Difference between revisions of "The Tondrakian Movement"

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Book about the [[Tondrakians]].
 +
 +
==Text==
 +
From Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/vrejnersessian.thetondrakianmovement
 +
 +
THE TONDRAKIAN MOVEMENT
 +
Vrej Nersessian
 +
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 +
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 +
 +
 +
 +
First published in 1987 by Kahn & Averill.
 +
 +
 +
Copyright © 1987 by Vrej Nercessian
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All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in
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whole or in part without permission from the publishers.
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 +
 +
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
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 +
Nersessian, Vrej
 +
 +
The Tondrakian Movement.
 +
 +
I. Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church
 +
 +
-History
 +
 +
I. Title
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281.62 BX 123.2
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 +
ISBN 0-900707—92—5
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Printed and bound in Great Britain by
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Biddles Ltd, Guildford and King’s Lynn
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ABBREVIATIONS
 +
 +
 +
ARB-Bl
 +
 +
B
 +
 +
BGA
 +
 +
BK
 +
 +
BL
 +
 +
BM
 +
 +
BS
 +
 +
BSOAS
 +
 +
BZ
 +
 +
CHA
 +
 +
CHAMA
 +
 +
CMH
 +
 +
CSCO
 +
 +
CSHB
 +
 +
DAI
 +
 +
DOP
 +
 +
ECQ
 +
 +
EHR
 +
 +
EO
 +
 +
HA
 +
 +
HTR
 +
 +
IANA
 +
 +
JA
 +
 +
JAOS
 +
 +
JHS
 +
 +
JR AS
 +
 +
KT
 +
 +
MW
 +
 +
OCP
 +
 +
PBH
 +
 +
PG
 +
 +
REA
 +
 +
T
 +
 +
VV
 +
 +
ZKG
 +
 +
 +
Academie Royale de Belgique, Bulletin Classe des Lettres
 +
Byzantion, (Brussels)
 +
 +
Bibliothecageographorum arabicorum, M. J. de Goeje, ed. (Leyden)
 +
Bedi Kartlisa (Paris)
 +
 +
Book of Letters (Tiflis, 1901)
 +
 +
Banber Matenadarani (Erevan)
 +
 +
Byzantinoslavica (Prague)
 +
 +
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (London)
 +
Byzantinische Zeitschrift (Munich)
 +
 +
Collection des Historiens Armenians, M. Brosset (St. Petersburg, 1876)
 +
Collection des Historiens anciens et modemes de I’Armenie,
 +
 +
V. Langlois (Paris, 1868 - 1869)
 +
 +
Cambridge Medieval History (Cambridge)
 +
 +
Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium (Louvain)
 +
 +
Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae (Bonn, 1828 - 1897)
 +
 +
De Administrando Imperio, G. Moravcsik, R. J. H. Jenkins, et al, ed„
 +
and trans. (Budapest - London, 1949, 1962)
 +
 +
Dumbarton Oaks Papers (Cambridge, Mass, and Washington)
 +
 +
Eastern Churches Quarterly (Ramsgate)
 +
 +
English Historical Review (London)
 +
 +
Echos d'Orient (Constantinople and Paris, 1827 - 1942. Cont. as B)
 +
Handes Amsoryeay (Vienna)
 +
 +
Harvard Theological Review (Cambridge, Mass.)
 +
 +
Izvestia Akademii Nauk Armianskoi SSR (Erevan)
 +
 +
Journal Asiatique (Paris)
 +
 +
Journal of the American Oriental Society (Baltimore)
 +
 +
Journal of Hellenic Studies (London)
 +
 +
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London)
 +
 +
The Key of Truth, F. C. Conybeare, ed.
 +
 +
Muslim World (London)
 +
 +
Orientalia Christiana Periodica (Rome)
 +
 +
Patma-Banasirakan Handes (Erevan)
 +
 +
Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeco-latina, J. P. Migne, ed.
 +
(Paris, 1857 -1866)
 +
 +
Revue des Etudes Armeniennes (Paris)
 +
 +
Telekagir see IANA
 +
Vizantilski Vremennik (Moscow)
 +
 +
Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte (Tubingen und Gotha)
 +
 +
 +
 +
INTRODUCTION
 +
 +
 +
The origin of Christianity in Armenia has always been a matter of acute controversy.
 +
This is not surprising for there was no literature in the Armenian language during the
 +
first four centuries and therefore we have no contemporary written document con¬
 +
cerning the beginning of Christianity in Armenia. All the writings on this subject date
 +
from the fifth century. What is relevant to our purpose is that the rapid advance of the
 +
Christian faith in Armenia in the second and third centuries paved the way for national
 +
acceptance of Christianity as the official religion at the end of the third (A.D. 287 or
 +
289) or the beginning of the fourth century (A.D.301).
 +
 +
The streams of Christian influence — the ‘Greek-type’ from the north western
 +
borders and the ‘Syrian-type’ from the south western borders — penetrated into Ar¬
 +
menia and at first continued to coexist side by side all through the fourth century. In
 +
addition paganism persisted long after the adherence of Armenia to Christianity. The
 +
centuries-old institutions and traditions of Zoroastrians and Mazdeism could not be
 +
eradicated altogether by a royal decree or by anti-pagan measures taken by the State.
 +
 +
The orientation of Armenia towards the west was irrevocable after the accept¬
 +
ance of Christianity, with all its cultural, social and political implications. To preserve
 +
the Christian tradition the ancient pagan conception of the world was imperceptibly
 +
transformed into one which was both Christian and western. And to keep it so, Ar¬
 +
menia’s powerful neighbours often intruded in the sphere of ecclesiastical life of the
 +
Armenian church and exerted pressure to bring about a solution of dogmatic disputes
 +
favourable to various political considerations.
 +
 +
In the wake of such developments, political and religious factors combined to
 +
counter-balance the increasing tide of Christian influence in the country. One faction
 +
favoured the revival of pagan religion in Armenia, whereas another faction became def¬
 +
enders of Christianity, though sometimes fearing its strength and trying to reduce it or
 +
bring it under control.
 +
 +
The early history of the Armenian church offers a bewildering picture of numer¬
 +
ous movements, anti-ecclesiastical dissensions, and sects whose relations to each other
 +
can seldom be proved directly, but certain features of which frequently suggest points
 +
of contact. Their tendency either towards extreme asceticism, surpassing and distort¬
 +
ing the ethical teaching of Christianity, ot preaching greater moral rigorism than was
 +
compatible with the practice of the church. Sects like the Manichaean, Messalian, Enc-
 +
ratite, Montanist and Novatianist, which flourished in Asia Minor between the first and
 +
the eighth centuries, found fertile ground in Armenia. This situation is attested by
 +
Movses Xorenac'i who, reflecting upon the period after the deaths of Sahak Part‘ev and
 +
Mesrop MaStoc‘, comments in his History that ‘the peace was disturbed, chaos became
 +
 +
 +
 +
rooted, orthodoxy was shaken, and heterodoxy was established through ignorance’.
 +
Such a situation prepared the ground for and facilitated the spread of anti-ecclesiastical
 +
dissensions referred to by the historian with the customary invectives and perorations
 +
as ‘brigands’, ‘schismatics’, ‘opponents of sound doctrine’, ‘dissentient tongues . . .
 +
who rise up in opposition to the wholesome teaching’.
 +
 +
The present study is a working synthesis of the state of research on religious
 +
movements in the Armenian church from the fourth to the tenth centuries. Religious
 +
movements have been an integral part of the Armenian church, and their growth is a
 +
phenomenon which runs side by side with, often directly influencing, such well-known
 +
developments as the rise of authority, the growth of canon law, and the nature of
 +
church-state relations.
 +
 +
The movements in the Armenian church played an important, if diversified, role
 +
in shaping Armenia’s attitude towards Byzantium, Iranian interference in the country’s
 +
religious life, the spread of Hellenism, and the Caliphate. With the end of the mon¬
 +
archy, the danger of annexation caused the Armenians to espouse ethnic, social and
 +
cultural separatism which expressed itself in religious terms.
 +
 +
Every historian of heresy must encounter the conflict of emphasis between the
 +
supporters of religious and of socio-economic factors as prime movers in the genesis of
 +
heresy. The first necessity is to examine the religious climate of orthodoxy in order to
 +
understand the deviations from it. On the other hand concrete information on the
 +
origins, social class and wealth of the sectarians will indicate the subtle social and econ¬
 +
omic background of these movements.
 +
 +
The history of Armenian sectarianism is a history of failure, for none of the
 +
movements surveyed succeeded either in imposing their views or in gaining tolerance
 +
for their opinions and practices in the Armenian church. Condemnation of their beliefs
 +
and practices as heretical, both by the church and the state led to effective extinction.
 +
 +
1 am grateful to Professor D. M. Nicol for his guidance and help during the
 +
course of this research, and to Mr. E. V. Gulbekian for his comments on the typescript.
 +
This book is published with gratefully acknowledged financial assistance from the
 +
Armenian General Benevolent Union (European section), and His Eminence Abp.
 +
Torkom Manoogian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church in
 +
America.
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER I
 +
 +
 +
SURVEY OF THE PRINCIPAL SOURCES
 +
 +
 +
Knowledge of Armenian history for the period under consideration is derived from a
 +
variety of widely differing Armenian, Arabic, Byzantine and Syrian sources. The gen¬
 +
eral course of events in its main outline is supplied by the Armenian sources which
 +
differ considerably in quality, detail and accuracy. The picture is then completed and
 +
sometimes corrected by information derived from the Arabic and Byzantine sources.
 +
This brief survey indicates the most important evidence.
 +
 +
Chronologically the first major source for the period is Sebeos’s PatmuViwn
 +
Herakli (History of Heraclius). The work covers the events between 590-661 and is a
 +
contemporary account. Sebeos relates the appearance of the Arabs as an event fulfill¬
 +
ing divine prophecy in terms of the Book of Daniel, VIl:3-24. The History by Sebeos
 +
was first published in Constantinople (1851) followed by St. Petersburg (1879) and
 +
Erevan (1939). The first Russian translation by K‘. Patkanean published in St. Peters¬
 +
burg (1862) has been superseded by S. Malxasean’s translation published in Erevan
 +
(1939). The History was translated into French by F. Macler (Paris 1904).
 +
 +
Patmut'iwn Lewondeay meet vardapeti Hayoc‘( History of tewond the Eminent,
 +
vardapet of the Armenians) is the next major source. It covers the history of a short
 +
period from A.D. 632-778. One original feature of Lewond’s History is that while con¬
 +
centrating on the external political events he pays considerable attention to the internal
 +
situation in Armenia. The Armenian uprisings against the Caliphate in 703, 747-750
 +
and 774-775 are described in great detail. Lewond’s History incorporates the corres¬
 +
pondence between the Umayyad caliph ‘Umar II (717-720) and the Byzantine emperor
 +
Leo III the Isaurian (717-741), source material for the study of the history of icono-
 +
clasm. The English translation and discussion of the text is contained in A. Jeffery’s
 +
“Ghevond’s text of the correspondence between ‘Umar and Leo 111”,7/77? 37 (1944),
 +
269-332.
 +
 +
Contrary to the view expressed by A. Jeffery and J. Meyendorff (“Byzantine
 +
view of Islam”, DOP 18 (1964)), S. Gero in his own research ( Byzantine iconoclasm
 +
during the reign of Leo III with particular attention to the oriental sources (CSCO,
 +
Louvain 1973)) is convinced that the text of Lewond’s correspondence is not original.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
Lewond’s History was first published in French translation by G. Sahnazarean (Paris,
 +
1856) followed by the Armenian text (St. Petersburg, 1887). Two Russian translations
 +
are available, the first by K‘. Patkanean (St. Petersburg, 1862) and the second by
 +
S. Malxasean with the critical Armenian text (St. Petersburg, 1887). The Revd. Zaven
 +
Arzoumanian’s lucid translation of the History ofLewond, “the Eminent Vardapet of
 +
the Armenians” (Philadelphia, 1982), enriched by historical and textual notes fills a
 +
serious lacuna.
 +
 +
Yovhannes Drasxanakertc'i (845-929) was kat‘olikos of all Armenians from
 +
897-925/30 and took active part in the events described in the latter part of his
 +
important history. After the revolt of 850-852 against the Arabs, in 862 Afot Bagra-
 +
tuni was given the title of “prince of princes” and by 885 the Armenian monarchy was
 +
restored.
 +
 +
To win the support of the Arabs, Yovhannes Drasxanakertc'i travelled to Damas¬
 +
cus to persuade the Arabs not to annex the territories of king Smbat I. Having failed
 +
in his mission he appealed to the Byzantine patriarch Nicholas Mysticus, as discussed
 +
by R. J. H. Jenkins in “Letter 101 of the patriarch Nicholas Mysticus” (£, XXI (1961)
 +
75-80).
 +
 +
v
 +
 +
Two works have survived from his pen. The first Saric' hayrapetac'n Hayoc' y ay -
 +
tararut'iwn eranelwoyn Yovhannu kat'oiikosi, which is a list of the names of Armen¬
 +
ian kat‘olikoses from Saint Grigor the Illuminator to his own times, contained in
 +
Hawak'munk ‘ i groc‘ patmagrac' (Collection from Historical Writings) by Samuel
 +
Anec‘i (VafarSapat, 1893). The second is his Patmut‘iwn Hayoc‘ (History of the
 +
Armenians) from the earliest period down to the year 924. The first half of the book
 +
relies heavily on the histories of the preceding centuries from Koriwn to Lewond. The
 +
latter half of the book contains an eye-witness account of all the events described. The
 +
oldest surviving manuscript of the History dates back to 1689 (Matenadaran no.1895).
 +
The Armenian text was published in Moscow (1853), Jerusalem (1867) and Tiflis
 +
(1912). A French translation by M. J. Saint-Martin appeared in Paris (1841).
 +
 +
T'ovma Arcruni, the royal historian, compiled his Patmut'iwn tann Arcruneac '
 +
(History of the Arcruni House) at the request of Grigor Derenik, ruler of Vaspurakan
 +
(died 885). For the early period of his history of the Arcrunis, T'ovma has consulted
 +
the works of Movses Xorenac'i, Koriwn, Mambre vercano land from non-Armenian
 +
sources he has references to Eusebius of Caesarea, Philo of Alexandria and Herodo¬
 +
tus. The History was first published in Constantinople (1852) from a manuscript dated
 +
A.D. 1303. The later two editions of St. Petersburg (1887) and Tiflis (1917) are re¬
 +
prints of the first publication. The French translation by M. Brosset is contained in
 +
CHA, I (1874), pp 4-263.
 +
 +
Movses Dasxuranc'i’s Patmut'iwn Aiwanic' a’SxarhiiJhc history of the land of
 +
the [Caucasian] Albanians) is the next important source for the study of the period.
 +
The earliest mention of the work occurs in Anania Mokac'i (943-967), followed by
 +
Uxt'anes. and Step'annos Orbelean. In the works of the authors mentioned no name is
 +
attached to the history. The first author to mention the writer of the history is Mxit'ar
 +
 +
2
 +
 +
 +
 +
Go? (13th century). The History consists of three books. The first books contain ex¬
 +
tracts from the works of P‘awstos, EliSe, Xorenac'i, Agat'angeios and the Girt: ‘ t‘\t‘oc‘.
 +
It is the second book, concerned with the events to which the author is contemporary,
 +
which is of great importance, not only for Armenian history but also for that of neigh¬
 +
bouring countries.
 +
 +
v
 +
 +
The Armenian text of the History ± with notes by K. Sahnazarean, was published
 +
in Paris (1860), also with notes by M. Emin in Moscow (1860) and reprinted in Tiflis
 +
(1912). The Russian translation by K‘. Patkanean, published in St. Petersburg (1861),
 +
is incomplete. The modern Armenian translation by V. Afak'elyanappeared in Erevan
 +
(1969). The English translation of the History by C. J. F. Dowsett appeared in London
 +
(1961).
 +
 +
Step'anos Taronec'i Asolik is the best representative of 10th century Armenian
 +
historiography. From the province of Taron, he is better known in Armenian literature
 +
as Asolik (reciter), a surname which may be attributed to his skills in the art of music
 +
or oratory. His major work Patmut'iwn tiezerakan (Universal History) is an account of
 +
events down to A.D. 1004, written in the capital city of Ani at the request of Sargis
 +
kat'olikos Sevanc'i. The history consists of three books; at the start of his work he
 +
provides a survey of the sources available to him.
 +
 +
Asotik’s History was first published in Paris (1859), in a form which, due to lack
 +
of manuscripts, is inadequate. The second and best edition appeared in St. Petersburg
 +
(1885); this is a critical text of the history based on nine different manuscripts, with a
 +
useful introduction and notes by S. Malxasean. Also available are French translations
 +
by E. Dulaurier (Paris, 1883) and F. Macler (Paris, 1917), a Russian translation by
 +
K. Emin (Moscow, 1864), and a German translation by H. Gelzer and A. Burckhardt
 +
(Leipzig, 1907).
 +
 +
Aristakes Lastiverc'i’s Patmut'iwn Havoc' (History of the Armenians) reflects on
 +
the events leading to the fall of the Bagratuni kingdom covering the period between
 +
1000-1087. It gives a full account of the annexations of Armenian territories by Byz¬
 +
antium, beginning with Karin (949), then Taron (966/67), Tayk (1000), Vaspurakan
 +
(1021/22), and Ani (1045). In 1047-48 began the Seljuq invasions and the eventual
 +
fall of the kingdom in 1064. Aristakes has devoted chapters 22 and 23 of his history to
 +
the manifestation of the heresy of the Tondrakec'is, the English translation of which
 +
can be found in The Key of Truth (Oxford, 1898).
 +
 +
The first publication by the Mxit‘arean fathers of Venice (1844) was reprinted in
 +
Venice (1901) and Tiflis (1921). The critical edition with notes and introduction by
 +
K. YuzbaSyan appeared in Erevan (1968) followed by the Russian translation in 1971.
 +
The French translation by M. Canard and H. Berberian was published in the series
 +
Editions de Byzantion, 5 (Bruxelles, 1973).
 +
 +
The majority of the historical writings surviving in Arabic date from the ‘Abba-
 +
sid period. The leading historian of the Arab conquests of the Caucasus is the Persian,
 +
Ahnad ibn-Yafya al-BaladhurT (died 892). His main work Futuh al-Bulddn integrates
 +
 +
 +
3
 +
 +
 +
 +
the many stories of the conquests of the various cities and lands into one comprehen¬
 +
sive whole. In this book a separate chapter is devoted to The conquest of Armenia.
 +
 +
Abu Dfafar Muhammad ibn Djarir al-Tabari (839-923) who was bom in Tabaris-
 +
tan, whence the name Tabari, is the author of a remarkable and accurate history
 +
Ta’rikh al-Rusul waj-Muluk (Annals of the Apostles and kings). The history begins
 +
with the creation of the world and goes down to A.D. 915. The events are arranged
 +
chronologically under the successive years of the Hidj rah. Ibn-al AtHir (1160-1234)
 +
abridged in his Kamil fi’l Ta’ri W? (General History) al-TabarPs Annals with occasional
 +
additions from other sources extending the narrative to A.D. 1231. Abu-’l-Hasan‘Air
 +
al-Mas'udf (died 956) styled the “Herodotus of the Arabs” is the author of an encyclo¬
 +
paedic historico-geographical work Murudf al-Dhahab wa-Ma‘-adin al-Djawhar
 +
(Meadows of gold and mines of gems). It is a universal history of events grouped
 +
around dynasties, kings and peoples beginning with the creation down to A.D. 947.
 +
 +
The first geographical treatise in Arabic to give detailed information on the ad¬
 +
ministration, the socio-political situation, the taxation system, roads and cities of the
 +
caliphate is Ibn Khurradadhbih (died c.912), author of Kitab al-Masalik wa'l-Mamalik
 +
(Book of the roads and countries), the oldest geographical work in Arabic that has
 +
come down to us.
 +
 +
In 891-92 al-Ya‘kubf, who worked in Armenia and Khurasan, produced his Kitab
 +
al-Buldan (Book of countries) which describes the principal towns of the caliphate and
 +
gives an account of the economic conditions of everyday life in the occupied count¬
 +
ries.
 +
 +
Many of these works have been translated into modern European languages. The
 +
Armenian translations of the sections relevant to Armenian history are found in al-
 +
Baladhuri, HA, 1, 2,4, 6, 8 (1903);a!-Ya‘kjbi, Bazmavep, 9-10, 11-12 (1957) and 3-5
 +
(1958); Ibn al-Athfr, HA, 2,4 (1908) and 3 (1909) and al-Tabari”. HA, 5, 8 (1905) and
 +
9(1906).
 +
 +
Among the Byzantine sources the most important is Constantine Porphyrogeni-
 +
tus’s De Administrando Imperio, edited by G. Moravcsik (Budapest, 1949); commen¬
 +
tary by F. Dvornik and R. J. H. Jenkins (University of London, 1962). Chapters 4346
 +
concern Armenia. Written on the basis of Byzantine diplomatic documents, they con¬
 +
tain a detailed account of the imperial relations with the princes of Taron from the
 +
beginning of the 10th century up to and including the reign of Romanus 1 (920-944).
 +
Chapter 44 is devoted to establishing the Byz.antine claim to the territory of Apahunik'
 +
and with the history of the Kaysite emirs of Manazkert. Chapter 45 is a diplomatic
 +
history with instruction on policy to be followed with regard to the lands near Theo-
 +
dosiopolis. Chapter 46 is an account of the failure of a diplomatic manoeuvre by
 +
Romanus 1 to annex Ardanouj. The Armenian translation of Chapters 4346, with
 +
introduction and notes can be found in H. BarCikyan. Byuzandakan aibyumer. II.
 +
Kostandin Ciranacin (Erevan, 1970). The Byzantine sources on the Paulicians include
 +
A History of the Paulicians by Peter of Sicily, A History of the Manichacans attributed
 +
to Photius, a Treatise attributed to Peter the Higumen. and Abjuration Formulae
 +
 +
 +
4
 +
 +
 +
 +
(Greek texts with French translation see Trarnux et Memoires, 4, (1970)).
 +
 +
Many of the Armenian sources regarding the sects are ambiguous in that they do
 +
not relate to any specific sect, but are nevertheless indispensable for the study of the
 +
early religious developments in Armenia.
 +
 +
The philosophical and theological treatise of Eznik Kolbac'i called Eke aiandoc'
 +
(The refutation of sects), written between 443-448, is an attempt to vindicate the
 +
truth of the Christian faith against heretical factions within the church. This work, pre¬
 +
served in a single manuscript dated 1280, was first printed in Smyrna (1762) and then
 +
in Constantinople (1763) and Venice (1826. 1850, 1863, 1914, 1926). The great
 +
scholars of Eznik, L. Marias and C. Mercier published an annotated edition of the work
 +
with French translation in Patrologia Orientalis, XXV111 (1959). A German translation
 +
was made by J. M. Schmidt, Wider die Sekten (Vienna, 1900). A modern Armenian
 +
version, with introduction and commentary by A. A. Abrahamyan, appeared in Erevan
 +
(1970).
 +
 +
References to the Borborites and Messalians can be found in the works of Armenian
 +
hagiographers and historians of the fifth century. Of particular interest is Koriwn’s
 +
Vark‘ Mai foe'i (The life of Ma’Stoc 1 ) edited by M. Abelyan (Erevan, 1941 and 1962)
 +
and Movses Xorenac'i’s Patmut'iwn Hayoc' (History of the Armenians, Tiflis, 1913).
 +
From the early period mention ought to be made of the Girk ‘ tlt‘oc‘( Book of Letters)
 +
a collection of documents, official letters and treatises on the history of the Armenian
 +
church, being chiefly the correspondence between various Armenian. Georgian, Syrian
 +
and Byzantine personages. It is composed of three groups of documents dating respect¬
 +
ively from the fifth to the seventh century, from the eighth to the eleventh century,
 +
and from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. The letters of the patriarch of Con¬
 +
stantinople, Atti^us (405-425), to Saint Sahak, of Grigor Magistros to the Syrian Patri¬
 +
arch, of Nerses Snorhali and Paul of Taron, and the Oath of Union are a few of the
 +
documents relevant to our study. Partial translations from the Book of Letters (Tiflis,
 +
1901) can be found in M. Tallon, l.ivre cles Lettres (Beyrouth, 1955); N. Garsoian, The
 +
Paulician heresy (The Hague, 1967); F. C. Conybeare, ed.. The Key of Truth (Oxford,
 +
1898) and L. Frivola, The Incarnation. A study of the doctrine of the Incarnation in
 +
the Armenian Church in the 5th and 6th centuries according to the Book of Letters
 +
(Universitetsforlaget, 1981). To this group of early sources belongs also the Kanona-
 +
girk‘ Hayoc ‘ (Book of Armenian canons). Some parts of these were published by
 +
A. tl&an in Tiflis (1913). A more up-to-date critical edition prepared by V. Hakobyan
 +
appeared in Erevan in two volumes in 1964 and 1971.
 +
 +
 +
5
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER 11
 +
 +
A HISTORY OF THE RELIGIOUS SECTS IN ARMENIA:
 +
FOURTH TO TENTH CENTURIES
 +
 +
 +
Christianity having liberated itself from its Jewish past, following the destruction of
 +
Jerusalem in A.D. 70, found itself in conflict with the beliefs and ideas of the sur¬
 +
rounding Hellenism. The new conflict threatened to distort the faith from within, and
 +
the second century was marked by intense struggle as Christians strove to preserve the
 +
purity and integrity of their doctrine. The church had first to protect itself from all
 +
attempts to reconcile Christianity too easily with the spirit of Hellenism. If the church
 +
had remained in the Jewish mould it would not have conquered the gentile world and
 +
if it had simply adapted Hellenistic thought it would not have survived in the form we
 +
know today.
 +
 +
Gnosticism, a generic term used primarily to refer to theosophical adaptations of
 +
Christianity propagated by a dozen or more rival sects which rose within the early
 +
church between A.D. 80 and 150, became Christianity’s most redoubtable opponent.
 +
The adherents of the Gnostic movement laid claim to a secret knowledge or gnosis
 +
which transcended the simple faith of the Church. With its emphasis on this hidden
 +
knowledge, drawing various strands of view of the world from neo-Platonism, Hellen-
 +
ized Zoroastrianism, and Judaism blended into a systematic doctrine, Gnosticism
 +
offered a sort of cosmological scheme according to which the spiritual elements in the
 +
world were gradually freed from the captivity of matter. The Gnostics regarded the
 +
material world as utterly alien to the supreme God and to goodness, and therefore as
 +
the creation of inferior powers. The natural order of things reflected nothing at all of
 +
the divine glory and heavenly beauty. The world was in the iron control of evil powers
 +
and therefore much time was devoted to an ascetic life with rules for the mortification
 +
of the flesh and the special prohibition on marriage.
 +
 +
The Gnostic devaluation of the created order led some sects which stood closest
 +
to Christianity, such as the groups founded by Basilides and Valentinus, to reject any
 +
incarnation, it was inconceivable to them that the divine Christ could have come “in
 +
the flesh” in any ultimately true sense. Although Christ was acknowledged as the
 +
Logos, Saviour and Redeemer, the essence of Christianity as faith in the Incarnation of
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
God and His coming into the world was rejected. The Church combated the many
 +
forms and systems of this great movement in the compendious catalogues and refuta¬
 +
tions of heresy that issued from the pens of the Christian fathers from the second to
 +
the fifth centuries. All subsequent movements in the early Church to a certain degree
 +
adopted and developed or fought against a particular concept of Gnosticism.
 +
 +
Gnosticism had its share of influence also on the progress and development of
 +
Armenian Christianity. Sectarian movements have played an important role in the his¬
 +
tory of Armenia. From the very beginning the church had to combat a number of sects,
 +
among them the Borborites and the Mcines, the Paulicians and the T‘ondrakec‘is. A
 +
sect referred to in the Armenian sources under the names borboriton, barbarianos, bar-
 +
barismos, borbiosk, borboriosk ‘ entered Armenia from Syria. The name of the original
 +
sect remains obscure, for Armenian writers have wrongly transcribed or interpreted the
 +
name as originating from the Greek term borboros which means “filth, mud”. The
 +
Armenian compendious catalogue and refutations of heresy Girk‘ herjuacoc‘ (The
 +
book of heresies) lists a number of sects of which the 130th is named as the sect of the
 +
borboriosk', called the “muddy ones”, who commit all evils without exception. In
 +
Armenian dictionaries the term means simply “filth”.
 +
 +
Our first sources of information on the sect are the historian Movses Xorenac'i
 +
and Koriwn vardapet , the contemporary and biographer of Mesrop Ma5toc‘. In his
 +
History , Xorenac‘i cites a letter from the patriarch of Constantinople, Atticus (405-25),
 +
to St. Sahak in which the former grants permission to St. Sahak to preach in western
 +
Armenia on condition that he will attempt “either to convert the sect of the Borbor¬
 +
ites or to expel them from your see”. 1
 +
 +
Koriwn in his account of Ma5toc"s teaching activities incidentally refers also to
 +
his work among the sectarians. “Then he undertook to examine the uncouth and stub¬
 +
born sect of the Borborites ( Barbarianos ). And when he found no other way to rectify
 +
them, he began to use the misery inflicting stick, with very severe chastisements, im¬
 +
prisonments, tortures. And when even then they remained unrepentant and deprived
 +
of salvation, they were scourged, branded, smeared in soot, subjected to various indig¬
 +
nities, and driven out of the land.” 2 In relation to the preaching of the Gospel in the
 +
remote regions of Armenia, in the province of Gott'n, Koriwn says “taking along with
 +
him his faithful pupils, the blessed one [MaStoc 1 ] went to the disorderly and unculti¬
 +
vated region of Goft‘n. He was met by the ruler of Golt'n, a pious man whose name
 +
was Sabit‘ . . . , and the blessed one at once exercising the art of preaching, with the
 +
faithful co-operation of the ruler began [to preach] in the region, and capture them all
 +
away from their native traditions of satanic idolatry and turned them to obedience to
 +
Christ.” 3
 +
 +
According to Movses Xorenac'i, when MaStoc 1 returned to Armenia, the kat'oli-
 +
kos Sahak authorised him to preach in western Armenia instructing him to “examine
 +
the pestilential Borborites, and if they would not come to orthodoxy by persuasion
 +
without force, to persecute them with tortures, that they might exact vengeance like
 +
enemies from enemies and by a just death the unjust death of souls might be put to
 +
shame.” 4
 +
 +
 +
8
 +
 +
 +
 +
It has been suggested that the Borborites are the Messalians under a more abusive
 +
name, but Epiphanius treats the Borborites as a definite movement of Gnostic origin.
 +
Melk'onyan suggested that we should see at the root of the name the Syriac word
 +
Barbarit meaning “sons of the desert”. 5 Conybeare identified the Borborites with the
 +
Nestorians. This view has been dismissed on the grounds that the missionary work of
 +
MaStoc 1 took place between the years A.D. 415423, while Nestorianism was con¬
 +
demned as a heresy at the council of Ephesus in A.D. 431. Besides, it is difficult to
 +
accept the implied suggestion that the patriarch of Constantinople entrusted the inves¬
 +
tigation and persecution of Nestorianism to an Armenian vardapet. Others have identi¬
 +
fied the Borborites with another Armenian sect called the Mclne.
 +
 +
The term Mcine derives from the Aramaic sla which means to pray and the der¬
 +
ivative adjective msalin meaning “one who prays”. The name of the sect mes alley me
 +
has given rise to the Greek' term Messalians. Messalians, also known as the Euchites,
 +
were a pietistic mendicant sect. They appear to have originated in Mesopotamia
 +
around A.D. 300 and thence to have spread to Syria, Armenia, Asia Minor and Thrace.
 +
The radical form of ascetism which they preached maintained that the key to the
 +
problem of human salvation was a complete break with the world: a denial of literally
 +
every form of labour or activity that belonged to the world.
 +
 +
Parallel to this they also held the view that in each man there is an indwelling
 +
devil who can be ejected, not by sacramental grace but exclusively by intense prayer
 +
and ascetic contemplation sufficient to produce palpable inward feelings. They aban¬
 +
doned the world and all their possessions in order to give themselves entirely to the life
 +
of prayer, and this to such a complete extent that they would have nothing to do even
 +
with the pious practice of fasting. For the same reason they did not work, they had no
 +
homes of their own, but gathered by begging what they needed to live on. This means
 +
that they did not resort to the desert, but remained in contact with the rest of the
 +
community. This movement has particular importance in Armenian history.
 +
 +
In A.D. 447, a council of the Armenian church was called at Sahapivan for the
 +
purpose of removing all the pagan survivals still persisting in the life of the people. It
 +
was a council which dealt predominantly with moral questions, with the reformation
 +
of the church, which had not yet been rid of the ancient pagan customs and traditions.
 +
Some of the canons of the council are specifically concerned with the Mckne sect.
 +
“Let no bishop or priest or deacon or any member of the clergy or of a congregation
 +
keep any kind of housekeeper as is the custom of the Mc\ne. If anyone should have
 +
one, and this be confirmed by the testimony of witnesses, let him be deposed from his
 +
order, whatever it be, and let him be considered impious and a layman.”
 +
 +
“If any one be found in Mclneut'iwn , whether he be a priest or a deacon or a
 +
monk, let him be deprived of his priestly orders, let him be branded on the face with
 +
the sign of a fox, and let him be confined for penance to a place of hermitage. Then if
 +
he be found again, let him be hamstrung on both legs and be sent to a leper refuge, for
 +
the man was held in honour and did not know. Let the same punishment be visited on
 +
a monk. Further, if men be found in the sect with their wives and children, let the
 +
 +
 +
9
 +
 +
 +
 +
women, and children who have reached the age of reason be hamstrung, branded on
 +
the face with the sign of a fox and sent for penance to a leper refuge; as for the child¬
 +
ren who have not reached the age of reason and do not know the pollution, let them
 +
be taken away and given into the hands of the holy servants of the church to be brought
 +
up and educated in the true faith and the fear of God.”
 +
 +
“If there be found any evildoer among the people and the priest has learned of
 +
this and not reported it to the bishop; if this be found true upon investigation and the
 +
priest has known the matter for many days and months before and not addressed a
 +
complaint to the bishop, let the canonical punishment for M ine be borne also by the
 +
priests and let them not perform their priestly office for the rest of their lives .. . Then
 +
if the priests have reported to the bishop, and this be supported by the testimony of
 +
witnesses, and the bishop either accept a bribe and cover it up or show partiality, and
 +
if this be shown by the testimony of witnesses, namely that the complaint of the priests
 +
really reached his ear and he disdained God’s command and did not go out to seek him
 +
who was lost, and was not jealous and an avenger of God’s law, let him be deposed
 +
from his see who hid the adulterer, and let the priest be acknowledged innocent. But if
 +
the bishop was diligent and an avenger, and the priests and other men bear witness to
 +
the bishop’s labours, and he report about the evildoer to the authorities, but the prince
 +
of the country, or the chief naxarar of any village, or the lord of a province, wishes to
 +
be the protector of uncleanliness and to hide the adulterer, either for the silver of per¬
 +
dition or from partiality or favour, and does not prefer to love Christ and his com¬
 +
mands and to be an avenger of the laws of the Lord and of the spirit and the flesh, let
 +
such a one be accursed and let him be cut off from the holy Church until he shall de¬
 +
liver the polluted one into the hands of the bishop. And if the pollution be found in
 +
the house of the naxarar, either in his wife, or his daughter, or his son, or in himself,
 +
and he should not hand his family over to the bishop and himself return to holiness,
 +
but should wish to be their tyrannical refuge, let him be accursed with all his house,
 +
his kin and his life. Let him not dare come out into a public place, let not his friends
 +
and all the world consort with him until he shall have gone from his uncleanliness and
 +
come to the holy Church. And if he be not in the uncleanliness [himself] let him hand
 +
over his household and his servants into the hands of the chief bishop for rebuke ...
 +
And if he [the ostikan ), himself, with his household, be found in mc\ncut‘iwn, let
 +
him be seized together with his polluted household and let him be brought for judge¬
 +
ment before the chief bishop and before the great princes and the leading judges, and
 +
let them jointly avenge the laws of God so that others, beholding this, in holiness and
 +
feat, should revere the Creator of all.” 6
 +
 +
Towards the end of the fifth century, the historian Lazar P'arpcc'i, was accused
 +
of heretical tendencies. To vindicate himself he wrote a letter to his sponsor Vahan
 +
Mamikonean. The letter is not as explicit as we might wish, for it declines to name the
 +
heresy because it was, as he says, such an abominable one that he did not deem it
 +
decent to write about it. The identification is made even more difficult when we are
 +
told by Lazar that “concerning the heresy of the Armenians of which they speak, it is
 +
anonymous as regards its teacher, and unwritten as regards its teaching”. After a little
 +
 +
 +
10
 +
 +
 +
 +
vague abuse he then declares that one can apply to them the proverb “for the bride of
 +
the swine, a bath of drain water” (II Peter 2:22). This Armenian heresy has been iden¬
 +
tified with the Messalians.
