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St. Vladimir and the Armenians

Volnutt

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I never see mention of the OOs in the story of the Baptism of Rus'. Was there any particular reason that Vladimir never sent envoys to Armenia (Etchmiadzin is about the same distance from Kiev as Istanbul)? Did he not see a difference between EO and OO, for example?
 

Iconodule

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I believe the Armenians were at that point split between Byzantine and Arab vassals. Byzantine trade/political relations were a big factor in Vladimir’s decision.
 

WPM

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If you have transportation like ocean ship or airliner jet.
 

Alpha60

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WPM said:
If you have transportation like ocean ship or airliner jet.
Because we all know St. Vladimir the Great loved to fly around in his Ilyushin IL-96-300M affectionately known as Slav Force One.
 

ialmisry

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Iconodule said:
I believe the Armenians were at that point split between Byzantine and Arab vassals. Byzantine trade/political relations were a big factor in Vladimir’s decision.
He seems to only considered those who had a sovereign backing it.
 

Aram

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Who says he didn't, and that they just didn't come back?
 

Alpha60

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Aram said:
Who says he didn't, and that they just didn't come back?
This seems reasonable, given that at the time you had both the Kingdom of Armenia and the Kingdom of Cilicia; these were no mere vassals, although they were allies of the Byzantines and comprised a buffer zone against invasions from the East.

Also, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the legates sent to Holy Etchmiadzin would have had a materially different experience than those sent to Hagia Sophia, since we are in both cases talking about the two grandest cathedrals of Antiochene Christianity still extant in 1,000 AD (and the two cathedrals are about the same age, too).  Later we of course lost Hagia Sophia to the Muslims, but we have some truly exquisite Orthodox cathedrals that provide a similiar experience, including a newly built cathedral in Kronstadt which is a partial architectural replica of Hagia Sophia.

If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
 

Aram

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Alpha60 said:
Aram said:
Who says he didn't, and that they just didn't come back?
This seems reasonable, given that at the time you had both the Kingdom of Armenia and the Kingdom of Cilicia; these were no mere vassals, although they were allies of the Byzantines and comprised a buffer zone against invasions from the East.

Also, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the legates sent to Holy Etchmiadzin would have had a materially different experience than those sent to Hagia Sophia, since we are in both cases talking about the two grandest cathedrals of Antiochene Christianity still extant in 1,000 AD (and the two cathedrals are about the same age, too).  Later we of course lost Hagia Sophia to the Muslims, but we have some truly exquisite Orthodox cathedrals that provide a similiar experience, including a newly built cathedral in Kronstadt which is a partial architectural replica of Hagia Sophia.

If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
(it was a joke)
 

Alpha60

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Aram said:
Alpha60 said:
Aram said:
Who says he didn't, and that they just didn't come back?
This seems reasonable, given that at the time you had both the Kingdom of Armenia and the Kingdom of Cilicia; these were no mere vassals, although they were allies of the Byzantines and comprised a buffer zone against invasions from the East.

Also, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the legates sent to Holy Etchmiadzin would have had a materially different experience than those sent to Hagia Sophia, since we are in both cases talking about the two grandest cathedrals of Antiochene Christianity still extant in 1,000 AD (and the two cathedrals are about the same age, too).  Later we of course lost Hagia Sophia to the Muslims, but we have some truly exquisite Orthodox cathedrals that provide a similiar experience, including a newly built cathedral in Kronstadt which is a partial architectural replica of Hagia Sophia.

If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
(it was a joke)
Yeah I got that, chief

But as jokes go, it provided a useful opportunity to denote that the intersection of Heaven and Earth is not localized to the Hagia Sophia or the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Indeed I expect before all of the anaphoras other than that of St. Athanasius were suppressed, that the Armenian liturgy at Holy Etchmiadzin was probably the best anywhere.

There is such a pressing need for the Armenian church to recover the beautiful anaphoras, such as the Anaphora of St. Gregory the Illuminator and the Anaphora of St. Sahak, which are presently disused, probably due to Roman influence (and also the Presanctified liturgy).  This, plus the adoption of the system used by the Coptic and Syriac churches in which the liturgical language is interwoven with the vernacular, and works projects in the diaspora so that Armenian churches in the diaspora look less like Roman Catholic parishes and more like the beautiful, mysterious Armenian churches of the Holy Land and Etchmiadzin, with a bema adorned with icons, beautiful oil lamps suspended across the main altar, side altars and reliquaries and features Armenian churches in the old country tend to share in common with other Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches, that one sees for example at the exquisite Armenian church in Isfahan, and so on.  One thing the Copts have done an incredibly good job at in Southern California is liturgical architecture in terms of the decorations inside the church, particularly at St. Anthony’s.  There are some extremely beautiful Armenian churches in California, but the interiors in them strike me as being not quite as beautiful as they could be compared especially to the churches of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, but also Holy Etchmiadzin, Isfahan, and so on.

And of course I weep when I consider all of the Armenians killed by the Turks and the subsequent ruthlessness of the Turks in destroying their churches and kachkars, so as to wipe out any memory of their existence, and this continued ethnic cleansing in Azerbaijan.
 

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Alpha60 said:
Aram said:
Who says he didn't, and that they just didn't come back?
This seems reasonable, given that at the time you had both the Kingdom of Armenia and the Kingdom of Cilicia; these were no mere vassals, although they were allies of the Byzantines and comprised a buffer zone against invasions from the East.

