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Posted 25 February 2001 - 08:37 AM

Ivor C. Fletcher


During the long dark night of the Middle Ages, God's true Church, as prophesied, "fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God..." (Rev. 12:6). For 1260 years the church of God was driven by the persecuting power of the "Holy Roman Empire" into the remote mountains and valleys of Europe, there to preserve the purity of the true faith.

A variety of names were applied to God's people during this period; "Paulicians," "Publicans," "Puritans," "Waldenses," "Vaudois" (meaning "Valley Dwellers"), "Henricians," "Bogomils" ("Friends of God") and several others. Names such as these, however, were generally used by those outside of the Church. In their own writings church members normally employed the title "Church of God."

Church historians have been able to demonstrate that regardless of the differing names used, "These branches, however, sprang from one common stock, and were animated by the same religious and moral principles."1

"Indeed, from the borders of Spain, throughout the greatest part of the south of France, among and below the Alps, along the Rhine, and even to Bohemia, thousands of the disciples of Christ, as will hereafter be shown, were found, even in the very worst of times, preserving the faith in its purity, adhering to the simplicity of Christian worship, patiently bearing the cross after Christ, men distinguished by their fear of God and obedience to His will, and persecuted only for righteousness' sake."2

As the earlier "Smyrna" (Rev. 2:8-11) era of the true church had been classified by the world as "Ebionites," so the members of the "Pergamos" (Rev. 2:12-17) era came to be known as "Paulicians" ("the followers of the Apostle Paul").

This group of Christians became very numerous during the seventh century and were distinguished by their zeal, knowledge and the simplicity of their lives.

About A.D. 650 a well educated man named Constantine of Mananali began to study portions of the Bible that he had received as a gift. Amazed by the truth which he found revealed he began preaching in the regions of Cappadocia and Armenia. Several evangelists were trained to assist him in the ministry and soon tens of thousands were being converted to the truth.

Constantine plainly taught that the Pope was not the representative of God, and perhaps because of this and other reasons, he was martyred in A.D. 684.

Simeon, an officer sent by the Emperor at Constantinople to destroy Constantine and other church leaders, was so impressed by the faith and courage displayed by Constantine and several of the other martyrs, that he became convinced that these were truly God's people. Three years later, his service to the Emperor completed, he returned to the area and was placed by Christ into the office of an apostle, vacated by the death of Constantine. Following a three-year ministry Simeon was burned at the stake.

A third great leader, Sergius, was later raised up by God to lead the church.

Paulician doctrines, along with those of other groups, are described in a work entitled The Key of Truth, which was translated into English by Fred C. Conybeare. They preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, baptized believers by immersion, practised the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, and observed the Sabbath, the Passover on the fourteenth day of Nisan and the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

This era of the Church was not without its problems. A trend towards spiritual and moral decline set in early; many who associated with the Church were not really converted but simply cleaved to the true Christians with flatteries (Dan. 11:34).

Others held to the "doctrine of Balaam" (Rev. 2:14), that one could commit spiritual "fornication" and coexist with sin and false doctrine. When these people were permitted to fellowship with local church congregations, the corruption only spread to many more members.

In an attempt to correct His people, Christ allowed severe persecution to afflict them -- multitudes perished but few repented.

"During a period of one hundred and fifty years, these Christian churches seem to have been almost incessantly subjected to persecution, which they supported with Christian meekness and patience; and if the acts of their martyrdom, their preaching, and their lives were distinctly recorded, I see no reason to doubt that we should find in them the genuine successors of the Christians of the first two centuries. And in this, as well as former instances the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.

"A succession of teachers and churches arose: and a person named Sergius, who had labored among them in the ministry of the gospel thirty-seven years, is acknowledged, even by their vilest calumniators, to have been a most exemplary Christian. The persecution had, however, some intermissions, until at length Theodore, the Greek empress, exerted herself against them beyond all her predecessors. She sent inquisitors throughout all Asia Minor in search of these sectaries, and is computed to have killed by the gibbet, by fire, and by the sword, a hundred thousand persons."3

Paulician leaders including Sergius and Sambat taught that the same Holy Spirit was in them, and other true Christians, that was in Jesus Christ. Their persecutors, seemingly unable to grasp this point, charged that these Paulician teachers called themselves "Christs," as if this were a matter of blasphemy.

The Paulicians claimed that they were the "holy universal and apostolic church" and as such represented a direct continuation of the first century church established by Jesus Christ. They urged that all Christians, ministers and laymen, should study the Scriptures and that priests who prevented the people from studying were in error and were in fact hiding the truth of God.

Biblical church offices (Eph. 4:11) were held by Paulician ministers and leaders. Those of highest rank were termed "apostles" and "prophets," others who held office were called "evangelists," pastors" or "teachers." They exercised the power of "binding and loosing" (Matt. 18:17-18). "Elders ...rulers" and "readers" are also mentioned. "Teachers" were responsible for hand-copying the Holy Scriptures.

Ministers were expected to be married men, not celibate priests. Ordinations were conducted by the laying on of hands. Apostles were inducted into office by the direct inspiration and selection of Jesus Christ.

The Paulician faith eventually came to dominate large areas of Armenia and Albania but with many this was nothing more than an outward "form" of religion; truly converted members were never numerous. Many reached a state of compromise with the dominant Catholic state religion. They conformed externally but followed Paulician teachings in secret.

In time the alternatives narrowed to apostasy or martyrdom. By the ninth century most had drifted so far from the true doctrines that they were drawn to seek political or military solutions to their persecution problems. Anatolia, one of the earliest Paulician homelands, became a desolation and wilderness ravaged by decades of warfare; thus the "Pergamos" era of the true Church came to its inglorious conclusion.

The next era of the Church of God -- "Thyatira" (Rev. 2:18-29) -- began to conduct a work of some significance around A.D. 1000. Although having its headquarters and centre of operations located in the mountains and valleys of northern Italy and southern France, the work rapidly spread through large areas of Europe and even into Britain. The names most commonly applied to these people were "Vaudois," or "Waldensians."

"The Waldensians," says Popliner, "spread not only through France, but also through nearly all the European coasts, and appeared in Gaul, Spain, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Bohemia, Saxony, Poland and Lithuania."

Crosby records that: "For in the time of William the Conquerer (A.D. 1070) and his son William Rufus, it appears that the Waldenses and their disciples out of France, Germany and Holland, had their frequent recourse, and did abound in England. The Berlingarian, or Waldensian heresy, as the chronologer calls it, had, about A.D. 1080, generally corrupted all France, Italy, and England."4

A wide variation of opinion exists concerning the precise origin of the Waldenses. Some have traced their roots back to apostolic times.

"From among many testimonies I quote that of Henry Arnold, who superintended the `glorious return' of the Waldenses to their valleys in 1689. He says: `The Vaudois are, in fact, descended from those refugees from Italy: who, after St. Paul had there preached the Gospel, abandoned their beautiful country; and fled, like the woman mentioned in the Apocalypse, to these wild mountains, where they have, to this day, handed down the Gospel, from father to son, in the same purity and simplicity as it was preached by St. Paul.'"5

Several authorities, including Reimer, trace them back to the fourth century, but Reinerius Saccho, an inquisitor and implacable enemy, admits that they flourished about A.D. 600.

There seems to be general agreement amongst almost all non-Catholic writers that the Waldensians represented a continuation of the true Church of God.

Even Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, recognised the true status of this group. He employed the diplomatic channels available to him in an attempt to bring an end to the persecution of the Waldensians.

In a letter sent to the Lords of the United Provinces in 1655, Cromwell points out: "But if, on the other hand, he shall continue firmly resolved utterly to destroy and to drive to a state of distraction those men, among whom our religion was either planted by the first preachers of the gospel, and so maintained in its purity from age to age, or else reformed and restored to its primitive purity more early than among many other nations, we hereby declare ourselves ready to advise, in common with you, and the rest of our brethren and allies of the reformed religion, by what means we may most conveniently provide for the preservation and comfort of these distressed people."6

The Waldenses possessed a version of the Bible in their own language and stressed obedience to the commandments, including the observance of the seventh day Sabbath. They also baptized by immersion repentant believers, and kept the Passover or Lord's Supper once a year in the first month.

The lifestyle of these people tended to be simple but industrious. They raised cattle and sheep and had considerable success in the cultivation of olives, figs and grapes. Visitors to their pleasant and well kept villages and hamlets noted the happiness of the people and merry voices of the children at play.

Waldensian doctrines were based on "the doctrine contained in the Old and New Testaments and comprehended in the Apostles' Creed, and admitted the sacraments instituted by Christ, and the ten commandments... They said they had received this doctrine from their ancestors, and that if they were in any error they were ready to receive instruction from the Word of God."7

High moral standards were a part of the Waldensian way of life and like a bright light shining in a dark place these people set a fine example to all who came into contact with them.

"Claudius Seisselius, archbishop of Turin, is pleased to say, that `their heresy excepted, they generally live a purer life than other Christians. They never swear but by compulsion, they fulfill their promises with punctuality; and living for the most part in poverty, they profess to live the apostolic life and doctrine.

