Creedal Controversies among Armenians in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Empire

Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean’s Polemical Writing against Sukʻias Prusacʻi

In: Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies
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  • 1 Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts “Matenadaran”YerevanArmenia
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In the late seventeenth century along the lines of European confession-building and Ottoman sunnitization, the Armenian Apostolic Church initiated the reshaping of its orthodoxy in the face of growing Tridentine Catholicism. Through the contextualization of the polemical writing attributed to the famed Constantinopolitan Armenian erudite Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean, this article discusses the ways of detecting “bad innovations” in the doctrine and practice of Armenian communities in the Ottoman realms, and the doctrinal instruments used for enforcing “pure faith” towards social disciplining of the Apostolic Armenians.


In the late seventeenth century along the lines of European confession-building and Ottoman sunnitization, the Armenian Apostolic Church initiated the reshaping of its orthodoxy in the face of growing Tridentine Catholicism. Through the contextualization of the polemical writing attributed to the famed Constantinopolitan Armenian erudite Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean, this article discusses the ways of detecting “bad innovations” in the doctrine and practice of Armenian communities in the Ottoman realms, and the doctrinal instruments used for enforcing “pure faith” towards social disciplining of the Apostolic Armenians.

1 Introduction1

In the age of “mutually exclusive and restrictive infallible churchdoms” as Ernst Troeltsch claims, the seventeenth-century Constantinople-based Armenian author Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean (1637–1695) stood as “a man who rescued his century.”2 Eremia’s extensive historiographic heritage has not only documented the socio-historical sweep of the Armenian communal life in the Ottoman Empire, but has also represented the Armenian viewpoint regarding major religious and political developments across the Empire and, in particular, within the Empire’s Armenian communities.

Ute Lotz-Heumann argues that early modern confession-building processes noticeably affected literary genres, works, and their authors across Europe and beyond its boundaries.3 Such an impact made polemical, catechetical, liturgical and spiritual writings from the period extremely valuable for better understanding the entangled social processes of the premodern world. In this regard, Eremia Čʻēlēpi’s polemical writings are considered as important as his historical oeuvre. Largely recognized as a historiographer, Eremia Čʻēlēpi has not been recognized as either a polemicist or a catechist. His polemical treatises, however, contain rich material for the study of the confession-building dynamics within the Armenian communities in the early modern Ottoman society.

This article seeks to explore Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean’s polemical writing against Sukʻias, the Armenian prelate of Bursa. Through the polemical encounter of these two men, this article seeks to disclose creedal controversies among the Armenian communities in the Ottoman Empire in the confessional age. The article attempts to reconstruct Sukʻias’s life and relations with Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean as well as the politico-confessional context in the scope of which their debate transpired.

2 Armenian Confession-Building within a Multi-Confessional Ottoman Framework

The paradigm of confessionalization or confession-building (Konfessionsbildung) was put forward by German historian Ernst Walter Zeeden in search for common models of confessional, social, political development and the means of promoting the confessional identity during the period of the rise of Reformation and Counter Reformation.4 Zeeden’s views were developed by Wolfgang Reinhard and Heinz Schilling in the early 1980s.5 They argued that the building of the Lutheran, Catholic, and Reformed confessions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had deeper social and political implications beyond theology, including the processes of early modern state building. Although Reinhard’s and Schilling’s theories have been vociferously criticized and modified since their formulation, the confessionalization paradigm “still addresses discord, disagreement and plurality within and between the various confessional spheres,” hence, remains ongoing.6

In recent years scholars of the Ottoman Empire have begun to embrace paradigm’s heuristic potential for understanding intra- and inter-communal dynamics among Ottoman Christians and Muslims. Tijana Kritić and Derin Terzioğlu studied a parallel process to confessionalization in the Ottoman Empire by coining it “sunnitization.”7 The process of “sunnitization” aimed at Sunni identity formation and the reshaping of Sunni orthodoxy through indoctrination of the Muslim population in the face of both Safavid Shi‘i challenge and the polyphony of Sunni practice. Interestingly, the Ottoman Christians as well experienced the impact of the confessional trends of the age. A multitude of patterns of confession-building processes in Greek, Slavic and Syriac Christian Churches, reveals an important case of entangled histories in the early modern era.8

One should exercise caution when engaging with the theory of confessionalization as formulated by Reinhard and Schilling and its implications for the Armenian communities living in very different conditions in the Ottoman and Safavid realms. One can speak of the processes of confession-building or re-articulation of doctrine and practice, especially among the Armenian communities in the Ottoman Empire. However, Armenians never underwent confessional processes like Europe, particularly with the emergence of Protestantism in the sixteenth century. Armenian confessional developments fail to fit in the timeline of the confessional age—the late 1540s–1700 and 1520s–1731/32, as suggested by Reinhard and Schilling.9 Before the schism in the Armenian community of Lvov (1625–1630), relatively peaceful cohabitation with Tridentine missionaries prevailed in both Ottoman and Safavid parts of Armenia. As demonstrated by John Flennery and Christian Windler, the relationship between the Armenian clergy and missionary orders in Safavid Persia perfectly fit in the frames of “good correspondence.”10 The vector of Armenian confession-building was internal rather than external, directed against the “inner confessional enemy”—the Catholic Armenians. The confessional consciousness of Armenian Apostolic clergy was triggered in the face of conversions to Catholicism.11 Therefore, it seems that confession-building processes in Armenian communities began in the early seventeenth century and lasted till the second half of the eighteenth century. Given that the Armenian Apostolic Church strove to reaffirm and reshape its miaphysite (or non-Chalcedonic) faith through the preservation of traditions rather than to build a new confession, the term “soft confessionalization” may be more suitable for the Armenian context. The same term is applicable to the sui juris Armenian Catholic Church, which, like the Chaldean Syrian Church, accommodated ancient Armenian Apostolic traditions with some exceptions in doctrine and practice, such as mixed chalice in the Communion and the doctrine of Filioque (i.e. the doctrine of procession of the Holy Spirit also from the Son).12

The mechanisms of European confessionalization contributed to the sunnitization processes in the Ottoman Empire, and included the following: the (re)formulation of “pure faith” through creeds and confessions of faith; the distribution of “pure faith”; and its enforcement and internalization towards social disciplining. Among other instruments of internalization—such as the installment of the namazcı office and empowerment of mosque preachers—the İlm-i hāl (“state of faith”) literature, that is the Islamic equivalent of Catholic catechisms and Protestant pater familias literature, composed in the vernacular, became instrumental for training all Muslims in the vein of “correct Sunni faith and conduct.”13 In constant contact and dialogue with both Western Christian and Muslim communities, Eastern Christians too, increasingly paid more attention to various formulas and definitions of faith and strove to define the limits of orthodoxy. In an attempt to redefine and enforce the “pure faith,” the Armenian Apostolic Church gravitated toward appropriation of confessionalization mechanisms by resorting to the confessions of faith, creeds and catechisms.14 In this regard, Eremia K’ēōmiwrčean’s polemics with Sukʻias Prusacʻi shines light on the employment of confessional literature for social disciplining of the Armenian communities in the Ottoman lands.

3 Eremia Čʻēlēpi’s Polemical Heritage

Eremia Čʻēlēpi was born to a wealthy and renowned priestly family in Constantinople who contributed to the city’s most significant developments. Well-educated and ambitious, he had never wished for a career as a cleric. His father Martiros Kʻēōmiwrčean was the priest of Saint Sargis Armenian Apostolic Church of Langa. In 1652, during his visit to the city, Catholicos Pʻilipos Ałbakecʻi (1633–1655) appointed Martiros his vekil (“deputy”) and treasurer of the alms-box of Ejmiatsʻin in Constantinople. Years later, Eremia would assume this obligation unofficially replacing Mahtesi Ambakum—Eremia’s uncle on his mother’s side, a descendent of a royal family, to whom the Catholicos had entrusted the alms-box after Martiros’s death. Holding the offices of patriarchal secretary and counselor, and active in the high society of Constantinople, Eremia Čʻēlēpi fully integrated into the ecclesiastical, administrative, and economic life of the Armenian communities of the Empire. Running a bakery shop in the city market, where he spent most of his time, Eremia acted as an observer or tʻemasha (“city-watcher”), which enhanced his knowledge of the social fabric of the city.15 Eremia took his first steps as a historiographer when he was still twelve years of age. His Ōragrutʻiwn or Diary, illustrates the intra-, inter- and trans-communal history of the Ottoman Empire. In 1939, Mesrop Nshanian published the Diary along with some of his epistles, hymns, and laments. His Jewish Poems, containing polemical remarks about the followers of Šabbetay Ṣevi, have been published and partly translated as well.16 His major polemical writings against the Jews, Greeks, Armenian Catholics, and crypto-Protestants have heretofore remained unstudied.

Notwithstanding his early literary achievements as a historiographer, Eremia Čʻēlēpi first voiced his objections against confessional “others” only in 1656 when he engaged himself in polemics with the Greeks in reaction to the rivalry over disputed sacred sites in the Holy Land. The Greeks in Jerusalem had been in fierce dispute with the Armenians since their deviation on the date of Easter, referred to as cṛazatik (“curved Easter”).17 At that time the confessional quarrels over the “curved Easter” reached their climax, giving rise to a number of anecdotes among the Armenians and Greeks.18 In fact, the litigations between the Greeks and Armenians were for the domination over the sites of the Copts, Ethiopians, and Syriac Orthodox in Jerusalem, which were under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church. Years later, in 1656, with the help of their Constantinopolitan allies, the Greeks succeeded in obtaining a permission from grand vizier Boynuyaralı Mehmed Pasha for the appropriation of an Ethiopian church of Abba Abraham that used to be under Armenian jurisdiction.

The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Astuacatur Taroncʻi (1645–1664; 1668–1670) arrived in Constantinople to seek the assistance of wealthy Armenians in settling the issue. Being aware of the wealth and influential role of vardapet Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, the patriarch promised the position of vekil in return for his support. Given that Ełiazar had found himself in the middle of a severe competition for the patriarch’s office in Constantinople with the deposed patriarch Yovhannēs Mułnecʻi (1652–1655), he agreed to negotiate with Boynuyaralı Mehmed Pasha to return the Ethiopian Church to the Armenians.19 Ełiazar succeeded in his effort with the help of Xoǰa Ṙuhiǰan, a wealthy Armenian with excellent connections to the Ottoman elite. As promised, he was appointed the patriarchal vekil in Jerusalem, where he headed at the beginning of October, 1656. When Köprülü Mehmed Pasha (1656–1661) assumed the office of grand vizier, Patriarch Paiseus of Jerusalem (1645–1660) negotiated on behalf of the Greeks to obtain a firman, allowing the Greek Church to usurp not only the Ethiopian dominions in Jerusalem, but also the Armenian Convent of Saints James.20 Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi was accused of disobedience and persecuted during this process, escaping to Aleppo. Afterwards, he was further detained by the ruler of Damascus, Teyar Oğlu, then transferred to Bursa, from where he escaped but was apprehended again and brought to face Köprülü Mehmed Pasha. He was finally released thanks to the intervention of Xoǰa Ṙuhiǰan and Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean. It was not until 1659, through the mediation of Köprülü Mehmed Pasha’s kahya (“chamberlain”), that Ełiazar resumed the rights of the Armenians to the Saints James Convent.21

In light of the aforementioned events in 1656, Eremia Čʻēlēpi composed his Vičabanutʻiwn Yunacʻ. Jˇatagovutʻiwn Haykakan Ekełecʻwoy (Polemics with the Greeks or Vindication of the Armenian Church) known also as the Apology of the Rites of the Armenian Church—a work that has remained hitherto unpublished.22 We know little about Eremia’s polemical treatise: he mentions once his piece “on the Greeks,” but he might probably be referring to his Vipasanutʻiwn Aṙman Surb Gēorg Ekełecʻwoy (Narrative on the Takeover of Saint Gēorg Church from the Greeks) penned in 1677.23

Eremia Čʻēlēpi’s reproachful stance towards the Greek Orthodox Church was expressed early on, versus his balanced attitude towards the Roman Catholic Church—specifically Catholic Armenians. Eremia compiled an Armenian Catholic catechism in 1681, titled Girkʻ harcʻmancʻ (“Book of Questions”).24 It was commissioned by an Armenian Catholic priest Tʻadēos Hamazaspean Isfahancʻi (Erevancʻi), who along with the Julfan Armenian merchant residing in Venice Xoǰa Gaspar Sarhadean, established a printing press in Venice and published a Xorhrdatetr (“Missal”) and Čašoc‘ (“Lectionary”) in 1686.25 Tʻadēos’s confessional identity seems to be rather ambiguous; in 1691 the Roman Curia labeled the missal he printed in Venice as “heretical,” because the text followed the Armenian Apostolic tradition.26 However, the Book of Questions that Eremia tailored for Tʻadēos might be considered the first Armenian-Catholic catechism per se.27 The very existence of such a catechism proves that—if solicited and probably commissioned—Eremia would have written equally for both the Apostolic and Catholic Armenians.

After 1691—when Eremia wrote against the Armenian Catholics and Lutherans—he explained the social causes of such tolerance towards Catholicism.28 Criticizing the wealthy youth of Constantinople as being keen on “prestigious European” confessions, Eremia claims:

Եւ զի տեղեկացեալ էի ի նոցունց, զի զաղքատաց, այսինքն զհայոց և զյունաց վկայութիւնս ոչ ընկալան որպէս զի ատեցին և զհարուստս սիրեցին։ Բարիոք է զի և ինձ ուսուսցին սիրել զմեծատունս զսիրելիս իւրեանց

And as I have been informed of them [the wealthy], that they do not accept the attestations [of faith] of the poor, that is, of Armenians and Greeks, for they loathed [the latter] and loved the rich [Catholics and Protestants]. Fair enough, for I too was taught to love the wealthy—their favorites [MS V317, f.1r].29

It seems that in the past Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean somewhat tolerated pro-Catholic affinities among Armenians. It is important here to acknowledge that Eremia’s attitude towards pro-Catholic Armenians changed after 1692, when he penned his two major vindications of Armenian Apostolic faith against the “Frankish” practice. What exactly provoked this kind of switch in his attitude?

After the death of his three children—Yovsēp’ in 1680, Sołomē in 1690 and his elder son vardapet Grigor in 1692, of whom he had great expectations—Eremia got isolated from the outer world by “sacrificing himself to the books.”30 This period coincided with the surge in the activity of Catholic Armenian priests educated in Collegium Urbanum (a college established in 1627 by de Propaganda Fide in Rome to train Catholic missionaries from the East), who continued to occupy offices in Armenian churches and enjoy the liberty of preaching Tridentine Catholicism from their pulpits.31 In a letter to his friend and mentor Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, Eremia Čʻēlēpi describes the heated intra-communal debates on orthodoxy and orthopraxy initiated by vardapet Sargis Tʻokʻatʻecʻ’i or Sargis Šahētcʻi Gasparean in 1690, who publicly differentiated the Armenians into “Catholics and schismatics, Frank and Armenian.”32

It is widely known that the Catholic strategy of infiltration into Eastern and Oriental Christian Churches turned out to be very productive. The access of Catholic Armenian priests into the Armenian churches through communicatio in sacris (here: participation of the Catholics in liturgical practices and sacraments like baptism, marriages and funerals with the Armenian Apostolics), and their printing activities under the protectorate of Charles de Ferriol (1691–1711)—Luis XIV’s Ambassador to Constantinople and the Levant—provide the context in which the work and life of Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean can be better understood.33 The relatively patient attitude of the Ottomans towards European presence in the Empire had changed after the Venetian occupation of Chios between 1694–1695. The occupation resulted in the Sultan’s Hatt-ı Şerif (“edict”) in May 1695, proscribing the proselytizing activity of Catholic missionaries.34 At the time of this historical backdrop, Eremia Čʻēlēpi decided to exercise his talent as a polemicist and compose two works between 1692–1695:

  • (a) Jˇatagovutʻiwn Hayastaneaycʻ Ekełecʻwoy (Apology of the Armenian Church) composed as a refutation of diverse accusations against the practice of the Armenian Church coming from various confessions, mainly from crypto-Catholic and crypto-Protestant contexts.35

  • (b) Patasxani Astucov ev vasn Astucoy, or Argileacʻ ‘Zisk orkʻ asenn,’ zor Asacʻeal en i Verǰn Hawatamkʻin (Response with God’s help and concerning God to the Person, who Disallowed the Recitation of “As for those who say” at the end of the Creed), a brief treatise aimed at defending the practice of the Armenian Church against “precarious novelties.”36

Historian Gayane Ayvazyan considers the two writings as a single treatise, and places them under the Apology of the Armenian Church—despite the fact that Eremia’s biographer Nersēs Akinian, followed by a historian of Constantinople Yakob Siruni, considered them separate texts.37 Presumably, the two works were written simultaneously or shortly after each other as they contain similar textual passages:

… և թէ Նեստոր այսպէս բարբանջեաց վասն Քրիստոսի, Արիոս այսպէս բաջաղեց վասն Քրիստոսի, ֆիլան քեօփէկ այսպէս կարծեց վասն Քրիստոսի և հաչեց։.…Քանզի փիրք նոցուն գիտունք, բայց ամբարտաւանութեամբ հակառակեցան սրբուհւոյ եկեղեցւոյ, որպէս Արիոս թիւր լի մի բարբանջելով, և Մակեդոն թավուր մի բաջաղելով և Նեստոռ այլ իմն ղօղանջելով և նմանք նոցուն։

… and [telling] that Nestorius trifled in such-and-such manner about Christ, and Arius prattled so-and-so about Christ, and the such-and-such dog assumed so-and-so about Christ and barked [MS BNF Arm.334]…. For their [Protestants] sages are knowledgeable, but they contradicted the Holy Church with haughtiness, likewise Arius trifling a lot of blunder and Macedon prattling something arrogant and Nestorius talking idly something else, and the likes of them [MS V317].

Both writings reflect primarily on issues of orthopraxy within the Armenian Church. The Apology is the first document in Armenian officially testifying the existence of crypto-Protestant Armenians in Constantinople in the late seventeenth century.38 It is also a set of questions and answers on the “true faith” collected by Eremia from the representatives of various religious groups. In contrast, Response with God’s help is a set of rhetorical questions and arguments, which Eremia himself addressed to Sukʻias, the prelate of Bursa, accusing him of planting “precarious” novelties into the minds of the Apostolic faithful. Sukʻias—Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi’s desciple and loyal assistant—was advocating against the recital of the Nicene Anathema (incipit: “As for those who say”) during the Divine Liturgy, which was the ancient custom of the Armenian Church. It provoked Eremia to rebuke Sukʻias for a “bad innovation” aimed at ruining the liturgical traditions and the reputation of the Apostolic Church.

4 Sukʻias Prusacʻi, the Author of “Bad Innovation”

Little is known of Sukʻias (Hesychius, Gr. Ἡσύχιος), the Armenian prelate of Bursa, and his relations with Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean.39 Maghakʻia Ōrmanian refers to Sukʻias as to a prominent archpriest, whose name has remained unknown in history.40 To reconstruct his life, one has to delve into the small details scattered in manuscript colophons. The manuscript catalogues have preserved three vardapets by the name of Sukʻias who lived in the period in question, namely Sukʻias of Bursa (Prusacʻi), Sukʻias of Van (Vanecʻi) and Sukʻias of Tokat (Tʻokʻatʻecʻi).

Careful examination of manuscripts demonstrates these three individuals to be the same person. Two arguments support this assumption. First is the poem dedicated to the Holy Virgin (incipit: Iskuhi Astuacacin, Surb Koys) preserved in the collection attributed to Sukʻias Vanecʻi, which also appears under the name of Sukʻias Prusacʻi, and Sukʻias Tʻokʻatʻecʻi.41 Second, is the unique dating system used in the poems and colophons found under the name of either Sukʻias Prusacʻi, Vanecʻi or Tʻokʻatʻecʻi. He writes the date, for instance, as ԱՌԱՃԻԼ (1+1000+1+100+20+30=1152 +551=1703), which was not the common pattern of indicating a date according to the Armenian Era—otherwise it would be ՌՃԾԲ (1152+551=1703). This numbering is unique across the three figures, and therefore this particular system supports the assumption that under all three names, the same Sukʻias is arguably to be recognized as the same scribe.

