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in the capital. He would superintend the appointment of tax collectors for his people, oversee their religious, charitable and educational institutions, and apply censorship of the press.

A new Uniate Armenian monastic order and patriarchate

As the European Catholic missions gradually lost their momentum in the early eighteenth century, a new Armenian community was formed in Constantinople on 8 September 1701 on the initiative of the zealous young monk Mxit'ar Sebastac'i (1676-1749), whose name the order subsequently adopted. After studying in the monasteries of Ejmiacin, Sevan and Erzurum, Mxit'ar made contact in 1693 with missionaries in Aleppo, where Jesuit, Capuchin and Carmelite missions existed until their suppression in 1774. Escaping the anti-Catholic atmosphere of the capital, the group settled temporarily at Methone in southern Greece, then under Venetian control, before setting sail for Venice itself in 1715. Two years later the brotherhood was given residence on the island of San Lazzaro, in the Venetian lagoon.

Adopting the Benedictine rule, the monks took an oath to 'religion and the homeland', thereby clearly severing the unitary Armenian ethno-confessional identity fostered by the millet structure. The order mobilised its body of strongly motivated manpower with technical training on a western model to achieve a series of goals, religious, educational and cultural. Mxit'ar became actively involved in publishing, issuing a second edition of the Bible in 1733, as well as commentaries, devotional material and scholarly studies. He also produced several reference books to improve instruction in Armenian (grammar, dictionary, etc.) and instituted an important network of schools which continues to function in various Armenian communities worldwide. The order produced a series of translations and systematic scholarly studies of high erudition, of which one of the most salient was Mik'ayel C'amc'ean's three-volume history of Armenia from earliest times to the present (1784-86) as well as various periodicals to keep Armenians abreast of the latest developments in diverse aspects of modern life, all of which impressed Napoleon on his visit to the island. The order split in 1772, with one faction leaving for Trieste before settling permanently in Vienna in 1811.42

Associated with the rise of the Mxit'arists was the foundation of a Uniate patriarchate in Aleppo on 26 November 1740 under the primacy of Abraham

42 Recently declining vocations and other factors have led to a reunification.

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