"`They also profess it to be their desire to overcome only by the simplicity of faith, by purity of conscience, and integrity of life; not by philosophical niceties and theological subtleties.' And he very candidly admits that `in their lives and morals they were perfect, irreprehensible, and without reproach among men, addicting themselves with all their might to observe the commands of God.'"8

The Paulician and Bogomil evangelization of the Alpine region led to a fruitful harvest of conversions; so much so, in fact, that the Pope in 1096 described the Valley Louise in Dauphiny, France, as being infested with "heresy."

It was in this region, at Embrun, that Peter of Bruys, about 1104, began to preach a message of repentance from sin. This work spread throughout Languedoc and Provence. Peter rejected infant baptism; only persons old and mature enough to understand the importance of the step that they were taking were baptized, and that only after real repentance.

The Catholic teaching that the priest in the Mass was able to produce the literal flesh of Christ was also rejected, along with purgatory, prayers for the dead, reverence for crosses, and several other Catholic precepts.

Peter's preaching, which lasted for "nearly twenty years," was highly successful. Many during this period were led by the Holy Spirit to conversion. The true gospel of the kingdom was spread in the south of France.

After Peter was seized and burned at the stake, his disciple, Henry, took over his position as an apostle, and continued the work. They were charged by the Catholic church with remaining faithful to the whole law of God, including the observance of the Sabbath.

The historian, Mosheim, adds that they abstained from eating meats which were prohibited under the Mosaic economy, and refused to accept the "Trinity" doctrine. They seemed to have understood that God is a family, which converted Christians may join at the return of Christ.

Peter was martyred by burning at a town called St. Giles in 1126. Henry was burned at Toulouse in 1147; some; sources, however, state that he died in prison in 1149.9

"So zealous were the Inquisitors in destroying the writings of Bruis (Peter of Bruys) and Henry, that we scarcely know anything of their tenets save what we can learn from... an Abbot of Clugny."10

The "heretical" teachings of Peter and Henry were summarized by the Abbot as follows:

"(1) They rejected infant baptism and held that it was the faith of the individual candidate, which along with baptism saved him. One cannot be saved by the faith of another. (2) Church buildings are not necessary, worship can take place anywhere by those who are close to God. (3) Crucifixes should not be employed as a part of worship. (4) The bread and wine of the Passover or Communion service are only symbolic -- they do not change into the literal body and blood of Christ. (5) They denied that any prayers, alms or other sacrifices by the living could assist the dead."11

The followers of Peter were said by the Abbot to have gathered up as many crucifixes as they could find on a certain Good Friday and made a large fire of them upon which they roasted some meat and had a good meal. This story seems highly improbable and could have been mere propaganda.

Peter is said to have made the remark that "churches are vainly built, since the Church of God consists, not in a mass of coherent stones, but in the unity of the congregated faithful."12

Henry, Peter's disciple, spoke out against chanting and other forms of repetitious prayer.

During the ministry of Peter of Bruys the people of God were nicknamed "Petrobrusians." They later became known as "Henricians" after Henry. The people themselves, however, used the name "Church of God."

Speaking of the work carried out by Henry, Monastier records that "his preaching made a powerful impression on his hearers. The people were fascinated."13

Two views which were promulgated by Peter and Henry, which almost certainly contributed to the persecution which they suffered, were: "That the priests and monks ought to marry, rather than be the prey of lust, or give themselves to impurity"; and "That God is mocked by the chants which the priests and monks repeat in the temples; that God cannot be appeased by monkish melodies."14

These ministers could clearly see the need for sincere prayer which was from the heart.

Several of the Vaudois concepts were committed to writing during this period. Examples of their works include "The Noble Lesson" written in 1100, "Treatise on Antichrist" (1120), and "Treatise on Purgatory" (1126).

Shortly after the death of Henry the work spread from France into England.

"From Provence they passed into Languedoc and Gascogne, whence their so-called heresy penetrated into Spain and England."15

William of Newbury mentions that about the year 1160, "In the same days, certain vagabonds came into England, of the race (it is believed) of those whom they commonly denominate Publicans." Other sources classify these people as Waldenses or "Thirteen Valdensian families."

"These formerly emigrated from Gascony" and "they seemed to be multiplied beyond the sand of the sea." They were accused of "seducing the simple under a pretended display of piety."

"At that time (during the reign of Henry the Second), however, somewhat more than thirty individuals, as well men as women, dissembling their error, entered here, as it were peacefully, for the sake of propagating their pestilence; a certain Gerard being their leader."16

They seemed to have spread their doctrine in England for only a short time before being arrested, and put into prison. The king directed that they be tried by a council of bishops at Oxford. At their trial they claimed to be Christians, following the doctrines of the Apostles and rejected several points of Catholic belief.

The group was sentenced to be branded on the foreheads, whipped and driven from the city. After receiving this punishment they were "ejected from the city, through the intolerance of the cold (for the season was winter) no one showing to them even the slightest degree of mercy, they miserably perished."17

Another authority on this era (Authentic Details of the Valdenses, written in 1827) mentions that others were burned at the stake, also at Oxford.

Bale in his Old Chronical of London records "one burnt to death tainted with the faith of the Valdenses" in the year 1210. Some, fleeing from persecution in various parts of Europe, reached England to face what must have been an uncertain future.

A treatise dating to about 1160 speaks of "many well disposed persons devoting themselves to the preaching of the Gospel, notwithstanding the persecution which had been set on foot against the members of Christ."18

This period marks the beginning of one of the most important phases of God's work during this era. The later works of this "Thyatira" Church were "to be more than the first (Rev. 2:19).

It was at about this point in history that Peter Waldo, perhaps the most important leader in this Church era, began to preach. A successful and wealthy merchant of Lyons, France, Waldo was shocked by the sudden death of one of his friends. This traumatic experience prompted the question, "If I had died what would have become of my soul?"

Being a Catholic, Waldo asked a theologian, "What is the perfect way?" The reply, quoted from Scripture, was, "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come take up thy cross and follow me."

Waldo gave his wealth to the poor, but also used a part of it to produce a translation of the Scriptures. His personal study of these led him to the command to the apostles to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. Bringing an intelligent and orderly mind to the study of God's Word, Waldo's understanding of the truth increased rapidly.

After a time Waldo began to preach and share his newly discovered truths with others. A group of helpers or "co-workers" began to assist in this work as the "Poor Men of Lyons." The education and business expertise that Peter Waldo brought to the work of God was soon to lead to significant and steady growth.

The bold and determined stand that Waldo took, based on teachings which he found revealed in Scripture, was to lead to major personal problems within his own family. His Catholic wife and two daughters supposed that he had lost his mind, and as a result of this they separated themselves from him; one of his daughters entered a convent. There are some indications, however, that his wife later became reconciled to him and provided financial assistance from the money which he had given to her.

Little is known of the early stages of Waldo's ministry, but he is known to have gone, along with a group of his followers to Picardy, in northern France. After suffering persecution in that area they moved into Flanders and the Netherlands. By 1182 many converts from those regions had joined their cause. Everywhere they went, the Waldenses took their translation of the Bible with them.

In about 1176 the archbishop of Lyons forbade Waldo and his followers to preach. "We must obey God rather than man" was the reply which they gave, and when they persisted in spreading their message they were ordered to appear before Pope Alexander III.

Peter Waldo went boldly to Rome in 1178 where he urged that the Provencal translation of the Bible, which could be understood by the people of southern France, and by those in parts of Spain and Italy, be made available to the people. A decision on the matter was left to the Lateran Council, which in 1179 stated that Waldo and his followers could only preach at the invitation of local priests.

The response to this decision was that Christ had sent them to preach and that this was what they would continue to do. Several years of persecution were to follow, during which period they were eventually driven from Lyons. A group of Waldenses became established in Italy.

The courage displayed by Waldo in defending the true doctrine is further described by Townsend.

"About 1160, the doctrine of transubstantiation was required by the court of Rome to be acknowledged by all men. This led to idolatry. Men fell down before the consecrated host and worshipped it as God. The impiety of this abomination shocked the minds of all men who were not dead to a sense of true religion. The mind of Peter Waldo was aroused to oppose the abomination, and to strive for a reformation. A fear of God, in union with an alarming sense of the wickedness of the times, led him to conduct with courage in opposing the dangerous corruption's of the hierarchy.

"As Waldo grew more acquainted with the Scriptures, he saw that the general practice of nominal Christians was totally abhorrent from the doctrines of the New Testament: and in particular, that a number of customs, which all the world regarded with reverence, had not only no foundation in the divine oracles, but were even condemned by them. Influenced with equal zeal and charity, he boldly condemned the reigning vices, and the arrogance of the Pope. He did more: as he advanced in the knowledge of the true faith and love of Christ, he taught his neighbours the principles of practical godliness, and encouraged them to seek salvation by Jesus Christ.