A theologian and a poet, vardapet Sukʻias was also a masterful scribe, commissioner, owner, donator and dedicatee of a multitude of manuscripts copied in Jerusalem, Bursa, Tigranakert and elsewhere affixed with his personal seal with the inscription “Sukʻias theologian vardapet.”42 In the colophon to a manuscript copied in 1674 in Jerusalem and sealed by Sukʻias, the latter calls himself Tʻokʻatʻecʻi and mentions his father’s and grandfather’s names—Sargis and Tʻoros Tʻokʻatʻecʻi, a proof that he came from Tokat (Eudokia).43 In most of the manuscripts he is called “theologian vardapet Sukʻias,” whereas in his tałs (“poems”) and colophons he frequently refers to himself as “worthless and sinful Sukʻias.”44 He was confusingly called Sukʻias Vanecʻi because in two of his poems he mentions the city of Van in “Kurdistan” as the locus for some of his poems, which reveals him having spent some time in Eastern provinces of the Empire. The scribe of a Maštocʻ (“Ritual Book”) informs us that the nickname of Sukʻias Prusacʻi was Karčahasak, meaning “of short height.” Here his fame of being “a vardapet of vardapets” is also noted.45

Vardapet Sukʻias is said to have been born in 1636. At the end of a poem which dates from 1702, he mentions that he is sixty-six years old.46 He was Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi’s student and protégé, who frequently accompanied him during his travels. In his Diary, Eremia remembers him as “vekil [deputy] of vardapet Ełiazar” only once while describing the trip to Galata and Balat in 1653.47After his release and dispatch to Jerusalem in 1659—to assume the office of the Patriarch’s vekil as well as to receive Saints James Convent back from the Greeks—Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi conceived and carefully executed a plan to establish an anti-Catholicosate of Jerusalem. His aim was to detach the Armenian prelacies in Ottoman provinces from the pontifical seat of Ejmiacin, then under the control of his arch-rival, Catholicos of all Armenians Yakob IV Jˇułayecʻi (1655–1680).48 To this end, in 1663 Ełiazar won the trust of Catholicos of Sis Xač‘atur Mintērči (1657–1674) to perform a service of consecration with holy myrrh by calling for the preservation of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. To justify his rivalry against Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi, Ełiazar had collected the complaints about the vicious behavior of the Yakob Jˇułayecʻi’s nviraks (“legates”) in Ottoman lands. The legates started to sell the myrrh to the Western prelacies and provoked mistrust among the Armenians of the Empire. In 1664, with the efforts of Apro Čʻēlēpi—Eremia’s relative and the banker (sełanawor) of grand vizier Köprülüzade Fazıl Ahmed Pasha (1661–1676)—Ełiazar received the vizier’s permission by having him assured that the detachment of Western prelacies from Ejmiacin in Persian lands would prevent the flow of Safavid spies to the Ottoman Empire.49

In 1664 Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi was consecrated by Xhačʻatur Mintērči in Aleppo and became the Catholicos of Jerusalem. This evoked the wrath of Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi.50 Receiving the news from vardapet Martiros Kafacʻi in 1665, he immediately summoned a council in Ejmiacin to launch a campaign against Ełiazar and sent encyclicals everywhere warning of Ełiazar’s uncanonical course.51 As a consequence, Ełiazar had to roam around for a while, reaching Bursa, Edirne, and Constantinople while waiting for a firman from the grand vizier affirming his appointment as a Catholicos of Western Armenians and allowing him to take the throne of Jerusalem. Eventually, with bribery and the backing of Apro Čʻēlēpi, he arrived in Jerusalem in 1667 as a “patriarch and Catholicos.”52 At the end of the same year, however, Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi’s trustee Martiros Kafacʻi armed with Sultan Mehmed IV’s firman landed in Jerusalem and deposed Ełiazar for a short period. In 1670 Ełiazar recovered his rights to the seat, again resorting to bribery. The copyist of a Tōnapatčaṛ (“Festal Homiliary”), priest Sahak reports in his colophon that in 1677 once again Martiros Kafacʻi and in 1680 Yovhannēs Amasiacʻi Topal usurped the patriarchal throne of Jerusalem while Ełiazar “was silently sitting [somewhere] in Jerusalem.”53

Ełiazar’s loyal disciple vardapet Sukʻias was his patron’s inseparable companion throughout his intriguing career. Sukʻias was by his side during the clashes between the Greeks and the Armenians in Jerusalem, 1656–1657.54 In 1660 he was in Constantinople, in Üsküdar dispatched to settle fiscal issues on Ełiazar’s behalf. Later in the same year he was in Jerusalem at his patron’s feet.55 Sukʻias followed Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi all the way from Aleppo (1664–1667), where the latter was ordained a catholicos, up to his final settlement in Jerusalem in 1667.56 We do not know much about the Jerusalemian period of his life. Minas Hamtʻecʻi’s Ōragrutʻiwn (Diary) may contain valuable information about the years spent in Jerusalem, but having its manuscript at hand, we have yet to examine it thoroughly.57 Piecing together various manuscript colophons, we do find Sukʻias in Jerusalem in 1668. In a manuscript colophon he claims to have found that manuscript in the city of Tigranakert. Years later he commissioned priest Tumas to copy it. Apparently, Sukʻias traveled to Tigranakert with his patron in 1652, where Ełiazar used to be the prior of the monastery of the Barjrahayeacʻ Surb Astuacacin (“Exalted Mother of God”).58

In 1674–75, Sukʻias was in Jerusalem with Ełiazar, where he commissioned priest Eremia (known as a poet) to copy a collection of patristic works.59 In 1677, when Martiros Kafacʻi usurped the patriarchal throne in Jerusalem for the second time, Sukʻias was in Bursa, where he commissioned deacon Nikołayos to copy a collection of theological writings as a gift for Nahapet Edesacʻi.60 In 1680, Sukʻias was again in Jerusalem: his name appears in the list of the monks of Saints James, along with Nahapet Edesacʻi, deacon Nersēs and many others.61 A number of manuscripts found in the library of Saints James Convent include his seal, suggesting that Sukʻias engaged himself in commissioning, copying and collecting the writings of church fathers and notable theologians, such as Philo of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nisa, pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite and others. Sukʻias was respected by many famous clerics, such as Yovhannēs Mułnecʻi, Martiros Kafacʻi, Sargis Tʻekʻirtałecʻi, who sent their respect and brotherly love to him through letters to Ełiazar, while he was in Aleppo and Jerusalem.62 In the letters his name appears right next to Ełiazar’s name proving him to be the erespʻoxan (“deputy”) at Saints James Convent.

Sukʻias had a great deal of influence on his patron Ełiazar. In 1667 Apro Čʻēlēpi wrote a secret letter to Sukʻias in Aleppo threatening to block allow the interference of the established peace, otherwise it “would not be good” for him, for “kurb-i sultan ateş-i suzan” (“being close to the sultan is being close to the fire”).”63 Apparently, Apro alluded to the long awaited truce of 1667 between Martiros Kafacʻi and Ełiazar. The latter was invited to Constantinople or to Bursa—whichever city he preferred—to confirm and strengthen the reconciliation of the sides.64 According to the content of Apro’s letter, Sukʻias was the one to persuade Ełiazar to embark on this journey—further evidence of the influence Sukʻias had over his patron and power he possessed in the eyes of others.

When Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi passed away in 1680, the ecclesiastical council decided to invite Ełiazar to assume the pontifical throne in Ejmiacin, and thus to put an end to the schism of the Armenian Church. Ełiazar accepted the offer, headed to Constantinople and from there to Ejmiacin in 1682. We find Sukʻias together with the chronicler Minas Hamtʻecʻi (later Patriarch in Jerusalem), Nahapet Edesac‘i (later Catholicos) and vardapet Nikołayos accompanying Ełiazar on his journey.65 As Minas Hamtʻecʻi reports in his Diary, Sukʻias wandered about the monasteries of Eastern Armenia and went to view Sałmosavank.66 In 1689, two years before Catholicos Ełiazar’s death, Sukʻias was in the city of Van, where he suffered persecution by the nobles of “the foreign land” of Kurdistan and a six-month-long detention. Apparently, he fell victim to a hoax for the debts that he was ignorant of and was bailed out after he payed to vardapets Mǝxik and Margar.67 This might contradict the rumor spread in Ereamia’s times that Sukʻias was at Ełiazar’s deathbed in August, 1691. In his piece against Sukʻias, Eremia reproaches him for spreading deceitful rumors, that he was near Catholicos Ełiazar while the latter was at his last breath, at which time he received instructions on doctrinal and disciplinary matters. Eremia was certain that Sukʻias was not in Ejmiacin when the Catholicos passed away. His opinion was based on the testimonies of his elder son, vardapet Grigor, who was pursuing his education in Ejmiacin, under the guidance of the Catholicos. Grigor received the news of Ełiazar’s passing while traveling to Constantinople early in August, hence he had no solid proof of Sukʻias’s deception.

The date of Sukʻias’s consecration as bishop and prelate of Bursa has not been established. Most probably it was after 1682. What we know for certain is that he was already holding this office from 1691–1695, when Eremia composed polemical writing against him. He was the very archbishop of Bursa who buried the body of a neo-martyr named Nikołayos Prusacʻi, executed by the Ottomans in 1694 upon the sham accusation of apostasy.68 Importantly, in the martyrology of Nikołayos, Sukʻias acts as the impresario of the martyr-to-be. He is the one who sent off a certain priest to jail to encourage Nikołayos to take the “crown of martyrdom.”69

When exactly Sukʻias Prusacʻi had grown into a pro-Catholic agent is murky. He was still the prelate of Bursa in 1704, when Eremia’s brother Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčean70 composed his scandalous writing against the then patriarch of Constantinople Awetikʻ Evdokiacʻi (1657–1711), who, enjoying the patronage of Sheykh-ul-islam Feyzullah Efendi, waged “a holy war” against all the Catholic Armenians.”71 According to Komitas, Awetikʻ solicited money from the aged prelate of Bursa, “theologian vardapet Sukʻias… the disciple of Catholicos Ełiazar…”72 under the threat of being accused of Catholicism and detention. Komitas testifies that “Sukʻias being feeble in his body and grown old… expecting his death any minute” was not able to pay; instead he temporarily won the patriarch over by sending him small gifts.73 It was deemed that Sukʻias eventually was confined in jail and could redeem himself only by paying.74 Our main source Komitas makes no mention of Sukʻias’s imprisonment.75

Importantly, in 1707 we find Komitas harbored by Sukʻias in his house in Bursa a couple of weeks before the former’s martyrdom, suggesting that at this point Sukʻias was still the prelate of Bursa.76 Echoing Mikʻaēl Čʻamčʻian, Maghakʻia Ōrmanian considers Sukʻias not to have been guilty of what he was accused of, whereas Eremia’s polemical writing against him seems to prove his pro-Catholic sympathies. Sukʻias’s confessional affiliation remains ambiguous in his actions: in 1702–1703, still persecuted by Awetikʻ, Sukʻias copied for his personal use, a voluminous collection consisting of the writings of Nersēs Šnorhali (d.1173) and Nersēs Lambronacʻi (d. 1198), theologians of the Apostolic Church in the Cilician period, both of whom were famous in Catholic circles for their alleged efforts towards formal union with Byzantine, and then Latin Churches on the grounds of preservation of the doctrine and the rite of the Armenian Church.77 Sukʻias’s collection included also homilies on the refutation of mixed chalice and purgatory, which testifies to his orthodoxy from the point of view of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In one of his theological poems Sukʻias transmitted the doctrine of the Armenian Church into versed form. In fact, it is “the canon of the orthodox faith” in rhythm and metrics, without any trace of “schism.” 78 Speaking on the procession of the Holy Spirit, Sukʻias puts forth a formula acceptable to both the Apostolic and Catholic Armenians: “Is not teeming as created, but [is] processing // Holy Spirit moved from the Father (in)to the Son unchanging.”79 The poem is an acrostic dedicated to his “beloved Ğendi Zade Nimetullah Çelebi” (Łēntizatē Neymēt’ulah Č’elepi)—a nobleman in Aleppo.80

And again, Sukʻias’s friendship with converted Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčean and Minas Hamtʻecʻi, who were suspected of holding pro-Catholic views, suggests his being quite open to Catholicism. On the other hand, his close connections to such conservative clerics and laics as Ełiazar and Eremia, and his commissioning of non-Chalcedonic theological codices, prove his support of the non-Chalcedonic faith. Even though Ełiazar, like both his predecessor on pontifical throne Yakob Jˇułayecʻi and successor Nahapet Edesacʻi, were at times accused of dubious attitude towards Catholics, it was rather a political choice rather than personal disposition. Since these choices never affected the doctrine and practice of the Armenian Church, Eremia rejects the tiniest possibility of Sukʻias’s “bad innovation” to be inherited from Ełiazar.81

Eremia’s relationship with Sukʻias Prusacʻi has never been fully studied. Eremia had intimate acquaintance with Sukʻias as he used to be Ełiazar’s student and frequently spent time with both of them in Constantinople, Bursa, Jerusalem and elsewhere.82 Apparently, like Ełiazar, Sukʻias was welcomed in the house of the Kʻēōmiwrčean family, for Martiros and Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčeans were closely related to him. However, their ostensibly amicable relations did not hinder Eremia from rebuking Sukʻias for the prohibition of the Nicene Anathema, which he considered a transgression against the Apostolic rite.

The date of Sukʻias’s death remains obscure. Two manuscript colophons copied in 1721–1734 from his personal codices mention neither his life nor death. The only hint is found in the collection of his poems, where the last—a poem of penitence, death and its desperation—is dated to 1707.83 One of the most learned and influential agents of the Armenian Church in the confessional age found himself in deep depression towards the end of his life. Upon Sukʻias’s passing his memory fell into oblivion overshadowed by the fame of his patron Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi. If not for Eremia Čʻēlēpi’s polemic piece, we would likely never learn much about him or be able to detect confessional ambiguity behind his exterior orthodoxy. Moreover, Sukʻias’s attempts to infuse a “novelty” into the practice of the Armenian Church would have remained totally unknown. Before turning to the analysis of the arguments that Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean set forth against the “novelty” imposed by Sukʻias, it is important to trace the causes that prompted Eremia to insist on the recitation of the Nicene Anathema.

5 Creedal Controversies among Armenians: The Causes Analyzed

In his letter to the friends in Tʻekirdał (Rodosto) written in 1692, shortly after he visited there with his son vardapet Grigor, Eremia Čʻēlēpi recalls a party in the house of an Armenian named Pōłos, where a discussion over religious topics took place.84 It seems that a certain Xoǰa Malxas, who, according to Eremia, used vulgar language and was totally ignorant of theological matters, started a discussion on the decrees adopted during the Seventh Ecumenical Council.85 Supposedly Xoǰa Malxas opened a discussion about the “valid” confession of faith. Eremia, who was trying to evade provocative questions and to keep the peace between the arguing parties, suddenly stepped in claiming that true belief had already been formulated in the Nicene Creed, and anything else is considered dubious:

Տուաւ սահման սուրբ հաւատոյն,
Ի մեծ ժողովն սուրբ Նիկիոյն,
Հաւատամք ի մի Աստուած զնոյն,
Ընդհանուր ազգք ընդունելոյն
[The] definition to holy faith was given,
In the great holy Council of Nicaea,
The same “We believe in One God”
Accepted by all the nations.86

Eremia reproaches his friends in Rodosto for not having paid decent heed to his son vardapet Grigoris’s preachings, instead every illiterate laic imagined himself a theologian. Eremia even humors Xoǰa Malxas for his name (“makas”—scissors in Turkish), for his vulgarity and ignorance and expresses his preoccupation about the growing attention to Malxas being an attack on the real teachers of the faith. This incident in Rodosto reveals that by 1692 debates on confessional topics had gradually become part of everyday life. Society had become more sensitive to the issues related to “true” confession of faith and more and more laymen, in particular, the xoǰas, had become integrated into theological discourse. Such intense discussions brought about acute creedal controversies among diverse clusters of society, such as how Eremia begins his letter to Rodostians with the quote from the Gospel of Matthew “blessed are the peacemakers” (Mat. 5:9).87

Creedal controversies within Armenian communities of the Ottoman Empire were intensified due to the abundance of diverse creeds and confessions of faith circulating among Armenians in this period that were generated both in the Apostolic and Catholic milieu.88 The first Armenian codex entitled Confession of Faith was published in 1688, with the blessing of the then Catholicos Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi. It was rather a polemical book narrated by Yovhannēs Mrkʻuz Jˇułayecʻi (1643–1715) in the form of a catechism.89 Its second edition was published in 1713-14 during the tenure of Catholicos Alek‘sandr Jˇułayecʻi (1707–1714). The new publication was informed by the fierce confrontation of the Armenian Apostolic faction with the Catholic Armenians in Constantinople. In contrast, the Catholic confessions such as the Dawanutʻiwn Čšmarit ev Ułłapʻaṙ Hawatoy vasn Aṙneloy Ekelecʻn Yarevelicʻ (Confession of the True and Orthodox Faith to be Accepted in the Church of East) were abundantly circulating in the Catholic Armenian intellectual circles. Among the first published after the Council of Trent, was a bilingual Professio Orthodoxae fidei published in 1596 by the order of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605) for the Armenian converts.90 A later and more extended edition was published in 1642 during the tenure of Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644), bringing it in accordance with the decrees of the Council of Trent.91 The 1678 edition, published the Dawanutʻiwn Ułłapʻaṙi Hawatoy i Yamenicʻ Hayocʻ Aṙneloy (Profession of Orthodox Faith to be Accepted among All Armenians) which greatly differs from that of 1642 in that the text’s technical terms translated from Latin resulted in a new vocabulary, closer to the one used in the 1670s.92

During this period, various types of medieval confessions and creeds were circulating within the Armenian theological community. Apart from the most authoritative liturgical version of the Nicene Creed, there was a confession of faith formulated in the thirteenth century by Vardan Arewelcʻi (d. 1271) upon the request of Catholicos Konstandin Barjrberdcʻi (1221–1267) against Byzantine duophysites. However, this confession never gained so much popularity so as to be recited in the churches.93 Since the fourteenth century the Armenian Church has favored a creed attributed to Grigor Tatʻewacʻi (1346–1409)—the pinnacle of Armenian scholastic thought—structured in a way so as to oppose the Dominican Unitor Friars and Muslims in Eastern Armenia. It incorporated the Nicene Creed with the important amendments emphasizing the doctrines of the Trinity against the Seljuk Muslims.94 Grigor Tatʻewacʻi’s creed also included: the procession of the Holy Spirit solely from the Father against the Filioque (procession also from the Son); the one nature of Christ against the duophysites; His real body “from the blood of Holy Mother of God” against the phantasists; his immaculate and virgin birth; his perfect Deity and perfect Humanity; and the Harrowing of Hell and the eternal punishment of the sinful. In a fifteenth-century manuscript, the scribe calls this particular creed “the true confession of faith of the Armenian Church,” while its articles are described as “the gradations of faith through which we ascend to God with one footstep.”95

The variants of Grigor’s creed became extremely popular in the age of confessionalization. Due to its popularity it was included in collections such as the confessions of faith assembled by Marquise de Nointel, where there is an attestation of faith obtained via Ambroise de Tiger, French Consul to Egypt and signed in 1671 by Gaspar, the prelate of the Armenian Church in Cairo.96 In contrast to all other attestations collected from high-ranking officials of the Armenian Church, the confession provided by Gaspar stands out. Drawing entirely on Grigor Tatʻewacʻi’s creed, it includes the addition of major counterpoints against the Protestants in the vernacular—that is the veneration of saints and the Virgin, iconolatry, perception of the Seven Sacraments and Eucharistic transubstantiation.97

A few years later in 1676 the English Consul to Izmir, Sir Paul Rycaut wrote the following about the confession of faith of the Armenians:

They allow and accept the Articles of Faith according to the Council of Nicaea, and are also acquainted with that which we call the Apostles Creed, which likewise they have in use… I have thought fit to represent that which they call their Tavananck, or Symbolum, different from the Apostles and Nicene Creed… Now the words of their Creed are Verbatim as followeth…98

Sir Rycaut’s reference here is to a variant of Grigor Tatʻewacʻi’s creed with the addition of the clause on postpartum virginity of the Holy Mother of God. To highlight the popularity of this creed among Armenians, Sir Rycaut states that Armenians repeated the Creed, “in the same manner as our Apostles Creed is in our Divine Service.”99 This version has one essential difference: instead of collective “We believe” (Credimus), here the Western “I believe” (Credo), apparently in accordance with the Western creedal fashion of the confessional age and the emphasis on the personal interiorization of faith, makes an appearance.100 Yovsēp Gatʻěrčian reckoned Sir Rycaut to be misled by his cleric companion, who, instead of the Nicene Creed presented Grigor’s creed as the accepted confession of faith of the Armenians.101 Perhaps, in some monasteries in Safavid Armenia the recital of this creed might have been preferred over the liturgical version of the Nicene Creed, as there are sources alluding to its inculcation into the Armenian Liturgy by the middle of the eighteenth century.102

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, new ecclesiastical policy attempted to oust all the creeds but the Nicene one, which was implemented in order to stem the creedal polyphony and preserve the integrity of Armenian orthodoxy. Church authorities conformed to the old Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed, that had been recited in the Armenian Church for ages. This creed was proclaimed as the only true formula of faith by appealing to its pre-Chalcedonic origin and to the uninterrupted tradition of its recital during the Divine Liturgy. Consequently, Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean strove to single out the Nicene Creed as the only formula of Armenian faith to counterpoise the multitude of the variants of Grigor’s creed as well as to resist against the spread of the Armenian version of the Tridentine and Apostles’ Creeds.103 A later author, Gēorg Mxlayim Ōłi (d. 1758), was a fervent advocate of such mono-creedal policy; polemicizing with the Jesuits, he highlighted that the sole credo to which the Armenians had adhered through the centuries was the Nicene Creed in its ancient liturgical version.104 This prompts several questions: What was the Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed? Why did it become a matter of dispute in the confessional age? And why would Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean insist on its exclusive credibility?

6 Multiple Facets of the Symbol of Faith: the Nicene Creed under the Magnifying Glass

Creeds, as the rule of prayer, have always been the integral part of the Divine Liturgy as the rule of faith in accordance with the formula lex orandi lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief).105 The liturgical versions of the creeds actually recited or chanted during the Divine Liturgy differ from the officially promulgated formulas of faith, such as the variants of the Nicene Creed in the Psalters and Massora of the Syriac Churches, be it in Western Syriac Church or in the Church of East (Nestorian).106

The liturgical version of the Nicene Creed of the Armenian Church or the so-called Faith of the YŽƎ (318) Fathers, is an “enlarged” version of the Nicene Creed promulgated at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325. The original Nicene Creed was followed by the Nicene Anathema against the fourth-century heresiarch Arius and his teaching on the Holy Trinity, that is:

Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ‘ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν’ καὶ ‘πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν’ καὶ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο, ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας, φάσκοντας εἶναι ἢ τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, τούτους ἀναθεµατίζει ἡ ἁγία καθολικὴ καὶ ἀποστολικὴ ἐκκλησία.

