persecutions by 
the infidels and other vexations. 

199 — 



Troubles caused by tlie L'nionfsts. — Cregory Dtduvemis. — 
Intrigues for the ponlificui dignity. — Successran of Poik- 
liffs. — Armenian Varlabieds in the Council of Flo- 
rence, — The pontifical see removed lo Elcbmiatlsin. 

With the destruction of the civil author- 
ity in Armenia, the ecclesiastical organisa- 
tion naturally suffered. We find that many 
Buccessiv^ Pontiffs died shortly after their 
accession either by ill treatment received 
from the infidels, or in consequence of the 
life of anxiety and care which the national 
troubles caused them. 

David the Fourth, whe died in the second 
year of this century, was succeeded by Ga- 
rabied the Second, during whose time many 
of the unhappy people were martyred in 
Armenia. About that epoch a violent strife 
also arose between the Armenian clergy 
and the sect of the Unionists , already 
mentioned. One Sarkis, an Armenian Var-^ 
tabled, eudeavoured to make peace between 

— 200 — 

{be two parties; but fisdiug bis efforf? 
unavailing he retired to the convent of 
Sukhara in the province of Eatchperunies. 
Another Vartabied, John of Oroden, at first 
defended the Unionists, but having found 
that the latter had re-baptized and reor- 
dained some of his own diseiples, and also 
of those of Sarkis, he renounced all far- 
ther connection with them , as did also 
several other Yartabieds and some of the 
chiefs and people. The violent procedure of 
the Unionists caused many of their follow- 
ers to abandon them , and it at length 
excited active opposition from the nobles, 
who caused them much annoyance and per- 
secution. Among those whom their pre- 
tensions and arrc^ance disgusted into se- 
cession was Gregorius Dathevensis , * 
disciple of John of Oreden , who at first 
their champion, soon greatly distinguished 
himself against them both by preaching 
and writing. Blinded by pride and fana- 
ticism and incapable of moderation they 
were at length regarded as a public nui- 
sance and were every where given into the 
hands of the infidel governors. 

Garabied the Second died after a pontifi- 
cate of seven years, A. I>. 1400. 

Jacob the Third a Vartabied, through the 
influence of the infidel chief of Cylicia, then 
ascended the pontifical chair ^ which he 

— 201 — 

occupied for two years, when he was poison- 
ed by some of the inhabitants of Sis on 
account of which dreadful tumults broke 
out in that city. 

A Vartabied named Gregory, seeing the 
inhabitants embarrassed as to the selection 
of a new Pontiff, succeeded in gaining a 
few partisans by whom he was elevated to 
the pontifical dignity. A conspiracy was 
soon formed against him, which was, how- 
ever , discovered and frustrated and the 
conspirators were punished by the chiefs of 
Cylicia. Gregory meanwhile could not 
please the citizens of Sis , and after tole- 
rating his pontificate for seven years they 
all rose in a body , seized and confined 
him in a fortress, where he shortly after 

Paul the Second, from Ararat, bishop of 
Jerusalem, having come to Sis for the pur- 
pose of restoring harmony, succeeded Gre- 
gory and in a great measure tranquillized 
the people. He diligently undertook to re- 
organise the Church, but so much did he 
Buffer from the desperate condition of the 
country, that he lived but a short life and 
died , after holding the pontifical office 
twelve years. He was succeeded, A. D. 1430, 
by Constantino the Fifth, from the city af 
Vahga. During his days the Council of 
Florence was held and his attendance was 

— 202 — 

invited by Pope Eugene the Fourth. But 
seeing the inapossibility of leaving his post 
vacant, he deputed to the Council lour 
Vartabieds, who accepted and subscribed to 
the unity between the Armenian and Latin 

Constantine died after a pontificate of 
nine years, and with his decease may be 
dated the decline of the purity and splen- 
dour of the pontifical chair of Sis. 

Joseph the Third, a Vartabied, succeeded 
him and died about a year afterwards. But 
as he was a man of the worst moral cha- 
racter , he is not reputed a legitimate 
Pontiff, although he is counted among 

Gregory the Ninth, surnamed Musapeg, 
then became Pontiff, A. D. 1440, and on the 
day of his election consecrated four bishops 
without the customary ceremony , there 
being at that time too few prelates in ^ is 
to admit of its being performed. On this ir- 
regularity becoming known, four bishops of 
Cylicia wrote a complaint against the Pon- 
tiff to all the Armenian clergy, at the same 
time making widely known the miserable 
state to which the pontifical chair of Sis 
was reduced. Upon this a correspondence 
took place among the clergy, resulting in 
the determjnation to elect either a new 
Pontiff, or to re - elect the same Gregory, 

— 203 — 
and to remove the seat of the spiritual gov- 
ernment of the Armeuians to Ktchraiadziu ; 
especially as it was said that the hand of 
the Blessed Iliuoiinator had recently beea 
brought to that place. They then respect- 
fully requested to Gregory to remove hia 
chair to Etchmiadzin ; on his refusal an as- 
sembly of the clergy was held in the church 
of Etchmiadzin, comprising more than 700 
bishops, vartahieds, abbots, hermits, and 
priests, among whom was bishop Azaria, 
Pontiff of the Aghuans. Zachariah, bishop 
of Havutx-Thar was appointed to preside. 
As the disturbed state of the country pre- 
vented the attendance of maoy of the Ar- 
menian clergy , they wrote to say they 
would acknowledge the Pontiff who might 
be chosen by the assembly. The clei^y of 
the pontificate of Aghthamar also wrote to 
the same effect, and moreover promised to 
unite with the rest in due obedience to the 
future Font'iff of Etchmiadzin. 

The assembly having proceeded to the 
election, the Vartabied (JairRgos from the 
village of Kharapast in the provmce of 
Katcbperunies, was by unanimous consent, 
elected Pontiff. 

284 — 


Crun-agos Virabensis. — Treubtes. — Gm'ragos is deposed*— 
The Pontiff of Sis continue lo succeed. — Origin of Ibe 
patriarchate of Constantinople. — Appointment of Vicars 
te the pontificate. — Troubles.^ 

Guiragos, on account of bis baving re- 
sided thirty two years in the convent of 
Khor-Virab was sarnamed Virabensis. He 
was an humble character, prudent in coud- 
sel, sober in words, rigid in the practice of 
self- mortification^ and deeply read in the 
Holy Scriptures. He was elected to the 
pontifical chair of Etchmiadzin, A. D. 1441, 
with authority over the whole of the Ar- 
menian Church. AU this was done with the 
permission and under the protection oi' 
Yaghup, chief of Erevan. 

Guiragos, on assuming his oflSce, wrote 
a letter of benediction in which he annulled 
all excommunications previously pronouu- 
ced by the Pontiffs of Sis, particularly that 
against the seat of Aghthamar, and substi- 
tated benedictions for anathema. He then 
began to repair the pontifical palace, res- 
toring all the ornaments as they for- 
merly existed. He built several conventiJ 

— 205 — 

and churches, and repaired the cathedral of 
Etchmiadziu, as well as the eburches af 
Ripsima and Eayan^. 

Two years after these events, a bishop 
named Mark, from Georgia, formed a faction 
against Guiragos, arraigning the legality 
of his election. « This pontificate , said 
Mark, is nail, for its possessor was a parti- 
san of the see of Aghthamar, which long 
lay under anathema. Besides , Guiragos 
ought first to have received episcopal con- 
secration from a Pontiff, before he was 
elevated to the pontificate. » The enemies of 
Guiragos increased in number and in ac- 
tivity until at length about thirty of the 
clergy , consisting of bishops and varta- 
bieds, set out for Etchmiadzin, with Zacha- 
riah bishop of Havutz-Thar at their head, 
to depose the Pontiff from his chair. 

Guiragos having heard of their ap- 
proach was struck with dread and retired 
secretly into a friend's house. But his en- 
emies soon found him, seized and carried 
him to Yaghup, Bey of Erevan, before whom 
they accused him with a ludicrous result : 
« We have discovered, said they, that he 
is not a christian, nor has he ever been 
baptized. If you wish that he should remain 
our Pontiff, it is necessary that he be bap- 
tized and elected anew. » The chief replied, 
addressing himself to Zachariah : « Did not 

- 206 — 

you yourself elect him Pontiflf of your na- 
tion? What is the matter now, that after 
once ordaining him you wish to ordain him 
again ? » — Zachariah then said : « Far be 
it from me. It was not I that ordained him, 
but his party. » 

At this moment a Vartabied named Ga- 
rabied, and a young boy who accompanied 
Guiragos , exclaimed with a loud voice : 
« They speak falsely and unjustly. » Upon 
this one of Ihe Vartabieds of the opposite 
party gave the boy a violent blow on the 
mouth. The chief incensed at this, drove, 
both accused and accusers, from his pre- 

Zachariah the bishop then sending all 
the clergy back to Etchmiadzin returned 
to the chief, and by promises and entrea- 
ties obtained his permission to elect an- 
other Pontiff in the room of Guiragos. He 
then hastened to Etchmiadzin, where hav- 
ing produced an order from the Bey, they 
forthwith elected Gregory, bishop of Mago, 
Pontiff, and then retired to their respective 

The Pontiff Guiragos after having re- 
mained some time in concealment, retired 
to a convent where he died. His pontificate 
is reckoned to have lasted two years. A 
couBequence of this last discord was, that 
the Vartabieds of Aghthamar, who had hi- 

— 207 — 

therto obeyed the Pontiff of Ktchmiadzin, 
renounced all subjection to him. 

It was expected that when Guiragos was 
elected Pontiff the pontificate of Sis would 
be quickly incorporated with that of Etch- 
miadzin ; but the late disorders dissipated 
all hope of any such union. On the death 
of the Pontiff of Sis, a Vartabied named 
Garabied, presented himself as a candidate 
to the chief of Cylicia, and promising to 
pay annually the sum of 300 deniers, was 
by his order placed in the pontifical chair 
of that city. Other individuals continue to 
succeed him in that dignity to this day. 
The 300 deniers have been always paid 
constituting, as the records state, that tri- 
bute which is called « Keshish Aghtchecy, » 
or Priest-Money. 

Gregory the Tenth on assuming his 
authority, A. D. 1443, proceeded with the 
repairs and improvements commenced by 
his predecessor. In the eleventh year of his 
pontificate Sultan Mahomet took Constan-^ 
tinople from the Greeks. A few years after, 
the Sultan brought several Armenian fa- 
milies from different parts of their country, 
and established them in and around Con- 
stantinople. The Sultan then gave bishop 
Joachim, who was brought from Brussah, 
letters patent, authorizing him to assume 
the spiritual jurisdiction of all the Arme- 

— 'iOS — 

nians situated in Greece and Asia Minor, 
and styling him « Patrik » or Patriarch. 
The authority thus created was not only 
spiritual but civil also. The Patriarch was 
to be regarded by the Armenians of Con- 
stantinople and all the provinces around, as 
the Sultan's civil Lieu*.enant in all that re- 
garded social tranquillity, obedience to the 
laws and submission to the Sovereign. He 
had ample authority over all the national 
bishops and prelates within his jurisdiction, 
having power to destitute, change or con- 
firm them, as he might judge necessary. 
Wherefore the Sultan by a special decree 
ordered the Armenians to regard and res- 
pect him as his own representative in all 
their affairs, without any exception or dis- 
tinction. He, however, did not forbid them 
to regard the Pontiff of Etchmiadzin as the 
supreme spiritual head of the full body of 
the nation. Such was the origin of the 
Patriarchate of Constantinople, which con- 
tinues to this day. 

While things were in this state at Con- 
stantinople, the reigning Pontiff Gregory 
being extremely molested by the infidel 
chiefs on account of tributes which they 
demanded from Etchmiadzin , and being 
unequal to the duties of the pontificate, ap- 
pointed a Vartabied named Aristagues as 
his colleague of the holy chair and bishop 

— 209 — 

of Etchmiadzin, giving into his charge the 
temporal affairs of his church and ordain- 
iDg him his soccessar. 

The appointment of Vicars grew into a 
custom and was the cause of a confusion 
of names and dates of events, as till thift 
time the Pontiff only was known by the 
appellation of Vicar. The vicars were after- 
wards, on their appointment, allowed pon- 
tifical honours ; like the Pontiff they signed 
briefs and issued orders, nor did they un fre- 
quently seek the patronage of the infidels, 
rise against the Pontiffs, and even expel 
them from their chairs which they would 
usurp themselves, as will hereafter appear. 

In the eighteenth year of the pontificate 
of the Pontiff Gregory, his vicar Arisdagues 
caballed against him and attempted to 
usurp the pontifical chair. In the mean time 
a certain Vartabied named Sarkis, attached 
to the church of Etchmiadzin, having pur- 
loined the hand of the Blessed Illuminator, 
carried it to Tabriez, in the hope of indu- 
cing the infidel chief Jihanshah to create 
him the Pontiff of Armenia. 

Zachariah the Pontiff of Aghthamar in- 
formed of these facts of Arisdagues, hasten- 
ed to Tabriez with valuable presents and 
presenting them to Jihanshah demanded 
the government of Etchmiadzin and the 
general pontificate of Armenia. Precisely at 

— 210 — 

i))c same moment Sarkis entered the same 
presence and made the same request. Jihan- 
shah pleased with the manners of Zacha- 
riah ordered that he should be Pontiff first, 
but that Sarkis, in the event of surviving, 
should succeed him. He then took the holv 
hand from the latter and giving it to Za- 
chariah, sent him with great honour to 
Etchmiadzin to take possession of the pon- 
titicate, placing him under the particular 
protection of his son Hassan All, then gov- 
ernor in Nakhjuan. 

Zachariah proceeding to Etchmiadzia, 
expelled Gregory and Arisdagues and took 
possession of the pontifical authority, exer- 
cising at the same time control over the 
see of Aghthamar. A few days after he 
appointed Sarkis his vicar, A. D. 1461. 

A year after these events Gregory and 
Arisdagues being reconciled , collected a 
considerable sum of money and accom- 
panied by a few nobles, went to Nakhjuan, 
where they preferred an accusation against 
Zachariah to Hassan Ali. They offered also 
to pay this chief without delay the annual 
tribute of the pontificate if he would res- 
tore them to their former authority. Hassan 
Ali consented and in order to succeed sent 
to Zachariah demanding a very conside- 
rable sum of money. Zachariah being in the 
impossibility of furnishing it, sought io 

— 211 — 

obtain time by means of frivolous excuses, 
and then seizing upon the hand of the Bles- 
sed Illuminator and all the valuable orna- 
ments of the church of Etchmiadzin, fled to 
his see of Aghthamar. Here he deposited 
the holy hand, A. D. 1462, in the church of 
the holy Cross. His pontificate is reckoned 
to have lasted one year. 

Gregory and Arisdagues then re-took pos- 
session of the pontificate. The former dying 
iii a short time, the latter succeeded him 
under the title of Arisdagues the Second. 
He died after a pontificate of four years. 

He was succeeded by Sarkis the Second, 
who had been vicar under Zachariah. This 
Pontiff appointed the Vartabied John as his 
Vicar, consecrating him at the same time 
bishop of Etchmiadzin. Sarkis who had 
been the first to remove the holy hand of 
the Illuminator from Etchmiadzin , now 
sought to get it back. By the assistance of 
bishop Vertanes he again got possession of 
it and restored it in its former place, A. D. 
1477. Alter remaining in the pontificate 
twenty four years he died. 

Arisdagues the Third succeeded Sarkis 
in the pontifical chair, A. D. 1490, and held 
it eight years when he died. 

His successor was his vicar Tl addeus 
the First, who died after a pontificate of 
five years. 

— 212 — 



Succession of Ponliffs. — Stephen the Fiflh anu Michael his 
Vicar. — He undertakes a pilgrimage to Rome. — Mtch>cl 
of Sebastia. — Ahgar is sent a deputy to Rome. — The 
intention of Pope Gregory. — Other Pontifls and the mi- 
series they suflTered from their oppressors. — Melchizedech 
the Pontiff in Constantinople. 

The successor of Thaddeus the First was 
Eghish6, A. D..150r> ; he held that oflBice 
twelve years. 

Zachariah the Third succeeded him and 
died five years after. 

Then Sarkis the Third was elevated to 
the pontificate and enjoyed that dignity till 
his death, sixteen years. 

Gregory the Eleventh was then appoint- 
ed Pontiff in the year 1536, and died five 
years after. 

Stephen the Fifth from the city of Sal- 
mast, in the province of Gorjaik next a- 
scended the pontifical chair, A. D. 1541. 
From the fact of his elevation having taken 

— 213 — 

place in the city of Constantinople he came 
to be distiDguished by the appellation 
« Constantinopolitan. » During his days, 
a war that broke out between the Turks 
and Persians, was the cause of much devas- 
tation in Armenia. The people suffered 
greatly and many, on account of their 
faith, were martyred by the infidels. Ste- 
phen the Pontiff being exceedingly annoyed 
by this war, appointed Michael of Sebastia^ 
a wise and faithful man, to be his Vicar ; to 
him he confided the duties of the pontifi- 
cate, and then proceeded to Constantinople. 
On his arrival he was received with much 
honour by Asdvadzadur, the Patriarch of 
the A.rmenians in that city. 

Shortly after Stephen went to Rome on 
a pilgrimage to the shrines of St. Peter and 
St. Paul. Here he was greatly honoured by 
the Pope, for whom the Armenian Pontiff 
had a particular regard. He then visited the 
Emperor Charles the Fifth in Germany, and 
passing through Poland and Russia returned 
to Armenia. On his proceeding to Etch- 
miadzin, he was honourably received by his 
Vicar Michael, and resumed the duties of 
the pontificate Stephen shortly after died, 
having held the pontificate fifteen years. 

Michael of Sebastia, his former Vicar, 
then succeeded him, A. D. 1556, and on his 
election consecrated the Vartabied Parsegh 

— 214 — 

bishop and Vicar of Etchmiadzin. The coun- 
try, at this time, suffering much from ma- 
rauders, Michael was induced to remoTe for 
a short time to Sebastia. Thence he des- 
patched Abgar, a wise and ingenious man, 
to Rome , together with a priest named 
Alexander , and furnished them with a let- 
ter, expressing friendship and veneration, 
to the Pope , for the purpose of settling 
some religious points. He also sent His Ho- 
liness at the same time a copy of the treaty 
of union made in the days of the Illumina- 
tor,- also a general list of convents, churches, 
relics of Saints and the places where they 
are kept in Armenia. Michael the year 
after returned to Etchmiadzin. 

Abgar met with a very kind reception 
from the Pope, A. D. 1564, and on their 
proceeding to hold a conference respecting 
the object of the mission, the Pope was so 
pleased with the ingenuity and knowledge 
displayed by the Armenian, that he reques- 
ted him to write a simple and brief account 
of the religious creed and traditions of his 

Abgar did so, aided by the priest Ale- 
xander. In this memorial nothing was in- 
serted that did not exist in fact; and it is a 
very interesting document , as in it are 
briefly resumed the doctrines and the cus- 
toms of the Armenian Church. 

— 215 

Ahgar's hritf exposition qf the creed and 
ceremonies qf the Armenian Church. 

oc We Armenians , living in servitude 
under the dominion of the Turks and Per- 
sians, believe and maintain as follows : 

We believe that the Father is not begot- 
ten, the Son is begotten , and the Holy 
Ghost is proceeding; three sovereign Persons 
and one Divinity. 

We believe that Mary , the mother of 
God, was virgin before as well as after the 

We believe that our Saviour performed 
all the deeds of his admirable Incarnation, 
through the human nature which he as- 
sumed with us. 

We believe in the Annunciation of Mary, 
in the Nativity of Christ, in his Presentation 
at the temple, in his Baptism, Transfigura- 
tion and Crucifixion, in his three days' in- 
terment and in his Resurrection and Ascen- 

We believe that he sits on the right of 
the Father, and that he will come again. 

We believe that through his perfect na- 
tivity, he assumed perfectly the human 
Bature with the exception of sin. 

— 216 — 

Such ia truly the belief we all confess. 

We possess the seventy two books of the 
Old and New Testament ; all the books of 
the prophecies, a hundred and fifty Psalms, 
four Gospels , the two epistles of Peter, 
those of John, James and Jude, and the 
fourteen epistles of Paul. 

We have also the seven Sacrameuts of 
the Church ; we acknowledge that the mor- 
tal sins are seven. 

We acknowledge Moses as the principal 
among the Prophets; and that there are 
twelve Apostles and seventy two disciples, 
among whom supreme is Peter. 

We believe that he who confesses his 
sins to a priest is absolved. 

We accept no other oecumenical Synods 
than these three ; viz. the Nicean and those 
of Constantinople and Ephesus. 

We recite daily the Nicean creed. 

We perform the Sacrament of the Eucha- 
rist as taught by St. Gregory. 

In the Sacrament of the chalice we do 
not make use of leaven nor of water. 

Neither do we celebrate the holy mass 
twice a day upon the same altar. 

If any christian of another nationality or 
religion, becomes a convert to our religion, 
we do not re-baptize him. 

Those among us who are subject to mo- 
nastic life, live in chastity and celibacy, 

— 217 — 

and are never married ; bot oar lay clergy 
first marry and afterwards receive holy 

Our monks notwithstanding have no 
authority to baptize, neither to perform the 
ceremo&y of marriage when a priest i« pre«> 

We fast a hundred and fifty five days a 
year, at which time we eat neither fish, nor 
any milk-food; there are also other five 
days in the year, when we eat only eggs 
and milk food. 

We never celebrate feasts of Saints on 
Sundays, but separately. 

For the feast of the Epiphany we agree 
with the Roman Church ; but for that of 
Christmas day we disagree. 

On holy Saturday we eat only eggs and 
fish after sunset. 

We administer the holy Sacrament in 
both kinds to all. 

We solemnly perform the ceremony of 
first and second matrimony, but not the 

We make alliance by marriage from the 
seventh degree; for relations with us do 
not intermarry until the fourth remove. 

In praying, or in celebrating the mass we 
turn towards the East, and in kneeling we 
kiss the ground. 
We have seven canonical divine services 
2 10 

— 218 — 

which we perform in the church in two dif- 
ferent times daily. 

Such is our belief, confession, fasting and 
prayer ; but at this epoch in which we suf- 
fer slavery and insupportable vexations, 
our ceremonies are fallen in decay ; for if 
we dare preach publicly in the presence of 
the infidels, they throw us into the fire ; but 
if it pleases God that we should free 
ourselves from this slavery, we will will- 
ingly submit to whatever commands you 
may impose upon us ; for at the present time 
we possess neither force, nor any power, or 
authority ; so that if we would correct any 
of our transgressors and oblige him to a- 
mend himself, he disobeying, becomes an 
apostate. For that purpose we humbly be- 
seech thy Holiness and thy paternal ben- 
ignity, to look kindly upon us. For thou 
indeed art the great Pontiff of the four parts 
of the world ; whomsoever thou shalt loose, 
he shall be loosed, and whomsoever thou 
shalt bind, he shall be bound. Do not look, 
we pray, at our imperfection and faults, 
since we are in slavery; but pardon us and 
account us in the number of the flock which 
has been bestowed on you ; renew us who 
are grown old, and revive in us the fervour 
of love and devotion to the holy Roman 
Church; for we are the destitute servants of 
thy Holiness. 

— 219 — 

We celebrate the Sacrament of the holy 
Eucharist for the deceased, and offer prayers 
unto God, and give alms to the poor ; we 
also endow the churches for the benefit of 
our souls. 

Three times a year we particularly com- 
memorate the deceased in the church, by 
offering new-born animals ( lambs or 
calves), by distributing alms, and by 
dispensing food to ecclesiastics , to the 
people and to the poor. 

We honour the relics of all saints, and 
placing some fragments in crucifixes or in 
special boxes of great value, we place them 
with honour upon the altars. 

We greatly honour those crucifixes which 
have been blessed and anointed with the 
holy oil, and er6ct them on the holy altar; 
in the same way we honour the pictures 
which have been blessed and place them 
over the altars. 

Twice a year our priests and the minis- 
ters of the church carry round to the houses 
a crucifix and a picture in order that 
the infirm and the sick, who in conse- 
quence of old age and infirmity are unable 
to go to church, may offer them due ho- 
nour and kiss them; and through these cru- 
cifixes and pictures miracles are very often 
wrought among us. 

As for the guilty or excommunicated, 

— 220 — 

such is our rule : If any priest , bishop, 
archbishop or Pontiff has bound or excom- 
municated any transgressor and happen to 
die before he has absolved him, none among 
the successors of him who may have bound 
or excommunicated, shall be able to annull 
the effect except the supreme Pontiff of 
Rome; to whom, according to our rules, we 
address the repentent with the brief of his 
excommunication, in order that he might 
be loosened and the letter be destroyed. 
For it belongs only to you to absolve him, 
and by tearing to pieces the letter of his 
bonds, you return him to our Church. 

According to the doctrine of our pontiff 
St. Gregory, we all believe whatever the 
holy catholic and apostolic Church believes; 
and likewise all that she rejects and ana- 
thematizes, we also do anathematize. 

We admit that the soul of an impenitent 
christian who may have died without con- 
fession and repentance, is delivered up to 
the devil; but he who by confession and 
repentance has been cleansed , his soul 
ascends to heaven. He, however, who died 
confessed and communicated, but has not 
done penance, his parents , relations and 
friends , can free his soul through alms, 
masses, prayers, and other works of piety. 

We account St. Gregory as our first Pa- 
triarch ; he having repaired to Rome, was 

— 221 ~ 

consecrated and blessed by St. Sylvester 
during the time of the Emperor Constan- 
tine and of our kiug Tiridates. 

We confess also that Christ said to St. 
Peter the Apostle, « Feed my sheep • ; and 
that he also prayed for him that his faith 
fail not. Now if there be any among as 
who does not confess that the chair of Peter 
is the supreme , and that the Pontiff of 
Rome is the chief and the father of all the 
world and the heir of the keys, such an 
one is an apostate from the Gospels and 
from Jerusalem and from the chair of the 
Illuminator of Etchmiadzin. 

Now, holy father, may this that I have 
dared briefly to resume in this writing, 
regarding the confession of ftiith of the 
Armenians as well as the citation of the 
seventy two books, in order to present it to 
your omniscient wisdom, suffice, for it is not 
becoming to place a candle's light before 
the sun. 

This confession of faith of the Armenians, 
lias been written briefly by Abg-ar and Ale- 
xander, an Armenian priest, and transla- 
ted ( into Latin ) by Baptist the Ethiopean, 
in the great city of Rome, in the time of 
our lord Pope Pius the Fourth, and in the 
year of our Lord 1564, 8^** november, 
Wednesday. » 

— 222 — 

The latin translation of this work was 
presented by Abgar to the Pope. We, how- 
ever, do not know what answer was vouch- 
safed, but of this we are certain, that from 
that period the Pontiff of Rome showed a 
more than ordinary interest in the welfare 
of the Armenian nation. On the elevation of 
Gregory the Thirteenth, to the papal chair, 
he read the production of Abgar, and there- 
by learning what tyranny prevailed in Ar- 
menia, wished to render some assistance. 
Being unable to effect this by coercing their 
enemies, he proposed to erect, at the expense 
of the Romish Church, an university in 
Armenia. He therefore published a Bull to 
effect the execution of his project, in which 
he bestowed great praises on the Armenians. 