"John de Bekos Mayons, archbishop of Lyons, a distinguished member of the corrupt system, forbade the new reformer to teach anymore, on pain of excommunication, and of being proceeded against as an heretic."

Although Waldo continued to preach, God it seems took steps to protect His courageous servant.

"All things operated so strongly in his favor, that he lived concealed at Lyons three years.

"Waldo fled from Lyons, and his disciples followed him. By this dispersion, the doctrine of Waldo was widely disseminated throughout Europe .... Persecuted from place to place, he retired into Picardy. Success attended his labors; and the doctrines which he preached appear to have so harmonized with those of the Vaudois, that they and his people were henceforth considered as the same."

Phillip Augustus, a prince of France, attacked the Waldenses and destroyed much of their property. He drove many of them into Flanders.

"Not content with this, he pursued them thither, and caused many of them to be burned. It appears that, at this time, Waldo fled into Germany, and at last settled in Bohemia, where he ended his-days about the year 1179. He appears to have been one of whom the world was not worthy, and to have turned many unto righteousness. The word of God then grew and multiplied."19

A school or college was established for the training of qualified ministers and other labourers in the expanding work of God. It consisted of three small stone buildings and was located in the Angrogna Valley of the Cottian Alps. The college and town of La Torre became the new headquarters of the Church of God. Articles and small booklets were written and copied by hand and provided free of charge to those who were interested in them.

Tithes and offerings from many countries were used to finance the operating costs of the college and, as the work spread, translations of the Bible were produced in various languages.

"Their pastors were named barba, the Vaudois term for uncle. It was in the almost inaccessible solitude of the Pra-del-Tor, a deep gorge... that their school was situated."

"There they learned by heart the gospels of St. Matthew and St. John, the catholic epistles, and a portion of those of St. Paul. They were instructed, further, in Latin, Romane (old French) and Italian. After this they passed several years in retirement, and they were then consecrated ministers by the administration of the sacrament and imposition of hands."20

Ministers were mature and well qualified men. Because of long evangelistic journeys and the extreme personal danger that such trips sometimes produced, few of these men married; this was based on practical rather than religious grounds. They condemned priestly celibacy for scriptural reasons (I Tim. 4:1-3).

Biblical offices were restored for the ministry. Evangelists, pastors, elders and deacons were ordained. Peter Waldo, according to his fruits, was an apostle but called himself "chief elder."

"They were supported by the voluntary contributions of the people, distributed among them annually in a general synod. A third of these contributions was given to the ministers, a third to the poor, and a third was reserved for the missionaries of the church."

"These missionaries traveled in pairs, a young man and an old man. They traversed all Italy, where they had fixed stations at different points, and in almost all the towns adherents.

"The younger men thus became initiated in the delicate duties of evangelization, each being under the experienced conduct of an elder whom discipline established as his superior, and whom he obeyed in all things, alike from duty and from deference. The old man, on his part, thus prepared himself for his repose, by forming for the church successors worthy of it and himself."21

They visited the sick and sang hymns and believed in "free salvation by Jesus Christ -- and above all, faith working by charity."

"They recommended fasting, whereby men humble themselves; but fasting without charity is as a lamp without oil: it smokes, but shines not. Prayer is, with them, inherent in love; patience is the support; gentleness, resignation, charity, the seal of a Christian."

"They deny that the Christian should ever take an oath."22

Ministers were encouraged to learn a trade in order to be able, if necessary, to earn their own living. Many received special training in the laws of physical health and dietary matters.

A system of elementary schools was established for children. Even young children learned to memorize and recite entire chapters of Scripture.

Waldenses observed not only the weekly Sabbath and Passover, but also assembled once a year in September or October for a conference or synod. Some believe that this was in fact the Biblical "Feast of Tabernacles."

Special ministerial conferences were also held from time to time. On one occasion 143 pastors met together -- they came from several different countries.

"They also had extraordinary meetings by deputies from all parts of Europe, where Vaudois churches existed."23

The first Waldenses prohibited participation in wars and even avoided taking military action in self-defense, they also refused to take oaths of any kind. Later generations of Waldenses, however, began to reject these views.

They "instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith and the commandments of God."24

"In like manner, also, their women are modest, avoiding backbiting, foolish jesting, and levity of speech, especially abstaining from lies or swearing, not so much as making use of the common asseveration, `in truth,' `for certain,' or the like, because they regard these as oaths, contenting themselves with simply answering `yes' or `no.'"25

Some 80,000 Waldenses were said to have lived in the Austrian Empire during the fourteenth century.

In 1315 Walter the Lollard, a leading Waldensian minister, along with his brother, Raymond, carried the true gospel into England. His work seemed to have been highly successful as it was said that he spread the Waldensian doctrine all over England.

This zealous leader in God's work also preached in other parts of Europe. "It is known that the celebrated Lollard who laboured with such zeal to diffuse the Vaudois doctrines in England, was not only a native of our valleys (Alpine valleys of northern Italy), but preached in them for a length of time with great success."26

The name "Lollard" came from the Flemish word "Lollen" or "Lullen," meaning to mumble or speak softly. Waldenses were thought to mumble to themselves, or at least this was the impression gained by outsiders as a result of the habit which they practised of memorizing and repeating to themselves, or others, passages from the Scriptures.

Walter Lollard was seized and burned at Cologne, Germany, in 1322. His death, according to one authority, was "highly detrimental" to the cause of his followers, but in England the movement seems to have prospered.

Later, during the second half of the fourteenth century, the name "Lollard" was also applied to the followers of John Wycliffe, the eminent Oxford theologian and Bible translator. Because of this confusion, the later history of the original Lollards becomes somewhat obscure.

A large number of sympathizers joined themselves to the Lollard cause, but it would appear that the objective of most of these people was to introduce reforms into the Catholic church, rather than to come to personal repentance and to assist in the preaching of the true gospel.

In 1401 a law was introduced which forbade the teaching of "new doctrines" by the Lollards. Faced with fines, imprisonment or the ultimate penalty of being burned to death, many recanted and made their peace with the Catholic church. The true Lollards remained faithful to the Church of God, however, and several were hunted down and martyred.

As late as 1494 a group of thirty people known as "the Lollards of Kyle" were tried for "heresy" in Scotland. They were fortunate in that they escaped execution.

The "Thyatira" era of the Church had major internal problems relating to compromise with false doctrine (Rev. 2:20). In the ancient Waldensian "Book of Antichrist" we read that the "Jezebel" of Bible prophecy was equated with the Roman papacy.

The Roman church during the Middle Ages used various means, including the threat of persecution, to induce the Waldenses to participate in Sunday services and the Catholic mass. Many allowed themselves to compromise and commit spiritual "fornication," some even allowed Catholic priests to "baptize" their infant children.

Generations of coexistence with sin led the Thyatira Church to gradually depart from its doctrines. By 1380 many members no longer had the faith to rely on God for protection and began to use military force to resist their persecutors. This was in spite of the fact that God, on several occasions, had caused a wall of dense fog to separate the Waldenses from their enemies.

The probable justification for using military action against their enemies, rather than to follow Christ's instructions to flee from persecution, was that the ancient Israelites had used military might, along with God's assistance to defeat their enemies, and as the Waldenses looked upon themselves as "Israel of the Alps," why should not they do likewise?

Most, by the fifteenth century, had forgotten that the Church of God is a holy and spiritual nation, using spiritual rather than carnal weapons (I Pet. 2:9). Although the first Waldenses had obeyed the command of Christ to "swear not at all" (Matt. 5:34-37), by the time of the Synod of Angrogna in 1532 they had departed so far from their earlier true doctrines that they now held "that a Christian may swear by the name of God."

The Sabbath seems to have been rejected by the Waldenses at about this date, or perhaps even earlier. One of the seventeen articles of their faith written in 1532 states "that on Sundays we ought to cease from our earthly labours."27

At the Synod of Angrogna the Waldenses declared their solidarity with the Swiss Calvinists and the Protestant Reformation. From this time they copied more and more of the ways of the Protestant churches.

The later history of the Waldensian movement is dominated by persecution. This period must be ranked as one of the blackest episodes in the entire history of man's inhumanity to his fellow human beings. God appears to have permitted the mass slaughter of multitudes of these people, perhaps in order to induce them, by means of these severe trials, to repent and return to their former true doctrines and godly way of life.

As the centuries of persecution progressed to a grisly climax, entire villages and communities of these unfortunate people were butchered until it was said that the valleys ran red with the blood of men, women and children.

"Children, cruelly torn from their mother's breast, were seized by the feet, and dashed and crushed against the rocks or walls... their bodies were cast away on common heaps.

"The valleys resounded with such mournful echoes of the lamentable cries of the wretched victims, and the shrieks wrung from them in their agonies, that you might have imagined the rocks were moved with compassion, while the barbarous perpetrators of these atrocious cruelties remained absolutely insensible."28

On one occasion fires were lit at the mouth of a cavern where a group of Vaudois were hiding.