 +
 +
v
 +
 +
In the canons of the council of Sahapivan there is nothing on the main tenets of
 +
the Messalians. The characteristic tenets of the sect on perpetual prayer, the doctrine
 +
of the two souls, the presence of Satan in the human soul, the state of imperturbability
 +
attained through constant prayer — whence the sect’s other name, the Enthusiasts —
 +
are never mentioned. It is hard to understand how the Church fathers could have over¬
 +
looked these heretical concepts had they been present among the sect in question,
 +
especially since the Messalians had already been condemned by the council of Side in
 +
A.D. 390 and by bishop Flavian of Antioch (381 - 404). St. Melik 1 -BaSxyan has also
 +
rightly observed that the one Mcine tenet condemned in the canons of Sahapivan, the
 +
maintenance of a “housekeeper” by members of the clergy cannot be reconciled with
 +
what we know of Messalian asceticism, repudiation of all property and labour. We are
 +
driven to the conclusion that the Maine heresy had nothing in common with the
 +
Messalians. 7
 +
 +
In the Armenian Book of Canons the Mcine are alluded to in canon thirty-two,
 +
ascribed to kat'olikos Yovhannes Ojnec’i: “It is not fitting for any one to be found in
 +
the places of that most wicked Mcine sect who are called Polikeank 1 , nor to adhere to
 +
them, nor speak to them, nor visit them, but one should retreat from them altogether,
 +
to execrate them and pursue them with hatred, for they are the sons of Satan, fuel for
 +
the eternal fires, and alienated from the love of the Creator’s will.” 8
 +
 +
Subsequently the historian Aristakes Lastiverc'i characterises the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
sect: . . their mcine [filthy] observances we deem it indecent to commit to
 +
 +
writing.” 9 Also particularly interesting is the use of the word in a manuscript in the
 +
form “concerning the evil heresy of the mcine who are paylikeank'.” 10 The word
 +
pay I has the same meaning as the word mcine, namely “filth” and so the translation
 +
of both the terms used in this form means those who are “filthy in life”. This is the
 +
form of the name used by kat’olikos Yovhannes Ojnec’i in his treatise against the Paul-
 +
icians: “naxkin mcineut'ean payiakenut'ean (the first incestuous and filthy remnants
 +
of the Paulicians) who had endured a thorough rebuke from Nerses the kat'olikos, but
 +
by no means mindful of it, they fled after his death and hid somewhere in our land.”
 +
This is the first direct allusion to the Paulicians, which was the next major movement
 +
in the Armenian church to concern the church authorities.
 +
 +
First of all it must be emphasised that these sectarians were called Paulicians by
 +
their opponents and that this was not a name they gave to themselves. “The Paulicians”
 +
— says Peter the monk — “call themselves Christians and they call us Romans.” 11 The
 +
same point is affirmed by Peter of Sicily 12 and the Armenian author Grigor Magis-
 +
tros. 13 It is natural to suppose that in the name which they gave themselves they ex¬
 +
pressed the conviction that it was they, the sectarians, who were the bearers and pres¬
 +
ervers of the true Christian teaching, while the “Romans” had strayed from the truth.
 +
The feeling for primitive Christianity is remarkable both in the ideology and in the
 +
 +
 +
11
 +
 +
 +
 +
practices of the Paulicians. 14 In insisting that they were “Christians” the heretics re¬
 +
jected the name Paulician equally deliberately because it was attributed to them by
 +
their enemies. But it is under this name that they were widely known both in the east
 +
and, subsequently, in the west.
 +
 +
In Greek texts this name is found in the form TrauXixuu'ik. In the Armenian
 +
documents we find the most diverse forms and spellings: Pawlikean-k' 1 s , Paylikean-
 +
k‘ ,b , Polikean-k'd 1 7 , Pawlikean-k 4 8 , Polikean-k' 19 , Polikcank a0 , Pollikcan-k ' 2 1 .
 +
 +
Examining the spelling in the canons of the council of Dvin, K. Ter Mkrttschian
 +
puts forward the objection that neither Po Hike an nor Paylakenut'iwn can be derived
 +
from the Greek navXiKiavtk . His argument is based on the fact that in the Armenian
 +
form, against all expectations, there are two “l”s and an “o” (in place of “o" = aw,
 +
corresponding to the Greek “an”). The name itself comes from the name Paul, and in
 +
conformity with the rules of the Armenian language, it is not difficult to see in this
 +
word the diminutive syllable “ik” and the suffix of belonging “ean”. Thus Ter Mkrtt¬
 +
schian concludes that the form of the name Paulician is not Greek but Armenian in
 +
origin. 22
 +
 +
It is a fact that oriental names are mostly deformed in Greek, while the form
 +
nauXiiaavoc corresponds too closely to its supposed original. It is thus reasonable to
 +
suppose that we are dealing with a Greek formation of a name, based on the Greek
 +
form of the Armenian name Pawlik. Names ending in “ik” are hellenised by the add¬
 +
ition of the suffix “ios” whether the “ik” is a root as in Gagik Kazak toe or a suffix as
 +
in GrigorikKptzcqaiKtoc.ln the present case we are quite justified in expecting a form
 +
like TtavXtkiog from which comes quite regularly vcujXuaavdq. This way of forming the
 +
Greek names of heretics, parallel to the Armenian seems the most reasonable.
 +
 +
E. Ter Minasy an, analysing the form of the name occurring in the Oath of Union,
 +
says that it is simply a result of misunderstanding. The link between the term Pawlikean
 +
and the name Pavlik was no longer perceived; the feeling that it was an adjective was
 +
also lost and this led to the declension of the name on another model, i.e. keank',
 +
kenac 23 From the form Paylikean the substantive Paylakenut'iwn was formed, which
 +
is attested only in one place. Against the Paulicians by Yovhannes Ojnec'i. 24 ACaryan
 +
supposed that this word, which is the parallel of Paylakumn (blindness), was applied
 +
to the heretics because it sounded like their own name. 25 But Abefyan, recognising
 +
that the form Paylakenut'iwn resulted from the root Paylak as in Paylakumn , also
 +
meaning “blindness” or “blindly”, considered that kat‘ofikos Yovhannes Ojnec'i was
 +
using the word to characterise the Armenian Messalians. 26
 +
 +
Bartikyan suggests that by Paylakenut'iwn Yovhannes Ojnec'i probably means
 +
the heresy of Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch, frequently confused both in the
 +
middle ages and nowadays with the heresy of the Paulicians, on account of a similarity
 +
of names but otherwise completely different heresies. 27 It is difficult to understand
 +
what confusion Bart'ikyan is referring to, for the word Paylakenut'iwn refers back to
 +
the contemporaries of Yovhannes Ojnec'i, the Armenian Paulicians, and the form of
 +
the name is apparently suggested by one of the dialectal forms of the name Payliktank'
 +
examined above.
 +
 +
 +
12
 +
 +
 +
 +
_ The Arab sources preserve the name of the heretics in forms like Baylakani , al
 +
Bayalika 2t , which goes back to the Armenian form of the name Paylik-can-k'. The
 +
Latin sources have kept the Greek forms of the name Paulikiani, Paulicidni, and also a
 +
different interpretation Publicani, Populicani, Poblicani, Poplicani. 2 9 These names
 +
were affixed, by the western Christian ecclesiastical authorities, to people convicted of
 +
heresy in Oxford in 1160, in Flanders in 1162, and in Burgundy in 1167. At the third
 +
Lateran council held in 1179, the Publicani were condemned and were identified with
 +
the Albigenses, Cathari and Patarini.
 +
 +
To which Paul do the Paulicians owe their names? It has been suggested that the
 +
Paulicians were so called after the Apostle Paul, for according to the sources, the Pauli¬
 +
cians revered Paul, their leaders took the names of Paul’s disciples and the Paulician
 +
communities and churches were claimed to be founded by Paul. Addressing himself to
 +
his followers in Kibossa (Macedonia) Constantine declares “You are Macedonians, 1 am
 +
Silvanus sent to you by Paul.” 30 His successors in the leadership of the Paulicians
 +
followed his example by each taking the name of someone who was associated with St.
 +
Paul in the Acts of the Apostles or in St. Paul’s Epistles, and by naming each new
 +
Paulician church that they founded after one of those founded by St. Paul. 31 Pauline
 +
concepts and manners of thinking are found in various Paulician doctrines.
 +
 +
Paul the Apostle who is the pillar of orthodoxy could not have been considered
 +
as the founder of a sect by the Christians who were so opposed to the Paulicians. The
 +
Paulicians on the other hand, by affiliating themselves with the Apostle, derived cer¬
 +
tain authority and prestige, although, the heretics rejected the name Paulician and
 +
their own name for themselves was “True Believers”.
 +
 +
In the Greek sources, positive information has been preserved on the origin of
 +
the name of the movement, in the Treatise of Peter the Monk, which is certainly older
 +
than the History of Peter of Sicily and was apparently used by the latter, it is said
 +
“The Paulicians, themselves Manichaeans, were called, unlike the Manichaeans, after a
 +
certain Paul of Samosata, son of a Manichaean woman Kallinike, who had two sons, the
 +
same Paul and John. Kallinike sent them from Samosata to the theme of Armeniakon,
 +
there to spread the Manichaean heresy. The village where they arrived was re-named
 +
Episparis (seedbed) and the disciples of Kallinike’s sons were Paulicians.” 32 In Peter of
 +
Sicily we find a similar account of the events. He tells how some of Mani’s disciples
 +
came to Samosata from Armenia 33 , and turned the inhabitants of the country from
 +
their right path, and how their false doctrines began to spread rapidly. Kallinike, an
 +
inhabitant of Samosata, sent her son Paul to the village of Phanaroia where he began to
 +
preach their heresy. From this time, continues the author, the village changed its name
 +
and was called Episparis. As for the heresy, it began to be called by the name of its
 +
preacher, for from that moment the renegades among the Manichaeans took another
 +
name - that of the Paulicians. 34
 +
 +
Patriarch Photius’s History , which is largely based on the Treatise of Peter the
 +
Monk and the History of Peter of Sicily, also speaks of Kallinike and her sons. As with
 +
the other two authors, Kallinike lived not in Armenian Samosata, but the Samosata in
 +
 +
 +
13
 +
 +
 +
 +
Syria. Paul and John appear in the theme of Armeniakon and first of all in Phanaroia.
 +
One of the villages received the name Episparis. The renegades, continues Photius,
 +
having renounced the name Christian, began to call themselves Paulicians after one of
 +
Kallinike’s sons. “Others, however, say that the name Paulician comes not from one of
 +
the sons of Kallinike but from the combination of both, from which resulted a bar¬
 +
barous name Pauloioannai and then instead of the Pauloioannai they began to be called
 +
Paulicians (IlauXucuM'Oi). 35
 +
 +
Peter of Sicily and Photius, who seem to agree on the authenticity of the above
 +
account, return to this theme in describing the cruel measures taken against the Pauli¬
 +
cians during the first half of the reign of Justinian 11, that is not later than 695, when
 +
the arrested heretics were burned. “One of them called Paul, an Armenian by birth and
 +
having two sons, Genesius and Theodore, escaped and appeared at Episparis, about
 +
which we have spoken in detail above when writing about Paul and John of Samosata,
 +
sons of Kallinike. It is from this Paul that the heretics took the name of Paulicians in
 +
order to distinguish themselves from the Manichaeans. Paul sent his son Genesius to do
 +
his impious preaching and gave him the name Timothy.” 36 Photius recounts this inci¬
 +
dent in similar fashion but concerning the change of name he remarks: “a large number
 +
of the partisans of impiety think that the filthy Manichaeans received their name rather
 +
from this Paul the Armenian than from the son of Kallinike.” 37 This is the limit of the
 +
positive information the sources offer on the origin of the name Paulician, which goes
 +
back either to Paul of Samosata, son of Kallinike, or Paul and his brother John, or fin¬
 +
ally Paul the Armenian, father of Genesius and Theodore.
 +
 +
Conybeare has supposed that the name derives from Paul of Samosata, bishop of
 +
Antioch, who was accused of turning away from the official Christology of the Christian
 +
Church. According to him the name “Pauliciani is simply the Armenian form of Pauli-
 +
ani” 38 , and is a reference not to St. Paul, but to the last great champion of Adoptionist
 +
Christianity in the Greek world, Paul of Samosata. The information of the Greek sour¬
 +
ces on the origin of the name as coming from the son of Kallinike, has in view the
 +
bishop of Antioch. It is quite possible that the name of the latter’s mother was Kallinike.
 +
 +
Bart‘iky an also arrives at a similar conclusion: “In all probability this legend was
 +
created later by the Orthodox clergy. It is not difficult to see in the person of Paul of
 +
Samosata, son of the Manichaean woman Kallinike, the celebrated heretical leader Paul
 +
of Samosata, the patriarch of Antioch.” We do not doubt, continues Batfikyan, “that
 +
what contributed to the creation of this legend was first the names of the heretics linked
 +
with Paul and secondly the fact that the first leader of the Paulicians, Constantine-
 +
Sylvanus, appeared in the town of Samosata, that is Armenian Samosata, which was the
 +
cradle of Paulician heresy.”
 +
 +
The tendency of the church to present Paulicianism as the resurrection or second
 +
growth of the Manichaean heresy also contributed to the creation of the figure of tire
 +
Manichaean woman Kallinike, mother of Paul; but “the Paulianists have no connection
 +
with the Paulicians.” 39 Bart'ikyan then demonstrated how the Greek writers muddled
 +
the names. In the manuscript variants of the canons of the council of Nicaea, the name
 +
 +
 +
14
 +
 +
 +
 +
UauXiamorai is replaced by UavXuanvoL Following this, Zonaras substitutes Paulian-
 +
ists for Paulicians. 40 Theodore Balsamon, patriarch of Antioch, supposes that the
 +
Paulianists are the Paulicians named after Paul son of Kallinike 41
 +
 +
Similar examples of identifications of Paulicians-Paulianists are given by Garsoian,
 +
who, unlike Bart'ikyan, insists that there is a certain similarity of doctrine between the
 +
teachings of Paul of Samosata and the Paulicians. 4 2 Conybeare and Garsoian, suggest
 +
this identification on the basis of the supposition that The Key of Truth, the work of
 +
the Armenian Ohannes which was discovered in the 80s of the eighteenth century, is
 +
an authentic work and an organic part of Paulicianisrn 43
 +
 +
In addition to the arguments brought forward by Bart‘ikyan, Garsoian turns her
 +
attention towards other evidence which, in her opinion, confirms beyond doubt the
 +
theory that Paulicianisrn derives from Paul of Samosata 44 She quotes the specific
 +
identifications of the Paulicians with Paul of Samosata made by both the Armenian
 +
and the Byzantine writers. Grigor Magistros describes the T‘ondrakec‘is in the follow¬
 +
ing manner: “Here then you see the Paulicians who got their poison from Paul of
 +
Samosata.” 45 Peter of Sicily points out that the Paulicians of Tephrike"hypocritically
 +
anathematized Mani and other heretics and Paul of Samosata as well. 46 According to
 +
Garsoian the evidence of the Byzantine sources on Paul of Samosata, son of Kallinike,
 +
must be interpreted in the same way. The identification of Mas'udi is unquestionable,
 +
 +
. . al-bayalika .. . these follow the heresy of Paul of Samosata, one of the first Patri¬
 +
archs of Antioch.” 47
 +
 +
Much of the above evidence is susceptible to another interpretation. Grigor
 +
Magistros was familiar with the Greek sources on the Paulicians. In identifying the
 +
T'ondrakec'is with the Paulicians and in complete agreement with the Greek tradition,
 +
he accuses them of Manichaeanism. Could not the allusion to Paul of Samosata be a
 +
reference to Paul, son of Kallinike? The remark of Peter of Sicily that “the Paulicians
 +
throw anathema on Mani and his filthy followers, as they do on Paul of Samosata” 4 8 ,
 +
is further strengthened by a similar statement by Peter the Monk that “the Paulicians
 +
curse both Mani, Paul and John.” 49
 +
 +
A number of sources point to the conclusion that several of the authors of the
 +
middle ages who identified the Paulicians with the Paulianists were inadequately in¬
 +
formed. Their conception that Paulicianisrn comes from Paulianism is a conjecture
 +
based entirely on the resemblance of names of Kallinike’s son and the bishop of
 +
Antioch. This view is unfounded and the result of a confusion “which cannot be justi¬
 +
fied either doctrinally or historically, (and must) be finally abandoned.” 50
 +
 +
In a special article devoted to the study of the origin of the name, Loos comes to
 +
the conclusion that Paul, son of Kallinike, is a historical person who played an essential
 +
role in the life and history of the Paulician sect. Later tradition identified him with the
 +
celebrated heretic Paul of Samosata, the third-century bishop of Antioch. That this
 +
was so is evident from the formula of Abjuration and the legend about the Manichaean
 +
woman named Kallinike. s 1
 +
 +
 +
15
 +
 +
 +
 +
The historicity of Paul, son of Kallinike, is confirmed by the Abjuration formula
 +
of the Paulicians. Article six proclaims: “Anathema on those who reject or deform the
 +
four Gospels of our Lord and the epistles of the apostle Paul and in place of God,
 +
creator of all the existing world, worship the so-called ruler of this world, and instead
 +
of the holy apostle Paul honour Paul, son of Kallinike, and four of his disciples,
 +
received as the four gospels, and call the three others the Holy Trinity.” 52 In Article
 +
nine are anathematized those who reject the apostles and their teaching but accept and
 +
revere six Paulician disciples who deformed evangelical doctrines and the gospels them¬
 +
selves, that is Paul, Silvanus, Titus, Timothy, Epaphroditus and Tychicus. 5 3 These for¬
 +
mulae grossly distort Paulician doctrine; for example, they call on the heretics to re¬
 +
cognise the holiness of the apostle Paul, who was already venerated by them to an ex¬
 +
treme degree. However, the fact that they mention Paul, son of Kallinike, in the list of
 +
undoubtedly historical leaders of the sect, speaks in favour of the historicity of the
 +
latter.
 +
 +
In the Armenian legend, included in the Armenian version of lohn of Damascus’s
 +
Heresies in Chapter 154, the following story appears:
 +
 +
Behold a certain woman named Set'i, this woman having come after the Arabs,
 +
came to the Armenians. And a certain Pol from the province of Ayrarat, who
 +
was a disciple of St. Ephrem, seduced the woman and so mingled heresy with
 +
Christianity. Christ, the Sun, they say did not die and was not resurrected, and
 +
because of this they fast on Sunday. And St. Ephrem came and could not turn
 +
him away from his heresy and he cursed him and left. 54
 +
 +
We see that the circumstances in which this PoT(Paul) acts are completely different
 +
from the atmosphere that surrounded Paul, son of Kallinike, which is why the infor¬
 +
mation from the Armenian story could not be derived from the Greek. However, it is
 +
quite possible that the chapter on Pot in the History of Peter of Sicily is a distantremi-
 +
niscence of the events connected with the son of Kallinike.
 +
 +
It must be underlined that, according to the sources, the Paulicians cursed Pot
 +
but did not deny his existence. It is improbable that they would have denied so cate¬
 +
gorically an imaginary person. The very fact of such an attitude towards the founder
 +
of the sect is quite clear. The movement developed constantly and at its centre there
 +
arose various conflicts. The followers of Joseph-Epaphroditus disliked the followers of
 +
Zacharias. The followers of Scrgius-Tychicus killed the disciples of Baanes. Subsequent
 +
followers of this movement could well have disliked and condemned its founder. Thus
 +
it may be supposed that the legend of the son of Kallinike is a reflection of real events.
 +
Paul is a historical person, he is the founder of the sect, although subsequently he was
 +
denounced. In an environment hostile to the heretics, he began to be called Pawiik
 +
from which derives the name Paw\ikeank‘ — Paulicians. Only one circumstance can
 +
give rise to doubt; Kallinike preaches Manichaean doctrine at a time when there is
 +
nothing in common between Manichaeanism and Paulicianism. This may be an ex¬
 +
pression of the Orthodox writer’s tendency once more to restate the doctrine of the
 +
official church, according to which the Paulicians are the same as the Manichaeans, and
 +
 +
 +
16
 +
 +
 +
 +
desire to trace back their foundation to a Manichaean environment. In any case the
 +
fact that the Greek writers accuse Kallinike of Manichaeanism cannot in itself serve as
 +
an argument against the historicity of her son.
 +
 +
To what period must the activity of the founder of the sect be assigned? In the
 +
sources there is no direct indication and the synchronisation of events with the history
 +
of the Paulicians is only possible from the time of Constantine-Silvanus, a contemp¬
 +
orary of the emperor Constans II. However, along with many of the eighth century
 +
and later sources, in which the heretics are mentioned under the name Paulicians, a
 +
document from the middle of the sixth century has been preserved. This is the Oath of
 +
Union taken at the council of Dvin summoned by thekat‘o!ikos Nerses II of AStarak. s s
 +
If the phrase in which the Paulicians are referred to is authentic, then the date for the
 +
origin of Paulicianism must be taken further back than the appearance of the Oath of
 +
Union.
 +
 +
In his discourse Against the Paulicians, Yovhannes Ojnec'i confirms that the
 +
heretics had already been reprimanded by the kat'oiikos Nerses but had not been
 +
brought to reason and had gone into hiding. They were joined by the iconoclasts of
 +
Caucasian Albania. Before the arrival of the Arabs the heretics continued to live in
 +
hiding but later they became bolder and spread into the country. Before Yovhannes
 +
Ojnec'i, Armenia had had three kat'olikoses with the name Nerses; Nerses 1 (died 374),
 +
Nerses II of AStarak [or Bagrewandj (548-557) and Nerses III the Builder (641-661).
 +
The kat'oiikos Nerses referred to by Ojnec'i must be identified with one of these
 +
three. In 1900, Ter Mkrttschian published for the first time the text of the Oath of
 +
Union in which the Paulicians are mentioned in the form PawUkenac' by Ojnec'i.
 +
Hence the conclusion Garsoian draws is that “there is no reason for doubting the auth¬
 +
enticity of the Oath of Union, since it is found at its logical, chronological place in the
 +
compilation of the Book of Letters”. The implication is that“we possess in Armenia an
 +
official record of the existence of Paulicians one century before the supposed organis¬
 +
ation of the sect by Constantine-Silvanus, whom the Byzantine sources present as a
 +
contemporary of the emperor Constans I! (641-668).” 5 6
 +
 +
The authenticity of the document has been accepted by Armenian scholars. 5 7
 +
However, there have also been some objections, 5 8 notably that of Bart'ikyan. His first
 +
objection is: “How could the sectarians referred to in the Oath be considered Paulicians
 +
who accept the sacrament of communion when there is evidence that the Paulicians re¬
 +
jected communion altogether.” 59 There is no evidence that the Paulicians rejected the
 +
sacrament of communion. When it is said that the Paulicians rejected the Christian sac¬
 +
raments in general, the inference is that they regarded this and other orthodox sacra¬
 +
ments as polluted. The Paulician objection to the sacrament of the communion
 +
amounts to a non-acceptance of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, that during the
 +
Holy Mass the bread and wine are transformed into the real Body and Blood of Christ.
 +
But what evidence has Bart'ikyan for suggesting that the Paulicians did not even accept
 +
the celebration of Christ’s Last Supper, to which there is obvious reference in the
 +
allegation brought by the heretics that Christ’s words “Take eat” are not uttered in
 +
 +
 +
17
 +
 +
 +
 +
relation to the communion but the practice of “common meals”. The heresiarch
 +
Smbat Zarehawan also claimed that the utterance of Christ was not a reference to the
 +
Eucharist but to the custom of “communal meals”. The evidence of the Oath “in the
 +
gathering of dedication [offering] of the Paulicians” is similarly a reference to this cus¬
 +
tom, by which the early Christians recalled the memory of Christ’s Last Supper by
 +
organising agapai, the common religious meals, which seem to have been in use in the
 +
early Church in close relation to the Eucharist. 60 The words just preceding the above
 +
testimony “to bring the bread of offering to the place of their lawlessness” 61 affirms
 +
this beyond doubt.
 +
 +
A number of similar testimonies are to be found in the canons of the council of
 +
Partaw. “They built monasteries in the villages, so that the prelates could live there
 +
and the poor folk of the church. The blessed bread of dedication they take to the
 +
house of the priest and the elder brothers.” 62 If it were just “bread offering” one
 +
would not attach great significance to it; but “the blessed bread of offering” refers to
 +
the custom of organising “common meals”. It must be noted that this practice was
 +
widespread in the early church (1 Cor.II), particularly in the Nestorian Church, before
 +
it became extinct by the end of the seventh century. Evidence of it is to be found in
 +
the canons of the councils of Neocaesarea (early fourth century), Gangra (34041),
 +
Laodicea, Partaw. 63
 +
 +
Thus the evidence “dedication [offering] of the Paulicians” can be taken to
 +
mean that no gifts should be accepted from the Paulicians and no association should
 +
be established with them in general. Therefore one cannot base very far-reaching con¬
 +
clusions on the word “dedication” alone. YuzbaSyan is right in interpreting the passage
 +
from the Oath of Union as being a reference to the fact that the Paulicians believed in
 +
the symbolic and spiritual communion, understanding the bread and wine as symbolic¬
 +
ally representing the teaching of Christ. 64
 +
 +
Bart’ikyan’s second objection is that the Vrmenian sources are silent on the sub¬
 +
ject of the heretics for too long a period h * n the sixth and eighth centuries, if we
 +
accept the evidence of the Oath of Union , and that the next writer on the Paulicians,
 +
Yovhannes Ojnec’i, is insufficiently acquainted with Paulicianism, thus showing that
 +
the sect was newly established in Armenia in the eighth century. This argument is alto¬
 +
gether unconvincing since it is based on the a priori assumption that the mention of
 +
the Paulicians is impossible in the late fifth century and indeed before the eighth cen¬
 +
tury — an assumption that ignores the references to the sectarians in Vrt'anes K’ert'ol,
 +
Yovhannes Mayragomec'i and other sources. Bart‘ikyan’s criticism of Yovhannes
 +
Ojnec'i is also unwarranted. Yovhannes Ojnec'i recorded what he knew and his infor¬
 +
mation is accurate, particularly in the case of the history of the Paulicians, which he
 +
traces back to the kat'olikos Nerses [II].
 +
 +
Bart‘ikyan’s last objection is that the mention of the name Paulicians in the Oath
 +
of Union is due to a copyist’s error. In his opinion, the original reference was to Paul-
 +
inians, followers of Paul of Samosata, and not Paulicians. The Armenian church, con-
 +
 +
 +
18
 +
 +
 +
 +
eludes Bart‘ikyan, accused the Nestorians not of Paulicianism but of Paulianism, that is
 +
the heresy of the bishop of Antioch. First, if such a copyist’s error occurred in Greek
 +
manuscripts it is no reason to believe that a similar error occurred in the Armenian
 +
manuscripts as well. Second, by Paulinians we understand the followers of Paul of
 +
Samosata. The church in A.D. 268 condemned Paul at a synod in Antioch. Thereafter
 +
he is mentioned and anathematized among the list of heretics (20 times in the Book of
 +
Letters), although his followers appear to have created a schism which lasted until the
 +
council of Nicaea. Their role in the Armenian church is insignificant. Third, any
 +
follower of Paul, whether of Paul the apostle or of any other Paul, in Armenian would
 +
be called Pokosean and not Paulianist (see the Armenian translation of 1 Cor.l:12;
 +
3:4). The most one would expect would be Pokoseank', Pokoseanc'. Pawkianosk ’, as in
 +
Nestorianosk'. And lastly, in the Armenian version of the canons of the council of
 +
Nicaea the Greek name Paulianist [IlauXawiarai] is translated Pawkovnia (in manu¬
 +
script variants as Po to xvniai, Pokonari, Pawkonai, etc), none of which is in the re¬
 +
motest way like the name Paulician. 6s Furthermore, the association of the Paulicians
 +
and Nestorians found in the Oath of Union is possible on historical grounds.
 +
 +
That Yovhannes Ojnec’i had in mind Nerses 11 (584-5S7) agrees perfectly with
 +
the dating of the beginning of the movement suggested by the Greek sources. The rele¬
 +
vant section of Yovhannes Ojnec’i’s testimony reads:
 +
 +
The remnant of the old Messalianism Pay lake nut ‘ean reprimanded by kat’olikos
 +
Nerses was not brought to reason after his death. They withdrew and hid in a
 +
certain locality of our country. They were joined by some iconoclasts denounced
 +
by the Albanian kat’olikos and, until they found support in the precursors of an
 +
anti-Christ, they were afraid and feared the true and glorious religion of the
 +
Christians. But when they had the presumption to think that they had arrived at
 +
something important and new, in their treachery, they came bounding out of
 +
their lair and dared to penetrate into the interior of the country and inhabited
 +
regions. 66
 +
 +
This evidence indicates that the Paulicians did take refuge in Armenia, that they were
 +
later joined and supported by the Albanian iconoclasts and that they found their allies
 +
among the precursors of anti-Christ, that is the Arabs. Let us try to date these events.
 +
 +
Information on the activities of the iconoclasts in Armenia and Albania is con¬
 +
tained in the History of the Caucasian Albanians of Movsfs Dasxuranc’i, in chapter 46
 +
of the second book, which also contains the epistle of Yovhannes Mayragomec’i.
 +
There it is recorded:
 +
 +
In the days when Lord Uxt’anes (670-682), and after him Eliazar, (628-688)
 +
directed the partiarchate of Albania, the land of Albania remained unaffected by
 +
the confusion and heresy which arose among both learned and ignorant men in
 +
many places .. . The news reached them, however, that certain people would not
 +
accept icons, while others would not practice baptism or bless the salt or impose
 +
the wedding crown in marriage, all by reason of the fact that the priesthood was
 +
 +
 +
19
 +
 +
 +
 +
removed from the land. On account of these things Davit’, bishop of Mec Ko\-
 +
mank‘, wrote and asked Yovhan, an Armenian doctor, the cause of these matters,
 +
and he informed him accurately as follows: “This heresy appeared after the
 +
apostles, and iconoclasm first arose among the Greeks; on this account a great
 +
council was convened in Caesarea, which decreed that images were to be dis¬
 +
played in the house of God . . . Then a priest named Yesu, with Tadeos and
 +
Grigor, who were from Movses’ See, left Dvin, went to the canton of Sotk‘ and
 +
began to preach saying: “Destroy all images painted in the churches and do not
 +
commune with worldly priests.” Movses ordered them to return immediately,
 +
but they would not obey his command and left and took refuge in the province
 +
of Arc‘ax. The iconoclasts who had descended upon Albania, however, polluted
 +
the country. Then the lord of Gardman seized the men and had them brought in
 +
chains to Armenia. They appeared before Yovhannes Mayragomec'i who set
 +
them on the path of truth. 6 7
 +
 +
It is apparently to these iconoclasts that Yovhannes Ojnec‘i alludes in his treatise
 +
Against the Paulicians, for he speaks of the heretics who went into all parts of Armenia
 +
after the death of Nerses, and were joined by certain iconoclasts pursued by the
 +
Albanians. We know for certain that Yovhannes Mayragomec'i left Dvin and settled in
 +
Gardman in 633. The return of the heretics to Armenia occurred before that date, that
 +
is considerably earlier than the kat'ofikosate of Nerses III (641-661). We are better in¬
 +
formed of these events by a treatise ascribed to Vrt'anes K‘ert‘oI, Yalags Patkeramar-
 +
tic‘. b& Der Nersessian, who has studied this source in detail, does not doubt that the
 +
statement of Yovhannes Ojnec‘i refers to kafolikos Nerses II (548-557) and that the
 +
Paulicians were joined by iconoclasts with whom Yovhannes Mayragomec'i had deal¬
 +
ings. 69
 +
 +
Later the Paulicians found support among the Arabs. It is not easy to relate
 +
these vague testimonies to a definite period. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to suppose
 +
that it is an allusion to the period when the Armenians came into direct contact with
 +
the Arabs.
 +
 +
The Arab invasion of Armenia occurred in 64042. In 652 an agreement was con¬
 +
cluded between the commander of the Armenian troops, Teodor RStuni, and Mu‘-
 +
awiyah, which prescribed a light form of dependence on the caliphate. But in 654 the
 +
Arabs again pillaged the country and Habib ibn Maslama delivered to the population
 +
of Dvin, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, a letter of guarantee for their temples,
 +
goods and personal security. It is just in this period that the Paulicians may have found
 +
support in the shape of the Arabs, whose religious toleration is reflected in Habib’s
 +
letter. Thus the first Armenian association with the Arabs falls in the period before the
 +
death of kafolikos Nerses 111 (641-661), and once again the fact comes to mind that
 +
Yovhannes Ojnec'i was referring to Nerses II (548-557).
 +
 +
Recognising the fact that the Paulicians were already known by the time of
 +
Nerses II, we are obliged to give great credit to the reference to them in the Oath of
 +
Union. The analysis of this document on its own evidence shows that there is no
 +
 +
 +
20
 +
 +
 +
 +
reason to doubt its authenticity. Nor is there any doubt about dating it in the 24th
 +
year of the reign of Xosrov I AnuSJirvan (531-559), that is 554 or 555. In this docu¬
 +
ment the Nestorians who came to Armenia on business from Xu?astan are denounced.
 +
These Nestorians founded a monastery under the patronage of ManaCrhi RaSk, and
 +
their missionaries brought men and wives of ignorant laymen to participate in their
 +
faith: “in the filth of their prayers to bring the bread of offering in the place of their
 +
impiety, to receive communion at their hands just as this is done in the gatherings of
 +
dedication [offering] of the Paulicians.” As has been indicated above there is nothing
 +
extraordinary in the spelling of the form of the name Pawiikenac it is also found in
 +
other sources. As we have seen, there is no evidence that the Paulicians rejected com¬
 +
munion altogether. The reference to the Oath is in relation to the ancient custom of
 +
organising “common meals”, a practice also widespread among the Nestorians, which
 +
is also the basis for associating the two heresies.
 +
 +
The degree of truth in the legend of the sons of Kallinike can be disputed, but it
 +
is unfair to call it “evidence of Peter of Sicily’s ignorance” (H. Gregoire) or “a legend¬
 +
ary fabrication” (N. Garsoian). In adopting a critical attitude towards the sources writ¬
 +
ten by the adversaries of the heretics, we must equally remember that the sources be¬
 +
longing to the heretics themselves are not free of tendentious opinions.
 +
 +
On the general history of the Paulician movement and its relation to and influ¬
 +
ence on other sects, the primary sources provide ample evidence and information. But
 +
there is no study devoted to the question of the organisation of the sect. This neglect
 +
is due to the lack of information in the primary sources. The interest of writers who
 +
were opposed to the movement was limited in regard to the organisation of the sect.
 +
However, in their writings there are scanty references which throw some light on this
 +
particular aspect of the movement. Particularly important in this respect are the His¬
 +
tory of Peter of Sicily, in which the chronological history of the Paulician movement is
 +
recorded from the beginning until 869, and the work of Patriarch Photius, A History
 +
of the Manichaeans , by which he understood the Paulicians.
 +
 +
The material which sheds some light on the organisation of the movement is
 +
from the ninth century, the period when it had gained the widest support and was so
 +
strong from a military point of view that the government of Byzantium had to take it
 +
into account very seriously. First, on the matter of the leadership of the sect: as a rule
 +
the heresiarch, or head of the group, was a single individual. However, the sources indi¬
 +
cate that there were times when two names appeared in the leadership. The sources
 +
refer to such times only when controversy and struggle had arisen due to the emergence
 +
of two leaders. The first period was in the first half of the eighth century, when the
 +
sect was led by the two sons of the Armenian Paul Genesius-Timothy and Theodotus,
 +
who survived the systematic persecution under Justinian II. Between these two there
 +
was evidently serious controversy. In all probability Genesius proved to be victorious
 +
for he alone is mentioned in the sources thereafter. The movement was governed by
 +
two leaders for a second time during the ninth century by Sergius (801-835) and
 +
Baanes.
 +
 +
 +
21
 +
 +
 +
 +
Was it then a common procedure to elect two heresiarchs? Patriarch Photius
 +
writes explicitly that after the death of Sergius, the sectarians “did not give the title
 +
fighter of God to either one or two.” 70
 +
 +
But despite this direct allusion of Photius to two heresiarchs, the conclusion to
 +
be drawn is merely that the movement was divided. It is natural that a movement
 +
which drew supporters in large numbers both from the city and from the countryside
 +
would be diversified, and internal hostility would have been unavoidable. This was
 +
clearly manifested during the first half of the ninth century when Sergius and Baanes
 +
were leaders. After Joseph-Epaphroditus’s death, there was a contest over the succession
 +
and the Paulician community split into two factions. Joseph’s immediate successor,
 +
Baanes was Armenian, but the victor, Sergius-Tyehius, was an east Roman whose birth¬
 +
place was a village in the theme of Armeniakon. According to Peter of Sicily, Baanes
 +
claimed that he, Baanes, had remained faithful to the doctrine that had been trans¬
 +
mitted to him by Joseph, whereas “You, Sergius, are a newcomer who has never seen
 +
any of our teachers or kept company with them.” 71 Sergius, however, was obdurate,
 +
and “split the sect in two”. 72
 +
 +
Although the source accuses Sergius of dividing the movement into two parties,
 +
one under his leadership and the other under that of Baanes, in all probability the div¬
 +
ision in the sect existed before the emergence of the two heresiarchs. Each waged a
 +
fierce struggle against the other in order to weaken the other party and to attract its
 +
supporters to his side. Peter of Sicily testifies that Sergius reacted violently and radically
 +
against Baanes in order to win the support of “Orthodox Christians”. 73 it is not easy
 +
to see why the Orthodox Christians would have chosen to support Sergius (which
 +
meant becoming sectarians themselves) when the hostility was between the two heresi¬
 +
archs. But their motives are sufficiently explained by Photius. Photius stresses that
 +
during this period of hostility Sergius was trying to disrupt and discount the other
 +
party. 74 Tills hostility continued even after the death of Sergius (835). The sources re¬
 +
cord that Sergius’s partisans were thirsting to massacre Baanes’s partisans as if they
 +
were of “another faith”(coe ereponioTovt ; navreXcix:)'! 5 One of the disciples of Sergius
 +
tried to restrain them by reminding them that before Sergius came “we all held one
 +
faith”. 76 But according to the source the followers of Sergius fought the Baanites in
 +
order to clear themselves of the disrepute they had suffered because of their ene¬
 +
mies. 77
 +
 +
As shown above, the leaders of the movement were elected, but it must be ob¬
 +
served that not all the sectarians participated in the election procedure. The heresiarch
 +
was elected by the inner circle of the sect, whose members were known as the synek-
 +
demoi. 78 Peter of Sicily records that, after the death of Sergius, th e synekdemoi and
 +
the rest of the sectarians did not elect any heresiarch. Photius, however, states the
 +
reason for this in more specific terms. He writes that after the death of Sergius the
 +
synekdemoi “did not give the title ‘fighter of God’ to either one or two”. 79 The
 +
synekdemoi in their turn elected and appointed the ptepdtf called the notaries
 +
(vorapux). The latter had the responsibility of propagating the Paulician doctrine. 80
 +
 +
 +
22
 +
 +
 +
 +
Besides these two major groupings, the heresiarch also had a group of disciples called
 +
astatoi (domra). 81 The information the sources supply on these people is very scanty;
 +
but it appears that while the two former groups were responsible for missionary work,
 +
the astatoi organised and planned the strategy of conflict against the Paulician’s adver¬
 +
saries. The sources only mention the fact that the astatoi planned the plot against the
 +
Byzantine governor of Neocaesarea, Parakondakes, and the bishop of the same city,
 +
Thomas. Both these victims were appointed by Byzantium to the Armeniakon theme
 +
to investigate Sergius’s activities.
