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Nerses I.

(149 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[English Version] Nerses I., der Große (gest.373), armenischer Oberbischof (Katholikos) 353?–373, Ururenkel und vierter Nachfolger Gregors des Erleuchters (Armenien: II.). Erzogen in Caesarea in Kappadozien, reorganisierte er die armenische Kirche nach griech. Vorbild und hielt in Asˇtisˇat eine Synode ab. Er errichtete Häuser für Arme, Waisen und Fremde, baute Kirchen und gründete Klöster. Wegen seiner guten Beziehungen zu Byzanz als Verräter verdächtigt, v.a. aber wegen seiner antiarianischen Halt…

Georgian Monasteries

(520 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] Because of the ascetic ideal of homelessness, many monks lived outside Georgia. The first are evidenced in Palestine, where they lived primarily in the Mar Saba monastery. Peter the Iberian (5th cent.) is considered the founder of his own Georgian monastery in the Holy Land. Monasticism is supposed to have been established as indigenous in Georgia at the end of the 5th (?) century by 13 “fathers” from Syia who founded the Gareǧa and Šio-Mġvime monasteries, among others. After the …

Gelati Monastery

(283 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] Gelati Monastery, a monastery in western Georgia, on a mountainside with a splendid view into the distance. It was founded in 1106 by King David “the Builder” (David IV of Georgia) near his capital in Kutaisi. From the very start it housed an academy and enjoyed the continued patronage of the Georgian kings, becoming the intellectual center of medieval Georgia. Teaching followed the Byzantine model. Two important early teachers had been educated in Byzantium: John Petrici and Arse…

Syrian Fathers

(168 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] At the end of the 5th century and throughout the 6th century, monks from Syria organized monasticism in East Georgia and strengthened the faith of the Georgians, who had been converted only shortly before; the monks included John of Zedazeni, Shio of Mġvime, David of Gareja, and the martyr Abibos of Nekresi. Their Georgian vitae describe the lives of hermits and cenobites, recount their miracles, and also mention theological issues. In the absence of precise information, only limited historical placement is possible. The vitae were later edited to produce collec…

Ebed Jesus

(191 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] of Nisibis (‘Abdīšō’ bar Brīkā; mid- 13th cent. – early Nov 1318), was the last significant Nestorian (Syria) author of the Middle Ages. He is attested as bishop of Sīgār and Bēt ‘Arbāyē in 1284/1285, and as metropolitan of Nisibis and Armenia before 1290/1291. In his catalogue of authors, written in Syriac, he lists…


(1,644 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] I. An independent republic in Transcaucasia. The Georgian name is Saḳarṭvelo, from “Ḳartveli” = Georgian (after the mythical ancestor Kartlos). The Greeks called the inhabitants ‘Ἱβήροι/ Ibēḗroi (Iberians). The Russian “Gruzija” stems from the Arabic and Persian names for Georgia, “al-Kurǧ” or “Gurǧ,” and the western European “Georgia” from St. George, the national saint of Georgia. Modern-day Georgia, surrounded by Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey, has an area of 69,500 km2 (similar to Bavaria) and around 5.2 million inhabitants. The capital…

Athanasius of Antioch

(175 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] was the “Jacobite” patriarch of Antioch from 594 to 631 (Syria). In 615/16 he ended a schism with the Coptic church that had lasted for decades. In 629, after the victory of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius over the Persians, he achieved union with the Monophysites in the Persian Empire; the “(Great) Metropolitan” of Tagrit became …

Georgian Script and Literature

(699 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] I. Literature in the Georgian language first becomes tangible with the invention of the Georgian script, epigraphically attested since the second half of the 5th cen-¶ tury ce. Georgian scholars think that there was a Georgian literary language already in pre-Christian times. The Georgian script with 38 letters read left to right probably developed under Greek influence. On into the 11th century, the “priestly script” ( Ḫuc̣uri) continued in use, initially as a majuscule, and after the 9th century in a starkly divergent square minuscule form. Th…

Abraham Ecchellensis

(101 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] (Feb 18, 1605, Ḥāqil – Jul 15, 1664, Rome). The name is Latinized from the Arabic (al-)Ḥāqilānī (“from Ḥāqil” in Lebanon). A Maronite, he studied in Rome, was deacon, teacher of Syriac and Arabic in Rome, Pisa, and Paris, a collaborator in the Parisian Polyglot Bible, and from 1660 scriptor in the Vatican Library. Through editions and translations, he acquainted Europe with many Arabic and Syriac works. Hubert Kaufhold Bibliography G. Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, vol. III, 1949, 354–359 N. Gemayel, Les échanges culturels entre les …

Isaac of Antioch

(158 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] (5th cent.). A collection that originated in the 11th century attributes 60 Syriac metrical poems to “Isaac, the Syrian teacher”; he is supposed to have been a student of Zenobios, who in turn was a student of Ephraem the Syrian. Many (additional) Syriac poems have been transmitted separately under the names Isaac, “teacher (of the church),” “bishop and teacher” (ms. British Library 14666) or “the Syrian.” They stem from several persons. Jacob of Edessa (died 708) already knew thr…