"When the cavern was afterwards examined there were found in it four hundred infants suffocated in their cradles, or in the arms of their dead mothers. Altogether there perished in this cavern more than 3,000 Vaudois...."29

One young man was tied to an olive tree and used as target practice by the soldiers, until the fifth bullet terminated his sufferings.

"Daniel Revelli had his mouth filled with gunpowder, which, being lighted, blew his head to pieces.

"Another martyr, Mazzone, was stripped naked, his body shredded with iron whips, and the mangled frame then beaten to death with lighted brands."30

Many villages were burned to the ground. In one such incident, "Some women having been surprised in the church, they were stripped naked, subjected to indescribable outrages, and then compelled to hold

each other by the hand, as in a dance, were urged, at the pike's point, up the castlerock, whence, already severely wounded and suffering, they were precipitated, one after the other into the abyss beneath."31

Men were sometimes sold to ship owners as galley slaves and women and girls who survived the horrors of those days often were sold to the highest bidder.

"I speak not of the young women and girls who were seized and taken into these dens of iniquity; the atrocious outrages to which they were subjected may not be described."32

Some women, unable to contemplate an obscene and violent death, or survival under such unthinkable conditions, took their own lives.

Houses were burnt and goods plundered, thousands were forced to flee into the mountains where many perished of cold and hunger.

"So monstrous were the cruelties with which the extermination was accompanied, that several even of the officers who had been appointed to "execute it were struck with horror, and resigned their commands, rather than fulfill their orders."33

When the persecutions ended in 1686, a French officer observed that "All the valleys are wasted, all the inhabitants killed, hanged or massacred."34

As we read of this very sobering aspect of church history, it is good to remember that history does indeed repeat itself. A time, yet future is predicted, when the final era of God's Church, the Laodicean era, will also be exposed to the wrath of Satan, and those human instruments that he can influence. Is it not far better to learn the lesson that the Waldenses failed to heed, and to stay close enough to God that we are counted worthy to receive His protection (Rev. 3:7-13)?

FOOTNOTES -- Chapter 8

1. Jones' Church History, page 238.

2. Ibid., page 187.

3. Jones' Church History, page 187.

4. History of the Sabbath, J.N. Andrews.

5. The True Ecclesia, D.H. Macmillan, page 23.

6. Jones' Church History, page 380, ed. 1837.

7. Ibid., page 355, ed. 1837.

8. Idem., page 259.

9. See The Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, page 163, G.S. Faber.

10. Idem., page 163.

11. Ibid., pages 169-172.

12. Ibid., page 181.

13. The Vaudois Church, Monastier, page 40.

14. Ibid., page 45.

15. The Vaudois Church, Monastier, page 38.

16. The Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, G.S. Faber, pages 204-205.

17. Ibid., page 208.

18. Ibid., page 374.

19. Townsend's Abridgment, pages 405-409.

20. Israel of the Alps, A. Muston, page 3.

21. Ibid., page 4.

22. Ibid., pages 4-7.

23. The Vaudois Church, Monastier, page 93.

24. Jones' Church History, page 260.

25. Ibid., page 259.

26. Authentic Details of the Valdenses, ed. 1827.

27. The Vaudois Church, Monastier, page 146.

28. The Vaudois Church, Monastier, pages 270-1.

29. Israel of the Alps, A. Muston, page 20.

30. Ibid., page 45.

31. Ibid., page 34.

32. Ibid., page 74.

33. Ibid., page 141.

34.Ibid., page 204.


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Posted 25 February 2001 - 09:02 AM

"..., rather than the Paulicians, who owned property, married, and fought as warriors."

Hamilton, Bernard, Monastic Reform, Catharism and the Crusades (900-1300), Variorum Reprints (London 1979),pp. 115-124.

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Posted 11 November 2001 - 09:36 AM

The Paulicians. [New Englander and Yale review. / Volume 42, Issue 177, November 1883]

Rev. William Clark

778 The Pctulician8. [Nov.,

THE important agency of the Paulician~ in the church, or in
the progress and development of Christianity, has never yet, as
it seems to me, been fully recognized. Tudeed there has been
hardly any other opinion entertained respecting them than that
they were some unimportant heretical sect which troubled for
a time the early church and then passed away. By church
historians they have usually been regarded as some off-shoot
or remnant of the Manicheans, Gnostics or other oriental sects,
and entitled only to a suspicious consideration. They have
been judged as to their tenets, philosophical or doctrinal, but
not in respect of their real elements of life and power, that is,
as a moral and religious agency; they have been judged as the
representatives of a theological system in relation to the ortho-
doxy of the church, and not as a development of its spiritual
and religious life.
Even those who have spoken of them most favorably have
represented them as an erratic growth of a portion of the church,
rather than a fresh infusion and a beautiful exhibition of the
apostolic spirit. They have been seen through an obscure and
hostile medium, hence it is not strange their excellencies are
We are acquainted with them only through their enemies
and persecutors, but a careful examination of even these testi-
monies will convince us that there has scarcely ever been since
the time of Christ any religious movement which, in its glo-
rious results, has more powerfully affected the universal visible
church than that which began among the Paulicians on the
banks of the Euphrates in the seventh century. The object of
this article will be to establish and illustrate this important
fact, and in doing this I shall refer to various matters connected
with their origin, growth and subsequent religious history in
their descendants and adherents in different lands and under
4ilifferent names.
About the middle of the seventh century, when the Saracens

1883.] The Paulician8. 779

conquered Persia, they also made an irruption into Armenia as
far as Mt. Ararat, and after having laid waste the entire
country with fire and sword, enriched with spoils, they returned
to Damascus leading many of the Armenians captive. Though
thus conquered by the Saracens, through the intrigues of the
Greek emperor, they were afterwards persuaded to declare in his
favor. This enraged the Saracens who again made prepara
tions to invade Armenia determined to give it up entirely to
pillage and ruin. Just at this time, however, on account of a
sedition among the Saracen troops, the then ruling caliph was
killed. He was succeeded by Moawiah, a man of different
character, who prevailed upon the Armenians to return to the
obedience of the Saracens. So mild and generous was the gov-
ernment of this caliph that many Armenians in other lands
then returned to their own country, and hence we have the fol-
lowing account of the origin of the Paulicians:
In 660 a Christian deacon, who had been made captive by
the Saracens and carried into Syria, returning home stopped at
a little village, Mauanalis by name, situated near the Euphrates,
and here for some days was hospitably entertained at the house
of one of the villagers whose name was Constantine. In
return for his kindness the deacon, on leaving the village, pre-
sented to his host two manuscripts which he had brought with
him out of Syria, containing the four gospels and the epistles of
St. Paul. These manuscripts Constantiuc faithfully read and
studied, and soon became enlightened respecting the many pre-
vailing errors and corruptions which had then crept into the
Christian church. The visions and miracles, as well as the
relics and images which the people worshiped soon appeared
in their true lightas base impositions introduced by the monks
and priests.
But this man was by no means satisfied to read these sacred
books by himself; he made them known also to others. Pros-
elytes rapidly gathered around him, and, seeing the impossi-
bility of reforming the dominant church, he separated himself
from it and founded a new church on the principle of reforma-
tion from all error, according to the teaching of the gospels
and of the letters of Paul. From this circumstance they
adopted and received the title of Paulicians.

780 The Paulician~.

There is every reason to believe that this sect was of
Armenian origin and that in its growth and power in Asia it
was composed of those belonging to the Armenian nation~
There is no evidence that the Greek element entered in any
important degree into the Panlician movement. The Syrian
element may have been represented in a very slight degree.
The name adopted by them seems clearly to be of Armenian
origin. The termination Ian or ean is what is frequently em~
ployed in the Armenian language to give a generic quality to a
proper name, and this generic quality may be either a patro-
nymic or it may relate to sect, as in the present case. Thus,
in Armenian we have for Paul Boghas, and Boghosean signifies
pertaining to the family of Boghos, or being an adherent
of l3oghos. Transferring this word into the Greek as was then
done by writers under the Greek empire, we have Pauliklan or
IiIao)~xaz.oe, and hence Paulicians. It is contended by some
that this name was not adopted by themselves but given them
by their enemies. Their historian, Petrus Siculus, says they
were thus called from one Paul, of Samosata. As this histo-
rian was their most bitter enemy and wished to brand them as
Manicheans, he propagated this fiction; but at the same time
he testifies that they condemned this Paul from whom he
asserts they received their name. He says, Promptissime
etiam damnunt Paulum Samosatenum. So that, according to
his testimony, they derived their name from a person they con-
demned, and whose Manicheism they abjured. Other writers,
as Photius and Cedrenus, certify that the Paulicians condemned
Paul of Samosata. There are others who trace the nafrie, of
this sect to a later Paul, an Armenian, one of their teachers,
but this appears not probable. Though there were doubtless
Armenians of this name among their first and principal teach-
ers, yet nothing is more evident than that the name was from
Paul, the apostle. The very names their teachers adopted
most clearly proves this, as Sylvanus, Tychicus, Timothy,.
Epaphroditus, etc. They called themselves Paulicians because
they loved and admired the writings of the great apostle~
This is the most natural and most reasonable way of account-
ing for their name.
That the Paulicians were Armenians appears also from the