And those who say ‘there once was when he was not,’ and “before he was begotten he was not,” and ‘that he came to be from things that were not,’ or “from another hypostasis or substance,” affirming that the Son of God is subject to change or alteration—these the catholic and apostolic church anathematizes.107

The Nicene Creed was reaffirmed at the Second Ecumenical Council summoned in Constantinople in 381 with the addition of the third article on the divinity of the Holy Spirit and exclusion of the Nicene Anathema. In fact, the creed promulgated in Constantinople had little to do with the original Nicene Creed. According to scholarly opinions, it used to be a baptismal creed already in use among the Christians of Jerusalem, and was elaborated during the Council. Its working title is Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed professed by the Orthodox, Catholic and some Protestant Churches.108

Although the Armenians accepted the decrees of the first three Ecumenical Councils, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed has never been incorporated into the liturgical tradition of the Armenian Church. Instead, an “enlarged” version of the original Nicene Creed became common. The testimonies to the usage of this version by the Armenians could be traced back to the early sixth century.109 The Creed is based on the section appearing in the 119th chapter of Ancoratus by Epiphanius of Salamis (ca. 315–403), known to the specialists as the second creed of Epiphanius.110 He composed it in 374 and placed right after the Nicene Creed as its enlarged explanatory variant with the anti-Apolinarian and anti-Macedonian additions. Like the original Nicene Creed, Epiphanius’s second creed ends with an Anathema:111

Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας ὅτι ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν ὁ υἱὸς ἤ τὸ πνεῦµα το ἅγιον, ἢ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὐποστάσεως ἢ ουσίας φάσκοντας εἶναι ⟨ἢ⟩ τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἢ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦµα, τούτους ἀναθεµατίζει ἡ καθολικὴ καὶ αποστολικὴ ἐκκλησία, ἡ µήτηρ ὑµῶν τε καὶ ἡµῶν. καὶ πάλιν ἀναθεµατίζοµεν τοὺς µὴ ὁµολογοῦντας ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν καὶ πάσας τὰς αἱρέσεις τὰς µὴ ἐκ ταύτης τῆς ὀρθῆς πίστεως οὔσας.112

And those who say that there was a time when the Son was not, or when the Holy Ghost was not, or that either was made of that which previously had no being, or that he is of a different nature or substance, and affirm that the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are subject to change and mutation; all such, the catholic and apostolic church, the mother both of you and of us, anathematizes. And further we anathematize such as do not confess the resurrection of the dead, as well as all heresies which are not in accord with the true faith.113

The Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed, though not identical, largely follows Epiphanius’s enlarged variant. It retains the Anathema and adds to it a doxology attributed to Grigor Lusaworičʻ’ (Gregory the Illuminator). In the age of confessionalization this version was frequently called the Creed of Lusaworičʻ—an allusion to the narrative, according to which Grigor Lusaworičʻ’s son Aristakes brought its Greek original from Nicaea, while Grigor Lusaworičʻ rendered it into Armenian. According to the narrative he also translated the Nicene Anathema, which is as follows:

Իսկ որք ասեն՝ էր երբեմն, յորժամ ո՛չ էր Որդին, կամ էր երբեմն, յորժամ ոչ էր Սուրբ Հոգին, կամ թէ՝ յոչէից եղեն, կամ յայլմէ էութենէ ասեն լինել զՈրդին Աստուծոյ եւ կամ զՍուրբ Հոգին, եւ թէ փոփոխելիք են կամ այլայլելիք, զայնպիսիսն նզովէ կաթուղիկէ եւ առաքելական սուրբ եկեղեցի:

As for those who say “there was a time when the Son was not”, or “there was a time when the Holy Spirit was not”, or that “they came into being out of nothing”; or who say that “the Son of God or the Holy Spirit are of a different substance” and that “they are changeable or alterable,” such do the catholic and apostolic holy Church anathematize:

Doxology by Grigor Lusaworičʻ:

Իսկ մեք փառաւորեսցուք, որ յառաջ քան զյաւիտեանս, երկիրպագանելով Սրբոյ Երրորդութեանն եւ միոյ Աստուածութեանն Հօր եւ Որդւոյ եւ Հոգւոյն Սրբոյ, այժմ եւ միշտ եւ յաւիտեանս յաւիտենից, ամէն:

As for us, we shall glorify him who was before the ages, worshipping the Holy Trinity and the one Godhead, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.114

Another anecdotal narrative circulating in the Armenian Catholic circles up to the nineteenth century suggests that all the amendments to the Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed, including the addition of the third article on the Holy Spirit promulgated at the Council of Constantinople, were made later by the Armenian Catholicos Nersēs.115 Adding “novelties” to the Creed was not unprecedented in the Armenian ecclesiastical tradition, thereby justifying supplementation of the Fillioque to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed decreed at the Council of Ferrara-Florence (1438–1439).116 In his reply to an unknown addressee upon the request to explain the origin of the Armenian liturgical version of the Creed, a Constantinopolitan Armenian Catholic priest writes:

Ու ինչպէս մեծն Ներսես աւելցուց այն առաջի հանգանակին վրայ Կոստանդնուպօլսույ սուրբ ժողովոյն բացատրութիւնները, նոյնպէս ալ պետք է որ աւելցուի նոյն հանգանակին վրայ Փլորենտիոյ սուրբ ժողովոյն ըրած բացատրութիւնը հոգին սուրբի վրայ՝ և որդւոյն բխի:

And as Great Nerses amended that first Creed, with the explanations of the Holy Council of Constantinople, the same way the explanations on the Holy Spirit of the Council of Florence, that is Filioque, should be added to the same Creed [MS W111, f. 75].

Interestingly, the Bull of Union with the Armenians promulgated at the Council of Ferrara-Florence imposed upon the Armenians the Western Recension of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed as the rule of prayer to be sung or recited during the Divine Liturgy in Armenian churches, and the Faith of St. Athanasius or pseudo-Athanasian Latin Creed as the rule of faith to be professed as the official declaration of Christian doctrine.117 The Council’s choice to make the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed incumbent on the Armenians testifies to the disuse of this specific creed during the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church up to the fifteenth century. Driven by the necessity to refute various accusations of being Eutychean-minded monophysites, the Armenians employed Epiphanius’s enlarged variant of the Nicene Creed—penned seven years prior to that of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan—by incorporating passages against the “heresies” of which the Armenian Church was historically accused.

In his aforementioned letter to his friends in Rodosto, Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean undoubtedly speaks of the Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed. Later he includes this version in his catechism compiled for an Armenian Catholic priest Tʻadēōs Hamazaspean by having changed the archaic wording “նոյն ինքն ի բնութենէ հոր” (“of the same nature of the Father”) that stood for the Greek term homousion (ὁµοούσιον τῷ Πατρί), to “նոյն ինքն համագոյակից հոր” (“consubstantial with the Father”), as well as adding “որ ի հօրէ և յորդւոյ բղխի” (“ex Patre Filioque”) in due place.118 Apparently Eremia was driven by interest in preservation of the “Armenianness” of the Catholic Armenians along with their confessional affiliation. Therefore, he capitalizes on the Nicene Creed to prove ethnic identity to be more important than a confessional one. Eremia retained the Anathema and Lusaworičʻ’s doxology at the end of the Creed for the use of the Catholic Armenians as a marker of their “Armenianness.”

Eremia did not establish this creedal pattern, but rather followed the text in the missals printed for the Armenian converts to Catholicism. He arguably had access to the missals issued by De Propaganda Fide.119 A close examination of the missals printed by the Catholic Church “for the Armenian nation” reveals them to accommodate the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Most of them preserved the Armenian liturgical version of the Nicene Creed with the insertion of “consubstantial with the Father” and ex Patre Filioque. The missal from 1677 and the one translated by Yovhannēs Holov into Italian in 1690 contain the Armenian variant of the Nicene Creed, the Anathema and the doxology.120 However, the earliest printed missal from 1646 inserts the Western Recension of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed instead, excludes the Anathema, but retains Lusaworičʻ’s’ doxology.121

The Nicene Anathema initially composed against the fourth-century Arians and Macedonians was the key element of the Armenian Divine Liturgy—“the seal of Nicene Faith,” as it was called. Inherited through the enlarged variant of Epiphanius creed, it became an inseparable part of public prayer of the faithful implicitly designating the ethno-confessional identity of the Armenians. The recitation of the Nicene Anathema was the main indicator of confessional affiliation on the one hand and orthodoxy on the other. For instance, there is a famous story related to the renowned Dominican missionary to Safavid Armenia Paolo Piromalli, preserved in the Chronicle of Grigor Daranałcʻi (d. 1643). The chronicler describes the inquisition of Piromalli, when he arrived in Constantinople in 1636 after being expelled from Ejmiacin by Catholicos P‘ilipos Ałbakecʻi (1633–1655). Piromalli lodged in the Galata district. Having dressed as an Armenian vardapet, he started proselytizing among the Armenian priests of the Surb Astuacacin (“Holy Mother of God”) church gaining the favor of monks Xoǰa Davit and Kirakos Jˇułayecʻi. Therefore, the vardapets of Constantinople, with Daranałc‘i in charge, sent the priest Łazar off to examine Piromalli’s faith. According to Daranałcʻi the only way to unmask Piromalli was to make him recite the Nicene Creed. Reaching the Anathema, Piromalli’s refusal to recite “As for those who say” was considered apostasy from the perspective of the Armenian ecclesiastical traditions. Piromalli was expelled and banned from preaching in Armenian churches.122 It seems that the recital of the Nicene Anathema was not considered challenging for Armenian-Catholics, partly because of its inclusion into missals and catechisms, and partly because of their intimate familiarity with the rule of prayer of the Armenian Church. That said, in his letter from 1751 the Catholic Armenian priest from Mekhitarist order Gēorg Ayntʻapcʻi (d. 1794) informed his flock in Engür (Ankara), that before he arrived in Rome he thought that “apart from the anathema there are no schismatic rites in our nation.”123 In Rome he learned about other “schismatic” elements of the Armenian Apostolic rite, hence, exhorted his flock to give up communicatio in sacris with Apostolics.124

In the eyes of Eremia Čʻēlēpi, the banning of the recitation of the Nicene Anathema was not a matter of orthodoxy, but rather of orthopraxy. The 1690s were the years when Catholic Armenian priests would abstain from officiating in Catholic churches. They had to undergo the communicatio in sacris with the Armenian Apostolics, while clandestinely preaching and propagating Catholic ideas to the Apostolic faithful. On these grounds, Eremia Čʻēlēpi assumed that the preacher, be he a crypto-Catholic or an Apostolic, should follow the rule of prayer of the Armenian Church if he preaches from its pulpits. From Eremia’s point of view the recital of the Nicene Anathema was absolutely necessary for it was not only a yardstick for “Armenianness,” but also the proof of the ancient roots of the Armenian liturgical tradition, and the mark of the continuity in its practice. The prohibition of Nicene Anathema by Sukʻias Prusacʻi triggered Eremia Čʻēlēpi’s vocal criticism. He started a campaign against the “bad innovations.”

The concept of religious “innovation” resonated across confessional boundaries in the Ottoman context at this time, as Muslims themselves, particularly in Constantinople, repeatedly clashed (sometimes violently) over the definition of “tradition” and accused each other of bid`a, meaning harmful “innovation,” especially in the second half of the seventeenth century.125 The ideology of Ottoman “puritanism” modeled by Mehmed Birgivi (1523–1573) in his prominent book The Path of Muhammad, grew into active social and political movement in the seventeenth century by preacher Kadizade Mehmed b. Mustafa (1582–1635).126 The clashes between the “puritan” followers of Kadizade Mehmed and various other Muslims, often with affinities for Sufi rituals and beliefs, incited Katib Čʻēlēpi (1609–1657), a renowned Ottoman scholar, to reproach the Kadizadeli for the “spread of the extremist notions and provoking the people”—labelling the attempts to uproot established innovations in the community as stupidity.127 Along the lines of the “purification” movement of Ottoman Sunnis that found its expression in refutation of “bad innovations” (bid`a), the reshaping of tradition in line with “pure doctrine” and “correct conduct” grew into a common discourse in the Ottoman Christian milieu. As Eugenia Kermeli argues, “the Greek Orthodox scholars committed to the spirit of Renewal (ανακαίνιση), and challenged by Reformation and Catholicism, endeavored to redefine orthodox tradition in a sectarian manner, distinct from the Protestants and Catholics.”128 Redefining of the tradition was not accepted by conservative Orthodox theologians and was labeled as “bad innovation” (καινοτοµία). Eremia’s exploration of “bad innovation” (bid`a) in polemics with Sukʻias acquires great importance as it explicitly reveals deep engagement of Armenians with common processes in the Ottoman Empire.

The term “innovation” was more common for early modern Armenian theological vocabulary. Medieval Armenian authors, especially Eastern theologians, would opt for other words to point to the deviations from “orthodox” doctrine and practice. For instance, the twelfth-century polemicist Połōs Tarōnacʻi uses the word bałbanjankʻ (“idle talk”) when he criticizes the Latin doctrine of Filioque.129 Likewise, Grigor Tatʻewacʻi (1346–1409), who lived on the relative verge of early modern era, utilized the word molorutʻiwn (“error”) for Filioque and for other “heretical” doctrines.130 Tatʻewacʻi lists not only the “errors” of the Latins and Byzantines, but also of Muslims.131

The Armenian word norajevut‘iwn (“innovation”) appears in the Mistagogy of the Cilician theologian Nersēs Lambronacʻi (1153–1198). He applies it to the rigorist, conservative conduct of Eastern Armenian vardapets, branding such rigorism as “neopraxy” (“novelty in practice”). 132 The term acquires new connotation in the Ottoman context, where norajevutʻiwn (“bad innovation”) was first explored by the Patriarch of Constantinople Grigor Kesaracʻi. In his letter from 1630, addressed to the monks in Ejmiacin, he warns them against the Roman Catholic faith by calling it norajev banicʻn ev nor ałandoyn (“novel words and new heresy”) and by considering it the revival of “the same Byzantine duophysit heresy.”133 From the seventeenth century onwards “bad innovation” becomes closely connected with the concept of bid`a, denoting not only a schismatic doctrine, but also an incorrect conduct and transgression against canonical practice.

7 Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean’s Arguments against Sukʻias Prusacʻi

In banning the recitation of the Nicene Anathema, Sukʻias Prusacʻi might have been affected by the Jesuit propaganda in Bursa, which provoked immediate reaction in Armenian ecclesiastical circles, given that from 1612–1613 onwards, the prelacy of Bursa had become an influential center of Anatolia, housing a vast Armenian population.134 As a catechist, Eremia was perfectly aware that the Nicene Anathema was an essential part of practice, even in Armenian Catholic missals. Thus, the abolition of its recital by Sukʻias could pose a real threat to the orthopraxy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Against Sukʻias’s “precarious novelty,” Eremia polemicized in forty-one clauses. His polemics was informed by both social and confessional realities of his day, reflecting a view of the secular Armenian community. Eremia imparts first-hand information about the nuances of confessional switches, and the ambiguities and ignorance of confessional matters among his fellow Armenians. His main preoccupation seems to be the reputation of the Armenian Church. Eremia feared that the discontinuation of the recitation of the Anathema would call ridicule and outrage upon the Armenians, exposing the Armenian Church tradition on the whole as erroneous.135 For Eremia, the “pure doctrine” was rooted in the teachings of the Universal Church Fathers and decrees of the first Ecumenical Council that the Armenian Church had uninterruptedly preserved. Everything outside of these theological parameters was considered norajevut‘iwn (“bad innovation”), and was i čʻarēn (“from evil”).136

Eremia defined “bad innovation” as not something to be found exceptionally in doctrinal deviations from “true faith.” For him, “bad innovation” referred to the disciplinary aspects of communal life. Eremia condemned Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi for the discord in the Armenian Church he brought about by having attempted to establish anti-Catholicosate driven solely by his egoistic ambitions. Above all, Eremia was concerned about the chain-reaction in the diffusion of “innovation”: if it infected the community in Bursa, it would soon reach Constantinople, Edirne and other cities. His trepidation was hiding far behind his anticipation of the possible discord in the community. The unpleasant memories of the great turmoil in times of Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi were still fresh, and a new discord would shake the very grounds of ecclesiastical life of the Armenians, should Sukʻias’s teachings against Anathema be diffused. In view of this, Eremia recalled the turmoil in Jerusalem, hence, reproaching Sukʻias for imitating his patron’s controversial behavior, and appealing to him to disseminate peace instead of discord.

According to Eremia, Sukʻias’s position was even at odds with “pure” Roman Catholics—as they too agreed on the Armenian custom of reciting the Anathema to be useful in terms of definition of the “heresy.” His arguments were saturated with Catholic sources, in particular, with passages from the treatise of Teatine missionary to Armenia Clemente Galano (d. 1666), whose words Eremia quotes to demonstrate the wide acceptance of the recital of the Anathema. In his two-volume bilingual edition about the history and doctrine of the Armenian Church, Galano attempts to prove that the Armenian and Latin Churches were united from Christianity’s inception, but afterwards Armenians deviated from “true faith.” In his attempt to correct the “errors” that the Armenian Church was accused of in a Medieval anti-Armenian source, Galano singled out the recitation of the Nicene Anathema to be a useful tradition to oppose the Arian heresy.137 Eremia likened the Nicene Anathema to one of the most important hymns or šarakan’s of the period “O, marvelous patriarchs” dedicated to the 318 Fathers of the First Nicene Council. Originally at the end of this hymn the fourth- and fifth-centuries heresiarchs like Arius and Nestoruis are anathematized. In the confessional age the Council of Chalcedon, the Tome of Pope Leo I and the Catholic doctrine of Filioque were added to the text of anathema, the samples of which are preserved in many printed Hymnaries from the period.138

Еremia further argues that the recitation of the Аnathema “As for those who say” should not be prohibited on the grounds that it was compiled in the fourth century and had lost its relevance. He pointed to the pan-Christian liturgical elements, contemporary with the Nicene Anathema, such as the renunciation of devil during the Baptism, the dismissal of catechumens before the Eucharist, and the doxology “Glory in the Highest” established in the first centuries of Christianity’s history.139 Eremia was practical in his arguments: if those three ancient elements of Divine Office were complied with within the churches of all confessions, then the Nicene Anathema had the right to be recited in the Armenian Church, as the ancient unchangeable rule of prayer protected throughout centuries being the marker of confessional identity. According to Eremia, all the Catholicoi, including Sukʻias’s patron Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, had been reciting the Anathema.140

Eremia’s polemics against Sukʻias succinctly illustrates the confessional dynamics of the Armenian communities of the late seventeenth century. He describes the populace as ignorant of doctrinal matters, hence, the social disciplining was possible mainly through practice and ritual. At the behest of his son vardapet Grigor, Eremia attempted a popularization of certain sermons by rendering them into Armeno-Turkish. Since 1679 he had rendered sermons about Transfiguration, Passion of Christ, the Virgin Mary, Holy Communion, et cetera. These sermons attempted to achieve fuller integration of the commoners into the doctrinal nuances preached from the stages of churches.141

According to Eremia, the populace would perceive whatever was preached by priests from the bemas of churches as the ultimate truth and could easily be led astray from the orthodox practice. The recitation of the creedal Anathema was an irreplaceable means for social disciplining; the commoners were periodically repeating the formula of the orthodoxy and listening to the refutation of the heresy even if they did not exactly understand its meaning. Armenian confession-building went hand in hand not only with Christian confessionalization, but also with Muslim “sunnitization” policies. In Christian milieu priests and pastors became powerful figures in internalization of the “true faith.” Similarly, mosque preachers acquired great authority in Ottoman Muslim society as an instrument of the internalization of Sunni doctrine and practice formulated on the pages of ‘ilm-i hāls (“state of faith”).142

Although ‘ilm-i hāls had been designed to avert both doctrinal and behavioral deviations from the “pure path,” the “heresy” could more likely be detected in practice. Likewise, from Eremia’s point of view, the “heresy” on a demotic level, could occur only in practice: it might be found in the altered order of hymns, or in the altered position of hands (with arms spread or raised), in the way doxology was chanted (concordant or voice by voice), in covered or uncovered head.143 Practice was a touchstone for conversion; the severity of the Lent and the length of the Liturgy in the Armenian Church could steer the faithful toward more tolerable Roman Catholic rites. Eremia complains that in the minds of commoners the orthodoxy was measured per wealth and authority of a respective church. Thus, the Roman Catholic Church seemed more orthodox to wealthy Armenians: “Does not credibility of Easter belong to them, who possess so many kingdoms and wisdom?”144 With all his innate aptitude to peaceful cohabitation Eremia’s approach was explicitly confessionalized: equalization to the “confessional others” through the facilitation of the rites was an unacceptable course for the Apostolic Church. The dividing line with other Christian confessions had to be drawn through the upholding of odd elements in traditions, such as Nicene Anathema.

It is unclear whether Eremia’s arguments affected Sukʻias’s further course of action. The absence of sources does not allow us to trace their future contact. All we know is that Eremia passed away shortly after composing his polemical piece, while a decade later Sukʻias sheltered Eremia’s martyr-to-be brother Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčean—a persecuted convert to Catholicism.

8 In Lieu of a Conclusion

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries marked the summit of the confessional age for the Armenians in the Ottoman and Safavid realms while Europe was long integrated into the process of confession-building stimulated by the emergence of Reformation and, consequently, counter-Reformation. Toward the end of the seventeenth century in the face of the rising influence of Tridentine Catholicism on the one hand and Protestantism on the other, the Armenian communities in Ottoman territories underwent confessional indoctrination. The time, when the mutually accepted practice of “good correspondence” shaped the relations between the Armenians and Catholics had ended. Now, the relationship within and between confessions was driven by the need to delineate the doctrinal borders of a respective Church. In the early 1600s, when Discalced Carmelites, Capuchins, Dominican Friars and Augustinian missionaries from Goa were preaching among Armenians of Safavid Persia, the cases of communicatio in sacris were allowed for both sides as the evidences of irenic acts and the articulation of Christians’ unity in God. Decades later, however, with the intensification of Jesuit propaganda resulting in growing conversion of the Armenians to Catholicism, the incidents involving communicatio in sacris with the converts incited outrageous intra-communal debates in Constantinople. To address the issue, the Armenian Church authorities had to make attempts to redefine the boundaries of the Armenian orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

The political and territorial constrains became decisive factors in tackling the issue: having the spiritual center and head of the church—the Catholicos of All Armenians—in the territory of rival Safavid Persia, in Ejmiacin, the prelacies in Ottoman lands found themselves in a complicated situation when it came to the elaboration of new ecclesiastic policy. Though autonomous under the rule of Sultans, they formally depended on Ejmiacin’s decisions not only in doctrinal matters, but also in Armenian Church politics, specifically with European countries and Roman Curia. The Catholicoi had to continuously dispatch their legates to the Ottoman Empire where their presence and demeanor had become the cause of constant discontent of Constantinople’s social elite. The plan to establish an anti-Catholicosate or, more precisely, a new Catholicosate for the Western prelacies of the Armenian Church carried out by Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, was fueled with the desire to gain independence from Ejmiacin in decision-making and in acting accordingly with the Ottoman Empire’s religious politics for its Christian subjects. On the other hand, it would jeopardize the integrity of the Armenian Apostolic Church and might lead to confessional assimilation, should Western prelacies happen to actually acknowledge the primacy of Rome. Therefore, when Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi was elected the Catholicos of All Armenians in Ejmiacin, he still made attempts to keep a close watch on the doctrinal and behavioral deviations in the Constantinople community with the assistance of such go-betweens as Eremia and Sukʻias.