The excellent intentions of pope Gregory 
were, however, never fulfilled, for he died 
six months after issuing the brief for the 
commencement of the work. His successor, 
Sixtus the Fifth, erected in lieu of the un- 
iversity, an inn for the Armenians, dedica- 
ting it to St. Mary the Egyptian *. 

On the return of Abgar to Armenia the 
Pontiff Michael died, after presiding over 

I Aboul fortjr years after in tbe days of Pope Urban the 
Eighth, ono Paul, a native of Bolonia, who was consecra- 
ted bishop of Nakhjuan, having visited India and America, 
collected a large sum of money for the erection of a seminary 
in Armenia. He died in Spain^ bequeathing the whole of iiis 

the Church twenty two years, A. D. 156 \ 
His Vicar Der Parsegh having died about 
a year previously, 

Gregory the Twelfth succeeded and died 
after a pontificate of four years. 

He was succeeded by Stephen the Sixth, 
who only enjoyed his dignity two years 
when he died. 

Thaddeus the Second then became pon- 
tiff and appointed the Yartabied Arakiel 
his Vicar. 

In the days of these Pontiffs Shah Tahmas 
the First, king or Sophi of Persia, terribly 
harassed the Armenians , invading , plun- 
dering and destroying their country with 
remorseless cruelty. The Pontiff Thaddeus the 
Second died after a pontificate of nine years. 

He was succeeded , A D. 1584 , by his 
Vicar, Arakiel, a prudent and worthy cha- 
racter. The Turks having conquered the 
whole of Armenia as far as Ta'oriz , in- 
creased their exactions to such an intole- 
rable degree, that all ranks of people were 
reduced to the greatest poverty. The pon- 
tificate of Etchmiadzin was also taxed to 
an enormous amount, which so much dis- 

pcoperty Tor the eslaUishmenl of an Armenian seminary at 
Rome. This intentioii however was never carried onl; but 
instead some Armenian voutfas were admitted into the Pro- 
paganda College at Rome, where after due instruction they 
^ere ordained priests and sent to their country as missioDaries. 

— 224 — 

tressed Arakiel , that , after hoIdiDg his 
dignity two years he relinquished it and 
consecrating the Yartahied David his suc- 
cessor, retired to a convent where he re- 
mained until his death. 

David the Fifth , from the borders of 
Etchmiadzin , succeeding to Arakiel , was 
much molested by the Turks and com- 
pelled to pay immense treasures. He eoii>- 
plied with their demands as )ong as he 
could , collecting from his impoverished 
countrymeii for noore than they couM spare* 
These resources at length failing him, 
he was obliged to leave Etchmiadzin and 
roam for some time a fugitive in search 
of sustenance and safety. But at length 
perceiving that by his absence the tributes 
were annually increasing, he determin- 
ed to take a colleague id the pontificate. 
For this purpose , iD the seventh year of 
his pontificate , he returned to Etchmia- 
dzin, and collecting a few bishops, conse- 
crated bishop Melchizedek Pontiff, A. D. 

Melchizedek, from the convent of Aghi, 
in Gamy , now a co-pontiff with David, 
soon became oppressed by the load of tri- 
butes. He could scarcely collect sufficient 
money to supply himself with necessaries, 
and was therefore placed in the impossi- 
bility of paying the enormous taxes le- 

— 225 — 

vied on him. The governors, however, per- 
sisted in their demands, and the two col- 
leagues were obliged to borrow money at 
high interest to satisfy them, until at last 
the debts of the church of Etchmiadzin 
amounted to 50,000 deniers. Hereupon the 
creditors demanded payment, and at the 
same time the governors persisted in fur- 
ther extortions; this obliged the twoPontiflfe 
to take to flight and conceal themselves. 
They were however so harassed that they 
were unable to remain in one spot more 
than two or three days, as their creditors 
and the collectors were continually hunt- 
ing them. 

Melchizedek at length finding that no- 
thing was gained by concealment, set out 
for Constantinople, hoping to collect mo- 
ney there. He was kindly received by the 
people of the city, who keeping him for 
some months , urged him to vacate his 
chair, promising to appoint him Patriarch 
of the Armenians. This actually occurred, 
for on the abdication of their patriarch 
Diradur, Melchizedek succeeded him in that 
place; he did not, however, long enjoy 
that dignity, as at the expiration of a 
year he was deposed and was succeeded 
by John the Third, who in his turn gave 
place to Gregory of Cesarea. 

2 10* 

— 226 

Seventeenth centubt. 


Blelchizedck returns to Etchmiadzin. — Serapion the bnhop 
of Araui. — He is proclaimed Pontiff. — Shah Abas in Ar- 
nenia and ihe debt of Elchroiadzin. — Sufferings and 
dealh of the Pontiff Serapion. — Bishop Sarkis. — Tbe 
two Latin friars and the relics of St. Ripsima. 

Melchizedek after being deposed from 
the patriarchate of Constantinople return- 
ed to Etchmiadzin, where he was betray- 
ed into the hands of his creditors. He how- 
ever succeeded in escaping and joined his 
colleague David in concealment. A dread- 
ful famine that prevailed at the beginning 
of this century and an invasion of ma- 
rauding hordes, increasing still more the 
miseries of the country, the debts also of 
the pontificate increased, and the two pon- 
tiffs began to loose all hopes of paying 

At this period the rector of Amid, bi- 
shop Serapion, a pupil of Lucas of Keghi, be- 
came famous for the extent and variety 

— 227 — 

of his knowledge. He had inherited from 
his father property to an immense value. 
The two Pontiffs wrote to him, offering 
him the pontificate if he would clear off 
its incumbrances. Serapion grieved at the 
intelligence of the distress to which they 
were reduced, went to Julpha to meet them 
and to consult as to the means to be a- 
dopted for releasing them from their dif- 
ficulties. On this occasion an assembly was 
held, at which Serapion slightly censured 
the measures which had been pursued by 
those who had occupied the pontifical chair. 
On hearing this, Manuel bishop of Havutz- 
Thar, one of the clergy who accompanied 
the Pontiffs, rose and in a violent speech 
set the whole assembly in a tumult, where- 
upon the assembly dispersed without com- 
ing to any determination. The two pon- 
tiffs retired to the convent of Datev, in 
the province of Sisagan. 

Serapion remained at Julpha, where his 
preaching rendered him so popular that the 
inhabitants of that place carried him to 
Etchmiadzin, where an assembly of the cler- 
gy and laity being convened, he was ele- 
>^ated to the pontificate under the title of 
Gregory the Thirteenth. The intelligence 
of this event plunged Melchizedek and 
David into despair; for by decree of the 
ABsembly, which deposed them and elected 

— 228 — 

Serapion, they remained responsable for the 
debts which had been incurred by the 
Church of Etchmiadzin , notwithstanding 
that another usurped its government and 
disposed of its means. The two ex-pontiffs 
seeing no means to escape from their cre- 
ditors, thought of applying for money to 
their countrymen residing in Ispahan. Mel- 
chizedek therefore, in company with two 
bishops, proceeded to that city where he 
was received with great honour by the 
people. A few days after he was presented 
to the king Shah Abas , who kindly listen- 
ed to his sad story of his own misery 
and of the lamentable condition of Ar- 

Shah Abas being incited by the chief of 
Salamast , who had rebelled against the 
Turks, and some other chiefs, gathered a 
large army, and accompanied by Melchi- 
zedek, entered Armenia with the intention 
of wresting it from the Turks who were 
then in possession. The turkish creditors, 
on hearing of the approach of the Persians, 
seized Serapion the Pontiff and insisted on 
his paying them. Serapion , seeing the 
danger in which he was involved, persuaded 
them to accept a partial payment , and 
then seizing his opportunity fled to Julpha. 

Shah Abas advancing, conquered Upper 
Armenia and took possessioai of the city 

— 229 — 

of Erevan. He there caused the two ex- 
pontiffs , David and Melchizedek, to be 
brought iuto his presence, and thus addres^ 
sed them : « It has been a practice with 
our kings , on conquering a country to 
deem theirs all that it contains. As 1 have 
conquered this country from the Turks, 
all tlierefore that belonged to them is mine, 
and all that is owed to them will enter 
my treasury. The immense amount of mo- 
ney which I am aware you have borrowed 
from the Turks, I now direct to be forth- 
with paid to me. Fear no future molesta- 
tion from them , for I will give you an 
acquittance in full for all they may have 
lent to you. » 

The two Pontiffs were struck with stu- 
pefaction on hearing this speech from the 
man to whom they had applied for assis- 
tance. Being in the impossibility of doing 
otherwise, they borrowed, at a most enor- 
mous interest, as much money as they ow- 
ed their creditors , and brought it to the 
king; they were then left free. 

Shah Abas next caused the Pontiff Sera- 
pion to be seized at Julpha and placed in 
confinement, demanding an immense sum 
as the price of his release. Although what- 
ever J^'erapion possessed was extorted frem 
him, yet •the ministers of the king were 
not content, still demanding more from him. 

— 230 — 

Being unable to comply with their demands^ 
he was put to the rack and daily carried 
out on the high road, where he was hung 
by the heels and cruelly bas#ioadoed. At 
length the wretched Pontiff procured bail 
to allow of his proceeding in search of 
money ; after much trouble he procured by 
loans a sum sufficient to obtieiin his re- 
lease. He then retired to Van and after- 
wards to Amid, his ancient see, where, 
ruined in health by the tortures he had 
suffered, he died after holding the ponti- 
ficate three years. 

Shah Abas having resolved to expatriate 
the Armenians and to carry them into 
Persia * , plundered Etchmiadzin and or- 
dered the two Pontiffs David and Melchi- 
zedek to be seized, in company with many 
other bishops, and carried off with the 
captives. This resolution of the king caused 
the ruin of Armenia; cities, villages, 
churches, convents, all were destroyed, and 
for several years the country was left to 
the mercy of plunderers and banditti. 

While Armenia was thus almost annihi- 
lated, Sarkis bishop of Saghmosavank, a 
man of extraordinary wisdom and piety, 
sought to ameliorate the condition of his 
countrymen. Having taken as his associate 

1 See Hist, of Arni.^ p. 375. 

— 231 — 

another virtuous man named Der Guiragos, 
be began to repair the different convents 
which had not been completely destroyed, 
and established excellent rules of conduct 
for the Vartabieds by whom they were in- 
habited. They also repaired a number of 
convents in Sewnies, where they obtained 
many scholars. 

While these repairs were progressing, A. 
D. 1611, two Latin friars arrived in the 
district of Ararat, where meeting Melchi- 
zedek the Pontiff, they were furnished with 
an order to visit all the convents in Ar- 
menia. The two friars accordingly made a 
tour, in the course of which they discov- 
ered and took possession of various holy 
relics, particularly the head of the Apostle 
St Andrew. Having gone to Etchmiadzin 
they took from the church of that place 
the relics of St. Ripsima, and endeavour- 
ing to make off with them, were taken by 
the ecclesiastics of that place, who recov- 
ered the precious body, but not entire, the 
Latin friars having succeeded in conceal- 
ing three parts of it. One of these after- 
wards fell again into the hands of the Ar- 
menians and was brought to India and 
kept in the convent of Latin friars at Goa. 
The second was laid under the foundations 
of a church in the village of Vartaklukh, 
^ear Nakhjuan, dedicated to St. Ripsima, 

— 232 — 

The third was first l:cpt at Julpha, but in 
the year 1755, it was brought to Bagdad, 
where it fell into the possession of an Ar- 
menian pearl-merchant, who carried it to 
Constantinople. The two Latin friars after- 
wards proceeded to the province of Ke- 
gharkunies, where they were killed by the 


MelcUiKedek accused to the Ponliflf David. — He resigns tbe 
pon:i(icaI aulliorily to Isaac his nephuw. — Isaac flees lu 
Van. — Moses the Third. — Isaac^s attempt. — Dealli of 
Moses the Third. — Philip of Lringan. — His journe) to 
Coiistantiuopie. — He returns to Ltchmiaviziu where be 

The Pontiff Melchizedek, who had with- 
drawn, escaped when the rest of his coun- 
trymen were marched to Persia, and was at 
this time residing concealed in Erevan. 
This being observed by the clergy of Etch- 
miadzin , they were so much irritated 
against him that they accused him to tbe 
Pontiff David then living in new Julpha. 
They charged him with being the cause 
of the miserable state to which Etchmia- 
dzin was reduced. The people of New 

— 233 — 

Julpha displeased at this news, entreated 
David to go to Etchmiadziu and there 
exercise his authority as Pontiff, promising 
to assist him with whatever he might re- 
quire. But on his repairing to Etchmiadzin 
he was prevented hy Melchizedek from tak- 
ing possession of the pontificate. David 
then complained to Shah Abas who had 
JDst arrived from an expedition to the 
frontiers of Georgia, and who threatened 
Melchizedek with death. By the intromis- 
sion, however, of Emirguen, a chief much 
Moved by Shah Abas, he was spared but 
was fined to an amount he was unable 
to pay. 

In the year 1620, being in the great- 
est poverty and distress , he sent for the 
^artabied Moses, who was then in great 
repute with the people , and consecrated 
him bishop, giving him power to bless the 
holy unction, and sending him to the church 
of Etchmiadzin to perform that ceremony 
in the hope that he might be able to 
inake a good collection from the Armenian 
congregation assembled on that occasion. 
Hardly enough, however, was collected to 
support himself and his people. Where- 
upon he resigned the pontifical authority 
to Isaac his nephew, the latter assuming 
the burthen of the d bts, he then fled to 
Constantinople. But the people of that city 

— 234 — 

would not hold any intercourse with him; 
wherefore he proceeded to the city of Leo- 
polis in Poland, where a colony of about 
1,000 Armenian iiamilies resided, and who 
received hi in with much honour. But in 
the year 1624, having, in opposition to 
the wish of the people, consecrated bishop 
one Nicolas Thorosovitz, a restless charac- 
ter, he was the cause of much trouble and 
persecution among the inhabitants for 
many years after. 

Melchizedek next took up his residence 
in the city of Cameniz, and there he died, 
having held the pontificate, up to Isaac^s 
consecration, thirty one years. 

Isaac the Fourth, the new Pontiff, was 
so dreadfully harassed by the collectors of 
the tributes, that despairing of ever being 
able to raise the money they required, he 
sought safety by flight. This was rather 
difficult to execute as he was continually 
held in check by the collectors, travelling 
about the country to extort money. But 
arriving at Erevan, he persuaded his tor- 
mentors to permit him to go to Etchmin- 
dzin and fetch thence all the gold and 
silver church ornaments, which he offered 
to deliver to them in payment of the tri- 
bute. This being conceded him, he availed 
himself of the opportunity to flee with all 
speed to Van, .then under the government 

— 235 — 

of the Turks. This occurred in the fifth 
year of his pontificate. 

Moses the Third, who was appointed in 
charge of the church of Etchmiadzin, was, 
by the general consent of the Armenians, 
elected Pontiff, A. D. 1629. Just about this 
time Shab Abas died and was succeeded 
by Shah Sefy. The Armenians applied to 
bim for letters patent confirming Moses in 
bis dignity. The Armenians residing in 
Persia also invited the Pontiff to come to 
Ispahan, where being presented to the king, 
be succeeded in obtaining a royal decree 
by which the see of Etchmiadzin was exo- 
nerated from future payment of tribute. Mo- 
ses then returned to Etchmiadzin and be- 
gan to repair the pontifical church. 

News of the pontificate of Moses reaching 
Isaac at Van, he endeavoured to resume the 
pontifical authority among the Arme- 
nians residing there. He was unable, how- 
ever, to execute his design on account of 
the opposition of many of the Armenians; 
and after an unfortunate attempt, for which 
be was nearly scourged to death by the 
Turkish governor, he repaired to Etchmia- 
dzin , where he resigned his dignity and 
remained in humility and repentance until 
bis death. 

Moses thus remained in quiet possession 
of his office. He finished the repairs of thq 

— 236 — 

church and enacted many useful regula- 
tions for the better government of the Var- 
tabieds attached thereto; he renewed also 
the old customs and the stated hours for 
the performance of divine service. He estab- 
lished a large school in the convent of Jo- 
hanavank, for the religious instruction of 
children. He wrote three times to Pope Ur- 
ban the Eighth, which brought upon him 
the enmity of Gregory of Cesarea, the Pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, who, however, 
did not succeed in doing him any injury. 
Moses disregarded all wordly praise or cen- 
sure, and firm in the path of rectitude, con- 
tinued to govern his Church with advantage 
to its members and credit to himself. This 
worthy and fortunate Pontiff died in the 
year 1633, having presided over the Church 
three years and four months. 

Philip, from the village of Eringan, in 
Aghpag Minor, a pupil of the late Pontiff, 
was then elevated to the pontificate. He was 
a pious and peaceful man, and devoted all 
liis energies to the good government of his 
Church. He immediately began to repair 
and rebuild those parts of Etchmiadzin 
which had been destroyed during the hos- 
tilities between the Turks and Persians. 
In defraying the expenses of these under- 
takings, he was much aided by the Arme- 
nians of Ispahan. 

— 237 — 

Having put the government of his Church 
in good order, he thought to visit Constan- 
tinople in order to pacify the Armenian 
clergy and people of that city. For much 
trouble and many disputes reigned there on 
account of several aspirants to the patriar- 
chal authority endeavouring to supplant 
each other by intrigues, and by promising 
the Turkish authorities large sums which 
they were afterwards unable to pay. 

Philip therefore, attended by a large re- 
tinue of bishops and Vartabieds, set out in 
the year 1651, and on his arrival in Garin 
he was met by a messenger from the Arme- 
i^ian nobles in Constantinople, who had ap- 
plied to the Turkish government to furnish 
Wna with a firman of safe conduct for his 
journey. From Garin Philip proceeded first 
to Jerusalem, where he remained four 
^nonths. There he met Der Nierses the Pon- 
tiff of Sis, with whom he held several con- 
ferences, and at length an assembly took 
place, to which the clergy of the surround- 
^^i provinces were invited , Asdvadzadur 
*te Patriarch of Jerusalem being also pre- 
sent. In this assembly thirteen canons were 
enacted, of which the first declared that 
lienceforward all enmity between the 
Churches of Etchmiadzin and Sis should 
cease, and that the Pontiff of each, regard- 
^^g the other with brotherly love, should 

— 238 — 

issue orders and ardain bishops in his own 
province only. The remainder of the canons 
laid down regulations for the better pre- 
servation of purity of morals amongst the 
Armenian clergy and laity. 

From Jerusalem Philip continued his 
journey to Constantinople, where by his 
preaching and example he succeeded in es- 
tablishing peace among the Armenian com- 
munity. He also procured the election of 
John of Mughni to the patriarchate, anJ 
gathering money from the Armenians of 
the city, he paid the debts of the patriarchal 
church. Shortly after he returned to Etcb- 
miadzin and there began the construction 
of a magnificent tower for the cathedral 
bells. He did not live, however, to finish 
this work; he died at the age of sixty 
three, having held the pontificate twenty 
two years. During his pontificate many 
Armenians were martyred on account of 
their faith. He also corresponded witli 
Pope Innocent the Tenth. 

— 239 — 


Jacob the Fourth. — The patriarchates of Constant inopCe 
and Jerusalem. — St. Jacob's convent. — Eleazar's at- 
tempts. — Jacob the Pontiff goes to Constantinople. — 
His death. 

Immediately after the death of Philip, 
A. D. 1655, Jacob the Fourth from New 
Jolpha, was elected Pontiff of the Arme- 
niaDS. He was a virtuous and prudent man 
and of extensive knowledge. He completed 
the buildings begun by his predecessor, and 
gave encouragement to the arts by pa- 
tronizing two ingenious clergymen , one 
Mathew , a deacon of Zar , the other a 
Yartabied named Osgan, by whose means 
lie caused several improvements in printing 
to be introduced. The art of printing how- 
ever was caried afterwards to greater per- 
fection by one Lucas of Vanant. 

During the pontificate of Jacob new 
dissensions broke out in Constantinople on 
account of the patriarchal see, which after 
being but a short time in possession of 
John, was left vacant and occupied by 
some of the Armenian nobles with the 
title of guardians. But at length the Var- 

— 240 — 

tabled Tlioinas obtained letters patent ap* 
pointing him to that dignity. The guardians 
seeing themselves thas supplanted, broagbt 
false arcosations against him, and caused 
him to be imprisoned and poisoned. 

About the year 1656, Eleazer of Anthab, 
once Patriarch of the Armenians at Ck)n- 
stantinople, was appointed Vicar of the Pa- 
triarch at Jerusalem. On taking up his re- 
sidence in the conyent of St. Jacob, he be- 
gan to examine the accounts and records of 
this convent, which at that time was very 
scanty , and he accidentally found a scrap 
of paper on which was a curious memoran- 
dum, alluding to a vast number of yellow 
and white candles in the stores of the place. 
Eleazar went to the magazine and to his 
infinite surprise discovered two large vessels 
of gold and silver deniers. About this time 
the Greeks being at enmity with the Ar- 
menians, had with the aid of the Vizir 
succeeded in getting possession of the con- 
vent of St. Jacob at Jerusalem, which be- 
longed to the Armenians. 

Eleazar, however, by means of the trea- 
sures he had discovered, gained several of 
the Turkish authorities, through whom be 
succeeded in obtaining a royal decree io 
force of which that convent was again res- 
tored to the Armenians. This happy event I 
occurred in the year 1659. 

— 241 — 

Eleazar as Virar being now in possessioii 
of the convent, sought the dignity of Pa- 
triarch of the Armenians in that city. Not 
content with this he also made use of the 
money he bad found to obtain his nomi- 
nation as Pontiff of all the Turkish Ar- 
menians. He \^s assisted in this ambi- 
tious project by Khatchadur, Pontiff of Sis> 
"who publicly and with great pomp con- 
secrated him Pontiff in the city of Aleppo. 
From that place Eleazar wrote letters of 
greeting and benediction to all the Ar- 
menians subject to the Turkish govern- 
ment, notifying the event of his elevation 
to the pontificate. He then proceeded to Je- 
rusalem to take possession of his see ; but 
he could not succeed in doing so. For 
A.sdvadzadur the Patriarch of Jerusalem, 
who had appointed him as his Vicar, has- 
tened to prevent him and forced him to flee 
from the city. He was therefore driven to 
Wander about in Egypt and Syria, seeking 
for the means of establishing himself in his 

When the Pontiff Jacob heard of the am- 
bitious doings of Eleazar , he despatched 
betters to all the Armenians residing under 
the Turkish government, exhorting them 
to desist from dissensions which would 
only tend to the destruction of the Church 
of their Blessed Illuminator. Then acceding 
2 11 

— 242 — 

to the request of the Armenians, he under-* 
took a journey to Constantinople in order 
to put an end to them. 

Eleazar seeing the malignity of his en- 
emies, had recourse to the Vizir at Adria- 
Bople, from whom he obtained the confir- 
mation of his pontificate in a new letter 
patent, whereupon he returned to Brussa. 
But being again molested by his enemies 
in that place, he quickly escaped from it 
and without losing time, he repaired to 
Constantinople, where he was honoured by 
many of the Armenians as Pontiff. 

^acob the Pontiff on his proceeding to 
Constantinople was met at Smyrna by a 
messenger of Asdvadzadur, the Patriarch of 
Jerusalem , who besought him to hasten 
thither to consult with him respecting the 
best means of keeping Eleazar out of the 
pontificate. Jacob hereupon repaired to that 
city, where after considering and deciding 
upon the means they should adopt in order 
to oppose Eleazar's aiming to the patriar- 
chate of Jerusalem and the pontificate, he 
set out from that city on his way to Con-i 
stantinople. But before he had arrived at 
his journey's end, Eleazar, who was inform-i 
ed of his approach, had received from the 
Grand Siguier his letters patent, by which 
he was confirmed to the patriarchate and 
bad embarked with 250 pilgrims and pro- 

— 243 — 

ceeded to Palestine, where he took possession 
of his see without the smallest opposition. 

On the arrival of Jacoh the Pontiff at 
Constantinople, he was received with much 
honour and respect hy the Armenians, and 
many of Eleazar's partisans captivated with 
Jacob's gentle behaviour, forsook the cause 
of the former and became zealous partisans 
of the latter. Then Jacob, by the advice of 
his new friends, proceeded to Adrianople, 
and by means of valuable presents gained 
over the Grand Siguier to revoke Eleazar's 
appointment and to expedite letters patent, 
Dot only confirming Jacob as Pontiff of all 
the Armenians, but placing at his disposal 
the patriarchate of Jerusalem. One Mardiros 
was the appointed patriarch at Jerusalem 
by Jacob the Pontiff, which coming to the 
tnowledge of Eleazar, he left the cily and 
took refuge at Remla. Jacob the Pontiff 
having finished his mission at Constanti- 
nople, returned to Etchmiadzin in the year 
1667. ^ 

The patriarchal dignity of Constantinople 
find Jerusalem, however, after the departure 
of the Pontiff from the former city, became 
f^ object of ambition to several restless 
individuals, who aiming continually at 
supplanting each other in that dignity, by 
bribing the Turkish ojificers, again filled the 
Armenian community with confusion. 

— 244 — 

On the Pontiff Jacob's becoming acquain- 
ted with the rapid and extraordinary 
changes that had taken place in the patri- 
archate of Constantinople and Jerusalem, he 
determined, regardless of the infirmities in- 
separable from his very advanced age, to 
visit the former city and endeavour to pro- 
duce tranquillity among those of his nation 
residing there. He accordingly left Etch- 
miadzin and arrived at Constantinople in 
the year 1679. He had previously written 
to Eleazar to meet him in that city, but the 
latter who had found means to reoccupy 
his dignity, fearing for his personal safety, 
declined doing so, alleging that his duties 
would not permit him to leave Jerusalem. 
This >yas the Pontiff's last journey, as 
shortly after, falling ill, he died at Constan- 
tinople at the age of eighty two, having 
held the supreme ecclesiastical dignity 
twenty five years. He was buried at Pera, 
A. D. 1680. 

— 245 — 


£lcii7ar is proclaiiQed Ponliffof (hu Armenians. — Trouliles 
in the patriarchates of Constantinople and Jerusalem. — 
i^ieazar^s death. — Nahabiedof Edessa. — His correspon- 
dence wi(h Pope Innocent the Twelfth. — Ephraim the Pa- 

When Eleazar heard of the death of Ja- 
cob, he assumed the supreme pontifical au- 
thority over all the Armenians dwelling in 
the Turkish dominions. 

After the death of Jacob the pontifical 
chair of Etchmiadzin remained vacant for 
two years. Then the clergy of that church 
approving the pontificate of Eleazar, deter- 
inined to elect him their Pontiflf. For that 
Purpose they went to the chief of Erevan, 
^^d, presenting him with the accustomed 
gifts, obtained his consent and authoriza- 
tion to proceed with such election. Messen- 
gers Were then despatched to Jerusalem to 
iiivite Eleazar to take possession of the pon- 
tificate without delay. He immediately pro- 
, ceeded to Constantinople and obtained let- 
^^^ patent constituting him head of the 
I ^^n^enian Church. His first act after this 
I ^as to consecrate the Patriarch of that city 
j ^arabied, bishop, and to confirm him in his 

— 246 — 

office. He then set oat for Etchmiadzin and 
on his arrival adopted snch measures for 
the government of the clergy of that church 
as gave satisfaction to all. He repaired the 
steeple of St. Kayane and built several chur- 
ches in the desert of Zorakegh. 