1883.] The Paulicians. 781

fact that they were found at first oniy in Armenian cities,
Argaum, Karahissar, Divrik; all these were Armenian cities,
and have remained such to the present. Indeed the entire
region where the Paulician movement originated, spread and
became powerful, was Armenian in its population, hence we
are authorized to conclude that this Panlician reform was a
reform or awakening among the Armenians.
In addition to this, we have the testimony of Armenian
writers. Here they are called Armenians, and we are told
that they were a source of the greatest agitation among the
people of their nation. The Paulicians called the orthodox
Armenians image-worshipers, and in consequence of the
trouble caused by the former, a large meeting of the Arme-
nian church was held at Tovin at which were present nearly
all the bishops of Armenia Major and Minor. Here the
IPaulicians were anathematized and thirty-two canons were
adopted for the future government of the church. The ortho-
dox Armenian church had departed at this time as far from
the simplicity of the gospel as had the Greek, and hence a
reform that aimed at the removal of any of its corruptions was
promptly met by an anathema.
The character of the political administration of the Byzan-
tine Empire, as well as the character of the population of the
Asiatic portion, would also indicate this to have been an
Armenian movement. Finlay, in his history of the Byzantine
Empire at this period says: The predominant influence in
the political administration was in the hands of the Asiatics,
and particularly of Armenians who filled the highest offices,
civil and military. The family of Leo the Isaurian was of
Armenian descent. Leo V. was an Armenian. Of the numer-
Otis pretenders who assumed the title of emperor, the greater
part were Armenians. Artavasdes, who rebelled against his
brother-in-law Constantine, was an Armenian. So also Thomas,
who revolted against Michael IL Many of the Armenians in
the Byzantine Empire at this time belonged to the oldest and
most illustrious families of the Christian world, and their con-
nection with the remains of Roman society at Constantinople,
in which the pride of birth was so highly cherished, is a
proof that Asiatic influence had eclipsed Roman and Greek in

782 The Paulician8.

the government of the empire. The population of the Asiatic
portion of the empire was largely Armenian. The terrible
desolations made by the Persians and Saracens drove a vast
number into Asia Minor. Hence we are led to the conclusion
that the great Paulician reform or development in Asia was
principally and distinctively Armenian. Constantine and his
followers devoted themselves heart and soul to the work of
gaining converts to this new apostolic church. Adhering
firmly to the simple doctrines of the gospel, and boldly and
zealously preaching them, they rejected and condemned those
tenets and practices which stood directly opposed to its teach-
ings. They had found a pure gospel and would have a pure
church. Images made without hands according to the orthodox
church, were to the Paulicians the common work of a mortal
artist, to whose skill alone the wood and canvas were indebted
for their merit and value. Miraculous relics were only a heap
of bones and ashes destitute of life or virtue, or of any relation
perhaps with the person to whom they were ascribed, and the
true and vivifying cross was a piece of sound or rotten wood~
The Mother of God was robbed of her celestial honors, and
saints and angels were no longer needed to mediate in heaven~
Thus they were sincere and zealous preachers of the gospel~
and converts flocked to them in multitudes. They were evi-
dently, too, men of ability, thoroughly versed in the sacred
writings, as well as in all the errors and corruptions of the
church; though simple and austere in their lives, they were
mighty in wielding the truth of God, at the same time relying
much for their success upon the divine influence of the Holy
Spirit. They despised the wealth and pride of the prelacy, and
censured its pomp as inconsistent with the gospel. Their great
aim was, like the Apostle they so much admired, to preach
simply Christ and Him crucified. But as it was in the time of
the Apostle, so now these Paulicians were subjected to severe
and cruel persecutions. Their writings and tenets were pro-
scribed by the Greek emperors of Constantinople. Their
books, says Gibbon, were delivered to the flames, and all who
should presume to secrete such writings or profess such opinions.
were devoted to an ignominious death.
The divine and orthodox emperors, as Petrus Siculus calls

1883.] The Paulicians. 783

them, had before this been very zealous in consigning to the
flames the books of the Manicheans wherever they could be
found, and slaughtering without mercy the culprits themselves,
and dooming to death and confiscation all who gave them pro-
tection, and now their holy activity was extended to the Pauli-
cians. No sooner had the sect sprung into existence under the
Emperor Constans II. than it began to be persecuted. These
persecutions continued with great severity under the reigns of
his successors Constantine Pagonatus, and Justinian the Second.
Many Armenians were driven to seek protection among the
Saracens, where they enjoyed religious toleration and were
advanced to posts of honor and influence. The naval and many
land successes of the Arabs at this time were owing to the skill
of the Armenians who had joined them, having fled from the
persecutions of the Byzantine rulers.
By the earnest and self-denying labors of Constantine and
his disciples, however, even in those times of persecution, many
churches were formed in the regions of Pontus and Cappadocia,
that part of Asia Minor where are now many of the mission
stations of the American church. Malatia, Kharp~t, Arabkir,
Divrik, Sivas, Caesarea, etc.; this was their missionary ground.
Constantine, as says the church historian Neander, to desig-
nate his profession as an apostolic reformer, took the name of
Sylvanus, and so it became the custom afterwards for the more
distinguished of the sect to call themselves by the names of the
several companions of Paul, a custom which may rightly be
regarded as marking the distinct aim which they had before
them. Constantine labored about twenty-five years, and dur-
ing this time he saw many of his countrym~n abandon error
and embrace the truth. For the more successful prosecution
of his work, he had located himself at Karahissar, a place
further north, and in the midst of a larger Armenian popula-
tion. In 684, one of the last years of the reign of Constantine
Pagonatus, that emperor sent his minister, Simeon by name,
into these regions armed with civil and military power, and
ordered him to punish with death the leader of this sect and all
his obstinate adherents, and deliver to the bishops all who were
disposed to recant, to be properly disciplined and instructed.
Gibbon, in speaking of the execution of this order, says: By

784 The PctuUcians. [Nov.,

a refinement of cruelty, Simeon placed the unfortunate Syl-
vanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as
a price of their pardon and proof of their repentance, to mas-
sacre their spiritual father. They turned aside from the impi-
ous office, the stones dropped from their filial hands, and of the
whole number only one executioner could be found, and this
was Justus, his own ungrateful adopted son, who afterwards
proved a base and treacherous Judas. The greater part of
those who were handed over to the bishops persisted in main-
taining their old opinion, upon which Simeon undertook to
bring them over to the pure doctrines of the church, but
strongly impressed with their remarkable sincerity, he came at
length to regard them with favor.
Just at this time he returned to Constantinople, but after
remaining there three years, where he was compelled to conceal
his own honest convictions, he secretly returned into Armenia
and joined himself to the followers of Constantine, and finally
became the head of the sect, occupying the place of him whom
he had caused to be stoned, and took the apostolic name of
Titus. He labored three years with great success, inducing
large numbers to join the Paulicians, when he was betrayed
by the same treacherous Justus who had stoned Constantine.
At the suggestion of this Justus, the Emperor Justinian II.
directed in 690 a new examination into this heresy, the result
of which was that Titus and many others with him were burned
at the stake.
With reference to this Simeon, the historian Petrus Siculus
accounts for his conversion by saying that he was possessed
with the devil, possideretur a diabolo. His martyrdom and
that of his associates is described in the following words:
Itaque extrudo ad acervum ingenti rogo incensi et cremati
omnes fuerunt.
A certain Paul was then placed at the head of the sect, and
in him and his son Genesius upon whom was bestowed the
name Timothy, the life and vigor of the Paulicians revived
anew. In spite of internal dissensions which now began to
show themselves, the sect increased and flourished. The names
Zacharias, Epaphroditus, and Bahanes, are mentioned as their
ministers and religious teachers.