 +
 +
Another crucial aspect of the Paulician movement is the question of their military
 +
organisation. For the investigation of this particular problem the work of Patriarch
 +
Photius is indispensable. Photius demonstrates that the Paulicians, from the beginning
 +
of the ninth century if not earlier, had armies commanded not, as might be expected,
 +
by the heresiarch but by a military official. Photius refers to him as the “ruler of the
 +
armed forces” (ftfq Swapecoq 6 bipxoav). 82 It appears that he had consider¬
 +
 +
able influence and could have played a very important role in the internal affairs of the
 +
sect. Photius points out that Sergius and his followers were in a stronger position than
 +
his opponent Baanes, not only in terms of numbers, but also because the leader of the
 +
armed forces was a convinced supporter of Sergius:
 +
 +
’EireKparet yap r? pepk Zepyiov rep re ttXrjdei nai on rift airroCt; arAm/cp <r
 +
 +
Sunapecoe 6 dpx«n rtf 6fl£rj npooanetXivev Xepyiov, nai Sm etc 83
 +
 +
This may be thought to lead to the conclusion that in the Paulician organisation there
 +
was a specific division of duties between the heresiarch and the military leader. The
 +
heresiarch was responsible for organising and waging religious warfare while the com¬
 +
mander had specifically military responsibility. This strict differentiation of duties has
 +
a historical background. In the ninth century the Paulicians, alongside their missionary
 +
activities, carried out very effective military campaigns, it was the emperor Constan¬
 +
tine V (740-775) who supported and used Paulicians to consolidate his iconoclastic
 +
policies. He transferred great numbers of Paulicians from the eastern provinces,
 +
notably from Armenia, and settled them in Constantinople and in Thrace. The Pauli¬
 +
cians were so strong and so widespread at this time, and were so important from a
 +
military point of view, that the government in Byzantium had to take them into
 +
account very seriously. When in the ninth century Byzantium resumed its persecution
 +
of its Paulician subjects, the Paulicians, under the leadership of their two most success¬
 +
ful military leaders, staged their counter offensives.
 +
 +
According to Peter of Sicily, the disciples of Sergius did not appoint any other
 +
heresiarch after their master’s death, as had been done in the past: pr/Ken a>a SiSdo-
 +
Ka\ov tu>axT)pv%ai>Te<; naBanep (k npcoriv!' 4 He does, however, record that after Ser¬
 +
gius, Karbeas became the leader of the sect. 85 He was only a military leader. If Photius
 +
had not recorded the fact that in the Paulician community two leaders existed we
 +
would have to regard the evidence of Peter of Sicily, that the synekdemoi did not elect
 +
any heresiarch after the death of Sergius, as being inaccurate or that the election of
 +
 +
 +
23
 +
 +
 +
 +
Karbeas went against this policy. But Photius elucidates the role played by Karbeas: he
 +
was the leader only of the armed forces (Surapecoc 6 tip\ojv).
 +
 +
This is confirmed by other evidence found in Photius but lacking in Peter of
 +
Sicily. According to Photius, Karbeas was totally indifferent to matters of faith (nimiv
 +
fxa> ov8' f pnva orepyojv) , 86 a statement which could never have been made in rela¬
 +
tion to the conduct of the religious leader. This also explains why in all the abjuration
 +
formulae, which contain specific accusations against the Paulician spiritual leaders, the
 +
names of Karbeas and his successor, John Chrysocheir, are missing when all the other
 +
heresiarchs are mentioned. 81
 +
 +
The Paulician community had its religious heresiarch who was elected by the
 +
synekdemoi * 8 and its military leader who was elected by all the community. There is
 +
no means of knowing how far the military leader was subject to the religious leader,
 +
but the evidence suggests that the military leader was completely independent. The
 +
synekdemoi were subject to the heresiarch who, like the notaries, was concerned only
 +
with the doctrinal and religious aspects of the Paulician movement. The astatoi were
 +
also subordinate to the heresiarch and were particularly concerned with social prob¬
 +
lems.
 +
 +
 +
24
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER III
 +
 +
 +
ARMENIA IN THE EIGHTH AND NINTH CENTURIES:
 +
A SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SURVEY
 +
 +
 +
The situation in Asia at the death of Heraclius (61041) was very discouraging for
 +
Byzantium. The waves of Arabs emerging from the peninsula swept into the once
 +
mighty Persian empire, and occupied its territories piecemeal. Meanwhile the religious
 +
policy of Heraclius had widened the rift between Armenia and Byzantium. Every
 +
Byzantine military intervention in Armenia, in the course of the struggle against the
 +
advance of the Arabs, invariably entailed a rather cavalier Imperial imposition of the
 +
faith of Chalcedon on its population. The Byzantine intolerance partly accounts for
 +
the startling rapidity and ease with which the Arab armies occupied Syria, Palestine
 +
and Armenia. In the words of Bar-Hebraeus “these Ismaelites conquered us by divine
 +
providence in the days of Heraclius and they freed us from the hands of the Greeks”. 1
 +
 +
The history of the conquest of Armenia by the Arabs presents in its details many
 +
uncertainties and obscurities, for the information found in Arabic, Armenian and Greek
 +
sources is often contradictory. H. Manandyan 2 who has submitted the traditional data
 +
to close criticism arrived at the conclusion that until 650 there had been three Arab
 +
invasions: (i) in 640, the first invasion through the Taron region and the capture of
 +
Dvin on 6th October 640;(ii) in 64243, the second invasion by way of Adharbayd[an
 +
into Persarmenia; (iii) in 650, the third invasion carried out from Adharbaydjan and
 +
marked by the taking of Arcap' in the Kogovit district to the north-east of Lake Van
 +
on 8th August 650. These invasions were not conquering expeditions but merely dis¬
 +
orderly raids. Only the invasion of 654 can be considered as a true conquest, and it is
 +
consequently the only expedition which is recorded in detail in Arabic sources, while
 +
the three earlier raids are known to us essentially through Armenian sources.
 +
 +
Initially the relationship between Armenia and the Caliphate was based for the
 +
most part on the treaty concluded in 652 between Mu‘ awiyah and T‘eodor RStuni.
 +
The terms of the agreement, as recorded by Sebeos, were that the Arabs should refrain
 +
from posting governors or garrisons in Armenia, that they should come to Armenia’s
 +
aid in the event of an attack on her, and that the Armenians, on their side were bound
 +
to pay only light tribute to the Caliphate and to send a supporting army to the Arabs
 +
 +
 +
25
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
in times of need. In addition to this treaty, a guarantee of safety and religious toler¬
 +
ation was granted to the Armenian church: “This is the treaty of Habi b ibn-Maslama
 +
with the Christians, Magians and the Jews of Dabll [Dvin], including those present
 +
and absent. 1 have granted you safety for your lives, possessions, churches, places of
 +
worship, and the city wall. Thus you are sate and we are bound to fulfil our covenant, so
 +
long as you fulfil yours and pay poll-tax and kharadj. Thereunto Allah is witness and it
 +
suffices to have Him for witness”. 3
 +
 +
This indicates that in the seventh century the Caliphate had no representative,
 +
whether administrative or military in Armenia, and the country enjoyed a degree of
 +
independence such as it had not known since the fall of the Arsacids. The period of
 +
Arab domination in Armenia was characterised by certain privileges which distinguished
 +
it from the previous Perso-Byzantine era. The natural policy of both the Persians and
 +
Byzantines toward Armenia had been to bind the country to themselves by various
 +
religious and political ties. In the ostikanate of Armfniya, which included Armenia
 +
proper, Albania and eastern Iberia (KartTi) the kafohkos was a political figure and
 +
the head of the church. Next in importance came the naxarars, the heads of the prince¬
 +
ly houses. Their hereditary patrimonial domains constituted autonomous principalities
 +
over which they exercised absolute military, judicial and administrative powers. The
 +
Armenian naxarars were able to hold important offices such as sparapet (chief of
 +
armies), hazarapet (general administrator of the realm) without abandoning their reli¬
 +
gion. The next group in the hierarchic order was formed by the azats (the freemen),
 +
owners of small fiefs, and vassals of the naxarars. The majority of the common people
 +
( ramik ) consisted of peasants. They were serfs, attached to the soil, which they tilled
 +
for the benefit of their masters, retaining only a small part of the products for their
 +
own use. They could own their house and a few animals, but most of them lived in
 +
great poverty.
 +
 +
The taxation policies of the Caliphate in Armenia from A.D. 652 to 862 were
 +
subject to a number of changes as regards the amount and method of collection. We
 +
can distinguish five periods. 4
 +
 +
(i) From the beginning of the invasions up to the treaty with Mu‘ awiyah I (640-652).
 +
 +
(ii) From Mu'awiyah 1 to caliph ‘Abd al-Malik (685-705).
 +
 +
(iii) ‘Abd al-Malik till the time of caliph Hisham (724-743).
 +
 +
(iv) From Hisham till the end of the Umayyad dynasty (724-750).
 +
 +
(v) The ‘Abbasid period (750-862).
 +
 +
Under the Umayyads, particularly in the early period, Arab exploitation of the popul¬
 +
ation was relatively mild and bearable. The reasons for this were twofold. First, be¬
 +
cause Armenia accepted the rale of the Arab Caliphate, on the definite condition that
 +
she would keep her internal autonomy and her naxarar structure. Armenia never lost
 +
its internal autonomy, and this is well illustrated by al-Baladhurf , who drew a careful
 +
 +
 +
26
 +
 +
 +
 +
distinction between the general term “Armihiya” and the specific “Armaniyakus”,
 +
governed by an Armenian prince, who was subject to the Ostikan of “Armfniya” but
 +
was in full control of the internal government. 5 Second, this cautious policy can be ex¬
 +
plained by the great strategic and military importance of Armenia, which the Arabs
 +
wished to make use of to protect their new frontiers against Byzantium. Even in this
 +
period, however, Arab domination was ruinous for Armenia. During the periodic wars
 +
between the Caliphate and Byzantium, Armenia repeatedly changed her allegiance and
 +
was mercilessly devastated by both sides. Dionysios of Tell-Mahre", describing the cam¬
 +
paign of the Arab general Maslama against Byzantium in A.D. 716-717 and his appear¬
 +
ance in the interior of Armenia, says: “This entire country was noted for its innumer¬
 +
able inhabitants, many vineyards, fields of grain, and all kinds of magnificent trees.
 +
From that time, it became empty and no population is left in her provinces.” 6
 +
 +
If in the first and second periods Armenia was devastated as a result of the Arab-
 +
Byzantine wars on her territory, in the third period of Arab rule, Armenia was drained
 +
by the burden of heavy and unbearable taxation, which then provoked general revolts.
 +
According to Samuel of Ani, the Caliphate at the time of its consolidation in Armenia
 +
“took from each household four dirhams, three modii of sifted wheat, one hempen
 +
rope and one gauntlet. From priests, however, as from the azats and the knights, it was
 +
ordered to levy no taxes.” 7
 +
 +
The tax policy of the Caliphate in Armenia underwent a radical change in the
 +
time of the caliph Hisham (724-743). In 724-725 a general census of men, cattle, and
 +
lands was taken in Armenia. All tax privileges in autonomous Armenia were revoked
 +
and taxes were levied, not from households, as formerly, but per person, and according
 +
to the quantity of landed property. In this way the new system of poll tax, tax on
 +
cattle, and land tax was introduced. The Armenian historian Movses Dasxuranc'i 8
 +
writes:
 +
 +
In the summer of the year 174 of the Armenian era, there was a plague among
 +
the cattle, and in the winter a cadaster was made by Hert which subjected man
 +
and beast and all regions of the country to servitude by the imposition of heavy
 +
tribute. 9
 +
 +
Even before this general census, the caliph Yazi d II (720-724) appointed al-Djarrah
 +
ibn al-Hakam governor of Armenia and new weights and measures were introduced by
 +
him. Al-Baladhurf reports:
 +
 +
After him [Hert], al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah al-Hakam of the Mashidj tribe was
 +
appointed governor of Armenia. When he came to Berday he was informed of the
 +
abuses in the local weights and measures and he eliminated them by introducing
 +
a new and exact measure known as the Djarrahid one, which is in use even today
 +
among the population. 10
 +
 +
The imposition of unbearable taxation was accompanied by brutal exploitation and
 +
piliage. There is interesting evidence of this in al-Baladhun in regard to fishing rights
 +
in Lake Van:
 +
 +
 +
27
 +
 +
 +
 +
As for lake Tirrih, he [Habib ibn Maslama] did not touch it and it remained free
 +
until the time when Muhammad ibn Marwan became governor of Djazlra and
 +
Armenia. He Said hands on the entire catch and sold it, deriving a great profit
 +
therefrom. After him, the lake passed to Muhammad ibn Marwan from whom it
 +
was later taken. 11
 +
 +
tewond writes that ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who was governor of Armenia under the caliph al-
 +
WallFd (705-715), was more benevolent, for “when he became the governor of our
 +
land of Armenia he pacified her by protecting her from all unjustified attacks and by
 +
stern reproofs subdued the haughty arrogance of the sons of Isma'i l.” 12
 +
 +
The tax policy of the Caliphate in Armenia during the last period (750-862)
 +
dealt heavy blows to the Armenian economy, causing a regression in the social life of
 +
Armenia, accompanied by financial and economic collapse.
 +
 +
The Abbasid dynasty, deprived of all its revenues from its African colonies,
 +
transferred the burden of taxation to the eastern provinces. Thus, according to
 +
Qudama 13 , during the reign of caliph aI-Mu‘tasim (833-842) the budget of the empire
 +
was 388 million dirhams, and twenty years later during the reign of caliph al-Mutawak-
 +
kil (847-861) it rose to 960 million. According to Lewond, at the time of the caliph al-
 +
Mansur (754-755) Armenia was unable to pay the taxes to the ‘Abbasids in currency
 +
because of the lack of silver and other precious metals in the country. 14 The people
 +
were selling their possessions at derisory prices and could not raise the sum needed for
 +
the taxes. According to Michael the Syrian, in northern Mesopotamia the people were
 +
giving their children away to the tax-collectors for five dirhams 15 , when oxen and
 +
asses were for sale there for one dirham.
 +
 +
Lewond gives us another indirect indication of the reasons for the lack of money
 +
and the decline of monetary relations:
 +
 +
. . . and after him his son al-MahdT inherited. He was more benevolent than his
 +
father and of better nature. He opened all the treasuries which godless Abdul
 +
had kept locked and distributed pay to his troops. He abolished frontier duty so
 +
as to give merchants the possibility of trading and of satisfying the poor. Pros¬
 +
perity appeared in the land, the extraction of silver increased and the inhabitants
 +
rested from the coercion of taxes ... as a result of the discovery of silver our
 +
country rested from the cruel evils of poverty. 16
 +
 +
The Armenian revolt of 774 was a direct consequence of these brutalities. After a
 +
short period of relaxation on the accession of Harun al-Rashid, the Caliphate reverted
 +
to its old policies. The Armenian sources speak in very grim terms about the socio¬
 +
economic conditions in Armenia during the ‘Abbasid period. The Arab sources are
 +
more precise.
 +
 +
Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) in his Prolegomena gives a list of revenues from the
 +
provinces, where he mentions payment in kind as well as monetary tribute from
 +
Armenia: 17
 +
 +
 +
28
 +
 +
 +
 +
13,000,000 dirhams
 +
Embroidered carpets: 20
 +
Variegated cloth ( raqm ): 580 pieces
 +
Salted surmahi fish: 10,000 pounds
 +
Herring (tartkh): 10,000 pounds
 +
Mules: 200
 +
Falcons: 30
 +
 +
The list of revenues from the provinces prepared by Abu’l-Wazfr ‘Umar ibn al-Mutarrif
 +
in the early part of the reign of Harun al-Rashfd has a special importance in the fiscal
 +
and administrative history of Islam. It is the second list of revenues from the provinces
 +
belonging to the ‘Abbasid Caliphate. It contains, too, details about the revenues in
 +
kind which were sent from the provinces to Baghdad, the capital of the Arab empire
 +
from A.D. 762. A second list has been preserved in a unique manuscript by Muham¬
 +
mad ibn ‘Abdus ai-Djahshiyari, preserved in the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna.
 +
A. Kremer analysed it in his article Uber das Budget dcr Einnahmen unter der Regier-
 +
ung des Ha run al-RashTd. 1 8
 +
 +
Al-Djahshiyari says that his list was written during the reign of Harun al-Rashi d.
 +
In general, Ibn Khaldun’s list resembles that of Djahshiyari (d.942). The identity of
 +
the lists of Djahshiyari and Ibn Khaldun convinced von Kremer that Ibn Khaldun’s list
 +
was a version of Djahshiyari’s list, and that it represented the revenue in the time of
 +
Harun al-Rashi d (786-809). In the Arabic manuscript the letter “A” has been erased
 +
from the name “Armfniya” and scholars have taken it to be a reference to Urmiya and
 +
not Armenia. This is the interpretation given by R. Levy 1 9 but von Kremer suggested
 +
that it should read “Armenia”. In the manuscript, the letter “n” is not erased, so that if
 +
Levy were consistent he should have read Armena or Urmina, but not Urmiya.
 +
 +
Thirteen million dirhams was most probably the highest limit ever reached dur¬
 +
ing the first period of‘Abbasid rule under caliph Mansur and Harun al-Rashid. It is
 +
enough to compare the taxes of the ‘Abbasid period with those of the Umayyad
 +
period to see the apparent increase. According to the Arab geographersKburradadhbih
 +
and Qudama, Armenia paid only 4 million dirhams 20 when the Umayyads were in
 +
power. This sharp increase in the monetary payment was not just a result of high taxes,
 +
but was due to the fact that monetary payments were far more important under the
 +
‘Abbasid dynasty.
 +
 +
Another manuscript, which exists in the AuqaT library at the Bibliothfeque
 +
Generalc in Rabat (No.l 99) 21 is by Khalffa Ibn Khayyat, and gives another summar¬
 +
ised estimate of the treasury receipts for a year during the reign of Harun al-Rashi d.
 +
The list resembles that of Djahshiyari in the names and order of the provinces, but
 +
there are numerous differences between the two lists. The minor differences in the
 +
figures of the lists of Djahshiyari and Ibn Khaldun suggest that they were derived from
 +
one original source, the wider differences suggest that the latter presents an estimate of
 +
the revenues for a year different from that of the list of Djahshiyari. The fact that
 +
 +
 +
29
 +
 +
 +
 +
Khalifa’s text states positively that the estimate of his list was submitted two years
 +
after the accession of Harun al-Rashfd, while Djahshiyari states that his list was com¬
 +
piled at the time of Harm al-Rashfd, may favour this assumption. The list is as follows:
 +
 +
Armenia:
 +
 +
12 million dirhams
 +
20 red carpets
 +
600 pieces of cloth
 +
 +
When Mot Bagratuni became “prince of princes” and later king, Armenia continued to
 +
pay an annual tribute to the ‘Abbasid Caliphate. Ibn-Hawtel’s Kitab al-masalik wa’l-
 +
mamalik 2 2 contains a list of the Armenian and Arran (Albanian) princes who paid an
 +
annual tribute to the Caliphate, through the Arab princes in Atrpatakan:
 +
 +
As regards the situation obtaining (in Armenia) — so far as 1 could ascertain — its
 +
contributions (jibaydt) and the tributes imposed on the (vassal) kings of the
 +
marches (muluk al-atraf), clearly explain the position of the region and point to
 +
the correctness of its description. Although at times (the tribute) increased or
 +
decreased, the average of what was contributed and the highest standard of what
 +
was levied from (the region) in the year 344/955, by virtue of the agreements
 +
(muwaqajat) which Abul-Qasim ‘Alf b. Ja‘far, (aformer) steward (sahibal-zimam)
 +
of Abul-Qasim Yusuf b. Abil-Saj, effected on behalf of Marzuban b.Muhammad,
 +
whose vazir he (later) was were as follows:
 +
 +
(1) He (Marzuban) agreed with Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Azdf lord of Sharvan-
 +
shah [mc] and its king, for a payment of 1,000,000 dirhams.
 +
 +
(2) Ishkhanfq, lord of Shakkf, known as Abu ‘Abd al-Malik, also entered ( dakhala )
 +
into an agreement with him.
 +
 +
(3) He agreed with Sanharib, known as Ibn Sawada, lord of al-Rub‘, for a sum
 +
of 300,000 dirhams, and some additional offerings (altdf).
 +
 +
(4) (Similarly) the lord of Jurz, Vashagan b. Musa — 200.000 dirhams.
 +
 +
(5) He agreed with Abul-Qasim al-Wayzurf, lord of Wayzur (Vayoc*jor) for
 +
50,000dinars and offerings.
 +
 +
(6) (Similarly) Abul-Hayja b. Rawwad, from his districts in Ahr and Varzuqan —
 +
50,000 dinars and offerings.
 +
 +
(7) (Similarly) Abul-Qasim al-Jydhanf from his districts and (on account of) the
 +
arrears (baqdya) due from them - 400,000 dirhams, but he wanted (this sum) to
 +
be diminished and was importunate in (his) begging; therefore, in spiteful reaction
 +
(tabarrum) to his behaviour, the sum was increased by another 300,000 dirhams
 +
and 100 cuts ofRumf brocade.
 +
 +
(8) He (Marzuban) bound over (alzama) the sons of al-Dayranlto pay according
 +
 +
 +
30
 +
 +
 +
 +
to the (previously) agreed (sum), 100,000 dirhams yearly, but exempted them
 +
from payment for four years, in recompense for their having surrendered to him
 +
Daysam b. Shadhluya, who had sought their protection but whom they betrayed.
 +
 +
(9) He agreed with the sons of Sunbat, with regard to their districts in inner
 +
Armenia, for 2,000,000 dirhams .. . but afterwards remitted 200,000 dirhams.
 +
 +
(10) He agreed with Sanharib, lord of Khachen, for 100,000 dirhams, and offer¬
 +
ings and horses (to the value of) 50,000 dirhams.
 +
 +
The tributes in gold and silver, with supplements (tawabi') and offerings consist¬
 +
ing of mules, horses, and ornaments (huliyy) amounted to 10,000,000 dirhams.
 +
 +
Of the ten vassals mentioned in the text, six are Armenian kings. The “sons of Sunbat”
 +
are the Bagratids ASot and Abas, sons of Smbat I (890-914). In the same manner “sons
 +
of al-Dayrani” are the rulers of Vaspurakan of the Arcruni family. In 955 the ruling
 +
prince was Abu Sahl Hamazasp (953-972), who succeeded his brother Derenik Mot
 +
(937 - 953). Both were grandsons of Grigor Derenik (847 - 886). “Sanharib b. Sawada”
 +
is Yovhannes Senek'erim, Lord of Darisos. “Vashaqan ibn Musa” is the son of the reb¬
 +
ellious governor of Uti, Movses 2 3 , against whom ASot II led an expedition in 929. 2 4
 +
 +
This estimate of Ibn Hawkal was composed in A.D. 955 and reflects the situation
 +
of the period of Abas (928-953), when the Armenian kingdom was paying tribute to
 +
the rulers of Atrpataken.
 +
 +
The disintegration of the Caliphate and a gradual strengthening of the Byzantine
 +
Empire was taking place during the second half of the ninth century. Under Basil I
 +
(867-886), Byzantium took advantage of the new situation and destroyed the fortified
 +
positions of the Arabs. In 872 Tephrike, the Paulician stronghold, was destroyed by
 +
Basil I. After this event the Byzantines could operate freely against the line of defence
 +
and they penetrated step by step into the provinces between Malatya and eastern
 +
Cilicia by capturing the almost inaccessible fortified posts of the Arabs. In the reign of
 +
Romanus Lecapenus (920-944) Byzantium continued the attack with success.
 +
 +
With the downfall of the Caliphate under al-Muktadir (908-932), an event un¬
 +
heard of for more than a century occurred: the iron ring of fortifications was pierced
 +
by the Armeno-Byzantine general Ioannes Kourkouas. The Greeks took Malatya in
 +
926; in 927 they overran Armenia as far as the capital, Dvin; iri 928 they occupied the
 +
western part of the country to Theodosiopolis and in 929, northern Mesopotamia
 +
between Mayyafarikfn, Amida (Diyarbakr) and Malatya. Although the Arab governors,
 +
operating from Mosul and Tarsus, made repeated attempts to repel Kourkouas’s army,
 +
they were not successful. In 934, Samosata and western Armenia were lost to Islam. 25
 +
In Armenia also a national revival had taken place, gathering momentum during the
 +
ninth century under the Bagratids, who in A.D. 884 restored the Armenian monarchy.
 +
The outstanding figure was the Bagratid prince ASot. By remaining faithful to the
 +
Caliphate and neutral during the wars of Basil I, ASot remained “prince of princes” for
 +
 +
 +
31
 +
 +
 +
 +
twenty-five years, until, in A.D. 887-889, he received from the caliph al-Mu‘tamid a
 +
crown and the title of king Malik al-Arman. 26 This title was also recognised by the
 +
emperor Basil I 2 7 , and thus Byzantium seemed to accept the solution of maintaining a
 +
protectorate rather than of annexation. 28
 +
 +
The flourishing situation in Armenia in the Bagratid period is evident from the
 +
fact that contemporary Arab writers considered her one of the richest lands of the
 +
Caliphate. This is also confirmed by the Armenian sources. For instance, Asotik testi¬
 +
fies that: “In the days of Smbat I and in those of his father’s rule, peace reigned every¬
 +
where in our land, and each one, in the words of the prophet, dwelt safely under his
 +
vine and under his fig tree. The fields became settlements and the settlements cities in
 +
their population and wealth, so that even the shepherds began to appear in silken gar¬
 +
ments.” 29
 +
 +
The important factor in the testimony is that at this period small settlements ex¬
 +
panded and became “cities in their population and wealth”. 30 The historian Yovhan-
 +
nes Drasxanakertc’i gives a vivid description of the welfare of Armenia under Smbat
 +
(890-913/4):
 +
 +
And in these days the Lord showed benevolence to our land of Armenia, he de¬
 +
fended her and favoured her in all good undertakings. At that time all dwelt in
 +
their inherited possessions, and having appropriated the land, they set out vine¬
 +
yards and planted olive trees and gardens, they ploughed up fields among the
 +
thorns and gathered a harvest hundredfold. The barns were filled with wheat
 +
after the harvest and the cellars were filled with wine after the gathering of the
 +
grapes. The mountains rejoiced since the herds of cattle and flocks of sheep mul¬
 +
tiplied on them. Our chief naxarars, feeling themselves safe and free from plun¬
 +
dering raids, built stone churches in isolated spots, villages and settlements. 31
 +
 +
The historian Aristakes Lastiverc’i, a contemporary of both the splendour and the fall
 +
of the capital Ani, has left us a picture of the kingdom of Ani before the invasion of
 +
the Seljuqs: “Its nobles in their gorgeous costumes and glittering array of armour and
 +
equipment, held sway in their baronial seats; the people danced and sang merry songs,
 +
the sounds of the flute, cymbals and other instruments gladdened the air ... ”. 32
 +
 +
Industries and commerce flourished, participating in two great economic systems,
 +
the Caspian of the Muslims and the Pontic of the Byzantines. Old cities revived, new
 +
ones, like Ani, arose. The systematic excavations of Ani made by Marr 33 gave abun¬
 +
dant material for the reconstruction of the cultural and economic life of this great
 +
trade centre, with its industrial life, the products of which were exported abroad.
 +
Weaving, dyeing and embroidery were the chief industries of the Armenian economy.
 +
In his work, The Book of Roads and Realms, Istakhrf writes that, “Dabfl[Dvin] is
 +
greater than Ardabil ... In this town are made woollen garments and rugs, cushions,
 +
seats, laces and other items of Armenian manufacture. From them is also obtained the
 +
dye named kirmiz and cloth is dyed with it. I learned that it is a worm which weaves
 +
around itself a cocoon similar to that of the silk worm. In addition to this I learned
 +
that many silken cloths are manufactured there.” 34
 +
 +
32
 +
 +
 +
 +
Another Arab geographer, Ibn Hawkal, adds the following: “In Dabfl are made
 +
many silken garments. As for these last there are many like them in the land of Rum,
 +
although these are more valuable. And as for the items called “Armenian weaving”
 +
they are seats, rugs, covers and cushions. There is none equal to them among the things
 +
of this world from end to end, and in all directions.” 3 5 These references mention the
 +
cloths of Dvin known under the name of marizi, and the multicoloured flowered silken
 +
cloth called bozjun. The textiles of Armenia were exported to the eastern provinces of
 +
the Caliphate and to Byzantium. Von Kremer concluded that in Trebizond, the main
 +
port of international trade, excellent Armenian silken cloths such as dybag and bozjun,
 +
as well as other cloths, were for sale. 36 Evidence for the existence of rich garments
 +
worked with patterns and figures can be found in the work of Yovhannes 37 , in the
 +
summary revenue estimates of the Caliphate, and in excavations in Ani in 1908. 3 8
 +
 +
We learn from a reference by Lewond that a silver mine was discovered in the
 +
mountains of Armenia in the last quarter of the eighth century. When speaking of the
 +
heavy monetary tribute under the early ‘Abbasid dynasty, and the poverty-stricken
 +
condition of Armenia, caused by the deficiency of currency, Lewond testifies that the
 +
mining of silver in these mountains helped to a great extent to avert an acute monetary
 +
crisis. Ibn Hawkal, in his Book of Roads and Realms, says that natron was obtained in
 +
the vicinity of Lake Van and exported to al-Irak. Near the same lake were to be found
 +
mines of arsenic which was exported to the same countries. 39 According to Ibn al-
 +
Fakili , mountain resin, mercury, copper sulphate, silver and lead were found in
 +
Armenia. 40 Movses Dasxuranc'i speaks of master craftsmen having knowledge of
 +
working gold, of the production of silver and iron, and of the smelting of copper. 4 1
 +
 +
The tarikh fish of Lake Van and the fish of the Kura and Araxes rivers in particu¬
 +
lar are often mentioned by Arab writers as important items of export. 42 In this con¬
 +
nection the city of Berday was important, for the Arab historian al-Mukaddasfcalls it
 +
the Baghdad of that region: “From Berday are exported covers and there one also
 +
finds excellent mules . . . nothing can be compared to the skins, carpets, and dyes
 +
made there, to the fruit called iukal, and to the fish tarikh ,” 43 In the tax list of Ibn
 +
Khaldun and others we notice the mention of other important items of export: rugs,
 +
carpets, horses, etc.
 +
 +
According to the Byzantine writer Michael Attaliates 44 , Aren, founded near the
 +
abandoned and empty Theodosiopolis, was a large unfortified city with a convenient
 +
location, and in it goods brought from Persia, India and the rest of Asia, changed
 +
hands. The Byzantine chronicler Cedrenus wrote:
 +
 +
Aren was an open and very rich city with a very large population. Local mer¬
 +
chants lived here and a large number of Syrians, Armenians and other peoples.
 +
Taking strength from their number they did not find it necessary to live within
 +
walls despite the proximity of Theodosiopolis, a large and strong city with imp¬
 +
regnable fortifications. 4 5
 +
 +
 +
33
 +
 +
 +
 +
The Armenian historian Aristakes Lastiverc‘i wrote about the wealth of the cities accu¬
 +
mulated through trade: “wondrous and famed city of Aren into which wealth poured
 +
by land and sea”. 46 Describing the city of Kars, Aristakes noted the wealth of the in¬
 +
habitants of the city, and underlined once more that their riches were accumulated
 +
“from the sea and land”. These testimonies confirm that the newly re-established
 +
international trade was the main source of the wealth of the Armenian towns. The
 +
foreign trade of Byzantium with the Orient was the dominant factor in Armenian eco¬
 +
nomic life and provided the means for the swift rise of her cities.
 +
 +
The increase in material wealth in the country, and the accumulation of consid¬
 +
erable monetary wealth in the hands of the feudal nobility and of the church, created
 +
exceptionally favourable circumstances for building activities. Architecture entered a
 +
new flourishing phase as Caucasian dynasts vied with one another in building monas¬
 +
teries and castles, palaces, hostelries, and underground water conduits like the one that
 +
brought water from the summit of mount Varag to Ani. The buildings were richly
 +
decorated, judging from the description of T'ovma Arcruni. Although these have been
 +
destroyed, there still remain several monastic ensembles, like those of Sanahin and
 +
Halbat, built during the reign of AJot 111 (952-977) in the north, and Tat‘ev in the
 +
province of Siwnik'. 7 3 Nowhere is this better seen than in the churches and public
 +
buildings in the Bagratid capital Ani. Among the noteworthy churches of this period
 +
are the cathedral of Ani, the church of St. Grigor, the exquisite Shepherd’s chapel and
 +
the church of Ah'amar, built on a small island situated south-east of Lake Van, all of
 +
which unquestionably needed enormous wealth. 4 7
 +
 +
In the tenth and eleventh centuries, as is clearly witnessed by Armenian inscrip¬
 +
tions, a shift was taking place from the obligations in kind of the peasants to a system
 +
of monetary payments. From the account of Lastiverc’i this process of broad exten¬
 +
sion of a monetary economy was accompanied by unhealthy manifestations, brought
 +
about by the growing role of usurious capital and the brutal exploitation of the lower
 +
classes of the population.
 +
 +
“The love for silver was highly commended instead of love for God and
 +
Christ”. 48 In his description of the pillage of the city of Aren (1049), Aristakes Lasti-
 +
verc'i relates that:
 +
 +
A law on growth and percentage and surtax on grain was set up here; the land is
 +
polluted by this and at the present time impediments are set in the way of those
 +
bringing the fruits of the earth to feed the people. He who deceives his friend
 +
boasts that he is wise and he who robs says that he is mighty. The wealthy have
 +
seized the houses of their relatives and the boundaries of their fields. 4 9
 +
 +
There was growing discontent among the people and a sharp decline in the free peasan¬
 +
try as a result of this exploitation. The large landowners and feudal magnates tried to
 +
absorb the holdings of the small proprietors; when villages were bought either by the
 +
feudal lords or by the monasteries, the peasants were often reduced to serfdom. In the
 +
 +
 +
34
 +
 +
 +
 +
province of Siwnik'the peasants of several villages which had been bought by the mon¬
 +
astery of Tat'ev revolted more than once. They refused to cede their lands, and attacked
 +
the monastery. 50 The same author, speaking of the capture and destruction of the city
 +
of Ani (1064), noted particularly the presence of usury and social unrest:
 +
 +
Because of the excess of injustice which took place in it, a mighty and beautiful
 +
palace was burned down and all of its buildings were reduced to a heap of earth,
 +
and the licentiousness and evil which had occurred in it came to an end. This is
 +
the lot of unjust cities which are built on the blood of others and which grow
 +
rich at the expense of the homeless, of those who toil by the sweat of their
 +
brow, they build their houses on luxury and the infringement of right, they seek
 +
for themselves pleasure and profit having no pity in their souls for the poor and
 +
the homeless, withdrawing not from evil deeds, because they are possessed by
 +
their passions. 51
 +
 +
The Armenian historian, Matt‘eosUrhayec‘i gives us information concerning the enor¬
 +
mous wealth in the hands of the clergy. The kat'olikos Petros (1019-1059) “had
 +
estates given to him by the Armenian kings, 500 villages, large profitable settlements” 52
 +
and, as Lastivercl confirms “he was extremely fond of wealth”. 53 At the time of the
 +
taking of the city of Aren by the Seljuq generals, Matt‘eos writes that “. .. the trea¬
 +
sures of the chorepiscopos Dawt'uk were seized by Ibrahim. His treasures were loaded
 +
on forty camels. From his house eight hundred ploughs with six pairs of oxen apiece
 +
went forth for the ploughing.” 54
 +
 +
The oppressive economic yoke borne by the working population is also indicated
 +
by the fact that we have references to peasant uprisings in this period. Yovhannes kat‘-
 +
otikos writes:
 +
 +
the lower classes wished to be more competent than the upper class, and the ser¬
 +
vants planned, Solomon-like, how their masters should wear sandals and go on
 +
foot and how they themselves should sit on magnificent and prancing horses.
 +
They became proud, insolent and raised a great rebellion. 5 5
 +
 +
The religious and social discourses of Aristakes Lastiverc‘i on the good old days, and
 +
his complaints as to the greed and love of gain of the ruling classes and the growth of
 +
usury, the concentration of the possessions and the lands of the poor in the hands of
 +
the rich, may serve as indications of the shift which had taken place in the economic
 +
life of Armenia 56 , and which resulted in a worsening of social conflict in the tenth and
 +
eleventh centuries and growing discontent among the people:
 +
 +
The heretical sect of the T‘ondrakec‘is found considerable support among the
 +
people; this movement which spread over the entire country, causing serious dis¬
 +
turbances for almost two centuries, was in some measure a popular uprising of
 +
the peasantry and the poorer classes of the towns against the feudal lords and
 +
the wealthy hierarchy of the church. s 7
 +
 +
 +
35
 +
 +
 +
 +
Basing themselves on Engels’ interpretation of the German peasant movement of the
 +
sixteenth century, Soviet Armenian scholars see the Paulician and T‘ondrakec‘i sectar¬
 +
ians as a proletarian social movement in revolt against the oppression of a feudal
 +
society. 58 Under the influence of Weber and Troeltsch a good many recent writers
 +
have also explained medieval'heresy in terms of economic, social and political move¬
 +
ments.