The patriarchal chairs of Constantinople 
and Jerusalem again began to be objects 
of ambition and intrigue. While the clergy 
were contending about the possession of 
those dignities , the people were quarell- 
ing with each other upon the diflferent ar- 
ticles of their faith, and, as generally hap- 
pens, those who knew least about them 
were the most violent. All this was occa- 
sioned by the writings of a Vartabied called 
Sarkis of Eudocia, who by teaching his 
views concerning different points of relig- 
ion^ was the cause of many troubles and 
divisions among the Armenians, through 
which the followers of sound doctrine suf- 
fered severe persecutions. 

News of these disturbances having reach- 
ed Eleazar, he determined to send missiona- 
ries among the troubled members of the 
Armenian flock at Constantinople to exhort 
them to union and brotherly love. While 
employed in this design he suddenly felt 
sick and died after a pontificate of nine 
years, A. D. 1691. 

Nahabied of Edessa was then elected 

— 247 — 

Pontiff. He was a man of meek disposition 
and of the most exemplary virtue. He did 
every thing in his * power to restore peace 
and union among his countrymen. Haviyig 
heard that many things disparaging to the 
Armenian faith had been reported by inte- 
rested malignant persons to Pope Innocent 
the Twelfth, Kahabied wrote entreating him 
that nothing against the Armenian persua- 
sion might be believed. 

Shortly after Nahabied was expelled from 
the pontificate and banished from Etchmi- 
adzin, by the intrigues, of Stephen bishop of 
Julpha who immediately occupied the pon- 
tifical chair. But his pontificate was very 
short; for at the end of ten months he was 
deposed and placed in confinement where 
^e died. He is not reckoned in the list of 
Pontiffs. After his expulsion Nahabied was 
^stored to his former dignity. 

In the year 1697 , Pope Innocent the 
Twelfth replied to the letter of Nahabied, 
J'especting the slanders promulgated at 
Home against the Armenians, assuring him 
^[ his high consideration, and exhorting 
hini to pay no attention to anything he 
^%ht hear discreditable to the Roman ca- 
tholic faith. This letter, accompanied by 
valuable presents, was brought to Etchmia- 
dzin by Vartabied Khatchadur of Grarin. 

Kphraim the Patriarch of Constantinople 

— 248 — 

on becomiDg acquainted with the corres- 
poudeiice that had taken place between the 
Popc^and Nahabied, became highly in- 
dignant,"as he considered the independence 
of the Armenian Church sacrificed by such 
submission. In his anger against the Pon- 
tiff he attempted to create disturbances 
among the Armenians, but he did not suc- 
ceed ; for shortly after he was deposed and 
banished and was succeeded by Melchi- 
zedek. Eight months after Melchizedek ob- 
tained the recall of Ephraim and appointed 
him bishop of Adrianople. Bhortly after 
Melchizedek was deposed and succeeded by 
Mekhithar of Kurdistan, who by his mild- 
ness restored unanimity and tranquillized 
the unquiet spirit that had so long disturb- 
ed the Armenian community in Constanti- 

We are now about to enter upon a new 
period in thehistory of the Armenian Cburcb, 
but before doing so it may not be unprofi- 
table to take a summary glance at the past, 
■with a view to a complete perception of the 
spirit of the epoch. 

The Armenian Church , until the ea- 
tabiishment of the patriarchal authority in 
Constantinople, had been, in respect of ita 
unity, in a state of peace; it suffered no 
other molestation than that of the esactiona 
levied by the infidel conquerors of Armenia. 

The Armenian Pontiffs, with few excep- 
tions, bad ever maintained an epistolary 
correspondence with the Roman PontiSk; 
and this they did with the sincere desire to 
preserve that religious unity with the cen- 
ter of Cbcistiaiiity which they believed ne- 
2 U' 

^ 250 - 

cessary for the steady progress and uphold- 
ing of the common faith. 

The ground, however, was sown with the 
Reeds of strife through the fanatic doctrines 
of the Unionists, whence religious divisions 
had already sprung up , causing some 
among the Armenians to hate their own 
Church and its rites and to turn towards 
that of the Latins. 

Now the Armenians residing in Constan- 
tinople, which city they regarded as a na- 
tional center, lived in frequent contact with 
the Latins and were therefore much more 
liable to be imbued with intolerant doc- 
trines. Besides this a number of Armenian 
youth were educated at the Propaganda in 
Rome, following a course of instruction 
which excluded all that did not regard the 
Latin Church ; on being sent back as mis- 
sionaries they naturally endeavoured to 
spread the principles they had imbibed, 
which were almost to latinize their* own 
countrymen in order to preserve them 
exempt from the heresies which had in- 
volved the national Church. 

The origin of all these innovations is to 
be found in the writings of a Latin monk 
named Clemens Galanus, who having lived 
for a short time in Armenia learned a little 
of the Armenian language and wrote a 
book about the Armenian Church and rites 

— 251 — 

not exempt of error and falsehood. And there- 
fore those "who derived their notioDS of the 
Armenians exclusively from this book, could 
Bee nothing in the doctrines and rites of 
that nation but heresy and error. No better 
occupation therefore than to preach against 
tbat Church and to convert its followers to 
latinism, the only true way to salvation. This 
was accordingly done with such fanaticism 
as to create dreadful divisions among the 
Armenian population, one party hating the 
other and visiting it with every means of 
annoyance and persecution. The followers 
of the preachers of latinism being prohibited 
from frequenting the Armenian churches 
tinder pain of excommunication and of 
being deprived of absolution, avoided at- 
tendance on the religious ceremonies of 
the other party. Becoming bolder also, they 
began to deride those ceremonies, to in- 
sult their clergy and to call them heretics 
and deprived of any ecclesiastical ordina- 

The consequence of this was that the 
others becoming exasperated answered 
with reprisals; and as the government 
was with them, they annoyed the follow- 
ers of latinism by accusing them as spies 
of the Latin powers. Thus, persecutions 
followed which served only to impoverish 
the nation, to send many individuals to 

— 252 — 

banishment or to the gallies, and to driTe 
several also to abjure their faith and to be- 
come Mahometans. 

Religious enmity and national discord 
vfGTe thus incessant, and as they were fo- 
mented by the intolerance of both sides 
an irremediable schism was the consequence 
and the nation became divided into Roman 
catholics, or those who followed the preach- 
ers of latinism, and those who were firm 
in the rites of the real Armenian Church, 
as were the Armenians of Etchmiadzin. The 
former were few in number and were scat- 
tered over several provinces of the Turkish 

But it is to be remarked that though the 
Latin followers hated the Armenian Church 
and its rites, still they were obliged to re- 
pair to it for the Sacraments of Baptism, 
Confirmation, and Marriage, and for the bu- 
rial service ; the Turkish government not 
permitting the celebration of those rites in 
the Latin churches. And the latin preachers 
were therefore compelled to connive at their 
penitents going to the Armenian churches 
for such purposes. 

While the Armenians were thus divided, 
a remarkable man, destined by Divine Prov- 
idence to effect remarkable things, entered 
upon the scene. This was Mekhithar, au 
Armenian priest of the purest life, and a 


— 253 — 

godly character. With the design of preach- 
ing love aud unity hetween his co-nation- 
als, Mekhithar left Sebaste his native city 
and arriving in Constantinople in the year 
1700, presented himself to the Armenian 
Patriarch and obtained permission to preach 
in the church of the Holy Illuminator ; his 
eloquence, his energy, his devotion, speedi- 
ly placed him in a position to realize a 
project which has exercised and will long 
continue to exercise an extraordinary and 
highly beneficial influence on the education 
and character of his countrymen. 

As the study of a gifted and influential 
character is not without its utility , we 
shall momentarily suspend our chronicle, 
in order to give a short biographical sketch 
of this exemplary man. 

Mekhithar was bom in the city of Se- 
baste or Sivas, in the year 1676, and from 
his early age exhibited proofs of a superior 
mind. At the age of 15 he received the 
monk's habit and was named in religion 
Mekhithar, his secular name having been 
Manug. Being thus ordained deacon , he 
devoted himself entirely to the study of the 
Scriptures and of the Writings of the Fa- 
thers, both Greek and Armenian. In order 
to perfect himself in such studies, he first 
went to Etchmiadzin, whence he passed to 
the convent situated on the Island of Sevan. 

— 1254 — 

His efforts, however, to meet witb a sojoarn 
where an ascetic life might be conjoined 
with the study of literature and the scien- 
ces, were useless, and he therefore resolved 
to return to his native city Sebaste. On his 
Journey thither he stopped at Erzeroum, 
and there made the acquaintance of a rich 
Armenian who had just returned from 
Rome. The description of the great city 
which he heard from that traveller so 
much excited his curiosity and admiration 
that he resolved one day to visit it himself. 

Returned to Sebaste he re-entered bis 
monastery and gave himself up to theolog- 
ical studies. It was in the calm of this re- 
treat that he matured that great and noble 
project, which was, as he himself declares, 
« To found a durable Congregation of devo- 
ted individuals, whose object should be to 
cultivate all necessary and useful sciences, 
with the final aim of administering to the 
spiritual necessities of our Nation. » 

After remaining for some time in his 
convent, Mekhithar endeavoured to effect 
his design of visiting Rome; but on his 
way to that city he fell dangerously ill 
and was obliged to return to Sebaste. In the 
year 1696 he was consecrated priest and 
having, in the year 1699, received the dig- 
nity of Vartabied, that is. Doctor of Theo- 
logy, he began to exercise his career by 

— 25S — 

preaching the Gospel to his countrymen 
throughout Asia Minor. Then, as we men- 
tioned, in the year 1700 he went to Con- 
stantinople , accompanied by two of his 
disciples. He soon became , through his 
example, his eloquence, and his virtues, the 
admiration of all the Armenians in that 
city; and his disciples having increased in 
number, he sent them as missionaries to 
preach and to instruct their co-nationals in 
the diflPerent cities of Armenia. 

Thus Mekhithar began the execution of 
his project, and while his disciples were 
thus employed, he gathered into a house at 
Pera in Constantinople a number of Arme- 
nian youth, in order to bestow on them the 
benefits of education. 


Melchisedek intrigues for the patriarchal authority. — The 
misfortune of some of the priests of Adrianople. --< Mel- 
chizedek's disgrace. — Ephraim becomes Patriarch. -~ 
Troubles and persecution. — Danger of Mekhithar of Se- 
baste. — Ephraim is deposed. — Avedik bishop of Ezenga. 
— The three priests and Mekhithar. — Avedik's disgrace. 

While Mekhithar of Sebaste was peace- 
fully occupied by his great work, the pa- 
triarchal authority of Constantinople was in 

— 256 — 

coutest. For Melchizcdek the deposed Pa- 
triarch, after many intrigues succeeded, by 
the distribution of large bribes, in procur- 
ing his own restoration and the expulsion 
of the Patriarch Mekhithar of Eurdis^tan. 
' About this period some priests residing 
at Adrianople having publicly commended 
the measures that had been pursued by 
Nahabied since his elevation to the pontifi- 
cal chair, Ephraim, the bishop of Adria- 
nople, enemy of the Pontiff, at first caused 
them to be excommunicated , and after- 
wards accusing them to the Vizir as engag- 
ed in treasonable intercourse with the 
Franks and other enemies of the state, cau- 
sed them, innocent, to be taken to the gal- 
lies at Constantinople and chained to the 
oar. Being reproached for this act of cruel- 
ty by the Patriarch Melchizedek who had 
come to Andrianople, Ephraim formed a 
conspiracy and preferring charges of the 
basest description against him before the 
Vizir, caused him to be degraded from 
the patriarchate and to be sent to join the 
priests at the gallies. 

Ephraim was then reappointed Patriarch; 
he, however, preferred to remain at Andria- 
nople and to rule by deputy at Constanti- 

The conduct of Ephraim towards Melchi- 
zcdek caused many troubles among the 


— 257 — 

Armenians at Canstantiuople. Di visions 
were formed between the people, and the 
factions increasing in violence, peaceably 
disposed persons were disgusted at their in- 
tolerence and discontinuing attendance at 
the Armenian places of public worship , 
began to frequent the Latin or Greek 

The tumult daily increasing, Ephraim, 
being an enemy of the Greeks and Latins 
as well as of those who adopted the Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon, instead of adopting a con- 
ciliatory and tranquilizing course issued 
directions to his deputy and partisans at 
Constantinople to seize and imprison all 
whom they suspected of adhering to the 
decisions of that Council. In order that his 
designs should meet with no delay, Ephraim 
obtained from the Sultan orders of a simi- 
lar nature to his own by means of . the 
great Mufti, the head of the Mahometan 
religion in Turkey. The publication of these 
edicts among the Armenians dwelling 
throughout the Turkish dominions, caused 
the tumults only to increase j and though 
many of those Armenians who were term- 
ed Chalcedouians were tortured, and many 
more were fined, yet their number instead 
of diminishing increased daily. Numbers of 
the persecuted Armenians emigrated from 
Turkey about this period and settled them- 

— 258 — 

selves IB different parts of Asia and Earope. 
DohB^ these troubles Matthew, surnamed 
Sari, the Pontiff of Sis, was driven from 
bis chair which was seized by a Yartabied 
named Peter, a native of Aleppo. 

While these disturbances were troubling 
the Armenians at Constantinople, Mekhi- 
thar of Sebaste endeavoured to bring the 
priests and the people to a state of peace 
and union. His efforts, however, were una- 
vailing and served but to create him en- 
emies, though he had g-ained the affection 
and esteem of all the peaceably disposed. 
Ephraim on hearing of him, endeavoured, 
by accusing him falsely to the Grand Vizir, 
to draw upon him the same fate as befel the 
late Patriarch ; but Mekhithar being made 
acquainted with his intentions, concealed 
himself and remained for a time in retire- 

While Ephraim was acting thus, Avedik 
bishop of l*^zenga, a very learned man, dis- 
tinguished himself in Constantinople. Bj 
his influence with the Mufti, who was also 
a native of Ezenga, he succeeded in sup- 
planting Ephraim and in being elected 
Patriarch in his room. Ephraim took re- 
fuge in Etchmiadzin ; his substitute at Con- 
stantinople shared his disgrace, being super- 
seded by Vartabied John of Amasia, a di- 
sciple of Avedik. The new Patriarch im- 

— 259 — 

mediately after his elevation wrote let- 
ters of brotherhood and peace to all the 
Armenian churches in Asia, and endeavour- 
ed to pacify the Armenians by causing the 
persecution against the Ghalc^donians to 

Avedik, however, was an enemy of Mi- 
nas, Patriarch of Jerusalem, four of whose 
priests coming to Adriauople , accused 
tim of various crimes committed in the 
patriarchate of Constantinople. Avedik , 
seeing his opportunity, laid accusations 
against Minas before the Sultan who order- 
ed him to be deposed, and by the influence 
of the Mufti, the Patriarch of Constanti- 
nople was appointed also Patriarch of Je- 
rusalem. Avedik then removed John of A- 
masia from Constantinople to Jerusalem, 
appointing in his room John of Smyrna. 
Such prosperity began to have an evil ef- 
fect on Avedik. Having proceeded with 
great pomp to Constantinople, he arrested 
a number of the heads of the Armenian 
community there , accusing them of hav- 
ing apostatized and of becoming Roman Ca- 
tholics. His motive for thus acting was 
avarice; since all those who had been seiz- 
^, were released on payment of a heavy 
fine. By these means he collected im- 
DQense treasures, and as he enjoyed the pro- 
tection of his friend the Mufti, his many 

— 260 — 

outrageous acts were committed with im- 

The three priests who as we have related, 
had been condemned by Ephraim to the 
gallies, procured their release at this time 
on payment of a heavy fine. These unfortu- 
nate men being allied with Mekhithar of 
Sebaste, immediately visited him in the 
convent whither he had fled from the per- 
secution of the late patriarch. This being 
noticed by Avedik, he complained to the 
Vizir against them , and endeavoured to 
seize and send them together with Mekhi- 
thar, to the gallies. They all, however, 
had time to escape and take refuge in the 
Latin Monastery of Capuchin Friars at Pera. 
Avedik then endeavoured to induce the Su- 
perior of that convent to deliver Mekhithar 
and tha three priests up to him, promis- 
ing to do all in his power to effect a union 
between the Latin and Armenian churches; 
stating moreover that he required pecuniary 
aid and the assistance of Mekhithar and of 
the three priests. The Superior being delud- 
ed, consented, and procured him the money 
he asked for. But on acquainting Mekhithar 
and tlie three priests with this scheme, 
trying to convince them by showing the 
letter of Avedik that his promises were 
sincere and that they had nothing to fear, 
lie was probably undeceived, as Mekhithar 

— 261 — 

knowing the craft and bad faith of Avcdik 
refused to go ; feeling , however , that his 
staying longer in the same monastery 
might be dangerous, he took the earliest 
opportunity to escape. But the three 
priests, confiding in the promises of the 
Patriarch, gave up themselves to him to- 
gether with their families, and they were 
immediately fettered and placed in a strong- 
ly guarded house for the purpose of being 
brought before the Vizir. Hereupon the pri- 
vate friends of the priests forcing the doors 
of the house where they were imprisoned, 
released them by night. In the affray that 
attended this act, Avcdik, who had attemp- 
ted to defend the house, was assaulted and 
severely bruised by the friends of the prison- 
ers. The latter lost no time in leaving the 
city , as they knew that the Patriarch 
would complain to the Vizir at the dawn 
of day. 

Early in the morning Avedik, furious at 
the result of the night's contest, repaired to 
the Vizir and made his complaint. But, 
contrary to all his expectations , he was 
condemned by the Vizir for having, with- 
out authority, admin istred justice and kept 
prisons for criminals. He was forthwith sent 
by the Vizir to the common gaol where he 
remained several days, until at the interces* 
sion of his friend the Mufti, he was released 

— 262 — 

on payment of nine purses of money. On 
obtaining bis liberty bis first step was to 
conciliate the favour of the Vizir, through 
whom be obtained an order to seize and 
send to the gallies the deliverers of the 
three priests who were the cause of his 
temporary disgrace. Shortly after he was 
directed to leave Adrianople and take up 
bis residence in Constantinople, the better 
to watch over the affairs of bis Churcb* 


Mekhllhar in Modone. — lie escapes 1o Ven-ce \i'here he 
settles his Communit}'. — He founds a pn'nling office. — 
•— Charges against Avedik. — He k imprisoned. — Kalusd 
Gaydzaguen proclaimeii Palriarcb. — Troubles on account 
of Avedik. — He is sent into bauishmenl. — Var'alMed 
Nierses. — Avedik is restored. — He is again banished. 

While Avedik was immersed in the troub- 
les resulting from his violent proceedings 
against the three priests, Mekhithar of Se- 
baste, in order to escape from his enemies 
and to carry out bis life's object, bethought 
himself of seeking a more propitious shore. 
He therefore directed a number of bis di- 
sciples to proceed separately to Modone, 

— 263 — 

the principal city in the Morea^ where be, 
in company with three others, soon after 
joined them and was received with honoar 
and hospitality. 

The Venetians, who at that epoch held 
possession of the Morea, having treated him 
with benevolence and relieved his necessi- 
ties, he finally in the year HOS found him- 
self in a position to lay the foundations of 
his Monastery, which in a brief period be- 
came the rallying plac^e of enthusiastic and 
devoted disciples. 

His next care was to subject his commu- 
nity to fixed rules. He therefore sent two 
of his disciples to Rome in order to obtain 
the papal sanction and advice, which Cle- 
ment XI, the reigning pope, most readily 
accorded, and it was in compliance with his 
suggestion that the rule of St. Benedict and 
the garb of St. Anthony the Abbot were 
adopted by the new family. 

The paternal care of Mekhithar had con- 
ducted the society to prosperity and peace, 
when war broke out between the Turks and 
the Venetians. Success was on the side of 
the former who at length advanced against 
and captured Modoue, when Mekhithar, in 
order to avoid falling into the hands of the 
Turks, from whom he could expect no good 
on account of the accusation formerly made 
against him by the patriarch Avedik , was 

— 264 — 

obliged to seek safety elsewhere; "wherefore, 
accompanied by eleven of the brotherhood 
he fled to Venice, having lost all he pos- 

It v^as in the year 1715 that he landed 
on the Piazzetta of St Mark, and after per- 
severing instances and being supported by 
eeveral of the grandees of the Republic, he 
was permitted, in the year 1717, to estab- 
lish himself on the island of St. Lazaro. 
He there succeeded in erecting a new Mo- 
nastery, and having established his com- 
munity therein , he steadily followed out 
his project of instructing Armenian youth 
and sending them forth as missionaries to 

But though he lived far from the world 
and in the retirement of his island , yet 
he was not to be free from persecution. 
The malignity of his enemies excited 
against him the suspicions of the Court 
of Rome, and accused him as favouring 
the heretical doctrines of the dissenting 
Armenians. In order to avoid the dreaded 
destruction of his institution, he was ob- 
liged to proceed to Rome ; where by much 
tribulation his virtue and humility were 
made manifest and he succeeded not only 
in dissipating the doubts excited against 
him, but in obtaining the Pope's friendship 
end his sanction to send his disciples, 

— 265 — 

whenever he choose, as missionaries to the 
East for the enlightment and education of 
their co-nationals. 

Having succeeded thus far , Mekhithar 
returned to his peaceful island, where he 
devoted himself entirely to the develop- 
ment of the moral and material welfare of 
his disciples and to the embellishment of 
his Monastery. And truly it is matter for 
astonishment that a poor man, such as he 
was, deprived of any private resources, 
could raise from its foundations an edifice 
so complete in its arrangements and so 
striking in its aspect as to command gen- 
eral admiration. But he was the man des- 
tined by Providence to prepare the way for 
the amelioration of his people. 

One of the first acts of Mekhithar after 
having solidly established himself in the 
newly built Monastery, was to found in 
Venice a printing office to enable him the 
better to diffuse knowledge , and to pro- 
mote literary progress among the Arme- 
nians. This printing office was in the year 
1*788 removed to the Monastery where 
the publication of the literary labours of 
the brotherhood is still continued. 

Leaving Mekhithar to the prosecution 
of his work in the island of St. Lazaro, 
we must return to. our narrative of events 
at Constantinople. 

2 12 

— 266 — 

Not long after Avedik, the Patriarcli, 
had fixed his residence in Constantinople, 
several of the Armenian inhabitants of that 
city proceeded to Adrianople and laid 
heavy charges against him; the Vizir there- 
upon ordered a courier to be immediately 
despatched to the former city to convey 
the Patriarch before his tribunal. On the 
arrival of the courier Avedik was struck 
with consternation, and in order to pre- 
pare for his defence bribed the messenger 
to remain a few days at Constantinople. 
This time was occupied in writing to his 
friend the Mufti, who advised him to come 
to Adrianople without delay, and to pro- 
vide himself with recommendations from 
the chief magistrate of the capital, and 
with certificates from the members of his 
Church proving his innocence. These he 
obtained by threatening the populace with 
the vengeance of the Blessed Illuminator, 
and by thus working on them till they 
went in a large body to the deputy Vizir 
crying out that Avedik was their benefac- 
tor, and that he alone deserved to be their 
Patriarch. This had the desired effect and 
Avedik having obtained the certificates he 
required, proceeded to Adrianople, where 
by the assistance of his friend the Mufti 
he cleared himself from the charges th't 
had been brought against him. 

— 267 — 

During the absence of the Patriarch 
from Constantinople, his substitute John of 
Smyrna began to fine the Armenians with- 
out discrimination, declaring that they had 
all become Roman catholics. This was the 
cause of great commotions not only in Con- 
stantinople, but throughout the Turkish 
dominions. But as much trouble contem- 
porarily existed among the Turks in the 
capital of the empire concerning the Mufti 
or head of their religion, one party seek- 
ing to have him deposed , the other to 
support him in his office, John was in- 
duced by the fear of drawing the atten- 
tion of the Turks to himself, to desist from 
his acts of intolerance. 

Shortly after this Avedik returned to 
the capital, and becoming acquainted with 
the disturbances that had taken place, 
went on to Chrysopolis accompanied by 
Joseph bishop of Rodosto. No sooner did 
the party adverse to the Mufti hear that 
the Armenian Patriarch was at Chryso- 
polis, and that he was a friend of the Mufti, 
than they sent thither a party of soldiers 
by night, who surrounded the house in 
which he was, and on the morning they 
took him prisoner. He was immediately 
fettered, brought to Constantinople and 
thrown into the prison called the Seven 

— 268 — 

These events happened in the year 1703, 
but no sooner had public affairs reassam- 
ed an appearance of order than the prin- 
cipal Armenians residing at Constantinople 
succeeded in elevating to the patriarchate 
the Vartabied Kalusd sumamed Gaydza- 
guen, and in restoring Minas to the patri- 
archate of Jerusalem. 

The Armenians being informed of this 
act, sanctioned moreover by the Sultan, 
were as usual divided; many were content 
but the greater number were adherents of 
Avedik and they assaulted the Vicar who 
announced it in the church, and beat him 
in a most violent manner. On the news 
of this outrAge reaching the Vizir, he caus- 
ed fifteen of the ringleaders to be taken 
and sent to the gallies. As for Avedik on 
whose account the disturbance took place, 
he directed him to be banished to the isl- 
and of Avrad Adasy. To degrade him as 
much as possible in the eyes of the popu- 
lace, the Vizir caused him to be led to the 
ship, which was to conduct him to the 
place of his exile, with his hands bound 
behind his back and a halter round his 
neck. The friends of Avedik vainly endeav- 
oured to procure his release by presenting 
petitions to the Sultan and to the Vizir, 
they found the authorities inflexible. Many 
of the petitioners on behalf of Avedik suf- 

— 269 — 

fered punishments on account of their in- 
cessant importunities. Several were sent 
to the gal lies, others bastinadoed. 

At length the adherents of Avedik find- 
ing that nothing was to be effected in his 
favour by violence, determined at the in- 
stigation of a Vartabied named Nierses, a 
native of Constantinople, to try the effect 
of bribes. For this purpose they collected 
a large sum of money and placed it at the 
disposal of Nierses, whom they held to be 
a zealous partisan of the late Patriarch. 
Nierses distributed this treasure to the in- 
fluential officers about the Sultan and the 
Vizir, and in a short time obtained the 
deposition of Kalusd, whom he accused of 
being a traitor to the state, and who was 
forthwith condemned to the gallies There- 
upon Nierses took possession of the patri- 
archal dignity, and no small commotion 
ensued amongst the Armenians; for the 
partisans of Avedik becoming furious at 
the imposture of which they had been the 
victims, set no bounds to their violence 
against the usurper and redoubled their 
efforts to release Avedik. 