1883.] The Pctulicictn8. 785

With Leo the Isaurian as emperor in 717, commenced what
has been termed the Iconoclastic period of the Byzantine Em-
pire, which lasted about a century. This period was distin-
guished for the new life and vigor which was infused into the
administration and policy of the government. With Leo, the
eastern Roman Empire was reformed and became what properly
is called the Byzantine. Leo was an Iconoclast, and hence was
regarded as a heretic by the Greek orthodox church. He was
also of Armenian descent.
And now commenced a new era of prosperity for the Pauli-
cians. There were many points of sympathy between them
and the Iconoclasts. Both united in condemning picture-wor-
ship, to which the Greeks and Armenians were so much at-
tached. The Iconoclasts were also for the most part Armen-
ians, and hence there was a national bond of union between
them and the Paulicians, yet the Iconoclasts were not neces-
sarily Paulicians, as they only condemned picture-worship and
in all other respects conformed to the church. The numerous
converts, however, made during this century and the next were
from the Iconoclasts. Leo commenced his great work of eccle-
siastical reform by an edict ordering all pictures in churches to
be placed so high as to prevent the people from kissing them,
and prohibiting prostration before these symbols, or any act of
worship being addressed to them. Strong representations were
made by the Patriarch and Pope Gregory IT., but Leo was firm.
He also befriended the Paulicians, and through his reign they
extended their labors through nearly every part of Asia Minor.
At this time there arose a new reformer, Sergius by name,
who contributed greatly to the extension of~ this sect far be-
yond its former limits. He was won over to the Paulicians in
the following manner, as given by Neander: He once met with
a woman belonging to this sect who asked him whether he had
ever read the gospel? Sergius replied in the negative, adding
that this was a thing which belonged exclusively to the clergy
that the mysteries of Holy Scripture were too exalted for
laymen. Hereupon the woman said, the Holy Scriptures are
intended for all men, and they are open to all, for God wills
that all should come to the knowledge of the truth. But the
clergy who forbade them to be studied by the laity wished to

786 like Paulician~. [Nov.,

withhold from the latter the mysteries of the divine word, lest
they should become aware of corruptions which the clergy had
introduced into them. For the same reason it was only single
portions of scripture torn from their proper connection, which
were publicly read in the churches. She then asked him whom
it was our Lord meant in Matt. vii. 22, where he speaks of those
who would plead that they bad wrought miracles and prophe-
sied in His name, but whom he would nevertheless refuse to
acknowledge as his. These are those, said she, whom you call
saints, of whom you say that they perform miraculous cures,
expel evil spirits, whom you honor while you neglect to honor
the living God. These words made a deep impression on the
mind of Sergius, which led to his faithful study of the Scriptures
and to his conversion. This account of Neander was taken
from the history of Petrus Siculus, and it is a remarkable testi-
mony of a rabid and violent enemy of the Paulicians to the
gospel simplicity of their system of faith. His violent declama-
tions seem all the more bitter and intense from the fact that
the Bible and the Bible alone was the religion of the Paulicians.
Sergius became a teacher under the name of Tychicus, and
for the space of thirty-four years he incessantly acted the mis-
sionary, traversing every part of Asia Minor for the advance-
ment and confirmation of the Paulician communities, and for
the spread of the Paulician doctrines. He frequently visited
the same regions and cities where the apostles and early minis-
ters established churches, and here he too organized and built
up large Paulician communities. Six of these churches repre-
sented those to which St. Paul had addressed his epistles. In
speaking of himself he says: I have run from east to west and
from north to south till my knees are weary, preaching the
gospel of Christ. Like the Apostle Paul, he maintained him-
self by the labor of his own hands. According to Photius he
followed the trade of a carpenter. His style of preaching was
to present first and chiefly the simple doctrines of a practical
Christianity, and by these he gained monks, nuns, and ecclesias-
tics in large numbers to the gospel. Petrus Siculus, his bitter
enemy, can say nothing against his character or his sincere and
earnest piety, only that he turned many from the orthodox
faith and made many converts to the devil. His life was closed

1883.] The Paulieian8. 78T

by martyrdom, he being cut into two pieces by an axea re-
markable instance, according to this same historian, of the just
judgment of God, Justo tandem Dei judicio securi dissectus
Ut qui Ecciesiam Dci dissecuerat in ignem missus est sempiter-
The remarkable success of Sergius and his disciples was
owing partly to the religious toleration of the Emperor Niceph-
orus, who would not be prevailed upon by either Pope, Patri-
arch or church to persecute the Paulicians. Another cause of
success was to be found in the very great efforts made by Ser-
gius and his co-laborers to disseminate the Scriptures. Many
were constantly employed in copying manuscripts of the gospels
and Epistles of Paul, and circulating them among the people.
In studying the history of the Paulicians one cannot fail to be
struck with the very great importance they ever attached to~
this agency in their missionary work. From the days of Con-
stantine they made the greatest possible exertions to bring the
Scriptures into contact with the people, and on this account
more than any other, perhaps, they became the objects of the
bitterest hate and persecution of the priests and higher clergy.
The Scriptures were, however, very widely disseminated at this
time, and the precious seed was sown broadcast over the most
of Asia Minor.
An important movement had occurred some time before this
which had contributed to introduce the Paulician doctrines
into Europe and scatter over the west the seeds of the reforma-
tion. Under the reign of Constantine Copronymus, 741775,
when the Saracens were making invasions into the southeastern
part of the empire, where the Paulician movement had been
marked with unusual success, this emperor, finding it impossi-
ble to retain possession of the country removed the Christian
population to Thrace, where he founded several flourishing col-
onies. These Armenian colonies were drawn from the Asiatic
cities Douche, Malatia, Divrik, Samosata, indeed from all the
cities of that region where the Paulician sect arose and gained
its first adherents. This transportation of a large population
from the Euphrates into Europe was in accordance with the
spirit and practice of the times. The Byzantine emperors
transferred entire populations from one place to another as a

188 The Paulicians. [Nov.,

matter of policy. In the transportation of the Paulicians made
by Constantine Copronymus there entered the motive of secur-
ing his western frontier in Europe against the incursions of the
Bulgarians. These enterprising and loyal Armenians formed
a cordon of strong posts that most effectually restrained, for a
long period, the enemies of the Byzantine empire.
With the reign of Michael I. (812) the work of persecution
was revived anew. It was proposed in the senate as one of
his first measures to put the leaders of the Paulicians to death
in order to intimidate their followers and thus compel them to
become orthodox Christians. This cruel measure was opposed
by the senate, but finally prevailed. Leo V., the Armenian,
who came to the throne in 813, being an iconoclast, checked
the work of persecution for a time, and under this wise and effi-
cient emperor justice was administered with rare equity, but,
during the reign of his successor, Michael II., the Paulicians
by excessive taxation, oppression, and persecution were excited
to rebellion, and this rebellion was so formidable and far-reach-
ing that Constantinople even came near falling into their hands.
It was headed by an Armenian, a distinguished general in the
Byzantine army, and continued with various success for more
than three years. The armies and fleets on each side were
large and powerful and many extensive districts in central
Asia Minor were almost depopulated.
When the regency of Theodora commenced, pictures, images,
relics, and ceremonies became the great objects of veneration.
The Paulicians, says Finlay, were the heretics who at this
time irritated the orthodoxy of Constantinople. These were
enemies of image worship and showed little respect for the
authority of a church establishment, for their priests devoted
themselves to the service of their fellow creatures without
forming themselves into a separate order of society or attempt-
ing to establish a hierarchical organization. Their social and
political opinions were viewed with as much hatred and alarm
by the ecclesiastical counsellors of Theodora as the philan-
thropic principles of the early Christians bad been by the
pagan emperors of Rome. The same calumnies were circulated
among the orthodox against the Paulicians which had been
propagated amongst the heathen against the Christians. The

1883.] The Pctulician8. 789

populace of Constantinople was taught to exult in the tortures.
of those accused of Manicheism as the populace of Rome had
delighted in the cruelties committed on the early Christians as
the enemies of the human race. Theodora sent her inquisi-
tors into all the Paulician districts, and during her short reign
she is said to have extirpated by the sword, the gibbet and the
flames more than one hundred thousand of these religionists.
A far greater number escaped into other lands and many fled
to the Saracens for protection. Large numbers, for instance,
escaped into the province of Melitene (Malatia) where the Sar-
acen emirs granted them protection and assisted them to form
in some instances schemes of revenge.
Long-continued and severe persecutions prompted them
more than once to rebel against the Byzantine government,
and these revolts, says Gibbon, were wars for religious liberty.
As were the ilussites of Behemia and the Calvin ists of France,
such were the Paulicians of Armenia. About this time com-
menced a rehellion against the persecuting government under
a valiant Armenian, of the name of Carbeas, who commanded
the guards of the emperor in the east. Hearing that his father
had been crucified for his adherence to the doctrine of the
Paulicians he fled to the Emir of Melitene and by his aid col-
lected an army and invaded the empires. The emir introduced
this Armenian general to the caliph and he also promptly ren-
dered him and his adherents every possible assistance both
with money and troops.
These Armenian Paulicians were the protestants of the east
1100 years ago. True, at this time, worldly ambition and
revenge were at work. The former pure, spiritual religion
which once characterized them became mingled with worldly
passion. They massacred the governors and inquisitors sent
by the emperor to punish and extirpate them. In the mount-
inns between Sivas and Arabkir they built and fortified the
city of Tephrice (Divrik), and here in their stronghold they
long dwelt in a state of independence, making frequent incur-
sions into various parts of the Byzantine empire. These incur-
sions were carried on most vigorously for more than thirty
years, and the armies of the empire were forced to act almost
entirely during this time on the defensive. The Paulicians~