In fact, Eremia was the one reacting to the growing influence of Catholicism on the Armenian communities of the Ottoman Empire. With his late polemical pieces, he signaled the strong need in taking more explicit measures toward the redefinition of doctrinal boundaries of the Armenian Church and the enforcement of reshaped confessional norms. In contrast to the successful catechization of the Catholic and Protestant population in Europe and elsewhere, the Armenian Apostolic believers never became accustomed to catechisms, because of the absence of mechanisms for making them incumbent, and simply because of the insufficiency of the catechisms per se. The various “books of questions,” produced in this period in both classical and colloquial languages, contained random questions and answers on variety of doctrinal, spiritual and moral topics, and could hardly be considered well-structured catechisms.145 Despite the strong tendency towards the appropriation of the new patterns of catechetic literature of the period, it would be a gross exaggeration to say that Armenians underwent intensified catechization in the seventeenth-century Ottoman Empire. The main channel for conveying the knowledge on “true faith” to the Apostolic flock remained sermons and rituals—where the Divine Liturgy, attended by the faithful every Sunday, occupied central place. Any actions at odds with ritual conformity, particularly the deviations from the canon of Divine Liturgy, were to be branded as “schismatic.”

In the course of history, the non-Chalcedonic Armenian Church found itself in constant debates on orthodoxy with Chalcedonic Churches, propelling it to distinguish what it believed in from what it did not believe in.146 This in turn resulted in employment of both doctrinal affirmations and denunciations, that shaped the “true faith” of the Armenian Church, while their preservation grew into the integral part of the confession-building. The refashioning of the confessions could not be carried out through obliteration of the old elements of practice as a means of aligning with the confessional fashion of the period. Not only Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean, but also posterior apologists of the Armenian ecclesiastic tradition, saw the reshaping of the Apostolic faith from an “apocatastatic” perspective—that is to say from the point of view of the restoration to the original, early Christian doctrine, and the preservation of the Armenian Church practice in the very condition, which was inherited into the confessional age.


Manuscripts used:

Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean’s polemical writing against Sukʻias Prusacʻi survived in two manuscript copies—BNF Arm. 334 and W779. The scribe of W779 made calculations on the margins of his copy to detect the exact date of the writing. In his seminal book on Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean’s biography Nersēs Akinian assumed it to be written in 1692.147

BNF Arm. 334, ff. 142r–148v

Collection. Date: 1697–1760. Place: Constantinople, church and college of Balat (ff. 113 and 148v); copyists: Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčean (ff. 1–49) and anonymous scribes (1773, 1793, 1817); material: European paper; size: 16x20.5 cm; lines: 21/27; folios: 184; script: notrgir.148

W779, ff. 1r–4v149

Collection. Date: 19th century. Place: unknown; copyist: unknown; material: paper; size: 27x20cm; lines: 33; folios: 335; script: notrgir.150

|142ա| Պատասխանի Աստուծով և վասն Աստուծոյ,151 որ արգիլեաց152«զիսկ որք ասենն», զոր ասացեալ են ի վերջն Հաւատամքին։ Ի նուաստ յԵրեմիայէ։

Նախ՝ միթէ՞ եգիտ նա ի գիրս պատմութեանց, եթէ այրն այն, որ ասացեալ է «իսկ որք ասենն», խոտան իցէ՝ լեալ չարագործութեամբ, որ վասն այնորիկ արգիլէ զասացեալն նորա։ Այլ ես ասեմ՝ ահա բանքն Սողոմօնի ընթեռնանի յեկեղեցիս, և թուեալ ի շարս աստուածաշունչ Գրոց Սրբոց։

Երկրորդ՝ թէ ով ոք իցէ սահմանօղն աղօթից ժամակարգութեանց, զսա ևս նոքա են սահմանեալ։ Արդ՝ եթէ չհաւանի աղօթից նոցա, հարկի արգիլել զամենայն ասացեալսն նոցա և ինքն նոր նոր աղօթքներ սահմանել։

Երրորդ՝ եթէ ընդունի զասացեալ աղօթս նոցա, որք Հոգւով153 Սրբով ասացին, արդ պարտ է և «զիսկ որք ասենն» ևս ընդունիլ։

Չորրորդ՝ եթէ իւրեան տէրտէրն փէյտա*154 արար զայս, պարտի և ինքն ևս ընդունիլ, իսկ եթէ ո՛չ ընդունիցի, ահա յայտնի եղև հակառակ իւր տէրտէրին և ուսուցչին և ծնօղին։

Ե.երրորդ155՝ Յակօբ և Փիլիպպոս և Մովսէս կաթողիկոսունք, թողումք զհին վարդապետսն, որք ընկալեալ ի ժամանակս իւրեանց ասէին զայս։ Եւ արդ սա մե՞ծ է քան զնոսա իմաստութեամբ և գիտութեամբ, որ արգիլէ. զպատճառն ո՛չ գիտեմք։

|142բ| Զ.երրորդ՝ մեծամեծ վարդապետք քարոզութեամբ և մեկնութեամբ և ասացուածօք և ճառիւք փայլեցան, որպէս Մայրագումեցին156 և Մանդակունին, և յօճաղն* Մագիստրոսի՝ Վկայասէրն և Գրիգորիսն և Շնորհալին և Լամբրօնացին։ Այլ յառաջ Նարեկացին, զորոյ աղօթսն պաշտեմք, և Մեսրօպն փիր* վարդապետութեան։ Սոքա և նմանքն, որք մեկնիչք և թարգմանիչք էին, և առաջի իշխանաց և թագաւորաց պատասխանատուք էին, և ընկալեալ են զայս։ Արդ՝ սորա արգիլելոյ զպատճառն157 ո՛չ գիտեմ որպէս զձեզ։

Է.երրորդ՝ միթէ՞ սիւնհոդոսիւ եղև խափանումն դորին, զի դա համարձակեցաւ յայտնել զայն ի մէջ քաղաքիս։ Մեք զայն սիւնհոդոսն ո՛չ լուաք։ Եւ զպատճառն ո՛չ ցուցանէ ժողովրդեանն, թէ՝ վասն այսմ պատճառի արժան չէ՛ ասել «Իսկ որք ասենն»։

Ը.երրորդ՝ և զի հինգ հարիւր սևագլուխք կան ի մէջ ազգիս, ո՞վ ոք իցէ, որ համակամեցաւ դորա բանիւք, կամ թէ թղթե՞րք158 գրեցին դորա ի խափանել. զա՛յն ցուցցէ մեզ։

Թ.երրորդ՝ և զի մինչև ցայսօր ինքն ասէր՝ ուսեալ և լուեալ այնպէս, արդ այժմիկ ո՞վ ազդեաց դմա՝ մի՛ ասել։ Միթէ՞ ի տեսլեան հրեշտակ ամէնակալի159 ազդ արար, կամ յօդս յափշտակեցաւ և լուաւ զհրեշտակաց բարբառ160, կամ թէ ուսո՞յց պատգամաւոր նոր փէղամպար*161։

|143ա| Ժ.երրորդ՝ յԷջմիածին և յԵրուսաղէմ և յամենայն վանորայս մինչև ցայժմ պաշտի, և ոչ ոք մտաբերեաց զայս ի խափանել։ Ապա ուրեմն յայտ է, թէ մասն է հպարտութեան նորաձևութիւն, այսինքն՝ քան զամենայնսն գիտուն և իմաստուն համարեցաւ զինքն յաչս իւր։

ԺԱ.երրորդ՝ եթէ ոք, որք ընթեռնուլ կամիցին, ամենեքեան գրովք մակացութեան իմաստնանան։ Եթէ պարծիլ կամիցի դա յաչս ռամկաց, թէ շատ է կարդացեր քան զամենեսեան, բայց սակայն նախ հաստատել պարտի զմիտս ամենայն ժողովրդեանն162 վկայիւք գրոց և ապա վստահասցի խափանել ինչ ի ժամակարգութեանց, զի այս հասարակաց բան է և եկեղեցական։

ԺԲ.երրորդ՝ եթէ կաթողիկոս ոք խափանել կամիցէր զայս, կարօղ էին ասել ազգ հայոց առ նա՝ բե՛ր ցո՛ւյց զգիրքն զայն, զոր ընթերցար դու, թէ խոտան և անպատճաշ է ասել զայս յեկեղեցիս, և զպատճառն ծանո՛ մեզ։ Իսկ դա զիւրովին որպէ՞ս համարձակի։

ԺԳ.երրորդ՝ բացարձակ պատասխան այս է՝ որ վասն Արիոսի և նմանեաց նորին մոլութեանց ասացեալ են զայս։ Վասն որոյ և մինչև ցայսօր սուրբ եկեղեցին նզովէ զայնպիսիսն։ Իսկ եթէ ոք չընդունի, թէ՝ թո՛ղ չասուի «իսկ163 որք ասենն», նա յի՞նչ կու դառնայ։

ԺԴ.երրորդ՝ զՀաւատամքն զոր ասացին ՅԺԸ սուրբ հարքն հանգամանք էր կարճառօտ գլխաւորեալ |143բ| զսահման հաւատոյն։ Եւ ի վերջն եդին և զայս կնիք ի մերայնոց, թէ՝ իսկ որք ասեն այսպէս և այնպէս, ո՛չ ընդունի եկեղեցի զայնպիսիսն, այլ խոտան է և արտաքս անկեալ ի մօրէ՝ սուրբ եկեղեցւոյ, ո՛չ թէ խորթ որդի, այլ օտար։ Թէպէտ ծնունդ ասէ զինքն սուրբ եկեղեցւոյ, այլ հերձուածօղ և հակառակ է սուրբ աւետարանին, զի էակից չասէ՛ ընդ Հօր զՈրդի, և զՀոգի, զի համագոյ չասէ զՀոգի և զՈրդի ընդ Հօր, քանզի ինքն Տէր մեր Բանն Աստուած երևեալ մարմնովն առեցելով զինքն և զՀոգին սուրբ համահաւասար էակից, գոյակից ասաց, ի Հօրէ բնութենէ և յէութենէ ասաց զինքն, այսինքն՝ գնացէք մկրտեցէք զհեթանոսս յանուն Հօր և Որդւոյ և Հոգւոյն սրբոյ (հմմտ. Մատթ. ԻԸ 19): Ահա յայտ է, թէ այլայլելի և փոփոխելի մարդիք թէ գտանին՝ որք ասեն «էր երբեմն այսպէս և այնպէս», չարափառք են, ամբարիշտք են, արիոսեանք են, վասն որոյ և նզովին ի սուրբ եկեղեցւոյ մարմնով և հոգւով, որպէս հողմ, որ զփոշի հոսէ ի վերայ երեսաց երկրի

ԺԵ.երրորդ՝ եթէ պատճառեսցէ ասելով, թէ՝ այժմ արիոսեան ո՛չ գոյ, այլ ի նոյն ժամանակին, որ վասն Արիոսի և համախոհիցն ասացեալ են, վասն որոյ պարտ չէ՛ ասել։ Այլ ես ասեմ, թէ իրա՛ւ է բանդ, որ մեր հարքն կնքեցին և փակեցին, որպէս Հաւատամքն յանձնառակա|144ա|նաւ կատարել ասացուածօք դաւանութեան կատարել ի նոյնն։ Վասն որոյ և ի վերայ երկուցն յանձնառականին և հրաժարականին գեղեցիկ իմն եդ կնիք սուրբ Լուսաւորիչն մեր, թէ՝ «և մեք իսկ փառաւորեսցուք, որ յառաջն է քան զյաւիտեանս՝ երկիր պագանելով Հօր և Որդւոյ և Հոգւոյն Սրբոյ յաւիտեանս», ևն։

ԺԶ.երրորդ՝ եթէ բառնալ պարտ է հրաժարական պատւիրանացն, որ վասն զգուշութեան եդեալ են, հարկ է արդ և բառնալ «զհրաժարիմքն ի սատանայէ»։ Բարձցէ «զմի ոք յերեխայիցն» և զնմանս սոցին, բարձցէ զյաճախագոյն «փառք ի բարձունսն», քանզի ի նոյն ժամանակն ասացին, բարձցէ զաւետարանն, զի վասն անհաւատից գրեցան, բարձցէ զմարգարէականսն, որ վասն Քրիստոսի գրեցան և կատարեցան։ Որպէս լաւ արարեալ են ֆռանկք իւրենաց ժողովրդեանն՝ ո՛չ առակք, ո՛չ մարգարէականք, ո՛չ Պօղոս, ո՛չ աւետարան և ո՛չ Հաւատամք, այլ միայն աղօթք ինչ համառօտեն ի սուրբ Պատարագին, զի փութով արձակիցին։

ԺԷ.երրորդ՝ զխստագոյնն ցուցանեմ՝ «Ով հրաշալին» ի՞նչ է, որ կու երգեն, ա՛յ մարդիկ, «իսկ որք ասենին» սուղն ի՞նչ է։

ԺԸ.երրորդ՝ եթէ պատճառեսցէ, թէ՝ ֆռանկն և հոռոմն չունին, որ ի մէջ ամենայն ազգաց քրիստոնեայք են մեծամեծ և առաջին հաւատացեալ քրիստոնեայք են նոքա։ Բարւո՛ք է, ահա վերնագոյն ասացի, թէ զոր նոքա չունին և դու ու|144բ|նիս, բա՛րձ ի վեր զունեցեալն քո, որ չունեւորացն հետ հաւասար լինիցիս։

ԺԹ.երրորդ՝ յայլ տեղի զնոսա հերձուածօղ և յայսմ տեղի զնոսա վկայ բերէ. այս այլ չեղև։

Ի.երրորդ՝ ես քեզ բերեմ հոռոմ և ֆռանկ, զի ասիցեն, թէ՝ լաւ բան է «իսկ որք ասենն», քանզի հաստատէ զբան Հաւատամքին, և բնաւին բառնայ զկարծիս արիոսեան՝ հրաժարելով և նզովելով զայնպիսիսն։

ԻԱ.երրորդ՝ ասեմ ձեզ զպատճառն. զայդպիսի նորաձևութիւն164 արարողութեան առնօղ մարդոյն կամքն այն է, թէ՝ փորձեմ տեսնեմ զժողովուրդն, թէ նոր բանի մի հնազանդին և ընդունին նա, վաղիւն այլ ևս ուրիշ բան շինեմ և խաղամ։ Յայտ է, թէ վասն փառամոլութեան իւրոյ խորամանկի և վրդովեցուցանէ, խոտորեցուցանէ, խռովեցուցանէ, պատճառ աւերման և գայթակղութեան. թահգիգ* թահգիգ, էլպէթ* էլպէթ։

ԻԲ.երրորդ՝ զի թէ զՊուրսայ տառապեցոյց պէսպէս իրօք, ապա թէ Իստամպօլ165 չհնազանդի նա. ահա եղև այլայլութիւն։ Թէ զՊալատ հնազանդեցոյց և զԷտրէնէ ո՛չ կարիցէ. ահա եղև վրդովումն։ Թէ զԻւսկիւտար զապտեց և զԹօխաթ կարիցէ ո՛չ. ահա եղև պղտորումն։ Ապա թէ կարիցէ երկոտասան առաքեալս և ՀԲ աշակերտս ստանալ և առաքել զ|145ա|նոսա ընդ որ հայք սփռեալ և տարածեալ են, զի քարոզեսցեն նոքա զոր ինչ կամիցի դա՝ դնել նորս և բառնալ զհինսն յեկեղեցւոյ, ապա հարկի, որ արուեստիւք հրաշից և սքանչելեաց զօրութեամբ լինի, եթէ ոչ՝ ալվի խարապ,* ալվի* վրդովումն. ախը՜ր խռովութիւն։

ԻԳ.երրորդ՝ վասն յԵրուսաղէմ կաթողիկոս նստելոյ այսքան գայթակղութիւն եղև ի մէջ ազգիս, որ բազում ընչաւէտք չքացան, ոմանք ի բանտի մեռան, փախուստ, գան և տուգան, թէրսանէ* և բանտ, թլֆանք*166 և կորուստ մալին Երուսաղէմի, և փախուստ միաբանիցն Էջմիածնի, և փակելոյ դրան տաճարին, և խայտառակութիւն ի մէջ ամենայն ազգաց։ Եւ այս ամենայն եղև վասն փառամոլութեան նորաձևութեան։ Արդ՝ յայտ է, թէ հարազատն իցէ զաւակ այնմ գայթակղեցուցչի. ասեմ և ո՛չ ամաչեմ։

ԻԴ.երրորդ՝ եթէ ըռզըն* Քրիստոսի սիանէթ* անէ, զի ժողովուրդն մի՛ լսիցէ զհաչմունս հերձուածողաց, այլ պատասխան տամ այսմ, թէ այսքան ժամանակ ասէին զայդ և ո՛չ ոք յազգէս վասն յայդմ իրի թուրքացան, այլ ի գարշութեան ոմանց գայթակղեալ՝ ի հաւատոց ելին։ Անմտութիւն է այս առ լսօղս167 և խորամանկութիւն յիւր168 բարս։

ԻԵ.երրորդ՝ վասն «իսկ որք ասենին» ո՛չ ոք երկբայեցաւ մինչև ցայսօր, այլ զՀաւատամք ասօղսն169 ևս առաւել հաստատեն, զի նզովեն զայլայլելիսն և զփոփոխելիսն, բայց վասն գործոց գարշութեան երկբային, խոտորին և ա|145բ|նունն Աստուծոյ հայհոյի ի մէջ ազգաց։

ԻԶ.երրորդ՝ բարւոք է, թէ՝ նոյն խորհրդով իցէր զըռզն* Քրիստոսի պահել, ապա ի դատաստանէ իւրմէ դատապարտեալ է նա, քանզի լսեմ, թէ ի մէջ քարոզին անձն և անձն յիշելով, բնութիւն և բնութիւն յեղյեղելով, և թէ Նեստոր այսպէս բարբանջեաց վասն Քրիստոսի, Արիոս այսպէս բաջաղեց վասն Քրիստոսի, ֆիլան* քեօփէկ* այսպէս կարծեց վասն Քրիստոսի և հաչեց։ Որ այսպիսի չար համբաւքս, որ ի չարեացն յամբարտաւան ախտիցն յառաջ եկին. ժողովուրդքն ամենևին խապար* չունին, և գայթակղութիւն է պարզամտաց։ Ապա ուրեմն չգիտէ պահել զըռզն* Քրիստոսի ըստ ինքեան անիմաստն այն, այլ վասն «իսկ որք ասենին», որ եղև վրէժխնդիր՝ բառնալ, վասն Քրիստոսի ըռզին* պահելոյ չէ՛, այլ արհեստ իմաստութեան կամի ցուցանել ժողովրդեան, և ո՛չ գիտէ, թէ ո՛չ ծածկէ իմաստութիւն զյայտնի թիւրեալն և զմոլեալն յախտ սովորութեան։

ԻԷ.երրորդ՝ եթէ բան մի և իր մի, որ խաղաղութեամբ չլինի կատարածն, ահա կատարի բանն Քրիստոսի, թէ՝ աւելին ի չարէն է (Մատթ. Ե 37), քանզի ո՛չ ի շինութիւն ժողովրդեանն170 եղև, այլ ի վրդովումն։ Եւ խորհեցաւ խորհուրդ, զոր ո՛չ կարաց հաստատել, և սկսաւ շինել և ո՛չ կարաց կատարել, և եղև ծաղր տեսողաց, և գտաւ տեղի բամբասանաց ի մէջ պառաւանց. այս ինչպէ՞ս իմաս|146ա|տութիւն, քան թէ անմտութիւն յո՛յժ յո՛յժ։

ԻԸ.երրորդ՝ անմտութիւն է առն, որ զամենեսեան անմիտ կարծէ, և միայն զինքն գիտուն։ Եւ ո՛չ մտածեաց զայս, որ այսօր ինքն խափանեաց և եթող գնաց, և վաղիւն ես գամ յեկեղեցի, բարձր ձայնիւ ասեմ «Իսկ որք ասենն»։

ԻԹ.երրորդ՝ զԵղիազարն գովէ ի մէջ քարոզին և հեկեկելով լայ զաղալն* թիթալ*՝ թէրևս լացուցանել կարիցէ զպարզամիտ տխմարս, զի այն լինիցի մխիթարութիւն անյագ սրտի իւրոյ, այսինքն՝ եթէ տակաւին խաբին ժողովուրդք յարհեստ խորամանկութեան իւրոյ։ Նա՝ Եղիազար մինչ յօրն ի մահուն ասէր «զիսկ որք ասենն»։ Ապա ուրեմն այնու հակառակ եղև իւրոյ գովաբանութեանն, զի իմաստունն գովաբանէ զանմիտն և զանիմաստն։

Լ.երրորդ՝ եթէ իրաւ և արժան իցէ գովաբանութեանն, որ վասն Եղիազարու. ահա այնու ախմախ* ինքն գտաւ, զի հակառակեցաւ իմաստնոյն. և զիւր գովաբանութիւնն ստեաց, զի խոտորնակ եղև նմա, քանզի նա ասէր «զիսկ որք ասենն»։

ԼԱ.երրորդ՝ ի մանկութեան մերում լսէաք յերկու ճրագալոյցսն ի սուրբ Պատարագսն, առաջի մեծամեծ վարդապետաց հանդիպողաց «զիսկ որք ասենն» ձայնիւ նուագէին։

|146բ| ԼԲ.երրորդ՝ ծաղեր և նախատանաց պատճառ գտաւ, զի ասել կարիցեն այլ ազգ քրիստոնեայք, թէ հայք յայսմ ամի իմանալով զանգիտութիւն մոլորութեան իւրեանց ի ձեռն Սիւքիաս ումեմն հռետորի և աստուածաբանութեան վարդապետի բարձին ի Հաւատամքէն «զիսկ որք ասենն», զոր ասէին մինչև ցայսօր ժամանակի։ Կարեն ասել այժմիկ այլ ազգ քրիստոնեայք, թէ ուրեմն հաւաստի հաստատի ի մէջ հայոց գոլ շատ մոլորութիւնք, զորս ինքեանք ծածկեն, և ոմանք անգիտաբար հետևին, որպէս այժմիկ ահա ծանեաւ Սուքիասն ամէնիմաստ171 և եբարձ «զիսկ որք ասենն»։

ԼԳ.երրորդ՝ ասելի է, թէ այդպիսիքդ այլայլելի կամօք և փոփոխելի խորհրդովք են, զի որ մերձ է ի չարիս, նա արագ է ի կարծիս, այսինքն՝ զնզովքն զայն լսելով՝ երկնչին հանգչիլ ի վերայ ինքեանց, վասն որոյ խափանել կամիցին զայն։

