Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Sergei Brun on the Patriarchate of Antioch in Medieval Cilicia

This very valuable article sheds light on a largely overlooked period in the history of the Patriarchate of Antioch during the late Crusader and Mamluk periods.

Brun, S. (2018) Chalcedonian Orthodoxy in the Kingdom of Armenia. Բանբեր Հայագիտության=Вестник Арменоведения=Journal of Armenian Studies, № 3. pp. 5-31


There is a widespread opinion, which prevails even in the official historiography of the Antiochian Orthodox and Melchite Greek Catholic Churches, that after the destruction of Antioch by the Mamelukes in 1268, the Orthodox Patriarchs – after a brief period of “wandering” – set up their residence in Damascus. This approach lacks both accuracy and historic memory, since it completely ignores the era of Cilician dominance in the history of the Antiochian Church. It would be far more accurate to say that since the destruction of Antioch (1268), the Orthodox Patriarchs set up their main residence in Tarsus, leaving this city for prolonged visits (of either several months or even years) for their imperial metochia – the Hodegon Monastery of Constantinople, or for the cities of the Phoenician coast (Tyre and Tripoli). Since the War for the Antiochian Succession and the restoration of the Patriarchate of Antioch in the Levant under Prince Bohemond IV, Patriarch Simeon II ibn Abu Shaib set up his residences in Tarsus and Sis. Patriarch Euphymius I spent several years in Cilician Armenia, between his exile from Antioch and his flight to Constantinople. Patriarch Arsenius, being elected in Frankish territory – moved to Cilicia; his proximity to the Armenian King, as was said before, cost him his throne. Patriarchs Dionysius I and Dionysius II, who occupied the Cilician Sees of Pompeiopolis and Mamistra prior to their ascension to the Throne of St. Peter, spent practically their entire tenure in the Kingdom of Armenia. The same was true for the Armenian-blooded Patriarch Ignatius II. 


Read the whole article here.

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