The heads of the Armenian Community 
fearing the result of the dreadful commo- 
tions which then prevailed amongst the 
people, determined to solicit Avedik's re- 
call. They accordingly went to the Vizir 

— 2*70 — 

and preferring their request declared that 
upon Avedik's return the peace of their 
Church alone depended. The Vizir refused 
to accede to their petition , arguing that 
Avedik was so unquiet in his disposition 
that he could hope for no good results 
from his return; but overcome at length 
' by their importunities he gave an order for 
his liberation and reappointment to the 

Avedik on his return to the patriarchate 
began to harass the people dreadfully; he 
next by means of intrigue succeeded in 
re-obtaining the patriarchate of Jerusalem, 
after causing Minas to be banished to the 
island of Cyprus, where he died. Becoming 
then still more tyrannical than ever, Ave- 
dik began to fine every wealthy person of 
his Congregation, on the charge of an un- 
due predilection for the Roman persuasion. 
His arrogance at length rose to such a 
point as to fine without cause an individ- 
ual attached to the suite of the French 
ambassador who immediately complained 
of him to the government. This becoming 
known to the Armenians, thirty of the 
most considerable among them preferred a 
complaint to the Vizir against the Patri- 
arch. The Vizir summoned Avedik before 
him, and asking him how he dared pre- 
Bume to annoy the French ambassador by 

— 271 — 

persecuting one of his suite, ordered him 
to be bastinadoed, then to be stripped of 
bis patriarchal robes and to be banibhed 
to the island of Tenedos. But while on his 
way to that place, he fell into the hands of 
the French, who to revenge the outrage 
they had received from him, took him to 
Marseilles, whence he was removed to Paris 
and there confined in the prison of the 
Temple. Finding himself utterly abandoned 
Avedik in the solitude of his prison remem- 
bered the haughtiness and perverseness of 
his past life, sincerely repented and became 
a chang-ed man. Which being observed by 
the government, he was pardoned and re- 
leased ; and passing the remainder of his days 
in pious works, he finally died in peace. 


Death of Nuliabled ibe Pontiff. — Alexander uf Jiilpha bis 
successor. — Matthew of Cesarea and o'ber Patriarchs. — 
Jehu of Smyrna and his aversion (o the Koninn catholics. 

— Der Gomidas. — John is depose I. — Isaac reinstated. 

— John of Kan'zag. — Death of the Pontiff Alexander. — 
Asdvadzudur of Hamadan his successor. 

In the same year (1705) that Avedik was 
Vanished Nahabied the Pontiff died at 
Etchmiadzin, after presiding over the Ar- 

— 272 — 

nienian Church fourteen years. In con- 
Bequence of the disturbed state of the people, 
the pontificate remained vacant for rather 
more than a year, when Alexander of Jol- 
pha was called to the post. Alexander pre- 
Tious to his elevation had been an enemy to 
those who adhered to the council of Chal- 
cedon as well as to the authority of the 
Pope, against whom he had also written a 
book. But as soon as he was elected Pon- 
tiff at Etchmiadzin, bis first act was to ad- 
dress, in the name of the whole nation, a 
respectful letter to the Pope notifying his 
election to the pontificate. 

The patriarchal chair of Constantinople, 
after Avedik's expulsion, was occupied by 
Matthew of Cesarea, surnamed Sari, but he 
remained in it only two months. Mardiros 
succeeded him after the space of four 
months^ he again was succeeded by one 
named Michael. This last after eight months 
was displaced to make room for Yartabied 

Shortly after, A. D. 1707, John of Smyr- 
na, formerly Avedik's deputy at Constanti- 
nople, returned from Jerusalem, and haying 
formed a party principally composed of the 
partisans of his master, he effected Isaac's 
deposition and his own appointment. John, 
as a true disciple of Avedik, immediately 
after his accession to the pontifical chair 

— 273 — 

begaD in a violent manner to inveigh a- 
gainst the Roman catholics and to make 
remarks on the personal conduct of those 
members of his Congregation whom he 
suspected to be inclined to that persuasion. 
The consequence of this conduct was the 
loss of a great part of his Congregation, 
who to avoid insult, forebore going to the 
Armenian churches. Hence arose another 
cause of discord between the Roman catho- 
lics and the Armenians , and they now 
began to regard each other with feelings of 
the sincerest hatred and detestation. 

Many well disposed Armenians endeav- 
oured, but in vain, to allay the animosity 
between the two divisions. The principal of 
these was Der Gomidas, one of the priests 
of St. George's church, a man of eminent 
parts and enjoying almost universal res- 
pect. Some of the Armenian clergy as well 
as of the laity, moved by envy, excited the 
resentment of John the Patriarch against 
him, who thrust him into the hands of the 
Turks, charging him as being a follower 
of the Franks or Europeans and an enemy 
to the State. As soon as Gomidas was 
brought before the judges, he was asked 
who he was and to what nationallity he be- 
longed. He answered : « I am a Christian 
and a follower of St. Gregory the Illumina- 
tor, Armenian by birth, subject and tribu- 
2 12^ 

— 274 — 

tary of the Sultan. » Several Armenians 
also testified that he was a peaceful and 
innocent man and not a Frank or one of 
those who favoured the Europeans and 
served them as a spy. 

The intolerant Patriarch, however, and a 
number of priests pushing their enmity to 
the utmost, denounced him as a convert to 
Latinism and consequently a rebel to the 
Sultan. Notwithstanding this, the judges, 
aware of his innocence, sought to acquit 
him. When the Patriarch advancing and 
parading the distinctives of his dignity 
forced them to pronounce sentence of death 
declaring that unless they did so the troub- 
les of the nation would not cease. On this 
declaration, the judges, throwing the res- 
ponsability of the innocent blood upon the 
accusers, sentenced him to be decapitated. 
Gomidas being then brought to the place 
of execution, was, according to customary 
use, exhorted to embrace th'e Mahometan re- 
ligion in Older to escape death. But he boldly 
answered : « Although they should cut me 
to pieces, I will never deny Jesus Christ. » 
Thereupon he was decapitated on the 25''* 
Oct. 1707. He is regarded as a Saint, and 
many miracles were wrought upon his 

This persecution and death of Gomidas 
caused, and not without apparent reason, 

— 275 — 

many among the Armenians to become 

John at length became so tyrannical 
that his flock were obliged to depose him 
and to reinstate Isaac. This latter at first 
conducted himself with moderation , but 
after three years he also began to perse- 
cute with unrelenting vigour all whom he 
suspected of being favourable to the Roman 
catholic persuasion. So much was the Vizir 
annoyed by the incessant complaints of 
Isaac against the members of his Church, 
that he at length ordered him never to ap- 
pear before him with a complaint respect- 
ing the Roman catholic religion. 

Isaac at length having destituted the 
bishop of Rodosto, the latter immediately 
repaired to Constantinople and having 
there formed partisans, he presented him- 
self before the Vizir and inveighing against 
the arbitrary proceeding of which he had 
been the victim, demanded redress; there- 
upon the Vizir ordered Isaac to be deposed 
and another to be elected. 

While the Armenians were undecided 
with regard to their choice, a Vartabied 
named John, native of Eantzag, and a per- 
son of examplary piety, presented himself 
as a candidate for the patriarchate, and 
convening an assembly of the Armenians 
spoke with such eloquence and apparent zeal 

— 276 — 

for the service of God that he was onaiii- 
mously choosen to succe^^d Isaac. But he 
proved little better than his predecessors, for 
on observing that those of the Armenians 
who favoured the Romish persuasion, did not 
attend his churches , he began to harass 
them; this brought on s crisis and a 
number of the persecuted having united 
in one society, agreed to elect a Patriarch 
for themselves and to have separate chur- 
ches. Their attempts at obtaining these 
objects were, however, all fruitless; many 
of them suffered penalties, others were im- 
prisoned and several denied their faith. In 
several towns dependent on the patriar- 
chate of Constantinople similar attempts 
were made, all ending in the same man- 
ner. News of these unhappy discords com- 
ing from time to time to the Pontiff Ale- 
xander, he was so grieved that he at 
length fell ill and died of a broken heart, 
in the eighth year of his pontificate, A. 
D. 1715. 

Asdvadzadur , a native of Hamadan or 
Ecbatana, succeeded him. He considerably 
beautified the interior of the church of 
Etchmiadzin, placing' various paintings on 
the walls and decorating the altar with 
gilt ornaments. 

— 277 — 

Condi'tioo of St. Jacobus Convent in Jerusalem. — - John Go- 
lod and Gregory Rector of St. Garhbied. — The Latin 
Vicar's edict. — Rigors against the catholic Armenians. 

The Convent of St. Jacob at JeruBalem 
was at this period in the greatest pecu- 
Diary embarrassment, its debts amounting 
to the enormous sum of 800 purses of 
piastres. This was occasioned by the im- 
provident conduct of the deputies sent to 
Jerusalem while that patriarchate was 
held by the Patriarch of Constantinople; 
these deputies squandered away the trea- 
sure lying in the convent, and were o- 
bliged to borrow at high interest for its 
daily exigencies. The creditors at length 
seeing no prospect of obtaining payment, 
obtained an order from the Turkish gov- 
ernment to seize the convent together with 
the lands with which it was endowed and 
dispose of them to the highest bidder. On 
the arrival of this intelligeuce at Constan- 
tinople, there was in that city a Vartabied 
named John Golod, esteemed as a man of 
talent and discretion. The Armenians in 
that city sent him therefore to Jerusalem 

-— 278 — 

to endeavour to avert the evil with which St. 
Jacob's convent was threatened On his ar- 
rival at Jerusalem he compromised with the 
creditors of the convent , undertaking to 
clear off its d hts in four years by yearly in- 
stalments. He then returned to Constanti- 
nople and stating what he had done, 
Btrongly advised , as a preliminary eco- 
nomical measure, to appoint separate Pa- 
triarchs for Constantinople and Jerusalem. 
The Armenians offered then to elect him 
Patriarch of Constantinople, but he hesi- 
tated to accept it , fearing, as he said, to 
meet with the fate of the preceding Pa- 
triarchs, who had retained their dignity 
but a very short time, and then he should 
be worse than destitute, having the debts 
of St. Jacob's to pay. He was then as- 
sured that his authority should be uphold if 
he would undertake the government of 
their church. He at length consented and 
John of Kantzag voluntarily relinquished 
his office. Thus John of Balesh surnamed 
Golod was appointed Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, though he was not yet consecra- 
ted bishop. The following day while he 
was performing high Mass , he ordered 
from his place before the altar, Gregory 
Rector of the Monastery of St. Garabied, 
to be nominated Patriarch of Jerusalem. 
These two appointments were shortly 

— 279 — 

after confirmed by the Sultan's decree, A. 
D. 171-7. 

From this period these two exemplary 
men acted in concert in reducing the debts 
of the church of Jerusalem, and their in- 
defatigable exertions were at length crown- 
ed with the realization of their desires. 
Gregory was so zealous in this labour that 
he placed a heavy chain round his neck 
and vowing to wear it until the debts of 
St. Jacob's were paid, he wore it for eight 
years. It was customary with him on all 
festival days to stand in the porch of the 
church of the Holy Mother of God and 
exclaim: « Followers of Christ! Let pity 
touch your hearts I My home is mortgag- 
ed, and I have not whereon to lay my 
head. My place is on the throne of St. Ja- 
cob; but I am now surrounded by cred- 
itors far from my home, and there is no 
one to deliver me from them. Help I followers 
of Christ ! Oh ! Help 1 » By this means he 
obtained large sums from the people to- 
wards his object, but its final attainment 
was considerably delayed by an untoward 
event; a dreadful fire broke out in Con- 
stantinople which lasted thirty four hours. 
Fifteen thousand people perished in the 
flames and fifty thousand houses were des- 
troyed. The church of the Holy Mother of 
God was also burnt. This misfortune plung- 

— 280 — 

ed the two Patriarchs into the deepest dis- 
tress; for the necessary rebuilding of the 
church exhausted nearly all the funds they 
had collected. Finally, however, they sur- 
mounted every obstacle, and the debts 
be ng paid , the Patriarch Gregory pro- 
ceeded to Jerusalem , where he zealously 
employed himself for the benefit of his 

John the Patriarch of Constantinople, 
after the departure of Gregory, also ap- 
X)lied himself assiduously to promote the 
welfare of his people. Some of his churches 
in Constantinople being burnt to the 
ground, he rebuilt them with much taste and 
elegance. He instituted a school in Sko- 
dar for the education of the children of 
the poor. Many valuable latin works were 
by his order translated into Armenian. 

The pacific character of this Patriarch 
contributed much to calm the religious 
differences, and a considerable degree of 
harmony was restored. The immediate con- 
sequence was the establishment of a friend- 
ly correspondence between the two divis- 
ions , on which the catholics began to 
return to the national Armenian churches. 
This good feeling , however , did not last 
long; for the Roman Apostolic Vicar at 
Constantinople having been made acquain- 
ted with the fact and fearing its results, 

— 281 — 

published an edict forbidding all Earo- 
pean missionaries to impart absolution to 
such among the catholic Armenians as 
might frequent the national churches. This 
edict nearly produced a crisis, and while 
it caused an abrupt separation of the ca- 
tholics, irritated the Armenians of Etch- 
miadzin against them. 

John the Patriarch, actuated by broth- 
erly love, endeavoured to pacify both sides. 
He wrote to the Roman Vicar of Constan- 
tinople, beseeching him to mitigate the 
severity of his commands and to allow the 
catholic Armenians to frequent the Arme- 
nian churches at least on the occasion of 
certain festivals. He represented to him 
that there was virtually no difference be- 
tween the creed of the Armenians of his 
Congregation and that of the Latins. He. 
said in his letter : « We admit all that you 
admit and reject all that you reject. What 
is the cause then of such animosity bet- 
ween our flocks? » All his efforts at re- 
conciliation were , however , vain and at 
length he was forced to act against the 
catholics. For several of the Armenian 
bishops of the provinces, irritated against 
the proceedings of the Armenians follow- 
ers of the Latins, complained to the Vizir, 
accusing the Patriarch of neglecting to 
punish those of the Armenians followers 

— 282 — 

of the Franks, who by causing troubles in 
the nation were rebels to the State. Where- 
upon John, after endeavouring to use other 
conciliatory measures, was obliged ta per- 
mit that such Armenians as were surpris- 
ed in the act of entering the Latin chur- 
ches should be imprisoned. A great perse- 
cution ensued against all the Armeniau 
Roman catholics throughout the Turkish 
empire, causing much bloodshed and dis- 
tress both bides. 


Death of Asdvadiadur the Pontiff. — Garaliied of UIni his 
successor and olher Pontiffs. — Severities against the ca- 
tholic Armenians. — The convent of St. Jacob. — Death 
of Abraham the Third. — Lazarus bishop of Smyrna elec- 
ted Pont ff. — His danger. — He flees to Persia. — Suffer- 
ings of bishop Isaac. — He excommunicates Lazarus. — 
Lazarus anointed Pontiff. — Lazarus and the Persian chiefs. 

— His punishment. — Death of the patriarch John Golod. 

— Jaco'n Naiian. 

The country about Mount Ararat at the 
same time was so much disturbed and life 
and property were so insecure, that the 
Pontiff Asdvadzadur found it dangerous to 
remain permanently in Etchmiadzin, which 

~ 283 — 

was the usual seat of the pontificate. Hence 
be led a wandering life, never remaining 
many days in one place. 

During a sojourn of a few days in the 
village of Oshagan an eclipse of the moon 
took place; the Pontiff with some priests 
"went to the top of the house in which he 
lodged to view it to more advantage ; while 
gazing upwards, his foot slipped and he 
fell over the low parapet to the ground in 
consequence of which he died a few hours 
after, A. D. 1725, having held the pontifical 
dignity ten years. 

Garabied, a native of Dlni or Zeithun, 
archbishop of Galatea, succeeded. He was 
elected at Constantinople with the consent 
of John the Patriarch and of the bishops; 
he immediately consecrated the patriarch 
John a bishop, as he exercised the patri- 
archal office without that dignity. Gara- 
bied some time after his election held a 
council at Constantinople and enacted three 
canons. for the observance of the patriar- 
chate at Jerusalem. Then he wrote a letter 
to Pope Innocent the Thirteenth to notify 
bis election to the pontificate. Gara'oied 
after exercising the pontificate quietly for 
four years, died at Etchmiadzin, A. D. 1730. 

Abraham the Second then was elected 
Poutiff 01 the Armenians and died five 
years after. A year before he was elected 

— 284 — 

Pontiff, a Zerazadig or wrong Easter oc- 
curred ; this created such disturbances be- 
tween Greeks and Armenians that thej 
fought against each other and two men 
on each side were killed. 

Abraham the Third, a native of the 
island of Crete and bishop of Rodosto, 
succeeded to the pontificate at the death 
of the last Pontiff. He was bom of a Greek 
mother and was elevated to the pontificate 
by mere accident. He had left his diocese 
to perform a pilgrimage to Etchmiadzin, 
and he so much conciliated the clergy 
during his sojourn there, that on the death 
of Abraham the Second, he was unaoi- 
mously choosen to succeed him. This Pon- 
tiff some time after was invited by Thah- 
maz Kouly Khan to visit him on the plains 
of Moughan, and to bless his sword and 
gird it on him, in order to shew the ab- 
solute power he held over the Armenians. 
He was afterwards honoured with valuable 
presents from the king and was permit- 
ted to return peacefully to Etchmiadzin. 

Much contention arose about this period 
between the two parties in Constantinople; 
the Roman catholics brought on them- 
selves much persecution from the other 
Armenians who were sufficiently intolerant. 

The Greeks also in the same year re- 
newed their old claim to the convent of St. 

— 285 — 

Jacob's at Jerusalem, and very nearly ob- 
tained an imperial decree for its restitution. 
Just before this was effected the Arme- 
nians applied to the French ambassador 
to intercede with the government for them, 
and by his influence the Greeks were 
baffled in their design. 

The Pontiff Abraham the Third died in 
the year 1737, after a pontificate of three 
years. Some of the clergy of Etchmiadzin 
wished to elect Gregory, the Patriarch of 
Jerusalem , Pontiff , but others desired to 
appoint Lazar bishop of Smyrna, a native 
of Jahug ; a third party was also formed, 
contrary to both candidates, and desirous of 
electing one Peter, surnamed Kewthur, the 
late PontifTs nuncio to the Armenians of 
Constantinople. Lazarus proved successful. 

Immediately after his election Lazarus 
left Smyrna, neglecting to procure letters 
patent from the Sultan confirming him in 
his office. He proceeded with great pomp to 
Erzeroum where, he was received with much 
respect by Isaac the Armenian bishop of 
the city. The governor of the city was sur- 
prised at the splendour displayed by the 
Pontiff, and though he disliked it, yet re- 
mained silent. Having observed a magnifi- 
cent horse in the train of Lazarus, he sent 
to request it as a present, but was refused. 
He hereupon summoned Lazarus before his 

— 286 — 

tribunal and demanded by what authority 
he had assumed the title and state of Pon- 
tiff of the Armenian Church. As Lazarus 
did not possess the government authoriza- 
tion he was ordered to be thrown into the 
prison. The vindictive governor then wrote 
to the Vizir at Constantinople a most exag- 
gerated account of the state and arrogance, 
as he termed it, which Lazarus had display- 
ed since he left Smyrna. The Vizir on re- 
ceiving the governor's report sent orders 
for Lazarus to be immediately conveyed to 
Constantinople. Previous, however, to the 
receipt of these orders Lazarus, in order to 
procure his release, presented the governor 
with the horse which he had at first reques- 
ted, together with a valuable diamond ring. 
Being adverse to the Roman catholics, 
one day in conversation with the governor, 
he spoke in such terms as to excite him 
ao-ainst them. Isaac bishop of the city being 
present during their discourse, imagined that 
a persecution should ensue, wherefore he re- 
tired to Passen. The governor considering 
that a favourable opportunity for enriching 
himself, seized many of the Armenian catho- 
lics of the city, and after fining left them free. 
But he suddenly fell sick and died. On this 
event taking place the Turkish magistrates 
of the city held an assembly and imagin- 
ing that the governor had been visited hy 

— 287 — 

the dfviiie wrath , in consequence of his 
persecuting the Roman catholics, they de- 
termined to punish the individual whom 
they suspected to have instignted him to it. 
This was Lazarus who was forthwith sent 
for and informed that he was to be instantly 
led to execution. Lazarus on hearing his 
condemnation adroitly threw the whole of 
the blame upon the bishop Isaac, and ac- 
companying his assertions with presents of 
great value to each of the magistrates, he 
obtained his release, and then with their 
permission, he immediately set out for Kara, 
followed by most of the suite with which 
he made his entry into Erzeroum. Soon after 
he had left the city the Vizir's order for his 
attendance at Constantinople arrived. A 
courier was immediately despatched to 
Kars to arrest him, but the Pontiff aware 
of his danger fled into Persia. The magis- 
trates of Erzeroum then sent a party of troops 
to Passen and seized bishop Isaac. He was 
brought to the city his hands tied behind 
his back, and his legs bound under the 
horse on which he was mounted. He was 
thrown into the common gaol where ten 
convicted felons were confined. Some of the 
magistrates were for putting him to death 
without delay; others wished him to be 
detained in prison until the arrival of the new 
governor, when he could be regularly tried. 

— 288 — 

The unfortunate Isaac seeing his danger, 
petitioned the magistrates and solemnly 
swore that he was innocent of the crimes 
alleged against him. Having raised a large 
sum of money, amounting to about 7000 
deniers, he presented it to them and prom- 
ised if they would release him that he 
would pay them in a specified time as much 
more. On this condition he was released; 
the day after he assembled an assembly 
of the Armenian inhabitants of Erzeroam 
in his principal church and after making 
known the ill treatment he had received 
at the hands of Lazarus, solemnly excom- 
municated him ; at the same time he pro- 
hibiting his name from being mentioned in 
the diocese. 

In the mean time Lazarus reaching Etch- 
mi adzin, had been anointed supreme head 
of the Armenian Church, and hearing of 
the steps Isaac had taken, he was excessive- 
ly angered ; but Peter, surnamed Kewthur, 
mediating between them, persuaded Lazarus 
to reimburse the former the sums he had 
been obliged to pay to obtain his release, 
and eventually effected a reconciliation. 

Some few years after this event, a dis- 
pute arose between Lazarus and the great 
prince of Persia Mahmud Beg, in conse- 
quence of which the former was seized and 
by order of the king was about to be put to 


— 289 — r 

death, when he obtained pardon and release 
by paying a fine, of twenty thousand Mf^- 

Another dispute arose between Lazarus 
and the Persian chief minister Fetih All of 
Asdabad, on accouut of which the latter 
complained to the king and Lazarus was 
summoned to the royal presence. The 
king at that time was encamped, and La- 
zarus, who did not suspect that any harm 
was intended him, obeying the summons, 
entered the Persian camp in great state 
and pitched a splendid tent not far from 
the royal pavillion. The king observing 
this splendid tent asked to whom it be- 
longed, and being informed that it belong- 
ed to Lazarus, Pontiff of the Armenians, he 
ordered it to be instantly destroyed and La- 
zarus to be thrown on the ground and 
beaten on the face with an iron gauntlet. 
The PontiflTs features were, by this punish- 
ment, almost destroyed ; he was then im- 
prisoned and not released until he had paid 
a fine of 1500 thumans, A. D. 1740. Du- 
ring his confinement, which lasted about 
five months, the pontifical duties were per- 
formed by John of Agulis , who was ap- 
pointed Vicar by order of the king. On his 
release Lazarus returned to Etchmiadzin 
and resumed the duties of his office. 
In the year 1741, John surnamed Golod^ 
2 13 

— 290 — 

Patriarch of Constantinople died after lidd- 
ing that dignity four years. He wrote a 
confession of faith and forwarded it to 
Bome through the medium of the Roman 
Apostolic Vicar at Constantinople. 

His successor was his disciple Jacob, 
sumamed Italian, a native of the village 
of Zimar. During his patriarchate many 
disputes arose, in consequence of which 
the catholic Armenians suffered much from 
the intolerance of their antagonists. 


New Armenian Cafholic Pontificate on Itfount Lfbanon. 

We may here narrate an episode which 
though not materially affecting the Church 
in Armenia, is still not without interest. 

There are on Mount Lihanon three Ar- 
menian churches with Armeno-Roman ca- 
tholic hishops , priests and monks. The 
difficult access and wild configuration of 
that district, does not, however, allow the 
agglomeration of dwellings or the establish- 
ment of a resident population around these 
churches; wherefore the inmates of the mo- 
nasteries live a lonely and secluded life and 

— 291 — 

naturally have no congregation to whose 
spiritual necessities they can administer. 
Bat on the other hand they are undisturbed 
by contest or controversy, for there are 
none to create strife. The chief dignitary in 
these DQonasteries, placed at the head of 
several bishops and monks, leads a secluded 
life but enjoys pontifical rank, granted 
about this period by Pope Benedict XIV. 

For, in the year 1737, Luke the Pontiff 
of Sis dying, some of the Armenian bishops 
of his jurisdiction elected one Abraham, 
already bishop of Trebizond, and at the time 
of his election bishop of Aleppo, to succeed 
him. He was a pious and virtuous man, and 
having judiciously governed the churches 
of these two cities, he attracted the atten- 
tion of the bishops who now elected him to 
succeed Luke the deceased Pontiff of Sis. 

Abraham on being informed of his elec- 
tion set out for Rome in order to obtain 
the pallium from the hands of the Roman 
Pontiff. At the end of three year's travel he 
arrived at Rome; at length in the year 
1750 obtained the pallium from Pope Bene- 
dict XIV, who named him Pontiff of the 
Armenians of Cylicia. Abraham wishing to 
indicate his reverence for the Apostolical 
See, assumed the name of Peter; and this 
example was followed by his successors, 
who all assumed the same name. 

— 292 — 

Having thus obtained the pallia m Ab- 
raham set out on his return to Gylicia. But 
on his arrival he found the pontifical chair 
of Sis occupied. For the bishops of the pon- 
tificate who had not taken part in his elec- 
tion finding that it had only been sup- 
ported by few of the bishops, held an as- 
sembly and declaring it invalid, elected one 

Abraham on seeing himself thus sup- 
planted bethought himself of retiring to one 
of the beforementioned monasteries on 
Mount Libanon ; for that purpose he wrote 
to the Roman Pontiff to exchange his first 
destination for this last. His wish was gra- 
tified and his successors have continued in 
the enjoyment of their dignity down to the 
present day. 

Such was the origin of the Armeno-Ca- 
tholic pontificate of Mount Libanon, with 
jurisdiction limited to Gylicia. 


— 293 — 


Cruellies of Lazarus. — Complainls of the clergy of Etch- 
miadzin. — Punishment inflicted upon Lazarus by the Per- 
sian Monarch. — Tyranny exercised by Lazarus upon the 
clergy of Etchmiadzin. — Deputies sent by the Armenians 
or Constantinople to Etchmiadzin. — Lazarus is deposed. — 
Peter Kewthur anointed Pontifl'. — Lazarus restored. — 
Peter Kewthur imprisoned and his death. 

The first act of Lazarus when he resum- 
ed his office, was to seize upon theVartabieds 
Peter Kewthur and Alexander of Con- 
stantinople and cause them to be severely 
bastinadoed on a frivolous pretext. They 
were then thrown into prison and kept 
there in fetters until they had signed a 
paper, in which they were forced to ac- 
knowledge debts they had never contracted, 
and to confess that the chastisement they 
had received was the due reward of offences 
which they had never committed; after 
Bigning this paper they were restored to 
liberty. A few days after Peter Kewthur, 
fearing further violence from Lazarus, fled 
to Kars ; whereupon Lazarus caused all the 
Vartabied's intimate friends to be seized and 
bastinadoed. Peter however, having receiv- 
ed the Pontiff's assurance that no outrage 
was intended him returned to Etchmiadzin. 