ԼԴ.երրորդ՝ այլայլելին այն է, որ զոմանս շարականս փոխել կամ վեր բառնալ, կամ յայլ տեղի դնել։ Այլայլելին այն է՝ զփոխս և զքարոզս փոխել յետ և յառաջ, այլայլելին այն է՝ ի պատարագին՝ այս պիտի և այն չպիտի172 ասել, կամ ձեռնամած, կամ բազկատարած, կամ «Փառք ի բարձունս»՝ համաձայն կամ դաս առ դաս, կամ ծածուկ գլխով կամ գլխի բաց:173 Այսպիսիքն ամենայն այլայլութիւնք են և պղտո|147ա|րումն։ Վասն որոյ ի մոլորութիւն նորաձևութիւն ախտին հպարտութեան զնզովսն արգիլէ, զի մի՛ հանգչիցի ի վերայ ինքեան։

Այլայլելին այն է, որ ի մերումս ժամանակի ոմանք ասեն՝ այս ինչ ծանր է հայոց պահք, և ձկտին ի հոռոմս, թէ՝ մի՞թէ նոքա քրիստոնեայ չեն։

Այլայլելին այն է, թէ՝ այս ի՞նչ շատ ժամակարգութիւն է հայոց չորս հինգ սահաթ,* և ձգին ի ֆռանկս՝ մի՞թէ նոքա քրիստոնեայ չեն։

Այլայլութիւն է, թէ՝ մարտի քսանևհինգ և ի Ծաղկազարդն հոռոմն ձուկն ուտէ՝ միթէ՞ նոքա քրիստոնեայ չեն։

Փոփոխին ի ֆռանկս ասելով՝ միթէ՞ ստուգութիւն Զատկին նոցա չէ, որ այսքան թագաւորութիւն և իմաստութիւն ունին։ Ահա տունկ փոփոխական արմատ ո՛չ առնու, և ո՛չ գտաւ միտն հաստատուն այնորիկ, զի ի հայոց ելնու, ի հոռոմն չմնայ և ի ֆռանկս ո՛չ պատուաստի։ Եւ իջաւ հիմն ի վերայ աւազի անվաւեր և կործանումն է նորա (հմմտ. Ղուկ. Զ 49):

Արդ՝ պարտ էր զայսոսիկ և զայսպիսիս հաստատել ի միաբանութիւն, հարկ էր զայսպիսեացն թերամտութեան զամբոխումն խաղաղացուցանել, պատշաճ էր ստուգել զբան երանելի թարգմանչաց և մեկնչաց նախնեաց մերոց։

ԼԵ.երրորդ՝ եթէ ասիցէ ոք, թէ՝ Եղիազար ուրիշ մ|147բ|տօք ասէր կեղծաւորաբար ի լսելիս ժողովրդեանն և ի ժամ մահուն կտակ է արարեալ սորա՝ չասել «իսկ որք ասենն»։ Տամք պատասխան թէ՝ սա յԷջմիածին չէ՛ր ի ժամ մահուանն Եղիազարու։ Իսկ թէ ասիցէ ոք՝ Եղիազար թուղթ գրեաց սորա ի ժամ մահուն վասն այսմ, զայն ո՛չ գիտեմք։ Ցուցանել պարտի՛ զթուղթն զայն։

ԼԶ.երրորդ՝ Նորագոյն բան հանելով էարկ կարծիս ի միտս ռամկաց, ձգեաց ի լեզուս պարզամտաց, թէ՝ միթէ՞ խոտան բան է լեալ «իսկ որք ասենն», զոր ասէին անգիտաբար ազգս մեր։

ԼԷ.երրորդ, թէ՝ անիմաստք էին նախնիքն այնոքիկ, որք զդա գրեցին յաւանդ մեզ, և նա զանիմաստիցն գիրս ընթերցար, և յանիմաստէս նա յարհեստ նոցա արհեստիւքն իւրեանց։

ԼԸ.երրորդ, թէ՝ իմաստունք են նոքա և արժանաւոր յիշատակելոյ ի Պատարագն, զտօն նոցա առնելոյ, զճառսն ընթեռնլոյ, զնոսա բարեխօս կարդալոյ։ Սա, ասեմ, անարժան է զանուանս նոցա ի բերան առնելոյ174, զի զուխտադրութիւն նոցա քամահէ, զյիշատակսն աղարտէ, զբանսն արհամարհէ, զշինեալսն քակէ, զարձանսն կործանէ, և զգրեալսն եղծանէ, այսինքն՝ ցանկապատառութիւն, որ տրտնջանաց և երկպառակութեան լինի պատճառ, և հայի կատարածն ի խռովութիւն. յաւելին175 ի չա|148ա|րէն է (Մատ. Ե 37), խռովարարն սատանայ է։

ԼԹ.երրորդ, Մեկնութիւն է, այսինքն՝ եզրակացութիւն Հաւատամքին և վկայ հաստատուն որովհետև Հայր և Որդի և Սուրբ Հոգին էակից և համագոյակից դաւանեցաւ Դառնայ անդրադարձ բանն և վկայէ հաստատութեամբ, թէ՝ իսկ որք գտանին բաց ի սմանէ ասօղք այսպէս և այնպէս, արտաքսեալ է, հեռացեալ է, որոշեալ է, նզովեալ է ի սուրբ եկեղեցւոյ։

Խ.երրորդ, Կլէմէսն որ այսքան չարախոսեալ է զմեզ, գովաբանութիւն իմն վասն ուղղափառաց մերոց ասէ ի գիրքն իւր յայսպէս՝ «և զկնի հաւատամքին դաւանին ընդդէմ Արիոսի զէութիւն Աստուծոյ Բանին անփոփոխելի և անայլայլելի՝ երգելով զնիկիական վերաբերութիւնն, որ ասէ «իսկ որք ասենն», ևն։

ԽԱ.երրորդ, Զայս բան գիրք սուրբ հաստատեն, որպէս Մովսէս յՕրէնսն Աստուծոյ օրհնութիւն և անէծս գրեաց, և որպէս Յովհաննէս Մկրտիչ ասէ՝ որ հաւատայ յՈրդի, ընդունի զկեանս յաւիտենականս, և որ ոչն հնազանդի Որդւոյ, ո՛չ տեսցէ զկեանս, այլ բարկութիւն Աստուծոյ մնայ ի վերայ նորա (Յովհ. Գ 36): Եւ որպէս Տէրն հրամայէ՝ որոց բարիս գործեալ իցէ ի յարութիւն կենաց, և որոց զչար արարեալ ի յարութիւն դատաստանից (Յովհ. Ե 29): Եւ դարձեալ հրամայէ՝ ասացի ձեզ, թէ ի մեղս ձեր մեռանիցիք, զի թէ ո՛չ հաւատայցէք, թէ ես եմ՝ մեռանիցիք ի մեղս ձեր (Յովհ. Ը 24): Եւ |148բ| դարձեալ հրամայէ՝ ի դատաստան եկի յաշխարհս այս, զի որք ոչն տեսանեն՝ տեսցեն, և որք տեսանենն ՝կուրասցին (Յովհ. Թ 39): Եւ դարձեալ թէ՝ եկայք օրհնեալք հօր իմոյ (Մատթ. ԻԵ 34), և թէ՝ երթայք անիծեալք ի հուրն յաւիտենական (Մատթ. ԻԵ 41), և այլ բազում գոյ Գրոց Սրբոց աշակերտաց և ճշմարտասիրաց։

Այս բաւական լսողաց, թէ մին մին լաւ տեղեկացեալ մտադրութեամբ ընթերձցին176 և լուիցեն և զգուշասցին յայնպիսեաց։

Գրեցաւ օրինակմամբ յամի տեառն 1793, և ի ՌՄԽԲ (=1242) թուին հայոց, մարտի Բ, և ի ۱۲۰۷-սէ Շապան ամսոյ մէկին, ի մանկատան սրբոյն Յակոբոյ Մծբնայ հայրապետի, ի Պալատ։

[The] response with God’s help and concerning God [to the person] who disallowed [the recital of the anathema] “As for those who say”177 that is recited at the end of the Creed. [Narrated] by unworthy Eremia [Kʻēōmiwrčean].

First, is it that he [i.e. Sukʻias Prusacʻi] found in historical books, that the man, who established “As for those who say” is a useless person full of villainy, and because of that he [Sukʻias] disallows his words? But I say, behold the words of Solomon recited in churches and accepted among the Holy Scriptures.178

Second, those who established the prayers of [Liturgy of] Hours179 also established this [Anathema]. Thus, if he [Sukʻias] does not approve of their prayers, he is obliged to forbid all their sayings, and constitute new prayers of his own.

Third, if he accepts the prayers articulated by them through the Holy Spirit, hence, he is obliged to accept “As for those who say” as well.

Fourth, if his patron180 acknowledged181 this [Anathema], then he is obliged to accept it as well. But if he does not accept it, behold, he is revealed as opposing his patron and teacher and [spiritual] parent.

Fifth, the Catholicoi Yakob182 and Pʻilipos183 and Movsēs,184 let alone the old vardapets,185 who accepted [it] at their times [and] had been reciting it. And now, is he greater than them in his wisdom and knowledge, to forbid [its recital]? I am unaware of the cause!

Sixth, such tremendous teachers as Mayragomecʻi,186 and Mandakuni,187 and the heir188 of Magistros189—Vkayasēr,190 and Grigor,191 and Šnorhali,192 and Lambronacʻi,193 radiated through their sermons and commentaries, and sayings, and homilies. But first of all [come] Narekacʻi,194 whose prayers we admire and Mesrop,195 the pinnacle196 of the doctrine. They and their equals—the commentators and interpreters [of the faith], who took the responsibility before the princes and kings, accepted it. Hence, just like you, I am also unaware of his judgment to forbid [its recital].

Seventh, is it that through a Synod, the abolition of this [Anathema] occurred, so that he dared proclaim it in the city? We have not heard of that Synod! And he does not reveal the cause to the public, [to prove], that due to this very reason, it is not of consequence to recite “As for those who say.”

Eighth, and there are five hundred clerics197 among our nation. Which one of them accorded with him in their words? Or perhaps they scribbled letters to him to abolish [recitation]? Let him show it to us!

Ninth, and he has been hitherto reciting it himself as he learned and heard in this manner. So, now who influenced him not to recite [this]? Is it possible, that the angel of the Almighty manifested through a vision,198 or perhaps he ascended to the havens and heard the angelic tongues,199 or perhaps a messenger [and] new prophet200 taught [it to him]?

Tenth, it has been observed in Ejmiacin and Jerusalem and all the monasteries to this day, and no one has made up his mind to abolish it. Hence, it is obvious that [this] innovation is part of [his] arrogance, that is to say, he imagined himself more knowledgeable and wiser than all others.

Eleventh, that the ones, who are willing to read [it]; they all become wise [by means of] all writings of erudition. If he desires to boast to the peasants that he has read more than the others, first he has to prove it in public with the testimonies from the writings, and then take the confidence to abolish anything from the Hours,201 since that is a public matter, as well as ecclesiastical.

Twelfth, if any Catholicos would wish to abolish this, the Armenian people could tell him, “Bring and show [us] the book you read, [which says] that reciting this in the church is useless and improper! Also acquaint us with the cause!” So, how dares he [abolish it] himself?

Thirteenth, the perfect answer is that it has been articulated in consequence of the vice of Arius and his equals. Therefore, the Holy Church anathematizes them hitherto. And if one does not accept it [by saying], “Let “As for those who say” not be recited,” then who will he turn into?

Fourteenth, the Creed,202 articulated by 318 Holy Fathers,203 was a way to succinctly enclose the definition of faith. And at the end of it [the Creed] they put this seal of ours, so that those who say so and so, are not accepted by the Church, and that he [Arius] is worthless and external to the mother, [that is the] Holy Church—not [as] a stepson, but an alien. Although he [Arius] claims himself to be begotten of the Church, he is a heretic and adversary of the Holy Gospel, since he does not confess the Son and the Holy Spirit [to be] of the very same nature with the Father, and does not confess the Spirit and the Son consubstantial204 with the Father. For our Lord Word of God, while revealing himself incarnated, proclaimed himself coequal, consubstantial, [and] coessential with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed himself of the very nature and the very essence with the Father, that is “Go, baptize all the nations in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (cf. Math. 28:19). Thus, it makes clear, that if there appear alterable and mutable people, who say “There was a time”205 and so forth; they will be [considered] heretics,206 infidels, Arians. Hence, [the like of them] are anathematized with body and soul, by the Holy Church, resembling the wind that disperses the dust on the surface of the world.

Fifteenth, if he [Sukʻias] argues that there are no Arians nowadays, but [since] this was articulated against Arius and his partisans at one time, therefore it is of no consequence to recite [it any more]. Yet I say, your word[s] are true indeed, that our Fathers sealed [this] up, and confined [it] to be observed the same way as the Creed is observed through affirmation of the words of faith. Because of that, our Saint Lusaworičʻ207 put a beautiful seal upon both the affirmation and renunciation, that is “As for us, we shall glorify Him who was before the ages, worshipping … the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and unto the ages of ages” and so forth.

Sixteenth, if the renunciations, which were established for the good of the cautious, are to be abolished, then the “We renounce Satan”208 is to be abolished as well. Let “Let none of the catechumens”209 and suchlike be abolished; let the frequent “Glory in the Highest”210 be abolished, as it was composed in the same period; let the Gospels be abolished, as they were composed for infidels, let the Prophets be abolished, that were written and fulfilled for Christ. How commodious Franks211 made it for their people—no Proverbs, no Prophets, no Paul,212 no Gospels, no Creed: only some brief prayers during the Holy Mass in order to dismiss [people] rapidly.213

Seventeenth, I strictly declare: Oh, people! What is “O, marvelous!”214 that is sung [during the Liturgy]? [And] what is the deficiency of “As for those who say” [so that not to be recited]?

Eighteenth, that he [Sukʻias] argues that the Franks and the Greeks, who are the greatest, and the first Christians among all nations, do not have this [Anathema]. That is correct. Behold, like I said earlier, if they do not have it and you do, should you abolish what you have to become equal with those who do not?

Nineteenth, on other occasions he refers to them [Franks and Greeks] as schismatics, whereas here he refers to them as testifiers. This will not do either!

Twentieth, I can show you Greek[s] and Frank[s], who will say that “As for those who say” is a good thing, since it affirms the words in the Creed and effaces entirely the Arian conjectures by renouncing and anathematizing the likes [of Arius].

Twenty-first, I tell you the cause. The will of a man putting into practice such an innovation is to test people to see if they obey and accept it, [then] tomorrow I will invent something else and execute. It is obvious, that for the sake of his vanity, he dissembles and disquiets, misleads and perplexes people, [becomes] the cause of destruction and dismay; that’s for sure;215 that’s for certain.216

Twenty-second, for if he managed to torment Bursa217 with various things, but Istanbul would not obey him—behold, there will be distortion. If he managed to subjugate Balat,218 but could not [succeed in] Edirne219—behold, there will be disorder. If he managed to habituate Üsküdar,220 but could not [succeed in] Tokat—behold, there will be disturbance. Then, if he is capable of acquiring twelve apostles along with seventy-two disciples and forwarding them to where the Armenians are scattered and spread, for they will preach whatever he desires —establishing new and abolishing the old [customs] of the Church, then it is to happen through the thaumaturgy and the power of wonderworking. If not, [then there will be] more destruction, [there will be] more disquietude. But is that not a turmoil!?

Twenty-third, there was such a grand scandal among our nation because of [the establishment of] Catholicosal throne in Jerusalem.221 A number of opulent [people] eliminated, some died in prison. Escape, torment and indemnity, galley222 and jail, fatigue and loss of the animals of Jerusalem, and escape of the monks of Ejmiacin, and closure of the door of the monastery,223 and disgrace among all the nations [occurred]. And all these on behalf of the vanity of innovation. Thus, it is obvious, that he [Sukʻias] is the genuine child of that scandalous man.224 I claim [this] and I am not ashamed!

Twenty-forth, if he wants to defend225 the honor226 of Christ in order for people to refrain from hearing the bark of the heretics, then I reply to this—for such a long time it has been recited and no one from our nation turned Turk,227 but rather they betrayed their faith tempted by the abhorrence of certain people. This is bêtise for the listeners and artifice in his course.

Twenty-fifth, to this day no one was misled because of “As for those who say.” Moreover, those, who recite the Creed, rather affirm that they anathematize mutable and changeable ones. But because of the deeds of abhorrence, they got perplexed and were led astray, and the name of the God is blasphemed among the nations.

Twenty-sixth, it is good, if with the very same intention, the honor228 of Christ was defended; yet he is condemned with his own judgment, for I hear him recalling the person and person229 during the sermon and reiterating nature and nature,230 and [telling] that Nestorius trifled in such-and-such manner about Christ, and Arius prattled so-and-so about Christ, and the such-and-such231 dog232 assumed so-and-so about Christ and barked. People are entirely ignorant,233 that this kind of wicked reputation had emerged from malicious and haughty disease; hence, that is a temptation for the simple-minded. Therefore, he himself is ignorant of the defence of the honor234 of Christ. And it is not for the defence of the honor235 of Christ that he wishes to abolish “As for those who say,” but rather desires to demonstrate to people the art of [his] wisdom. And he is not aware that wisdom never conceals the visible errors and insanity of those, [driven] into the disease of wont.

Twenty-seventh, if a word and a thing is not carried out in peace, behold, the word of Christ fulfils, that “anything more than this comes from evil” (Mat. 5:37), because it was not for the sake of tranquility of people that it was performed, but for the sake of turmoil. And he thought of the things which he could not affirm, and started to create, but could not complete. And it became ridiculous for beholders, and became a matter of gossip among the beldams. What kind of wisdom is this? Rather foolishness, extreme236 [silliness].

Twenty-eighth, foolish is the man, who imagined everyone to be fools, and him alone to be wise. And he has never thought of this, that today he might abolish this [Anathema] and leave, and tomorrow I shall come to church and recite in a loud voice “As for those who say.”

Twenty-ninth, during the sermon he praises Ełiazar, and [Sukʻias, this] feeble237 pretender,238 weeps sobbing, that perhaps he could make some simple-minded ignoramuses weep [too], for in case people are deceived by the art of his imposture, that will become a consolation for his voracious heart. To the very day of his death Ełiazar himself recited “As for those who say.” Therefore, this made him [Sukʻias] adversary of his own eulogy, for [it turned out that] the wise one praises the foolish and the worthless one.

Thirtieth, if Ełiazar is justly worthy of his eulogy, then he [Sukʻias] made himself a fool, for he opposed the sage. And his eulogy became deceptive, as he [Sukʻias] made himself adversary to him [Ełiazar], because he [Ełiazar] used to recite “As for those who say.”

Thirty-first, in our childhood we heard “As for those who say” sung before great honorable vardapets at the Holy Divine Liturgy for the two Candlemases.239

Thirty-second, he became a matter of mockery and outrage, for other Christian nations could say, that this year discovering the ignorance of their own error at the hands of a certain orator and doctor of theology Sukʻias, Armenians eliminated “As for those who say” from the Creed, which they had been reciting up until now. Other Christian nations could say now, that consequently it turned out to be true, that there indeed are many errors among Armenians, which they hide, and some people ignorantly follow them. Behold like nowadays all-wise Sukʻias perceived and abolished “As for those who say.”

Thirty-third, they say, that such people are alterable in their will and unsteady in their mind, for who is close to evil, he is swift in assumptions, meaning that while hearing those anathemas, they fear those to be placed upon themselves, thereby they wish to abolish those [anathemas].

Thirty-fourth, alterable is that, when [they wish] to change or override some hymns, or change their order.

Alterable is that, when [they wish] to move the verses of the Psalms and the Sermons backwards and forwards. Alterable is that, when [they command] to say this and not that during the Divine Liturgy, or weather [it should be said] with raised or spread arms, or whether “Glory in the Highest” [should be sung] concordant or voice by voice, or whether with a covered or uncovered head. These all are mutabilities and confusion. Therefore, [being] in delusion of the innovation of the disease of pride he disallows the anathemas, lest they be placed upon him.

Alterable is that nowadays some people say, “How hard is the [observance] of the Armenian fast!” And they lean toward the Greeks [with the words], “Are they not Christians?”

Alterable is that, [when they complain], “How lengthy is the Armenian Service, four-five hours long!” And they tend towards the Franks [by saying], “Are they not Christians?”

Mutability is [when they complain] that the Greeks eat fish on March 25th240 and on Palm Sunday—“Are not they Christians?”

They turn Frank by saying, “Does not the credibility of Easter belong to them, who possess so many kingdoms and wisdom?” Behold! The mutable plant does not take root! And that kind of mind did not find stability, for it egresses from the Armenians, and does not remain among the Greeks, and is not replanted within the Franks. Thus, the foundation rested on a variable sand and that is [the cause of] its destruction (cf. Luke 6:49).

Thus, it would be suitable to establish this kind of people in peace; it would be proper to pacify the confusion of mistrust of such people; it would be descent to check the words of our forefathers—blessed commenters and interpreters.

Thirty-fifth, if someone argues that Ełiazar was hypocritically reciting it for the ears of the people and on his deathbed made his will to this [Sukʻias] not to recite “As for those who say,” we give a reply, that he was not in Ejmiacin at the time of Ełiazar’s death. And if anyone says that Ełiazar wrote a letter to him on his deathbed concerning this matter, that I do not know. He has to show [us] that letter!

Thirty-sixth, by propagating an innovative thing, he insinuated a thought in the minds of peasants [and] on the tongues of the simple-minded—is it possible, that “As for those who say” was a useless thing, which our people had been reciting out of ignorance?

Thirty-seventh, if those forefathers, who composed it as a tradition for us, were worthless, then he read the writings of the senseless ones, and by these senseless ones, he was affected through their artifice.

Thirty-eight, if they are wise and meritorious so that to be remembered during the Divine Liturgy, to be venerated at their feast days, to read their homilies, to pray for their intercession, then I claim, he does not deserve to take their names on his lips, because he condemns their vow, denigrates their memory, disdains their sayings, demolishes their statues, distorts their writings; that is called a schism,241 which will become the cause of complaints and discord, and in the end will lead to turmoil. “Anything more comes from evil” (Mat. 5:37), the troublemaker is a devil!

Thirty-ninth, this [Anathema] is the interpretation, that is to say, the conclusion of the Creed and is the unchangeable testifier [of the Creed], as it confesses [the] Father, [the] Son, and [the] Holy Spirit, coessential and consubstantial. [It] reflects the word and testifies that those who are found external to this, [those] articulating so-and-so, are expelled, dismissed, excommunicated, anathematized by the Holy Church.

Fortieth, Clement,242 who slandered upon us so many times, praises our orthodox people in his book as follows: “And following the Creed they confess the nature of God the Word to be unchangeable and immutable against Arius by singing the Nicene anaphora “As for those who say,” etc.”

