for Armenians to unite 'with the Greeks and all nations' was at least partly impelled by pragmatic concerns.75 Nevertheless, his broad erudition is clear from his revision of the Menologion, in which he included commemorations from the Byzantine and Roman sanctorale: a testimony to his fluency in Greek and Latin.76 Moreover, his famous letter to the king suggests that his stance was not determined by pragmatism alone. Issues of ecumenism weighed heavily upon him. He subscribed to the idea developed in Chalcedonian Armenian circles from the sixth century that to be a true follower of St Gregory meant sharing in communion with the universal church.77 This explains his proposal that the Armenian church accept all the ecumenical councils and thereby the Chalcedonian christological definition. Though initially opposed to the practice of adding water to the eucharistic wine, the weight of patristic authority convinced him of its validity.78 That Grigor remained true to his own traditions is underlined by his refusal to accept further demands by the papacy: he opposed a call for the celibacy of parish priests and saw no need to seek papal permission to eat fish and oil during Lent. Though acknowledging the primacy of the Roman see, he also recognised the dignity of the other four ancient patriarchates of the east.79
Opposition in Greater Armenia now centred in the south in Siwnik' under the Orbelean house, whose fortunes had been rising since 1256 when they had received their lands as an inju directly under Mongol suzerainty.80 Along with other nobility and upper clergy, members of the family met in conclave in the 1290s under the presidency of Archbishop Step'anos (Orbelean in order to protect the status quo from the compact with the papacy. They argued that the Armenian Church rested on a unitary ecclesial tradition founded by the apostles Thaddaeus and Bartholomew, developed by St Gregory the Illuminator, defined by the first three ecumenical councils, and maintained by
75 Step'annos (Orbelean, Patmut'iwn nahangin Sisakan [History of the province of Siwnik'] (Tiflis: Aianeanc' Press, 1910), 448.
76 Grigor Anavarzec'i', 'T'ult' team Grigori Hayoc' katolikosi zor greac' ar kronawor taga-worn Het'om [sic], hayr ark'ayin Hayoc' Lewoni' [Letter of the Lord Grigor, catholicos of the Armenians, which he wrote to the cleric king Het'um, father of Lewon, King of the Armenians] in Galanus, Conciliationis, 1, 444. The authenticity of this text has been queried because of the lack of corroborating manuscript evidence. Recently, however, the work has been identified in codices 2037 (ad 1421) and 7841 (ad 1688) of the Mastoc' Matenadaran Institute in Erevan according to an oral presentation by Nerses Ter-Vardanyan on 25 February 2005. Anavarzec'i' is known to have read the works of Jerome and Bede in the original.
77 Cowe, 'An Armenian Job fragment', 148-52.
78 Grigor Anavarzec'i', 'T'ult' team Grigori Hayoc' katolikosi', 438. He compiled a dossier of patristic authorities on the subject for the synod of Sis (1307).
80 Grigoryan, Syunik'e Orbelyanneri orok', 75.
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