— 294 — 

But a few days after his arrival be was 
seized by order of Lazarus and placed 
in strict confinement. Some time after, a 
band of nine ruffians sent by Lazarus en- 
tered the prison by night and binding Pe- 
ter hand and foot, beat him severely with 
cudgels, and then shaved his beard with a 
razor that drew blood from his chin at eve- 
ry stroke. He was also removed into a dis- 
mal dungeon and irons were placed upon 
his hands and feet. Here he lay some days 
and was then removed to the island of 
Sevan, where he remained in confinement 
six months. At the end of this period La- 
zarus permitted his release, and be took 
refuge in Erzeroum ,* whence he wrote 
circulars to all the Armenian churches, con- 
taining an account of ^11 he had suffered. 

The clergy of Etchmiadzin at length 
began to complain of the Pontiff, and in a 
letter which they addressed to the Pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, they represented 
that they could no longer bear with him- 

Lazarus next embroiled himself with two 
individuals who being threatened by him 
with great punishment, they in revenge ac- 
cused the Pontiff to the Persian Monarch 
as being in secret possession of a sum of 
money amounting to four thousand thumans, 
belonging to a rebellious Armenian named 
Manutchar. The Pontiff being summooed 

— 295 — 

before the king, was afraid to deny it, and 
on bis admitting the accusation the king im- 
mediately ordered him to be fined 5500 thu- 
mans. Lazarus payed 2100 and fled to Erze- 
roum. The officers of the king then seized 
upon the cathedral of Etchmiadzin and strip- 
ped it of its gold and silver ornaments, but 
all was found to be insufficient to pay the fine. 
They then threatened to torture the clergy 
residing there, unless they quickly produced 
the remainder of the money. The priests 
alarmed and distressed , appealed to the 
more opulent inhabitants of Erevan and 
obtained sufficient to pay the fine. An ac- 
count of the enormities committed by La- 
zarus was forthwith written and sent by 
.them to all the Armenian churches, but it 
had no immediate eflTect, as he shortly after 
returned to Etchmiadzin, resumed his au- 
thority, and renewed his persecutions. 

Being informed that the clergy of Etch- 
miadzin were diticontented with his con- 
duct, he took two of the principal malcon- 
tents and exiled them. Then compiling a 
document in which he extolled his own 
conduct and the manner in which the inte- 
rests of the church had been promoted by 
himself, he compelled all the clergy who 
were about him to sign it, and copies were 
transmitted to all the churches which had 
just before received the report that declared 

— 295 — 

bis reputation to be of the worst descrip- 

An assembly was in consequence held at 
Constantinople to ascertain the general 
feeling of the Annenians with respect to 
Lazarus. The result was that Peter Kewthur 
and Isaac bishop of Erzeroum, were sent to 
Etchmiadzin to examine the condact of the 
Pontiff, and if necessary to destitute him. 
On their arrival at Etchmiadzin they found 
the gates shut by the Pontiff^s order, and 
therefore they went to Erevan. Lazarus in 
the mean time drew up a long list of com- 
plaints against them, compelling the clergy 
to sign it, and immediately proceeding to 
Tabriz presented it to the governor, de- 
manding assistance. 

The governor , however , being made 
acquainted with the character of the two 
deputies, sent him back to Etehmiadzia 
and directed the governor of Erevan to as- 
semble the Armenian clergy and laity, and 
ascertain., whom they wished to be their 
Pontiff. This was done, and the assembly 
declaring they would have a new Pontiff 
instead of Lazarus, the governor directed 
him to be immediately arrested and trans- 
ported to the island of Sevan. Then the Ar- 
menians retired to Etchmiadzin, and their 
choice having fallen on Peter Kewthur, 
he was duly anointed and commenced the 

— 297 — 

duties of his office by excommuDicating his 
predecessor ; he wrote in the mean time to 
all the Armenian churches an account of 
v^hat had recently taken place in the pon- 

Notwithstanding all this , and though 
Lazarus was twice anathematized in Con- 
stantinople and Etchmiadzin, yet as he had 
many partisans he was enabled, with their 
assistance, to bribe the authorities to release 
him, and shortly after, to the consternation 
of the clergy, a royal mandate restored him 
to the pontifical chair. 

Immediately after his resumption of office, 
he caused Peter Kewthur to be fetter- 
ed and sent to Jabug. Here he was confined 
in a dungeon and strict order given to 
keep him without food. Notwithstanding 
this, the Pontiffs sister in law contrived to 
convey victuals to him unnoticed. But his 
benefactress dying shortly after, Peter was 
left to his fate , and actually perished 
through starvation, after having held the 
pontificate ten months. 


— 298 — 


Prociioron and the troubles of Constantinople. — Minas of 
Aguen. — Death of the Pontiff Lazarus. — Minas of Aguea 
anointed Pontiff. — George appointed Patriarch. — Naiian 
restored to the patriarchate of Constantinople. — Isaac 
Ahakin elected Pontiff. — He is deposed and Jacob of Sha- 
makhi appointed in his stead. — Simon of Lrevan. - Hii 
enmity against the Roman persuasion and the alterations 
entrodueed in the Armenian Calendar. — Manurl of Bain* 
— The Patriarchs Gregory and Zacbariah. — Lucas of £r- 
coroum appointed Pontiff. 

While the Armenians living under the 
dominion of Persia were harassed by their 
Pontiff, the patriarchal see of Constanti- 
nople became the scene of discord and con- 
fusion. For a Vartabied of Silistria, named 
Prokhoron, having, arrived from Jerusalem 
began to intrigue for the supreme dignity. 
Having ingratiated himself v^ith three of 
the most eminent Armenians, he plotted 
with them to dispossess Jacob Nalian of the 
patriarchate. For this purpose he made pre- 
sents to the Vizir and to other dignitaries, 
and was authorised by letters patent to 
take possession of the Patriarchal See. This 
intrigue was kept secret till Easter day; 
when all the Armenians being assembled in 

— 299 — 

the church of the Mother of God, Prokho- 
ron entered attended hy a large body of 
Turkish troops, and was proceeding to the 
iuterior of the church, when the people asto- 
nished at what they saw, rose and exclaim- 
ed with one voice that no one but Jacob 
should preside over their Church. A dreadful 
riot ensued in which the Armenians were 
severely beaten by the Turkish soldiers and 
eventually expelled. Prokhoron was then 
introduced into the church while Jacob 
^as obliged to retire. 

The next day Prokhoron again came to 
the church and while he turned towards 
the people in order to harangue them, the 
people all in one voice began to cry : « Long 
live our Patriarch ; Down with the intru- 
ders. » They attempted also to assault him, 
but he had taken the precaution to station 
soldiers in the garb of Armenians amongst 
the Congregation, who now seeing the tu- 
mult interfered and drove the people out of 
the church. Intelligence of these acts having 
reached the Sultan, he immediately ordered 
Prokhoron to be destituted and banished to 
the castle of Samsoun. This occurred on 
the seventh day of his patriarchate. 

Minas of Aguen, Rector of the convent of 
St. Garabied in Daron, was then appointed 
Patriarch, while Jacob Nalian was sent to 
Brussa, whence, on the death of Gregory 

— 300 — 

Patriarch of Jerusalem, he was removed io 
that patriarchate. 

At this time, A. D. 1751, the Pontiff La- 
zarus died in the fourteenth year of his 
dignity and third of his restoration. 

The Armenians then elected in his place 
Minas patriarch of Constantinople, who im- 
mediately went to Etchmiadzin and was 
anointed supreme head of the Armenian 
Church. George, a native of Sewnies and a 
very good man, was appointed Patriarch at 
Constantinople. During his patriarchate, 
Yaghub of Aguen, particularly distinguish- 
ed himself among the Armenians in Con- 
stantinople and was admired by all the 
inhabitants of the city. In a pilgrimage 
which he made to Jerusalem Jacob iNaliaii 
the Patriarch expressed the desire of being 
reappointed Patriarch at Constantinople. 
Accordingly Yaghub on his return procured 
Jacob's restoration to the patriarchate of 
Constantinople , and George's removal to 
Brussa, of which church he was appointed 
bishop. A Vartabied named Theodore, a man 
of eminent learning and piety, was then ap- 
pointed Patriarch of Jerusalem. 

Minas the Pontiff having held his dig- 
nity one year died, A. D. 1754, and was 
succeeded by Alexander a native of Cod- 
stantinople, who only enjoyed his dignity 
eighteen months when he died. 

— 301 — 

Isaac Ahakin from the province of Khor- 
tzen was then elected Pontiff. He declined 
taking up his residence at Etchmiadzin 
and lived nearly the first two years of his 
pontificate at Constantinople. Thence he 
removed to Erzeroum, and continued there for 
three years. This disinclination of the Pon- 
tiff to reside at Etchmiadzin was the cause 
of his losing the pontificate. For some of 
his private enemies making this a' subject 
of complaint against him, convened an as- 
sembly of the Armenians residing in Con- 
stantinople , in which he was destituted. 
The same assembly elected an individual 
named Jacob of Shamakhi to succeed him, 
and one Abraham of Asdabad was sent to Er- 
zeroum to demand of Isaac an account of the 
manner in which the revenues of the pon- 
tificate had been expended since his eleva- 
tion On the arrival of Abraham at Erzeroum, 
he issued a memorandum to be read in the 
churches of that city, intimating Isaac's 
destitution and Jacob's appointment. Not 
many days after Isaac died in a fit of apop* 
lexy in the fifth year of his pontificate. 

Jacob of Shamakhi exercised the duties 
of Pontiff for four years when he died, A. D. 
1763. He proved to be an excellent charac- 
ter, preserving peace among his clergy du- 
ring the whole period of his spiritual sway, 
bimon of Erevan was then elected Pon- 

— 302 — 

tiff. Up to this period none of the Armenian 
Pontiffs had ever written against the usages 
of the Church of Rome. Even Lazarus who 
was so hostile to the interests of the Pope, 
never attempted to annoy the Roman See 
by polemical writings after his elevation to 
the pontificate. Simon disregarding all 
convenience, declared hostilities and wrote 
a book against the Roman persuasion. He 
also made a number of alterations in the 
Church Calendar, which much disfigured it, 
and directed it to be thus used in all the 
Armenian churches. Some opposition was 
raised at Constantinople against its recep- 
tion, the Armenians in that city declaring 
that they deemed it highly criminal to alter 
that form of worship which had been pre- 
scribed and handed down by their ances- 
tors. The more strongly to show their op- 
position, they reprinted the old calendar 
and added to it a long preamble setting 
forth the grounds upon which they acted. 
In the course of a short time, however, Si- 
mon's calendar was used in all the Arme- 
nian churches. 

During Jacob's patriarchate and before 
Simon's election to the pontificate, much 
dissension arose amongst the Armenians in 
Constantinople, in consequence of the pro- 
ceedings of a Vartabied named Manuel, a 
native of Balu, who was a determined foe 

— 303 — 

to the Roman catholic persaasion. He was 
twice banished from that city by reason of 
his turbulence and eventually died in exile. 
In the year 1764, Jacob Nalian resigned 
the patriarchate of Constantinople and was 
succeeded by Gregory, a native of that city, 
an individual of distinguished merit. Short- 
ly after Jacob died. Gregory after a few 
years also resigned and died in a journey 
which he undertook to Europe. The Arme- 
nians then at Gons^tantinople elected Zacba- 
riah, A. D. 1772, a native of Gaghzuan 
and legate from Etchmiadzin, to be their 
Patriarch. At this period the Pontiff Simon 
died, after presiding over the Armenian 
Church seventeen years. 

He was succeeded by Lucas from the prov- 
ince of Erzeroum, a person of distinguished 
merit, who sustained his dignity with great 
credit to himself and much to the satisfac- 
tion of all connected with his Church. This 
Pontiff being very learned in all theological 
matters, one Sergius of Tekirdagh, also a 
noble character, visited him with the object 
of advising with him about the means of 
uniting the Armenian and Roman Churches. 
But some of the clergy of Etchmiadzin, 
being hostile to the ideas of Sergius, the 
latter suffered much molestation from them 
for the space of five years; when, having 
effected nothing, he secretly fled to Europe. 

304 — 

The Mekhitharian Inslitution. — Death of Mekhithar. — 
Stephen Melkunian his successor. — Troubles in the In^li- 
tution. — The Patriarch of Venice interferes. — The prin- 
cipal rioters expelled from the Institution. — Origin of the 
Institution of the Mekhitharians of Vienna. 

The pious and virtuous Mekhithar of Se- 
baste, the true benefactor of the Armenian 
nation, having firmly established and well 
regulated his Institution, fell sick and died 
April 21^^ 1749. He had the satisfaction to 
see his work prospering, and the labour of 
his disciples bearing fruit; their literarj 
productions printed in Venice being spread 
continually among the Armenians. 

The year after Mekhithar's death, his 
successor was elected in the person of 
t^tephen Melkonian, a native of Constanti- 
nople. He governed the Institution for sev- 
eral years with wisdom and paternal care, 
end in the year 1762 he had. the satisfac- 
tion to receive a honourable decree from 
Rome, by which Pope Clement the Thir- 
teenth declared him, as well as his succes- 
sors, Abbot General for life of all the Me- 

— 305 — 

The calm and pacific state of the Monas- 
tery at St. Lazarus was^ however, destined 
to be troubled by the pretentious of two 
restless monks ; who forming a party 
among their younger brethren insisted on 
concessions which the Abbot could not 
grant. An assembly was then held , in 
which the majority being composed of the 
tumultuous, the Abbot was forced to resign 
his authority. This he did under protest. 

The Patriarch of Venice being made 
aware of this unfortunate state of things, 
through the intimation he received from 
the agitators themselves that they were 
about to elect another Abbot, visited the 
Monastery accompanied by the legal func- 
tionaries of the Republic who had already 
made enquiries and had pronounced against 
the authors of the disturbance and their 
pretentions. The Patriarch, however, hav- 
ing re-examined the question and heard all 
complaints, pronounced judgement in fa- 
vour of the Abbot. Threatening the insubor- 
dinate to visit them with punishment if they 
persisted in not submitting to the authority 
of the Abbot, he restored Stephen to his 
dignity and obliged all the monks to ask 
his forgiveness. All obeying , peace was 
again restored among the inmates of the 
little Island. 

This peace, however, did not last long i 

— 306 — 

for the ringleaders recommenced their con- 
testa and pretentions. This coming to the 
knowledge of the Patriarch and of the civil 
authority, each sent to St. Lazarus a deputy 
who summoned the monks to the pre- 
sence of the Ahhot and obliged them to 
submit ; this they did humbly asking 
forgiveness and promising never more to 
fail in their obedience. As for the two 
ringleaders, the authorities being convinced 
that they would never cease from causing 
trouble, decided on expelling them from the 
Institution. This decision was executed im- 
mediately ; the one, called Minas Kasparian, 
was accompanied to the frontier as far as 
Trent ; the other, named Asdvadzadur Ba- 
biguian, was embarked for Trieste ; both of 
them being banished for ever from Venice 
and from the Venitian territory. 

Order thus being again restored, the Re- 
public declared the Mekhitharian Institu- 
tion to be under its immediate protection. 

Babig on his arrival at Trieste, succeeded, 
with the assistance of some others of the 
monks, in founding a religious and edu- 
cational house in that city, and succeeded 
also in printing some books there. At 
length, however, he was obliged to retire to 
Vienna, where he was presented by the 
Austrian Emperor with a house in which 
he established himself with his disciples. He 

— 307 — 
retained the appellation of Mekhitharian 
for Ma religious family and pursued the 
same object of seeding missionariea to Ar- 

Babig's foundation exists to this day in 
Vienna; ita meinbere are recognised as 
Austrian subjects; they are presided over 
by an Archbishop and possess sinalt bran- 
ches at Trieste, Smyrna aud Constantinople, 
where they educate youth of all nationali- 
ties. They also possess an extensive typo- 
graphy at Vieuna where large number of 
books are printed, mostly however written 
by Europeans and in the German language. 
Thus was Babig's insubordination over- 
ruled for good , and the Armenian Mekbi- 
tharians of Vienna are certainly not with- 
out their utility and influence among their 
countrymen in the East. 

— 308 — 


PerieculioD against the RomanniBg Armenians. — ChaDges 
in the patriarchal authority. — Zachariah attempts to caiue 
a union between the two divisions of the Armenians. — Six 
conditions. — Op|K>sition of the Roman catholic clerg>'. — 
Death of Zachariah. ~ Daniel his successor. — Death of 
Lucas the Pontiff. 

Daring the pontificate of Simon, in the 
year 1780, Zachariah the Patriarch of 
Constantinople, commenced a persecution 
against the Romanizing Armenians, many 
of whom were sent to the galleys, and 
not a few died there during their captivity. 
So great was the Patriarch's intolerance, 
that he issued an order that no Armenian 
priest should administer the Sacrament of 
Baptism to Romanists; their dead also 
were not permitted to he taken to the 
burial ground. 

Some charge, however, being laid against 
him, Zachariah was obliged to renounce 
his dignity and to retire to Brussa, in Asia 
Minor. John ofHamadan, bishop of that city, 
was then called to Constantinople to succeed 
him, A. D. 1782. But this latter being also 
of a cruel nature, even increased the perse- 
cution against the Romanists; many of 

— 309 — 

them were sent to the galleys, a priest was 
beheaded, and several renounced the christ- 
ian faith. John after holding the patriar- 
chate for three months was destitated, and 
Zachariah was restored to the dignity. 

Zachariah on resuming the patriarchal 
authority changed his policy. He ceased 
from- persecuting the catholic Armenians, 
and then endeavoured, if possible, to effect 
an union between the two divisions. For that 
purpose he invited to his residence twenty 
of the most important individuals of the ca- 
tholic Armenians and assured them that if 
he had formerly used measures of rigour it 
was only to fulfil faithfully the duties for 
which he was responsible to the Turkish 
government , not from spirit of enmity 
against the doctrines of the Roman Church, 
for which he had great respect He, how- 
ever, had no other object but to restore 
peace and love amongst the different indi- 
viduals of the same nation, although they 
were divided by religious opinions. He then 
proposed six conditions, the accomplishment 
of which, he said , would have a pacific 
efifect and prevent further harm to the Ro- 
These conditions were the following : 

1. That on fast days they should not 
publicly eat fish or other marine produce. — 

— 310 — 

For it is an ancient custom with the Arme- 
nians on such days to eat vegetables only, 
and the sight of open violation of the an- 
cient national custom provokes the multi- 
tude to excesses of intoleration. 

2. That the Armeno-catholic laity, 
should cease from disputing upon difficult 
and delicate questions of religion, such 
controversy not pertaining to them. 

3. That on their meeting Armenian 
priests of the other persuasion in public, 
they should treat them with that respect, 
which is due to all well educated people ; 
not insult them with unbecoming beha- 
viour, as they were in the habit of doing. 

4. That they should not frequent so pu- 
blicly the Latin churches ; this havirfg fre- 
quently been severely forbidden by the 
Turkish government; and also that they 
should not receive in their houses, without 
due caution, any of the Latin missionaries. 

5. That they should celebrate, together 
with the body of the nation, some of the 
great festivals which were also observed hy 
the o^her Armenians, (such as Christmas 
and Easter); for by celebrating them at 
other times, they would offer occasion to 
fanatics to accuse them to the government 
as plotting with the Europeans. 

6. That on festival days they should, at 
least shew themselves in the national chur- 

— 311 — 

ches daring divine service and make their 
offerings; so that they might destroy the 
already inveterate popular idea, that the 
Romanists regard the national churches as 
"were conventicles of Satan ; although the 
Holy Sacrament was kept therein, and al- 
though they also continually repaired ^hi- 
ther without scruple for the Sacraments of 
Baptism, Confirmation and Matrimony, as 
well as for the hurial ceremonies. 

The Patriarch then exhorted them to 
subscribe these conditions and to make 
them acceptable to those of their own per- 
suasion ; promising that they should then 
be left free to exercise their own rite, and 
that troubles and enmity should thence- 
forth cease for ever between the two divi- 
sions of the same nation. 

The Romanizing Armenians seeing that 
these conditions contained nothing subver- 
sive of the doctrines of their belief, decided 
to conform to them. Thus they hoped to 
free themselves from many vexations. The 
Latin clergy, however, being informed of 
these conditions and of the decision of the 
catholic Armenians regarding them, did 
not find it prudent to permit its execution ; 
and therefore induced the Latin Vicar to 
issue an order by which no catholic missio- 
nary could impart absolution to those of 

— 312 - 

the catholic Armenians who dhould follow 
the counsel of the Armenian Patriarch. 

This order produced a crisis ; obedience 
to it naturally caused the continuation of 
enmity between the two parties; Zachariah 
the Patriarch, afflicted at his being unsuc- 
cessful in his efforts to establish peace and 
union between the two divisions of the Ar- 
menians, convened an assembly at Constan- 
tinople, in which he prohibited his congre- 
gation from forming matrimonial relations 
with the Romanizing Armenians. The effect 
of this was to cause a real separation be- 
tween the two parties, to the great content- 
ment of the catholic Armenians, who ceas- 
ed entirely from frequenting the Armenian 
national churches. 

Zachariah having held the patriarchal 
dignity for twenty six years, died in the 
year 1799. He was succeeded by bishop 
Daniel, who had been sent as deputy to 
Constantinople by Lucas the Pontiff of 

In the same year and on the 27 *^ of De- 
cember the death of Lucas the Pontiff also 
took place , he having presided over the 
Armenian Church twenty years. 

— 313 — 


Daniel of Ashdarag elected Pontiff. — John of Balnd tends 
Daniel to banishment. — Archbishop Joseph. — David's 
intrigues and appointment to the pontificate. — His tyran- 
nical sway. — John the Patriarch is deposed. — > Gregory. 
— Daniel anointed Pontiff of the Armenians. — Gregory 
deposed and sent to exile. — John restored to the patriar- 
chate. — Daniel the Pontiff and Gregory the ex-pa(riarch 
fall into the hands of David. — DaniePs danger. — The 
Russian stipulation by which David is deposed and Daniel 
appointed Pontiff. 

Immediately after the burial of Lucas an 
assembly of the clergy was held at Etch- 
miadzin to decide upon the nomination of 
his successor. After much discussion they 
agreed to appoint Daniel of Ashdarag, who 
held the patriarchal dignity at Constan- 
tinople. A deputation , beaded by bishop 
David of Tiflis, proceeded to Constantinople 
to acquaint the Patriarch Daniel of Ash- 
darag with the wishes of the Armenian 

Daniel, on the announcement of the death 
of the late Pontiff and of his own election 
2 14 

— 314 — 

to the pontificate, was willing to quit 
Constantinople and proceed to Etchinia- 
dzin; but endeavouring to appoint bishop 
David patriarch of Constantinople and to 
take his leave of the Congregation, troub- 
les ensued, in consequence of which John, 
bishop of Balad, having ingratiated him- 
self with several of the principal Arme- 
nians, succeeded in obtaining the patri- 
archal dignity; thereupon he caused Da- 
niel to be banished to the island of Te- 
nedos, accusing him of being the author 
and cause of the late troubles. 

The succession to the pontifical chair 
being thus impeded, Joseph archbishop of 
that portion of Armenia which belonged 
to Russia, saw an opportunity for his own 
advancement and claimed the dignity of 
Pontiff on account of his being the senior 
of the college of bishops of Etchmiadzin. 
Through the influence of the Russian gov- 
ernment he succeeded at length in obtain- 
ing his desire. But arriving at Tiflis on his 
way to Etchmiadzin, he fell sick and died. 

In the mean time David, the deputy of 
Etchmiadzin, seeing the disgrace of Daniel 
and the loss of the patriarchate, to which 
dignity he so much aspired, thought to 
obtain the pontificate of Etchmiadzin for 
himself. Having ingratiated himself with 
John the new Patriarch and his friends, 

' — 315 — 

he was sent by them to Etchmiadzin to 
procure possession of the pontificate , with 
the promise . that he should be recognised 
so soon as he should succeed. 

Being* thus supported, David repaired to 
Etchmiadzin, and having related to the 
clergy of the Pontifical See all the events 
that happened during the time of his mis- 
sion, he acquainted them with the deci* 
sion of the Armenians of Constantinople, 
that he should be appointed Pontiff in- 
stead of Daniel. 

His exertions, however, being, opposed, 
he availed himself of the authority of the 
Persian chief of Erevan, by whose means 
he forced the clergy to anoint him Pon- 
tiff of all the Armenians. He began then 
to exercise the most intolerable tyranny, 
persecuting all those whom he suspected 
of being his adversaries, and dissipating 
the treasure of the Pontifical Bee. By the 
despotic exercise of his authority and by 
his vindictive character, he so much ha- 
rassed the bishops and all the clergy of 
Etchmiadzin, that being almost in despair 
and prevented from flight, they wrote let- 
ters on all sides to the Armenians, describ- 
ing the lamentable condition in which they 
were compelled to live and beseeching help, 
and liberation from so cruel a tyrant. 

At length the Armenians at Constanti- 

— 316 — 

Dople rose to exertion, and finding that 
John the Patriarch , aided by several of 
the' principal Armenians , favoured David 
and his adherents, they presented a me- 
morial to the Vizir complaining of the Pa- 
triarch who in consequence was destituted 
and sent in exile to Eudocia. 

Gregory, a deputy from Etchmiadzin, 
was then appointed Patriarch at Constan- 
tinople. He was an enemy to David, and 
therefore sought to favour Daniel, whom 
the Armenians had elected Pontiff. The 
new Patriarch immediately applied to the 
Vizir to confirm that election, and having 
obtained the necessary letters patent, he 
sent them to Daniel, who having returned 
from his banishment, dwelt in Bayezit. 
Gregory wrote then to the Pontiff of Agh- 
thamar and to other principal bishops 
and clergy to proceed to Bayezit there to 
anoint Daniel pontiff of all the Armenians. 
Thus a large number of the Armenian 
clergy, hostile to the interests of David, 
having joined Daniel in the latter place, 
and the Ritual for the consecration of the 
pontiffs having been also brought secretely 
from Etchmiadzin, an assembly was held 
in the convent called Utchkilissa by which 
David was judged and condemned, and 
Daniel unanimously proclaimed and an- 
ointed Pontiff of the Armenians. 

— 317 — 

This, however, was the signal for dis- 
cord; as the Armenians divided into two 
factions, each sustaining the one or the 
other Pontiff. David seeing his authority 
in danger, by means of bribes obtained the 
protection of the Persian Government, and 
obliged Daniel to desist from entering Etch- 
miadzin compelling him to wait at Utch- 
kilissa for a more favorable moment to 
proceed further. 

In the mean time Gregory the Patriarch 
at Constantinople by his preaching against 
and continually persecuting the adherents 
of David, so much irritated them, that they 
procured his destitution and exile and the 
restoration of John, the Patriarch formerly 
exiled to Eudocia. The consequence was a 
new persecution against Daniel's adherents, 
many being fined and others sent to the 
galleys. Thus David's side again triumphed. 

Not content with all this, John procur- 
ed a decree from government exiling all 
those who were the cause of the late 
troubles. Whereupon seizing Gregory, the 
late Patriarch, who had been exiled to 
Calcedonia, the ex-pontiff Daniel, and some 
ether bishops, he exiled them to Etchmia- 
dzin; thus putting David in possession of 
his rival and other adversaries. 