 +
 +
There is a connection between sectarian revolts and the rise of commercial acti¬
 +
vity, the rise of the cities, and the extension of monetary and economic relations in
 +
general and therefore a thesis of materialist motivation is valid. 59 Some recent studies
 +
have dissociated Paulicianism and T'ondrakianism from any substratum of social and
 +
economic protest. This is for the most part to be attributed to a disregard of the
 +
proper historical method of study of problems of time and place, and it is indispensable
 +
to determine with precision the historical period and context of the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
movements.
 +
 +
With this historical background in mind, 1 shall attempt to show the interrelation
 +
of constituent social, religious, economic and political factors behind the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
movement.
 +
 +
 +
36
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER IV
 +
 +
 +
THE ORIGIN OF THE T ONDRAKECi MOVEMENT:
 +
SMBAT ZAREHAWAN AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES
 +
 +
 +
This sect took its name from the village of T‘ondrak situated in the canton of Apahu—
 +
nik* at the foot of mount Aladag. 1 The founder of the sect, Smbat. from the village of
 +
Zarehawan, which lay further east in the Armenian district of Calkotn, had migrated
 +
to T'ondrak and from there spread his heresy. 2
 +
 +
The indecisive evidence of the sources with regard to the chronology of the sect
 +
has led to a good deal of speculation. Many scholars consider it to have originated in
 +
the first half of the ninth century, others in the second half, and some in the early
 +
tenth century.
 +
 +
Asolik, writing a century later about the election of kat'olikos Yovhannes Dras-
 +
xanakertc‘i V which took place in 898. states:
 +
 +
After him in the year 346 of our era [16th April 887 - 17th April 898J the patri¬
 +
archal throne was occupied by the Lord Yovhannes of Dvin, the orator and
 +
historian who held it for twenty-two years. It was under his pontificate that
 +
Smbat, the leader of the T‘ondrakec‘is the enemy of all institutions, made his
 +
appearance. He came from the village of Zarehawan, in the district of Calkotn. 3
 +
 +
Grigor Magistros states that the beginning of the sect is to be dated 170 years before
 +
his own time, that is to say, in the first half of the ninth century, of Smbat he writes:
 +
“This accursed one appeared in the days of the Lord Yovhannes and Smbat Bagra-
 +
tuni”. 4 Most scholars have been under the impression that Grigor Magistros was quot¬
 +
ing Asolik. But this impression is proved to be false when we consider Grigor's other
 +
information about the T‘ondrakec‘is:
 +
 +
For 170 years, thirteen patriarchs of Great Armenia, and as many of Alwank*
 +
and numerous bishops and innumerable priests and deacons admonished you and
 +
you did not hear. They spoke and confuted you, but you were not ashamed.
 +
They anathematized and proscribed you. and you have not repented. 5
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
In another of his letters, Grigor states that the "T‘ondrakec‘is” for more than 200
 +
years infested the whole land, and raised up the fire-altar of their lust and lewdness”.
 +
In the same letter Grigor writes: “prior to ourselves, many generals and magistrates
 +
have given them over to the sword” and by his time fifteen Armenian kat‘o!ikoses had
 +
anathematized them. 6
 +
 +
At first sight it may appear that in Grigor’s accounts there are contradictions. If
 +
we bear in mind the fact that Grigor wrote these letters in A.D. 1050, it would suggest
 +
that on one occasion he puts the date for the beginning of the sect around 870-880
 +
and on another occasion around 840-850. But in actual fact there is no discrepancy.
 +
When Grigor wrote that the sect had existed for more than two hundred years and that
 +
it had been condemned by fifteen patriarchs, he had in mind the very early days of the
 +
movement. While his 170 years of campaign against the sectarians refers to the period
 +
of active and organised persecution. So the date of the origin of the sect, or the date of
 +
Smbat Zarehawan’s operations, Grigor puts in the first part of the ninth century,
 +
during the kat'olikosate of Yovhannes IV of Ovayak* (833-855) and sparapet (general¬
 +
issimo) Smbat Bagratuni (822-855) — also called Smbat the Confessor or Smbat AbiTl-
 +
* Abbas. That Grigor’s “In the days of Lord Yovhannes” is a reference not to Yovhan¬
 +
nes Drasxanakertc'i the historian (897-931), but to Yovhannes ofOvayak'is borne out
 +
by the facts. Petros Getadaij (1019-1036, 1038-1054) the kat'ofikos contemporary
 +
with Grigor Magistros (990-1058) was indeed the thirteenth patriarch after Yovhannes
 +
of Ovayak', whilst Yovhannes V would be not the fifteenth but the ninth. 7 It would
 +
appear that both Grigor Magistros and Asolik got their information about the incep¬
 +
tion of the sect and the appearance of Smbat Zarehawan from the Treatise against the
 +
Tondrakec'is by Anania of Narek, which unfortunately is no longer in existence. So
 +
that according to Anania the origin of the sect must have been assigned to the period
 +
of kat‘olikos Yovhannes and Smbat Bagratuni which Grigor Magistros has interpreted
 +
correctly — while Asolik had incorrectly identified Yovhannes IV Ovayak* with Yov¬
 +
hannes V the historian, and Smbat Bagratuni with Smbat Nahatak (Smbat the Martyr,
 +
890-914). The coincidence of the Smbats and two Yovhannes’s easily explains the con¬
 +
fusion, especially since Armenian chroniclers often failed to distinguish the sparapet
 +
Smbat from his grandson, king Smbat the Martyr.
 +
 +
There is further evidence to support this conclusion in the History of Mxitar
 +
Ayrivanec‘i who confirms under A.D. 821 that “Smbat called Abu’!-*Abbas, [was] a
 +
member of the T‘ondrakec‘is”. 8 When speaking of Smbat the Curopalate, Mxit‘ar adds
 +
that in A.D. 822 “from his namesake, his grandson [Smbat Curopalate] emerged the
 +
sect of the T'ondrakec’is during the days of kat'olikos David II Kakalec‘i” (806-833)?
 +
In the work of Ayrivanec‘i the grandson of Curopalate Smbat AbiTl-‘Abbasis presen¬
 +
ted as a Chalcedonian opponent of Step'annos Siwnec'i. The fact that Armenian
 +
chroniclers represent Chalcedonianism as just another schism or sect, led Mxit'ar Ayri-
 +
vaneefi to confuse Smbat Abul-‘Abbasthe Chalcedonian with Smbat Zarehawan. I shall
 +
return to this false identification again, but at this point what is significant is that
 +
Mxit‘ar Ayrivanec'i also regards Smbat Bagratuni, the kat‘ofikos David II Kakatec'i,
 +
 +
 +
38
 +
 +
 +
 +
Yovhannes IV Ovayak\ and the founder of the sect of the T‘ondrakec‘is, as contemp¬
 +
oraries in the period 822-855.
 +
 +
Lastly, the date for the beginning of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement or the appear¬
 +
ance of Smbat of Zarehawan can be established beyond doubt on the basis of further
 +
important evidence. This is found in a letter by Grigor of Narek written to the heretical
 +
abbot of the monastery of Kdaw, which we find preserved in the Book of Letters.' 0
 +
 +
Grigor of Narek in his Letters to the abbot of Kdaw, when writing about the per¬
 +
secution of the T‘ondrakec‘is, honours the Saracen emir Aplvard (Abu’l-ward) in the
 +
following manner, “to mix your blood with the blood of those who were massacred by
 +
the sword of that avenging infidel, the emir Aplvard, who proved himself indeed a rod
 +
of anger in the hand of the Lord Jesus”. He then adds that the same emir had killed
 +
the ancestors of the T‘ondrakec‘is, “a valiant man who destroyed and put to an in¬
 +
famous death their accursed ancestors”. In the killing of the T‘ondrakec‘is’ leader,
 +
Smbat Zarehawanc‘i, the emir had also said, “If Christ arose on the third day, then
 +
since you call yourself ‘Christ’ I will slay you and bury you and if you shall come to
 +
life again after thirty, then I will know that you are Christ”. Grigor considers both
 +
Zarehawanc’i and Abu’l-Ward as heretics “for he was close to them and to their bitter
 +
madness” because both were enemies of the Armenian Church. 11
 +
 +
The identity of this Saracen emir has led to a good deal of discussion. Conybeare
 +
does not identify him 12 , Markwart read ‘Abd al-Barr rather than Abu’l-Ward (Apel-
 +
bard). 13 in the Byzantine epic Digenes Akrites , among the numerous personages in¬
 +
volved, there is also mention of a certain emir‘AnAoppa(35(c of Mayyafarikm :“My own
 +
country is Mayyafarikm, you have heard of Haplorrabdis the emir of all, he is my
 +
father, my mother is Melanthia”. 14
 +
 +
The Greek historian P. Karolides 15 identified "Ait'koppaflbiq with the emir of
 +
Mayyafarikm ‘Abd al-Rah'm (‘AfSS oupaxip);J- Mavrogordato 16 suggests that‘A7rAoppa-
 +
(35te is ‘Arrara-yXe (Abu-Taghlib) of the seventies of the tenth century who allied him¬
 +
self with Bardas Skleros in 976.
 +
 +
Rejecting B. Sargisean’s 1 7 mistaken hypothesis the “Aplvard” mentioned by
 +
Narekac‘i might be identified with either Abu’l-Haydja or Abu-Dulaf (Apu Tlup‘) who
 +
both lived in the tenth century, A. Hovhannisyan 1 8 correctly deduced that he was to
 +
be identified with the first Kaysite emir, AbiTl-Ward himself. However, he further con¬
 +
cluded that Smbat Zarehawanc'i had appeared in the first half of the ninth century
 +
and moved the beginning of Abu’l-Ward’s rule to the 830’s. As we have already seen,
 +
this Kaysite emir belongs in the sixties of the same century. He ruled Apahunik*. with
 +
the city of Mana/.kert, and became a lord of considerable power “a valiant man” only
 +
thereafter. It is therefore incorrect to put him on the eve of Bugha’s expedition, at a
 +
time when the Djahhafid Sawada himself was still alive.
 +
 +
In his discussion of the same problem, S. Potosyan 19 shifts the other Abu’l-Ward
 +
who lived in the tenth century, to the beginning of that century thus completely ignor-
 +
 +
 +
39
 +
 +
 +
 +
ing the existence of other Kaysites who intervened between the two Abu’l-Wards.
 +
According to him, the name of the first Kaysite emir who lived in the ninth century
 +
was Aplbar, whereas the last Kaysite living in the tenth century was called Abi-l-Vard.
 +
In Arabic, the form Abi- is the genitive case oi Abit-i, “father”, and the name of both
 +
Kaysite emirs was in fact Abtfl-Ward. 20
 +
 +
We should also note that the founder of the T‘ondrakec‘i sect, Smbat of Zare-
 +
hawan, was born in the village of Zarehawan located in the district of Calkotn in the
 +
region of Ayrarat, but that he found refuge in the lands of the Kaysite emirs at the
 +
village of Tondrak in the province of Apahunik'. The district of Calkotn, which was
 +
part of the Bagratid domain, was evidently not a safe place for heretical activities dir¬
 +
ected against the Armenian Church, whereas under the dominion of the Muslim emir,
 +
Smbat could feel relatively safe from the attacks of his opponents. From the testi¬
 +
mony of Grigor of Narek, however, we see that the refuge in Apahunik 1 was to prove
 +
costly for the founder of the new sect. If in truly Armenian provinces the target of the
 +
sectarian struggle was the feudal aristocracy, so that the movement bore an essentially
 +
social stamp, then in the domains of the Kaysites, this class struggle was inextricably
 +
bound with liberation movements directed against the foreign conquerors. The rule of
 +
the Kaysite Abu’l-Ward was doubly burdensome for the population of Apahunik* in
 +
that he was not only an exploiter but a foreign conqueror as well. It is consequently
 +
no accident that he should have drowned the movement of Smbat of Zarehawan in
 +
blood. We observe the same characteristics among the Paulicians, who in purely Byzan¬
 +
tine territory fought exclusively against the ruling class, whereas in border districts
 +
their movement took on a certain colouration of anti-Arab drive for liberation. When
 +
the T‘ondrakian movement subsequently acquired greater momentum in the tenth
 +
century we know that Arab emirates of Armenia once again provided the setting for its
 +
activity. 2 2
 +
 +
The identity of Smbat has also aroused a great deal of speculation. Conybeare
 +
makes the suggestion that the heresiarch Smbat and the sparapet Smbat Bagratuni
 +
were actually the same person, and that heresy was rife in the Bagratuni house. 23 This
 +
identification seems very doubtful. It is true that both Samuel of Ani and Mxit'ar Ayri-
 +
vanee'i attribute the foundation of the Tondrakec'i sect to Smbat called Abu 1-'Abbas
 +
the son of ASot and date this 824. 2 4 This is a reference to the sparapet Smbat, the son
 +
of ASot Msaker, who received the name of Abtll-'Abbas during his stay as a hostage at
 +
the court of the Caliph al-Ma’mun. 25 These two references are late. Furthermore the
 +
feud, presumably on religious grounds, between the kat'olikos Yovhannes V and the
 +
sparapet Smbat, postulated by Conybeare, cannot be substantiated. The dispute was
 +
between the kat'olikos and Smbat’s elder brother, Bagarat Bagratuni. It is also known
 +
that when Bagarat succeeded in having Yovhannes of Ovayak' replaced by a kat'olikos
 +
of his own choosing, Smbat called a synod which in opposition to Bagarat set Yovhan¬
 +
nes of Ovayak' once more on the pontifical throne. 26 Finally, the accusation of sod¬
 +
omy which the historian T'ovma Arcruni lays against the Bagratuni dynasty, and in
 +
 +
 +
40
 +
 +
 +
 +
which Conybeare sees a hidden reference to heresy, cannot be taken very seriously.
 +
T‘ovma, the official historian of the Arcruni court, the rivals of the Bagratids, takes
 +
every opportunity to blacken the reputation of the ruling house. 2 7
 +
 +
Two more attempts at identifying Smbat of Zarehawan have been made. Cony¬
 +
beare suggests the possibility that he was that Smbat Bagratuni who was known as
 +
“Xosrov Snum”. This is based on the information given by Grigor Magistros that
 +
Smbat of Zarehawan had learned his doctrine from a Persian physician. 2 8 We know
 +
that Smbat “Xosrov Snum” lived during the patriarchate ofYovhannes 111 of Bagaran
 +
(590-611). Step'annos Orbelean accuses yet another Smbat Bagratuni, sparapet in 691,
 +
of being a diophysite and an enemy of the orthodox clergy. 29 These identifications,
 +
which completely disagree with the precise chronology of Grigor Magistros, seem alto¬
 +
gether implausible, especially since no Smbat is known to Vrfanes K‘ert‘of or to Yov-
 +
hannes Ojnec'i, who would hardly have ignored such an important heresiarch had he
 +
lived in a period preceding or contemporary with their own.
 +
 +
About Smbat of Zarehawan there is very little in the sources. Under such cir¬
 +
cumstances we can only form our opinion of Smbat of Zarehawan’s teachings and
 +
operations from the writings about him by his adversaries. The authors of such apolo¬
 +
getics are very evasive and their information about the teachings and ideology strictly
 +
censored. This impression is well supported by a confession of Aristakes Lastiverc‘i,
 +
who devotes two chapters to the T‘ondrakcc‘is. He writes: “But as for their filthy ob¬
 +
servances, we deemed it indecent to commit them to writing, for they are too loath¬
 +
some, and since it is not everyone that is proof against what he hears, the writing down
 +
of the many sins might draw listeners into lust, or even lead them to commit such
 +
things themselves.” 30 What these doctrines were, will be discussed in due course; but
 +
at this stage we will consider the possible sources of Smbat of Zarehawan’s ideology,
 +
which may help to put the whole movement into its right historical context and pers¬
 +
pective.
 +
 +
Grigor Magistros writes that Smbat was trying to assimilate all sectarian move¬
 +
ments of his time and before him into a single ideological unit: “This sect drew not on
 +
two or three sources only, but embraced all that was ever heretical - soothsaying,
 +
palmistry, incantations and magical arts, infidelities, wicked poisons, all in the single
 +
brew of their heresy, when they consented to that enemy of God, that hedgebreaker,
 +
diabolical madman, Smbat, giving them their laws . . . ”. 31 Grigor defines the sect as
 +
“the sum of all evil that can possibly in this life come into a man’s head”. 3 2
 +
 +
In studies of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement, it has hitherto been viewed and presen¬
 +
ted as an extension of ancient sectarian movements (Maniehaeans, Messalians, Borbor-
 +
ites and Paulicians) 3 3 , on the basis of similarity of ideas, without troubling to show
 +
how this was accomplished. -This is possible when ideas are interpreted in terms of
 +
other ideas, as if history took place in an intellectual test-tube. But, it is not sufficient
 +
to study the affiliation of one group to another on the basis of similarity of doctrine
 +
 +
 +
41
 +
 +
 +
 +
alone; it is also essential to see the affiliation in the context of each movement’s con¬
 +
crete historical situation and surroundings.
 +
 +
In this respect no comprehensive study has been made of the non-Christian
 +
movements in the neighbouring countries of Armenia at the time, and their possible
 +
affiliation with the T‘ondrakec‘is of Armenia. 34 This deficiency is due to the fact that
 +
the sources available are scanty and that until now the chronology of the origin of the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is was not accurate. Not enough attention is given to the significant fact
 +
that the T‘ondrakec‘i movement originated at a time when in neighbouring countries,
 +
in Iran and Byzantium under the leadership of the Khurramites (Joyful Ones) and the
 +
Fauiicians, socio-Teligious revolts were taking place, about which Smbat of Zarehawan
 +
could not have been unaware. The T‘ondrakec‘i sect similarly found considerable sup¬
 +
port among the people; it spread over the entire country causing serious disturbances
 +
for almost two centuries, and was in some measure also a popular uprising of the
 +
peasantry and the poorer classes of the cities and towns against the feudal lords and
 +
the wealthy hierarchy of the church.
 +
 +
There is support in the sources for the supposition that the T‘ondrakec‘is, the
 +
Khurramites, and the Paulicians and the many affiliations between them on the basis
 +
of doctrine and ideology are to be explained not on the basis of direct succession or
 +
continuity, but by the politico-socio-economic conditions which gave rise to similar
 +
movements, creating in some cases not only internal ideological affiliation but also ex¬
 +
ternal relationship. The attack of the emir Aplvard I on Smbat was not an isolated inci¬
 +
dent. it had more than a local significance.
 +
 +
In 746, a rebellion broke out in Khurasan. At this period an extraordinary here-
 +
siarch of Iranian origin, Abu Muslim, appeared in Khurasan with the mission of direct¬
 +
ing the movement of insurrection in that province. In a short time the rebels under
 +
Abu Muslim, profiting from the internal discords in the Umayyad army and the con¬
 +
tinuing political discontent prevailing in that province, forced the Umayyad governor
 +
to leave. In 750 Marwan II, caliph since 745, was defeated and the Umayyad dynasty
 +
came to an end. Abu Muslim “in his religious propaganda seems to have amalgamated
 +
the doctrines of Islam with ancient popular beliefs, particularly with that of metem¬
 +
psychosis, and to have pretended to be an incarnation of the divinity.” 35
 +
 +
Another scholar is of the opinion that “We do not clearly know what promises
 +
or teachings Abu Muslim gave to bring the masses oveT, but we may assert with some
 +
probability that the idea of the incarnation of Cod in Muhammad, in Alf and his des¬
 +
cendants, or finally in Abu Muslim himself, played the leading role.” 36 Whatever the
 +
role of Abu Muslim in the ‘Abbasid revolt, his position was not very comfortable in the
 +
new dynasty. His relationship with the new dynasty, which owed its success largely to
 +
him, became increasingly uncomfortable. His great prestige and power was enough
 +
to alarm the ‘Abbasids. The accession ofal-Mansurin 753-754 marked the beginning of
 +
the crisis. Abu Muslim was treacherously killed. His memory remained and some even
 +
 +
 +
42
 +
 +
 +
 +
denied that he was dead and foretold his return to “spread justice in the world”. 3 7 On
 +
this foundation several sects arose. In Khurasan, around 776, a man appeared who be¬
 +
came known as al-Muqanna‘ (Veiled Prophet), since he wore a veil to hide his counten¬
 +
ance, which for his followers would have been sinister to behold because of its “shin¬
 +
ing light”. His claim was that he should be looked upon as the incarnation of prophet-
 +
hood and fulfilier of the work of the murdered Abu Muslim. He gathered a large body
 +
of supporters, who were openly dissatisfied with the'Abbasid policy, and only after a
 +
very long struggle was he defeated.
 +
 +
From the remnants of his followers, from surviving advocates of the Mazdakism
 +
of Sasanian times and from economic malcontents, another sect was formed in Adhar-
 +
baydjdn in 816-817 under the leadership of Babak, the Arabic form of the Iranian
 +
Papak.
 +
 +
He was noticed by Djawidan ibn Sahl, after whose death Babak claimed that the
 +
spirit of the previous leader had entered into him, and he began to stir up the people
 +
living in the region of al-Badhdh, situated in the region of Arran, 38 not far from the
 +
Araxes.
 +
 +
It is insufficiently realised that the so-called Persian renaissance in Khurasan had
 +
a momentous sequel in Armenia. By the beginning of the tenth century a great Iranian
 +
movement came from the Caspian provinces. At the head of the hosts of Gitan and
 +
Daylam a new set of rulers ousted the Arabs from their last positions held in Iran, and
 +
round this new power a fringe of other small principalities was created. Even then the
 +
Arabs adopted a system of indirect control of Armenia through the agency of the Bag-
 +
ratid princes (806-1045), and this policy was conditioned by the direction of the
 +
imperial and commercial roads passing through Dvin and Ardabil, which played an
 +
important role. Even during the period of wars between the Muslims and the Byzan¬
 +
tines, which hampered direct exchanges between the two parties, the Bagratid king¬
 +
dom became an intermediary in the communications between Iraq and the Black Sea.
 +
When Sadj Afshm addressed reproaches to Smbat (890-913) about the duplicity of his
 +
relations with the Byzantine empire, the Armenian king drew his attention to the
 +
material advantages which accrued to the Arabs from this attitude. 39 But to the east
 +
of this autonomous area the Arabs retained the system of direct rule in Adharbaydjan.
 +
 +
The Muslim sources hint only indirectly at the facts of this “most dangerous
 +
movement” 40 , which Movses Dasxuranc‘i has recorded in great detail and which throw
 +
a lurid light on Babak’s activities. 41 He imparted new vigour to this religious and social
 +
movement which distinguished itself by its long duration (816-837), leadership and co¬
 +
hesion. His following was drawn mainly from the peasantry 42 whose support he won
 +
by preaching and practising the break-up of large estates and the distribution of land.
 +
The principles they advocated were socialist, while they were also relatively tolerant as
 +
regards religion.
 +
 +
 +
43
 +
 +
 +
 +
We may safely assume that in these movements there were national and social
 +
undercurrents. According to Abu-Muhammad:
 +
 +
The reason why most of these sects deserted the religion of Islam is basically
 +
this. The Persians originally were the masters of a large kingdom and had the
 +
upper hand over all the nations. They were in consequence possessed of such
 +
mighty self-esteem that they called themselves “nobles” and “sons”, while the
 +
rest of mankind were regarded by them as slaves. But when they were visited [by
 +
God] and their empire taken away from them by the Arabs - the same Arabs
 +
who in the estimation of the Persians.possessed the least dignity of all nations —
 +
the matter weighed much more heavily upon them, and the calamity assumed
 +
double proportions in their eyes and they decided to beguile Islam. Among their
 +
rebels were Sunbad, al-Muqanna. Babak and others. 43
 +
 +
A review of the conflict that Arab historians record in the years A.H. 201-220 (A.D.
 +
816/7-835) supports this suggestion. Tabari lists a series of generals appointed by the
 +
caliph al-Ma’mun to fight Babak and an equal number of defeats. “In the year 204
 +
Yahya b. Mu‘adh was set against Babak — in 205 al-Ma’mun appointed ‘Isa b. Muham¬
 +
mad — then in 207 he appointed ‘Abdullah b. Tahir — and later ‘Allb. Hisham”, so the
 +
record goes. 44
 +
 +
About that time the Arab emir Sawada (‘Abd al-Hamld al-Djahhafi) raided Siwnik',
 +
and the local prince, Vasak, appealed for help to the famous rebel and heresiarch
 +
Babak (in Armenian Baban). The rebel responded to this call and married Vasak’s
 +
daughter. But Babak committed excesses in the region of Lake Sevan(A.D. 828) where
 +
he destroyed the famous convent of Makenocf Movsrx Dasxuranc'i writes —“The next
 +
year Baban [Babak] passed into the canton of Getark'uni and put about 15.000 in¬
 +
habitants to the sword, and burned the great monastery of Makenoc‘”. 4S According to
 +
Movses “another ruler Sahl (son of Sunbat) revolted in Arran during the Caliphate of
 +
al-Mu‘tasim (218-227/833-842), and it appears that for a short time the interests of
 +
Sahi and Babak coincided.” 46 The Khurramites also seem to have had a working alli¬
 +
ance with the Byzantine emperor against the common foe.
 +
 +
After a long struggle, Babak was compelled to abandon his mountain fortress and
 +
flee with his brother Abdullah in A.D. 837. Babak tried to escape to the protection of
 +
the emperor Theophilus, then engaged in a bitter struggle with the Muslim forces
 +
around Tarsus. He sent a message to Sahl b. Sunbat and the latter came out to meet
 +
him. Tabaris report on Babak’s flight records that on meeting him Sahl recognized him.
 +
kissed his hand and said, “O lord there is no one worthier to receive you than myself.
 +
You know my place. 1 have nothing to do with the government [the sultan]. You
 +
know what has happened to me and you know my country. All the bat'riqs 4 7 who are
 +
here are related to you, and children have been borne to you from their [houses] ,” 4 8
 +
All this suggests that Sahl had personal relations with Babak. 49
 +
 +
 +
44
 +
 +
 +
 +
Although Sahl had been an ally of Babak, he was prevailed upon by Afshfn to
 +
surrender Babak. Movses Dasxuranch writes: “In the same year the Lord Sahl Smbat-
 +
ean so [Sahl b. Sunbat] captured the rebel Baban [Babak], the murderous, world-
 +
ravaging, blood-thirsty beast, and delivered him into the hands of the emir Momnin
 +
[al-Ma’mun]”. 51 For this service Sahl received, according toal-Mas‘udi, 52 a royal robe,
 +
a crown, and a horse, and was exempted from tribute, all of which amounted to an
 +
official investiture as ruler of Albania. 53 Movses Dasxuranc'i confirms this fact with
 +
the obvious exaggeration that Sahl “obtained sovereignty over Armenia, Georgia and
 +
Albania, to rule authoritatively and royally over all.” 54 All this suggests that the
 +
Caliphate honoured Sahl’s signal service highly and forgave him all his previous mis¬
 +
deeds.
 +
 +
In 840, Afshin, the conqueror of Babak, was put to death on the charge of
 +
alleged Magian (Manichaean?) leanings, and of assuming privileges traditionally belong¬
 +
ing to a ruler. The execution of Babak did not put an end to the Khurramite move¬
 +
ment.
 +
 +
There remained a number of important problems, political, social and national,
 +
between the Arab conquerors and the local populations, particularly the Armenians. It
 +
is significant that the messianic concept of a mahdi 55 and the occurrence of the above
 +
events either coincide or are contemporary with the beginning of the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
and the appearance of Smbat of Zarehawan. There are two very important references
 +
which confirm direct association of the T‘ondrakec‘is with the above events.
 +
 +
As discussed above, the Kaysite emir Aplvard 1 persecuted Smbat of Zarehawan
 +
and his supporters around 830-840. Grigor of Narek honours this service rendered by
 +
the Muslim emir very highly. Grigor calls hirrj “a certain valiant man”, “a rod of wrath
 +
in the hand of Christ” and “sword of the avenging infidel”. 55 According to Grigor,
 +
Aplvard I executed the self-styled lamres 57 saying: “Since you call yourself Christ,
 +
and Christ rose on the third day, 1 will slay you and bury you, and if you rise even
 +
after thirty days I will know that you are Christ”. 58 Grigor of Narek likewise says that
 +
“they dared to call the head of their abominable sect a Christ”. 59 In the same letter
 +
Grigor writes “the foul Smbat, a second Simon, allowed himself to be worshipped by
 +
his disciples”. 60 In the twelfth century Paul of Taron condemned the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
who “say that Christ is a mere man”. 61
 +
 +
According to Grigor, Smbat was killed by the Muslim emir because of his claim
 +
to be “Christ”. The T'ondrakec'i movement in Armenia was not just a revolt seeking
 +
innovations within the Armenian church. If it had confined itself only to religious re¬
 +
forms without drawing from them socio-economic and national conclusions, there
 +
would be no reason for the alarm and the subsequent persecution which its adherents
 +
suffered. It seems that they did draw the inevitable conclusions and began a bitter
 +
struggle against the feudal aristocracy, the apparent injustices and the oppression of
 +
the lower classes, winning the support of the peasant population. It was this dimension
 +
 +
 +
45
 +
 +
 +
 +
of the movement which compelled the civil and religious authorities, including the
 +
“infidel” overlords, to persecute them. The execution of Smbat by the emir Aplvard 1
 +
cannot be understood and interpreted in any other way.
 +
 +
Hovhannisyan 6 2 interprets the fact the Smbat of Zarehawan called himself
 +
“Christ” as an indication that he received these tenets from the Muslim sect with
 +
whom he had connections. This theory cannot be maintained because this messianic
 +
concept expressed in the titles “Saviour”, “Christ”, “Prophet”, “Paraclete”, “Mahdi”
 +
is a feature common to all eastern sects and its origins are to be sought in Gnosticism,
 +
and, therefore, there is no reason to suppose that one sect learnt it from the other. It is
 +
not a characteristic of any sect as such. At the basis of many ancient religions there is
 +
the firm conviction that in the end a “Saviour” will appear, who will liberate the world
 +
from the bondage of evil, will put an end to all injustices, and establish equality among
 +
all men. It was this very belief among the masses which the heresiarchs took advantage
 +
of when they claimed to be “Saviour”, “Christ”, “Mahdi”, “Perfect prophet”. Thus
 +
any exchange of ideas between the various sects, would strengthen and stabilise certain
 +
already existing concepts.
 +
 +
The second important testimony is found in a letter of Grigor Magistros. He
 +
states that Smbat the heresiarch had learned his evil erroneous teaching from a Persian
 +
physician and astrologer whom they called Mjusik 63 . Unfortunately, the identity of
 +
the physician in question is not known. According to AliSan, 64 Mjusik is the transcrip¬
 +
tion of the Persian word for “Magus" and has the same meaning. In the writings of the
 +
fifteenth century chronicler Mxifar Aparanc'i, we find the name Mjusik in the form of
 +
Mfjusik which according to AJaryan 6 5 is derived from the Armenian name Mrjunik. On
 +
the basis of the latter suggestion Hovhannisyan concludes that Smbat’s teacher was
 +
not a Persian but an Armenian affiliated with the Persian Magis and thus rejects the
 +
thesis that Smbat’s ideas came from Persia. According to the testimony of Mxifar
 +
Aparanc‘i and Grigor Magistros 66 all the teachers of Smbat, (Mjusik, T'odoros, Anane,
 +
Cyril, Joseph, Yesu, Sargis, Ark‘a) were Armenian sectarians. On the other hand, in
 +
view of the doctrinal similarity and the possibility of geographical and historical con¬
 +
tact, there seems to be no reason to completely exclude the possibility of outside in¬
 +
fluence.
 +
 +
 +
46
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER V
 +
 +
 +
THE RELATION OF THE TONDRAKECi MOVEMENT
 +
WITH THE PAULICIANS
 +
 +
 +
The relation of the Paulicians to the T‘ondrakec‘is has been generally accepted. 1 Like
 +
Conybeare, Garsoian sees “a striking similarity of doctrine and practice between the
 +
sects” 2 and she is convinced that we can speak of a certain continuity between the
 +
two sects — the Paulician and the T‘ondrakec‘i.“The identity of the two heresies, how¬
 +
ever, is evident not only from the similarity of their doctrines, but also from the speci¬
 +
fic identification of the T‘ondrakec‘is as Paulicians made in the eleventh century by
 +
Grigor Magistros.” 3 As a result, Garsoian tends to shift from the terminology of the
 +
source to the term “Paulician”. Thus she speaks of Prince Vrver of Siri being accused
 +
of Paulicianism 4 rather than of being a T‘ondrakec‘i as the sources state. 5 Garsoian’s
 +
approach is not entirely justifiable because it is based on the assumption that the book
 +
The Key of Truth is an authentic T‘ondrakec‘i text. There is little doubt that The Key
 +
of Truth was used by sectarians with beliefs most probably derived from the Paulicians,
 +
but we cannot be sure that their beliefs had not evolved considerably since the Middle
 +
Ages and that The Key of Truth was not a presentation of evolving views as they stood
 +
in 1782. Garsoian, who persuasively argues that Paulician views underwent a variety of
 +
changes in Byzantium, should be equally willing to accept that Armenian doctrine was
 +
not static either. For this reason, I find the arguments for accepting The Key of Truth
 +
as a Paulician or T‘ondrakec‘i text to be insufficiently proved. I shall give the objec¬
 +
tions to this assumption in a separate chapter.
 +
 +
The relation of the T‘ondrakec‘is to the Paulicians is also noted by many Armen¬
 +
ian scholars on very different grounds. Hovhannisyan, YuzbaSyan and Mnac‘akanyan 6
 +
suggest that the two movements should be associated, not only on the basis of similar¬
 +
ity of doctrine, but more significantly because both were national movements, seeking
 +
socio-economic and political reforms.
 +
 +
According to Garsoian, the two kat’olikoses nearest to the epoch of Grigor Magis¬
 +
tros, Yovhannes Drasxanakertc‘i the historian (899-931) and Yovhannes IV of Ovayak
 +
(833-855), did not concern themselves with the heretics;on the other hand, Yovhannes
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
Ojnec'i was renowned for his attacks on heretics and on Paulicians in particular. 7 Her
 +
second argument for making this identification is that the “punishment decreed for
 +
the heretics condemned at the Council of Sahapivan (447), who are probably Paulic¬
 +
ians” 8 , namely the branding of the heretic on the forehead with the sign of a fox, is
 +
the specific punishment used against the T‘ondrakec‘is, “it is mentioned as such by
 +
both Aristakes Lastiverc‘i and Grigor Magistros”. 9
 +
 +
Both these arguments seem insufficiently proved and their very weakness lies in
 +
the fact that they are based on two suppositions. One, that the heresy referred to in
 +
Canon XIV and XIX of the Council of Sahapivan is a “reference to the Paulicians in
 +
Armenia”; the difficulty of accepting this thesis is enormous. Second, it is dangerous
 +
to draw the conclusion that the punishment decreed against the heretics justifies this
 +
identification. The form of punishment, namely the branding of the heretic on the
 +
forehead with the sign of a fox, is not a specific punishment for either the Paulicians
 +
nor the T‘ondrakec‘is. It is widely used for all heretics.
 +
 +
The letters of Grigor Magistros are our chief Armenian source for T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
history and doctrine. When speaking about the T'ondrakec'is, Grigor Magistros con¬
 +
stantly identifies them with the Manichaeans. Thus one of his letters written against
 +
the T‘ondrakec‘is is entitled Answer to the letter of the T'ulaili, who were a remnant
 +
of the new Manichaeans [T‘ondrakec‘eac‘n] }° While in the 69th letter the author
 +
writes directly “who were taught by the Manichaeans and named T'ondrakec'ik '.” 11
 +
 +
In another passage from his letter to the Syrian Kafotikos, Grigor writes “But
 +
others [are taught] after the manner of the Manichaeans ”. 12 Which heretics are refer¬
 +
red to by the name of “Manichaeans”? In my view Grigor Magistros was referring to
 +
the Paulicians. During the centuries after the rise and disappearance of the Manichae¬
 +
ans, when Manichaeism became no longer identifiable as a sect, the Paulicians in parti¬
 +
cular were constantly referred to as Manichaeans. Thus Peter of Sicily’s History, which
 +
is an important source of information for Paulician history, is entitled I aropia yjmtb-
 +
8pq eXeyyoq re Kai avaTponri rrjq Kevyq Kai paraiaq ajpeoeoq tCjv Mawxat'con, rtov
 +
Kai llav\iKidi>(jjv Xeyopevorv, npoaorncmoepdeCaa ox ttpoq tov dpxienioKcmov B ovXya -
 +
piaq. 13
 +
 +
The author insists that the Paulicians are the same as the Manichaeans Ob yap
 +
dXXot ovtoi Kai iiXkoi "eKeivoi, dXX oi aiiroi UavXixuiaoi Kai MavixaToi imapxovaw. 1 4
 +
 +
His first work on the Paulicians, Photius or pseudo-Photius has entitled /Xvrryriaiq
 +
nepi fpq Ucwexaiorv avafiXacTrioecx s The chapter on the Paulicians included in the
 +
Chronicle of George the Monk, refers to the Paulicians as Manichaeans. 16 This inter¬
 +
change of terms is not accidental.
