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E00461: Movsēs Xorenac'i's History of Armenia, written in Armenian and traditionally considered a 5th c. text, but most probably of the early 8th c., summarises the story of the martyrdom of the apostles *Addai/Thaddaeus (the Apostle, one of the seventy-two, S00255) and *Bartholomew (the Apostle, S00256) in Armenia, and *Simon Kananaios (the Zealot, the Apostle, 00835) in Vriaspor, Georgia.

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posted on 04.05.2015, 00:00 by naleksidze
Movsēs Xorenac'i, History of Armenia, Book 2, chapter 34

The events described in this chapter happen after the death of King Abgar.

Յետ մահուանն Աբգարու բաժանի թագաւորութիւնն Հայոց յերկուս. քանզի Անանուն որդի նորա կապեաց թագ ՝ թագաւորել յԵդեսիայ, եւ քեռորդի նորա Սանատրուկ ի Հայս։ Գտանի որ ինչ առ սոցա ժամանակաւ՝ յառաջագոյն գրեալ յայլոց, զգալուստ առաքելոցն Թադէի ի Հայս, եւ հաւատալ Սանատրկոյ, եւ թողուլ զհաւատսն յերկիւղէ նախարարացն Հայոց, եւ կատարումն առաքելոյն եւ որք ընդ նմա՝ ի գաւառին Շաւարշան, որ այժմ կոչի Արտազ, եւ պատառումն քարին եւ յիրեարս գալ եւ ընդունել զմարմին Առաքելոյն, եւ առնուլ անտի աշակերտացն եւ թաղել ի դաշտին. եւ մարտիրոսանալ դստերն արքայի Սանդխտոյ Հուպ ի ճանապարհն. եւ աստ ուրեմն յայտնել նշխարաց երկոցունց, եւ փոխել յառապարն։Այս ամենայն, որպէս ասացաք, յայլոց պատմեալ յառաջագոյն քան զմեզ՝ ոչ ինչ կարեւորագոյն համարեցաք ոճով երկրորդել։ Դոյնպէս եւ որ ինչ վասն կատարմանն Ադդէի աշակերտի առաքելոյն յԵդեսիայ յորդւոյն Աբգարու՝ գտանի յայլոց պատմեալ յառաջագոյն քան զմեզ։
Որ իբրեւ թագաւորեաց յետ մահուան հօրն՝ ոչ եղեւ ժառանգորդ հայրենի առաքինութեանն, այլ երաց զտաճարս կռոցն եւ կալաւ զպաշտօն հեթանոսութեանն։Եւ յղեաց առ Ադդէ, զի արասցէ նմա խոյր բեհեզեայ անգուածով ոսկւոյ, որպէս յառաջագոյն առնէր հօրն նորա։Եւ պատասխանի ընկալաւ, թէ " ոչ արասցեն ձեռք իմ խոյր գագաթան անարժանի, որ ոչ երկրպագէ Քրիստոսի Աստուծոյ Կենդանւոյ"։Եւ իսկոյն հրամայեաց միում ի զինակրացն՝ կտրել զիտս նորա սրով: Որոյ երթեալ, եւ տեսեալ զնա, զի նստէր յաթոռ վարդապետութեանն՝ էած սուսերաւ եւ ի բաց կտրեաց զսրունս նորա. եւ նոյն ժամայն աւանդեաց զհոգին։
Զայս ծայրաքաղ արարեալ համառօտ յիշատակեցաք, որպէս զառ ի յայլոց պատմեալ նախկին։
Բայց վիճակեցաւ Հայոց եւ Բարթուղիմէոս առաքեալ, որ եւ կատարեցաւ առ մեզ յԱրեբանոս քաղաքի։ Իսկ զՍիմովնէ, որ Պարսիցն վիճակեցաւ, ոչ զհաւատին կարեմ պատմել, եթէ զինչ գործեաց եւ կամ ուր կատարեցաւ։ Քանզի պատմի յոմանց՝ Սիմովնի ումեմն առաքելոյ կատարիլ ի վերիոսփորայ. եւ թէ նա իցէ ճշմարտիւ, եւ թէ էր աղագաւ գալուստ նորա անդր՝ ոչ գիտեմ. այլ միայն նշանակեցի, զի գիտասցես թէ ոչ ինչ մնայ յիմմէ ջանից պատմել քեզ զամենայն, որ ինչ անկ է։

'After the death of Abgar the Armenian kingdom was divided into two, for his son Ananun was crowned to reign in Edessa and his nephew Sanatruk in Armenia. Whatever occurred in their time has been previously described by others: the coming of the apostle Thaddaeus to Armenia, the conversion of Sanatruk, his apostasy for fear of the Armenian princes, the martyrdom of the apostle and those with him in the province of Šavaršan, which is now called Artaz, the splitting open and closing of the rock and its receiving of the apostle's body, its removal by his disciples and burial in the plain, the martyrdom of the king's daughter Sanduxt near the road, the revelation there of the relics of the two [saints] and their translation to the Rocky Place. All this, as we have said, others have related before us, so we do not consider it at all important to repeat it in detail. Likewise, whatever concerns the death of Addē (Addai/Thaddaeus), the disciple of the apostle, in Edessa at the hands of Abgar's son has been described by others before us.