Forty-first, the Holy Scripture confirms this thing: as Moses recorded blessings and condemnations in the Law of God and as John the Baptist says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36). And as the Lord commands, “those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:29). And again he commands, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). And again commands, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (John 9:39). And again, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father” (Mat. 25:34), and “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire…” (Mat. 25:41); and there are many other [testimonies] from [the words of] the disciples and veracious of the Holy Scriptures.

This is enough for the auditors; if they read [it] word by word with the intention to be well-informed, and if they comprehend and beware of such people.

Copied in 1793 of the year of [our] Lord and 1242 of the Armenian Era, on March 2, and in ۱۲۰۷ [1207] on the first of month Sha’bān, in the orphanage after Saint Patriarch Jacob of Nisibis in Balat.

Glossary of Words in Armeno-Turkish (Բառեր հայատառ թուրքերենով)

Ախմախ [axmax]—ած. տխմար, հիմար—arab. ahmak—n., adj. stupid, simple-minded, idiot

Էլպէթ, հէլպէթ [ēlpētʻ, hēlpētʻ]—մակ. անշուշտ, իհարկէ—elbet, arab. elbett—adv. certainly, of course,

Ըռզ [ǝṙǝz]—գոյ. պատիվ—ırz; arab. ǝrz—n. honor, integrity, probity

Թահգիգ [tʻahgig]—մակ. ստույգ, հաստատ—trk. tahkik—n. investigation, verification (here: adv. definitely, absolutely, for certain)

Թէրսանէ [tʻērsanē]—գոյ. նաւարան, թիարան trk. tersane—n. dock yard, navy yard (here: n. galleys; penal servitude)

Խապար [xapar]—գոյ. լուր, տեղեկութիւն—trk. haber; arab. khaber—n. news, information

Խարապ [xarap]—ած. աւեր, աւերած, փչացած—arab. kharab—adj. corrupt, decayed, ruined

Յօճաղ=յ+օճախ [yočał], օջախ [ōǰax]—գոյ. կրակարան, փխբ. տոհմ, գերդաստան—trk. ocak—n. fireplace, fig. n. kin, family (here: n. child, heir)

Սահաթ [sahatʻ]—գոյ. ժամ—arab. saat—n. hour

Սիանէթ ընել [sianētʻ]—բայ. պաշտպանել—trk. sıyanet—v. protection, defence (here: v. protect, defend)

Փէղամպար [pʻēłampar]—գոյ. մարգարէ—trk. peygamber—n. prophet

Փէյտա, ֆայտա ընել [pʻēyta, fayta]—բայ. առաջ քաշել—pers. n. peyda—manifest; v. produce, acquire, beget

Փիր [pʻir]—գոյ. կրթված ծեր, պատրիարք—pers. pir—n. chief; erudite; patriarch

Քէօփէկ [kʻēōpʻēk]—գոյ. շուն (այստեղ՝ վիրավորական բառ)—trk. köpek—n. dog (here: a term of contempt)

Ֆիլան [filan]—այսինչը, այնինչը—arab. filan; trk. filan, falan—so-and-so

Glossary of Dialectal Forms (Բարբառային ձևեր)

Ալվի [alvi]—մակ. մի փոքր էլ, այլ ևս—adv. a bit more

Զաղալ [załal]—ած. խաղի մեջ խարդախություն անող—adj. fraud, impostor, pretender

Թիթալ [tʻitʻal]—ած. նիհար, տկար, տկարակազմ—adj. feeble

Թլֆանք [tʻlfankʻ]—գոյ. հոգնություն, թուլություն—n. fatigue, weekness


I am grateful to Tijana Krstić and Sebouh David Aslanian for their helpful suggestions on this article. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 648498).


Ernst Troeltsch, “Die Bedeutung des Protestantismus für die Entstehung der Modernen Welt,” Historische Zeitschrift 97, no. 1 (1906): 29. For a critical edition on Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean, see Gayane Ayvazyan, “Eremia Chʻelepi Kʻyomyurchyani patmakan žaṛangutʻyuně” [The Historical Heritage of Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean], (PhD diss., Institute of History, NASRA, 2014). For a complete bibliography of Eremia’s works, see Gayane Ayvazyan, “Eremia Kʻyomurchyani dzeṛagrakan zhaṛangutʻyuně” [The Manuscript Heritage of Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean], Banber Matenadarani 20, (2014): 349–398. Yakob Siruni, Pōlis ev ir derě [Constantinople and its Role], vol. 1, (Beirut: Mesrop Press, 1965), 606.


Ute Lotz-Heumann, Matthias Pohlig, “Confessionalization and Literature in the Empire, 1555–1700,” Central European History 40, no. 1, (2007): 35–61.


Ernst Walter Zeeden, Konfessionsbildung: Studien zur Reformation, Gegenreformation und katholischen Reform, (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1985).


Wolfgang Reinhard, “Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and the Early Modern State. A Reassessment,” Catholic Historical Review 75, no. 3 (July 1989): 383–404. Heinz Schilling, “Confessionalization: Historical and Scholarly Perspective of a Comparative and Interdisciplinary Paradigm,” in Confessionalization in Europe, 1550-1700, ed. John M. Headley, et. al. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 21–36.


For a summary of critical works, see Ute Lotz-Heuman, “The Concept of ‘Confessionalization:’ a Historiographical Paradigm in Dispute,” Memoria y Civilización 4 (2001): 93-114; and “Forum” German History 32, no. 4 (2014): 579-598. See the discussion in “Forum,” German History, 586.


On the processes of Sunnitization, and recent engagement with Sunnitization in the Ottoman context, both Muslim and Christian, see Tijana Krstić, Contested Conversions to Islam: Narratives of Religious Change in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011); Derin Terzioğlu, “How to Conceptualize Ottoman Sunnitization: A Historiographical Discussion,” Turcica 44 (2012–13): 301–38.


For recent scholarship, see Ovidiu Olar, “‘Io se puotesse reformare la mia chiesa, lo farei molto volentieri…’ Kyrillos Loukaris and the Confessionalization of the Orthodox Church (1620–1638); John-Paul Ghobrial, “The Conversion to Catholicism of the Christians of Mosul in the Seventeenth century,” papers presented at Entangled Confessionalizations? Dialogic Perspectives on Community and Confession-Building Initiatives in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-18th Centuries,” Budapest, June 1–3, 2018 (Gorgias Press, 2020, forthcoming).


Lotz-Heuman, “The Concept,” 101–102.


Christian Windler, “Ambiguous Belonging: How Catholic Missionaries in Persia and the Roman Curia dealt with Communicatio in Sacris,” in A Companion to Early Modern Catholic Global Missions, ed. Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2018), 205–234; John Flannery, The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond (1602–1747), (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 111–147.


The term “Apostolic” has come into regular use in later centuries. For this period Lusaworčʻadawan from the insiders’ perspective and Gregorian from the outsiders’ perspective was a common use. However, here I circulate “Apostolic” to distinguish between miaphysite and Catholic Armenians.


More on the doctrine of Filioque, see A. Edward Siecienski, The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).


On the use of catechisms by Sunni Muslims, see Derin Terzioğlu, “Where İlm-i Ḥāl Meets Catechism: Islamic Manuals of Religious Instruction in the Ottoman Empire in the Age of Confessionalization,” Past and Present 220, no. 1 (2013): 79–114; Tijana Krstić, “From Shahāda to ‘Aqīda: Confession to Islam, Catechization and Sunnitization in Sixteenth-century Ottoman Rumeli,” in Islamisation: Comparative Perspectives from History, ed. A.C.S. Peacock, (Edinburgh: University Press, 2017), 296–314.


For a more elaborate discussion on confessionalization for the early modern Armenian world, see Sebouh D. Aslanian, Early Modernity and Mobility: Port Cities and Printers Across the Armenian Diaspora, 1512–1800, chap. 3 (Yale University Press, forthcoming). I thank the author for kindly sharing the manuscript of the book with me.


The intense engagement of Armenians in urban life through city-watching people watching, promenading and exchanging information in maydans was an inseparable part of daily life for an average inhabitant of Constantinople. See Polina Ivanova, “Armenians in Urban Order and Disorder of Seventeenth-Century Istanbul,” Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 4, no. 2 (2017): 239–260.


Paolo Lucca, “Šabbetay Ṣewi and the Messianic Temptations of Ottoman Jews in the Seventeenth Century According to Christian Armenian Sources,” in Contacts and Controversies between Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Ottoman Empire and Pre-Modern Iran, ed. Camilla Adang and Sabine Schmidtke (Würzburg: Ergon-Verlag, 2010), 197–206.


For more details on the deviation of the date of Easter, see Pavel Kuzenkov, “Corrections of the Easter Computus: Heresy or Necessity? Fourteenth Century Byzantine Forerunners of the Gregorian Reform,” in Orthodoxy and Heresy in Byzantium: The Definition and the Notion of Orthodoxy and Some Other Studies on the Heresies and the Non-Christian Religions, ed. Antonio Rigo, Pavel Ermilov (Roma: Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata,” 2010), 147–158.


For Greek sources about these events, see Pavel Kuzenkov, Konstantin Panchenko, “‘Krivye Paskhi i Blagodatniy Ogon’ v Istoricheskoy Retrospektive” [“‘Curved Easters and the Holy Fire’ in the Historical Retrospective”], Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta 13, no. 4, (2006): 3–29. It seems that Dositheos II of Jerusalem and later historiographers have simply seconded the famous narrative about the Ascent of the Holy Fire, circulating in the early modern Orthodox folklore.


The real intention of Ełiazar was to diminish the influence of Ejmiacin over the Armenians under Ottoman jurisdiction. Therefore, the newly elected Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi (1655–1680) took the side of Yovhannēs Mułnecʻi. For this reason, the monks in Constantinople refused to mention Yakob Jˇułayecʻi’s name during the Divine Liturgy for some time. Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn [Diary], ed. Mesrop Nshanian, (Jerusalem: St. James Press, 1939), 209.


According to a well-known anecdote this convent was granted to the Armenians in Jerusalem by the prophet Muhammad. See Samuēl Anecʻi, Hawakʻmunkʻ i grocʻ patmagracʻ [Compilation from the Writings of Historiographers], ed. Arshak Tēr-Mikʻelian, (Vagharshapat: St. Ejmiatsin Press, 1893), 80; Mxitʻar Anecʻi, Patmutʻiwn [History], ed. Kerovbe Patkanian (Saint-Petersburg: 1879), 47; Babken Kiwleserian, Islamě hay matenagrutyan mej [Islam in Armenian Literature], (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1930), 122.


For details, see Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 206, 225–226, et. cetera. Mikʻael Čʻamčʻian describes these events based solely on Eremia’s Diary and Chronicle [Taregrutʻyiwn], see Mikʻael Čʻamčʻian, Hayocʻ patmutʻiwn [History of Armenia], vol. 3, (Venice: St. Lazzaro, 1786), 671–687.


The manuscript is preserved in Mekhitarist Library of Venice, V621. For details see Ayvazyan, “Eremia K‘yomurchyani,” 362. There is an uncatalogued polemical writing against the Jews (old cat. no. V1155), which is not to be confused with Eremia’s Jewish Poems on Šabbateans. Henceforth Armenian manuscripts are cited according to Bernard Coulie’s system in Répertoire des bibliothèques et des catalogues de manuscripts arméniens. Liste des utilisés pour désigner les manuscrits, (Accociation Internationale des Études Arméniennes, edition revue: 2002),


«…իսկ Երեմիայի Զմաճարացն, և Զգանտիոյն, Զսուտ քրիստոսին, և Զսուլթան մէհէմէտինս, Զօսմանցոցն Դ հատորս և Զլանկ թամուրին, Զխալիֆէիցն պաղտատայ և Զպարսկացն, Զհռօմայեցւոց և Զյունաց, Զնոր նահատակացն և Զհրկիզութիւն ստամպօլոյ, Զամէրիգային և Զառնաւուտին, Զհամառօտ օսմանցուն, Զբագրատունեացն և Զկիլիկեցոցն համառօտ, Զմովսիսին համառօտ և Զչուառութիւն հայոց, և Զժամանակագիրս և Զաշխարհացոյց և Արարողութիւնք ոմանց ազգաց, և այլ բազումք ըստ օրում և սոյն մատեանս մասնաւորապէս…» (… and Eremia’s on the Hungarians, and Crete, False Christ and Sultan Mehmed, four volumes on Ottomans and Tamerlane, Caliphate of Baghdad and Persians, on the Romans and Greeks, on New martyrs and the Fire of Istanbul, on America and Albanian [baker], Brief on Ottomans, on Bagratide dynasty and Brief on Cilicians [i.e. Rubenid and Hetumid dynasties], Brief on Moses, and the Flight of Armenians, on the Chroniclers and Geography and Traditions of some nations, and many other things and this codex in particular…), NOJ498, f.77r. Editio princeps published by Yarutʻiwn Kʻiwrtian, “Vipasanutʻiwn aṙman Surb Gēorg ekełecʻwoy, or i Makēdoniay i Pʻilipupolis i jeṙacʻ azgin Yunacʻ” [The Narrative on the Takeover of Saint Gevorg Church that is in Macedonia in Philippopolis from the Hands of the Greeks], Bazmavep 84, no. 8–9, (1927), 237–239. For the bibliographical details, see Ayvazyan, “Eremia Kʻyomurchyani,” 354–355, 385–386, n. 454–457.


Eremia’s Book of Questions is preserved in two copies: one in New Julfa (NOJ498), and an incomplete version at the Matenadaran (M72; f.123r–179v). Its full caption is [H]arcʻ ew patasxankʻ usumnasiracʻ xndrołacʻ, or uni inkʻean parunakeal i masancʻ astuacabanutʻeancʻ ew pʻilisopʻayutʻeancʻ ew žamanakagrutʻeancʻ ew kerpicʻ ałōtʻicʻ aṙeal i latinacʻwocʻ, yunacʻ ew hayocʻ, [Question and Answers of the Seeker Philomaths, that Contain Excerpts from Theology and Philosophy and Chronicles and Kinds of Prayers Taken from Latins, Greeks and Armenians].


«…Եւ սոյն մատեանս մասնաւորապէս ժողովեալ ի խնդրոյ թաթէոս երիցու իսպահանցոյ շատ թախանձանօք» (…And this codex was especially compiled at the behest of the priest T‘adēos Isfahanc‘i with much solicitation), NOJ498, f.77r–v. For Tʻadēos Hamazaspean’s autobiography, see [Grigor Galemkʻerian], “Tʻadēi ericu patmakan mēk gorcě”[An Historical Writing of Priest Tʻadēos], Handēs Amsōreay 1, no. 11 (1887): 168–173, no 12: 194–197. For Tʻadēos’s letter to Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, see Čashocʻ [Lectionary], (Venice: St. Lazzaro, 1686), 2–3. The fact that in Istanbul Tʻadēos Hamazaspean commissioned Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean to compile an Armenian-Catholic catechism as his pocketbook has remained hitherto unknown. However, Sahak Djemjemian talks about Hamazaspean’s visit to Istanbul with Salomon de Leon, Oskan Eerevancʻi’s nephew and fellow printer. For the details see his Hay tpagrutʻiwně ev Hṛom. ZHĒ dar [Armenian Typography and Rome: XVII century], (Venice: St. Lazzaro, 1989), 151155. Apart from the Missal and Lectionary in 1687, Xoǰa Gaspar and T‘adēos published Xokumn K‘ristonēakan [Christian Meditation] translated by Catholic Armenian author Yovhannēs Holov or Yakob Kostandnupolsets’i (1635–1691). Presumably, the print was carried out by Giacomo Moretti’s printing house or was under its nominal jurisdiction, as the book has his name on the title page. After 1688 Gaspar quit the printing enterprise. For more details see Raymond H. Kévorkian, Catalogue des “incunables” arméniens (1511/1695) ou chronique de l’imprimerie arménienne. Préface de Jean-Pierre Mahé, (Geneve: P. Cramer, 1986), 106-107. I owe this information to Sebouh D. Aslanian.


Djemdjemian assumes that in the Missal printed around that time, Tʻadēos attempted to steer clear of deviations from the Apostolic tradition in spite of his being a Catholic. Eremia played not the last role in keeping the Missal in line with the Armenian Church tradition as we see him put his seal on a certificate in 1682 attesting that he was involved in making corrections with Hamazaspean on the Missal: Djemdjemian, Hay tpagrutʻiwně, 154–155 and 173–179.


The first part of the Book of Questions is an excerpt from the Christian Doctrine published by Oskan Erevancʻi in Amsterdam in 1667 (imprimatur by Brieven van Theodorus Petraeus), which corresponded to the “needs of the Armenians” more than that of Belarmin’s Dottrina Christiana. See Doctrina Christiana: Armenice, in Latinum versa (Amstelodami: Imp. auctoris, et typis Armeniorum, 1667).


Bernard Heyberger, “Le Catholicisme Tridentin au Levant (XVIIe–XVIIIe siècles),” Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome. Italie et Méditerranée 101–102, no. 2, (1989): 902.


Unless otherwise indicated translations of these original texts are my own.


Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 66 and Appendix, 578–579.


Tridentine Catholicism represents Catholic doctrine and practice, in the celebration of the mass, following the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). It was a reaction to and against Protestantism. After the Council of Trent its decrees became imposed on Catholics of all orders in an attempt to synchronize the faith.


Sargis was the bishop of Bethlehem from 1684–1690. Ordained a vardapet by Minas Hamtʻecʻi, he traveled to Jerusalem. He was consecrated a bishop by Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi in 1676. For more details, see Grigor Galemkʻerian, Kensagrutʻiwnner erku hay patriarkʻneru ev tasn episkoposneru ev zhamanakin katʻoghikēaykʻ [Biographies of Two Armenian Patriarchs and Ten Bishops and the Catholics of the Time], (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1915), 64–99; Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean, Patmutʻiwn Stampōlay [History of Istanbul], ed. Vahan Torgomian, (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1913), 176.


Altough communicatio in sacris was generally prohibited by the Holy Office in 1729, it continued to be exercised under certain conditions even after the prohibition. For an overview, see Cesare Santus, Trasgressioni Necessarie. Communicatio in Sacris, Coesistenza e Conflitti tra le Comunità Cristiane Orientali (Levante e Impero Ottomano, XVII–XVIII secolo), (Rome: Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises de Rome et d’Athènes, 2019), 309-376. Idem, “La communicatio in sacris con gli ‘scismatici’ orientali in età moderna” in Les Mélanges de l’École française de Rome, 2014, (; Mardiros Abagian, “La Questione della ‘communicatio in sacris’ nel secolo XVIII e la formazione del Patriarcato Armeno Cattolico” [The question of Communicatio in Sacris in the Eighteenth Century and the Formation of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate], Bazmavep 139, no. 1–2 (1981): 129–184; 141, no. 1–4 (1983): 215–234; 146, no. 1–4 (1988): 155–174; 147, no. 1–4 (1989): 244–258; 148, no. 1–2 (1990): 146–162; no. 3–4 (1990): 413–419; 149, no. 1–2 (1990): 461–476; 150, no. 1–4 (1992): 202-216; Guillaume Aral, Les Arméniens Catholiques: Étude historique, juridique et institutionnelle XVIIeXVIIIe siècle; suivi Les Mythes de la Christianistion de l’Arménie, (Nice: Les Édition de Nichéphore, 2017), 104–112. On the common practice with Apostolic Armenians in New Julfa in the seventeenth century, see Windler, “Ambiguous Belonging,” 205–234.


According to the Hatt-ı Şerif, Catholics were perceived as “not only Agents of the Roman Pope, but Spies in [Ottoman] Empire,” thereby, the engagement of Armenians, Greeks and Syriacs with any Frank was punishable by the law. See A. de la Motraye, Travels through Europe, Asia and into Part of Africa, vol. 1, (London, 1723), 159, and 393–394. For a thorough treatment of the subject, see Santus, Trasgressioni necessarie, 316–320, and 320–358.


Yakob Siruni places the Apology under the caption Responses to Those who Slander against Armenian Church; Siruni, Pōlis, 630. I am thankful to Archbishop Boghos Levon Zekiyan for his assistance in getting access to this manuscript at the Library of Mekhitarist Congregation in Venice. I am currently working on preparing a critical edition of the Apology.


Yakob Siruni mentions the Franks under the caption Response with God’s help and Concerning God. Siruni, Pōlis, 630.


Ayvazyan, “Eremia Kʻyomurchyani,” 360 and 390, n. 74.


It is worth noting that the scholarship on Protestants and Armenians has focused on the work of nineteenth-century missionaries, and this earlier phase is in need of further research.


The copyist of a Girkʻ harcʻołacʻ [Book of Questioners] (J619) reports in 1721 that he has copied it from the sample of Sukʻias, the archbishop of Bursa. In fact, Sukʻias is rarely called a bishop or an archbishop in the manuscripts, but rather “a theologian vardapet” or “a philosopher vardapet” that underlines him to be famous for his education and theological knowledge.


Maghakʻia Ormanian, Azgapatum [Narratives of the Nation], vol. 2, (repr. Ejmiatsin, 2001), 3142.


M1635, f. 7v–8r; M1430, f. 68r–69v; BNF Arm. 85, f. 170


For instance National Library of Armenians in Galata (ITT) 84, ITT 92, ITT 114; J623, J930, J940, J1741, J1587, J1926, J2827, J3202, J3328, Karmir vankʻ (ANKK) 124.


ITT 92, f. 742; see in Tsʻutsʻak azgayin matenadaranin hayocʻ i Ghalatʻia, Kostandnupōlis [Catalogue of Manuscripts in Armenian National Library in Galata, Constantinople], ed. Babken Coadjutor Catholicos, (Lebanon: Antelias, 1961), 594.


Some of his poems were published in Ush mijnadari hay banasteghtsutʻyuně (XVI–XVII dd.) [The Armenian Poetry of Late Middle Ages (XVIXVII Centuries)], ed. Hasmik Sahakyan, (Yerevan: Haykakan Gitutʻyunneri Akademiayi Hratarakchutʻyun, 1975), 392–443.


J2298, f. 326r; Mayr Tsʻutsʻak dzeṛagratsʻ Srbotsʻ Yakobeantsʻ[Grand Catalogue of Manuscripts of Saints James Convent], ed. Norayr Pogharian, (Jerusalem: St. James Press, 1974), vol. 7, 492. See also, Bishop Tsovakan (= Norayr Pogharian), “Gavazanagirk‘ vardapetats” [List of Vardapets], Hask 22, no. 6–7 (1953): 171–172.


