Abas (Catholicos)

Abas (Old Armenian: Աբաս) or Tēr Abas was the Catholicos and head of Caucasian Albanian Church in the late 6th century. He is considered as first autocephalous catholicos of Albania, by the virtue of adoption of his full official insulatio as Catholicos of Albania, Lupenia and Chola.[1] However, previous catholicoi were also mentioned in other sources.

Abas
Catholicos of Albania, Lupenia and Chola
ChurchCaucasian Albanian Church
Installed552
Term ended596
PredecessorShuphalishoy (?)
SuccessorViro
Personal details
Died596
DenominationChalcedonian Christianity or Monophysitism

TenureEdit

According to The History of the Country of Albania, prior to his election as catholicos, he was leading Greater Arran bishopric (Old Armenian: Մեծ Առանք, romanized: Mec Aṙankʿ).[2] While Kaghankatvatsi describes his tenure as 44 years starting from establishment of Armenian calendar (that is 552–596 in Gregorian calendar), Mkhitar Gosh offers 23 years (552-575),[3] with Kirakos Gandzaketsi offering as little as 14 years (552-566).[4]

ActivitiesEdit

His tenure saw the transfer of patriarchal see of Albania from Chola to Partav. He was also indirectly mentioned with restoration of Katarovank which was in ruins since days of Sanesan. According to a colophon, he recovered some relics of St. Grigoris, St. Stephen, St. Varus, Mammes of Caesarea, Mar Sargis, Saints Cosmas and Damian, some of Forty Martyrs of Sebaste and Theodosius of Jerusalem in 559, latter of them being strongly anti-Chalcedonian in nature.[2]

Church of Caucasian Albania was a struggle ground between Orthodox and Monophysite views in 6th century. Abas received two letters from top religious heads of its time - Hovhannes II (557 – 574), Catholicos of Armenia and John IV (575 - 594), Patriarch of Jerusalem, both urging Abas to come to their side.[5] Despite posed as staunch anti-Chalcedonian in The History of the Country of Albania,[1] some scholars consider his monophysitism a later addition to sources.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "АБАС". www.pravenc.ru. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  2. ^ a b Movses; Dowsett, C. J. F (1961). The history of the Caucasian Albanians. London; New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 70–71. OCLC 445781.
  3. ^ Dowsett, C. J. F. (1958). "The Albanian Chronicle of Mxit'ar Goš". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 21 (1/3): 472–490. ISSN 0041-977X.
  4. ^ Bedrosian, Robert. Kirakos Ganjakets'i's History of the Armenians. Robert Bedrosian. OCLC 44240366.
  5. ^ Thomson, Robert W. (1994). Studies in Armenian Literature and Christianity. Variorum. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-86078-411-1.
  6. ^ Stopka, Krzysztof (2016-12-16). Armenia Christiana: Armenian Religious Identity and the Churches of Constantinople and Rome (4th–15th Century). Wydawnictwo UJ. p. 77. ISBN 978-83-233-9555-3.