process inevitably paved the way for the gradual recognition of Armenians as an ethno-confessional entity in law.
In 1318, in keeping with the greater focus on mission characteristic of the Avignon papacy, John XXII created two vast dioceses in the Near and Far East entrusted to the Dominicans and Franciscans respectively. The former was centred on the Ilkhanid capital of SuMnÍya, so that the incumbent might act as the pope's personal emissary. It was also furnished with six suffragan sees, of which three (Sivas, Tabriz and Marâgha) had a sizeable Armenian population.92 As the pontiff s correspondence indicates, he was quite involved in Armenian affairs and well informed on the subject.93 He had recently pressed for the convocation of the synod of Adana in 1316 to reconfirm the acts of Sis of nine years earlier, and wanted to engage the prelates of Greater Armenia more systematically than had ever been attempted before.94
Zak'aria Artazec'i of the princely family of Maku and the catholicos's exarch in the east at St Thaddaeus monastery (1298-c. 1340) was a key figure in this task. A pro-Latin confederate of Grigor Anavarzec'i, he was one of the few eastern churchmen to attend the synod, after which he took the step of accepting Catholicism, as he discussed in his exchange of letters with Yohan Orbeli, metropolitan of Siwnik'.95 He was the recipient of two personal letters from the pope in 1321, who commended him for drawing souls back to the
At the pope's behest his assistant, Yovhannes Corcorec'i, with the help of Bishop Bartolomeo da Poggio, translated Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the fourth book of Peter Lombard's Sentences, the main western medieval primer on the sacraments.97 At some point a Franciscan house was established at St Thaddaeus, which engaged in rendering into Armenian other Latin scholastic manuals and liturgical books during the i32os-3os. Through this process Armenians were introduced to western developments in Aristotelian logic, ethics, natural philosophy (physics), metaphysics and aesthetics
93 S. P. Cowe, 'The role of correspondence in elucidating the intensification of Latin-Armenian ecclesiastical interchange in the first quarter of the fourteenth century',,Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies 13 (2003/4), 49-50.
94 Balgy, Historia doctrinan catholicae, 313-35.
95 Cowe, 'The role of correspondence', 53-4.
97 Xacikyan, Artazi haykakan isxanut'yuna', 198-9.
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