Armenia in Christian History
Constantine Second in Conversion
Armenia. Rise to your Applause.
Tridates III is no longer a household name, because of powers interested in attributing Christianity elsewhere. But he was the Armenian ruler who, in 306 AD, first converted to Christianity, and with is conversion, his State.
This was some six years before Constantine, the (fake?)glory boy who hedged his bets on conversion until he saw how it might work out, see http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/ConstantinePaganChristian.htm. He is said to have converted, but privately, at the time of the famous vision; and waited until his deathbed to do the deed, baptism before just before he expired. Fortuitous delay; Lest the other gods prove the real ones? Constantine. No country followed him until he was dead, and cast his die as he died.
In contrast, it was the Armenian ruler Tiridates' adoption of Christianity that made Armenia the first State to adopt Christianity as its state religion. See http://www.armeniaemb.org/DiscoverArmenia/History/History.htm. Nothing in antiquity's history is absolute, but here we have substantial information, see http://www.parthia.com/tiridates3.htm. Vet Genesis. Have you more absolutes there, some may ask. So keep an open mind as to true origins of whatever Christianity may mean to whomever. All is power, politics, propaganda, is that so. Keep that open mind as to what the propandists do not disclose. Is that also so? See http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/armenia/Armenia.htm
Armenia. Does it offer, at last, the slice of truth, hid beneath the PR of the powers, about where Christianity had its real roots as a Belief system. Does it point to the he root: the super-validity of the eastern orthodox branch of Christianity; not the later Roman militant, administrative one. Which is more authentic, closer to The Teachings.
1. Armenia the venerable.
Armenia is the too-often disregarded heritage in modern times; a diaspora of Armenians is worldwide. Yet, Rome, the western sect, takes the credit for the Christian Institution as it "should be."
2. Armenia the root.
Armenia is the place of Mt. Ararat, within its borders, so it is told. Armenians settled in Urarty, in the 6th Century BC, and that area was the Assyrian name for "Ararat." Noah: docked in Armenia? Theo, a teacher with whom I worked long ago in Lexington, MA, who was a proud and wise Armenian, Theo: this is for you. Take even more pride. Rome has no original early belief connections at all. It had the roll-o-dex.
3. Armenia lost out early in Christian history and credit, for no fault of its own.
Armenia has been the crossroads of empires, and was an empire in itself -- for a time, 1st Century AD, its power stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. Since the 17th Century in particular, they have been overcome, taxed to destruction, persecuted, attacked, its population massacred -- a genocide that many say goes unrequited.
Look, despite the aspersions on Armenia, at Ani. The City of Ani, Ancient City
Armenia is the place of old Ani, the city of descendants of David and Solomon: in an area now most of northeastern Turkey, and modern Armenia. See Archeology Odyssey, at http://www.bib-arch.org/archaeology-odyssey.asp. Go to archives for September-October 2002, article entitled Ani, Turkey, Mid-1st Millennium to Mid-2d Millennium AD, Easternmost Christianity.
Ani. In 1000 or so AD, some 100,000-200,000 people lived there, the streets lit, and churches made of distinctive red and black stone. This was a trade-route hub, and by 992 AD there were 12 bishops there, as the Armenian "catholikos" (pontiff, says the Odyssey article) and some 500 Christian priests there.
Then came the invasions: Arabs, Byzantiones, Seljuks (have to look all these up), Georgian and Kurdish. The, in the 1200's, in came the Mongols, Tamerlaine, 1336-1405, was the ruler of an area known as Samarkand, and he conquered southern and western Asia. Look him up also! Have we no education in this country that I, with two advanced degrees, have to pump up my own information??
Tamerlane conquered Ani, and the trade and caravan routes shifted elsewhere.
1441: The Armenian "catholikosat" or pontiff-hood, went to a place called Yerevan. That is near Iran. And Ani just died out. Oblivion.
There is, says the Archeology Odyssey article, shells of 8 churches, and a convent, and a citadel where there were once, it is said, 1001 churches.
1. . Archeological History
1892 -- Russia incorporated the area. See orientalist and archeologist Nikolai Marr. He did a great deal, but Turkish powers then restricted access since it was so near the borders of the former Soviet Union. Tourists can now travel there. See Archeology Odyssey article.
2. Old Churches left in Ani"
Example. St. Gregory the Illuminator 1215 and many more. Read the article. This is an endangered cultural site.
If truth counts, give credence to the Eastern Orthodox version of Christianity as predating in concept and pollution, Rome.
Rome offered and overwhelmed with the expiring civil Empire's capabilities as to PR, Propaganda, Administrative skills leading to all we know of forced conversions, etc.
Who will investigate a return to the faith of Ani, the faith of, who is it? Rome's patriarchal view has failed in faith and following.
Who are we talking about? Have to scroll up because we have forgotten already because he is not Western. Oh, yes. Tridates III. See http://www.parthia.com/tiridates3.htm
But this site mentions nothing of his conversion. See http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/596845/Tiridates-III
Who to trust. Now to Constantine: start your own search. Another topic, as to whether he was a military opportunist who saw an opportunity, and then at the last, cast the die. Like Fox: You decide. Admen control what you see, hear, taste, feel.