«Է վաթսուն եւ վեց տառապելոյս, // ՄԻՋԻԴ Է (1702) թիւըն զայս բան գըրելոյս…», M1635, f. 40v.


Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 47–48.


For the overview, see Avetis Sanjian, The Armenian Communities in Syria under Ottoman Dominion (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965), 104–109. See, Hakob Anasyan’s seminal XVII dari azatagrakan sharzhumnerě Arevmtyan Hayastanum [Liberation Movements During the XVII Century in Western Armenia] (Yerevan: Haykakan Gitutʻyunneri Akademiayi Hratarakchutʻyun, 1961), 241–272.


Ōrmanian, Azgapatum, 2962-2965.


Ōrmanian, Azgapatum, 2965.


For Catholicos Yakob’s encyclical letter, see Yarut‘iwn Kʻiwrtian, “Yakob Katʻołikos Jˇułayecʻii noragiwt xist karevor vaveratʻughtʻ mǝ” [Newly Discovered Extremely Important Document attributed to Catholicos Yakob Jˇułayecʻi], Sion 43, no. 3–4 (1969): 126–133. Another letter to Ełiazar from Eremia’s father priest Martiros explicitly demonstrates the ardent willingness of the westerners to see Ełiazar on the throne of Jerusalem as the Catholicos of the Western provinces. See “Martiros kʻahanay Kʻēōmiwrčean K. Pōlsēn aṙ Ełiazar Ayntʻapcʻi i Bera” [Priest Martiros Kʻēōmiwrčean from Constantinople to Ełiazar Ayntʻapcʻi in Aleppo], Sion 6, no. 9 (1932): 278–280.


When in 1667 Ełiazar eventually settled in Jerusalem keeping the title catholicos, Apro went so far as to call him “the Catholicos of all Armenians”—a title reserved exceptionally for the Catholicos on the pontifical throne in Ejmiacin, see “Apro Čʻēlēpi aṙ Ełiazar katʻołikos” [Apro Čʻēlēpi to Catholicos Ełiazar], Sion 15, no. 1-2 (1941): 40.


J120, f 919-921. See the colophon of the scribe Sahak in Tōnapatčaṙ, Połarian, Mayr Cʻucʻak, vol. 1, 336–337.


“Martiros vardapet Kafacʻi Ṙotostʻoyēn aṙ Ełiazar vardapet Ayntʻapcʻi yErusałēm” [Vartapet Martiros from Rodosto to Vardapet Ełiazar Ayntʻapcʻi in Jerusalem], Sion 4, no. 12 (1930): 384–385.


“Martiros Kafacʻi patriarkʻ K.Polsoy aṙ Ełiazar K. Polis” [Patriarch of Constantinople Martiros Kafacʻi to Ełiazar in Constantinople], Sion 6, no. 8 (1932): 252.


We see Sukʻias in Aleppo attempting to dissuade Ełiazar from reading out the letter of ignominy sent by Martiros Kafacʻi right after Ełiazar’s consecration. See Ōrmanian, Azgapatum, 2972.


Mesrop Nshanian has selectively published passages relating to Eremia from Minas Hamtʻecʻi’s Ōragrutʻiwn (J1316) in his edition of Eremia’s Diary. See Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn. Introducion, 136–144. Other brief passages might be found in, Połarian, Mayr Cʻucʻak, vol. 4, 564–566.


ITT114, f. 91, see in Babken Catholicos, Cʻucʻak, 297–299 and 728–730.


Not to be confused with Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean. ITT84, f. 480, 591; ITT92, f. 138, 206, 502, 742; Babken Catholicos, Tsʻutsʻak, 560–562 and 593–594.


J820, f. 551v, also Pogharian, Mayr Cʻucʻak, vol. 3, 293. Later Minas Hamtʻecʻi took this codex to Saints James Convent in Jerusalem.


For the entire list, see J120, f. 919-921; Połarian, Mayr Cʻucʻak, vol. 1, 336.


See various letters by the Armenian notables mentioning Sukʻias’s name in Sion 4, no 12 (1930): 384; 6, no. 8 (1932): 254; no. 9 (1932): 280; 7, no. 1 (1933): 24; no. 4 (1933): 121; 14, no. 5–6 (1940): 156; 15, no. 1 (1941): 40; no. 3–4 (1941): 85, et cetera.


“Apron Sukʻias vardapetin xstutʻeamb” [From Apro to vardapet Sukʻias with Austerity], Sion 15, no. 5 (1941): 126.


“Yovhan episkopos yAdrianupolsēn aṙ Ełiazar episkopos i Halēp” [Bishop Yovhannēs from Edirne to bishop Ełiazar in Aleppo,” Sion 15, no. 11-12 (1941): 308–310.


Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, Introduction, 99. See also, “Le Prétendu Masque de Fer Arménien ou Autobiographie du vardabied Avédik, de Thokhat, deposé du Patriarcat de Constantinople de de l’emploi de supérior de Jérusalem,” Bulletin de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, ed. Marie-Félicité Brosset, 20 (Saint-Petersbourg: Imprimerie de l’Académie Impériale de sciences, 1875): 5.


Manuscript in the Library of Saints James Convent, J1316, f. 21r.


«Վեց ամիս ի բանտ արգելած //Եկ զայս ծանըր բեռըն բարձ, //Քրդստան երկրի պարոնաց, //Ոչ գիտեմ զինչ արարի։…//Մինչ զի և մեք տուգանած, //Մըխիկ և Մարգար սև գլխաց, //Ոչ գիտեմ զինչ արարի», M1635, f. 25v–26v.


Hayotsʻ nor vkanerě (1155-1843) [Armenian Neo-Martyrs (1155–1843)], ed. Hrachya Achaṛyan and Hakob Manandyan, (Vagharshapat: St. Ejmiatsin Press, 1903), 532-534.


Ačaṛyan, Hayotsʻ nor vkanerě, 533. For more on impresarios, see Krstić, Contested Conversions, 121–132. Another testimony about Sukʻias being the bishop of the city is the colophon dated to 1695; ANKK 124, f. 546; see in Cʻucʻak jeṛagracʻ Ankiwroy Karmir Vanucʻ ev šrjakayicʻ [Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Monastery Karmir Vank in Ankyra and its Neighboring Monasteries], ed. Babken Coadjutor Catholicos, (Lebanon: Antelias, 1957), 617.


According to Minas Hamtʻecʻi’s Diary Komitas was in Jerusalem till 1701. Minas does not record the date of his return to Constantinople. Based on Minas’s account Mesrop Nshanian disproves Father Meserianc‘’s assumption that Komitas was persecuted by Awetikʻ as a crypto-Catholic and found refuge in Jerusalem. Komitas was very attached to Minas Hamtʻecʻi and accompanied him in his trip to Jerusalem. Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, Introduction, 84, n. 1.


For the most recent research on Awetikʻs controversy with Armenian Catholics, see Cesare Santus, “The Şeyhülislam, the Patriarch and the Ambassador: A Case of Entangled Confessionalization (1692–1703),” paper presented at Entangled Confessionalizations, Budapest, June 1–3, 2018.


BnF Arm. 334, f. 44v.


BnF Arm. 334, f. 44v.


Čʻamčʻian has couple of sentences on Sukʻias’s imprisonment. Čʻamčʻian, Hayotsʻ patmutʻiwn, vol. 3, 735. Following Č‘amč‘ian, Henry Riondel writes: “Sous Avédik, il avait connu la prison d’où il n’était sorti qu’en déboursant force piastres,” in Henry Riondel, Une Page Tragique de l’Histoire Religieuse du Levant: le Bienheureux Gomidas de Constantinople Prêtre Arménien et Martyr, (Paris: Beauchesne 1929), 130.


Čʻamčʻian wrote this paragraph majorly grasping from Komitas Kʻēōmiwrčean’s accounts without mentioning his source, while Maghakʻia Ōrmanian just quotes Čʻamčʻian’s text.


Riondel, Une Page Tragique, 130.


See J936 in Połarian Mayr Cʻucʻak, vol. 3, 472–479. This notion of Nersēs Šnorhali and Lambronacʻi being active agents for the unity with Chalcedonic Churches is ensued by the Teatine missionary to Armenia Clemente Galano (1611–1666), who attempted to prove that Armenian Apostolic Church has been one with the Roman Catholic Church. Since it fell into a schism in different historical periods Armenian “orthodox” high-ranking clergy, such as Šnorhali and Lambronacʻi, attempted to reconcile it with Rome. Galano’s treatise became a yardstick against which the “orthodoxy” of the Armenians was being tested among the Catholics. See, Clemente Galano, Consiliationis Ecclesiae Armenae cum Romana, t. 1-2, (Romae: Typis de Propaganda Fide,1650, 1658, 1690).


M1635, f. 57v–69r.


«Էարդնապէս ոչ ծընանի այլ կայ բըղխման //Հօրէ Հոգին շարժեալ յՈրդին առկայական», M1635, f. 58r. Such a formulation could not be defined as the doctrine of Filioque; it rather resembles the ancient doctrine of Perikhoresis (περιχώρησις; circumincession)—the eternal relationship of the persons of the Holy Trinity.


It seems that Nimetullah, whose personality is yet to be identified, played a significant role in internal life of the Armenian community in Ottoman realms. Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean, with whom Nimetullah was in touch, calls him “İzzetli ve ürüfetli efendim” [My honorable and reverend master]. See, Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 517–519.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 147r–v.


On Sunday, November 6 in 1653 Eremia and his family took vekil Sukʻias and Małakʻia Čʻēlēpi, the son of Xoǰa Eremia Hamtʻecʻi to Galata and from there to Balat to perform the ceremony of matrimony in an Armenian church. Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 47–48.


«Incipit: Իրաւմամբք մատնեալ ես եմ մեղաւոր, //Յատենի մեծին ես եմ պարտաւոր…», M1635, f. 52v–53v.


Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn. Appendix, 543–549.


The Seventh Ecumenical Council, known as Second Council of Nicaea, summoned in 787 has never been recognized by the Armenian Church.


Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn. Appendix, 548. Here and elsewhere in the text the word “nation” signifies “religious community” (millet).


The biblical verse from Matthew will later become an epigram for many polemical writings composed against Catholics and vice versa in the early eighteenth century such as Gēorg Mxlayim’s Xałałarar meknutʻiwn ekełecʻwoy [Peacemaking Interpretation of the Church], M1464, and Stepanos Daštecʻi’s Kočʻnak čšmartutʻean [Clapper of Truth], М781.


For definitions and distinction between the creeds and the confessions of faith, see Jaroslav Pelikan, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creed and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition (New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), 1–5 and 35–36. For the use of catechism in Europe, see Stefan Ehrenpreis, “Teaching Religion in Early Modern Europe: Catechisms, Emblems and Local Traditions,” in Religion and Cultural Exchange in Europe,1400–1700, eds. Heinz Schilling and István György Tóth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 256–273.


See Girk‘ hamaṙōt vasn iskapēs ew čšmarit Hawatoy [A Brief Book on the True and Veracious Faith] (New Julfa: Surb P’rkič‘ Print, 1688).


For the confession of faith, see Brevis Orthodoxae fidei professio, qaue ex praescripto Santctae Sedis Apostolicae ab Orientalibus ad Sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae unitatem venientibus facienda proponitur, (Romae: Typographia Vaticana, 1596). On the causes of Councils of Trent and Tridentine terminology, see John W. O’Malley, Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000).


Professio Orthodoxae fidei ab Orientalibus facienda (Romae: Typis de Propaganda Fide, 1642), 20–21.


Professio Orthodoxae fidei ab Orientalibus facienda (Romae: Typis de Propaganda Fide, 1678). The change in translated theological terms might be seen when juxtaposing the versions of Professio Fidei from 1642 and 1678, for instance «ի հայրն ամենակալ» vs «ի հայրն ամենակարօղ», «արարիչն… երևելեաց և աներևութից» vs «յարարիչն…տեսանելեաց ամենեցուն և անտեսանելեաց»:


The profession of faith attributed to Vardan Arewelcʻi is structured in a way so that each rubric of it starts with “We believe” (Credimus). It touches upon all debatable confessional issues. Arewelcʻi’s confession of faith was not popularized or read aloud in the churches. See Vardan Arewelcʻi, “Dawanutʻiwn hawatoy ułłapʻaṙutʻeamb srboy vardapetin Vardanay i xndroy srbazan katʻołikosin hayocʻ Kostandeay” [Confession of Orthodox Faith by Saint vardapet Vardan upon the Request of Armenian Catholicos Konstandin], Gandzasar Theological Review 7, (2002): 371–384.


For Armenian-Muslim interactions in the Middle Ages, see Sergio La Porta, “Conflicted Coexistence: Christian-Muslim Interaction and its Representation in Medieval Armenia” in Contextualizing the Muslim Other in Medieval Christian Discourse, ed. J. C. Frakes (Palgrave: McMillan, 2011), 103–123; and “Gregory of Tatʻew” in Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume Five (1350-1500 CE), ed. David Thomas, Alexander Mallett, et. al. (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 229–238. Current scholarship on the polemics of Grigor Tatʻewacʻi’s with the Muslim world can be found in Seta Dadoyan, The Armenians in the Medieval Islamic World: Paradigms of Interactions Seventh to Fourteenth Centuries (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2014), 187–221.


W791, f. 184v–185r; «…զի աստիճանքն այս են հաւատոյ, որով ելանեմք առ աստուած մի ոտնաքայլութեամբ».


For the English translation of Tatʻewacʻi’s Creed, see Dadżad Tsaturyan, “The Creed of Armenian Apostolic Church According to Saint Grigor of Tatʻev,” Warszawskie Studia Teologiczne 28, no. 4 (2015): 103–104. For the confession of faith provided by Gaspar see BNF Arm. 145, f. 30 and BNF Arabe 227.


Interestingly called “confession articulated by saint Grigor our Lusaworičʻ”: «Դաւանութիւն հասարակաց, որ ասացեալ է սրբոյն Գրիգորի մեր Լոյսայվորչին». Apparently, there was a confusion of the names of Grigor Tatʻewacʻi and Grigor Lusaworičʻ. The text does not use the Armenian word «գոյափոխութիւն» (goyap‘oxut‘iwn) for transubstantiation but replaces it with the sentence “We believe [that] body and blood of Christ in the hands of priest are visible bread and wine, when the priest performs the sacrament, at the very moment it turns into the body and blood of Christ” («Հօատամք մարմինն և յայրունըն քրիստոսի ի ձեռն քահանայի յերևելի հաց գինի է, յերբոր քահանան զկարքն կատարէ նէյ նոյն ժամու մարմին և յարունն քրիստոսի կու դառնայ»): see BNF Arm. 145, f. 30. The Latin translation of Gaspar’s attestation of faith does not use transubstantiatio, either; instead there stands transmutantur in Corpus et Sanguinem Jesu Christi: see BNF Arabe 227. Other attestations of faith collected by Marquis de Nointel following the textual pattern partly designed by Hilarion Kigalas (1624-1682) and almost identical with the Greek professions of faith in de Nointel’s collection, do not employ the Armenian word «գոյափոխութիւն» (goyap‘oxut‘iwn) for transubstantiation. It reads, «Եւ թէ նոյն քրիստոսի մարմինն, որ խաչեալ է, որ համբարձաւ յերկինս և նստաւ յաջմէ հօր է ներկա իրապէս, թէպէտ աներևութաբար ի հաղորդութեանն ի ներքոյ տեսակաց արտաքնոց և երևութեաց հացին և գինոյն միայն, քանզի հացն և գինին այնպէս փոխարկին ի ճշմարիտ քրիստոսի մարմին և յարիւնն, որպէս զի գոյացութիւն հացին և գինոյն ոչ ևս մնասցեն, այլ միայն պատահմունք. եւ վասն այնորիկ երկիր պագանեմք քրիստոսի ընդ հաղորդութեան»: see BNF Arm. 145, f. 7. The French translation also refrains from the use of transubstantiatio: “Lequel Corps a été crucifié, est monte au Ciel où il est assis à la droite du père, et qu’il est réellement presence quoique invisiblement dans l’Eucharistie sous les espèces et les apparences extérieures du pain et du vin parce que le pain et le vin sont changés au Corps et au Sang de Jésus Christ de façon qu’il ne reste plus de substance du pain et du vin, mais seulement les accidents. C’est pourquoi Nous adorons Jésus Christ dans L’Eucharistie”: see BNF Arm. 145, f. 9.


Paul Rycaut, The Present State of the Greek and Armenian Churches (London: Printed for John Starkey, 1679, reprint. New York: ARM Press, 1970), 409–411. Yovsēp Gatʻěrčian gives the Armenian version of this variant in, Hanganak hawatoy orov vari Hayastaneaytsʻ ekełecʻi. Kʻnnutʻiwn hanganakin cagman, hełinakin ev žamanakin veray [The Creed that the Armenian Church Follows: Research on the Origins, Author and Time of the Creed] (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1891), 40–41.


Rycaut, The Present State, 415. The text of the confession is on pages 411–414. Paul Rycaut compares the Christological passages of this creed relating to the real body of Christ with the passage in the Anatolian Confession promulgated by Greek patriarch of Jerusalem Dositheos II in 1672 to prove that the Armenian Church has never been monophysite, but rather miaphysite.


On the topic, see Pelikan, Credo, 35–36.


Gatʻěrčian, Hanganak hawatoy, 40.


A very brief version of Tatʻewacʻi’s creed summarized in the fourteen articles as “gradations of faith” and starting with “I believe” is found in an eighteenth-century manuscript at the Matenadaran M8444, f. 377r–v. Nowadays, Tatʻewacʻi’s creed is chanted only at the Sacrament of the Holy Orders both in the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic Churches.


For a version of the Tridentine Creed in Armenian with additions and marginal notes, see manuscript in the Library of Mekhitarist Congregation in Vienna, W1595, f. 1–4.


See Matenadaran manuscript M1464, f. 97r–98v.


Pelikan, Credo, 178–184.


William Emery Barnes, “The ‘Nicene’ Creed in the Syriac Psalter,” The Journal of Theological Studies 7, no. 27 (1906): 441–449; Willem Baars, ‘The “Nicene’ Creed in the Manuscripts of Syriac Massora,” The Journal of Theological Studies 13, no. 2 (1962): 336–339.


Original and translation cited here as they appear in Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and Valerie R. Hotchkiss, vol. 1 (New Heaven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), 158-159.


J. N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (Contiuum, 1972), 311. Creeds and Confessions, 100. Catholic Church professes a Western Recension of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed with addition of the Filioque.


Gatʻěrčian, Hanganak hawatoy, 2–4.


For a critical edition of Ancoratus, see Epiphanius: Ancoratus und Panarion, ed. K. Holl (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1915), 1–149. For the English translation, see Richard Kim Young, Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus: Ancoratus, in The Fathers of the Church, vol. 128 (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2014), 51–227. For the original see Holl, Epiphanius, 148–149.


The Greek original preserved a text almost identical to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. Scholars agree that it was a later insertion in Epiphanius’s text and that Epiphanius most probably quoted the Nicene Creed rather than Niceno-Constantinopolitan: see Kelly, Early Christian, 318–320; also Creeds and Confessions, 100. Athanasius of Alexandria’s letters to bishop Serapion arguably served as a source for Epiphanius’s second creed. On this basis Yovsēp Gat‘ěrčian assumes the Armenian liturgical version to be Niceno-Athanasian (not to confuse with the Athanasian or pseudo-Athanasian Creed): see Gatʻěrčian, Hanganak hawatoy, 34–37.


Holl, Epiphanius, 149.


The most recent translation is prepared by Young in Saint Epiphanius, 227. I rely on Philipp Schaff’s translation which is closer to the Armenian variant in its archaic wording: see Philipp Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: The Seven Ecumenical Councils, Series II, vol. 14 (Peabody, MA: Hendirckson Publishers, 1994), 165.


The Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church: English Translation, Transliteration, Musical Notation, Introduction and Notes, ed. Daniel Findikyan (New York, 2005), 19.


It is not clear which Catholicos Nersēs the narrative refers to.


For the short-lived Bull of Union with the Armenians of the Council of Florence, see Creeds and Confessions, 755–765.


Creeds and Confessions, 675–677, 757, 762, 764–765.


Museum of the All Savior Monastery in New Julfa, NOJ498, f. 12v–14r


For instance, see Liturgica Armena (Romae: Typis Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, 1677), 8.


La Dichiaratione della Liturgia Armena (Venetia: Apresso Michiel’ Angelo Barboni, 1690), 18–20. Importantly, the Armenian Catholic translator Yovhannes Holov omits the line “and that they are changeable or alterable.”


Ordo Divinae Missa Armeniaorum, (Romae: Typis Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, 1646), 46–49. This Missal was proofread and edited by Vinccentius Riccardus in 1636. Its Armenian translation was licensed to print by Giovanni Molino (Yovhannēs Ankiwracʻi), the translator of de Propaganda Fide.


Grigor Daranałcʻi, Žamanakagrutʻiwn [Chronicle], ed. Mesrop Nšanian, (Jerusalem: Saints James Press, 1915), 587; see also Henry Shapiro, “Grigor Daranaḷtsʻi: An Ottoman-Armenian Priest in the Age of Confessionalization.” Paper presented at Entangled Confessionalizations, Budapest, June 1–3, 2018.


«Հէմ տախի տէմիշ իտիմ շօլ քիթապտա՝ քի նզովքտան գայրը էօք տուր պիզիմ միլլէթտէ հերձուածողլուք արարողութիւնու տէյի». See W1514, f. 4r.


W1514, f. 3r–4r.


Madeline C. Zilfi, “The Kadizadelis: Discordant Revivalism in the Seventeenth-Century Istanbul,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 45, no. 4 (1986): 251–269. See also Zilfi, The Politics of Piety: The Ottoman Ulema in the Post Classical Age (Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1988), 129–182.


Imam Birgivi, The Path of Muhammad: A Book on Islamic Morals & Ethics, trans. Tosun Bayrak (World Wisdom, Inc., 2005). On the social and political aspects of the movement, see Marinos Sariyannis, “The Kadızadeli movement as a Social and Political Phenomenon: the Rise of a Mercantile Ethic?” in Political Initiatives from the Bottom-Up in the Ottoman Empire (Halcyon Days in Crete VII, A Symposium Held in Rethymno, 9-11 January 2009), ed. A. Anastasopoulos (Rethymno: Crete University Press 2012), 263–289.


