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Alexius

(223 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] A legend from  Edessa tells of a young Byzantine man (5th cent.) who left his wife on their wedding night to live an ascetic life [1. 36-44]. The figure of A., who became the archetype of the ascetic, was also known in Constantinople in the 9th cent., where Melodus († 833) composed a hymn in honour of A. The discovery of a Greek version that had escaped notice for a long period and which agrees in its main traits with a Syriac version of the 6th cent., but without being its translation [2. 56c], again raises the question of the original's language. Other Greek versions of the A.- vita…

Armenians, Armenian literature

(347 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] The A. refer to themselves as hayk', while the term A. is used by the Persians (Behistun inscription) and the Greeks (Herodotus and Xenophon). In the 6th cent. BC, the A. immigrated and intermixed with the autochthonous Urartians. After enduring Median, Persian, Macedonian and Seleucid domination, the A. King Artashes won the fight for independence in AD 189. Following the Christianization of the country, Armenian literature (AL) emerged in the early 5th cent., with Maštoc's ( Mesrop in…

Euthymius I of Constantinople

(143 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Εὐθύμιος; Euthýmidos) I of Constantinople (b. c. AD 834 in  Seleucia, d. 917). After a period as monk on the Bithynian  Olympus, he transferred to the monastery of St. Theodorus outside Constantinople. As the father confessor of Emperor  Leo VI, he became abbot of the monastery of Psamathias, which the emperor had built for him specifically. After the deposition of the patriarch of Constantinople,  Nicolaus I Mysticus, he assumed that office; in agreement with the other patriarchs and …

Eznik of Kolp

(246 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Kołp). Pupil of  Mesrop. His student colleague Koriwn gives some details about E.'s biography in the Vita of Mesrop. According to him, in around AD 406 E. goes to  Edessa [2] (= Urfa) on behalf of his teacher and Katholikos  Sahak in order to learn Syriac and to translate works by the Syrian church fathers into Armenian. Together with Koriwn he brought around 435 Greek biblical manuscripts, manuscripts by the church fathers, and the Acts of the Synods of  Nicaea and  Ephesus from…

Book of Letters

(107 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] Armenian collection of important theological letters, documenting the history of the Armenian church and its relations with neighbouring churches (Syria, Georgia, Byzantium), such as the separation of the Georgian church from the Armenian in c. 600. The Book of Letters is divided into three chronological phases: 5th-7th, 8th-11th and 11th-13th cents.  Byzantium;  Georgia;  Syria Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibliography Girk T̀`ġtoc`, 1901 E. Ter-Minassiantz, Die armen. Kirche in ihren Beziehungen zu den syr. Kirchen. Bis zum Ende des 13.Jh.…

Šīrīn

(66 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) [German version] [1] Persian martyr, died in 599 (Σιρή; Sirḗ). Persian martyr, died 559 AD. S. was the daughter of a respected Persian magus, who after her conversion to Christianity was publicly executed by hanging under the Persian king Chosroes [5] I. Bibliography P. Devos, Saint Šīrīn Martyr Khosrau Ier Avrošarvan, in: Analecta Bollandiana 64, 1946, 87-131. [German version] [2] see Schirin See Shirin.

Synodikon

(110 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Συνοδικόν; Synodikón). Liturgical formula of the Orthodox Church. The synodìkon originated in the period of iconoclasm in AD 843, on the initiative of Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, as a document of the victory of the patriarchate over the iconoclasts (Syrian dynasty). It continued the tradition of the diptycha . At the beginning of the 11th cent., the synodìkon was granted the more general function of a liturgical formula, which contained a commemoration list of emperors and patriarchs (in the prov…

Sahak

(308 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Isaac). S. I (the Great), born between AD 340 and 350, died AD 438/9. Patriarch of Armenia, son of the patriarch Nerses the Great; last representative of the Gregorians (descendants of Gregory the Illuminator, Armenia [B]). S. grew up in Constantinople and studied there. Named patriarch of the Armenian Church in 387 in a time of internal conflict after Armenia was divided between Byzantium and Persia, his election was intended to reinforce Armenia's ties to Byzantium to counter t…

Kontakion

(198 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (κοντάκιον, κονδάκιον; kontákion, kondákion; from κοντός, ‘parchment roll’). Name given in later times to a genre of Byzantine hymns documented first in the 6th cent. AD. The kontakion consists of 18 to 24 metrically equal stanzas (so-called oíkoi, οἶκοι), preceded by the metrically differing prooemium ( koukoúlion, κουκούλιον). The individual stanzas are connected by acrostichs ( Acrostich) and have a common refrain (the ephýmnion or akroteleútion, ἐφύμνιον, ἀκροτελεύτιον). Kontakia are related to the Syrian madraša ( Ephrem Syrus), …

Amphilochius of Iconium

(125 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] A. ( 340/345 in  Cappadocia, † after 394) was a student of  Libanius and rhetorician in Constantinople. In 370 he returned to Cappadocia and at the instigation of  Basilius the Great became bishop of  Iconium in the newly created province of  Lycaonia in 373. He created an ecclesiastical administration in his episcopacy and defended it against the  Messalians and other heretics. Through his cousin  Gregorius of Nazianze, who converted him, a close friendship developed with the Cappadocians and later with circles in the capital.  Gregorius of Nyssa Savvidis, Kyriak…