When the latter came to the throne after his father's death, he did not inherit his father's virtue, but he opened the temples of the idols and adhered to the pagan cult. He sent Addē that he should make for him a tiara of silk embroidered with gold, as he previously used to make for his father. And he received in reply: "My hands will not make a tiara for an unworthy head that does not worship Christ the living God." He immediately ordered one of his soldiers to cut off his feet with a sword. When the soldier came and saw him sitting on his chair of instruction, he drew his sword and cut off his legs. Straightway he gave up his spirit. We have recorded this very briefly as it has been related by others before.

The apostle Barthlomew also drew Armenia as his lot. He was martyred among us in the city of Arebanus [unknown location]. But as for Simon, who drew Persia as his lot, I can say nothing for certain about what he did or where he was martyred. It is narrated by some that a certain apostle Simon was martyred in Vriosp'or, but whether this is true, and what was the reason for his coming there, I do not know. But I have merely noted this so that you may know that I have spared no efforts in telling you everything that is appropriate.'

Text: Thomson 1981, 157-158; Translation: Thomson 2006, 172-173.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

History

Evidence ID

E00461

Saint Name

Addai/Thaddeus the Apostle, one of the seventy-two : S00255 Bartholomew the Apostle : S00256 Simon Kananaios, the Zealot, apostle of Christ : S00835

Saint Name in Source

Ադդէ Բարթողիմէոս Սիմովն

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Armenian

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

40

Activity not after

100

Place of Evidence - Region

Armenia

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hadamakert Հադամակերտ Hadamakert Başkale

Major author/Major anonymous work

Movsēs Xorenaci (History of Armenia)

Cult activities - Places

Place of martyrdom of a saint

Source

The author In the introductory paragraph the author identifies himself as Moses of Khoren (Xoren), although no such town is otherwise attested. He claims to be an active member of the circle of Maštoc' and Sahak of the early 5th century and to have witnessed some of the events he described. But the authorship and date has been challenged convincingly, as the author reveals knowledge of sources much later than the 5th century, and, as Robert Thomson points out, it was only after the year 900 that Movsēs's claim to have been a student of Sahak and Maštoc' was shared by other Armenian authors (Thomson 2006, 2-3). The first reference to the History of Movsēs Xorenac‘i appears in the 10th century, when he is used as a source. It is in the early 11th century that lists first appear in which Movsēs is listed as a 5th century author. Thereafter Movsēs was canonically considered as the 5th century “father of Armenian history”. Currently the most convincing suggested date for the compilation and composition of Movsēs’s history is the first half of the 8th century. Movsēs frequently cites unnamed earlier sources in support of what he writes, but there is no way of telling whether these really existed, or whether they are a rhetorical device. Xorenac'i’s agenda Movsēs overtly writes for his Bagratid patrons, who ascended to power in Armenia in the early 8th century. He seeks to connect the Bagratid family to the period before the official conversion of Armenia, and to assert their perpetual Christianity. According to Movsēs, the Bagratids were even associated with the preaching of Thaddaeus in Edessa, before the latter came to Armenia. Tobias, in whose house Thaddaeus had lodged in Edessa, was, according to Movsēs, a Jewish Bagratid prince. This claim is crucial for Movsēs, as previous historians, who mostly wrote for the rival Mamikonean clan, had closely associated this latter family with Gregory the Illuminator. The Mamikoneans had, according to this tradition, married into the family of Gregory. Therefore Movsēs’s primary agenda was to elevate his patrons’ prestige vis-à-vis the Mamikoneans by pointing out their even older Christian connections (Thomson 2006, 29-30). As part of this agenda, Movsēs promoted the cult of the early apostles Thaddaeus and Barthlomew in Armenia, and adapted the story of the Syrian King Abgar into the Armenian tradition, having made Abgar Armenian.

Discussion

Movsēs elaborates on two sources, the Teaching of the Apostle Addai, which is an elaboration of the Abgar story found in Eusebius. The kernel of the story is the correspondence between king Abgar of Edessa and Jesus and the subsequent conversion of Abgar to Christianity achieved by the apostle Thaddaeus. The Syriac story was created as a defence of the apostolic origin of the Church of Edessa, but was later adopted by the Armenians as a defence of their own apostolic tradition, as here exemplified by Movsēs. In the Armenian rendering of the story, Thaddaeus left Edessa to evangelise 'the East', but in the Armenian tradition, recounted here, Thaddaeus was the first Christian missionary to Armenia, and a martyr there, put to death by King Sanatruk. Movsēs even makes Abgar an Armenian king and Edessa an Armenian capital. Syrian noblemen mentioned in the Teaching of Addai become Armenian princes, while Tobias, the nobleman in whose house Thaddaeus stayed in Edessa, also becomes Armenian.

Bibliography

Edition: Thomson, R.W., Moses Khorenats'i, Patmut'iwn Hayots' (History of the Armenians), a facsimile reproduction of the 1913 Tiflis edition (New York: Caravan Books, 1981). Translation: Thomson, R.W., Moses Khorenats'i, History of the Armenians (Ann Arbor: Caravan Books, 2006). Studies: Van Esbroeck, M. "La naissance du culte de saint Barthelemy en Armenie," Revue des Études Arméniennes 17 (1983): 171-195.

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Licence

Exports