 +
 +
One of the characteristic features of Paulician doctrine is its dualism. They dis¬
 +
tinguished between the Heavenly Father, who has no power in this world but will be
 +
Lord of the Future, and the other God, the Creator of the world, who holds all the
 +
powerin the visible world. 11 The Greek authorities insisted that all recanting Paulicians
 +
 +
 +
48
 +
 +
 +
 +
be forced to recite the Creed, confessing the Trinity and the one true God, creator of
 +
heaven and earth, and that they be closely questioned to make certain that they inter¬
 +
preted these beliefs in Orthodox fashion. It was the dualistic doctrine which gave rea¬
 +
son for Greek apologists to see affinities between the Paulicians and the Manichaeans.
 +
Byzantium was well acquainted with the Manichaeans and the term was extensively
 +
employed as a term of abuse, like the term mcine (filthiness) in medieval Armenian
 +
literature.
 +
 +
However, at this point it must be noted that this alleged relationship between
 +
the Manichaeans and the Paulicians is a smear. This identification of the Paulicians
 +
with the Manichaeans was the principal weapon of the Orthodox writers for their cam¬
 +
paign against the Paulicians.
 +
 +
Now the Paulicians were defined as Manichaeans not only in Byzantium but also
 +
in Armenia. Thus Grigor of Narek entitles one of his chapters in his Book of Lamenta¬
 +
tions, “Discourse concerning the church against the Manichaeans who are Paulicians”. 1 8
 +
This sub-title is to be found in one of the oldest and best manuscripts, copied at the re¬
 +
quest of Nerses Lambronac'i in A.D. 1173. 19 It is also interesting to note that in cer¬
 +
tain manuscripts, the name T‘ondrakec‘i is substituted for Paulicians. The sub-title in
 +
one of the editions of the Book of Lamentations is “Discourse concerning the church
 +
against the foul T‘ondrakec‘i sect, new Manichaeans”. 50
 +
 +
There seems to be no doubt that when Grigor Magistros uses the name T’ondra-
 +
kec‘i in conjunction with the Manichaeans, as he constantly does, he has in mind the
 +
Paulicians. It is true that in one place he writes: “but others [are taught] after the
 +
manner of the Manichaeans, whom they anathematize at the same time, as they pursue
 +
the same practices”. 51 But nowhere in the works of Grigor Magistros do we find evid¬
 +
ence that the T‘ondrakec‘is “anathematize” the Paulicians. This gives us reason to be¬
 +
lieve that in that passage the author is referring to the actual Manichaeans. This is well
 +
supported, in that all apologists who have written about the Paulicians without excep¬
 +
tion accepted that the Paulicians “anathematize” Mani and his disciple, Paul of Sa-
 +
mosata and his brother John.
 +
 +
In his letter to the kat’olikos of Syria, speaking of the T‘ondrakec‘is of whom he
 +
had first-hand information, he characterises them as follows: “Here you see the Pauli¬
 +
cians who got their poison from Paul of Samosata”. 55 This is a reference to Paul of
 +
Samosata the semi-legendary founder of the sect, from whom it is supposed to have
 +
taken its name. Thereafter, Grigor describes very briefly some of the teachings and
 +
tenets of the Paulicians which do not in any way contradict the information given by
 +
the Greek sources. According to Grigor Magistros, the Paulicians call themselves
 +
“Christians”. 53 Peter of Sicily and Petrus Higumenus are also of the opinion that the
 +
name “Paulicians” was given to the sectarians by their opponents, since they called
 +
themselves “Christians”. 54
 +
 +
So the two passages from Grigor Magistros’ letters show that the author saw no
 +
distinction between the Paulicians of the eleventh century and the T‘ondrakec‘is. This
 +
 +
 +
49
 +
 +
 +
 +
is also not just a coincidence. This view has been expressed in the title of the 67th let¬
 +
ter from which we have taken most of our quotations. The title is: The answer to the
 +
letter of the kat'olikos of the Syrians, at the time when he was dux in Vaspurakan and
 +
Taron. After the Manichaeans had been rooted out of the territory of the Greeks and
 +
from T'ondrak, the remnant of this condemned race went to the kat'oiikos of the
 +
Syrians in the city of Amid, to try to win him over by their deceit. 2 5 According to
 +
Grigor, the Byzantine Paulicians were “Manichaeans from the land of the Greeks” and
 +
the Armenian T‘ondrakec‘is were “Manichaeans from Tondra”, in short the followers
 +
of the same movement. Grigor Magistros carried out an active persecution of the T'on-
 +
drakec‘is within his province. 26 And those remnants which tried to take refuge in
 +
Amid were not successful, for Grigor warned the kat'oiikos about the danger of
 +
accepting the sectarians and advised him “not to have mercy on them or have any
 +
communication with them or deign to look on them” but instead encouraged the kat'¬
 +
oiikos to “curse them whenever they come into thy mind”. 22 This identification of
 +
the Paulicians with the Manichaeans is a feature of the Byzantine sources of which
 +
Grigor Magistros was well informed. That this was so can be proved by examining a
 +
single fact.
 +
 +
In “ Snavank ' there lived men clad as monks and a multitude of whorish women
 +
so we ordered their residences to be pulled down and burned and their tenants to be
 +
driven out of our territories”/ 8 This is a reference to certain refugees who had settled
 +
in a place called Snavank' whichYuzbaJyan and Ter-Mkrttschian 2 translate as “the
 +
community of dogs”, rather than “the dog monastery” and take it to be a reference to
 +
robq Karotxwhrac Kwac njf rdf Kwoc ycopav. 30
 +
 +
Petrus Higumenus recalls that the Paulicians of the “Koloneia” community were
 +
called Koivoxcopitay, while Peter of Sicily, instead of Koivoxcopirac, used another
 +
word uvaoxcoptraq, which means “the community of dogs”. He insists that the here¬
 +
tics are “dogs” and live in Kwoxcapifay. 32
 +
 +
According to Yuzba?yan,the Pau, ement was a peasant revolt. Its driving
 +
 +
force was the community which oppose... ms- ruling minority. They were trying to re¬
 +
establish the traditional Christian “Communal” life. And so the term Kowoxoapnac; is
 +
most appropriate in the present context. But in medieval Greek the “a” diphthong and
 +
the letter “o” have the same sound. So Peter of Sicily gives the original word an offen¬
 +
sive meaning by replacing Kotvoxoapiraq by Kwox<x>pim<;. As a result the pronunciation
 +
of the two forms would have been indistinguishable, 33 but the two words have quite
 +
distinct meanings. We have thus indicated that Grigor Magistros was closely acquainted
 +
with the Byzantine sources. Grigor names with unmistakable offensive intention
 +
Snavank', the Armenian translation of/cunoxwqi)-a? 3< , the location where the Paulician
 +
refugees came to settle after the fall of Tephrike in 872.
 +
 +
Grigor Magistros’ presentation of the history of the T'ondrakec'i movement as
 +
identical with the Paulician movement is not entirely arbitrary. We will now investigate
 +
the process by which such affinities could have occurred.
 +
 +
 +
50
 +
 +
 +
 +
The historical contact between the two movements is beyond doubt, as is the
 +
favour shown to the Paulicians by the Isaurian emperors. We now know from the de¬
 +
tailed studies of Kaegi and Bart'ikyan that the main supportfor Constantine V’s icono¬
 +
clastic programme came not so much from the thematic armies, whose allegiances were
 +
erratic, as from the specially recruited and indoctrinated tagniata stationed in the capi¬
 +
tal. These were the soldiers who were to disrupt the Iconodule council at the church of
 +
the Holy Apostles, and who would have to be decoyed out of the capital and dismissed
 +
by the empress Irene before the summoning of the second council of Nicaea. In this
 +
connection, a remark in the patriarch Nikephoros' Refutatio et eversio is particularly
 +
interesting. The patriarch says that Constantine V “had indoctrinated the tagmata
 +
against the Orthodox, and particularly those detachments which he had recruited for
 +
the capital from the herdsmen”. The Vita S. Stephani Junioris 3 5 reveals Constantine’s
 +
attempts to control the religious beliefs and practices of his troops, since it makes a
 +
special point of the fact that as a result of the upheavals among the members of the
 +
Paulician community, one of their leaders, a certain Joseph, moved to the vicinity of
 +
Pisidian Antioch in the first half of the eighth century. Is it beyond the realms of
 +
possibility that some of the herdsmen enrolled for the Emperor’s loyal and belliger¬
 +
ently iconoclastic tagmata were Joseph’s Paulician followers? Be that as it may, Nike¬
 +
phoros says explicitly in his third Antirrheticus 36 that Constantine’s soldiers dismissed
 +
by Irene in 786 had “wandered aimlessly as the planets” seeking an iconoclastic sect
 +
until they came to rest among the “Manichaeans”, by which we must understand the
 +
Paulicians. Nearly a generation later, when some of the tagmata, recruited under the
 +
emperor Nikephoros I, broke into the Church of the Holy Apostles efter the defeat of
 +
Michael I in 813 and spread the rumour that Constantine V had risen from the grave,
 +
Theophanes Confessor calls the instigators of the sedition Paulicians . 31
 +
 +
The tagniata seem, therefore, to have contained a number of Paulicians in the
 +
late eighth and early ninth centuries. Theophanes relates that in the year 747 Constan¬
 +
tine V moved Paulicians from Armenia to Thrace in order to strengthen the Bulgarian
 +
frontier with a reliable population 3 8 and according to Cedrenus some of the heretics
 +
even settled in the capital Constantinople. This transfer occurred after the capture of
 +
the cities of Melitene and Theodosiopolis (Erzerum) - Theophanes mentions in speci¬
 +
fic terms that — ....<% urn enXarvvdti f) ol'peoiq red v UavXiKiaucbv. 39 Constantine's fav¬
 +
ouring of the Paulicians is unmistakable. After the Iconoclastic council of 764,Theo-
 +
phanes wrote that the emperor Constantine was engaged in building cities (noXiapara)
 +
in Thrace, to which he transferred Syrians and Armenians from the cities of Melitene
 +
and Theodosiopolis, giving them every assistance and rewarding them with gifts:
 +
 +
ravra emreXri nonjoaq Kutvorami vk pp£e 5opeiodai ta eni €>p(krjQ TioXiopara,
 +
 +
hv oic oui'let, ItVpoiK Kai 'A previous, out ek re MeXirrivakov, iroKecjs xat 0eo-
 +
 +
SooiovnoXecaqperavaoTax; neiroitine, ra etc rrp xpeiavavToisdjnjiiOVTa ipiAoripwc
 +
 +
Scoppadper'oc 40
 +
 +
It was this favour shown to the Paulicians by Constantine that gave George, the monk,
 +
grounds for accusing the emperor of being a Paulician ...oil yap rp XpwnavKo pi) y&-
 +
oito dXKa UauXu<iaao<;. 43
 +
 +
 +
51
 +
 +
 +
 +
Theophanes Confessor relates a curious legend about the emperor Constantine
 +
rising from his grave to give assistance to the beleaguered city. But he asserted that this
 +
legend was a fabrication of men who ...oxp'pan povoviioav Xpioriavoi n? 5e dX-rideia
 +
UavkiKiavot ' 2 And the Bogomils who had been considerably influenced by the Pauli-
 +
cians regarded “Orthodox and right only the Iconoclasts, particularly Copronymus”. 43
 +
The favour shown to the Paulicians by the Isaurian emperors in this period would
 +
logically turn them towards Byzantium and against the Arabs. This change of attitude
 +
also had a more fundamental reason — a reason which demonstrates to a certain degree
 +
the national social and political aims of the Paulicians. tewond, writing of a great re¬
 +
volt of the Armenian nobility under Grigor Mamikonean against the weakened Umay-
 +
yad Caliphate in 784, says that certain rebels called “sons of sinfulness joined the rebel
 +
army". 44 Bart‘ikyan 4 5 has convincingly identified these nameless “sons of sinfulness”
 +
with the Paulicians. As a result, the hostility of the Arabs against their former allies,
 +
the Paulicians, became even more acute.
 +
 +
In the second period of iconoclasm at Constantinople, the situation changed.
 +
Nikephoros I, considered by Theophanes as having shared the beliefs of the Paulicians,
 +
restored to the sectarians the full civil rights which they had lost during the iconodule
 +
reaction under the empress Irene. This period “allowed the Paulicians to live peace¬
 +
fully within the empire and to spread their doctrine”. 46 This period of peace coin¬
 +
cided with Sergius-Tychieus, the most able leader of the Paulicians from 801 to 835.
 +
During his 34 years of leadership of the movement Sergius gave a very distinct dimen¬
 +
sion to the sect, notably its martial character, because of which they suffered violent
 +
persecution from the Byzantine authorities, due not so much to the fact that from the
 +
standpoint of the Byzantine church they were heretics, as to the military and political
 +
menace which they represented to the empire. 47 Forming turbulent military colonies
 +
on the eastern borders of the Asiatic themes and frequently allied with the Arabs, the
 +
Paulicians were a serious threat. Under the leadership of Sergius, Karbeas and Chryso-
 +
cheir, the sect staged open rebellions against Byzantium. The Paulician revolt coin¬
 +
cided with the rebellion of the celebrated Thomas the Slav, and there is evidence that
 +
Paulician soldiers formed part of Thomas' army.
 +
 +
When empress Theodora initiated the reaction against the iconoclasts and finally
 +
triumphed over them, she issued a severe decree against the Paulicians as well. This is
 +
an indication of the fact that Paulicians co-operated with the enemies of Byzantium,
 +
both internal ones such as Thomas the Slav and external ones such as the Arabs. So,
 +
although it is true, as Lemerle 4 8 has shown, that Thomas’ revolt was primarily moti¬
 +
vated by personal and political hostility towards Michael II, and only to a lesser degree
 +
by any forms of general social and economic protest, this conclusion does not apply to
 +
the Paulicians. Their reason for supporting the rebellion would have been primarily
 +
political, a chance to achieve their social and political freedom 49 For this reason, I do
 +
not think that Garsoian’s objection to the thesis that the Paulician movement had
 +
political overtones could be proved wrong because Thomas’ revolt was not political as
 +
such.
 +
 +
 +
52
 +
 +
 +
 +
The Paulicians paid very heavily for their co-operation; about a hundred thousand
 +
Paulicians were executed in 844. 50 However exaggerated this estimate may be, it
 +
demonstrates clearly one point, namely that the Paulicians had become a serious vehicle
 +
of dissent. Karbeas, with five thousand of his coreligionists, settled in the lands of the
 +
emir of Melitene, who received him with honour and granted him sufficient lands on
 +
the upper Euphrates to build the cities of Argaous, Amara and subsequently Tephrike. 51
 +
These cities became centres of Paulician military activities. The Paulicians once again
 +
allied with the Arabs and with their co-operation continued to organise raids on
 +
Byzantine territories, creating a state of constant war.
 +
 +
At the beginning of the reign of Basil I, the Paulician military power reached its
 +
apogee. Some thirty years after Sergius’ death the Paulician armies, commanded by
 +
Chrysocheir, extended their domination to the Propontis and the Aegean Sea (869-
 +
870). 52 Basil I in 871 led the first campaign against them in person, which ended in
 +
disaster. 53 The heyday of the Paulician power was as short as it was spectacular. After
 +
the attempt to secure peace with them had failed, the Byzantine armies on their sec¬
 +
ond attempt succeeded in 872 in finally crushing them. The Paulician military power
 +
was at an end. With the destruction of Tephrike the history of the Paulicians within
 +
the imperial provinces of the east comes to an end. Some of the sectarians acknow¬
 +
ledged the imperial suzerainty while some left their fortresses and took refuge in the
 +
Balkans and in Armenia.
 +
 +
It seems strange that a single defeat in 872 destroyed the martial spirit of the
 +
sectarians, turning them into sectarians in the strictest sense of the term. But if we re¬
 +
call when and in what circumstances the T’ondrakec'i movement began, a number of
 +
unsolved issues become easier to understand. We showed at the beginning of this chap¬
 +
ter, on the basis of the literary evidence, that the active persecution of the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
sectarians began not later than the 70-80s of the ninth century. It only attracted the
 +
attention of the authorities when the movement absorbed more and more followers,
 +
becoming increasingly a serious threat both for the official church and the civil author¬
 +
ities. This sudden strengthening of the T‘ondrakec‘is gives us reason to suppose that
 +
some of the Byzantine Paulicians who had suffered defeat returned to their homeland
 +
and continued their campaign under the banner of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement. It
 +
seems very likely that this was so, because the regions in which the Paulicians spread
 +
most and were most effective were geographically very close to Armenia. 54
 +
 +
This transfer of the Paulicians to Armenia was helped by another factor, namely
 +
that the majority of the adherents to the sects were Armenians. The sources show that
 +
the majority of the Paulician leaders were Armenians. Armenians always formed the
 +
majority in the provinces where the Paulicians were most influential and successful in
 +
spreading their doctrines. And most important of all, both the movements were very
 +
similar in character. In both, the lower classes formed its main strength. Under such
 +
circumstances it is obvious that the Paulicians would join the T‘ondrakec‘is and streng¬
 +
then them. It is this union which gave Grigor Magistros the opportunity to identify the
 +
 +
 +
S3
 +
 +
 +
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is with the “Manichaeans” i.e. the Paulicians. This historical connection is
 +
also borne out by the title of the 6?th letter in which it is stressed that the heretics
 +
who had approached the Syrian Patriarch were “Manichaeans” from 1‘ondrak and the
 +
“Land of the Greeks”. The new inhabitants of Snavank' referred to by Grigor Magis-
 +
tros in his letters were Paulicians who had fled from persecution and in co-operation
 +
with the T‘ondrakec‘is, were trying to achieve their common objectives.
 +
 +
There seems to be no ground for suggesting that the two movements were iden¬
 +
tical. 55 They were effective in different geographical settings, and originated from
 +
different historical factors. Paulicianism, particularly in the ninth century, was most
 +
effective and active in western Armenia which for centuries had been under Byzantine
 +
dominion, and as a result its social and economic life developed in a manner completely
 +
in line with Byzantine social and economic structure. The T‘ondrakec‘i movement, on
 +
the other hand, originated and spread in central Armenia, where there was a feudal
 +
system quite different from the social structure of Byzantium. In the ninth to eleventh
 +
centuries, as has been shown, Armenia had reached a peak of economic development.
 +
 +
Through the co-operation of the Paulicians with the T‘ondrakec‘is, the move¬
 +
ment was revitalised and given a new social-political framework which had been a dom¬
 +
inant feature of the Paulicians for two centuries. Clearly the T‘ondrakec‘is held views
 +
similar to the Paulicians but the fact that the former originated in Armenia proper
 +
independently of the Paulicians suggests that there were also differences between the
 +
two groups.
 +
 +
 +
54
 +
 +
 +
 +
mm.
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER VI
 +
 +
SOURCES FOR THE STUDY OF THE ORIGIN
 +
AND THE DOCTRINE OF THE T ONDRAKECT MOVEMENT
 +
 +
 +
The Armenian sources relating to the T‘ondrakec‘i heresy consist of a sizeable body of
 +
documents covering the tenth to twelfth centuries, as follows:
 +
 +
(a) Treatises ;(b) Chronicles; (c) Polemical letters.
 +
 +
Unfortunately, heretical literature has been badly handled by time and men. Its dest¬
 +
ruction by implacable and victorious opponents was a natural consequence of the
 +
spirit in which religious controversies were waged. So we learn most about them from
 +
the writings of those who sought to controvert heresy. The Treatises are composed of
 +
material useful for the defence of Orthodox doctrines and neglect the description of
 +
heresy or heretical arguments. The Chronicles are largely aristocratic, seeking to record
 +
the political and military fortunes of the noble families, and not the history of religi¬
 +
ous dissent. Letters are relatively abundant, especially for the eleventh and twelfth
 +
centuries. These heterogeneous data will be described in considerable detail, as the
 +
quality and the reliability of the sources vary.
 +
 +
From the ninth century, which is generally considered to be the period during
 +
which the sect of the T‘ondrakec‘is was developing in Armenia, we unfortunately
 +
possess no sources. By the end of the tenth century, however, the sect had become so
 +
powerful that many Armenian ecclesiastics were accused of the heresy. Among these
 +
may have been Grigor of Narek, and his uncle, the abbot Anania of Narek. Both men
 +
wrote doctrinal admonitions to known heretics. Anania’s Treatise against the Tondra-
 +
kec'is (943-965), which contained the teachings and doctrines of the heresy and its
 +
refutation was the standard manual for all subsequent writers on the subject. Grigor
 +
Magistros, in his Letter to the Syrian Kal'oiikos, mentions “the writings of the holy
 +
and thrice-blessed vardapet Anania, which he wrote at the instance of the lord kat'oli-
 +
kos of Armenia Anania (943-965), and also the writings of the lord Yovhannes, the
 +
overseer of Armenia, whose names we have written in this letter; from these thou wilt
 +
 +
 +
55
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
see the truth about this evil beast . . . ”. 1 Grigorin the same letter refers to the above
 +
work when he states: “so have our pontiff, the holy Yovhannes and the vardapet Ana-
 +
nia, branded these of today, and have described their wicked, horrible heresies”. 2
 +
 +
Similarly, Grigor of Narek in his letter to the heretical abbot of the monastery of
 +
K2aw gives the summary of the above Treatise and concludes the section by confirm¬
 +
ing “These, then, are they whom my father’s brother, a vardapet of great acumen,
 +
closely investigated, as being himself an apologist of God. And he, like a learned cham¬
 +
pion, and had he not done so we should hardly have known.” 3 Grigor ends his letter
 +
with the recommendation “as to that well-informed book of the abbot Anania which
 +
with painstaking care he has written against these same sectarians, be sure to have it
 +
copied”. 4 In the twelfth century Nerses IV §norhali (1166/7-1172/3) refers explicitly
 +
to the above Treatise in his Encyclical Letter . s
 +
 +
in 1892 Galust Ter Mkrttschian published a document called Gir Xostovanut'ean
 +
or Book of Confession which he claimed was the presumed work of Anania of Narek 6 ,
 +
the famous Treatise against the Tondrakec'is written by order of the kat'otikos
 +
Anania Mokac'i and mentioned by Grigor Magistros, Grigor of Narek and Nerses §nor-
 +
hali. However, from the very day of publication many scholars have objected to the
 +
claim. Karapet Ter Mkrttschian did not consider the document to be the Treatise of
 +
Anania of Narek for it does not have any specific information on the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
nor does it have the features of a refutation. 7
 +
 +
Those scholars 8 who agreed with G. Ter Mkrttschian have failed to consider the
 +
testimony of Grigor of Narek which clearly states the content of the Treatise. The
 +
Book of Confession published by G. Ter Mkrttschian does not in any way satisfy the
 +
description given by Grigor of Narek and Nerses Snorhali. The editor himself in his
 +
introduction confesses that the published document does not satisfy his expectations:
 +
“we knew that Anania of Narek had written a refutation against the T‘ondrakec‘is at
 +
the order of the kat'otikos, and we expected a good deal of information, but we find
 +
nothing significant”. 9
 +
 +
Gir Xostovanut'ean is a doctrinal admonition, written by an Armenian priest
 +
accused of the heresy. In it he protests against the false accusation, anathematizes the
 +
Tondrakec'is and all heresies, emphasising his orthodoxy by reciting the creed he be¬
 +
lieves in. Whether this work was written by Anania of Narek or not (or another priest
 +
of the same name), it demonstrates how dangerous the heresy had become, for even
 +
prominent clerics were thought to have been sympathetic towards the doctrines of the
 +
heresy. 10 The document published by G. Ter Mkrttschian is the treatise of an un¬
 +
known Anania while the Treatise against the Tondrakec'is “is probably no longer in
 +
existence”. 11
 +
 +
Fortunately Grigor of Narek in his Letter to the abbot ofKHaw “set down a few
 +
points out of many, little out of much” which his own uncle and teacher Anania of
 +
Narek “investigated” and like a “learned champion, radically demolished”. 12 Thus
 +
 +
 +
56
 +
 +
 +
 +
Grigor summarised the teachings and doctrines of the T‘ondrakec‘is in the following
 +
fourteen points. My notes are given in brackets.
 +
 +
Then among the observances which we know to have been repudiated by
 +
them as neither apostolic nor divine
 +
 +
(1) Ordination, which the Apostles received from Christ.
 +
 +
(2) The communion of His Body, of which the Apostle said by eating the
 +
bread thereof we receive and eat Himself in the flesh, and before which we trem¬
 +
ble, Smbat calls a common meal.
 +
 +
(3) The birth through spiritual throes, of the water and spirit, which brings
 +
forth as had been preached children to God, concerning this, he had taught them
 +
to be nothing but mere bath water.
 +
 +
(4) And the blessed lord’s day, on which God the Word created the first
 +
light and perfected thereon the light of His rising (Resurrection) and on which
 +
finally He dispensed the light of His Life-giving Advent — this day, adorable for
 +
all it doth image, he hath taught them as being on a level with other days.
 +
 +
(5) Genuflexion in mysterious prayer, which Jesus Christ, Creator of all
 +
things, himself humbly observed.
 +
 +
(6) The fount is denied by them, in which Christ himself was baptized (Re¬
 +
jection of Baptism).
 +
 +
(7) The Communion of immortality, which the Lord of all things Himself
 +
tasted (The 6th and 7th points seem to repeat the 2nd and 3rd points in a slightly
 +
modified way).
 +
 +
They preach:
 +
 +
(8) The filthy habit of lecherous promiscuity, where the Lord forbade so
 +
much as a look. 13
 +
 +
(9) They deny the venerated sign (i.e. the Cross), which God, made man,
 +
raised and carried on his shoulder as his own glory and authority.
 +
 +
(10) Their anthropolatrous apostasy, more abominable and cursed than
 +
idolatry (This may be a reference to their refusal to recognise divinity as part of
 +
Christ’s nature).
 +
 +
(11) Their self-conferred contemptible priesthood, which is a likening of
 +
themselves to Satan (It appears that here, as in the first point, the reference is to
 +
the rejection of the Christian priesthood or hierarchy).
 +
 +
(12) Their deprecation of the sacrament of marriage, which, Our Lord in
 +
person, by a miracle, and in the company of his God-bearing Mother, prized and
 +
honoured. This sacrament they contemn, and reckon the mere fact of union in
 +
love with one another to be perfect love, and from God and pleasing to Christ;
 +
saying that God is love and desires the love union alone, and not the sacrament
 +
of marriage.
 +
 +
(13) Their railing and cavilling at the first-fruits., which Abel and Noah and
 +
Abraham and David and Solomon and Elias appointed to conciliate the Divine
 +
wrath. 14
 +
 +
 +
57
 +
 +
 +
 +
(14) We know how they dare to call the head of their abominable sect a
 +
Christ; of whom Christ testified beforehand, saying, “There shall arise false pro¬
 +
phets” and this is the meaning of the prophet’s saying: “The fool said in his
 +
heart, there is no God”. 15 (Grigor of Narek makes the last point again in a differ¬
 +
ent way in another context: “The foul Smbat, a second Simon, allowed himself
 +
to be worshipped by his disciples, men rooted in bitterness and sowers of tares;
 +
just like that wizard of Samaria”. 16 )
 +
 +
It is obvious that the fourteen points cited express the objections of the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
heretics towards the authority of the Armenian Church’s form of baptism, the euchar-
 +
ist 17 and marriage. 18 They did not admit such Orthodox practices as fasts 19 , the
 +
offering of sacrifice 2 0 , ordination of priests and celebration of holy days.
 +
 +
In addition to minor information in the same Letter, Grigor included in his book,
 +
of devotions a curious chapter describing the church, entitled Discourse concerning the
 +
Church against the Manichaeans who are Paulicians. 21 The chapter itself is purely des¬
 +
criptive and as such uninformative, but the identification of the Paulicians (T’ondra-
 +
kec’is) with the Manichaeans, which we meet constantly in the Byzantine sources, such
 +
as Peter of Sicily, is repeated. In the Letter to the abbot of Kitaw this identification is
 +
not maintained except for a passing remark concerning the sectarians: “What gifts of
 +
election have they seen in the abominable Kumbrikios Mani”. 2 2 Other heretics such as
 +
Simon Magus and Nestorius are also mentioned in the Letter as the forerunners of the
 +
T’ondrakec'is, so that no particular identification with Mani seems intended at this
 +
point. Furthermore, the doctrine described in the Letter has, as we have seen, very
 +
little which is consonant with any form of Manichaeanism.
 +
 +
Grigor of Narek’s Discourse concerning the Church against the Manichaeans who
 +
are Paulicians is written in defence of the sacredness of the “visible church”, which the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is seemed to have objected to. In it Grigor gives a painstaking description
 +
of the various features of the church building, enumerates the function of each part of
 +
the church, in opposition to the T‘ondrakec‘i doctrine that the church was merely the
 +
gathering of the faithful. Grigor Magistros likewise asserts that the Tondrakec’is “rep¬
 +
resent our Armenian worship of God as the worship of idols; as if we, who honour the
 +
sign of the Cross and the holy pictures, were still engaged in worshipping devils”. 23 He
 +
quotes them as saying “We are no worshippers of matter, but of God; we reckon the
 +
cross andthe church and the priestly robes and the sacrifices of the Mass all nothing”. 24
 +
 +
This belief is also noted by Nerses Snorhali, according to whom the heretics were
 +
accustomed to say: “The church is not the one which is built by man, but we our¬
 +
selves”. 25 The consequent rejection of church building is remarked by Paul ofTarch,
 +
who writing in the early twelfth century states that the T‘ondrakec‘is “declared cross
 +
and church to be alien to the Godhead”. 26 The evidence assembled indicates that the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is, like their predecessors the Paulicians, were violently opposed to the
 +
cross and all form of reverence of images. “They destroyed it wherever they saw it,
 +
claiming that they were not worshippers of matter, but of God”. 2 7
 +
 +
 +
58
 +
 +
 +
 +
In the eleventh century, the historian Aristakix Lastiverc‘i devoted two chapters
 +
of his History to the manifestations of the heresy of the T‘ondrakec‘is, thus providing
 +
us with what may be an eyewitness account. 2 8
 +
 +
Chapter XXII Concerning the evil heresy of the T ondrakec'is which appeared in
 +
the province of Hark‘, contains a great deal of useful information mingled with the
 +
customary invectives and perorations. It tells us the story of a bishop named Yakopos
 +
who “had charge of the church of the family of Hark 4 ”, 2 9 i.e. was the bishop of the
 +
province of Hark 4 . This individual “at the beginning of his term of authority exempli¬
 +
fied all the virtues. He dressed in sack-cloth, fasted, went barefoot; and he chose priests
 +
who always accompanied him, men coarsely clad and simple, who avoided a life of
 +
pleasure, and constantly occupied themselves in the singing of psalms”. In short, a per¬
 +
fect representative of the Christian prelate.
 +
 +
And the fame of his exemplary life had spread far and wide and drawn the ad¬
 +
miration of all near and far, so much so that “everyone was anxious to see him”. 30
 +
Even the haughty and overweening authorities of the province respected, honoured
 +
and obeyed him, so that “had he bid them draw their last breath, there was not one of
 +
them who would have opposed him, or have ventured to open his mouth and murmur”.
 +
 +
After having been given such an excellent certificate of good conduct, bishop
 +
Yakopos’ activities are without reason condemned as being “dangerous”: “all this was
 +
hypocrisy and not sincere”, they “disguise themselves under cover of our godly reli¬
 +
gion in order to deceive the simple minded, and by their soft words take captive the
 +
minds of the innocent”. As a result of this invective which says nothing and, particu¬
 +
larly, proves nothing, bishop Yakopos, contrary to all the previous recommendations,
 +
becomes: “the first-bom satellite, then, father of all evils”, 31 i.e. the first follower of
 +
Satan.
 +
 +
The accusations made against the bishop accomplished very little. On the contrary,
 +
what can be deduced from the accusations is that in order to eliminate the perversions
 +
and corruptions from within the church, the bishop had introduced certain reforms.
 +
 +
What were those reforms that are considered “incompatible” and “destructive
 +
poison” by the orthodox Aristakes? 32 (1) “He began by establishing election among
 +
priests according to worth, and told the unworthy to keep silence”. (2) “He ordered
 +
the worthy ones only to present Offering (or Masses) three times in the year”. (3) And
 +
taught “that if a man has not in his own soul himself repented of his sins, then comme¬
 +
morations help him not, neither Offerings”.
 +
 +
What is there in these three points that can be regarded as against and contrary
 +
to the prevailing standards of Christian practice? It must be presumed that the above
 +
reforms excluded the lucrative profits of the “unworthy”, and more significant, since
 +
the church had become increasingly static and suspicious of new ideas as potential
 +
heresy, it could not help but disapprove of the reform measures which the bishop
 +
 +
 +
59
 +
 +
 +
 +
Yakopos was trying to implement. For that reason there emerges a conflict, in which
 +
the church first condemned him, and then tried to convene a general council but failed,
 +
because as the historian reports, the authorities of the province were “all as it were
 +
spell-bound by his hypocritical demeanour, they declared that they would all die as it
 +
were by war, before they would give him into the hands of the council”. 3 3
 +
 +
Finding no other alternative, the church authorities turned to the common pro¬
 +
cedure in such situations — compelling their opponent to be more explicit. They sent
 +
to the bishop a priest by the name of Isaiah who, pretending to be his follower, estab¬
 +
lished a very close relationship “but once he had studied and informed himself about
 +
the Metric 34 cult of Yakopos ... at once went and related the same to the holy patri¬
 +
arch Sargis”. Which of Yakopos’ teachings expressed his affiliation to the MclnS cult
 +
the historian does not record but that it was a mere slander, is evident since Yakopos,
 +
according to the same author, lived a very ascetic life.
 +
 +
The kat’otikos of the day, Sargis I Sevanc'i “with gentle words” summoned
 +
Yakopos, “deprived him of holy orders, and branded his forehead with the image of a
 +
fox” proclaiming that “that will be the penalty and sentence for all those who join the
 +
fold of the T'ondrakec'is”. Yakopos managed to escape and to take refuge in the pro¬
 +
vince of T’ondrak. Aristakes’ account that he fled to Constantinople and sought “to be
 +
baptized according to their rites” (i.e. Greek) is altogether unfounded.
 +
 +
Nothing profoundly significant is communicated by Aristakes in the subsequent
 +
chapter entitled How in the borders of MananaU there burst out a conflagration of
 +
folly . 3 5
 +
 +
In this chapter the author narrates the history of a certain monk Kuncik who
 +
had learned his T‘ondrakec‘i doctrines from a certain monk from Arran. This Kuncik,
 +
“being a busy worker of Satan”, captivated a certain woman, named HranuS, and
 +
through her two sisters who were related to her family, and whose names were respec¬
 +
tively Axni and Kamara, who “having caught the wild instinct of fornication, as is
 +
usual in their fold, proceeded with the cleverness of witches to make themselves
 +
Satan’s teachers”. These two made their two family estates the centre of their commu¬
 +
nity, according to the historian, as “dens and lairs” for the sectarians, and in doing so
 +
became directly responsible for the further strengthening of the sect.
 +
 +
The historian then continues his history with the information concerning the
 +
brother of these “witches” a prince named Vrver, who at the beginning, like the
 +
bishop Yakopos, was faithful to the creed and “foremost in all zeal for piety”, 3 6 so
 +
much so that he had built a monastery on his own estate and gathered in it ascetic
 +
brethren. He supplied the brethren with all they needed, and their superior was known
 +
by the name of Andrew, who “was very famous for his zeal in all works of religion”. 3 7
 +
The historian testifies that the prince Vrver every year during Lent visited the monas¬
 +
tery and participated in their prayers till Easter, and also describes this prince as a per¬
 +
son who “believes, listens, serves, hopes and loves”.
 +
 +
 +
60
 +
 +
 +
 +
But just as the bishop’s conduct was defined as being “hypocrisy”, prince Vrver
 +
is defined as being: “the evil one inveigled these women, for they with the abandon¬
 +
ment of passion fornicated promiscuously with him, without taking any account of
 +
their nearness of blood”. 38
 +
 +
Of course, the moral conduct of the T‘ondrakec‘i sectarians was very similar to
 +
that of the Mcine, in that they also rejected the orthodox form of marriage. The accu¬
 +
sation of immorality on the part of the heretics is probably no more than the usual
 +
ecclesiastical propaganda that would result from the sectarian’s refusal to recognise the
 +
authority of the Armenian orthodox clergy and recognise the sacramental value of a
 +
marriage performed by an orthodox priest. 3 9 This principle is at work in the shape of
 +
the twelfth accusation against the T’ondrakec’is referred to in the Letter of Grigor of
 +
Narek.
 +
 +
From these two chapters of Aristakes Lastiverc’i just discussed, there is very
 +
little information regarding the doctrines of the sectarians. Only at the end of the
 +
chapter does Aristakes Lastiverc’i, as a watchful prelate, announce:
 +
 +
. . . But what is manifest about them and fit to be repeated is as follows: Church
 +
and church ordinances they utterly reject, its baptism, the great and awesome
 +
mystery of the Mass, the cross and the ordinance of fasts. 40
 +
 +
In this period Mesopotamia included the southern Armenian districts of Vaspurakan
 +
and Taron, and Grigor Magistros carried on an active persecution of the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
within his province. 41 His Letters , among them one to the heretics themselves and an¬
 +
other to the kat’ofikos of Syria to whom they had appealed for help, have been preser¬
 +
ved. 42 With Grigor Magistros we have again a first-hand informant who claims that his
 +
knowledge was derived from the confession of two recanting heretical priests who had
 +
acquainted him with the writings of one of their heresiarchs.