Apophthegmata patrum

(215 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Ἀποφθέγματα πατρῶν; Apophthégmata patrôn). Anonymous collection of ‘Patristic sayings’ belonging to the most copied works of early monasticism. It contains short anecdotes of early monastic life and the   anachoresis in the Egyptian desert. They are teachings, prophetic predictions and miraculous acts that describe the daily routine of the monks. Particularly characteristic of the apophthegmata patrum are those sayings that are formulaically introduced by the plea of a believer who petitioned the anchorite in search of advice: ‘Tell …

Sinai

(194 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Σινᾶ/ Sinâ, Σινά/ Siná, Σεινά/ Seiná, later also Σιναΐ/ Sinaḯ, Latin Sina; Hebrew sīnay). Mountain in the wilderness of the same name, where the Covenant between Yahweh and Israel was made. S. is primarily attested in the Old Testament; in the New Testament Σινᾶ occurs only in Acts 7,30 and 38 and Gal 4,2; the etymology is debatable. Presumably S. is derived from the Hebrew root sny, 'shine' [1. 52033]. S. often occurs with the later additions 'Mount', 'Desert'. Euseb. On. 172,9 f. distinguished S. from Mount Horeb (Χωρήβ/ Chōrḗb), for Jerome (ibid. 173,15 f.) the …

Maronites

(140 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] Christian religious community going back to the Syrian hermit Maro(n) (Μάρω(ν)/ Márō(n), Syriac Morun; 4th/5th cent. AD), the patron saint of a monastery on the Orontes near Apamea [3] in Syria, which became the centre of the resistance against the Monophysitism. After the death of the patriarch Anastasius II (died 609), the Antiochene ( Antioch [1]) patriarchal see remained vacant (Persian invasions); in 636, the region came under Arab rule. Its isolation in terms of geography and Church poli…

Synaxarion

(131 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
(συναξάριον; synaxárion). [German version] [1] Short life Short life or encomiastic note in the menaea of the Orthodox Church's órthros (ὄρθρος, 'morning service') between the 6th and 7th odes of the canon [2], which together with the synaxarion characterize services on saints' days and feasts. Structure: month, epigram in iambic verse, naming of the saint and the feast, hexameter on the date and name, historical note, mention of the church commemorating the saint, life of the saint. Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) [German version] [2] Book with short lives Book containing the synaxária

Tarasius

(125 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Ταράσιος; Tarásios). Patriarch of Constantinople ( c. AD 730-806), of noble descent, secretary to the empress Irene, who had him elected patriarch in 784 in connexion with her efforts to restore iconolatry. The Synod (Synodos II.D.) at Nicaea in 787, convened by him to solve the iconoclasm controversy (Syrian dynasty), was able at the second attempt to resolve to restore the worship of icons. It is to him that resolutions made at the synod are due; he had already written them in 754. Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibliography Editions: PG 98, 1424-1428 (Apologeticus)  PG …

Elishē

(118 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Ełišē). Author of a history of the Vardanids and the Armenian wars in the Armenian language, describing the uprising of the Armenian people under the leadership of Vardan Mamikonyan against the Sassanid occupation forces in AD 450/1. However, E. did not himself witness the historical events which he describes, but is likely to have lived in the 6th cent. AD. It was his aim to provide a martyrological anchor for the foundation of the Armenian church.  Armenia;  Armenians, Armenian literature;  Sassanids Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibliography E. Ter-Minassjan, Va…

Athingani

(165 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (Ἀθίγγανοι; Athínganoi). The A. (‘Untouchables’, from θιγγάνω) are mentioned as heretics who are counted as Paulicians, first by Patriarch  Germanus (De haeres. et synodis, PG 98, 85) in the 8th cent. They are called ‘Phrygians’ because of their origins or ‘Manichaeans’ because of their magical and astrological practices. Flourishing in the 9th cent.; found followers even in palace circles ( Michael II). They supported  iconoclasm. Several attempts to integrate them remained unsuccessful.  Astrology;  Magic;  Mani;  Phrygia Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibli…

Laura

(112 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (λαύρα/ Laúra, ‘lane’). Originally a Christian monastic settlement of hermits under the leadership of a common superior. Around AD 330, Chariton (Χαρίτων) founded near Pharan, Douka and Souka in Palestine the first laúrai with cells (κελλία; kellía) and caves that were connected by a lane. In the centre of the facilities were the church, the bakery, storerooms as well as the home of the superior. The hermits only gathered for the service with the Eucharist. This type of monastery became definitive for Byzantine Chri…

Syntomon

(90 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] (σύντομον; sýntomon). As a specimen of Byzantine liturgical poetry the s. lies between the kontákion and the kanṓn [2], but without having achieved their popularity. In the liturgy of the Orthodox Church its four to nine strophes are inserted between the verses of psalms, and for this reason a s. is also called a stichērón (στιχηρόν). Presumably it can be traced to the poet and hymnographer Kyprianos (1st half of the 8th cent.). Hymn IV. Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibliography J. Szövérffy, A Guide to Byzantine Hymnography ..., 1979.

Abdias

(125 words)

Author(s): Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
[German version] A collection of apocryphal acts of the Apostles in Latin ( Historia Certaminis Apostolici or Historiae Apostolicae) frequently used in the MA, is attributed to A., supposedly the first bishop of  Babylon and a contemporary of  Origenes. It consists of 10 books purportedly compiled in Hebrew by A. and then translated by  Eutropius into Greek and by Julius, who was known to write in Greek, into Latin. However, the collection presupposes  Rufinus' History and must have been created in the 6th-7th cents.  Apocrypha Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum) Bibliography W. Smith and H. …
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