~79O The Paulicictn8. [Nov.,

assisted by the Saracens, were everywhere successfuL The
brother and son of the empress, Theodora, were both com-
manders of the imperial forces against the heretics, and both
were defeated and compelled to flee before them. Under
Chrysochier, the son and successor of Carbeas, they extended
their conquests still further. In alliance with the faithful
Moslems, says Gibbon, he boldly penetrated into the heart of
Asia, the troops of the frontier and the palace were repeatedly
overthrown, the edicts of persecution were answered by the pil-
lage of Nice and Nicomedia, of Ancyra and Ephesus. The
latter city was for some time in their possession, and its mag-
nificent cathedral was turned into a stable for mules and horses.
The Paulicians vied with the Saracens in their contempt and
abhorrence of images and relics.
The Emperor Basil, the Macedonian, was reduced to sue for
peace and to offer a ransom for the distinguished captives that
had fallen into their hands. Some of these captives belonged
to the chief families of Constantinople. For their ransom he
sent an embassy to iDivrik but was unable to effect any peace-
able arrangement. The chief person of this embassy was the
celebrated historian Petrus Siculus to whom we have often
referred. He has left us a valuable account of this people,
though the intense bitterness of his enmity pervades every part
of it. IDuring his residence among them he learned that the
Paulicians had sent ambassadors into Bulgaria to induce the
king of that newly converted country to form an alliance with
them, and had also sent missionaries to persuade the people to
receive their doctrines.
Basil made his first attack upon the Paulicians in 871, but
after some slight successes he came near being entirely
defeated, losing the greater part of his army, and he escaping
only by the valor of one of his brave officers. Recovering
after a few years from his defeat he resolved to capture and
destroy all the cities that had been for so long a time the
strongholds of the rebellion. For this work he called into
requisition all the resources of his empire. With an immense
army he ravaged the territory of Melitene, sent one of his gen-
erals to capture Samosata and Sozopetra, while he himself
crossed the Euphrates and laid waste the country as far as

1883.] The Paulician8. 791

Asanias. He fought a battle with the Emir of Melitene but
was not altogether successful, not venturing either to besiege
Melitene or Divrik. After ravaging all the territory around
these cities he returned to Constantinople leaving one of his
generals to prosecute the war.
Finally, however, the Paulician general, being compelled to
invade Cappadocia in order to sustain his troops, his camp was
surprised and he was slain. His head was sent to Constanti-
nople, that the emperor Basil might fulfill a vow he had pre-
viously made that he would pierce it with three arrows. Div.
rik and other strongholds were soon after taken and the
Paulicians of those places exterminated or dispersed with terri-
ble cruelty. Nevertheless, though their cities and strongholds
were ruined the spirit of independence survived in the mount-
ains of all that part of Asia Minor and for more than a century
longer they defended their religion and liberty and maintained
their alliance with the Moslems in opposition to their persecu-
They were the Waldenses of Asia, believers in the same
gospel that is now being received by the protestant Armenians,
Turks, and K~rds scattered over these same wild, rugged
mountains. There are numerous caves in these mountain fast-
nesses, several of which the writer has visited, and these were
probably the dwelling-places of those Armenian Paulicians.
There are still remains of artificial walls and fountains or wells
in these hiding places, showing that they were once inhabited.
In many cases their openings are high up on the perpendicular
sides of the mountains and can only be entered by ladders or
by ropes letting one down from above. Some are very exten-
sive, with many divisions, partly artificial and partly natural.
In these caves were their churches and dwelling-places, and
here, more than a thousand years ago, was heard the voice of
prayer and song. In the city of Divrik, that was so long the
Paulician stronghold, in 1855 there was organized an Armenian
protestant evangelical church.
It is a significant fact that these early protestants of the
eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries in the midst of their persecu-
tions were in a measure protected by the Moslems. As a
power the Moslems were the only people at that time who

792 The Paulician8.

knew anything of religious toleration, and practiced it in many
oases towards those they did not consider idolaters. The
same toleration was shown towards the Persian sect of fire-wor-
shipers who had no images but adored the sun and fire as the
purest emblems of the Divinity. The generous policy of the
Moslems towards the Paulicians, however, and their strong
arm of power enabled them long and successfully to resist the
errors and corruptions of the oriental church and preach the
pure gospel throughout all western Asia.
It has been already mentioned that about the middle of the
eighth century large numbers of Paulicians were transported
into Europe by the Emperor Constantine Copronymus. Thes&
colonies on the western frontier of the empire during the twG
centuries that followed became rich and populous. Having
had constant communication with the Armenians of Asia and
large accessions from them from time to time, the distinctive
Paulician tenets also of the east were successfully transferred
to the west, and the zealous and self-sacrificing labors of Con-
stantine on the Euphrates and of Sergius in Ephesus, in Phil-
adelphia, Thyatira, and Pergamus were repeated by others
equally devoted to the truth in the cities of the Balkan and
the Adriatic. Those in the tenth century were multiplied by
a more numerous colony which the emperor John Zimisces
transported from the Asiatic provinces into the many valleys
near the Balkan. The oriental clergy, says Gibbon, would
have preferred their destruction, but this warlike emperor
esteemed their valor. Their attachment to the Saracens was
pregnant with mischief, but in the west, on the banks of the
Danube against the barbarians of Scythia, their service was
valuable to the empire. Their transferrence in both instances
was a military measure in accordance with the settled policy of
the Byzantine emperors. Tn Europe a greater degree of reli-
gious toleration was granted them, and hence very many left
their old seats in Asia where they were continually subjected
to persecutions, for a home more peaceful in Europe. In
European Turkey they held for a long time the city of Philip-
opolis and the surrounding region; they occupied also the
strongholds of Thrace, the villages and castles of Macedonia
and Epirus, and their large markets became the entrepOts of

1883.1 like Pauhician8. 793

trade between central and western Europe on the one hand,
and Asia on the other. As now the Armenians control the
trade of an extensive region in southern Russia, north of the
Azof, so then, by their skill and enterprise, they controlled the
commerce of southeastern Europe and were active to extend its
spirit over the entire continent. When they were treated with
justice and moderation by the Greek emperors, they were ever
the most distinguished soldiers and officers of the empire, so
much so that their courage was regarded with astonishment by
the pusillanimous Greeks. So also were they the empires
most faithful and active commercial agents. But when their
rights and privileges were violated they became formidable
enemies. They were remarkable for their industry and the
vigor they displayed in conducting their local affairs. Their
lands were well cultivated, says a Byzantine historian, and
bravely defended, and their commercial dealings extended over
a great part of western Europe. Their moral education was
excellent though their religious opinions were deficient in Gre-
cian orthodoxy. They adhered to the pure gospel here as in
Asia Minor and opposed the sirnony and corruption of the
Greek church.
From about the middle of the ninth century, when the Biil-
garians received Christianity through the efforts of the Mission-
aries Methodius and Cyril, there was much intercourse between
them and the Paulicians. There existed many points of syrn-
pathy between them, both in opposition to the fiscal severity of
the imperial government, and also to the gross corruptions then
prevailing in the church. Both suffered from the excessive
arrogance and tyranny of the Greeks, and both were largely
engaged in the overland trade between Europe and Asia, hence
the Paulician missionaries found great success with their Euro-
pean neighbors.
At the close of the eleventh century, when the emperor
Alexius marched against the Normans, twenty-eight hundred
of these Paulicians joined his army, as the military contingent
they were bound to furnish; but having lost three hundred
men in the defeat at IDyrrachium, the remainder, instead of
rallying in the imperial camp, returned home. After the con-
clusion of the war Alexius determined to punish them for their
VOL. VI. 53

794 The Paulicians. [Nov.,

desertion and destroy their communal system, and in this he
partially succeeded, by sending his troops among them who
deprived them of their property, and with great cruelty drove
them from their homes, but this only provoked a rebellion in
which the Paulicians completely defeated the Byzantine forces,
slew both their generals and extended their depredations over
all the European part of the empire. They long maintained
themselves in opposition to the power at Constantinople, but
just at the close of the reign of Alexius they were subdued.
They still continued powerful, however, arid their religious
efforts extended abroad more widely the more they were dis-
tressed at home. Missionaries in large numbers joined their
caravans of trade, and by the Danube and around the Adriatic
they went into the various parts of central and western Europe.
According to the best testimony given us they had appeared
in Italy as early as the very beginning of the eleventh century.
The frequent relations between Bulgaria and Italy caused by
the wars of the Greek empire with the Normans, brought many
into Sicily, Puglia, and Lombardy. The spirit of trade and
manufactures operated powerfully at that time to introduce
them into Italy and the south of France. They manufactured
beautiful cloths of all kinds, fine textures and brilliant colors,
which were in great demand, hence many of them received the
name of Tessitori or weavers. As early as 1017, at Orleans, in
the south of France, one of their missionaries from Lombardy
made numerous converts, both laic and clerical, to their doc-
trines. Great numbers were early found in the country of
Albigeais, in Frau~e, and by 1030 they had not only extended
themselves over Italy and France but even into Snain. In
Italy these Paulicians received the names of Paterines, or
Cathari, and in France, from the large numbers found in the
country of Albigeais, they were called Albigenses, from the
fact also, perhaps, that one of their principal settlements was
near the town of Albi. Before the thirteenth century these
Paulicians, or the Cathari, their natural descendants, had
nnmerous churches planted all the way from Thrace to Gas-
cony. In the beginning of this century, says Gibbon, their
Primate resided on the confines of Bulgaria, and governed by
his vicars the filial congregations of Italy and France. The