 +
 +
In the Letters he recites his exploits in bombastic manner. Like all apologists,
 +
Grigor also delights in defining his opposition in rude and inelegant language:
 +
 +
This evil beast of prey, this bloodthirsty, sodomitic, whoring, lustful, frenzied,
 +
loathsome Smbat . . . Smbat the false-cleric, that has shaken the foundation of
 +
the apostles . . . that Smbat, who (just as dogs and wolves) began to teach all the
 +
sum of evil. 43
 +
 +
In his Letter to the T'ulaili 44 mentioning the fact that the T’ondrakec'is have had the
 +
“impertinence” to appeal to the Armenian kafofikos, Grigor Magistros asks “Is it
 +
possible that you should think you can persuade him, who now occupies the patri¬
 +
arch’s throne, to accept that for which more than fifteen pontiffs have anathematized
 +
you and your pack of dogs that have fallen victim to your beast of prey?” From here
 +
we know that the T‘ondrakec‘is as a movement were “anathematized” by fifteen Ar¬
 +
menian pontiffs. In the same letter, however, we come across a passage which speaks
 +
of not fifteen but only thirteen pontiffs:
 +
 +
 +
61
 +
 +
 +
 +
During 170 years have thirteen patriarchs of Great Armenia, as many of Albania,
 +
a myriad of bishops, and innumerable priests and deacons admonished you,
 +
spoke and confuted you, anathematized and proscribed you, and you have not
 +
repented. 45
 +
 +
until at last the
 +
 +
Holy Ghost and the prayer of my ancestor and progenitor, St. Grigor, led me
 +
forth. And 1 came to Mesopotamia and encountered the deadly, stormy, muddy
 +
flood which, flowing forth from the cursed T‘ondrakec‘i Smbat, rolled death
 +
along in its waves. 46
 +
 +
Grigor with great satisfaction records that after having wiped out the sectarians from
 +
Mesopotamia he set out for the place where the “viper and scorpion and dragon of
 +
wickedness had nestled”, that is Tondrak, which he devastated and left in ruins, as his
 +
ancestors had done to AStiSat (reference to Grigor 1 the Illuminator). After having re¬
 +
corded these historical facts, Grigor expresses the hope that as a result the sectarians
 +
would repent and recant their false teachings. This is followed by a threat that if they
 +
do not repent they should not attempt to “teach and confirm your evil heresy either
 +
by writing or by speech” otherwise “the might of God will find you out, and in his
 +
wrath and zeal He shall vex you”.
 +
 +
First the author of the Letter 4 7 requests the Syrian kat'oiikos to find and read
 +
the writing of Anania of Narek, which he had written “at the instance of the kat‘ofi-
 +
kos Anania (Mokac'i) and also the writing of the overseer of Armenia lord Yovhannes
 +
(Yovhannes Ojnec'i) against the heresiarch Smbat of Zarehawan who has learned his
 +
evil erroneous teaching from a Persian physician and astrologer whom they called
 +
MJusik”.
 +
 +
The first and most fundamental indictment brought against Smbat of Zarehawan
 +
is that he abandoned completely the apostolic tradition and rejected entirely the auth¬
 +
ority of the Armenian orthodox hierarchy. In the same letter the T'ondrakecMs were
 +
accused of being “idolators” and Grigor quotes them as saying: “We are not worship¬
 +
pers of matter but of God; we reckon the cross and the church and the priestly robes
 +
and the sacrifices of the Mass all for nothing” 4 8
 +
 +
The second accusation is that having rejected the hierarchy of the church, Smbat
 +
himself “assumed the position of a high priest” and “in order to deceive and cajole the
 +
people they employ bishops secretly fallen away and excluded from the church to per¬
 +
form by night their worthless ordinations”.
 +
 +
There is also the third accusation, which is stated in very general terms. They
 +
“hide their evil heresy” and never “reveal by any sign their nest of destruction, but to
 +
anyone who asks they point out another place and lead him astray”. 49 According to
 +
Grigor Magistros, this was the reason why the Syrian pontiff was inadequately infor¬
 +
med about the sectarians.
 +
 +
In addition to Smbat, Grigor Magistros lists as heresiarchs of the T‘ondrakec‘is:
 +
Todoros, Ananes, Ark‘ay, Sargis, Kiwret(Cyril), Yesu and in his own time Lazar. 50
 +
 +
 +
62
 +
 +
 +
 +
For one hundred and seventy years these leaders remained loyal to their founder; in
 +
spite of having been anathematized by all patriarchs of Armenia and Albania. Concern¬
 +
ing one of these leaders, Kiwrei, it is said that in order to discredit the church hier¬
 +
archy and the eucharist he “took the paste, formed it in his hand, dipped it in the
 +
wine, and threw it away disrespectfully saying “This is the fraud of you Christians”. 51
 +
 +
The remaining section of the Letter is devoted to the activities of Grigor himself
 +
and his attempts to annihilate the movement. It presents the following picture. After
 +
having been appointed dux of Mesopotamia (1042-1055), he recognised the strength
 +
and power of the sect, accepted the confession of two recanting heretical priests and
 +
on the basis of their betrayal he organised an active and ruthless persecution of the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is within his province; as he relates “I rooted out of the land the tares
 +
sown by them”. Not satisfied with this, Grigor travelled to the village of T'ondrak
 +
where “the leaven of the Sadducees was buried, and the hidden embers of wickedness
 +
blazed”, and acquiring special permission from the emperor, Constantine IX Mono-
 +
machus, “1 cleaned out the noxious growth of weeds”. 52 As a direct result of these
 +
systematic persecutions many “confessed their guilt and errors”, repudiated their
 +
leaders and were baptized in the church; “Those, however, who were baptized were
 +
over a thousand in number, nor did they cease to come to us for enlightenment” — re¬
 +
lates Grigor with a great sense of achievement.
 +
 +
Grigor Magistros continues his account of the T‘ondrakec‘is and gives a great
 +
deal of useful information concerning the doctrines and practices of the sectarians:
 +
 +
These are the crimes of these malefactors. No fasts are theirs, except out of fear;
 +
no differences do they observe between men and women, not even as regards the
 +
family, though they do not venture openly on this. They respect nothing, either
 +
of things divine or of things created; but laugh all to scorn, the old law as well as
 +
the new. When, however, you ask them openly, they anathematize and swear
 +
vehemently and deny. 53
 +
 +
“Such was also the attitude of the Paulicians” writes Grigor, “who got their poison
 +
from Paul of Samosata. When we question them, they say: We are Christians; they are
 +
for ever chanting hymns and quoting the Gospels, and the Apostles, but when we ask:
 +
Why do you not allow yourselves to be baptized as Christ and the Apostles enjoined
 +
they answer: You do not know the mystery of baptism; we are in no hurry to be bap¬
 +
tized, for baptism is death”. 54
 +
 +
“Similarly the sun-worshippeTS who are also known as Arewordik‘ (Sons of the
 +
Sun) 55 regard themselves as being orthodox, yet we know that you are aware what
 +
error and lewdness they practise. So are all those T‘ondrakec‘is who call themselves
 +
KaSec'i”, and those T‘ondrakec‘is who are “in Xnus, who declared that Christ has
 +
been circumcised, and the T'ulaili who declared that he had not”. There may have
 +
been many variations in their views but “I would have you know” concludes Grigor
 +
“that at heart they do not own him God, whether circumcised or not; but they only
 +
make of it a pretext for calumniating us”. 56
 +
 +
 +
63
 +
 +
 +
 +
Then Grigor Magistros writes about the various T‘ondrakec‘i “Godless” leaders,
 +
namely Yesu, and the letters which he had collected from the various districts, which
 +
were full of “perversities of these devilishly minded men”, but does not say concretely
 +
what these perversities were. Grigor makes a particularly interesting remark only when
 +
he names one of the heretical centres Snavank '(Dog Monastery) in which “there lived
 +
men clad as monks and a multitude of whorish women. So we ordered their roof-trees
 +
to be thrown down and burned and their tenants to be hunted out of our marches”. 5 7
 +
 +
At the end of the letter Grigor Magistros warns the Syrian patriarch not to have
 +
any sort of relations with the sectarians; if any of them “confess to their evil deeds and
 +
wizardry” and condemn their “evil workers”, such should be sent to him “so that they
 +
may come to us and receive baptism. In any other case thou shalt not have mercy
 +
upon them or have any communication with them or deign to look on them; but, like
 +
your fathers and brothers like-minded . . . curse them whenever they come into your
 +
mind”. 58 Grigor Magistros on two other occasions refers to the T'ondrakec'is without
 +
specifically giving their name. 59
 +
 +
In another of his letters 60 he writes that the T‘ondrakec‘is regarded the ador¬
 +
ation of the cross and the holy pictures as being idolatry, “worshipping devils”. The
 +
following passage from this letter is particularly interesting:
 +
 +
And many of them spare not to lay hands on the church, on all priestly func¬
 +
tions, on our awesome exalted sacrament of the divine body and blood. But all
 +
this derives from those scholars of the Manichaeans, who, having been utterly
 +
cut off from God, and having no hope of resurrection, are named T‘ondrakec‘is.
 +
 +
This particular passage stresses what we already know, namely that the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
reject the church with its hierarchy and priestly functions and the sacrament of the
 +
Eucharist, understanding the bread and wine symbolically as the teaching of Christ in
 +
connection with the practice of “communal meals”. But the particular combination of
 +
this passage is the insistence upon the Manichacan character of the heresy, associating
 +
the T‘ondrakec‘is with the Manichaeans. 61
 +
 +
The violent persecutions instituted by Grigor Magistros do not seem to have had
 +
the successful results of which he boasted. 62 The T'ondrakec‘is, far from being extir¬
 +
pated, fled in part to Syria, but were still flourishing sufficiently a century later to
 +
arouse the indignation of Paul of Taron 6 3 and the kat‘olikos Nerses Snorhali.
 +
 +
Paul of Taron (d.l 123) in an epistle written against Theophistus, the Byzantine
 +
philosopher, refers to the T‘ondrakec‘is, although there is nothing in his testimony
 +
that adds to what we know about them from the previous sources. The passage rele¬
 +
vant to our purposes reads:
 +
 +
And it was not right for us to write at length, nor mention the T‘ondrakec‘is. In¬
 +
asmuch as a kind which has not the witness to the faith, nor its foundations, nor
 +
God, had no need of the cross or of church.
 +
 +
 +
64
 +
 +
 +
 +
... the T‘ondrakec‘is then in their evil gainsaying declare that the sacrifice or
 +
mata\ is of no avail to the dead. And so we have found them to be on a level
 +
with these heretics, who oppose the sacrifice of Christ which is fulfilled because
 +
of sin. A certain Apellas 64 , a filthy man and grown old in the flesh, soured by
 +
length of days and puffed up by devils...
 +
 +
Paul of Taron, in addition to associating the T‘ondrakec‘is with the Manichaeans, com¬
 +
pares them to the Marcionites as well: “the Marcionites who do not admit the resurrec¬
 +
tion of the dead, and deny the holy sacrifice to be aught, and say that the God-receiving
 +
holy cross is mere wood, and have been blinded by the power hidden therein, just like
 +
these T’ondrakec’is”. 6 5
 +
 +
Among the Armenian sources Paul of Taron is the chronicler who specifically
 +
confirms that there was a link between the Paulicians and the T‘ondrakec‘is. He con¬
 +
siders Smbat of Zarehawan to be a follower of Paulicianism when he states “thus be¬
 +
haved the T'ondrakec'ik' whom you call Poplikianosk' [sic] ;they are disciples of the
 +
evil Smbat, he who got his poison from the sect of the Paulicians”. 66 As Paul is ad¬
 +
dressing himself to a Byzantine it is safe to assume that by the twelfth century the
 +
Byzantines had identified the T'ondrakec’is with the Paulicians. 6 7 In connection with
 +
the Armenian sources concerned with the T‘ondrakec‘is it is interesting to note in the
 +
later period the appearance of the accusation of Manichaeanism also found in the Byz¬
 +
antine sources. Only late Armenian sources make this charge and even then not uni¬
 +
formly. No suggestion of Manichaean identification is found in the account of Aris-
 +
takes Lastiverc'i, but the accusation is made by Grigor of Narek, Grigor Magistros and
 +
Paul of Taron. 68
 +
 +
Also from the twelfth century are the Letters of Nerses IV (1166-1172). 6 9
 +
Nerses IV, although he no longer lived in Great Armenia but at Hromklay in Cilicia,
 +
where the seat of the Armenian kat’olikosate had transferred after 1147, gives us a
 +
great deal of information about the T‘ondrakec‘is in his letters. His brother Grigor III
 +
Pahlavuni (1113-1166) imposed upon Nerses the task of addressing a general letter to
 +
the Armenian inhabitants of Mesopotamia, describing the confession of the orthodox
 +
faith of the Armenian church, and contradicting the heterodox opinions of the T‘on-
 +
drakec‘is. Nerses carried out his brother’s command in such a successful manner as to
 +
silence those who were inimically disposed towards the church, and to restore peace
 +
and unanimity amongst the community there.
 +
 +
The priests of the province of T'lkuran were disputing among themselves on the
 +
question of Christ’s divine and human nature. Some were inclined to emphasize that
 +
the divinity of Christ suffered humiliation and death with the human nature on the
 +
Cross, while others tended to preach that it was only the human nature that suffered
 +
persecution and death.
 +
 +
Again some admitted the offering of sacrifices for the dead, known as mata\
 +
while others rejected it; some took the Christian teaching regarding paradise as being
 +
 +
 +
65
 +
 +
 +
 +
symbolic and not as literal truth. Nerses observes that some accept the practice of hon¬
 +
ouring the cross, while others equated it to worshipping devils and idolatry. 70 We shall
 +
not here concern ourselves with the view of Nerses Snorhali brought in defence of the
 +
Armenian orthodox practices such as fasts, the offering of sacrifices, the sacraments —
 +
this would constitute a digression of limited relevance. But what cannot be overlooked
 +
is that Nerses Snorhali admonishes those who reject tfie orthodox sacraments and prac¬
 +
tices, the examples of Sabellius. Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Paul of Samosata, Apolli-
 +
narius and others by saying the following: “You regard the suffering and the passion as
 +
being merely imaginary like the Manichaeans’ [Manikeac‘woc‘n] profanity .. . neither
 +
the father took the form of a body nor the Holy Spirit, as Valentinus advocated im¬
 +
piously, but The Word became flesh”. He refers to the Manichaeans once again when
 +
he writes: “therefore you think in the manner of the Manichaeans, for they first curse
 +
the food and then consume it”. As regards the T’ondrakec'is Nerses has this to say:
 +
“Henceforth we have heard, that some among the deceitful priests have begun to re¬
 +
iterate the filthy and impious teaching of the cursed Smbat T‘ondrakec‘i, causing cuin
 +
among the hearers”. 71 Nerses likewise says that the heretics were accustomed to say:
 +
“The church is not the one which is built by men, but we ourselves and the MaHtoc' 12
 +
and the practices it contains such as blessing the Cross and the church are not accept¬
 +
able”. 73 Nerses Snorhali himself does not make any attempt to refute the above accus¬
 +
ations; he only affirms that several Armenian bishops have written and refuted them in
 +
the past, among them the famous treatise of Anania of Narek.
 +
 +
Also extremely interesting and worth mentioning is what Nerses says about the
 +
sectarians. They are once again reiterating the teachings of Eutyches and the old here¬
 +
tics, when they state “the body of our Lord was not from the nature of man, but exis¬
 +
ted before the creation of man and before the ages in its divinity”. In other words,
 +
Christ had brought his human body from heaven. The statement becomes even more
 +
significant when Nerses refers to the analogy of the “water turned to ice” with which
 +
we are also familiar from Gnostic and heretical literature:
 +
 +
Regarding those who say the existence of the word only was incarnated [coagu¬
 +
lated] in the womb of the Virgin as water forming into ice, and not that it took
 +
 +
its human nature and mixed it with his own, and this is the schism of Eutyches. 74
 +
 +
Nerses Snorhali also wrote an epistle addressed to the Armenian clergy of the city of
 +
Samosata regarding the conversion of sectarians known under the appellation of Are-
 +
word ik ‘. 7 5
 +
 +
Before discussing the content of this letter it will not be out of place to mention
 +
the testimonies that exist in the sources regarding the Armenian sect, the Arewordik'
 +
or “Sons of the Sun”, with whom the T‘ondrakec‘is were occasionally confused. 76
 +
Grigor Magistros refers to the T‘ondrakec‘is as being the sun worshippers envenomed
 +
by these whom thev call the Arewordik'. 1 7 In his discourse Sermon against the Politi¬
 +
cians Yovhannes Ojnec'i mentions that the Paulicians of his time, in addition to associ¬
 +
ating with sun-worshippers and practising Persian sins, exposed the bodies of their
 +
 +
 +
66
 +
 +
 +
 +
dead. 78 In The Book of Heresies 19 it is reported that the Paulicians called the Sun the
 +
Christ. We find the same in the hymn of Armouris in the epic Digenes Akrites. This is
 +
regarded by several scholars as having been written in a Paulician environment. In the
 +
200th line the following oath is found six times: “I swear by the sweet Lord Sun and
 +
his sweet mother”. 80 It is interesting to note that the reflection of the above oath is
 +
found in the Armenian fable by Mxitar Go? (died 1214). It reads:
 +
 +
La fleur du jonc et d’autres semblabies furent accusees d’etre des adoratrices
 +
du Soleil’ Mais elle, elevant ses mains vers le Soleil, jura par le Soleil. 81
 +
 +
In his letter to the clergy of Samosata Nerses reports that the heretics who lived in the
 +
city and were called Arewordik' desired to be converted to the orthodox faith for “as
 +
by origin and language they are from the Armenian race, they aspire also to be one in
 +
faith and spirit”. The representatives of the above sect had approached Nerses and put
 +
their case before him. Nerses states that he told them what he had read about their
 +
superstition and what he had heard about their evils committed by word and deed,
 +
from their own associates, 83 but does not specify what he had read. We know only
 +
that he compares them with the “Bogomils among the Romans (Byzantines) who like
 +
them have been deprived of the light of Christ’s Gospel and remained in the darkness
 +
of paganism and ancestral superstitions. So also the Arewordik 1 part of our race have
 +
continued to remain in the darkness of Satan; they did not wish to be illuminated with
 +
the divine light through our Enlightener Saint Grigor, but instead preferred darkness to
 +
light until our time”. 84
 +
 +
Here, there is a question of old pagan beliefs which they wanted to reconcile
 +
with the Christian faith. The imposition of the Persian religion on Armenia during the
 +
latter part of the fifth century is known to all the chroniclers and provoked a major
 +
revolt of the Armenian nobility. 85 It may well have left in Armenia, particularly
 +
amongst the heterodox elements, some traces of sun-worship as well as other practices.
 +
 +
In Dayl Ta’ril Dimasq by Ibn al-Qalanisi 86 (555/1160) it is stated that the emir
 +
of Damascus Sihab ad-din Mahmud ibn Tugtekin (529-533/1135-1139) plotted against
 +
his commander-in-chief Bazwag. 87 He detailed a party of Armenian Samsiyya, who
 +
were members of his cortege to kill the commander in the citadel of Damascus. This
 +
adjective Samsiyya which means “of the Sun” is regarded as another name for the Are¬
 +
wordik 188 , the Armenian heretics related to the Paulicians and the T'ondrakec'is who
 +
were accused of worshipping the Sun and identifying Christ with the Sun.
 +
 +
A sectarian whose teachings bear a very close resemblance to those of the T'ond-
 +
rakec'is appeared in the seventeenth century, around 1642. He was called Tomas
 +
Julayec'i (of New Julfa). About him detailed information is preserved in XaC'atur
 +
Julayec'i’s History of Persia. Xa£ ‘atur, who lived a century and a half after the events
 +
he described, 89 records the following: 90
 +
 +
This occurred in 1091 of the Armenian era and in the year of Our Lord 1642,
 +
during the first reign of Shah-Sefi.
 +
 +
 +
67
 +
 +
 +
 +
During this time there appeared a certain perverse and cruel (man) by the name
 +
of Tomas, who spoke profanity contrary to our orthodox belief in Christ, and
 +
who was more cruel and evil than Arius, Nestorius and the Sadducees. 91
 +
Xai'atur gives a summary of his teachings:
 +
 +
First, he did not accept the point that Christ is equal to God the Father,
 +
but taught that Christ was a mere man and that the Holy Virgin Mary was the
 +
bearer of a man.
 +
 +
Second, like the Sadducees he did not recognise resurrection and judgment.
 +
 +
Third, the Cross of Christ, the Mass and the Holy communion he rejected
 +
iike the Mohammedans.
 +
 +
Fourth, the established Apostolic canons, the divine ordinances and the
 +
seven sacraments of the Hoiy Church he dishonoured.
 +
 +
Fifth, the prelates, vardapets, priests and the ministers of the holy church
 +
he ignored and called them deceivers.
 +
 +
And in this manner this cruel and evil man desired to introduce a new and
 +
most evil heresy into the Church of Christ. 9 2
 +
 +
There is no doubt that the tenets of this movement appearing in the seventeenth cent¬
 +
ury resemble those of the T‘ondrakec‘is. But Avdalbekyan’s opinion that the ideas of
 +
Tomas are more “radical since he rejects all the sacraments and the old canons of the
 +
of the church”, goes too far. As the sources testify, the Tondrakec'is also held similar
 +
views on the sacraments. Avdalbekyan’s suggestion that the T‘ondrakec‘is did not ob¬
 +
ject to the idea of the resurrection of the body and the last judgment ignores the
 +
sources. He bases his view on the fact that Lastiverc'i and Grigor of Narek in their
 +
accusations do not say that the T‘ondrakec‘is rejected the resurrection of the body and
 +
the last judgment, so when Tomas openly states his objection to theabove doctrines,
 +
Avdalbekyan concludes that “the heretic of New-Julfa stands out as the only preacher
 +
of a movement which is most radical in the history of the Armenian heretical move¬
 +
ments”. Avdalbekyan has failed to take into consideration the remark of Grigor Magis-
 +
tros regarding the T‘ondrakec‘is, namely that they “had no hope of resurrection”. 93
 +
Paul of Taron also talks of “the Marcionites who do not admit the resurrection of the
 +
dead . . . just like these T‘ondrakec‘is”. 94 The Tondrakec'is also rejected the doctrine
 +
of the belief in the resurrection. It is not clear how these T‘ondrakec‘i views and doc¬
 +
trines survived through the centuries and reached Tomas Jut ayec‘i.
 +
 +
The history of the Paulicians is clearer than their doctrines, which “must remain
 +
largely a matter of conjecture”. 9 5 Among various, sometimes conflicting, reports are
 +
these: that they believed in two independent principles or deities; that they considered
 +
Christ to be a man adopted by God and filled with the Holy Spirit; and that they rejec¬
 +
ted the Old and some of the New Testament, repudiated Christian sacraments, and
 +
practised a vigorous iconoclasm. The Greek sources present them as dualists, teaching a
 +
Docetic doctrine of Christ (that his body was of a celestial substance). From time to
 +
time scholars like Conybeate have questioned this view on the basis of the Armenian
 +
 +
 +
68
 +
 +
 +
 +
sources. The Armenian sources depict them as Adoptionists, who accepted the unity
 +
of God, attributed all creation to Him, and denied the divinity of Christ. Both groups
 +
of sources emphasize the iconoclasm of the sect.
 +
 +
Garsoian, in presenting the history of Paulicianism, confirms some of Conybeare’s
 +
conjectures. She does this on the basis of her analysis of the Greek and Armenian
 +
sources. Since the Armenian sources, most of whose authenticity is beyond doubt, al¬
 +
most without exception do not mention dualism in connection with the Paulicians, she
 +
concludes that the testimony of the Armenian sources should not be rejected but must
 +
be reconciled with the Greek evidence. Despite the statement in the text that it was
 +
written by a man who had served as an imperial legate in 869 to the Paulician capital,
 +
Garsoian is convinced that the history by Peter of Sicily is a mid-tenth century compil¬
 +
ation which drew upon a variety of sources from diverse periods. Thus, the Byzantine
 +
cornerstone for the theory of Paulician dualism was compiled nearly a century after
 +
the heresy had ceased to be a major threat to the empire. And since the history was
 +
dedicated to a Bulgarian bishop, the work’s concern with dualism could easily be attri¬
 +
buted to the appearance in the tenth century of the Bogomil dualist heresy in Bulgaria
 +
a powerful movement of dissent in the medieval history of Eastern Christendom.
 +
 +
Then she considers the testimony of the Armenian sources, the most important
 +
of these being The Key of Truth. Since the doctrine described in The Key of Truth is
 +
similar to that attributed to the Paulicians in medieval Armenian sources, Garsoian,
 +
like Conybeare, believes this to be an authentic text. The movement, a survival of an
 +
early Adoptionist trend, originated in Armenia, and its name may well be derived from
 +
Paul of Samosata. On the basis of this document she concludes that there were two
 +
groupings of Paulicians — in Armenia and in the Byzantine empire - representing the
 +
two doctrinal traditions. Ancient tradition was “characterized by tire belief in the
 +
humanity of Jesus and his eventual adoption as Son of Cod upon baptism. This funda¬
 +
mental dogma was attended by the belief that ordinary men could also become the
 +
equals of Christ and worthy of adoration. This Armenian Paulicianism was character¬
 +
ized by violent iconoclasm and showed no apparent modification throughout the
 +
Middle Ages 1 ’. 96 The main thesis is that Armenian Paulicianism remained static. In
 +
Byzantium, on the other hand, a change in dogma took place in the mid-ninth century,
 +
possibly under the influence of the great heresiarch Sergius and his successors. The ori¬
 +
ginal doctrine of the sect which had been similar to the one existing in Armenia, was
 +
gradually transformed into a docetic and dualist one. The traces of dualism among the
 +
Paulicians are interpreted either as a product of internal development or as a relatively
 +
late influence from extremists among the Byzantine iconoclasts.
 +
 +
Lemerle, in his review of Garsoian’s study, considers her theory of the Greek
 +
sources to be far from his own and remains unconvinced. 97 The same could be said of
 +
her analysis of the Armenian The Key of Truth. The main thesis of Garsoian, which
 +
postulates “two traditions” for the history of the doctrine of the Paulicians. depends
 +
entirely on her acceptance of The Key of Truth, the content of which she brings into
 +
“essential agreement with the polemical sources”. She underlines the fact that the doc-
 +
 +
 +
69
 +
 +
 +
 +
trinal divergencies from Paulicianism that The Key of Truth presents must not prevent
 +
us from seeing this resemblance.
 +
 +
It is true that there is theological similarity between the doctrine of The Key of
 +
Truth and of the Tondrakec'is. For example, the passage on (p. 19) “You [the unbe¬
 +
lievers) ... are followers of your father, the evil one, who gave you his law, namely to
 +
baptize unbelievers, to worship images, to make silver and gold in the form of an image
 +
.. . and to adore the same” 98 is specific rejection of images and of the reverence of
 +
them as idolatry. Instead only “the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ” is acknow¬
 +
ledged and “not any other holy ones, either of the dead, or of stones, or of crosses and
 +
images" (pp. 53, 59-60) “for they need the intercession of the living and not the living
 +
theirs”. “While the heretics and the schismatics [the Christians) during their liturgy
 +
for all whether priests, or deacons, or scribes, that is, apostles, saints, prophets, doc¬
 +
tors, martyrs, patriarchs, monks, virgins, recluses, and of all saints, let there be, we
 +
pray, commemoration in the holy oblations” (p. 59). On page 53 it is maintained that
 +
true religion or piety is against the worship and veneration of “images, stones, crosses,
 +
waters, trees, fountains, and all other vain things; as they [the Christians] admit, and
 +
worship them, so they offer incense and candles”. Likewise they did not admit such
 +
orthodox sacraments as “confirmation, the order of the priesthood, the last unction,
 +
and marriage, are not salvation of our souls. They are unnecessary and not obliga¬
 +
tory”.* 9
 +
 +
On the other hand, in the same The Key of Truth there are theological and litur¬
 +
gical statements, which are diametrically opposed to the T‘ondrakec‘i tenets. 100 We
 +
stressed earlier in relation to T‘ondrakec‘i doctrine that the heretics completely and
 +
categorically rejected all sacraments of the church, penance, baptism, communion,
 +
marriage and all the orders of the church. 101 But in this manual on pages 117-119
 +
these very same sacraments are considered as being among the commandments of Our
 +
Lord Jesus Christ: “repentance, baptism (which is not for infants) and communion”;
 +
and on page 119 we read: “Four are they which save Man. First repentance; second
 +
right faith, third holy baptism, and fourth the holy precious body and blood of our
 +
Lord J£sus Christ”. Having rejected the baptism of catechumens, to the question:
 +
“Then whose baptism and communion is valid?” the reply was: “Their holy baptism
 +
and communion only is valid who have original and operative sin” (p.l 18). Far more
 +
significant and remarkable is the interpretation of the sacrament of the Eucharist. The
 +
sacrament receives such a mystical and spiritual exposition that under no circum¬
 +
stances can it be reconciled with the T*ondrakec‘i teaching. The Tondrakec'is regarded
 +
the sacrament of the communion as being a “communal meal”; yet in The Key of
 +
Truth the concept of transubstantiation is discussed and developed in its most classic
 +
form. This is how the document has it:
 +
 +
That our mediator and intercessor Jesus Christ, the lamb of God. took the bread
 +
 +
in his hands, and blessed it, this the holy evangelists declare. That is to say he
 +
 +
earnestly besought the almighty Father that He would change bread into his true
 +
 +
precious body. This is why it says: “He blessed”, that is. he prayed the Lord that
 +
 +
 +
70
 +
 +
 +
 +
he would change the bread truly into his body. And so it was assuredly changed
 +
by the spirit of the heavenly Father. And when he saw that the bread was
 +
changed into His body, then He thanked the almighty Father for having changed
 +
it into his body and blood. 102
 +
 +
The Key of Truth teaches the conversion of the whole substance of the bread and wine
 +
into the whole substance of the Body and Blood of Christ, effected by the elect one.
 +
No T‘ondrakec‘i would have given the sacrament such a mystical exposition.
 +
 +
Similarly our survey of the sources showed that the T‘ondrakec‘is entirely rejec¬
 +
ted the practice of ordination (laying on of hands) and election of clergy; but in The
 +
Key of Truth , chapter XXII is entitled “And concerning the order of laying on of
 +
hands”. 103 At the ceremony of ordination the elect one presides, but the bishop is the
 +
one who lays hands on the candidate (p.10). At the beginning of the ceremony the
 +
candidate whom The Key of Truth designates as “Reader” and “Seeker”, receives an
 +
ordination name “in accordance with the gospel” (p. 107) after which “authority” is
 +
conferred upon him in these terms: “Take to thyself authority of binding and loosing
 +
the sons of men in heaven and earth” (pp.107-8). 104 This confirms that The Key of
 +
Truth emphasized both the importance of election and the sacraments of ordination,
 +
and that contrary to what is suggested 1 0 5 The Key of Truth does accept the existence
 +
of a recognizable heirarchy, though very different from that of the official church. 106
 +
 +
On both internal and external evidence The Key of Truth is a document highly
 +
interpolated, subjected to revisions and alterations, on the basis of which we cannot
 +
form a true picture of the T‘ondrakec‘is.
 +
 +
Caution should therefore be exercised in using this text to reconstruct the ancient
 +
form either of Paulicianism or T'ondrakianism. To assert on the basis of The Key of
 +
Truth that Armenian Paulicianism underwent no changes is to beg the question. To
 +
say, in order to explain the differences, which amount to contradictions, between this
 +
Armenian Paulicianism (presented by The Key) and Greek Paulicianism, that the latter
 +
changed and developed during the eighth and ninth centuries, while the former re¬
 +
mained static, is questionable. We cannot be sure that the beliefs of the Armenian
 +
Paulicians had not evolved considerably since the Middle Ages and that The Key of
 +
Truth was not a presentation of those evolving views. Garsoian, who persuasively ar¬
 +
gues that Paulician views and beliefs underwent a variety of changes in Byzantium,
 +
should be equally willing to consider that Armenian doctrine also was not Static. Gar-
 +
soian’s affirmation (also arising from her analysis of The Key) that one could present a
 +
coherent picture of the sect by seeing a certain continuity between the Paulician and
 +
T‘ondrakec‘i movements is not plausible. The fact that the T‘ondrakec‘i movement ori¬
 +
ginated in Armenia independently of the Paulicians and in different circumstances
 +
suggests that there were also two distinct sects. These people clearly had views similar
 +
to the Paulicians but the fact that they split and presented themselves under two
 +
different names implies that there were two different sects, whose connections must
 +
be proved rather than assumed.
 +
 +
 +
71
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
‘u/jkpft h
 +
ry-:u t LjJiuy h{ U<
 +
ry'un* ‘/ihuu/torf f,p
 +
^*Hr* hfi'
 +
 +
Li u b/i'Jlt'f Lrt<
 +
bP 1 ^ 4 hhlttStltJ-It
 +
 +
1' /i7»" Itu/tQt -J^tu
 +
 +
/ J oft* US I utb Qua (\
 +
Uf-Unn.^jt-t -■■ ‘L
 +
 +
i/iHky/i. 1
 +
 +
J bp If fit, itjLpIjrfi-
 +
•MtfLmttfi «yHrt«7
 +
ofru^iujr br-Luutn*
 +
U'jtb^ yAbq.
 +
hp/uyum ^ b¥^.r '
 +
 +
 +
• i
 +
 +
.lui'bos'y^iui^h^
 +
pr)J\iLi ^nu.rjlhuf
 +
Ml
 +
 +
n_q a /tufu l if .final
 +
‘ l/u, J'u nrb'u*i{unt<
 +
m kt,
 +
 +
ia.,iut lUnft^tMC
 +
 +
utjhuu ni.,usuyu
 +
'kfaufu./u'£
 +
u *£fuusp4/'
 +
 +
r.4‘t
 +
 +
'f aubtA * r>
 +
 +
8“" *E 2 ft
 +
 +
<1*
 +
 +
 +
1 ***
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
Armenian Manuscript THE FOUR GOSPELS. The Gospel of
 +
St. Mark. The British Library MS Or. 2678.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER VII
 +
 +
 +
THE T'ONDRAKECT MOVEMENT.
 +
SOCIAL, POLITICAL, OR RELIGIOUS?
 +
 +
 +
The most stubborn problem in any discussion of heresy has been to trace and to dis¬
 +
cover the original root and inspiration. Among the numerous explanations advanced for
 +
the rise and spread of the medieval heresies the one most frequently encountered is
 +
that they were a product of resentment against a “corrupt” clergy in a church that had
 +
become wealthy, worldly, and forgetful of its mission. The church, relying on the ap¬
 +
proach taken by the Christian fathers from the second to the fifth centuries, covered
 +
all heresies under a blanket of moral condemnation, as a species of disobedience. Such
 +
a moralising view, unqualified by considerations of circumstances or historical develop¬
 +
ment and applied equally to early as well as medieval heresies, is a serious distortion.
 +
The heresies of the Middle Ages went through mutations that are incomprehensible
 +
without reference to the changing circumstantial background.
 +
 +
Another theory is that heresies are essentially religious phenomena. The various
 +
heretical movements and groups that swept through Byzantium and Europe in the
 +
second half of the Middle Ages must be considered as individual manifestations of the
 +
religious fervour of those centuries. They may be called popular or pragmatic heresies
 +
because they took the forms of movements, putting into practice a collective variety
 +
of spiritual and ascetic activity, although they expressed religious experience in ways
 +
beyond the limits of what was then permitted in the catholic church and in opposition
 +
to its authority and to its dogmatic and moral teachings. Thus they are treated as inde¬
 +
pendent deviations from the doctrinal norms of the church. According to this interpre¬
 +
tation the heresy originates in the mind which, confronted with unfamiliar data to be
 +
absorbed rebels when it sees that those data do not conform with the ideals it already
 +
holds as the products of experience or education. The dissent of heresy in the Middle
 +
Ages therefore arose from the confrontation of men with dogma in the Christian faith
 +
which some felt they could not accommodate without self-betrayal. They passed this
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
discontent to others pointing out the ideal standard of conduct or belief which the
 +
Christian society or its authorities were ignoring. In other words, heresy of the period
 +
in question is viewed as being a consistent striving after the ideal, after a religious and
 +
social pattern which the church and the state had failed to recognise.
 +
 +
The last interpretation of heresies arises from the question: were religious move¬
 +
ments only convictions of mind, without reference to environment and material con¬
 +
ditions? This theory presents heresies as being protests, expressed in religious terms,
 +
against socio-economic disruptions and inequalities. The ideologies of religious move¬
 +
ments are forms of consciousness with which certain groups react to social or economic
 +
changes, or in which they express, in ideological terms, the class conflicts and struggles
 +
that arise from these changes. During the Middle Ages, ideological expressions of class
 +
struggles took predominantly religious forms, for the church dominated the whole
 +
superstructure of society with its dogmas and institutional organisations. So alienation
 +
from the church for these reasons is presumed to have opened the way for such doc¬
 +
trines as religious dualism, which explained good and evil by dividing creation between
 +
principals or gods of spiritual and material realms.
 +
 +
In specific instances of radical dissent one or other of these causes may be found
 +
to be dominant, but none of them alone is sufficient to explain the whole range of
 +
heretical movements in the Middle Ages. This is particularly true with regard to heresy
 +
in the Armenian church, given the church-centred character of Armenian life. Since
 +
the Armenian church was and is the only single major institution which guided and in¬
 +
fluenced practically every aspect of Armenian life, the distinction of the religious from
 +
the secular is very hard to discern. Religion was so vital an element of life that sectar¬
 +
ian movements could not have been treated as casual or gratuitous matters. However it
 +
is also very difficult to say categorically that the Paulician or the T‘ondrakec‘i move¬
 +
ment was either socio-economicai or political as there is no adequate evidence to
 +
support such an interpretation. But one can trace how this particular movement was
 +
related to the history of Armenia in the ninth to eleventh centuries.
 +
 +
The period in question, starting with the development of an independent Bagra-
 +
tid kingdom until its conquest by the Seljuqs, coincided with a remarkably rapid cul¬
 +
tural and economic expansion of the country and a great flourishing of its urban
 +
centres. The accounts of contemporary historians, the large number of extant monu¬
 +
ments, information furnished by inscriptions, all bear witness to this period, in the
 +
second chapter 1 have tried to explain the basis for this cultural and economic progress.
