consecrated at Constantinople. Thereafter the catholicoi acknowledged the patriarch's mediatory role in regulating relations with the Sublime Porte.37
To the mid-seventeenth century, Catholic missionaries were active in various cities of the empire, and found some of the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople38 open to persuasion regarding union with Rome.39 But this did not last: the religious orientation of the Armenian Church of Constantinople became more traditionalist as a result of the growing influence of a new class of financially influential çelebis and amiras, who mostly originated from provincial cities like Amasya and Sivas. Suspicion of Catholic missionaries became so intense that in 1714 Patriarch Awetik' Ewdokac'i secured the closure of Jesuit operations in Istanbul.40
Western criticism of the poor quality of the education available to the Armenian clergy was not entirely justified. Under the direction of Vardan Balisec'i (d. 1704) the monastery school at Amrdolu in Bitlis offered a very sound education. Balisec'i updated the curriculum to include the study of history, expanded the library holdings, and had many old texts copied and returned to circulation. Patriarch Kolot was a product of the monastery, which became the model for the monastery and seminary he founded in Uskudar. Moreover, with the lifting of restrictions on printing, Istanbul became the main centre of the Armenian publishing trade. Taking advantage of the technology, Kolot issued a series of medieval anti-Latin treatises. Building on his legacy, his student and successor Yakob Nalean (1741-49; 1752-64) created a patriarchal academy in Kum Kapi and was the author of a series of theological works including the Rock of Faith (1733).
It is largely from this period that the Armenian community attained its classic form in Ottoman jurisprudence, as a millet, in the sense of a religious confessional minority, which enjoyed a high degree of internal autonomy under the leadership of the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople, who represented them before the sultan.41 As such, the patriarch possessed both religious and temporal power, and until the Hatti §erif (Noble Rescript) of 1839 he possessed penal authority over the people, with his own jail and small police force
37 See Kevork B. Bardakjian, 'The rise of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople', in Christians andJews in the Ottoman Empire, ed. B. Braude and B. Lewis (New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers, 1982), 94-5.
38 Patriarch Kirakos.
39 Richard, 'Missionnaires francais en Arménie', 196-202.
40 Affairs reached such a pitch that Patriarch Awetik' was intercepted by French forces while travelling to Jerusalem in 1703 and abducted.
41 As a further reinforcement of the category's confessional, not ethnic, composition, from 6 August 1783 the Armenian millet also incorporated their co-religionists of the Jacobite Syrian church.
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