Religion Past and Present

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(115 words)

[German Version]

is the title borne by the heads of the Oriental Orthodox National Churches lying outside the boundaries of the former Roman Empire. It corresponds to the title of “patriarch” and has been employed by the Eastern Syrian Church since the 5th century, whereupon it was adopted by the Armenians, Georgians, Caucasian Albanians, and in part by the Melkites and Indians. The catholicos of the Eastern Syrians and Georgians later assumed the title of “catholicos-patriarch,” as did the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in 1959 (now only “patriarch”). The Armenians cons…

Cite this page
Kaufhold, Hubert, “Catholicos”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 February 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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