Nerses I the Great

(165 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] (died 373), the highest bishop of the Armenian Church (Catholicos) from 353(?) to 373, and the great-great-grandson and fourth successor of Gregory the Illuminator (Armenia: II). Raised in Caesarea in Cappadocia, he reorganized the Armenian Church on the model of the Greek Church and held a synod in Aštiš. He built houses for the poor as well as for orphans and aliens, erected churches, and founded monasteries. Suspected of being a traitor because of his good relations with Byzant…

Anton I

(98 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] (Oct 17, 1720 – Mar 1, 1788, Tbilisi), the son of the Georgian king Iese, was installed as Catholicus of the Georgian church in 1744. He was deposed in 1755 for exhibiting Catholic sympathies; in 1757 he became Metropolitan of the Russian church in Vladimir. Under King Irakli II (Georgia), he was allowed to return to his homeland in 1763. There he reformed the church and the liturgy, promoted education, and wrote many theological, historical, and philosophical works. Hubert Kaufhold Bibliography M. Tarchnišvili & J. Assfalg, Geschichte …

Syrian Monasteries

(584 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] Syrian cenobites and their monasteries appeared in the 4th century, especially in north-¶ ern Syria and northern Iraq. Apart from the account of Theodoret of Cyrrhus, we know little about the early period. Monks living atop pillars (Stylite) were an important element. The monastery of Simeon Stylites the Elder (399–459) became a pilgrimage center. The monasteries experienced their golden age in the 5th and 6th centuries. They were situated in remote, mountainous areas but also near cities. Aft…


(156 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] The Pedalion (“Rudder”) is a collection of canons of the Greek church in widespread use. It was compiled at the end of the 18th century by two Athos monks, Agapius and Nicodemus the Hagiorite, and approved by the patriarchate in Constantinople. It contains, in chronological order, the binding canons of the ecumenical councils, local synods, and the church fathers (Canon law: III). Each canon is explained; appendices include a discussion of degrees of kinship. The chronological collection of the Slavic churches is the earlier and more comprehensive Kormchaya Kniga (“P…

Eznik of Kolb

(197 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] (Kotbacc̣i; 5th cent.) was a student of Mesrop Maštoç, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. Eznik traveled to Edessa around 430 to translate religious writings from Syriac into Armenian; later he was active in Constantinople as a translator from Greek. After his return he improved available translations. He is probably identical with “Eznik, bishop of Bagrevand,” who participated in the Synod of Artašat in 450. He wrote Contra the Heretics (also Against the Sects or De Deo), treating pagan heresies, Mazdaism, Greek philosophers, a…

Kekelidze, Korneli

(162 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] ( Corneli; Apr 30, 1879, Tobanieri, Western Georgia – Jun 7, 1962, Tbilisi), studied at the Seminary and the Theological Academy of Kiev, was ordained priest in 1906, and became rector of the seminary in Tbilisi from 1916 to1918. Enjoying a high degree of international reputation, he held the first chair for the history of early Georgian literature at the University of Tbilisi, which he had cofounded in 1918. He contributed considerably to increasing knowledge of early Georgian lit…


(134 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[English Version] (»Steuerruder«), verbreitete Kanonessammlung der griech. Kirche, Ende des 18.Jh. von den Athosmönchen Agapios und Nikodemos Hagiorites zusammengestellt und vom Patriarchat in Konstantinopel gebilligt. Das P. enthält in chronologischer Abfolge die verbindlichen Kanones der ökum. Synoden, Lokalsynoden und Kirchenväter (Kirchenrecht: III.). Jeder Kanon wird erläutert; angehängt ist u.a. ein Traktat über die Verwandtschaftsgrade. – Die chronologische Sammlung der slaw. Kirchen ist die ältere und umfangreichere Kormcˇaja kniga (»Steuermannbuch«). Hu…

Syrische Väter

(159 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[English Version] (in Georgien). Ende des 5. und im 6.Jh. organisierten aus Syrien gekommene Mönche das Mönchtum in Ostgeorgien (Georgien) und stärkten den christl. Glauben der kurz vorher bekehrten Georgier (u.a. Johannes von Zedazeni, Schio von Mġvime, David von Garedscha, der Märtyrer Abibos von Nekresi). Ihre georgischen Viten beschreiben das Eremiten- und Klosterleben, berichten über Wunder und erwähnen auch dogmatische Fragen. Eine hist. Einordnung ist mangels genauer Angaben nur begrenzt mö…

Syrische Klöster

(518 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[English Version] . Gemeinsam lebende syr. Mönche (Koinobiten) und damit Klöster gab es seit dem 4.Jh. v.a. in Nordsyrien und dem Nordirak. Außer dem Bericht Theodorets von Cyrus ist über die frühe Zeit wenig bekannt. Wichtig waren die auf Säulen lebenden »Styliten« (Säulenheilige). Das Kloster Symeons Stylites d. Ä. (399–459) wurde zum Wallfahrtsort. Blütezeit der syr. K. war das 5. und 6.Jh. Sie lagen in abgelegenen, bergigen Gebieten, aber auch in der Nähe von Städten. Nach den Kirchentrennunge…


(115 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[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 t…
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