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atmosphere.62 In keeping with the Armenians' reservations about these earlier papal overtures was their absence from the Second Council of Lyons in 1274, to which even the Ilkhan sent a representative at Gregory X's invitation.63

Trade routes facilitate religious interchange

The favourable conditions attendant on the pax mongolica intensified the volume of trade linking China with Central Asia, Russia, southern Caucasia and Asia Minor via the new Ilkhanid centre of Tabriz and on to the Cilician port of Ayas, whence Italian shipping transported Oriental commodities to western Europe. A more northerly land route through Erzurum, Erzincan and Sivas was also used.64 Many Armenian merchants were engaged in this traffic, leading to the formation of communities in various entrepots and to the construction of churches.65 The Latin mendicant orders also profited from these circumstances. The Franciscans established centres in the following sites with a significant Armenian population: Erzurum, St Thaddaeus, Salmast, Karpi, Tiflis, SuMniya and Tabriz, while the Dominicans possessed houses in Tabriz and Maragha.66 Complaints were soon being voiced that Roman doctrine was encroaching on Greater Armenia, having already infiltrated Cilicia, the main Byzantine cities and the old Bagratid capital of Ani.67

We are perhaps best informed about Erzincan, which boasted one of the most vibrant Armenian merchant and artisan communities of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Turkmen dominated the surrounding countryside, while the local Mengiijakid court patronised Persian culture.68 Literary and canonical references suggest a degree of interrelation between the communities, sometimes consolidated by ties of marriage or family alliance.69 For instance, the rules of the confraternity of Armenian urban youth drawn up

62 Mxit'ar Skewrac'i, Patasxanik' Mxit'ar k'ahanayi Skewrac'woy yalags hamapetut'ean erko-tasan arak'eloc' [On the equal rank of the twelve apostles] (Jerusalem: St James Press, 1865).

63 C. Dawson (ed.), The Mongol mission: narratives and letters of the Franciscans in Mongolia and China in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries (London and New York: Sheed and Ward, 1955), xxi.

64 For a map of these routes, see Hewsen, Historical atlas, 135. For Armenian communities in China, see Dawson, Mongol mission, 232-3.

65 Dedeyan, Histoire des Armeniens, 395-400.

66 Richard, Papaute, 116.

67 Step'annos Orbelean, Hakacarut'iwn snddem erkabnakac' [Refutation of the Dyophysites] (Constantinople, 1756), 43.

68 C. Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1968), 108-9.

69 E. Baldasaryan,HovhannesFrznkac'inevnraxratakanarjak3[YovhannesErznkac'i'sparae-netic prose] (Erevan: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977), 120-8.

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