Also, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the legates sent to Holy Etchmiadzin would have had a materially different experience than those sent to Hagia Sophia, since we are in both cases talking about the two grandest cathedrals of Antiochene Christianity still extant in 1,000 AD (and the two cathedrals are about the same age, too).  Later we of course lost Hagia Sophia to the Muslims, but we have some truly exquisite Orthodox cathedrals that provide a similiar experience, including a newly built cathedral in Kronstadt which is a partial architectural replica of Hagia Sophia.

If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
You're about two hundred years off. Cilicia was still firmly Roman and the Kingdom of Armenia under the Bagratuni Dynasty was highly fractured and more of a federation of principalities than one state that had absolute sovereignty in foreign-policy matters. I personally would barely consider it one cohesive state in this time period, even. Armenia of the late 900's and early 1000's was in no shape to offer the pagan Rus much of anything. Even if Armenians could trade with the Rus, by the time their merchants got to the Black Sea, they'd probably be dealing with Roman or post-Khazar, Turkic middlemen. Every Armenian prince would have been a vassal to someone during this period.

You're also taking the "we knew not whether we were in Heaven or on Earth" a bit too much at face value. Economics explains the Rus getting pulled into the Byzantine orbit just as much as aesthetics does. Byzantine missionaries had already been in Kiev area for about a century before the mass-baptism. There were non-Jewish, Christian Khazars and other tribal people who converted to Christianity there, enough to. The Rus raider-princes hadn't wrestled control of the Kiev-region from the Khazars too long before Olga converted.

There were Armenian missionaries who got as far as Iceland, and post-Khazar Kiev had an Armenian quarter if I recall off the top of my head, but missionaries coming out of Etchmiadzin just probably weren't numerous enough to impart their liturgy onto the new faithful, and they had to work together with Latins and Romans. Every Google book I want to source all of a sudden won't let me see the pages in question, but if anyone wants to google "Armenian bishops in Iceland," it's a great story.
 

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Alpha60 said:
If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
With all due respect, I won't feel in heaven in Holy Etchmiadzin as long as major renovation works are still ongoing... does anyone know how long that is going to last?
 

Alpha60

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RaphaCam said:
KostaC said:
Every Google book I want to source all of a sudden won't let me see the pages in question, but if anyone wants to google "Armenian bishops in Iceland," it's a great story.
This would make an amazing alt-hist crossover.
Indeed.  And also could doubtless inspire some intrepid Icelandic episcopi vagantes to attempt to restart an Icelandic Orthodox Church.

That said, despite the dramatic terrain features, I prefer the thick, gentle forests of Sweden and the Norsk fjords to either the Danish islands or the drab terrain of Jutland, or the glaciers and volcanoes of Iceland.
 

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Gorazd said:
Alpha60 said:
If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
With all due respect, I won't feel in heaven in Holy Etchmiadzin as long as major renovation works are still ongoing... does anyone know how long that is going to last?
Hopefully as long as it takes to get it right. It's needed.
 

Alpha60

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Aram said:
Gorazd said:
Alpha60 said:
If I were to make a list of cathedrals currently in Orthodox hands where one could forget whether one was in heaven or on Earth, I would include the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Etchmiadzin, the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, St. Basil’s and the Kremlin churches in Moscow, St. Andrew’s in Kiev, the new main cathedral in Georgia (Holy Trinity, I think), and St. Alexander Nevsky in Sophia, among others.
With all due respect, I won't feel in heaven in Holy Etchmiadzin as long as major renovation works are still ongoing... does anyone know how long that is going to last?
Hopefully as long as it takes to get it right. It's needed.
You know, many of the great cathedrals I have visited in Europe have been undergoing repairs or restorations, and it doesn’t bother me at all; I would much rather see that than see a cathedral in a poor state of repair that urgently requires immediate restoration at the risk of structural failure, like the beautiful baroque St. Andrew’s in Kiev, which is at risk due to subsidence owing to erosion of the hill it is constructed on, which could result in the foundation fracturing and a catastrophic structural failure. Anyone who really cares about the apostolic faith in the Ukraine, whether they are Orthodox, Catholic or whatever ought to be lobbying the government, the EU, UNESCO and anyone else with money for funds for a comprehensive restoration beginning with emergency structural remediation.
 

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St. Andrew’s in Kyiv now is the EP's metochion. Maybe President Erdogan can contribute to its renovation...
It's a lease though, so the owner of the building is the Ukrainian government. I wouldn't really count on them. So this does need third party funding.

Btw, I don't object to the Holy Etchmiadzin being renovated. I just noted that this is so through that it makes it lose the church feeling... and therefore I was wondering if anyone knows how long it is going to last.
 

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Gorazd said:
Btw, I don't object to the Holy Etchmiadzin being renovated. I just noted that this is so through that it makes it lose the church feeling... and therefore I was wondering if anyone knows how long it is going to last.
You ever been there on a busy Sunday? Kind of loses its church feeling there, too. I'd almost recommend going to liturgy virtually anywhere else, and visiting the cathedral on a weekday.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Gorazd said:
St. Andrew’s in Kyiv now is the EP's metochion. Maybe President Erdogan can contribute to its renovation...
It's a lease though, so the owner of the building is the Ukrainian government...
You know what they say about leases...
 
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