David now thought himself secure, and 
giving loose to that anger which so much 

— 318 — 

opposition had excited, he treated his rival 
with every indignity. After keeping: Da- 
niel a few months in confiuement, he pro- 
cured an order from the Persian king^, ba- 
nishing the unfortunate Pontiff to the city 
of Maragha. He then endeavoured to obtain 
an other order, by which Daniel was to be 
put to death ; but his intended victim was 
able to escape. 

The Russians being at this period at 
war with the Persians, and being always 
successful, the Persian Monarch was finaUy 
obhged to treat for peace , submitting to 
all conditions. This was an occasion for 
the Armenians in Russia to interest their 
government in behalf of Daniel. Where- 
upon in stipulating the conditions it was 
established that David should be deposed, 
and Daniel the rightful Pontiff be restored 
to the pontifical chair at Etchmiadzin. 

This arrangement was immediately put 
in execution. David was deposed in the pre- 
sence of the chief of Erevan and Daniel 
appointed solemnly and with great pomp 
to the Pontifical See, in the year 1804. 
This happy event was communicated to 
John the Patriarch and to all the Armenians 
residing at Constantinople, who, recogniz- 
ing the pontificate of Daniel, order and 
peace, which lasted for some time, was thus 
again restored among the Armenians, 

— 319 — 


The Greek claims lo the Convent of St. Jacob in Jerusalem . 
^- DaiiiePs death. — Ephrairo of Ashdarag elected Pontiflf. 
— Attefupt at union between the two divisions of Arnie- 
niaQS. — Five theological points. — Result of the attempt. 

During the pontificate of Daniel, in the 
year 1808, the Greeks renewing their old 
claim to the possession of St. Jacobus con- 
vent at Jerusalem, petitioned the Vizir, 
who favoured their pretensions, but before 
he was able to act in the matter he was 
superseded by another. The Armenians 
then petitioned the Sultan Mahmud for 
justice. Thereupon he ordered an accurate 
investigation of the facts to be made, and 
eventually decreed that the convent in 
question was a rightful property of the 
Armenians , was to pertain to them for 
ever, and that they should no more be 
molested on that account. This was a na- 
tional victory to which both parties in 
Constantinople contributed. For some of 
the principal Roman catholic Armenians, 
had much influence at Court; and there*- 
fore were invited by John the Patriarch 
to assist the national cause. There friend- 
ly ofGlces caused the two divisions to re- 

— 820 — 

gard one another somewhat amicably, and 
the feeling of dissensions, was, for a time, 
somewhat allayed. 

In A. D. 1809 war again broke out be- 
tween the Russians and Persians, and Da- 
niel the Pontiff with several bishops were 
confined, by order of the Persian Monarch, 
to the fortress of Erevan, lest they should 
&vour the Russians. The Pontiff fell sick 
and died in confinement. His remains were 
removed to Etchmiadzin. 

On the death of Daniel the clergy of 
Etchmiadzin having held an assembly, 
elected bishop Ephraim of Ashdarag, chief 
of all the Armenians in Russia, to succeed 
him. Messengers v^re thereupon despatch- 
ed to Ephraim, who, obtaining the protec- 
tion of the Emperor Alexander of Russia, 
(by whom he was also decorated), proceeded 
to Etchmiadzin and was anointed Pontiff 
in the year 1810. 

Affairs at Etchmiadzin being now peace- 
fully settled , and the new Pontiff being 
generally acknowledged by all the Arme- 
nians, the nation began to enjoy the be- 
nefits of peace. The fact also of the late 
victorious resistance to the claim advanced 
by the Greeks, having created a friendly 
sentiment between the two religious dir- 
isions of the Armenians, a certain inter- 
course was established which led to a de* 

— 321 — 

sire on the part of the Armenians of Etch- 
miadzin to effect a union between the two 
parties ; they therefore requested the prin- 
cipal Romanizing Armenians to signify in 
writing the principal religious pomts which 
occasioned their separation. 

The Romanists by means of their clergy 
thereupon presented in writing these five 
points : 

Fir6t, that in Christ there are two natures 
and tfco actions. 

Secondly , that the Holy Ghost proceeds 
from the Father and the Son, 

Thirdly, that the souls qf the Saints hnr 
mediately enter upon the enjoyment qf eternal 
glory, and those qf sinners are instantly con- 
demned to suffer their due punishment. 

Fourthly, that Peter is supreme chitf a- 
mong the Apostles^ and his successors possess 
the same supremacy. 

Fifthly, that Extreme Unction is a Sacra- 
ment qf the Church, as stated by the words qf 
St, James the Apostle. 

On receiving these objections, the Ar- 
menians of Etchmiadzin appointed com- 
petent persons to examine and to answer 
them, and their reply was as follows. 

To the first objection, supported by quo- 
tations from 8t. Gregory the Illuminator, 
2 14* 

-^ 322 — 

from St. Athanasius and from St. Cyril, 
they affirmed the doctrine of One Nature 
qf the Word made flesh, according to St. 
Cyril against Nestorius, who divided them; 
and also the doctrine of the two natures 
united indi visibly in one person, against 
Eutychius who confounded them. Tbey 
concluded by avowing their entire concur- 
r«;nce in the views held on this subject 
by the Pontiffs Nierses the Graceful, and 
Gregory and by bishop Lampronensis. 

To the Second , that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds from the Father 'and the Son, 
they answered by quoting the words of 
Christ, of Gregory the Illuminator, of St. 
Athanasius of St. Cyril, and of other Fa- 
thers, attesting that the Father is the Ge- 
nitor, the Son is from the Father, and the 
Holy Ghost from their essence, the doctrine 
especially taught by St. Gregory the Illu- 
minator, Father of the Armenian Church. 

To the third, that the Saints are al- 
ready in glory, and sinners suffering the 
pains of hell by their condemnation, they 
answered quoting from the Blessed Illumi- 
nator, from the book of Hymns, and from 
those of Nierses of Lampron and of other 
Fathers, proving that the souls of the saints 
are in glory , and unrepented sinners in 
the punishment of damnation. 

To the fourth, that Peter is supreme 

— 323 — 

chief among the Apostles, and his succes- 
sors among the bishops, they answered 
qaoting from the Gospels, from St. Gre- 
gory the Illuminator, from Sergius the 
Graceful, and declared that all the A.- 
postles had absolute authority, and the same 
authority had also their successors upon 
their own nation, according to the words 
of our Lord : « And lo, I am with you 
alway, even unto the end of the world. » 
And they concluded on this point say- 
ing that the successors of the Apostles, 
being therefore independent of each other, 
have the same authority and the same 
dignity which the holy Apostles their 
predecessors, themselves had, a view sup- 
ported also by the regulations of the oecume- 
nical councils of Nice and Constantinople. 
To the fifth, they answered declaring 
that Extreme Unction is a Sacrament of 
the Church, wherefore according to the holy 
Apostle James, if some one of our congre- 
gation fall sick, we call in the ministers 
of the Church, and recite prayers over him. 
But anointing sick people with holy 
oil, they concluded , is not practised , and 
is not necessary, according to Ehosroes the 
Great in his book (hmmentary on the Brec- 

These replies were then presented to the 
Roman catholic Armenians, who after hav- 

— 324: — 

ing assembled to discuss them, required of 
those of Etchmiadzin to cease mentioDing 
in the holy sacrifice three names which 
had been erroneously added in latter times 
to the calendar of Saints. This being* made 
known among the other Armenians, some 
individuals ignorant of their own histoiy, 
pretended the contrary; in consequence of 
which disturbances ensuing, John the Pa- 
triarch ordered that all intercourse and all 
projects for union should cease, and that 
each party should go on as before. Thus 
was the union between the two divisions 
of the Armenians prevented notwithstand- 
ing the strong desire to effect it mani- 
fested principally by the Armenians of 


John Ihe Pafrfarch resigns bis dignity. — Abraham appoint- 
ed Patriarcb. — He is destifuled. — Bishop Paul bis sue- 
eessor. — He ii>vite8 tbe Roman i«t clergy to a theological 
conference. — Tbe Romanist clergy. — Persecution agaiots 
the Romanizing Armenians. — The four members of the 
Duzian family. — The order of the Propaganda. — Furious 
persecution against the RonMoist clergy. 

In the year 1813 John the Patriarch 
fell sick, and daily becoming less able to 
fulfil the duties of his office, the principal 

— 325 — 

Armenians proposed to him to appoint a 
successor, lest the national affairs should 
suffer. He kindly agreed with their wish, 
and selecting bishop Abraham, a deputy 
from Etchmiadzin, he resigned his autho- 
rity and retired to a convent at Chryso- 
polis, where he remained until his decease 
in the year 1817. 

The new Patriarch Abraham, however, 
did not long enjoy his dignity; for soon 
after becoming avaricious, arrogant and 
irascible, he quarrelled with many of his 
partisans. Eventually a petition was pre- 
sented to the Sultan , in consequence of 
which he was destituted in the year 1815. 

The Armenians then elected Patriarch 
bishop Paul, vicar of Jerusalem, accompa- 
nying him immediately to the Vizir, by 
whom he was invested with the . robe of 
his dignity and sent back to the Patriar- 
chal See in great pomp. This Patriarch 
remembering the attempt of his predeces- 
sors to re-establish religious unity between 
the two divisions of the Armenians, re- 
newed the attempt in the year 1817, per- 
suading the principals among the Romaniz- 
ing Armenians , to delegate a certain 
number of their clergy, to meet as many 
of the other side, to discuss the points of 
faith which had caused a separation in 
the nation^ and endeavour to effect that 

— 326 — 

desired union which would put an end to 
all dissensions and religious persecutions. 
This pious wish could not however be 

During this time the Romanizing Ar- 
menian clergy had notably increased in 
number. It was composed principally of 
three monastic orders and of the secular 
priests, disciples of the Propaganda. 

The monastic orders were: 

1. The Mekhitharians of Venice, who 
were reputed for their learning and who 
were specially esteemed by the Armenians 
for their patriotic interest in, and accurate 
knowledge of all that concerned the relig- 
ious and civil history of their country. 

2. The Mekhitharians of Vienna. 

3. The Anthonians or Monks of Moant 
Libanon , who possessed a monastery in 

An Armenian bishop with the title of 
Vicar, was appointed by the Pope to pre- 
side, under the supervision of the Latin 
Apostolical Vicar, over this clergy and 
principally over the secular priests popii^ 
of the Propaganda. 

Unfortunately a spirit of animosity, whe- 
ther caused by hostile interests or by envy, 
we cannot say, has always existed betweeu 

~ 327 — 

these different classes of the clergy, and 
has on varioas occasions been the caaae 
of provoking disorders and of prolonging 
dissensions. And now that the Armenian 
Patriarch in the execution of his project 
for promoting a fusion and for checking 
dissent had invited the catholic clergy to 
a friendly controversy, it seoms that this 
animosity exercised no small influence in 
baffling the intentions of the Patriarch. 
The consequence, however, was a persecu- 
tion in the year 1819 against the catho- 
lic Armenians, the principal victims being 
four members of the Duzian family, the 
most powerful and the most wealthy among 
the Armenian nobles of the Roman per- 

These unfortunate men were superin- 
tendents of the Imperial Mint at Constan- 
tinople, a charge which was hereditary in 
their family, and in which they had ren- 
dered many services to the State. Honour- 
ed by the Sultan and possessing great 
influence at Court, they were on friendly 
terms with all the chief members of the 
Government. Instigated, however, by some 
of the Armenians , a Turk , favourite of 
the Sultan Mahraud , charged them with 
fraudulent conduct in their official capa- 
city. The Sultan, although friendly to them, 
in a moment of rage issued orders for their 

— 328 — 

being seized and executed , confiscatiDg 
all their property to the royal treasury. 
These orders were immediately carried into 
effect, and in the course of a few hours 
the four cousins were deprived of life and 
the remainder of the family . males and 
females, were stripped of all they possess- 
ed and sent into exile. Such was one of 
the consequences of these national dissen- 
sions; for although the principal Arme- 
nians could have delivered their unfortu- 
nate compatriots, yet from fear or from 
aversion no one moved on their behalf. 

The Sultan, however, soon perceived the 
error into which the iniquity of his favou- 
rite had betrayed him, and made such a- 
mends as he could ; the accuser was in his 
turn speedily executed, and the survivors 
of the unfortunate family were restored to 
their office and property. 

This unhappy event put a stop for a 
short time to the fury of persecution. The 
unanimous opinion begun to prevail *that 
in order to put an end to these national 
discords, the clergy of both sides had only 
fully and openly to discuss the points on 
which they differed in order to arrive at a 
community of views and to establish the 
right belief. That in such case the arms of 
each side should be the writings of the Ar- 
menian Fathers; as it was only by means 

— 329 — 

of tlie national religions history, of the na- 
tional councils, by quotations from the na- 
tional church books, that the Armenians of 
Rtchmiadzin could be convinced that the 
pretentions of their adversaries were well 
founded. And these arms no one could bet- 
ter use than the Mekhitharians of Venice, 
\7h0se speciality they were. This idea at 
once awaked such a sentiment of contrariety 
between the different classes of the catholic 
clergy as to endanger the execution of the 

And its e2:ecution was indeed prevented ; 
for the opponents of the union succeeded in 
influencing the Propaganda to forward an 
order by which all catholic priests were 
forbidden, under severe penalties, to enter 
upon any controversial dispute touching the 
questions that then agitated the Armenian 
Community at Constantinople. To this or- 
der all the catholic clergy were naturally 
forced to conform themselves; wherefore, 
Stephen Kiuver, General Abbot of the Me- 
khitharians of Venice, wrote to his depen- 
dants at Constantinople commanding obe- 
dience to the order and submission to the 
Latin Vicar of that city. 

This measure could not appease dissen- 
sions from breaking out again ; and the 
Armenians of Etchmiadzin in retaliation 
coerced their Patriarch to cause an edict 

— 330 — 

of the government to be issued, by ^which 
the Latinizing Armenians were sent , 
some to the galleys, others to exile aud 
their property confiscated. This edict ^wras 
published in the year 1820, and it affected 
principally the catholic clergy; many of 
whom fled to Europe, some concealed them- 
selves in the Latin Monasteries of the city, 
and others took refuge in the dwellings of 
the foreign ambassadors, the catholic laity 
thus remaining deprived of ministers. 


the three Romanixing ArnieniaDS and four of the Mckbitha- 
rians. — The Mi^kbitharian Fathers enter upon a contro- 
versy wilh the other Armenians. — The five points. " 
Enthusiasm of the Armenians in hopes of a union. — The 
conclusion of the controversy. — The Document entitled 
« Invitation to Christian love, p 

While things were in this deplorable 
state, three pious Armenians, seeing that 
the only means to put an end to the hor- 
rors of the persecution were to effect the 
projected unity through the proposed relig- 
ious discussion and reconciliation, visited 
four of the Venitian Mekhitharians who had 
taken refuge in the Monastery of the Capu- 

— 331 — 

chins. Having narrated, with tears, the de* 
plorable condition of the catholics , who 
>vitbout spiritual leaders W3re exposed to 
torments of proscription , they earnestly 
entreated them to stop the fury of their 
persecutors, as was in their power only 
to do by meeting the principals among 
then) and endeavouring to persuade them 
to adopt conciliatory measures. The Mekhi- 
tharia^s, however, could not conform to 
such a wish, impeded as they were not 
only by the strict order of the Propaganda, 
but also by that of their own General Ab- 
bot. The devoted Armenians, however, con- 
tinuing their entreaties, the Mekhitharians 
moved to compassion declared that for the 
undertaking of such a step there was only 
one way possible: to obtain permission 
from the Latin Vicar, to whose immediate 
authority they were subjected. Rejoiced at 
such a declaration, one of the three Arme- 
nians promised to obtain that permission, 
and immediately set out for the Vicar's 
palace. But instead of meeting the Latin 
he met with the Armenian Vicar, from 
whom he easily got what he required and 
gladily repaired to the Capuchin Mona- 
stery. The Mekhitharians thereupon, not 
suspecting the truth of his assertion, and 
following also the advice of the prior of 
the Capuchins, who encouraged them to the 

— 332 — 

undertaking, immediately set out to meet 
the principals among the dissenting Arme- 
nians, by whom they were received with 
great honour, and with the expression of 
immense joy. They promised to do all in 
their power to mitigate the sad condition of 
the catholics, provided they would endeav- 
our, on their side, to clear up the questions 
which caused the troubles and to efiEect a 
conciliation in the belief of the two divi- 

This they promised, and being protected 
by the most powerful of their adversaries 
began without delay their religious confe- 
rences. These lasted for about three months, 
and the points of discussion' were the fol- 
lowing : 

1. Are there two natures, two wills and 
two actions in Christ? 

2. Does the Holy Ghost proceed from the 
Father and the Son ? 

3. Do the souls of sinners who repenting 
have confessed their sins, go to purgatory, 
where they are pardoned through the 
grace of the holy Sacrifice and then go to 
paradise ? 

4. Is Peter the supreme head of the A- 
postles, and do his successors possess the 
same supremacy among the successors of 
the Apostles? 

— 333 — 

5. Is Extreme Unction a Sacrament of 
the Church, and is it necessary to admi- 
nister it to those who are on their death 

All these points were solved only by the 
Gospel and by the witness of the writings 
of the Fathers of the Armenian Church, 
and the arguments made use of seemingly 
proved that the doctrines held by the Ro- 
manists were the most lawful and their 
adversaries were therefore obliged to submit. 
In the mean time the four Mekhitha- 
T\ans, who were treated with the utmost of 
honour and respect by all the Armenians, 
were invited to preach and to celebrate the 
holy Sacrifice of the Altar in their chur- 
ches. And it was admirable to witness the 
enthusiasm that reigned in all classes of 
the people who expected anxiously the mo- 
ment of that desired union which should 
cause all dissensions and troubles to cease 
for ever. The spirit of conviction as to the 
right doctrine was such, that the name of 
the Roman Pontiff being uttered by the 
officiating priest during divine service, 
the people present with one accord made 
the usual response : « Orant him to tcs, 
Lord, and have merer/, » 

The conferences being over, and all ques- 
tions being thoroughly and satisfactorily 

— 334 — 

settled, tbe Armenian Patriarch caused the 
result to be published, so that all might 
know and submit themselves to it. This 
publication was entitled : « An Invitation 
to Christian Lote^ » and is one of tbe most 
interesting documents regarding one of the 
most important episodes in tbe religious 
history of Armenia , and a translation of 
which is here given in order to enable the 
reader to form a right idea of the doctrines 
which were the cause of so much dispute 
and enmity between the two divisions of 
the same nation. 

— 335 — 


We declare that the holy and orthodox 
doctrine of the Armenian Church is this : 

« Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and 
true man ;. heing at the same time Son of 
God and Son of Man, consuhstantiai with 
the Father by his divinity, and of the 
same flesh with us by his humanity. — 
Nierses the Gractful, Pastoral Letters. 

Wherefore we affirm, against Nestorius, 
One Nature instead of One Personality. 
Likewise we uphold, against Eutyches, 
Two Natures indivisible in One Christ, ac- 
cording to the doctrine professed by the 
holy Fathers and by the Councils. 

For we do not divide into two natures 
and into two persons the One Christ, as 
did Nestorius, nor do we, as did Eutyches 
and his followers, alter, blend, and con- 
found two natures in one. 

But we accept, as in duty bound, the 
two natures as expounded by Gregory the 

— 336 — 

Great, the Theologian, in his letter to 
Claudius, written in condemnation of the 
doctrine of Apolynarus and his adherents, 
and wherein he says, there are two na- 
tures; declaring also the reason, « for He is 
God and man ...» again he says : « If He 
was twofold it is evident that he was so 
by nature and not by individuality. » 

As for our upholding One Nature, let 
not a contrary teaching prevail ; such be- 
lief being in accordance with the doctrine 
of the orthodox teachers in the Church, 
and especially of St. Cyril of Alexandria in 
confutation of Nestorius, as he writes also 
in his first letter to Secundus, that we 
confess, with the Fathers, One Nature of 
the Word made flesh instead of One Per- 

But we acknowledge that there are two 
Wills and actions in that Unity, not dis- 
cordant with one another ; the one divine, 
when He would demonstrate the power of 
His divinity, the other human when He 
would manifest His participation in our 
humanity. — i\^. the Grac^ul, Past Lett, 

As we believe that a twofold — divine 
and human — action exists in that Unitji 
so we accept both these as appertaining 
to one Personality, now God exercising 
divine attributes , now as man assuming 
those of humanity. 

— 337 — 

We confess the Holy Ghost as of the Fa- 
ther and of the Son ; for according to the 
Blessed Illuminator : « The Father is from 
Himself; the Son is from the Father, and 
the Holy Ghost is from Them and in 
Them. » — Agathangelus. 

Wherefore we say with Nierses the 
Graceful : « The Holy Ghost proceeds from 
the Father and takes from the Son. )> 

And we therefore find in the book of 
hymns : « Source of our life a**d salva- 
tion, Thou, Spirit of the Father and of the 
Son. » 

As to the future state of the souls of the 
departed, our belief is according to the doc- 
trine of St. Gregory the Illuminator: « The 
pnre dwell with Christ ; for He has said : 
Where I am there also shall my servant 
be. i — John, xii, 16. 

He again says : « When death puts an 
end to this terrestrial life, the soul is con- 
veyed back to God who gave it, and the 
body becomes earth whence He created it. 

When the souls of the just and pure are 
liberated from the flesh, angels and spirits 
of Saints come forth to meet them and to 
^.ccompany them into the Divine Presence 
'With psalms and praises, exalting the ever- 
lasting glory of the Omnipotent and most 
Holy Trinity and praising the Bountiful 
Clemency which transfers from the terres- 
2 15 

— 338 — 

trial to the celestial state, from abasemeDt 
to honour, those who are chosen and called 
to His kingdom and glory. • — St. Gregory 
the Ilium. 

He also says : « As for those who are 
strengthened in the holy love of Christ, 
who have offered themselves to death... 
they are saved... » and again : « Throagh 
the grace of the Holy Spirit, the doors will 
be opened to the life of beatitude in that 
celestial abode where doth repose the con- 
gregation of the Saints. » — Id. 

With regard to the dead in venial sin, 
and to those whose mortal sins have beea 
remitted but who have not accomplished 
their penance in this world, we offer op 
prayers for them, saying : « Make them 
worthy of Thy mercy, pardon and favour. » 

We also chant in our litany : « Thou 
Lord who art the grantor of pardon, take 
away the sins of our departed ones, and 
cause them to repose in the royal rest of 
Thy habitation. » — Book qf Hymns. 

The priest also supplicates in the holy 
Sacrifice : « Remember, Lord, and have 
mercy, and be favourable to the souls of the 
departed and give them repose and light, 
and place them among Thy saints in Thy 
kingdom. » — Liturgy. 

For thus our Blessed Illuminator taught 
us when he said : « As for those among the 

— 339 — 

faithful who have sinned, hut who have 
confessed and done penance, and having 
partaken of the redeeming Sacrament have 
departed from this life, they also shall he 
remembered through the sacrifice of Christ, 
and through the prayers and suffrages of 
the poor, as well as through good works; 
so that through the piety of the survivors 
the dead shall be made alive, being renewed 
and regenerated in everlasting life. » 

Wherefore the temporary abode of such 
departed souls as need assistance from the 
Church is named by us Sta^e (ffutjuit) and 
by others Purgatory (^#««i*Y»i*it); 

The im; ious however, as well as infidels 
and sinners who die unrepentant, we be- 
lieve to be immediately damned and thrust 
into hell ; we therefore repeat the words of 
the Blessed Illuminator : « There is a diffe- 
rent place for those who have despised His 
laws, who have wallowed in the mire of 
vice and sensuality and have committed 
every kind of iniquity; their inheritance 
will be outer darkness. Spiritual blindness 
in this life is a preliminary punishment for 
those whose minds and senses are dark 
with vice; they are estranged from the life 
of the world to come . . . and are thrust into 
the fire of hell where there is weeping and 
gnashing of teeth. » — Greg, the Ilium, 
With regard to St. Peter the Apostle, 

— 340 — 

he is the chief of the holy Apostles and the 
foandatioD'Stone of the Church : — thas 
we sing in onr hymns : • Thoa who hast 
appointed to he supreme in the company of 
Thy chosen Apostles, the blessed Peter, 
chief of the holy faith and foundation of the 
Church. » — Book qf Hymns, 

And the blessed Illuminator says : «...of 
the Apostles assembled by Christ, the 
bearer of their crosses, whose chief Peter. * 
— Agctthang. 

And again : « He made him the comer 
stone of all the churches. * — Agathang. 

And as each of the Apostles derived apo- 
stolical authority from Christ, so all the 
seats of lawful succession from the Apostles 
possess by divine right, and according to 
their rank and extent, the full authority 
and jurisdiction of the Apostles, as is impos- 
ed by the regulations of the Councils and 
of the holy Fathers in accordance with the 
words of Holy Writ : « Teach them to ob- 
serve all things whatsoever I have com- 
manded you ; and lo I am with you alway 
even unto the . end of the world. » — 
Matth.y XXVIII, 20. 

The Sacraments also of the Church are 
seven ; one of which, Extreme Unction, it 
is necessary to administer to the sick in 
danger of death, anointing them with olive 
oil blessed by the priests 5 and this is done 

— 341 — 

in accordance with the directions of John 
the Great, the Philosopher, contained in the 
II** canon of the synod held by him : « The 
oil for the sick ought to be blessed by the 
priest, and the anointing should be accom- 
panied by the oflfering of appropriate pray- 
ers, as the Apostle James also prescribes : 
« Is any man sick among you ? Let him 
bring in the priests of the Church, and let 
them pray over him, anointing him with 
oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer 
of faith shall save the sick man : and the 
Lord shall raise him up ; and if he have 
committed sins they shall be forgiven 

him. » — St Jams^ v, H-15. 

342 — 

Consequence of the allenipt for union. — Cmiimolion among 
the lower orders. — The four Mekhilharlans exconiniuDi- 
catcd. - They are absolx ed by (he Pope — EtchmbdziD 
conquered by the Russians. 

One of the good effects of these conferen- 
ces was this, that the rigour of the perse- 
cution against the Romanists was softened. 
All well disposed people began to expect 
with impatience the moment , when the 
union being effected, all enmity and relig- 
ious controversies should cease. The four 
Missionaries also being indefatigable in 
preaching love and charity, a number of 
the Romanizing Armenians followed them 
to the Armenian churches, where tbey do 
more heard any thing contradictory to 
their own religious sentiment and the Ro- 
man catholic doctrine. All this, however, 
was but a superficial success. For the spirit 
of jeiilousy and discord was continually 
working to destroy all good. Some ill dis- 
posed fanatics, among the laity as well as 
among the clergy , instigated the mob 
against the contemplated union by repre- 

— 343 — 

seuting it quite under another aspect; the 
consequence of this was a dreadful com- 
motion. The patriarchal palace was taken 
by assault, and the life of the four Missio- 
naries was, for a moment, in danger. The 
Latin Vicar on his side issued a decree by 
which the Mekhitharian - Missionaries were 
excommunicated, and penalties also publish- 
ed for those among the Romanist Arme- 
nians who should frequent the Armenian 

This changed the face of the enterprise. 
The four missionaries seeing themselves 
made an object of aversion in the eyes of 
the catholic Armenians, and quite unfit for 
their own office , saw no other means 
for salvation but by writing to Rome and 
informing the. Holy Father of their under- 
taking. For they had lost not only the pro- 
tection of the Latin Vicar, but also that of 
their own congregation, whence for several 
reasons, they were expelled. The holy Fa- 
ther on being fully informed of the good 
intentions of the four Missionaries, sent im- 
mediate order to the Latin Vicar at Con- 
stantinople to absolve them from any eccle- 
siastical censure, and to admit them in the 
church as before. This was done and they 
were re-habilitated, but they could not 
regain admittance to the congregation 
whence they had been expelled. Thus ended 

— ?44 — 

this attempt at the union of both divisions 
of the Armenians ; a anion which, aceor- 
ding to what the records attest, was sincere- 
ly wished for by the Armenians of Etch- 

After this event, in the year 1823, war 
broke out between the Persians and Rus- 
sians, in which the Armenians gave proof 
of great courage. The Russians being at 
length victorious, a large portion of Nortii 
Armenia was annexed to the Russian Em- 
pire, and thus Etchmiadzin, the pontifical 
seat entered under the power and protee- 
tion of the Russian government, to the 
great contentment of all the Armenians. 