 +
It is generally accepted that Armenia’s economy and culture attained an exceptionally
 +
advanced level of development.
 +
 +
It is in this context that many modern Armenian historians have studied and
 +
evaluated the T‘ondrakec‘i movement, in terms of its being a proletarian movement in
 +
revolt against the intolerable oppression of a feudal society. It formed the ideological
 +
basis of the “Armenian Renaissance”. In the rest of this chapter we shall try to state
 +
 +
 +
74
 +
 +
 +
 +
the evidence for such a conclusion. That such oppression did exist is beyond doubt.
 +
From the accounts of contemporary writers it is not difficult to see that the process of
 +
economic development, extension of monetary economy, accumulation of wealth in
 +
the cities brought with it brutal exploitation of the lower classes of the population.
 +
Aristakes Lastiverc‘i and Grigor Magistros give us definite information concerning the
 +
events which took place during the reign of Gagik I (990-1020). In his description of
 +
the pillage of the city of Aren by the Seljuqs in 1049, Aristakes Lastiverc'i relates that:
 +
Here was set up a law on growth and tithes and surtax on grain; the land is pollu¬
 +
ted by this and at the present time impediments are set in the way of those
 +
bringing the fruits of the earth to feed the people. He who deceives his friend
 +
boasts that he is wise and he who robs says that he is mighty. The wealthy have
 +
seized the houses of their unprovided relatives and the boundaries of their fields.
 +
 +
The same author, speaking of the capture and destruction of the city of Ani in 1064,
 +
notes particularly in it the presence of usury and social unrest:
 +
 +
Because of the excess of injustice which took place in it, a mighty and beautiful
 +
palace was burned down and all of its buildings were reduced to a heap of earth,
 +
and the licentiousness and evil which had occurred in it came to an end. This is
 +
the lot of unjust cities which are built on the blood of others and which grow
 +
rich at the expense of the homeless, of those who toil in the sweat of their brow;
 +
they build their houses on luxury and the infringement of rights, they seek for
 +
themselves pleasure and profit having no pity in their souls for the poor and the
 +
homeless, withdrawing not from evil deeds, because they are possessed by their
 +
passions. 1
 +
 +
In the last days of the Armenian kingdom in Ani before the invasion of the
 +
Turkish tribes, as has justly been shown by N. Marr, the life of feudal Armenia presen¬
 +
ted the antithesis of the economic oppression of the Armenian working population
 +
with the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few members of the ruling classes.
 +
The Armenian historian, Matthew of Edessa, gives us interesting information concern¬
 +
ing enormous wealth in the hands of the clergy at least. At the time of the taking of
 +
the city of Aren by the Seljuq general Ibrahim he writes that:
 +
 +
... the treasures of the chorepiscopus Dawt'uk were seized by Ibrahim. His trea¬
 +
sures were loaded on forty camels. From his house eight hundred ploughs with
 +
six pairs of oxen apiece went forth for the ploughing. 2
 +
During this period the wealth and number of churches and monastic establishments
 +
doubled. 3 During the reign of Abas I (928-953) the churches of Kamijajor, Hof omoc‘,
 +
Glajor, Tat'ev, Narek and several others were completed. During the reign of ASot III
 +
(953-977) the monastic complexes of Sanahin and Hal pat were completed. Asolik tes¬
 +
tifies: “The monastic establishments prospered and flourished. And in many places
 +
new monasteries were being constructed”. 4 From the fourth century the newly estab¬
 +
lished monastic and religious institutions were supported financially by the state which
 +
 +
 +
75
 +
 +
 +
 +
ceded to the church extensive lands. Through the centuries the acquisition of landed
 +
property constantly increased and formed the most profitable economic source and
 +
power of the church. During the period under discussion, and with the rise of feudal¬
 +
ism, another source of income was the donations made by the rich to the church.
 +
These donations consisted of both movable and immovable property, to which the
 +
architectural monuments of the epoch bear eloquent witness.
 +
 +
In the canons of St. Sahak the kind of donations and the reason for them is
 +
clearly stated. Canon 51 states: “princes [give] their villages, estates, and treasures of
 +
gold and silver.. . some for their own salvation, some for their beloved and parents for
 +
the salvation of their soul . . . ”. s Howeverthe donations made with these specific in¬
 +
tentions are confined to the fourth and fifth centuries. In the ninth and tenth centu¬
 +
ries the picture was completely different. In 90! a certain prince of Siwnik', Grigor
 +
Suban, reconstructed the famous Makenoc* monastery destroyed by Babak and built
 +
two additional churches. The inscription stone states: “I, Suban. a prince ofSiwnik',
 +
built the Makenoc' monastery and unsparingly decorated it with expensive vessels and
 +
Holy Testaments, and ceded our own property to it . . . ”. 6 in 979 Smbat Bagratuni
 +
presented to the monastery of Sanahin ‘Manded property consisting of several villages,
 +
farms . . . ”. 7 In 1183 the prince Fvane Orbelean gave to the monastery of Sanahin all
 +
his family estates. 8 The most outstanding was the accumulated wealth of the monas¬
 +
tery of Tat‘ev.
 +
 +
So in the first half of the eleventh century there was in Armenia a sharp contrast
 +
between the economic depression of the working population and the accumulation of
 +
wealth in the hands of a few members of the ruling class, the church and the clergy.
 +
How did the lower classes react? In the chronicles of this period we find several refer¬
 +
ences to peasant uprisings. According to the testimony of Yovhann<sDrasxanakertc‘i.
 +
“. . . the lower classes wished to be more competent than the upper class, and the ser¬
 +
vants planned, Solomon-like, how their masters should wear sandals and go on foot
 +
and how they themselves should sit on magnificent and prancing horses. They became
 +
proud, insolent and raised a great rebellion”. The same author describing a rebellion on
 +
the borders of Armenia involving the neighbouring Greeks and the Armenians, adds
 +
that: “[To this revolt] also joined mischievous thieves and evil-doers and waged
 +
war on our land;but what was most disturbing was that on their path they came across
 +
churches which they defiled and left in ruins”. This seems to be an oblique reference
 +
to popular dissent directed against the church which at this period was picking up
 +
momentum. “Brother against brother”, says the historian, “fought each other destroy¬
 +
ing the country,cities and villages”. 9 This destruction lasted for seven years (910-917).
 +
The kat'ofikos Anania Mokac'i when praising the achievement of king Abas simul¬
 +
taneously notes that he “executed the mischievous thieves and evil-doers”. 10
 +
 +
There is evidence that similar revolts were staged in the province of Siwnik‘,
 +
where the villagers refused to cede their lands and attacked the monastery. The histor¬
 +
ian Orbelean recounts the events of this period and stresses that the mob did not even
 +
 +
 +
76
 +
 +
 +
 +
refrain from destroying the containers in which the holy chrism was stored. This act
 +
was to the official church a sign of heresy, and the author who had previously called
 +
the attackers mischievous thieves, bandits, evil doers, now calls them ungodly. This re¬
 +
jection of the holy chrism betrays the link that existed between the dissidents and the
 +
sect of the T'ondrakec'is, for Grigor Magistros also comments that the T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
“disdain and mock the holy oil which is distributed by their leader”. 11
 +
 +
Orbelean confirms thal in the eleventh century the peasants of several villages,
 +
which had been bought by the monastery of Tat‘ev, Revolted more than once, refused
 +
to cede their lands, and attacked the monastery. St O rbelean's account is very inter¬
 +
esting: “The peasants of the Makenoc* villages seized Gelark'uni and Vayoc'-jor where
 +
they appointed a bishop ... but the lord Yovhannes returned and suppressed those
 +
who had revolted and condemned those who had indulged in the preaching of false
 +
doctrines. With the co-operation of the pious king Vasak the villages were returned to
 +
the monastery”. 1 2 This is also a reference to the T‘ondrakec‘i movement, particularly
 +
to those high-ranking clergy who had supported the sect and fought the owners of the
 +
monastery of Tat'ev by setting up their own centres and spreading T‘ondrakec‘i ideo¬
 +
logy, for which the kat'olikos Yovhannes V condemned them for being evil-doers,
 +
foreign, wolflike prelates. The fables of Vardan Aygekc'i contain information to the
 +
effect that “the love of God had diminished in our hearths”; that men “dislike pray¬
 +
ing” and the believers “refrain from the church, the cross, the gospels, the priests, the
 +
prayers and the fasts” and instead “spit on the cross and the church” claiming “there
 +
is no God”. This is the attitude of not only the “lower” {i.e. peasants] but also of the
 +
“higher” (i.e. the nobles] .* 3
 +
 +
Without directly mentioning the T‘ondrakec‘is, Xosrov Anjevac'i, father of
 +
Grigor of Narek, has the sectarians in mind when he writes: “Where they are influential
 +
they give respect to the church but where they arc harsh and ungodly they also behave
 +
in the same manner. For from among the villagers they elect their ministers and not
 +
from God [i.e. the church] . . . ”. 14 This particular testimony of Xosrov Anjevac'i is
 +
very interesting as regards the nature and character of the movement. It provides direct
 +
evidence of the peasant background of the sect. Aristakes Lastiverc‘i has also a valid
 +
point to make regarding the wide popularity of the T'ondrakec'i movement: “For
 +
their words eat into such (referring to the simple-minded) like a cancerous growth, and
 +
just as this is difficult to heal, so those who are taken by them can with difficulty keep
 +
themselves safe”. 15
 +
 +
These testimonies clearly indicate that in the tenth to twelfth centuries there
 +
was growing discontent among the people. The originator of the theory
 +
of an Armenian renaissance,Caloyan concluded that: “the renaissance is the result of
 +
the primary accumulation of capital; it comes to maturity during the last stages of
 +
capitalist production. It is quite understandable that the renaissance reflects the
 +
social and class struggle of the masses in the first period of the accumulation of capital,
 +
an altogether original struggle both in form and content. The highest stage of the cul-
 +
 +
 +
77
 +
 +
 +
 +
ture of that society, that is, the renaissance, though secular in form, appears to be, in
 +
its content, a revolutionary movement opposed to ruling feudal ideals”. 16 In order to
 +
defend his thesis, £“aloyan cites the dissent of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement which sup¬
 +
ported the masses who were eager to throw off the church’s yoke. Polosyan, who des¬
 +
cribes the object of his study as being “to analyse, on the basis of the available evi¬
 +
dence, the social and economic state of the Armenian peasant and his struggle against
 +
his exploiters during the period from 850-1230”' 7 declares that “one of the main
 +
characteristics of the history of the Armenian people during this period extending
 +
from the ninth to the thirteenth century is the acute and active fonn taken by the
 +
class struggle”. 1 8 As a proof of the existence of the class struggle, frequent mention is
 +
made of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement. Soviet Armenian scholars fit into the pattern of
 +
the class struggle all previous sectarian movements such as the Borborites, Messalians
 +
and Paulicians.
 +
 +
As far as the actual outbursts and peasant rebellions which can be said to have
 +
resulted from the class struggle are concerned, they are limited to the few incidents
 +
mentioned in the works of contemporary Armenian history, such as the peasant upris¬
 +
ings in the villages of Tamalek, Berd or at the neighbouring villages of Tat’cv inSiwnik*
 +
at the beginning of the tenth century. But to present such incidental events as an
 +
“acute form of class struggle" and “as a general rebellion of peasantry” in a country
 +
with a peasant population of over four million souls — as Polosyan himself states — is a
 +
gross exaggeration.
 +
 +
The question is whether it is admissible to identify religious sects with social
 +
movements? Garsoian considered the validity of the above assumptions in the for¬
 +
mulation of the social thesis on the Paulician - T’ondrakec’i movements. 19 “In a sense
 +
. . . the proletarian thesis is the least substantial” and cannot be sustained in the
 +
sources. Much of the thesis derives from the “principle of guilt by association”. The
 +
Paulician—T’ondrakec’is were said to be dualists and their rejection of matter as evil
 +
was but an expression of the heretics’ hatred of worldly goods and of the power of
 +
those who possessed them. Such an argument leads necessarily to the conclusion that
 +
religious sectarians are recruited exclusively from the lower classes. Garsoian shows
 +
that Paulicianism-T’ondrakianism was present in all classes of society. 20 The Armenian
 +
sources speak of prominent T'ondrakec’is: ladies of leading families and mistresses of
 +
villages, bishop Yakopos of Hark’, and prince Vrver of Sri . 51 The rural setting of the
 +
sects need consequently not derive exclusively from a peasant background or a love of
 +
the simple life, but from considerations of safety and necessity.
 +
 +
These two arguments of Garsoian are valid but at the same time one cannot, as
 +
the author does, ignore the social and political factors that won adherents for the
 +
movement. The presence of converts to the sect from the upper ranks of society is not
 +
an argument against the social thesis. The Paulicians, the T’ondrakec’is and other here¬
 +
sies like the Bogomils in Bulgaria caused the greatest stir because they had deeply Held
 +
convictions which won adherents among the laity as well as the clergy. In Armenia the
 +
 +
 +
78
 +
 +
 +
 +
Christian church had been from the beginning a part of the aristocratic establish¬
 +
ment. 2 2 After the official conversion of Bulgaria to Christianity, an Eastern Orthodox
 +
Christian establishment was added to the existing secular establishment, and the bur¬
 +
den imposed on the peasantry was increased proportionately, in twelfth century Lan¬
 +
guedoc, the masses were eager to throw off the church’s yoke, while the nobles were
 +
eager to seize the church’s property. This alliance of the nobles with the masses made
 +
Catharism in Languedoc potent. 23 The dissenting religious communities were bound
 +
to assert themselves in the most vigorous way in cases in which they won the support
 +
not only of a suppressed peasantry, but also of some of the members of the establish¬
 +
ment.
 +
 +
The second of the Paulician heresiarchs on east Roman ground, Symeon, was an
 +
imperial official, and in the mid-ninth century their adherent LiSx was a member of
 +
the central bureaucracy with the probable rank of proto — secret is. 24 When in the
 +
ninth century the Byzantine state resumed its persecution of its Asiatic Paulicians, the
 +
Paulicians’ two most famous and successful military leaders in their counter offensive
 +
were both of them former Byz.antine officials. Karbeas was a staff officer of the
 +
commander-in-chief of the army, while his successor John Chrysocheir was a spathar-
 +
ios . 2 5 The Bogomils, whose original adherents had been recruited among the oppressed
 +
and unsophisticated peasantry in Bulgaria, won signal success on two occasions on
 +
which the sect gained converts in the upper ranks of society. 26
 +
 +
These facts show that it would be unrealistic to ignore the secular motives for
 +
adhesion to T'ondrakianism, Bogomilism, and Catharism. The sects would never have
 +
come to anything, and therefore would never have alarmed the establishment if their
 +
adherents had not been inspired by convictions and enthusiasm strong enough to move
 +
them to risk punishment and, in the last resort, the death penalty, rather than recant.
 +
The link between the social and the religious sides of the dissenters was their deep con¬
 +
cern with the problem of evil and social injustice. The grinding pressure of taxation,
 +
the social injustices of the widening gulf between the rich and the poor, and the devas¬
 +
tation caused by the Arab raids, would be enough in combination to convince the vic¬
 +
tims of these tribulations that the world was evil and that it must be the handiwork of
 +
evil creator.
 +
 +
The appearance and development of the T‘ondrakec‘i movement within the
 +
framework of medieval Armenian religious and secular history should be seen as part
 +
of the general revival, economic and cultural, whose origins can be discerned as early as
 +
the eighth century. Its emergence coincided with the defeat of the Paulicians on the
 +
one hand, and the expressions of vitality in such diverse forms as expanding commerce,
 +
new social forms, and rise of cities on the other. Investigation of the social and econ¬
 +
omic setting in which the sect appeared has not produced satisfactory explanations of
 +
their origin in material terms. Yet religion had everywhere, particularly in the Armen¬
 +
ian context, a great impact on daily life, and at the same time the expression of religi¬
 +
ous aspirations was strongly influenced by social origins. The advocating of a return to
 +
 +
 +
79
 +
 +
 +
 +
apostolic times, the preaching of poverty, the intention to free the church from its en¬
 +
slavement to worldly ambition and wealth, protest against the authority of the hier¬
 +
archy, against the abuse of sacraments, corruption among the clergy, are all factors
 +
which could arouse the emotions and fervour of the laity, who became active partici¬
 +
pants.
 +
 +
The reception of the sect may partly be explained by the extent to which its
 +
teaching encouraged the expression of religious ideals. The non-theological aims of the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is inspired panic in the hierarchy of the church and the secular rulers. This
 +
was mainly because the convictions of the movement coincided with those of the
 +
masses and were in some measure connected with popular upheaval. The T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
movement was successful because it involved a cross-section of society, including
 +
noblemen, leading citizens, even the upper privileged clergy. Grigor Magistros stresses
 +
the link between the Tondrakec'is and the masses when he considers the sectarians as
 +
being an “obscure race, multitude”, etc. Answering the question of the heretics that
 +
“they are being persecuted for a grudge”, Grigor Magistros asks: “If they be of us and
 +
of our creed, what is there to grudge them? What academy or doctrine? What famous
 +
men, bishops and fathers, what great cross-bearing brotherhood? What monks with¬
 +
drawn together in any narrow order, and bearing the cross? ... What power of holy
 +
oil for the divine call or for ordination? Are they rich in treasures, or do they form a
 +
separate people with language, king and high priests? They are cut off from us, as the
 +
Georgians are from us and some from yourselves . .. ”. 2 7
 +
 +
The T‘ondrakec‘i movement was not simply religious dissension but a move¬
 +
ment that raised deeper issues with respect to the interrelation of social, political fac¬
 +
tors. Religious developments played an important role in shaping Armenia’s attitude
 +
towards its powerful neighbours. Byzantine annexation espoused separatism with re¬
 +
gard to the empire, which was largely an ethnic, social and cultural separatism that
 +
expressed itself in religious terms. The hidden revulsion created by the rather cavalier
 +
attempts to enforce religious conformity expressed itself through various heterodox
 +
movements such as Paulicianism, Iconoclasm and T'ondrakianism.
 +
 +
The fact that the leader of the T‘ondrakec‘is, Smbat of Zarehawan, was executed
 +
by the Arab emir Apivard, and that Grigor Magistros took extreme measures to sup¬
 +
press the movement indicate that it was more than just Christian religious dissent. In
 +
all the sources there is ample evidence which shows that the T‘ondrakec‘i movement
 +
was not static or governed by rigid dogmatic principles. In the less stable and more tur¬
 +
bulent period of the expanding cities, when traditional bonds between men and their
 +
rural communities were being loosened, and new economic and political bonds were
 +
being created (the conquest of Ani in 1045 by Byzantium), the T‘ondrakec‘i sect had a
 +
natural appeal, for it bound together men of similar ideals. In Armenia they found the
 +
widest support.
 +
 +
We find explicit evidence of this gradual development and growing strength in
 +
the letters of Grigor Magistros. He writes: “The column raised by the Manichaeans,
 +
 +
 +
80
 +
 +
 +
 +
that is the T'ondrakec'is, has been overthrown by my humble agency . . . and that
 +
after these people had for more than two hundred years infested the whole land, and
 +
raised up the fire-altar of their lust and lewdness, and all the time Christ’s flock was
 +
neglected by pastors and heads of pastors, by kings and princes, and wellnigh by all
 +
men”. 28 On another occasion Grigor writes: "When 1 reached Mesopotamia, I rooted
 +
out of the land the tares sown by them. But then seeing how the fouling of the water
 +
increased, I followed the stream to the source, and came to the fire altar of Tondrak”. 29
 +
He stresses the same point in another context as well: “And I came to Mesopotamia
 +
and encountered the deadly, stormy, muddy flood which, flowing forth from the
 +
cursed T‘ondrakec‘i Smbat, rolled death along in its waves”. 30
 +
 +
It is established that Mesopotamia, which extended south ofErznka from Ani to
 +
the lake ofCovk‘, was, prior to 1045, the border land between Armenia and the Byzan¬
 +
tine empire. This proves that the T'ondrakec'is were also active in these very critical
 +
areas. 31 Grigor Magistros, when describing his actions against the sect, relates that he
 +
had found a number of letters sent from all parts of Armenia to the T‘ondrakec‘i
 +
leader Yesu. This particular detail is very interesting for it sheds some light on the org¬
 +
anisation of the sect and its nature and extent of operations. “Those priests who came
 +
forward and made known their heresies, and who were first baptized and took the
 +
names of Polycarp and Nicanor, informed us that the letters which had come from
 +
various districts to the godless leader Yesu, were to be found in those hovels of lewd¬
 +
ness. Make haste, they said, seize and read them, and you will find in them the perver¬
 +
sities of these devilishly minded men. Well, we looked for them, found and read them;
 +
and they were full of wicked magic and lewdness; and this among other things has
 +
been made a ground of complaint against us”. 32
 +
 +
This testimony shows that the movement had won the support of both the lower
 +
and upper classes and had spread “to all the districts” and even more important they
 +
still kept contact with the centre and their leader. The movement may have had varied
 +
expressions in the various districts but all seem to have had the same basis for discon¬
 +
tent and have pursued the same objectives. And it is this strong organisational quality
 +
which gave it such a formidable strength and durability for two hundred years. This
 +
bond of unity is also acknowledged by Grigor Magistros when he informs us that “I
 +
followed the stream to the source, and came to the fire-altar of Tondrak'”. 33
 +
 +
As has been the case with the Paulicians, the Armenian church, with the help of
 +
Byzantium, in the eleventh century struck the final blow. Grigor Magistros, the chief
 +
persecutor of the sect, writes: “We ordered their roof-trees to be thrown down and
 +
burned, and their tenants to be hunted out of our marches. To none of them, however,
 +
did we do any bodily harm, although the law prescribes that they should suffer the ex¬
 +
treme penalty. And, prior to ourselves, many generals and magistrates have given them
 +
over to the sword, and, without pity have spared neither old men nor children; and
 +
quite rightly. What is more, our patriarchs have branded their foreheads and burned
 +
 +
 +
81
 +
 +
 +
 +
into them the image of a fox; others again have put their eyes out. ‘You are blind’ they
 +
said, ‘to spiritual things; therefore you shall not look on sensible things’.” 3 ' 1
 +
 +
Heresy was an easy word to bandy about and sometimes a convenient stick with
 +
which to beat one’s enemies. The word could denote more than erroneous theology
 +
and many tensions in medieval life gave rise to controversies in which charges of heresy
 +
were loosely made. Men could speak of “heresy” when they meant schism, resistance
 +
within the church to administration, political opposition, intellectual arrogance. The
 +
concord that existed between the ecclesiastical and secular powers saw heresy as being
 +
a danger to both. It was the confrontation of the ideal of one man's mind with the
 +
existing reality that released revolutionary action into the world of Christendom. The
 +
intolerance of the Armenian church towards the T'ondrakec'i movement and the inti¬
 +
mate involvement of church and state in its suppression indicate that:
 +
 +
The movement persisted for two centuries because the theological concern of
 +
the sect was not divided from the social. The evils of the age were attributable to the
 +
contemporary lapse of Christian standards. The Church must lead the way by reform¬
 +
ing itself and setting the example of practical Christianity by sacrificing much of its
 +
wealth, relieving the monasteries of their excess of this world’s goods. The grounds for
 +
doctrinal dissension and their interaction on social and economic developments prov¬
 +
ided fertile soil for the acceptance and spread of the practices of the T'ondrakec'is.
 +
 +
The T'ondrakec'i movement would not have been so fiercely attacked and perse¬
 +
cuted had it not developed into a popular movement that drew far-reaching social and
 +
political conclusions from its religious convictions. Obviously the movement did make
 +
certain social and political demands and as a result found considerable support. The
 +
movement spread over the entire country causing serious disturbances. It was in some
 +
measure a popular uprising of the peasantry and the poorer classes of the towns against
 +
the feudal lords and the wealthy hierarchy. And is these implications that forced the
 +
Armenian, Arab and Byzantine authorities join.:y to condemn the sect and assist each
 +
other in its suppression.
 +
 +
Aristakes Lastiverc'i says: “For it is easy to be on one’s guard against outside
 +
enemies, but it is hard to shelter oneself from the assaults of one’s own kinsmen, as
 +
happened to Abela and Joseph. Now these enemies of ours, had they been of foreign
 +
speaking races, no matter one could easily be guarded against;but as the blessed John
 +
writes: ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us’ and therefore it is difficult to
 +
know them”. 35
 +
 +
Grigor of Narek calls the executor of Smbat of Zarehawan “a rod of anger in the
 +
hand of the Lord Jesus”; 36 while Grigor Magistros requests those sectarians who had
 +
survived the persecution to “leave us and our land in Mesopotamia, and all who are
 +
under the supremacy of the holy kingdom of the Romans [Byzantines], in peace and
 +
quiet; teach and confirm your evil heresy neither by writing nor by speech. And now
 +
may their blood and your own be on your head”. 37
 +
 +
 +
82
 +
 +
 +
 +
The presence of the T‘ondrakec‘is in Syrian Mesopotamia is also very interesting.
 +
Grigor Magistros in his letter to the Syrian patriarch requests that the latter should also
 +
denounce the heretics and since “God has made thee worthy of the struggle and cam¬
 +
paign, in order that thou, like the other fathers, thy predecessors, niightest take the
 +
field against the God-resisting sword of heretical wizardry and against the mischievous
 +
gabble of this obscure race”. 38
 +
 +
These quotations are enough to prove that the T‘ondrakec‘i movement was
 +
closely associated with political events and circumstances. The movement was opposed
 +
to both the internal and the external enemies of Armenian society.
 +
 +
 +
83
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
Appendix I
 +
 +
 +
FEUDALISM IN ARMENIA
 +
 +
 +
This institution was studied by Professor Adontz in his first great work,Armenia in the
 +
period of Justinian: The political conditions based on the naxarar system, translated
 +
by N. G. Garsoian (Lisbon, 1970), Chapter XV, pp.327-371.
 +
 +
The validity of Adontz’s thesis of a similarity between the Armenian naxarar sys¬
 +
tem and western feudalism rests entirely on the premise that the term “feudalism”
 +
may properly be applied to other than medieval-European institutions. This thesis of
 +
similarity between the Armenian naxarar system and west-European feudalism has
 +
found favour among many Soviet scholars.
 +
 +
The whole section on feudalism should be reviewed in the light of the more
 +
recent studies of this institution, which have dated some of Adontz’s concepts. The
 +
interpretation of feudalism and the understanding of the term have developed exten¬
 +
sively since the beginning of the century, and the problems have been complicated by
 +
the disagreement of western and Marxist scholars on some of the fundamental aspects.
 +
The most important work to be consulted is of necessity C. Toumanoffs, Studies in
 +
Christian Caucasian History (Washington, D.C., 1963), pp.33-144, in which he elabor¬
 +
ates the crucial distinction between Armenian feudalism and dynasticism (p.l 10).
 +
There are important dissimilarities observed by Toumanoff, derived from the general
 +
survival of what is called “dynasticism” in the “feudal” pattern such as the apparent
 +
absence of the crucial act of homage as distinct from the oath of fealty (p.l 17, n.192).
 +
Without this distinction, the question of the correctness with which the Armenian
 +
naxarar system may be called “feudal” in the western sense cannot receive a valid
 +
answer. On the question of the extension of the term “feudalism” to various institu¬
 +
tions, see R. Coulborn (ed.). Feudalism in History (Princeton, 1956), which is, how¬
 +
ever, poor on Armenia. The entire question of comparison must evidently hinge on the
 +
crucial and debated definition of the term “feudalism” and the legitimacy of applying
 +
it to non-European societies.
 +
 +
A general survey, with excellent bibliographies and discussion, on feudalism in
 +
the Byzantine Empire is provided by G. Ostrogorsky, “Agrarian conditions in the Byz¬
 +
antine Empire in the Middle Ages” in: Cambridge Economic History of Europe, I
 +
(1942), pp.194-223; 579-583; A. A. Vasiliev, “On the question of Byzantine Feudal¬
 +
ism”, B, Vlil (1933), pp.584-603; E. H. Kantorowicz, “Feudalism in the Byzantine
 +
Empire”, pp.151-166 in: Feudalism in History, edited by R. Coulborn; P. Charanis,
 +
 +
 +
85
 +
 +
 +
 +
Social, Economic and Political Life in the Byzantine Empire, Collected Studies (Lon¬
 +
don, 1973), pp.53-118, 39-57, 94-153,412-24.
 +
 +
 +
86
 +
 +
 +
 +
Appendix II
 +
 +
 +
THE PHUNDAGIAGITAE
 +
 +
 +
Was there a relation between the T‘ondrakec‘i and the Phundagiagitae sects?
 +
 +
The earliest document concerning the Phundagiagitae is a letter by a certain
 +
Byzantine monkEuthymius, addressed to his compatriots of the diocese of Acmonia in
 +
the province of Phrygia in Asia Minor. 1 This letter (A.D.1050), associates the sect with
 +
the T‘ondrakec‘is and ascribes an Armenian origin to them. Some scholars have accep¬
 +
ted this identification (G. Ficker, K. Ter Mkrttschian, N. Akinian) and have suggested
 +
that the name should be interpreted as Tondragiagites.
 +
 +
The name Phundagiagitae has not yet received a satisfactory explanation. On the
 +
one hand the name Phundagiagitae/Phundaitae is derived from “0ou$ai” itself a Greek
 +
form of the Latin phunda meaning a bag or scrip that the heretics were supposed to
 +
have carried. The heretics are supposed to have acquired this name from their life of
 +
poverty, which compelled them to beg for their living. 2 On the other hand, some other
 +
scholars have associated the name with the supposed founder of the sect, a certain
 +
Phoundas, a disciple of Mani. According to Akinian, as in the Slavic languages, so also
 +
in the Greek of the tenth and eleventh centuries the Armenian sound “t" ( [b ) could
 +
also have been translated with the Greek “4>” (ph), cf. Russian Aphanasia= Athanasia. 3
 +
 +
According to Euthymius of Acmonia’s Letter , 4 John Tzurillas was the first tea¬
 +
cher of this “newly appeared heresy”. Euthymius accuses John of unlawfully assuming
 +
the monastic garb, forcing his wife to enter a nunnery and living unchastely.
 +
 +
According to Euthymius, the heretics rejected the Christian dogmas of the Re¬
 +
surrection of the Dead, of the Second Coming, and of the Last Judgment. They rejec¬
 +
ted the Old Testament, the order of the priesthood and the worship of saints, saying
 +
“God alone is holy”; all the prayers of the Church, with the exception of the Lord’s
 +
Prayer, they described as “babbling” or “vain repetitions” (cf. Matt. VI: 7), and they
 +
denied the efficacy of the Cross, the validity of Baptism and of the Eucharist. 6 The
 +
Phundagiagitae used the New Testament for exegetical purpose and relied above all on
 +
the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Euthymius also mentions the Epistles of
 +
Paul as an object of their particular veneration. The Phundagiagitae apparently claimed
 +
that the words of the Gospels and of St. Paul “breathed again” owing to their interpre¬
 +
tation of them. One of their basic quotations and sources of doctrine was St. Paul’s
 +
statement “for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” {Romans, 14: 23). Accor¬
 +
ding to Euthymius they called themselves Christians.
 +
 +
 +
87
 +
 +
 +
 +
Thus the movement with its teachings and claims bears a very close resemblance
 +
to that of the Armenian T'ondrakec'is, if not identical. As with the Paulicians and the
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is, so also the main concern of the Phundagiagjtae seems to have been to
 +
emphasise the spiritual dimension of Christianity, at the same time taking care to avoid
 +
confrontation with the orthodox. Euthymius identifies the Phundagiagitae with the
 +
Bogomils 7 and there is no reason to doubt this judgment.
 +
 +
 +
88
 +
 +
 +
 +
Appendix III
 +
 +
 +
NEW EVIDENCE ON YOVHANNES THE PRIEST:
 +
AUTHOR OF THE KEY OF TRUTH 1
 +
 +
 +
In a letter dated 1791 the Armenian kat‘olikos Lukas informs the Armenian patriarch
 +
of Constantinople of a certain individual whom he has put in prison at EJmiacin for
 +
having denounced his faith several times and, more significantly, that while in Karin and
 +
in Xnus “he has associated himself with the T‘ondrakec‘i evil sect”. From the subse¬
 +
quent correspondence of the kafotikos it becomes apparent that Yovhannrs, the sect¬
 +
arian, after being imprisoned in Ejmiacin for six months, managed to escape to Xnus.
 +
There is enough information about the events that followed to be able to reconstruct
 +
the history of his final arrest and tragic death.
 +
 +
Who was this mysterious character accused of having affiliation with the T‘ond-
 +
rakec‘i sect? Before attempting to answer this question, we must describe in some de¬
 +
tail a chain of events that occurred about half a century later and the debates that
 +
followed. The study of these events will facilitate the task of answering the above
 +
question.
 +
 +
In 1837 the Armenian bishop at Karin directed the attention of the Armenian
 +
ecclesiastical authorities to the appearance in the village of Ark'weli in Russian Arm¬
 +
enia of a group of heretics who had migrated from the Armenian provinces dominated
 +
by the Turks, at the close of the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829. Upon this the
 +
Synod of the Armenian church began an investigation into the tenets and practices of
 +
the sectarians. Two priests were despatched to the village of Ark‘weli to make the in¬
 +
vestigation. All the confessions were negative. The people reluctantly confessed that
 +
they had known the priest in Xnus, who had taught the heresy in question, but de¬
 +
clared that they had not only refused to receive him, but had “anathematized him”.
 +
Finally, they gave a written promise“forever to repudiate the evil heresy and to remain
 +
steadfast in the confession and the laws of the orthodox Armenian church”.
 +
 +
The Synod sent a request to the military governor of the Caucasus “to direct the
 +
local civil authorities to watch the conduct and activities of the inhabitants of Ark’weli
 +
with an eye to the heresy which had appeared in their midst”. As to the nature of the
 +
heresy in question, the Synod wrote: “The heresy of the T‘ondrakec‘is consists in this,
 +
that they reject the mediation of saints, contemn their images, deny the use of fasts,
 +
repudiate the value of prayers, reject the immaculateness of the Holy Virgin Mother of
 +
God and the sacrament of Baptism”.
 +
 +
 +
89
 +
 +
 +
 +
This correspondence between the Synod and the civil authorities was still in pro¬
 +
gress when, in December 1837, an advice came to the Synod from the spiritual author¬
 +
ities of Alexandrapol (Leninakan) that a certain individual, who had only in the pre¬
 +
ceding July adopted the heresy of the T‘ondrakec‘is,had made an important confession:
 +
in the province of Xnus in the village of Carum fifty-five years previously, a certain
 +
Armenian priest OhannSs (i.e._Yovhannes) had joined the sect, and composed a book
 +
called The Key of Truth. This Ohannes, under pressure from the Ottoman government,
 +
had afterwards, along with his companions and family, accepted the Mohammedan
 +
faith. 3
 +
 +
In the meantime, the civil and criminal court of Tiflis, having investigated the
 +
whole case from 1837 to 1845, had declared that the sectarians, under the criminal
 +
laws of 1842, were subject to be drafted into the army; but inasmuch as they had orga¬
 +
nised their sect before the promulgation of the amnesty of 1841, the court, pursuant
 +
to the first article of that amnesty, had first decided only to demand the cost of each
 +
heretic’s trial;but later they were exiled to Siberia. 4
 +
 +
This disclosure led to the seizure of a manuscript entitled The Key of Truth now
 +
preserved in the Armenian Matenadaran under no.6710. It is written on octavo paper
 +
in minuscule and consists of about 149 pages. The work, which is purely dogmatic in
 +
nature, contains some seventeen chapters of explanation and admonition on the faith,
 +
stressing in particular the significance and the importance of baptism. This section is
 +
followed by an account of the ritual to be used for baptism and ordination, some
 +
additional chapters of commentary on various minor points, and a catechism. The sole
 +
copy of the text is mutilated. About thirty-eight pages were destroyed before its
 +
surrender, and numerous words have been carefully and deliberately erased. Further¬
 +
more, the existing manuscript is not the original version of the treatise, but a copy
 +
made in the province of Taron in 1782.
 +
 +
The relationship of the sectarians to the book The Key of Truth became a sub¬
 +
ject for debate in academic circles. After the fourteenth century, the Armenian sources
 +
ceased to speak of the T'ondrakec'is and now suddenly a curious document attested
 +
the survival of the Tondrakec'is, in the very same historical environment. Besides this
 +
external association the sectarians had preserved and transferred from Xnus to Sirak
 +
the manual of their teachings in the shape of the book The Key of Truth. One impor¬
 +
tant consideration to bear in mind is that we do not possess any Paulician or T'ondra-
 +
kec'i writings. The ferocious persecution to which they were subjected had long since
 +
obliterated all the records of their activities, and all that was known concerning their
 +
concepts, beliefs and activities derived from their opponents.
 +
 +
The attention of scholars was first called to The Key of Truth and its contents
 +
by Alexander Eric'ian in 1880. In the P'orj for October he described in detail the
 +
whole movement of Xnus, the investigation that followed, and publishedextracts from
 +
The Key of Truth — and made the following observation in his conclusion “It would
 +
be very difficult to identify the sect of 1837 with the T‘ondrakec‘is, had not the above
 +
 +
 +
90
 +
 +
 +
 +
manual The Key of Truth been discovered in the possession of the Ark‘weii inhabit¬
 +
ants”. While discussing the possible affiliation of the ancient and modem T‘ondrakec‘is
 +
he reminds us that “sectarian movements do not cease to exist but usually after per¬
 +
iods of inactivity re-emerge having undergone various changes”. 5
 +
 +
The next scholar to study the subject was Sargisean in'1893 6 , who was convin¬
 +
ced that, apart from the similarity of names, there is nothing in common between the
 +
ancient and modern T‘ondrakec‘is and that The Key of Truth could not have been
 +
written before 1782. Therefore we can do no more than conclude on the basis of in¬
 +
ternal evidence that the doctrines of The Key of Truth dire a synthesis of Manichaean,
 +
Calvinist and Lutheran doctrines, and consequently the above sectarians were not
 +
T‘ondrakec‘is but Neo-Manichaeans, Calvinists or Lutherans.