Katib Çelebi, The Balance of Truth, trans. G. L. Lewis (London: Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1957), 89–91.


Eugenia Kermeli, “Kyrillos Loukaris’ Legacy: Reformation as a catalyst in the 17th century Ottoman Society,” The Muslim World 107, no. (2017): 748.


Połōs Tarōnacʻi, T‘ułtʻ ǝnddem Tʻēopʻisteay hoṙom pʻilisopʻayin [The Epistle against the Byzantine Philosopher Theopistus] (Constantinople: Č‘nč‘in Yovhannes Print, 1752), 84–86.


Grigor Tatʻewacʻi, Girkʻ harcʻmancʻ [Book of Questions] (Constantinople: Astuacatur Kostandnupolsecʻi Print, 1729), 61–62. For the Latin “list of errors,” see Tia M. Kolbaba, Inventing Latin Heretics: Byzantines and the Filioque in the Ninth Century, (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2008). For a similar list for Byzantines, see Valentina Covaci, “Contested Orthodoxy: Latins and Greeks in Late Medieval Jerusalem,” N.E.C. Ştefan Odobleja Program Yearbook, 2018-2019, 53-78.


For the “errors” of Muslims, see Grigor Tatʻewacʻi’s Against Tajiks in Babken Kyuleserian, Islamĕ hay matenagrutʻean mēj [Islam in Armenian Literature], (Vienna: Mkhitarist Press, 1930); Seta Dadoian, “Islam and Armenian Polemical Strategies at the End of an Era: Matt‘ēos J̌ułayec‘i and Grigor Tat‘ewac‘i,” Le Muséon, 114, no. 3-4 (2001), 305-326.


Nersēs Lambronacʻi, “I xndroy haycʻmancʻ ericʻakicʻ ełbarcʻ kʻnnutʻiwn kargacʻ ekełecʻwoy ew bacʻatrapēs orošumn artakʻust mteal i sa norajevutʻeancʻ srboyn Nersēsi Lambronacʻwoy Tarsoni episkoposi.” Xorhrdacutʻiwnkʻ i kargs ekełecʻwoy ev meknutʻiwn xorhrdoy patarakʻin [Mystagogy on the Rites of the Church and Commentary on the Sacrament of the Divine Liturgy by Saint Nersēs of Lambron Bishop of Tarsus] (Venice: St. Lazzaro, 1847), 21–41.


See Arshak Alpoyajian, Grigor Kesaratsʻi patirarkʻ ev ir zhamanakě [Patriarch Gregory of Caesarea and his Time] (Jerusalem: St. James Press, 1936), 158.


Arshak Alpoyajian, “Kpōlsoy patriarkʻutʻiwnn u Prusayi, Ētirnēi ev Ṛotostʻoyi aṛaǰnordutʻiwnnerě” [Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Prelacies of Edirne, Bursa and Rodosto], in Tʻēodik’s Amēnun taretsʻoytsʻě [The Annuary of Everything], (Constantinople: Vahram ev Hrachʻya Der-Nersesyani, 1909), 209–214.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 146v.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 145r–v.


The Medieval source Clemente quoted is the Epistle of Pseudo-Isahak. This famous anti-Armenian piece attributed to an unknown Armenian chalcedonic author was quoted by a number of Byzantine historiographers and polemists, such as Euthymius Zigabenus (d. 1118), Niketas Choniates (d. 1217), Nikephoros Ksanphopulos (Kallistos) (d. 1340) et. al., while composing chapters against the “Armenian heretics.” For the originals, see Patrologia Graeca, vol. 132, ed. Jacques-Paul Migne, (Paris, 1864), 1154-1266. See also, Gérard Gartite, La Narratio de Rebus Armeniae: Edition Critique et Commentaire, Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, 132, Subsidia 4 (Louvain: Durbecq, 1967). See also Galano, Consiliationis, t. 2, pars 1, 36.


The passage reads “Christ’s martyr Saint Dioscoros disapproving of the unlawful Council (i.e. Chalcedon) anathematized Leo and his obscene Tome” «Վըկայն Քրիստոսի սուրբըն Դէոսկորոսը ոչ հաւանեալ անօրէն ժողովոյն նըզովեաց ըզԼևոն և զտովմարն իւր պիղծ». The Tome of the Pope Leo I to the bishop of Constantinople Flavianus about Eutyches became the basis for duophysite Christological formula adopted in the Council of Chalcedon, and has been continually rejected by the Armenian Church. See for instance, Šaraknocʻ [Hymnary] (Amsterdam: Surb Ejmiacin and Surb Zōravar print, 1669–1680), 372–373, Šaraknocʻ [Hymnary], (Constantinople: Astuacatur Konstandnupōlsecʻi Print, 1703), 447; Šaraknocʻ [Hymnary], (Constantinople: Sargis Dpir Print, 1710–1711), 510.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 144r. It seems that the first two ritual components once actually compiled with in all Christian Churches were out of use in Catholic Church during the confessional age, while the doxology “Gloria” was sung only during the Tridentine Solemn Mass.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 146r.


See W408. Grigor Kʻēōmiwrčean is the scribe of the manuscript.


See Terzioğlu, “Where ‘Ilm-i hāls Meet Catechisms,” 79–114.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 146v.


BNF Arm. 334, f. 147r.


The catechetic material of the period is hitherto unexamined. I am working on the catechization paradigms that might have been applied to the Armenian communities in both Ottoman and Safavid Empires, but the outcome is still forthcoming.


For the role of anathema and renunciation in the creedal and baptismal formulas, see Pelikan, Credo, 189–195.


Nersēs Akinian, Eremia Čʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean: keankʻn u matenagrakan gortsunēutʻiwně [Eremia Chʻēlēpi Kʻēōmiwrčean: the Life and Literary Activity], (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1933), 127.


For detailed description, see Manuscrits arméniens de la Bibliothèque nationale de France: Catalogue, 943-947.


I am thankful to Fathers Poghos Kodjanian and Simon Bayan of Mekhitarist Congragation in Vienna for their kind support in receiving the digital copy of this manuscript.


For detailed description, see Tsʻutsʻak hayerēn dzeṛagratsʻ matenadranin Mkhitareantsʻ i Vienna [Catalogue of Armenian Manuscripts in Mekhitarist Library in Vienna], ed. Hamazasp Oskian, vol. 2, (Vienna: Mekhitarist Press, 1963), 329–330.


A = BnF 334, ff. 142r–148v; B = W 779, ff. 1r–4v.


B արգելեաց


A հոգգով


For words marked with asterisks, see Glossary.


B հինգերրորդ


B մայրագոմեցին


B պատճառն


B թղթեր


B ամենակալի


B բառբառ


B փէղամպէր


B ժողովրդեան


B իրկ [ իսկ


B նորաձևութեան


B ի ստամպօլ [ իստամպօլ


B + (այսինքն՝ թելիֆութիւն)


B լսողս


A նախ՝ իւր, ապա սրբգ.՝ յիւր


B ասողսն


B ժողովրդեան


B ամենիմաստ


B չիպիտի


B գլխիբաց [ գլխի բաց


B առնլոյ


B աւելին


A նախ.՝ ընթերձցին, ապա սրբ.՝ ընթերցցին B ընթերցցին


The incipit of the Nicene Anathema recited in the Armenian Church.


Eremia draws a parallel with the story of King Solomon, who turned to the pagan gods (1 Kings 11) towards the end of his life. His writings have remained canonical and recited in all Christian churches.


The Armenian text reads «ժամակարգութիւն» (žamakargutʻiwn), lit. order of Hours meaning the Divine Office of the Armenian Apostolic Church.


The Armenian text reads «տէրտէր» (tērtēr), lit. a priest. Here it means a patron hierarch or a teacher. This is a reference to Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi, whose protégé was Sukʻias. The reference here is to his own father, Martiros Kʻēōmiwrčean as to “my տէրտէր (tērtēr),lit. my priest. See Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 192.


Armenian text reads «փեյտա արար» (pʻeyta arar). See Glossary.


Yakob IV Jˇułayecʻi (1598–1680) occupied the office of Catholicos in Ejmiacin from 1655 to 1680. He put a lot of effort to find support in Europe for the liberation of the Armenians from Persian rule. Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean was supporting Yakob Jˇułayecʻi’s liberationist policy.


Pʻilipos I Ałbakecʻi (1593–1655) was Catholicos in Ejmiacin from 1633 to 1655. Eremia Kʻēōmiwrčean had personal acquaintance with this Catholicos. They first met in Constantinople, when Eremia was fifteen years old. Eremia’s family too had an intimate acquaintance with Catholicos Pʻilipos Ałbakecʻi and accompanied him while he was in Constantinople between 1652–1653. Pʻilipos appointed Eremia’s father Martiros, a vicar of Holy Ejmiacin in Constantinople. Eremia admired the educational pursuits Pʻilipos Ałbakecʻi had engaged with, and devoted sentences to praise the latter in his Lament.


Movsēs III Tatʻewacʻi (1578–1632) was Catholicos in Ejmiacin from 1629 to 1632. A student of a prominent vardapet Srapion Uṙhayecʻi, Movsēs managed to obtain a firman from Shah Abbas I for the renovation of the buildings in Ejmiacin two years prior to his official consecration as a Catholicos.


Armenian word «վարդապետ» (vardapet) stands for a celibate priest and is rendered as a teacher or doctor of theology.


Yovhan Mayragomecʻi, also known as Mayrivanecʻi (570/5-652), is an Armenian theologian and the prior of the monastery of Dvin. Yovhan spoke against the unity of the Byzantine and Armenian Churches, hence was accused of phantasism and was exiled during the tenure of pro-Chalcedonic Catholicos Nersēs Tayecʻi. Excerpts from his theological writings have survived in the key florilegium of the Armenian Church Knikʻ hawatoy (“Seal of Faith”).


Yovhan Mandakuni, who was an Armenian Catholicos, a canonist and hymnologist in the second half of the fifth century, who established a new group of ecclesiastical canons enclosed in the Book of Canons of the Armenian Church. The majority of important canons refer to the observance of fasts and the Great Lent.


The Armenian text reads «յօճաղ» (yocał). See Glossary.


Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (ca. 990-1058) is the Duke of Mesopotamia, the governor of Edessa, a laymen scholar, who descended from the princely Pahlavuni family. Magistros is famous for his letters written to various high-rank ecclesiastical figures on different doctrinal and disciplinary issues, which challenged both the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches.


Grigor Vkayasēr (Gregory Martyrofile) d. 1105, the son of Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni, occupied the office of the Catholicos in Hromkla (Rumkale) between 1066-1085 during the Armenian Cilician period. He is also the founder of the Armenian Pahlavuni dynasty of Catholicoi and earned the sobriquet Martyrofile for commissioning translations of martyrdoms and lives of saints from Greek into Armenian.


Grigor III Pahlavuni (d. 1166) was elected as Armenian Catholicos at the age of twenty. During his tenure, the Catholicosate was relocated to Copʻkʻ, later to Hṙomkla (Rumkale). He was the first Catholicos to start a dialogue with the Latin Church on doctrinal differences. Grigor Pahlavuni was known for penning a number of hymns, canticles, poems, and translating martyrdoms.


Nersēs IV Šnorhali (d. 1173) Armenian Catholicos in Hṙomkla (Rumkale). The great-grandchild of Grigor Magistros and the brother of Catholicos Grigor Vkayasēr. Šnorhali was engaged in the discourse for the union of the Byzantine and Armenian Churches initiated by the Greek Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (1118-1180). The negotiations were interrupted with the death of the Emperor. Both the Armenian Apostolics and Armenian Catholics referred to Nersēs Šnorhali as to an “orthodox.” Clemente Galano, who translated Šnorhali’s conversations with the Greek philosopher Theorianus into Latin and Armenian—illustrates Nersēs Šnorhali as an admirer of the Chalcedon formulas. Šnorhali’s book Jesus the Son, printed in underground Catholic printing press in Constantinople, was banned by vekil Yovhannes Izmircʻi in 1703.


Nersēs Lambronacʻi (d. 1198) is a theologian, translator and a courtier descending from the Hetumid and Pahlavuni royal dynasties in Cilicia. Lambronacʻi was accused by Eastern vardapets of adhering to the doctrine of the Latin Church.


Grigor Narekacʻi (d. 1003) is an author of paramount importance: a monk, a mystical poet, a theologian and a Universal doctor of the Church famous for his renowned Book of Lamentation, which has been translated into many languages.


Mesrop Maštocʻ (ca. 362-440) is a theologian, translator, author of numerous hymns and the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. He collaborated with Armenian Catholicos Sahak I Partʻew (348-439) and king Vṛamšapuh (Bahram-Shapuh) (ca. 389/400-414) in promoting Armenian Christian identity and the appropriation of Christian culture across Armenia.


The Armenian text reads «փիր» (pʻir). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «սևագլուխք» (sevagluxkʻ), lit. blackheads, a calque from Turkish karabaş. This name was applied to the Armenian Apostolic monks because of their black hoods worn together with black cassocks.


Allusion to the visions in the Old Testament.


Allusion to Paul’s vision in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7.


Allusion to the vision of Muhammad in Islamic tradition.


The Armenian text reads «ժամակարգութիւն» (žamakargutʻiwn).


The Armenian text reads «Հաւատամք» (Hawatamkʻ), lit. we confess.


The reference here is to the 318 hierarchs participating in the Council of Nicaea in 325 that constituted the Nicene Creed.


The Armenian text reads «համագոյ ընդ Հօր» (hamagoy ǝnd Hōr), a calque from Greek ὁµοούσιον τῷ Πατρί. In the Armenian Liturgical version of the Niceno-Constantinoplitan Creed, the term «համագոյ» (hamagoy), which is Greek ὁµοούσιος and Latin consubstantialis, is not used. Instead, there stands «նոյն ինքն ի բնութենէ Հօր» (noyn ink‘n i bnut‘enē Hōr), meaning “of the very same nature of the Father” or “of one essence with the Father.”


A reference to the text of the Nicene Anathema.


The Armenian text reads «չարափառք» (čʻarapʻaṙk‘), a calque from Greek κακόδοξοι, menaing “the ones having wrong doctrine.”


Grigor Lusaworičʻ (Gregory the Illuminator) is the founder of the Armenian Church as an institution in the early fourth century.


Renunciation of the devil is an ancient baptismal practice of the Church, first witnessed by Tertullian. See Jaroslav Pelikan, Credo, 191. In the Armenian Church it reads as follows: “We renounce Satan and his every deceit, his wiles, his deliberations, his course, his evil will, his evil angels, his evil ministers, his evil agents, and his every power renouncing, we renounce.” See Frederic C. Conybeare, Rituale Armenorum being the Administration of the Sacraments and the Breviary Rites of the Armenian Church, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 86-108; Mesrob Tashjian, “The Sacrament of Holy Baptism in the Armenian Apostolic Church” in Baptism Today: Understanding, Practice, Ecumenical Implications, ed. Thomas F. Best, (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2008), 17. All Christian churches preserved the renunciation of the devil one way or another: the variant of this formula occurs in the office of catechumens in the Eastern Orthodox Church (“Do you renounce Satan and all his works and all his worship and all his angels and all his pomp?”), but not in baptismal rite. Its usage appears in the old Gallican Rite of the Western Church (“Do you renounce Satan, the pomps of the world and its pleasures?”). Renunciation of the devil is accepted also in the Roman Catholic, Syriac Orthodox, Coptic and Ethiopic rites. See Henry A. Kelly, The Devil at Baptism: Ritual, Theology, and Drama, (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2004), 104; Walter Caspari, “Renunciation of the Devil in Baptismal Rite,” in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, ed. Samuel M. Jackson et al., vol. 9, (New York and London, 1911), 488-489.


The dismissal of catechumens was and still remains though nominally, part of the Divine Liturgy in Christian churches. It made an appearance in the forth-fifth centuries in John Chrysostom’s Liturgy, when the catechumens were ordered to leave the nave after the Liturgy of the Word and to not approach the Holy Communion. The first part of the Divine Liturgy is also called the Liturgy of Catechumens. In the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church it is pronounced as follows: “Let none of the catechumens, none of little faith and none of the penitents or the unclean draw near this divine mystery!” See The Divine Liturgy of the Armenian Church, 23.


“Glory in the Highest” (Gloria in Excelsis) is part of the Divine Office for all Christian churches established from the forth century on. Its variants had been chanted during Matins in the Armenian Apostolic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as the Assyrian Church of East. It is chanted in the Roman Catholic Church during the Tridentine Holy Solemn Mass after Kyrie Elesion (Κύριε, ἐλέησον) and during evening prayer (Hosanna in the Highest) in the Syriac Orthodox Church, it is chanted during the Coptic Liturgy of Saint Basil within the Prayer of Reconciliation. See Conybeare, 134, 385, 456.


The Armenian text reads «ֆռանկք» (fṙankkʻ), meaning Roman Catholics, at times French or Europeans in general.


A reference to the Epistles of Paul.


Apparently Eremia’s words refer to the Roman Catholic Low Mass.


One of the hymns in the Canon of Holy Patriarchs in the Armenian Hymnal (Šaraknoč). “O, marvelous patriarchs” refers to 318 Church Fathers partaking in Nicene Council of 325, which contains an anathema against Arius.


The Armenian text reads «թահգիգ թահգիգ» (tʻahgig-tʻahgig). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «էլպէթ էլպէթ» (ēlpētʻ-ēlpētʻ). See Glossary.


Bursa or Prusa, a city in the northwestern Turkey, used to be an Ottoman capital in the fourteenth century. Before the Armenian Genocide of 1915, there were more than seventeen Armenian churches in Bursa and neighborhood, the most famous of which were the churches of the Holy Mother of God (Surb Astuacacin) and the Holy Archangels (Surb Hreštakapetacʻ).


Balat or Palat is a quarter in Constantinople, on the western bank of Golden Horn. Traveling to Constantinople in 1608, Simēon Lehacʻi described Saint Nikolayos (Surb Nikołayos) church of Balat, shared by the Armenians and Franks, where each served their own service in “love and peace.” Balat also housed the Holy Archangels Armenian church. According to the seventeenth-century Armenian chronicler Grigor Daranałcʻi, the Holy Archangels was an abandoned Greek church in the Jewish neighborhood of Balat. Thanks to Aristakēs Xarberdcʻi, the Armenians obtained a firman from Topal Recep Pasha (d. 1632) to attain the church.


Edirne, a city in northwestern Turkey, was the third Ottoman capital before Constantinople. Before the Armenian Genocide of 1915, it housed three Armenian churches—Saint Gregory the Illuminator (Surb Grigor Lusaworičʻ), Saint Toros (Surb Tʻoros) and Saint Karapet (Surb Karapet).


Üsküdar or Scutari, a district of Constantinople on the shore of Bosphorus is one of the three districts outside the city walls during the Ottoman period. The Holy Cross (Surb Xačʻ) Armenian church is in Üsküdar.


Eremia refers to the turmoil in Jerusalem instigated by Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi when he established an anti-Catholicosate there.


The Armenian text reads «թէրսանէ» (tʻērsanē). See Glossary.


Eremia alludes to the closure of the doors of Saints James Convent in Jerusalem. In 1656, the tensions between the Greeks and Armenians over the sites in the Holy Land reached their peak. When the Greeks managed to obtain a firman from grand vizier allowing them to appropriate the Saints James Convent of Armenians. Ełiazar, then the deputy of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, appealed to the ruler of Damascus Teyar Oğlu to tackle the issue. Having already been bribed by the Greeks, the ruler promised to find a solution commanding Ełiazar to hand in the keys of the Convent to him until the problem was solved. In the face of his apprehension, Ełiazar entrusted the keys to Teyar Oğlu, who kept the Convent doors locked and sealed till 1657, when the Greeks took it over. The Convent was returned to the Armenians in 1659.


A reference to the events related to Ełiazar Ayntʻapecʻi’s actions, claiming that Sukʻias was allegedly following in Ełiazar’s footsteps.


The Armenian text reads «սիանէթ» (sianētʻ). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «ըռըզ» (ǝṙǝz). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «թուրքացան» (tʻurkʻacʻan), here means conversion to Islam.


The Armenian text reads «ըռըզ» (ǝṙǝz).


The Armenian text reads «անձն և անձն» (anjn ev anjn). A reference to the Christological peculiarities of duophysitism.


The Armenian text reads «բնութիւն և բնութիւն» (bnutʻiwn ev bnutʻiwn), lit. nature and nature. Apparently the author reiterates «անձն և անձն» (anjn ev anjn) and «բնութիւն և բնութիւն» (bnutʻiwn ev bnutʻiwn) to accuse Sukʻias of duophysitism.


The Armenian text reads «ֆիլան» (filan). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «քեօփէկ» (kʻeōpʻēk). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «խապար» (xapar). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «ըռըզ» (ǝṙǝz).


The Armenian text reads «ըռըզ» (ǝṙǝz).


The Armenian text reads «յոյժ յոյժ» (yoyž yoyž) lit. very-very.


The Armenian text reads «թիթալ» (tʻitʻal). See Glossary.


The Armenian text reads «զաղալն» (załaln). See Glossary.


Eremia mentions the Candlemas Liturgies of Theophany or Nativity, and Easter, performed on the vigil of each respective Dominical Feast. In the past, the vigils of all feasts of the Armenian Church were accompanied by the Candlemas Liturgy. Later it was discarded. Eremia’s words testify to the discontinuity of this custom in the seventeenth century Ottoman Empire, proving that in his days the Candlemas Liturgies be exceptionally performed on the Vigils of Theophany and Easter. The thirteen-year-old Eremia describes in his Diary the Candlemas Liturgy and Holy Fire he witnessed in Jerusalem during his pilgrimage with his custodian Mahtesi Ambakum and his wife. See Kʻēōmiwrčean, Ōragrutʻiwn, 309-310.


The Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th in the Greek Orthodox and Catholic Churches, while in the Armenian Church it is solemnized on April 7th and is accompanied with rigorous fast without fish, meat, and dairy. The Armenian fast is called աղուհաց (ałuhacʻ), literally meaning “salt and bread” that denotes the products allowed during the fast. Great Lent is also called «Աղուհացից պահք» (Ałuhacʻicʻ Pahkʻ), lit. Lent on salt and bread. The tradition during Eremia’s time was to have salt and bread during lent at least once a day. Armenian believers would complain about the rigidity of their lent, compared to the less rigorous rules of the neighboring Greeks and Roman Catholics.


The Armenian text reads «ցանկապատառութիւն» (cʻankapataṙutʻiwn), lit. discord in confession.


A reference to Clemente Galano.

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