Tbe Iftst persecution against tbe Rotmaninng Armenians.' 

Paul, the Armenian Patriarch of CoBstan- 
tinople , having held his dignity eigbt 
years, wished for a quiet life; wherefore, ift 
the year i823, he resigned his authority* 
The Armenians then having consulted eack 
other, they elected a Vartabied Of the name 

— 345 — 

of Garabed, to succeed him. This Patriarch 
was of a different character than that of 
the late Patriarch. The irritation also caus- 
ed among the Armenians by the unsuc- 
cessful consequence of the late attempt of 
union , having caused much excitement, 
many of the ill disposed individuals insti- 
gated the P-atriarch to take measures of 
rigour against the catholics. 

About this period the Turkish government 
was involved in war against the Greeks. 
When at Navarino, the Turkish fleet being 
destroyed by the Christians, the Sultan's 
rage was at the highest pitch. He wished 
for some occasion to avenge himself against 
the Christians. This being observed by the 
Armenian Patriarch, he took advantage of 
the circumstance to proceed against the 
Romanizing Armenians. 

He petitioned the Sultan, shewing how 
the Latinized Armenians, being interested 
for the Europeans, whose protection they 
also enjoyed, were enemies to the Turk- 
ish government, and served as spies to 
the Latins. Wherefore it was necessary to 
punish them , to drive them from the Im- 
perial city, and to cause all friendly inter- 
course between them and the Europeans 
to cease. 

This being suggested to the vindictive 
spirit of the Sultan, it was not very difS- 
2 15^ 

— 346 — 

cult to persuade him to issue an order, 
by which all the Romanizing Armenians 
were to be immediately banished. This 
occurred in the year 1827, the 27'*> of 
December , and the Patriarch receiving 
full authority, was charged with its exe- 
cution. The first victims of this perseca- 
tion were eight of the mq^t important 
bankers among the Romanizing Armenians, 
who were originally from Angorah ; all their 
property was sequestered. The Patriarch 
thought that if he could clear the Romaniz- 
ing Armenians of the city from all those 
who were originally from Angorah, the other 
would easily submit to his wishes. For the 
former were those who acted with fana- 
ticism and were enemies of any projected 
union. Wherefore after the first eight were 
sent to exile, the Patriarch, on the tenth of 
the following January, called an assemhly 
of all the principal Armenians of both 
divisions, and read to them the Sultan's 
order by which all the Romanizing Ar- 
menians originally from Angorah, who 
within fifty years had established them- 
selves in Constantinople, should in the 
space of twelve days, leave the city and 
depart for the interior of the country. This 
was an intimation which no one could re- 
sist. They were in consequence obliged to 
sell, at a vile price, all they possessed, and 

— 347 — 


to part, escorted by soldiers, for their desti- 

The number of these unfortunates amoun- 
ted to several thousand and comprised men, 
women and children, people of all ranks and 
conditions. And what made matters worse 
was that they were compelled to travel for 
several -days during a most rigid season 
before reaching their destination. The 
means of transport were horses, of which 
only those could make use who possessed 
money. But of these last also not all 
could enjoy that advantage; as the numb- 
er of such animals was quite insuffi- 

Thus despoiled of every thing these 
wretched people left Constantinople and 
began their journey in the middle of Ja- 
nuary. Being compelled to travel through 
uncultivated and inhospitable lands , day 
and night they were exposed to the intem- 
perance of the season. Many of them un- 
able to bear the fatigue and exposure , 
and being also deprived of food, died on 
the way. 

The Romanist priests also of the same 
origin, to the number of thirty two, were 
banished to Angorah and Adalia, and there 
placed in confinement. Perhaps they would 
have there perished, as they were in want 
even of daily bread, but that some of tho 


— 348 — 

pioQS among the christians of those pla- 
ces, moved to compassion by their mis- 
fortunes, administered to their wants. 

Those of Angorah being thus expelled 
from Constantinople, the Patriarch assembl- 
ed the Romanizing Armenians, natives of 
the city, and read them another order of 
the Sultan by which they were summoned 
to desist from any religious division, to 
abandon the Roman doctrine, and to follow 
that of the Armenians their brethren. In 
order to effect this injunction of the Sultan, 
they were ordered to abandon the neigh- 
bourhood of the Latins, to give up their 
habitations in Pera and Galata, and to re- 
move to the interior among the Armenians. 
Thus all relation with the Latins was to be 
cut off and they could attend the Armenian 
churches only. Under such conditions they 
might remain without molestation, other- 
wise they would incur the penalties with 
which government had ordered him to visit 
the disobedient. 

The catholic Armenians of Constanti- 
nople obeyed the order of the Patriarch, 
abandoned their homes in Pera and Galata 
and settled among the other Armenians. 
But no force could make them renounce 
their persuasion. Whereupon the Patriarch 
caused them to be banished to different pla- 
ces. Many of these unfortunate people seeing 


— 349 — 

persecution so near their doors , sought 
refuge in Russia and in other countries, and 
remained there. The remnant of the catho- 
lic priests, however, were condemned to 
perpetual banishment ; they therefore took 
refuge in various parts of Europe, and were 
hospitably received by the Latin clergy. 

Thus the Armenians of Etchmiadzin 
were victorious in their attempt, and had 
almost cleared the city from the catholics, 
whom they had dispersed every where. But 
this excessive rigor against the catholics 
eould not shake the justice of their cause; 
they remained faithful to their tenets 
and were comforted by the courage and 
abnegation of some devoted priests, who 
taking their lives in their hands sought 
them out, visited, and confirmed them in 
their faith. 


Emancipfttion of the Catholic Armeniaos* 

This persecution of the catholic Arme- 
nians was the most impolitic proceeding to 
which the Sultan could have given his 
consent. The chief dignitaries of his own 

— 350 — 

religion were contrary to so much rigor; 
and the victorious arms of the Russians, 
with whom he was then at war, cooperated 
in convincing him of the hastiness and im- 
policy of such severity. He therefore decided 
to avail himself of the mediation of the 
Powers of Europe , especially of that of 
France, and to rescind his decree against 
the catholic Armenians. This he did by 
puhlishing a new edict, enabling the ca- 
tholic Armenians to return to Constanti- 
nople and ordering the restitution of their 
property; this edict was faithfully put in 
execution, and the unfortunate exiles, after 
three years endurance of misery and suffer- 
ing, were restored to their former state. 

But in order to impede any further relig- 
ious troubles and persecutions, it was de- 
creed by government, that the catholic Ar- 
menians should thenceforward form a sepa- 
rate body presided over by a catholic Pa- 
triarch of their own choice, and quite inde- 
pendent of all ecclesiastical control. They 
were left free to frequent the Latin chur- 
ches, as well as to build new ones, and to 
perform the religious ceremonies according 
to their own rites. Thus was the Armeno- 
Roman catholic church called into an orga- 
nized and completely emancipated exis- 

Eager to avail themselves of the advau- 

— 351 — 

tages which this happy change in their 
coudition afforded them, the catholic Arme- 
nians proceeded at once to the election of 
their own Patriarch. For this purpose ninety 
beads of the principal families at Constan- 
tinople^ together with six priests, held an 
assembly, at which a Vartabied named An- 
thony Nurigian, a worthy, pious and wise 
man, was elected. He had been educated at 
the Propaganda in Rome where he was 
then actually living in exile. On bis election 
being notified to him, he was immediately 
presented to Pope Pius the Eighth, who 
consecrated him, July 11*** 1830, archbishop 
of the catholic Armenians of Constantinople 
and of the provinces, honouring his chair 
with the authority and title of Primatial 
residence. He was authorised in the same 
time to consecrate about ten bishops, and 
to appoint them to as many dioceses in his 
province as he might judge necessary. He 
was moreover charged faithfully and scru- 
pulously to observe the national customs in 
the performance of the sacred rites, the al- 
teration of which had so often been the 
cause of troubles. 

On the arrival of Nurigian at Constanti- 
nople the Sultan refused to acknowledge 
him, declaring his election null , as made 
without the imperial approval and confir- 
mation. The electors were therefore again 

— 352 — 

summoDed to proceed to a new election to 
be conducted in conformity with govern- 
ment regulations. A second assembly being 
beld , the choice fell on one Jacob Cbu- 
kburian who was elected to be the first 
chief of the catholic division. He, however, 
declining to accept charge of ecclesiastical 
affairs it was established that Nurigian 
should preside over the Church, while Cho- 
khurian shouW conduct of the civil govern- 
ment of the nation. 

It is not uninteresting to observe that 
thus from the very outset of the indepen- 
dent existence of the Armeno-Roman Church, 
the temporal authority was separate from 
the spiritual and administered by a sepa- 
rate head ; one an archbishop primate, and 
the other a Vartabied of some merit and 
bearing the title of Patriarch. This ar- 
rangement being put into execution, Chu- 
kburian was presented to the Sultan, A. 
D. 1831, by whom he was invested with 
the robe of office as civil governor of the 
catholic Armenians. 

This division of the two parties ac- 
cording to their respective rites , put an 
end to all troubles and persecutions. While 
the catholics attached themselves strictly 
to the church of Rome, the other Arme- 
nians followed their own persuasion and 
endeavoured to strengthen the pontifical 

— 353 — 

authority of Etchmiadzin. All relations 
between the two parties ceased, and so 
complete was their mutual estrangement 
that they appeared to be of totally op- 
posite races. From this time the Pontiffs 
of Etchmiadzin ceased from all correspon- 
dence with the Roman Pontiffs, 

— 354 — 



The Armenians of Etchmiadzin. — Bishop John succeeds 
Ephraini in the pontificate. — Stephen Aghavni is appoin- 
ted Patriarch at Constantinople. — The Prutcslanl Missio- 
naries and their proceedings. — Change of Patriarch;!.— 
An execution for the Christian faith. — A general assem- 
bly at Etchmiadzin liy which Nierses the Fifth is appoin- 
ted Pontiff of the Armenians. — Proposition of the Em- 
peror Nicolas. — Honours conferred by the Emperor upon 
the Pontiff Nierses. 

The Armenians haying been thus divid- 
ed by their spiritual heads into two bran- 
ches, according to their religious persua- 
sions, lived notwithstanding in a peace- 
ful state, as they were awed by the gov- 
ernment; still a spirit of hatred and an- 
tagonism existed between them. 

The succession of the Pontiffs at Etch- 
miadzin continued regularly, and without 
suffering any molestation , uuder the pro- 
tection of the Emperor of Russia. 

During the last troubles the reigning 

— 355 — 

Pontiff at Etchmiadzin was Ephraim then 
a venerable old man ; who after having 
held the pontifical dignity twenty two 
years, resigned his dignity and retired to 
the convent of Haghpad, where he died A. 
D. 1831. 

The clergy of Etchmiadzin then elected 
bishop John to succeed him, and with the 
consent of the Emperor of Russia Nicolas, 
he took possession of the pontifical dignity. 
It was during his pontificate (1836), that 
the Russian Government, with the object 
of uniting the Armenian Church to the 
Russian, enacted a new regulation in vir- 
tue of which its priveleges were almost 
abolished, and its government was placed 
under the authority of a new Synod. 

The reigning Pontiff weakly allowed 
himself to be awed into subscribing the ac- 
ceptance of the new regulation. The re- 
monstrances, however, of the nation, inspir- 
ed the succeeding Pontiffs with courage to 
oppose its execution, and incited them to 
procure its abrog*ation. 

Garabed, Patriarch of the Armenians of 
the same branch at Constantinople, in the 
year 1831 resigned his dignity and was 
succeeded by Stephen surnamed Aghavni. 
It was during the time of his sway that 
the American Protestant missionaries found- 
ed schools at Pera and Bebek where they 

— 356 — 

admitted Armenian boys to a free educa- 
tion. Their main object being to introduce 
the doctrines of their persuasion among 
the Armenians, they began to teach and 
preach against fasting and saints- worship, 
against transabstantiation, the Virgin Ma- 
ry, intercession of the Saints, and other 
points of belief of the Armenian Church. 

This was observed by the principal Ar- 
menians, who having remarked the indiffe- 
rence of the Patriarch, they sent for Jacoh, 
bishop of Marsuan ^nd Amassia, and ap- 
pointed him temporarily as counsellor to 
the Patriarch, enabling him to act accor- 
ding as he should see prudent and necessary. 
His first act therefore was. to exile several 
Armenians whom he supposed inclined to 
protestant ideas. He then from the altar 
publicly anathematised Luther and his doc- 
trines. Lord Canning, the English ambas- 
sador at Constantinople, complained how- 
ever, to the Turkish government of these 
proceedings of the Armenian, as well as of 
the Greek patriarch who had acted in the 
same way, and in consequence an imperial 
reprimand was directed to the Armenian 
patriarch, while the Greek patriarch was 

Jacob, the Patriarch's counsellor, then 
charging his superior with being an ac- 
complice of the Lutherans, succeeded in 

— 357 — 

causing his ejectment from the patriarchal 
chair and in obtaining possession thereof 
for hinr^self, A. D. 1839. His sway did not 
last long, as his proceedings brought on 
him such contempt that he was obliged to 
resign his dignity in the year 1840, and 
Stephen was restored. 

This unfortunate Patriarch was , how- 
ever, again destituted in the following year 
by order of the government, when bishop 
Asdvadzadur , a native of Constantinople, 
was appointed to succeed him, A. D. 1841. 
In the year 1843, an Armenian youth of 
the name Joachim, — who about four years 
before had apostatized and become a Maho- 
metan but had afterwards repented and 
again become a christian, — was betrayed 
into the hands of the Turks, who tortured 
him in order to make him once more deny 
Christianity. His parents thereupon had 
recourse to the Russian ambassador, .who 
directed them to Lord Canning. The latter 
immediately sent to the Vizir requesting 
him to release the youth from torture. The 
Vizir promised the Ambassador to spare the 
youth's life, yet through the fanatic oppo- 
sition of the chief Mufti the youth was 
condemned , and after atrocious tortures 
throughout which he continued steadfast in 
his faith, he was beheaded. 

Thereupon all the ambassadors at Con- 

— 358 — 

stantinople protested in the names of their 
governments, and such was the pressure 
they brought to hear that the most tolerant 
laws were enacted and thenceforth every 
one, Turk or Christian, was enabled to em- 
brace whatever religion he might choose. 
A notable consequence of this freedom was, 
that all denominations of Christian could 
built belfries to their churches, and malce 
use of bells to call the faithful to divine 
service, a privilege of which the Sultan's 
Christian subjects had before been de- 

A year before this event on the death of 
John the Armenian Pontiff at Rtcbmiadzin, 
it was established that the most influential 
chiefs of the Armenians should be invited 
to Etchmiadzin to hold an assembly to 
elect a Pontiff according the general will of 
the nation ; the election of the new Pontiff 
was therefore protracted for a year. The 
various representatives being assembled in 
Etchmiadzin the assembly was held May 
18*** 1843, and its unanimous choice fell, 
upon Nierses the Fifth from the village of 
Ashdarag, bishop of Bessarabia, Crimea and 
Nakhjuan a man of great repute and talent. 
His election being notified for the imperial 
sanction, the Emperor Nicolas invited h'm 
to St. Petersbourg. In the year following 
Nierses set out on his way to that city, 

— 359 — 

where be was received with much honour. 
After several conferences with the Em- 
peror, the latter suggested the fusion of 
the Armenian Church with the Russian : 
« There is one Lord, said the Emperor to 
the Pontiff, one Faith, one Baptism and one 
Church; why then should the churches of 
Russia and Armenia be divided ? Is there 
not any possibility for us to be united in 
religious discipline, in rites and ceremonies 
as we are one in the faith ? » To which 
Nierses replied: « Your Majesty desires to 
effect the fusion of the two churches; but 
in what way ? Shall the new serve the old, 
or the old serve the new ? Which of these 
two is the rightful and according to the 
will of God? ' The Emperor remained 

At an other time the Emperor wished 
him to change his cowl for that of the 
Russian Patriarchs. But Nierses replied that 
on the day he was consecrated priest he 
had vowed to enter his grave with the same 
cowl , and therefore he could not obey his 
wish. The Emperor thereupon caused him, 
as a honorable distinction, to wear a cross 
of diamonds upon it. 

•I...- - <• 

— 361 — 

:o be counted and found their number a- 
uounted to about eight thousand. He then 
:ook measures to compel them to re-em- 
)race the doctrines of their Church, and in 
consequence their number was reduced 
:o about one thousand. He then anathe- 
natized the leaders that remained, among 
whom was a priest, and ordered the Ar- 
menians of his Congregation to cease all 
ommunication with them. Becoming thus 
jdious to their fellow citizens, they, by the 
idvice of the American Missionaries, com- 
}lained of the Armenian patriarch to Lord 
banning. The English Ambassador having 
aid their complaints before the Vizir, the 
atter summoned Matthew, the Armenian 
Patriarch, to his presence. Matthew has- 
tened to obey the Vizir's order, and hav- 
ii)g related to him the cause and his- 
tory of the afiiair he was directed by the 
Vizir to justify himself before Lord Can- 
ning. The Patriarch being courteously 
received by the English Ambassador, ex- 
plained that he had been obliged to pur- 
sue the course he had adopted as the 
Americanizing Protestants preached a- 
gainst and denied even the Sacraments 
of Baptism and the Communion, Sacraments 
which had been always admitted by the 
Church of England itself. On receiving this 
explanation Lord Canning applauded the 
2 16 

— 362 — 

Patriarch's procedare and gave orders that 
no more sach complaints should be brought 
to his notice. The Protestant Armenians, 
though after this eyent their number was 
still further reduced, yet continued in their 
efforts to form a separate body and even- 
tually succeeded , by means of the Ame- 
rican and Prussian Ambassadors, in obtain- 
ing a firman or Imperial decree by which 
they were constituted a separate branch, 
free and independent of the authority of 
the Armenian Patriarch , their chief as- 
suming the title of « Protestant Effendy. » 
Matthew after this event continued to 
occupy himself in promoting the welfare 
of his Congregation. He instituted schools, 
built churches and caused an Armenian 
journal to be printed at Constantinople 
which still regularly appears under the 
name of Massis. Being a man of talent and 
activity he continued to exercise his au- 
thority and to execute all he thought use- 
ful, without consulting the chief Arme- 
nians, as he ought to have done. The lat- 
ter desiring to have some share in the 
administration of national affairs, address- 
ed a petition to the Vizir, who issued an 
order, A. D. 1847, for the establishment of 
two counsels; one for ecclesiastical affairs 
to be composed of twelve priests, the other 
to consist of twenty laymen for civil afbirs. 

— 363 — 

These two counsels, however, were to be 
presided over by the Patriarch himself. 

In the following year, 1848, Cardinal Fer- 
rieri was sent as Nuncio by the Pope to Con- 
stantinople, and all the chiefs of the different 
nationalities were ordered by the Sultan 
to visit him and compliment him on his 
arrival. Matthew accordingly visited him 
and was well received; the Cardinal re- 
turned the visit and was received with all 
honours , the Patriarch himself advancing 
to receive him at the head of twelve priests 
and two bishops. This friendly reception 
caused the Cardinal to propose a reforma- 
tion of the errors existing in the Armenian 
belief; thereupon a discussion was opened 
between the Cardinal and the Armenian 
Patriarch , in order that the Armenians 
might prove their creed. The points dis- 
cussed were those we have explained in the 
« Invitation to Christian love. » According 
to the records, the Cardinal was surprised 
to find how he had been misinformed as 
to the errors attributed to the Armenians. 
The principale discussion, however, took 
place with regard to the supremacy of 
the Pope. The Armenians said : « We 
acknowledge and believe the Pope of Rome 
to be first among all bishops. His right 
it is to preside in the councils whose 
members are the bishops of all christian- 

— 364 — 

ity. We however , maintain that the au- 
thority of the oecumenical councils is su- 
perior to that of the Pope. » 

This discussion lasted for three hours, 
but had no effect in producing the union 
of the Churches as desired by the Cardinal. 

After this event several of the principal 
Armenians moved by personal antipathy- 
sought to constrain the Patriarch to re- 
sign his dignity. Matthew, however, re- 
mained firm, and his adversaries thereupon 
had recourse to the Vizir, who ordered him 
to be destituted. This coming to the know- 
ledge of the people, they insisted on and 
obtained the ex-patriarch JacoVs re-ap- 

In his days, in the year 1857, Nierses 
the Pontiff of Etchmiadzin suddenly died 
in the city of Tiflis. He had enjoyed his 
dignity for fourteen years, all of which he 
spent in promoting the welfare of his flock. 
He instituted schools and appointed effi- 
cient teachers. He made many improve- 
ments in the pontifical residence and in- 
creased its revenues. He died at the age of 
ninety six leaving a honourable name, and 
was regretted by all Armenians. 

The year after his death the national 
representatives were again summoned to 
Etchmiadzin and an assembly was held 
for the purpose of electing a new Pontiff. 

— 365 — 

Of the three candidates Matthew, the ex- 
patriarch of CoDatantinople, was elected. 
His election was notified to Alexander Em- 
peror of Russia , who sanctioned it and 
ordered his Ambassador at Constantinople 
to inform the Sultan of the election of the 
new Pontiff and of the Emperor's sanction, 
and at the same time to request the Sal- 
tan's permission to enable Matthew to pro- 
ceed to the See. This was immediately 
granted, and the new Pontiff left Constan- 
tinople on board a steamer of the Russian 
navy, offered him by the Granduke Cori- 
stantine, then at Constantinople. Matthew 
proceeded to Pothy , whence he reached 
Tiflis. Thence he proceeded to Etchmia- 
dzin, every where on his way receiving 
the homage of the people. 

Before Matthew left Constantinople, Ja- 
cob the Patriarch resigned his dignity and 
was succeeded by George bishop of Brussa, 
who, unable to allay the continual discords 
he witnessed among his flock, became so 
disgusted with his want of authority and 
influence, that he gladly resigned in fav- 
our of Sarkis, bishop of Adrianople, who 
was therefore elected to succeed him. One 
of the events of his time was the burial 
of a fanatical individual among the Pro- 
testant Armenians. This person had much 
irritated the Armenians, by his continually 

— 366 — 

blaspheming their religion and by calling 
their churches temples of idolaters. On his 
corpse being carried out to be buried in 
the cemetery of the Armenians, the people 
arose in a body and prevented its burial 
in that place. The English and American 
Ambassadors then complained to the Ar- 
menian Patriarch but without efiEect; where- 
upon they referred the case to the Vizir, 
who immediately sent a body of soldiers 
to force the Armenians to bury the corpse 
in the cemetery. The Patriarch then pre- 
sented himself at the head of the mob 
declaring that he was decided to fall at 
the head of his people in defence of the 
sacred place, rather than allow its sanc- 
tity to be profaned by the burial of such 
an enemy to their Church. The oflScer com- 
manding the detachment, seeing the reso- 
lution of the people to fight in defence of 
the place, wisely refrained from proceed- 
ing to extremities and referred to the au- 
thorities, who at once decided on allowing 
a separate cemetery for the Protestant Ar- 
menians. Thus the tumult was pacified. 

After this event a national statute was 
promulgated for the better government of 
the Armenians by the patriarchal author- 
ity. This occurred on the 12**" May 1860. 

In the meantime Matthew the Pontiff 
who had proceeded to Etchmiadzin and had 

— 367 •— 

taken possession of the pontificate, conti- 
nued to exercise the duties of his office 
with much care and ability, endeavonring 
to promote the welfare of his people and 
of the clergy of Etchmiadzin. He, however, 
could not always content all, and finally 
a faction was formed with the object of 
deposing him from his dignity. This danger 
was , however , conjured by the interven- 
tion of the Armenians of Constantinople, 
and a conciliation was effected between 
the Pontiff and his antagonists. 

Matthew subsequently died in the year 
1865, leaving as Pontiff the reputation of a 
weak and inconstant character. 

The Armenians of Constantinople then 
elected his successor to the pontificate in 
the person of George of Constantinople, 
who in the year 1867 proceeded to Etch- 
miadzin and was anointed Pontiff of all 
the Armenians. The See still enjoys the 
benefits of his paternal care and with him 
our biographical history of the Armenian 
Pontiffs ends. 

As for the Patriarchs of Constantinople, 
since Sarkis of Adrianople several others 
succeeded to that charge-, but no event of 
great interest occurred. That chair is at 
present filled by Nierses, to whom we wish 
long life and happiness hereafter. 

— 368 — 


If origfaD, ~ Cfcukburian. — The Counsel sf Teo. — Tbe 
first church of the c«l holies, — Saecession of Pulriarcks.— 
The catholic dergy . — The coHeges of the MeUutharians. 
•^ Tbe Patriiirch Garabied Essayan. — Haasun. — Death 
of Nurigian, — The Primaf e Marosh. — Hassun appointed 
at first Vicar, then a Bishop Coadjutor. — The Patriarch 
Gambled resigns his authority and Hassun assumes tbe 
sane. — Hassun is i^ochumed Primate of the eatbolir 

As a eomplement to the brief account 
already given of the religious history of 
the Armenians of Etehmiadzin after the se- 
paration, we subjoin a relation of the events 
that occorred in the Community of the ca- 
tholic Armenians after their emancipation 
from the authority of the Armenian Patri- 
arch. . 

The reader will recollect that when the 
emancipation of the catholic Armenians 
was decreed by the Sultan, an order was 
gent to them to elect from among them- 

— 369 — 

selves one worthy to be their chief and to 
be responsible for them to government. 

Pope Pius the Eighth hearing of their 
emancipation, sent his blessing to all the 
catholic Armenians and wrote to them to 
proceed immediately' to the election of a 
Patriarch, desiring also to be informed as 
to the person of their choice in order that 
he might confer upon him a bishop^s mitre. 

Thus both authorities, civil and religious, 
acknowledged the right of the nation to 
elect and appoint their own Spiritual and 
Civil leaders. And it was by the people^s 
own free choice and election that Nurigian 
was presented to the Pope to be consecrated 
first bishop of the catholic Armenians of 

The Turkish government, however, find- 
ing the election of Nurlgian defective in 
form and being therefore unwilliag to - con- 
firm his authority as Patriarch, tke Arme- 
nians were summoned to a second election. 
Thus by the election of Jacob Chukhurian 
to the patriarchate, the national government 
was divided ; the spiritual was confided to 
bishop Nurigian, and the civil to the pa- 
triarch Chukhurian. A counsel composed of 
ten members and a chief, chosen among 
the leading laymen, was to act with the 
Patriarch and to aid him in the duties of 
his government. 