 +
 +
The above two studies and the findings of the Synod prompted K. Ter Mkrtt-
 +
schian to write an article in the Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte , 7 The article contains
 +
an abridged translation of The Key of Truth. The author is of the opinion that the
 +
document reveals explicit Anabaptist influence, and in this connection quotes from
 +
the archives of the Synod an incident which shows how the sectarians performed the
 +
two most important sacraments of the Church: Baptism and Communion. Their bap¬
 +
tism had been administered in connection with the Lord’s Supper, wherein the ele¬
 +
ments used had been a loaf of plain unleavened bread, and wine served in a common
 +
vessel placed on a wooden table. Upon the bread they pronounced the words: “Take
 +
eat this is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Upon the wine, the words: “This is the
 +
blood of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The candidate for baptism had approached the table
 +
uncovered, when the ministering officer had poured upon his head a handful of water,
 +
saying: “In the name of the Father”, then a second handful, saying: “And of the Son”
 +
then a third, saying: “And of the Holy Spirit, Amen”. From this Ter Mkrttschian sup¬
 +
poses that the author of The Key of Truth had been to Europe and while there had
 +
associated with some Anabaptists from whom he had picked up these tenets and
 +
practices. He continues “unfortunately it is still a mystery, as to whether The Key of
 +
Truth is altogether a new creation of Ohannes, or is composed of various ancient docu¬
 +
ments, or is just a copy of an old treatise”.
 +
 +
But on finding some Gnostic elements in the document he concludes that these
 +
sectarians could well have been the remnants of the ancient T‘ondrakec‘is, who for
 +
centuries had been loyal to their principles and practices and under the influence of
 +
the new Protestant activities were once again revitalised.
 +
 +
In 1898 Conybeare 8 published the text of The Key of Truth with the English
 +
translation. Despite the lateness of the surviving document, Conybeare, accepted The
 +
Key of Truth as an authentic work originally composed in the period between the
 +
seventh and the ninth centuries, while he believed the prayers and the sections related
 +
to the Liturgy to be “older than the controversial chapters which accompany them,
 +
and to belong to the fourth or fifth century”. 9 Conybeare regarded Smbat of Zare-
 +
hawan, the T‘ondrakec‘i leader, as the author of The Key of Truth and wrongly identi-
 +
 +
 +
91
 +
 +
 +
 +
fied him with the Bagralid Smbat the Confessor. 10 He insisted that the doctrines of
 +
The Key of Truth were similar to those doctrines preached by the Monarchianists of
 +
the second century.
 +
 +
Garsoian, in spite of accepting the fact that the “script is not the original version
 +
of the treatise, but a copy made in the province of Taron in 1782” 11 , agrees with
 +
Conybeare that the archaic language of the text indicates that the work itself may have
 +
been composed as early as the ninth century. Garsoian writes that the obvious possibil¬
 +
ity of alteration of vocabulary and style in the course of many copyings makes the
 +
linguistic evidence for dating the original composition of The Key of Truth at best in¬
 +
conclusive. But on the evidence of theological similarity between the doctrine of The
 +
Key of Truth and that found in the medieval sources. The Key of Truth is an authentic
 +
work originally composed in the period between the seventh and ninth centuries. 12
 +
This is remarkable, but not surprising, for Garsoian sees the T‘ondrakec‘i sect as a con¬
 +
tinuation of Paulicianism. But as 1 have endeavoured to show, the T‘ondrakec‘i move¬
 +
ment in Armenia began independently of the Paulicians.
 +
 +
Conybeare’s demonstration that the language, style and doctrines of The Key of
 +
Truth are most closely related to those of Armenian authors of the ninth and tenth
 +
centuries has been questioned by critics and all scholars who have in some form or
 +
other written about The Key of Truth. The main opposition to the ninth-century date
 +
assigned to the treatise by Conybeare came from Macler 13 : “Je crois que M. Cony¬
 +
beare s’est un peu avance en datant La Clef de la Verite du IXe siecle. L’imprecision
 +
meme du style porterait a faire descendre beaucoup plus bas la date de redaction de ce
 +
precieux document des Pauliciens”. This opinion is also shared by Meillet 14 : “M.
 +
Conybeare fait remonter la composition jusqu’au milieu du IXe siScle. Sans vouloir
 +
diminuer la trSs haute importance de la publication, il sera permis d’exprimer des
 +
doutes a ce sujet . . . les probabilites sont pourune epoque plus recente”. The English
 +
reviewer wrote “in this obscure and persecuted sect we are told to recognise the sole
 +
survivor of orimitive. ante-Nicene Christianity . . . This is a tremendous claim and
 +
needs to be proved up to the hilt. His book suffers from a too enthusiastic appreciation
 +
of The Key”. 15 The German reviewer Bonwetsch 16 regarded the thesis of Conybeare as
 +
unconvincing and observed that there is no relation between The Key of Truth and
 +
Smbat of Zarehawan or with the Pondrakec'i sect in general.
 +
 +
We said earlier that Conybeare accepted The Key of Truth as a work originally
 +
composed in the period between the seventh and ninth centuries. As final evidence for
 +
the above conclusion Conybeare quotes a passage from the colophon: “1 humbly en¬
 +
treat you with warm love and faith to forgive the shortcomings and the insufficiencies:
 +
they are not due to ourselves, but have found their way into it as being of unpractised
 +
copyists”. This is an indication, Conybeare observes, that the work “before it reached
 +
his hands in 1782, had been handed down through several generations” and therefore
 +
the remark is the copyist’s. But in my opinion the above observation was made by the
 +
author himself, and it makes no sense if attributed to the alleged copyist. If we take
 +
 +
 +
92
 +
 +
 +
 +
full account of the whole colophon in which the author speaks about his undertaking
 +
in terms and in a style very similar to the exordium, it convinces us that both are from
 +
the same pen. Conybeare accepts the exordium as being “unmistakably from the pen
 +
of some great leader and missionary of the Paulieian church”. 17
 +
 +
The reason behind this inconsistency is that many scholars think that because
 +
the word “all-glorious” (amenapaycaf) is written in small letters, it may be an incom¬
 +
plete word and the continuation of a sentence. But from the manuscript we get no
 +
impression of pages missing at this point, and therefore the colophon is also by the
 +
author Yovhannes Vahaguni. There could be several explanations for the colophon. It
 +
may be that Yovhannes Vahaguni dictated the work to a copyist and then deleted the
 +
errors; or that after having seen the various copies of his work, he added the above
 +
colophon to his manuscript; or simply that, being incapable of writing correctly him¬
 +
self, he blamed potential future copyists.
 +
 +
Conybeare’s demonstration that the language and style of The Key are most
 +
closely related to those of Armenian authors of the ninth and tenth centuries is incon¬
 +
clusive. It is true that The Key of Truth is written in the classical form of Armenian.
 +
The sixth century is considered as the line of demarcation between the use of classical
 +
Armenian and the vulgar tongue which rapidly predominated, 18 so the fact that classi¬
 +
cal Armenian was a dead language by the tenth century is not a strong argument for
 +
assigning the composition of The Key to a period not later than the tenth century.
 +
Abetyan 19 has shown the occasional archaising use of classical Armenian as late as the
 +
nineteenth century. This is particularly true of ecclesiastical writers. One must not for¬
 +
get that the author of the document, Yovhannes Vahaguni, had been to the monastery
 +
at Venice and it is very difficult to estimate accurately his knowledge of classical
 +
Armenian, particularly since the sections on prayer, liturgy and scriptures (in which
 +
Conybeare sees a clear style) contain verbatim quotations from corresponding religious
 +
literature. So that to regard the work as belonging to the eighth or ninth centuries on
 +
the basis of language and style is not possible.
 +
 +
What do we know' about the author of The Key of Truth'! The Ark'weli deacon
 +
Gevork* Sargisian from whom in 1838 the document was seized by the Armenian
 +
ecclesiastical authorities, had prior to that destroyed a number of pages, particularly
 +
from the colophon, where we would expect to find information about the author. For¬
 +
tunately we have important evidence about the author and his manual and how it
 +
reached Ark'weli, in a written recantation dated 20th January 1838, by the same
 +
Gevork* Sargisian and signed by twelve Ark'weli residents. The text is as follows:
 +
 +
We the undersigned, inhabitants of Ark'weli, submit this religious document to
 +
the authorities at Gumri to the effect that during the Ottoman occupation, there
 +
appeared in the village of fhrum a priest named Ohannes, who had narrated a
 +
book called The Key of Truth, who himself became a Muslim and died tragically.
 +
While he was alive he gave this book to Mesrop Budalian and Mesrop gave it to
 +
Kirakos Avdalian when he migrated. After the death of Kirakos the book was in
 +
 +
 +
93
 +
 +
 +
 +
the possession of his son, who with the deacon Gevork' Sargisian had read the
 +
book and had believed in everything that was written in it, regarding it an auth¬
 +
entic scripture, which they also taught to Sargis . . . But now, knowing that
 +
everything written in the book is false and anti-Christian and against the beliefs
 +
of the Armenian Church, we repent and seek forgiveness ... 2 0
 +
 +
This evidence of the Arkhveli residents and other indirect sources leaves us in no doubt
 +
that this Ohannes and the Yovhannes mentioned in the letters of the kat'olikos quoted
 +
at the beginning of this chapter are one and the same person.
 +
 +
The first reference to Ohannes in the letters of the kat'olikos Lukas dates back
 +
to 13th Julv 1789. In this letter the kat'olikos enquiresjibout a “certain priest who is
 +
in Xnus”. 2 1 Therefore, the ecclesiastical authorities in EJmiacin knew about the sect¬
 +
arian movement as early as 1789 but had taken no steps against it. In his biography
 +
Paul Meherian 22 writes that in 1773 while travelling to Karin he had met Armenians
 +
who had denounced their faith and were “such sectarians as are the Tondrakec'is or
 +
Arewordik'”. 2 3
 +
 +
Thfcn the account continues, that in the vicinity of Karin in the monastery of
 +
Bof Smasur a prelate by the name of Ohannes, assuming the style of a bishop, had or¬
 +
dained fourteen priests. In this connection there was great uproar and a major contro¬
 +
versy began. In order to avoid being persecuted by the Armenians the self-styled
 +
bishop fled to Manazkert. In 1774-1781 a certain individual named Ohannes arrived at
 +
Constantinople, who after committing a major offence, was sentenced to eight months
 +
imprisonment. Conybeare at this point suggests that it was the Armenian patriarch
 +
who imprisoned Ohannes, from where the latter escaped and arrived at Xnus. 24
 +
 +
Conybeare has misunderstood Meherian, for_the patriarch did not imprison
 +
Ohannes, but on the contrary intervened and freed Ohannes, from where he went to
 +
the Armenian Catholic Convent at Venice. But he did not stay there for long: for
 +
“after a few days as one demon-possessed and confused" he was banished from the
 +
Convent and returned to Constantinople. Then he married, and denied his faith and
 +
after some time travelled to Karin, then to Mu$ and two years later to Xnus. 2 5 He was
 +
ordained a priest and “Thereafter — he began to sow the seeds of his evil sect in the
 +
village of Marux and in the surrounding villages”. 2 6
 +
 +
That the above testimony of Meherian is accurate and trustworthy is clear from
 +
a letter of the kat'olikos dated 11 th May 1792 and addressed to the Amienian patri¬
 +
arch of Constantinople, which reads: “Last year (1791) a certain priest Ohannes, who
 +
on several occasions has denied his faith and religion and later received ordination by
 +
force from the governor of Xnus, appeared in Karin and Xnus and is teaching his evil
 +
doctrine which is not only foul but also related to the T'ondrakec'is”. 2 7 It is evident
 +
that the kat'olikos could no longer ignore or tolerate what was going on; so he took
 +
immediate steps to put an end to Ohannes’ activities.
 +
 +
Soon with the help of government officials the sectarian was brought to Ejmia-
 +
cin and imprisoned. 2 8 In 1791 the kat'olikos wrote to the abbot of the monastery at
 +
 +
 +
94
 +
 +
 +
 +
MuS as follows: “1 am writing to you concerning those led astray by him (Ohannes).
 +
Have they returned to the right path or not? Inform me about them. The one who is
 +
with us has repudiated his doctrines and seeks repentance, but I am a little apprehen¬
 +
sive, for he may go back to his old ways. To keep him longer would not be right, for
 +
he is a family man ... ”. 29
 +
 +
In 1791-1792 the abbot of the monastery at MuS wrote to the kat'olikos regard¬
 +
ing Ohannes, that the latter had repented and sought pardon. The kat‘olikos replied
 +
that, if that was so, the local inhabitants should send him a'recommcndation’ guaran¬
 +
teeing safe conduct.
 +
 +
In 1792 the requested “recommendation” reached Ejmiacin. The letter which is
 +
signed by several of the priests and civil officials of Xnus, testifies that Ohannes had
 +
acknowledged his errors andjepented. 30 But the kat‘o!ikos was still very cautious and
 +
extremely reluctant to free Ohannes. He requested two priests from Xnus and two pro¬
 +
vincials to accompany Ohannes to Ejmiacin “where he would be given the opportunity
 +
to demonstrate his repentance and confess personally his allegiance to the doctrines of
 +
the Armenian church, which he must promise he will never falsify, but remain always
 +
in the truth”. 3 1
 +
 +
But there is no evidence that Ohannes did appear before the kat'olikos. Accord¬
 +
ing to Meherian, after his return the governor of Xnus, his patron, was executed in
 +
1801, Ohannes was forced by the Turks to return to Islam. But this evidence is not
 +
supported. In the minutes of the Synod at Ejmiacin under 11th May 1838, it is written
 +
that the military governor of the Caucasus was informed that “one of the Armenian
 +
priests, Ohannes, who had fallen into this sect, has narrated a book The Key of Truth
 +
and when the Turks learned about the heresy of this priest, they forced him to aban¬
 +
don his beliefs and accept Islam with his family”. 32 On 20th January 1838, the inhab¬
 +
itants of Ark‘weli reported the death of Ohannes. 3 3
 +
 +
On 28th April 1841, the inhabitants of Ark'weli under severe pressure confessed
 +
that in accordance with the teachings of The Key of Truth they had foolishly baptized
 +
each other, and in the register it is recorded that of those baptized, four were 60-80
 +
years old. “Those baptized below the age of 30 are not by Ohannes, the follower of
 +
T*ondrakec‘i, who later became a Turk (i.e. Mohammedan).” 34 In the same register we
 +
find six names, ages from thirty to fifty, who were also “baptized in the same way by
 +
a non-priest”, and another was baptized by a disciple of Ohannes, Mesrop who died in
 +
Xnus. 3 5 So it is clear that in accordance with The Key of Truth baptism was valid
 +
only after the age of thirty and Ohannes had certainly adhered strictly to his own
 +
teaching. So he was still alive and active while the testimony of the inhabitants of
 +
Ark‘weli suggested that he had died in western Armenia.
 +
 +
It seems that the Ark‘welians had deliberately confused the authorities, particul¬
 +
arly as regards chronology. This is made explicit by the text of The Key of Truth. On
 +
the title page of The Key of Truth we read that it “was copied in the era of the Saviour
 +
1782”. This has been crudely changed to 1832, while the date of the colophon 1782
 +
 +
 +
95
 +
 +
 +
 +
was left unchanged. 36 It is difficult to say what the reason was behind these deliberate
 +
attempts at cover-up. In spite of all these confusing reports, Eric‘ian, who had first¬
 +
hand knowledge of the events and had investigated all the testimonies, had reached the
 +
conclusion that the author of The Key of Truth had been executed by the Turkish
 +
authorities.
 +
 +
The crucial testimony in deciding the date of Ohannes’s death is found in a letter
 +
of the kat'oiikos Lukas to the patriarch of Constantinople dated October 1793. 3 7 In
 +
it the kat'oiikos writes: “to inform you about the end of the priest from Xnus, the
 +
founder of the evil sect, who fled from here, although it was reported that he had re¬
 +
pudiated, he did not return. The governor of the place (Xnus) has^executed him for his
 +
evil deeds and in this way the evil among us was removed”. SoOhanneshad been exe¬
 +
cuted before October 1793.
 +
 +
It is very difficult to picture the role of Ohannes (Yovhannes) Vahaguni in the
 +
adventurous and tempestuous life drama of the author of The Key of Truth. Sat&sean
 +
identifies Yovhannes Vahaguni with the self-styled bishop of Borcimasur or the gover¬
 +
nor of Xnus, who according to him was by origin an Armenian sectarian who had later
 +
adopted the faith of Islam. This is a conjecture not yet proven. One thing is clear,
 +
namely that the execution of Yovhannes followed the execution of his patron, the
 +
governor of Xnus. The execution of the latter may have been due to his sympathies to¬
 +
wards the sectarians or because he did not take appropriate action against the sect.
 +
 +
The conclusion from this discussion is that The Key of Truth is a corrupted doc¬
 +
ument, owing to later additions, and therefore it is not possible to form from it an
 +
opinion about the ancient T'ondrakec'i movement.
 +
 +
 +
96
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
98
 +
 +
 +
Tondrakian centers
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
NOTES TO CHAPTER II
 +
(pp.7-24)
 +
 +
 +
1. Movses Xorenac'i, History of the Armenians. Translation and commentary on
 +
the literary sources by Robert W. Thomson (Harvard University Press, 1978),
 +
p.330.
 +
 +
2. Koriwn, Vark' Maitoc'i, M. Abeiyan, ed. (Erevan, 1941), p.68.
 +
 +
3. Ibid., p.40.
 +
 +
4. Movses Xorenac'i, History of the Armenians, p.331.
 +
 +
5. H. G. Melk'onyan, Hay-asorakan haraberut'yunneri patmut'yunic ‘ (From the
 +
history of Armenian-Syrian relations) (Erevan, 1970), pp.67-70.
 +
 +
6. Kanonagirk ‘ Hayoc' (Book of Armenian canons), A. Wean, ed. (Tiflis, 1913),
 +
pp. 80-82. English translation from N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy (The
 +
Hague, 1967), pp.82-83.
 +
 +
7. St. T. Melik'-BaxSyan, Pavlikyaniariuml Hayastanum (The Paulician move¬
 +
ment in Armenia) (Erevan, 1953), pp. 76-77.
 +
 +
8. Kanonagirk'Hayoc', Vazgen Hakobyan, ed. (Erevan, 1964), pp.534-535.
 +
 +
9. Aristakes Lastiverc'i, History, K. N. Yuzbaiyan, ed.(Erevan, 1963), xxiii, p.133.
 +
 +
10. Matenadaran, MS. 795, fol. 129a.
 +
 +
11. Georgius Monachus, Chronicon, C. de Boor, ed.(Leipzig, 1904), p. 721.
 +
 +
12. Petrus Siculus, Historia, PG, CIV, 1253.
 +
 +
13. Grigor Magistros, Letters, p.16; H. M. Bartikyan, 'Otvetnoe poslanie Grigoruya
 +
Pakhlavuni Siriyskomu katolikosu’ (The answer of Grigor Pahlavouni to the
 +
Catholicos of Syria), Palestinskiy Sbornik, 7(70)(1962), p.139.
 +
 +
14. K. N. Yuzba'Syan, ‘K istorii Pavlikianskogo dvizheniia v Vizantii v IX vv’, Vop-
 +
rosy istorii religii i ateizma, IV(Moscow, 1956), pp.246-279.
 +
 +
15. Occurs in the text of the canons of the Council ofDvin (554) in the “Oath of
 +
Union", BL (Tiflis, 1901), p.73. In the text the name appears in the genitive
 +
form: PawUkearwc' , which is also the form used by Yovhannes Ojnec'i (717-
 +
728) in the discourse 'Contra Paulicianos’; see Domini Johannis Philosophi
 +
Ozniensis armenorum catholici opera, par R. P. Johannem Bapt. Aucher
 +
( Venice, 1834), p. 78.
 +
 +
16. Occurs in the Canons of the Council of Albania in 702-705,Samuel of Ani,
 +
Collection from Historical Writings, p.286. The genitive form would be Paylik-
 +
eanc'. The correct explanation of this form was first given by H. M. Bart'ikyan
 +
 +
 +
99
 +
 +
 +
 +
in ‘Pavlikyan larlman mi k'ani aibyumeri gnahatman surfe’(Concerning the
 +
evaluation of certain sources on the Paulician movement)!Erevan, 1961), pp.
 +
31-33 and in ‘Armyanskie istochniki dlya izucheniya istorii Pavlikianskogo dvi-
 +
zheniya’ (Armenian sources for the study of the Paulician movement), Palest-
 +
inskiy Sbornik, 4(67)(1959), pp.133-146. It is in the nominative case and is
 +
used in this form in the Canons of the Council of Dvin in 719. Kanonagirk’
 +
Hayoc‘, p.516. This form is also used by Dawit' son of Alavka, paylikeank‘-n.
 +
see iM. BaxSyan, Paviikyan iariumd Hayustanum, p.135.
 +
 +
17. Grigor Magistros, Letters, p.161. Derives from the form Pawlikeank'.
 +
 +
18. In the Canons of the Council of Dvin, Kanonagirk‘ Hayoc'. p.516, see note 8
 +
for the variants of this form of the name.
 +
 +
19. Occurs in the Canons of the Council of Dvin, ibid., p.516.
 +
 +
20. In the Canons of the Council of Dvin, ibid., pp.516-8, Polikeank' is the variant
 +
form of Pawiikeank".
 +
 +
21. See Canon XXXII, p.534. In the variant forms there is also the form moli-
 +
 +
keanlC. This is another interpretation of the word, ‘moli’ means ‘possessive ’. The
 +
form Polikeank‘ occurs in the works of Grigor of Narek, Matenadaran MS.
 +
 +
1568; cf. K. Yuzbaiyan, ‘Tondrakskoe dvizhenie v Armenii i Pavlikiane’ (The
 +
Tondrakian movement in Armenia and the Paulicians), IAN A, 9 (1956), p.34.
 +
 +
22. K. Ter Mkrttschian, Die Paulikianer, p 63. This explanation has been widely
 +
accepted. See F. C. Conybeare, The Key of Truth, p.cv; S. Runciman, The
 +
Medieval Manichee, p.47; M. Loos, ‘Deuxcontributions a I’histoire des Paulici-
 +
ens’, and ‘Origine du nom des Pauliciens’, BS, XVIII (1957), p.213;N. Garso-
 +
ian. The Paulician Heresy, p.145; E. G. Ter Minasyan, Mljnadaryan alandneri
 +
cagman ev zargac'man patmut'yunic' (History of the rise and development of
 +
sects in the Middle Ages)(Erevan, 1968), p.l 17.
 +
 +
23. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.108, n.8.
 +
 +
24. The identification is tempting especially since Hiibschmann and Alary an trace
 +
mc\ne back to the Syriacmesalieyane, whence the name Messalians is derived.
 +
 +
25 H. Alx&yan, Etymological dictionary of the Armenian language (Erevan, 1931)
 +
Vol. V, pp.818-819.
 +
 +
26. M. Abelyan, History of Armenian Literature, pp.620-7.
 +
 +
27. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.36, n.3; K. N. YuzbaSyan, ‘De l'origine du nom aPauli-
 +
ciensttREA, IX (1972), pp.355-77.
 +
 +
28. Mas'udi, Le livre de Tavertissement et de la revision, BGA, VIII. p.151; 163;
 +
Quddma, Kitdb a-kharadj. BGA, V, p.254. See Hewsen, ‘Armenia according to
 +
the Alxarahac'uyc'. REA, 11 (1965), p.333, n.60. Pavtakaran is the flat land be¬
 +
tween the Kur and Arax rivers including the plain of Mughan south of the
 +
 +
 +
100
 +
 +
 +
 +
latter. It may even have stretched to the Caspian Sea, and included the Apche-
 +
ron Peninsula. Its chief city bore the same name and was called Bavlakan by
 +
the Arab writers. In the ninth century large numbers of Paulicians fleeing from
 +
the hostilities of the Byzantine officials took refuge in Bavlakan under Arab
 +
protection.
 +
 +
29. N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, pp. 13-1 7.
 +
 +
30. PG. CIV, 1280.
 +
 +
31. Ibid., 1285.
 +
 +
32. Ibid.. 1297.
 +
 +
33. Georgius Monachus, Chronicon, II, pp. 718-719.
 +
 +
34. Arsamosata: H. Gregoire, ‘Precisions geographiques et chronologiques sur les
 +
Pauliciens’, ARB-BL, 5c serie XXXIII (1947), p.289: M. Loos, ‘Le mouvement
 +
Paulicien a Byzance ’ BS, XXIV (1903), pp.259-60, Hewsen, ‘Armenia accord¬
 +
ing to the ASxarhac'uvc', REA, II (1965), p.327 n.2I. Balahovit is the other
 +
name for Arsamosata. The canton is the classical Bolbene or Balabitene. In
 +
Latin it is known as Arsamosata; G. Huxley, ‘The historical geography of the
 +
Paulician and T'ondrakian heresies’. Medieval Armenian Culture, ed. by
 +
Thomas J. Samuclian (Scholars Press, 1982), pp.81-95.
 +
 +
35. PG, CIV, 1273.
 +
 +
36. Photius, ‘Contra Manichaeos’, PG, Cl I, 16-1 7. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.169.
 +
 +
37. PG, CIV, 1283-84.
 +
 +
38. PG, CII, 52. The suggestion put forward by Garsoian in Paulician Heresy,
 +
pp.198-203, that the Paulicians were branded ‘Manichaean’ because their
 +
iconoclastic tendencies connected them with the Byzantine iconoclasts, who
 +
were, in turn, according to the iconophile, Manichaean despisers of matter, is
 +
quite unconvincing. ‘Manichaean’, like ‘Jew’and ‘pagan’, was simply a standard
 +
and indiscriminate term of abuse. The related suggestion that an extreme docc-
 +
tic iconoclasm formed the middle term of transition between the early adop-
 +
tionist Christology of the early Paulicians, and a later dualistic aberrant mys¬
 +
ticism, is also quite undemonstrable; in particular it operates with a notion of
 +
‘docetic iconoclasm’ which is an invention of iconophile polemicists.
 +
 +
39. F. C. Conybeare, The Key of Truth, p.cv; S. Runciman, The Medieval Mani-
 +
chee, pp.48-49.
 +
 +
40. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.28.
 +
 +
41. Theodore Balsamon, Canones Conciliorum, PG, CXXXVII, see H. Bart'ikyan,
 +
Sources, pp.28-29.
 +
 +
 +
101
 +
 +
 +
 +
42. N. Garsoian, The Politician Heresy, pp.211-12; F. C. Conybeare, op.cit., p.cvi.
 +
 +
43. This association was emphasised by F. Scheidweiler, ‘Paulikianerprobleme’
 +
BZ, XLIII, (1950), pp.366-72.
 +
 +
44. N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, pp.212 ff; Cf. REA, 1(1964), p.454.
 +
 +
45. H. Bart'ikyan, op. cit., p.139, n.3.
 +
 +
46. PG, CIV, 1245.
 +
 +
41. Mas ‘udf Le Livre de Tavertissement, p.208.
 +
 +
48. K. N. YuzbaJyan, ‘Tondrakskoe dvizhenie’, p.38, n.57
 +
 +
49. Georgius Monachus, Chronicon, 11, p.720.
 +
 +
50. D. Obolensky, The Bogomils (Cambridge, 1948), pp.55ff.
 +
 +
51. M. Loos, ‘Deux contributions', BS, XVIII, 2 (1957), pp.209-12; F. Scheid¬
 +
weiler, ‘Paulikianerprobleme ’, BZ, XLIII, 2(1950), pp.l 7-18; see the objections
 +
ofM. Loos, ‘Deux contributions’, p.212, n.43.
 +
 +
52. ‘Sources Grecques pour I’histoire des Pauliciens: Les formules d‘abjuration’,
 +
p.206.
 +
 +
53. G. Picker, ‘Eine Sammlung von Abschwdrungsformeln’, ZKG, XXVII (1906),
 +
pp. 453-54;M. Loos, ‘Origine du nom des Pauliciens’, BS, XVIII, 2(1957),
 +
 +
p. 206.
 +
 +
54. The Book of Heresies, p.113; N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, p.239.
 +
 +
55. Included in the Book of Letters, see K. Ter Mkrttschian, ‘Pav\ikyanc‘ ev T'ond-
 +
rakec‘voc‘ aXandnere ardi K'nnadatutyamb’ (The Paulician sect and the T‘ond-
 +
rakec'i in the light of contemporary criticism), Ararat (July, 1900), pp.328-
 +
333; N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, pp.236-7.
 +
 +
56. N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, p.90.
 +
 +
57. S. Der Nersessian, ‘Une apologie des images du septibme sibcle’, B, XV11I
 +
(1944-45), p.71, n.55 and 86, n.131; M. Baxlyan, Pa vi iky an gariumS Hayas-
 +
tanum, p. l 7.
 +
 +
58. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.88.
 +
 +
59. Ibid.,pp. 85-88.
 +
 +
60. E.G. Ter Minasyan.Mifnadaryan aXandneri, p.141.
 +
 +
61. See English transl. in N. Garsoian, The Paulician Heresy, p.89.
 +
 +
62. Kanonagirk’Hayoc‘, A. Wean, ed. (Tiflis, 1914). pp.164-73.
 +
 +
63. Kano nag irk' Hayoc', pp.l87, 195, 235, 383-84, 385, 399-400, 486.
 +
 +
 +
102
 +
 +
 +
 +
64. K. N.Yuzbaiyan, ‘K istorii Pavlikianskogo’, p.272.
 +
 +
65. Kanonagirk' Hayoc', Vol.I,p.l30.
 +
 +
66. H. Bart'ikyan, Sources, p.lll.
 +
 +
67. Movses Dasxuranc'i, The history of Caucasian Albanians (Tiflis, 1912), pp.302-
 +
305;English transi. by C. J. F. Dowsett (London, 1961), pp. 171 -73.
 +
 +
68. S. Der Nersessian, ‘Une apologie des images du septibme si dele ’, B, XVII (1944-
 +
45), pp.70-71.
 +
 +
69. S. Der Nersessian, ‘Image worship in Armenia and its opponents', Armenian
 +
 +
Quarterly, 1,(1956), p. 70.
 +
 +
70. PC, Cll, 81.
 +
 +
71. PC, CIV, 1299-1300.
 +
 +
72. Ibid., 1299-1300.
 +
 +
73. Ibid., 1300b.
 +
 +
74. Ibid., Cll, 73.
 +
 +
75. PG. Cll, 76.
 +
 +
76. Ibid., CIV, 1299-1300.
 +
 +
77. Ibid. 1300.
 +
 +
78. The ‘travelling companions’ of Paul are called synekdemoi in Acts 19:30. The
 +
Paulicians who considered themselves the true followers of Paul, not only
 +
called most of their leaders after the disciples of St. Paul, but also gave the
 +
name synekdemoi to their ruling body, taken from the Epistles of Paul.
 +
 +
79. PG, Cll, 81. Travaux et Memoires 4 (1970, p.67.
 +
 +
80. PG, CIV, 1301. There is no such word in the Greek language. Some scholars
 +
have considered it to be the interpolated form of the word piapos/defile, and
 +
others have understood it to mean pp tepee; j not holy, not priestly /. From the
 +
text, however, it is clear that it refers to the ‘priesthood’.
 +
 +
81. The term a araroq in Greek means ‘never standing still’, ‘unstable’, ‘inconsist¬
 +
ent’. If we consider the above word as being Greek, then as K.YuzbaSyan has
 +
suggested we must take it to mean ‘never standing still in one place ’ which
 +
would describe the missionaries of the Paulician sect very accurately. TerMkrt-
 +
tschian thinks that the word is not Greek. He proposed that in the term we
 +
must seek the sectarians mentioned in the Armenian sources under the name of
 +
Coder.
 +
 +
82. PG, Cll, 76.
 +
 +
 +
103
 +
 +
 +
 +
83. Ibid., 76.
 +
 +
84. PC, CIV, 1301.
 +
 +
85. H. Bart ‘ikyan in Istochniki dlia istoria pavlikianskogo dvizhenia (Erevan, 1963),
 +
p.166, note 43, suggests that Karbeas is the Armenian name of Karapet in its
 +
diminutive form - Karpis. In the Byzantine epic Digenes Akrites the name
 +
occurs as Karo[ esI. See H. Gr’egoire, ‘Notes sur l ’Epopee Byzantine, line men¬
 +
tion du hews Aukylas et du Paulicien Karbeas dans un chant akritique’, B, XIII
 +
(1938), p.251. N. G. Garsoian, ‘Byzantine Heresy', DOP, XXV (1971), p.92,
 +
note 28, thinks Bart'ikyan’s suggestion is ‘quite unconvincing and farfetched’.
 +
 +
86. PG. Cll, 8.
 +
 +
87. G. Ficker, ‘Eine Sammlung von Abschwdrungsformeln’, ZKG, XXVII(1906),
 +
pp.443-464.
 +
 +
88. PG, Cll. 81.
 +
 +
 +
104
 +
 +
 +
 +
NOTES TO CHAPTER III
 +
(pp. 25 - 36)
 +
 +
 +
1. Barhebraeus, The Chronography of Gregory Abu’l Faraj . . . Bar Hebraeus.
 +
E. A. W. Budge, transl. (London, 1932), p.95.
 +
 +
2. H. Manandyan, Erker 11 (Collected works), p.536.
 +
 +
3. A. Ter-Ghewondyan, The Arab emirates in Bagratid Armenia, p.156, n. 7.
 +
 +
4. H. Nalbandyan, ‘Arabneri harkayin k'alak'akanut'yunS Hayastanum '(The tax¬
 +
ation policy of the Arabs in Armenia), T, 12 (1956); H. Zoryan, ‘Arabneri har¬
 +
kayin k‘a\ak‘akanut‘yune feodalakan Hayastanum' (The taxation policy of the
 +
Arabs in feudal Armenia), T, 2-3 (1927).
 +
 +
5. R. Vasmer, Chronologic der arabischen statthalter von Armenien unter den
 +
Abbasiden, von as-Saffach bis zum Kronung Aschots. I (750-887); Armenian
 +
translation V. Inglizian (Vienna, 1933); W. E. Kaegi, 'al-Baladluri and the Ar-
 +
meniak theme’, B. XXXVIII (1968), p.275.
 +
 +
6. Dionysios Tell-Mahre. La Chronique de Denys de Tel-Mahri, p.2.
 +
 +
7. Samuel of Ani, Collections ■ ■ . p.82. In the above passage modius or griv is a
 +
unit of measurement = 9.792 kg. dirham a silver coin.
 +
 +
8. Movses Dasxuranc’i, The History of the Caucasian Albanians. C. J. F. Dowse it,
 +
ed. and Irons. (London, 1961), p.209.
 +
 +
9. Ibid., p.209, n.4.
 +
 +
10. al-Baladhun, The Book of the Conquest of Nations, p.16.
 +
 +
11. Ibid., p.10. Muhammad ibn-Marwan was governor of Armenia from 695-705.
 +
 +
12. Lewond, History, X, p.36.
 +
 +
13. Quddma, BGA, VI, M. J. de Goeje, ed.
 +
 +
14. Lewond. History, XXXIII-XXXIV. pp. 135-39.
 +
 +
15. Michael the Syrian, History. (Jerusalem, 1869), p.363
 +
 +
16. Lewond, History, XXXVII, P-154.
 +
 +
17. Ibn Khaldun. The Muqaddimah: an introduction to history, Franz Rosenthal,
 +
trans. (London, 1958),- p.364.
 +
 +
18. A. von Kremer, Culturgeschichte, I. p.343; J. Laurent, L armenie entre Byzance
 +
et L ’islam, p.203.
 +
 +
 +
105
 +
 +
 +
 +
19. R. Levy. Sociology of Islam, 1, p.346.
 +
 +
20. Kitab al Masalik Wa'l Mamalik ... auctore Ibn Khordadhbeh, M. J. de Goeje,
 +
ed., p.124.
 +
 +
21. Hans von M2 ik, Mustafa al-Saqa (Cairo. 1938); Michael Aw wad, Nusus Dhaiah
 +
min Kitab al-wuzara (Beirut, 1964).
 +
 +
It will be noted that the receipts from the eastern provinces, where silver was
 +
plentiful, are given in silver dirhams - while Roman provinces paid in gold
 +
dinars. One dinar = 10 silver dirhams.
 +
 +
22. V. Minorsky, ‘Caucasica IV, The Caucasian Vassals of Manuban in 344/955’,
 +
BSOAS, XV-3 (1953/. p.517.
 +
 +
23. Saint-Martin, Memo ires sur L’Arminie, p.231;cf. R. Grousset, Histoire de I’Ar-
 +
menie, p.451; N. Adontz, Historical Studies (Paris, 1948), p. 143.
 +
 +
24. It is evident from the testimony of Arab and Armenian sources that the Bagra-
 +
tids paid the tribute not directly to the caliph but to the emir of Adjtarbdydjan
 +
who in turn paid to the caliph a set sum determined for the entire tax district
 +
which included Armenia.
 +
 +
25. A. Muller, History of Islam, N. A. Mednikov, trans. (St. Petersburg, 1895). II.
 +
pp.236-237.
 +
 +
26. Yovhannes Drasxanakcrtc’i, History, pp. 175-176; Ibn Hawkal, Kramers ed.
 +
(Leyden, 1938). On Aiot's seal it is only written ‘Aiot son of Smbat' (Ashut
 +
ibn Sinbat). N. O. Laypanov, ‘The seal of Aiot Bagratuni’, I AN A, XI (1955),
 +
pp. 97-98. /In Armenian/
 +
 +
27. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, DAI, Vol.II. Commentary pp. 158-159:168-44.
 +