2 16* 

— 370 — 

Thus the religious and ciyil affitirs of the 
catholic Armenians having taken a definite 
form, the nation hegan to enjoy peace. 
They commenced the erection of their 
first church, which was shortly after com- 
pleted and dedicated to the Holy Saviour. 
Great enthusiasm then prevailed ; Nu- 
rigian following the Pope's advice order- 
ed the church according to the Armenian 
rite, ohliging the clergy to fulfil the cere- 
monies according the national custom. Im- 
mense was the joy of the people to see 
their own national rites performed in the 
first church huilt by them, after their long 
compulsory attendance in the Latin chur- 
ches which their belief imposed on them. 

Chukhurian, the first Patriarch, died after 
holding the patriarchal dignity two years 
and eight months, and the Congregation 
appointed Yartabied Paschal Chukhagian to 
succeed him. His career was brief. He died 
A. D. 1835. His successor was F. Gregory 
Enksergian, a Mekhitharian from Vienna. 

During this time the catholic clergy had 
much increased in number. All those who, 
during the last persecution, had been exiled 
or had fled , returned to Constantinople. 
Among these were the members of three 
different monasteries, three different systems 
of education. The scholars of the Propa- 
ganda formed a fourth group of lay priests* 

— 371 — • 

Thus the catholic ecclesiastical body was a 
composition of foar different elements , 
^hose opinions and aspirations could not 
be altogether in unison. All, however, were 
instructed in the doctrines of the Romish 
persuasion, wherefore, above all, they were 
true catholics. 

But the spirit of nationality, the sense of 
patriotism, was a point in which not all, in 
consequence the diversity of their educa- 
tion, could have the same feeling. Some, 
who had absolutely devoted themselves to 
the benefit of their nation, wished scrupu- 
lously to maintain Armenian rites as they 
had come down from their ancestors; no al- 
terations, no modifications, no foreign in- 
troductions being admissible with them. 
This exclusiveness was a matter of com- 
plaint and discord between the catholic 
clergy, and the people could not fail from 
being influenced by their dissensions. 

About this time the Mekhitharians of 
Venice, who already possessed the sympa- 
thy and esteem of the people, began to ex- 
ercise a greater influence. Two Armenian 
benefactors had bestowed upon them capital 
for the erection of colleges, where Arme- 
nian youth could receive a free education 
under their care. One of these colleges had 
been already in operation in Padua, since 
the year 1834, and a number of Armeniaa 

— 372 — 

yootli, taken principally from among the 
Armenians of Constantinople , were there 
enjoying the benefits of a free education. 
The second college was to be inaugnrated 
at Venice in the following year. These were 
such means as could not but increase the 
influence of the Mekhitharians among the 
catholic Armenians, who moreover admired 
in them the self-denial of true patriotism. 
So much had the example and activity of 
that congregation already impressed the 
nation that a patriotic spirit and enthusia^ 
Stic desire for general instruction and na- 
tional progress every where sprung up. 

But jeidousy was as usual, destined to 
create enmity between the difiEerent ele- 
ments of the clergy, and to trouble the ca- 
tholic Armenians by causing divisions a- 
mong them. 

Buch was the condition of the catholic 
community about this time , when the Pa- 
triarch Gregory becoming involved in the 
question concerning the performance of the 
national rites, and slighting the orders of 
the Primate Nurigian, the Armenians re-« 
solved to destitute him. He was therefore 
obliged to resign his authority, having held 
it but eight months and by general consent 
€rarabied Essayan, from the Mekhitharians 
of Venice, was appointed to succeed him 
on the first month of the year 1836. He 

— 373 — 

was the fourth Patriarch, who in the short 
space of five years had succeeded as repre- 
sentant of the catholic Armenians with the 
Turkish government. 

About this time Hassun appeared on the 
scene. He was sent to Rome in the year 
1825, and haying afterwards been admitted 
as a scholar in the Propaganda, be. was 
consecrated priest and sent to Constanti- 
nople in the y^^^ar 1835, where he took up 
his residence in the priory of St. Saviour's 
church. Several of the malcontents among 
the lay clergy having joined Hassun, they 
began to intrigue for the possession of the 
Primate's authority. At length Nurigian 
having fallen dangerously ill, an order was 
procured from the Propaganda, which or- 
dered him to commit his authority into the 
bands of Hassun. This was the first step in 
bis career. 

Not long after Nurigian died A. D. 183& 
The catholic Armenians having held an 
assembly in the church of the Holy Sav- 
iour, under the presidency of the Patriarch 
Garabiedy Yartabied Marush was elected by 
general consent the second Primate Bishop* 
The result of the election was immediately 
notified at Rome , and the Pope directed 
the newly elected bishop to proceed to 
his destination. 

Marush on arriving at Constantinople 

— 374 — 

assumed the gOTemment of his Chnrch 
and appointed Hasson, then stiU a simple 
priest, his Yicar. He then established a 
mutual correspondance with Garabied the 
Patriarch, and thus the two aged digni- 
taries endeayonred to promote the welfare 
c^ the catholic Armenian Community. 

Some time after, Yartabied Hassuu tak- 
ing advantage of the advanced age of 
the Primate, succeeded in persuading the 
Propaganda to appoint a Coadjutor Bishop 
to help the Primate in the spiritual gov- 
ernment. The choice of such Coadjutor 
fell upon the proposer himself; thereupon 
he was invited by the Propaganda to pro- 
ceed to Rome, where he was consecrated 
bishop and sent back to Constantinople 
with special instructions. This occurrence 
took place in the year 1842 and as it 
was done secretly and without the parti- 
cipation of the nation , it afterwards be- 
came a cause of trouble and discontent. 

Some time after the Patriarch Garabied 
thought necessary to resign his dignity, 
when Hassun succeeded in obtaining it 
and was proclaimed civil Patriarch of the 
Catholic Armenians in the year 1845. 

In the next year Marush the Second 
Primate Archbishop of the Catholic Arme- 
nians died; when Hassun produced a do- 
cument dating from the year in which 

— 375 — 

he was consecrated bishop , in force of 
\9hich, and by order of the Propaganda, 
he was to be acknowledged the lawfal suc- 
cessor of the late Primate. 

Since that time the history of the catho- 
lic division is a succession of sorrowful 
events, and it is perhaps wise to defer their 
narration to a future time. 

— 31T — 


I. — Origin of Christianity in Armenia. — Abgar's 
Me&sengers to Marinus. — Abgar^s li^tter (e 
Jesus Christ. — Our Lord^s answer. — His 
portrait. — Thaddeus the Apostle. — Prinee 

Sanadrug 9 

II. — King Anane. — Martyrdom of the bishop 
Adde. — King Sanadrug. — Queen Helena. — 
Return of St. Thaddeus to Armenia. — Chry- 
sos and his followers. — Martyrdom of St. 

Thaddeus 15 

III. — The Apostle Bartholomew and the portrait of 
the Virgin. — He erects a Nunnery. — Seve- 
ral conversions effected by him. — He is mar- 
S' red. — The nuns. — Jude the Apostle. — 
elics of the Apostle St. Thomas. — Some of 
the Seventy two disciples. — Chrysos and Su- 
kias. — Tne martyrdom of Chrysos and his 
followers 19 


I. — Christians in Armenia during the time of king 
Chosroes. — Anag. — Gregory the Illumina- 
tor and his sons. — Tiridates 25 


I. — The Ripsimtans. — A divine punishment inflic- 
ted upon the king Tiridates and his people. — 

Chosrovitukht receives a divine revelation 

St. Gregory is released from the pit. — The 
relics of the Ripsimians. — The healing of the 
king and his people 30 

— 378 — 

II. — St. Gregory is elected to be spiritual head of 
the Armenians. — His journey to Cesarea and 
his ronsecration. •— The relics of Si. John. — 
St. Gregory returns to Armenia. — King Tir»- 
dates and his Court are baptized. — Cfchmia- 
dzin is built. — Festivities. — Arisdagues ap- 
pointed yicar. — St. Gregory and Tiridates go 
to Rome. — St. Gregory is appointed by Pope 
St. Silvester High Pontiff of the Armenians. 57 

HI. — The Council of Nice. — The First National 
Council. — The addition made by St. Gregory 
to the Nicean Creed. — Death of St. Gregory. 
-— His remains. — Arisdagues. — Vertanes. — 
St. Jacob of Nisibis. — St. Gregoris Pontiff of 
the Aghuans. — Death of king Tiridates. — 
Queen Ashkhen and Khosrovitukhl. — Death 
of the Pontiff Vertanes 42 

IV. — Hussig. — Julian the Apostate. — Daniel. — 
The two sons of Hussig. — Parnerseh. — Nier- 
tes. — The Council of Ashdishad and the im- 
provements introduced by St. Nierses in the 
government of the Church. — He is consecrated 
by the Armenian bishops High Pontiff of the 

Armenians 49 

y. — St. Nierses mediator of peace between king Ar- 
shag and Theodosius. — He anathematizes king 
Arshag. — St. Nierses proceeds to Constanti- 
nople. — His banishment and release. — Assi- 
stance granted by the Greeks to the Armenians. 
— The Council of Vagharshabad. — Death of 
St. Nierses 54 

VI. -« Shahag. — Zaven. — Asburagues. -*- Isaac the 
Parthean. — The Urn containing the relics of 
the Ripsimians. ~<- St. Mesrob 60 


1. -^ Invention of the Armenian Alphabet. -* Trans- 
lation of the Bible. — Confusion in Armenia. — 
St. Isaac and Mesrob take refuge in the Gretk 

division of Armenia 65 

II, — Return of St. Isaac to the Persian division of 
Armenia. — Regulation of the Church ceremo- 
nies and of the Ritual. — The Council of Va- 
gharshabad and its canons 69 

— 379 — 
Canons of the Synod of Vagharskabad. ... 73 

HI. — Deposition of St. Isaac from bis authority. — 
Surmag, Purkishow, Sfaemuel. — The Council 
of Cphesus. — The letter of tbs Fathers of the 
Council. — The Syrian heretics. — The as- 
sembly of Asbdisbad 76 

ly. .^ Death of Shemuel, of St. Isaac and St. Mes- 
rob. — Joseph of Hogbotzim. — The assembly 
of Shahabivan. — Cousequence of the Varta- 
nian religious \var. — Melide is elected Pontiff. 

— Martyrdom of the St. Levontians. — Suffer- 
ings of the chiefs and their return to Armenia. 81 

v. ~ Moses the First. — Kewd. — Christopher the 
Ardzerunian. — John the Mantagunian. — 
Papguen of Othmus. — The relics of St. Grego- 
ris and Si. Elisbe 87 

VI. — The Council of Chalcedonia. — Zeno's letter. 

— The synod of Vagharsbabad where the 
Council of Cbalcedon is rejected. — The doc- 
trine of the Armenian Church on this point. • 90 

VII. — Samuel of Ardzgue. — Religious persecution. 97 


I. — The Synod of Duin. — Succession of the Pon- 
tiffs. — The sacred Likeness of our Lord. — 
Persecution against the Christians. -^ Moses 
the Second and the reform of the Armenian 
Calendar. — Heresies of Julian of Halicarnas- 
sus. — Hizdipuzd. — The Georgian pontiff and 
(he Council of Cbalcedon 99 

II. — The pontiff Abraham and Gurion 104 


I* — - Division of the pontifical jurisdiction. — The 
pontiff Gomidas and Ripsima*s relics. ■>- Chris- 
topher the Third. — Yezer. — The Council of 
Cbalcedon is accepted by the Armenians — 
John Mayrakometzi. — The Armenians of the 
Greek division introduce changes in their eccle- 
siastical ceremonies 106 

II. — Nierses the Builder and the relics of St. Gre- 
gory. — The Synod of Duin. — Disputes be- 

— 380 — 

tween the Greeks and tbe ArmeniaDS. — John 

Digorensb. — The Cross of Varak 411 

III. — Successaoo of the Pootiffs. — The Saraceot in 

Duin. -^ ihiWd Duioensis. il5 


I. — Death of Isaac the Pootiff. — Eliah his socces- 
sor. — The martyrs Yahan of Kogbtheo and 

Susan i48 

II. — John the Fourth. — A Synod in Duin. — 
DaTid the First. ~ Tiridates the First and {he 
Second. — Sion and the Synod hM in 
BardaT. — Canons 42' 

Canons of the Synod of Bardav \ih 

III. — Isaiah and other Pontiffs 127 


I. — Joseph the Pontiff and Khocima the GoTernor. 

— David the Second. — Martyrs. — John the 
Fifth. ~ Bugha the Tyrant 429 

II. — Zachariah the Pontiff. — Pholius and the 
Council of Chalcedon. — The Synod of Shirag' 
aran. — George the Second. — Ashod tbe Pa- 
kradunian is crowned king of the Armenians. 
_ Mashdotz the Second. — John the Sixth. . 431 

Canons of the Synod of Shiragavan , . . .133 


I. — Enmity of Yussof. -^ John the Pontiff a pris- 
oner. — Sampad is tortured on account of bis 
religion. — The feast of the third of Juno. — 
Stephen the Second. — Theodore the First. . 138 
II. — Eghishe. — Ananias Mogatzy, and Jacob bi- 
shop of Sewnies. — Enmity of the Greeks and 
persecution caused by them. — Vahan and the 
troubles on account of tbe Council of Chal- 
cedon 141 

III. — Stephen the Third. — He is imprisoned.— 
Khatcbig.... Death of Vahan the exiled Pontiff. 

— Gregor of Narcg. ^ A Synod io Ani. —En- 

— 381 — 

mity of Ihe Greeks Snrkis (he First. — The 

Seat of the spiritual government is fixed in Ani. i44 


I. -^ The Sect of the Thontrasuians. — Sumpad Ihe 
Thontraguian. — Peter the Kedatartz. — Deos- 
koros. — A Synod in Ani. — Kbatchig ihe Sec- 
ond. -— The Greeks endeavour to force the Ar- 
menians to conform to the. rites of the Greek 
Church. — Gregory Yegayasser. — George Lo- 
rensis. — Communications between the Arme- 
nian PonliflTand Pope Gregory the Seventh. - - 
Parsegb is elected Pontiff in Ani. — Four Pon- 
tiffs at once 150 


I. — The Zerazadig or wrong Easier. — Parsegh 
succeeds to Gregory Vegavasser. — Gregory 
the Third. — The origin of the pontificate of 
Aghthamar. — Gregory and the assembly at 
Jerusalem. — The pontificate at Hromgla. — 
Nierses the Graceful. — The union of the Ar- 
menian and Greek Churches is proposed. — 
Gregory the Fourth. — Assembly. — Dudeor- 
ty a rebel.— Correspondance between the pon- 
tiff Gregory anS Pope Lucius. — The Latin 
Mitre is adopted by tne Armenian bishops. — 
The convent of St. James at Jerusalem. — Gre- 
gory the Fifth. — Gregory the Sixth. — Nier- 
ses Lampronensis. — Conrad Archbishop of 
Magunzia and his three conditions . . . .462 


I. — John the Seventh. — Illegal elections of Pon- 
tiffs, — Dav.d the Third. — Zacharia^s request 
to have divine service performed in his camp. 
— John restored. — The Latin clergy driven 
from Cylicia by king Leo. — Constantino the 
First. — The assembly of Sis and the canon for 
Extreme Unction 475 

(^onorif of the assembly of Sif iSO 

— 382 — 

II. — A Roman Nuncio sent fo Cylicla. — Doctrine 
of the Holy Ghost. — Jacob the First. — Re- 
lics of St. Nierses. — Constant ine the Second* 

— Stephen (he Fourth. — Zeracadig. — The 
Egyptians and St. Gregory's hand. — Gregory 
the Seventh. — Pontifical residence in Sis. — 
Anathema against the See of Aghthamar an- 
nulled. — Armenian liturgy. . • . , . . iS2 


I. -— The Synod held in Sis. — Constantine restored. 

— Attempts to reform the Ritual. — Origin of 
the patriarchate of Jerusalem. — Constantine 

the Third iSS 

II. — Jacob the Second. — Origin of the Unionists. 

— Mckhilhar the Pontiff. — Two impostor bi- 
shops. — The iil heresies of the Armenians. 

— A deputy sent by the Armenians to Pupe 
Benedict. — Jacob Sisensis restored. — His 
successor. — The question of adding tvater to 
the wine. — Other Pontiffs and miserable con- 
dition of Armenia 192 


I. — Troubles caused by the Unionists. — Gregory 
Datevensis. — Intrigues for the pontifical dign- 
ity. — Succession of Pontiffs. — Armenian 
Vartabieds in the Council of Florence. — The 
pontifical see removed to Etchmiadzin. . . .499 
II. — Guiragos Virabensis. — Troubles. — Guiragos 
is deposed. — The Pontiffs of Sis continue to 
succeed. — Origin of the patriarchate of Con- 
stantinople. — Appointment of Vicars to the 
ponlificatc. — Trounles 204 


I. — Succession of Pontiffs. — Stephen the Fifth and 
Michael his Vicar. — He undertakes a pilgrim- 
ape to Rome. — Michael of Sebastia. — 
Abgar is sent a deputy to Rome. — The inten- 
tion of Pope Gregory. — Other Pontiffs and I 
the miseries they suffered from (heir oppres- 

— 383 — 

sors. •>- Me^chiiedech the Pontiff in Gonslanti- 
nople SIS 

Abgar^s brief exposition of the creed and cere^ 

monies of the Armenian Church , . , ftiH 


I. -^ Melchizedek returns to Etchmiadzin. — Sera- 

pion the bishop of Amid. — He is proclainied 
Pontiff. •— Siiah Abas in Armenia ana the debt 
of Etchmiadzin. -— Sufferings and death of the 
Pontiff Serapion. — > Bishop Sarkis. — The two 
Latin friars and the relics of St. Hipsima. . . 226 
II. ■— Melchizedek accused to the Pontiff David. — ^ 
He resigns the pontifical authority to Isaac his 
nephew. — Isaac flees to Van. — Moses the 
Third. — Isaac*8 attempt. — Death of Moses 
the Third. — Philip of Eringan. — His journey 
to Constantinople. — He returns to Etchmia- ' 
dzin where he dies 232 

HI. — Jacob the Fourth. — The patriarchates of Con- 
stantinople and Jerusalem. — St. Jacob's con- 
vent. ~- E1eazar*s attempts. — Jacob the Pon- 
tiff goes to Constantinople. — His death. . . 239 

IV. — Lleazar is proclaimed Pontiff of the Armenians. 

— Troubles in the patriarchates of Constanti- 
nople and Jerusalem. — £leazar*s death. — 
Nahabied of Edessa. - - His correspondence 
with Pope Innocent the Twelfth. — Ephraim 

the Patriarch 24S 


I. — A summary glance at the spirit of this epoch. 

— dalanus and the preachers of latinism. — 
Two divisions. — Mekhithar of Sebaste. . . 249 

II. — Melchizedek intrigues for the patriarchal autho- 

rity. -— The mibfortune of some of the priests 
of Adrianople. — Melchizedek's disgrace. — 
Ephraim becomes Patriarch. — Troubles and 
persecution. — Danger of Mekhithar of Se- 
Daste. — Ephraim is deposed. — Avedik bishop 
of Ezenga. — The three priests and Mekhithar. 

— Avedik's disgrace 255 

— 384 — 

III. ->- Mekhilhar in Modone. — He e^cnpes (o Venice 

where he settles his Gommunily. — He founds 
a printing office. — Charges against Avedik. — 
He is imprisoned. — - Kaliisd Gaydsaguen pro- 
claimed Patriarch. — Troubles on account of 
Avedik. — fie is sent into banishment. — Var- 
tabied Nierses. — Avedik is restored. — He is 
again banished 262 

IV. — Death of Nahabied the Pontiff. — Alexander of 

Jutpha his successor. — Matthew of Cesarea 
and other Patriarchs. — John of Smyrna and 
• his aversion to the Roman catholics. — l)er 
Oomidas. — John is deposed. — Isaac reinsta- 
ted. — John of Kantzaz* — Death of I he Pon- 
tiff Alexander. — Asdvadzadur of Hamadan 
his successor 271 

V. — Condition of St. Jacobus Convent in Jerusalem. 

— John Golod and Gregory Rector of St. Ga- 
rabied. ~ The Latin Vicar's edict. — Rigors 
against the catholic Armenians 277 

VI. — Death of Asdvadzadur the Pontiff. — Garabied 

of UIni his successor and other Pontiffs. -— Se- 
verities against the catholic Armenians. — The 
convent of St. Jacob. — Death of Abraham tho 
Third. — Lazarus bishop of Smyrna elected 
Pontiff. — His danger. — He flees to Persia. 

— Sufferings of bishop Isaac. — He excommu- 
nicates Lazarus. — Lazarus anointed Pontiff. — 
Lazarus and the Persian chiefs. — His puni>h- 
ment. — Death of the patriarch John Golod. — 
Jacob Nalian 282 

VII. — New Armenian Catholic Pontificate on Mount 

Libanon 290 

VIII. — Cruelties of Lazarus. — Complaints of the 
clergy of Elchmiadzin. — Punishment inflicted 
upon Lazarus by the Persian Monarch. — Ty- 
ranny exercised by Lazarus upon the clergy of 
Elchmiadzin. — Deputies sent by the Arme- 
nians of Constantinopli) to Elchmiadzin. — La- 
zarus is deposed. — Peter Kewthur anointed 
Pontiff. — Lazarus restored. — Peter Kewthur 
irapiisoned and his death. ....... 293 

IX. — Prochoron and ihe troubles of Constantinople. 

— Minas of Aguen. — Death of the Pontiff La- 

— 385 — 

i«nis. — Minas of Agaen anointed Pottliff. -*• 
George appointed Patriarch. — Naliaii restored 
to the patriarchate of Constantinople. •*■ Isaac 
Ahakin elected Pontiff. — He is deposed and 
Jacob of Shamakhi appointed in his stead. -^ 
Simon of Erevan. — >* His enmity against the 
Roman persuasion and the alterations entrodue- 
ed in the Armenian Calendar. — Manuel of 
Balu. — - The Patriarchs Gregory and Zacha- 
riah« -^ Lucas of Eneroum appointed Pontiff • 898 
A. -^ fhe Mekhitarian Institution. •— Death of Me- 
khithar. i— Stephen Melkonian his successor. 
-^ Troubles in the Institution. — The Patr>> 
arch of Venice interferes. •— The principal rio- 
ters expelled from the Institution. — Origin of 
the Institution of the Mekhitharians of Vienna. 304 
XI. — Persecution against the Romanising Armenians. 
— Changes m the patriarchal authority. >— 
Zacharian attempts to cause a union between 
the two diTisions of the Armenians. — Six con- 
ditions. •*- Opposition of the Roman catholic 
clergy. — Death of Zachariah. — Daniel his 
tueeessor. — Death of Lucas the Pontiff. . . 306 


I. -«- Daniel of Ashdarag elected Pontiff. — John of 
Balad sends Daniel to banishment. — Archbi- 
shop Joseph. — David's intrigues and appoint- 
ment to the pontificate. — His tyrannical 
sway. ^ John the Patriarch is deposed. — • 
Gregory- — Daniel anointdl Pontiff of the 
Armenians. — Gregory deposed and sent to- 
exile. — John restored to the patriarchate. — • 
Daniel the Pontiff and Gregory the ex-patriarch 
fall into the hands of David. -— Darnel's dan- 
ger. — The Russian stipulation by which D»- 
vid is deposed and Danid appointed Pontiff. . SIB 

II. — The Greek claims to the Convent of St. Jacob 
in Jerusalem. — Daniel's death. — Bphraim of 
Ashdarag eleeled Pontiff. — Attempt at union 
between the two divisions of Armenians. — > 
Five theological points. — Result of the at- 
Itmpl. ............ f M^ 

2 17 

— 386 — 

III. — John the Pairiarch resigns, his dignity. -^ Ab- 
raham appointed Patriarch. — He is destitu- 
ted. — Bishop Paul his successor. — He invites 
the Romanist clergy to a theological confe- 
rence. — The Romanist clergy. — Persecution 
again ts the Romanizing Armenians. — The 
four members of the Duziaq family. — The 
order of the Propaganda. — Furious persecu- 
tion against the Romanist clergy 524 

ly. — The three Romanizing Armenians and four of 
the Mekhitharians. — The Mekhitharian Fa- 
thers enter upon a controversy with the other 
Armenians. — The five points. — Enthu- 
siasm of the Armenians in hopes of a union. — 
The conclusion of the controversy. — The Do- 
cument entitled « Invitation to Christian love. » 330 

An Invitation to Christian love 355 

y. ^ — Consequence of the attempt for union. — Com- 
motion among the lower orders. — The four 
Mekhitharians excommunicated. — They are 
absolved by the Pope- — Etchmiadzin con- 
quered by the Russians 342 

yi. — The last persecution against the Romanizing 

Armenians 344 

yil. — Emancipation of the Catholic Armenians. . 549 

The Armenians of Etchmiadzin^ 

yill. — The Armenians of Etchmiadzin. — Bishop 
^- John succeeds Ephraim in the pontificate. — 
Stephen AgflhTni is appointed Patriarch at 
Constantinople. — The Protestant Missio- 
naries and their proceedings. — Change of 
Patriarchs. — An execution for the Christian 
faith. •— A general assembly at Etchmiadzin 
by which Nierses the Fifth is appointed Pontiff 
oi the Armenians. — Proposition of the Em- 
peror Nicolas. — Honours conferred by the 

Emperor upon the Pontiff Nierses 354 

IX. — Bishop Matthew appointed Patriarch iu Con- 
stantinople. — His measures against the Pro- 
testant Armenians. — Lord Canning's pro- 
ceedings. — The Protestant Armenians are 

— 387 — 

reckoned a separate branch. — r Establish- 
ment of two Councils. — Cardinal Ferrieri 
Nuncio in Constantinople. — Conference be- 
tween him and the Armenian Patriarch. — 
Matthew is deposed and Jacob restored to the 
patriarchal dignity. — Death of Nierses the 
Pontiff. — Matthew is elected his successor. 

— Change of Patriarchs. — The burial of 

a Protestant 350 

The Roman Catholic Armenians, 

X. — Nurigian. — Chukhurian. — The Counsel of 
Ten. — The fiist church of the catholics. — 
Succession of Patriarchs. — The catholic 
clergy. — The colleges of the Mekhitharians. 

— The Patriarch Garabied Essayan. — Has- 
sun. — Death of Nurigian. — The Primate 
Marush. — Hassun appointed at first Vicar, 
then a bishop coadjutor. — The Patriarch Ga- 
rabied resigns his authority and Hassun as- 
sumes the same. — Hassun is proclaimed 
Primate of the catholic Armenians 363 


1. Armenia and the Armenians. 

1. Part. - Geography ) . . ^ 

2. Part. - History f P""^® ^' * 

3. Part. — Ecclesiastical History . » 4 

4. Part. — In the Press Literature » w 

2. Armenian Ritual. 

1. Part. — Liturgy fr. 2 

2. Part. — The divina ordinances, 

or the Sacraments of Baptism 

and Confirmation ml 

3. Part. — The Armenian Ordinal, 

Containing the offices for the 
ordination of Priests, deacons, 
etc fl 3