4883.1 The Paulicians. 795

IPapal inquisitor, iReinarius, testifies that these congregations or
churches formed a chain that extended from Bulgaria to the
It is said that they received the name of Paterines and
Cathari first in Milan where they were found in great numbers
in 1140, and where for more than two hundred years they had
great influence, so much so that a street where they resided
and met for worship was called via dei Patar~ In the Piazza
de Mercardi, a sq nare still containing some of the old remains
of Milan, is to be seen a building called Palazzo della J?agione.
It is where, in earlier times, the magistrates of the common-
wealth of Milan and the ducal courts of justice were held in
after times.. On this building in a small niche stands the
effigy of one of the chief persecutors of these religionists. He
is represented mounted on his steed in full armor in curious
costume, and beneath is the following inscription: Qui
solium struxit Catharos ut debuit uxit. This recounts his
brave deeds in extirpating the Paulician heresy. Here in
Milan also the Archbishop Eribert caused to be erected on the
public square a cross and a funeral pile and the Cathari were
forced to choose one or the other; they however covered their
faces with their hands, and threw themselves into the flames.
They had at this time congregations at Modena; Brescia,
Viceuza, Verona, Viterbo, Orvieto, and several in iRimini,
Bagnalo, iRomandiola and other places. IReinerius says that
in 1259 there were sixteen large churches in Italy and France,
that the church in Alba consisted of five hundred members, at
Concorezzo fifteen hundred, Bagnolo two hundred.
They had bishops or elders, pastors and teachers, and also
messengers, that is, men employed in traveling to administer to
the relief and comfort of the poor and persecuted, and the sick.
Their bishops received ordination from Bulgaria, as we learn
from the following testimony: Primis temporibus quibus
bacrisis Cathorum in Lombardia multiplicari coepit, primum
habuerunt Episcopum quendam Marcum nomine sub cujus
regimine omnes Lombardi et Tusci et Marchioni regebantur.
Iste Marcus ordinem suum habitat de Bulgaria.
These Paterines in Italy undoubtedly comprised the original
Paulician missionaries who had come into the country in large

796 The Paulicictns. [Nov.,

numbers from Bulgaria, and also their converts. It is probable
that a large part of the bishops, missionaries, and principal
teachers of these religionists were Armenian Paulicians, but
the membership of the churches was made up largely of native
converts. iReinarius gives testimony in accordance with this
opinion. The actual Cathari in western and central Europa
he thinks not to have exceeded four thousand, but the believers
were innumerable. The actual Cathari, says Faber, were
probably the physical descendants of the Paulician emigrants,
while the believers were the native proselytes they made in
The Paulicians were in France a long time before they
received the name of Aibigenses, and were represented by his-
torians as emigrants from other regions. The councils of Tou-
louse (1119), of Lombez (1176), and the general council of the
Lateran (1139), did not condemn them as Albigenses but as
heretics, Cathari, Paterini, etc. Spanheim and Basnage say
that there were many among the Albigenses who had come
from the east into these and other western countries. They
were known in France before the time of Peter Waldo, from
whom the Waldenses are said to have derived their name.
Their enemies also testify to their great antiquity. The name
of Albigenses they did not receive till after the council of Loin-
bez (1176), and in all that time they were spoken og not as of
recent origin, but as strangers who had come into the country
about a hundred years before. Dr. Allix states, on the author-
ity of Ademar Cabamensis, that they had been driven by the
emperor of Constantinople out of his dominions, and that they
had appeared in France after having in their progress westward
previously shown themselves in Lombardy.
Gibbon, in closing his account of this people, uses the fol-
lowing remarkable words: It was in the country of the Albi-
geais, in the southern province of France, that the Paulicians
were most deeply implanted, and the same vicissitudes of mar-
tyrdom and revenge which had been displayed in the neigh-
borhood of the Euphrates, were repeated in the thirteenth cen-
tury on the banks of the Rhone. The insurgents of Tephrice
(lDivrik) were represented by the barons and cities of Lan-
guedoc. Pope Innocent III. surpassed the sanguinary fame of

1883.1 like Paulicians. 7,97

Theodora. The visible assemblies of the Paulicians or Albi-
geais were extirpated by fire and sword and the bleeding rein-
nant escaped by flight, concealment, or Catholic conformity.
Large numbers fled to the mountains of northern and western
Italy, some to the Waldenses, and to the Valtellina and Enga-
dine in Switzerland. Some passed from Gascony into Eng-
land, some into Flanders, and multitudes into Germany and
It is remarkable that these early efforts for religious reforma-
tion took place in what were then the finest a~nd most civilized
regions of the world. It was thus in the Byzantine empire in
the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries. And especially
was this the case in central and western Europe. Italy and
the south of France were then in advance of other countries in
refinement and civilization. Languedoc, Provence and the sur-
rounding countries were peopled by an industrious and intelli-
gent race of men addicted to commerce and arts and especially to poetry. They had formed a proven9al language distinct from the Walloon, Roman, or French, which was distinguished by more harmonious infiexions, by a richer vocabulary, by expressions more picturesque, and by greater flexibility. This
was studied by all the genius of the age, and became the finest and most elegant of all the languages of modern Europe. It
was in this lovely region the Paulicians found sympathy and
success. As they had been the most enlightened and intelligent
class in Asia Minor, so they sustained the same character in
Europe. The inquisitor, Reinarius, says that in all the cities
of Lombardy and Provence, and in other kingdoms and nations
there were schools of heretics. They also disputed publicly,
and summoned the people to those disputations, besides preach-
ing in the markets, the fields, the houses, etc. In the district
of Pavia alone there were forty-one of these Paulician schools.
In France some of them sent their sons to be educated at the
University of Paris, and their schools for females were so cele-
brated that in them were educated the daughters of the nobility.
IFrom the testimony of their enemies we know that the greater
part of the barons and nobles loved and protected them against
the persecutions of the church.
The same missionary character which distinguished them in

The Pctulicians.

Asia was more strikingly exhibited in Europe. The author of
the Belgian Chronicle says: the error of the Albigenses pre-
vailed to that degree that it had infected as many as a thousand
cities, and if it had not been repressed by the swords of the
faithful I think it would have cor1~upted the whole of Europe.
This may be regarded as a confession that had it not been for
the terrible crusades against these religionists in France and
Italy, and the invention of the inquisition, the Lutheran refor-
mation would have taken place about two centuries before it
actually did.
In Bulgaria, Croatia, IDalmatia, and Carinthia, as well as in
many cities in Hungary, the Paulicians of the Byzantine
empire established churches in the eleventh and twelfth centu-
ries soon after coming into Europe, and again in the thirteenth
in Dalmatia and Croatia it is reported that many churches
owed their rise to the labors of one Bartholomew, of Carcas-
sone, an Albigensian, coming from the south of France. In
Bohemia and the country of Passan it has been computed that
there were not less than eighty thousand Christians of this class
in 1315. They traveled, as did the apostles, from city to city,.
working at their trades. or selling their wares, and preaching
the gospel as they had opportunity. IReinerius gives us an
interesting account of the manner in which they made con-
verts even among the great ones of the earth, and a mode so
successful that they are known to have proselyted not only thc
princes of the House of Toulouse with other nobles, but also
the King of Aragon.
How the Albigenses were related to the XATaldenses it is
difficult precisely to determine. Some writers regard them as
different branches of the same sect inhabiting different coun-
tries, and deriving its name from its local residence; others,
however, as Pr. Faber, regard them, and I think with more
reason, as two distinct witnesses of the church, originally inde-
pendent, but having intimate relations at an early period. The
original Albigenses are sometimes called the physical descend-
ants of the Paulicians and the Waldenses their theological
descendants. The striking missionary character belonging to
the Paulicians was imparted to the Waldenses, as the latter, if
they existed, had remained quietly in their native valleys till

1883.1 The PauUcian8. 799

they came in contact with the former. History informs us that in 1165 very many were driven by persecution from the
south of France and they planted themselves in the valleys of
Piedmont. These were not the followers of Peter Waldo but
another people, probably the Albigenses. These early inter.
minglings and associations, together with the horrible persecu-
tions that were first visited upon the Albigenses, prepared the
way for the first geographical and ecclesiastical amalgamation
of the two sects in the valleys of Piedmont. Indeed, we have
evidence of this from the testimony of their persecutors who
say that routed from the south of France by the Montfort per-
secutions, they fled, some into the Alps, where they found
secure concealment both for life and doctrine. Part migrated
into Calabria, part into Germany, through the eastern Alps,
and fixed their seats in Bohemia, Poland, and Livonia, and
others still turned their course westward and found refuge in
Britain, and some even in America. About the beginning of
the fifteenth century the absorption of these two sects seems to
have become complete.

We have thus traced the Armenian Paulicians from the banks of the Euphrates, in eastern Asia Minor, to the Alps of Switzerland. From 660 to 1405 their history is marked and distinct, and during all this period they alone constituted the truest representatives of an evangelical, spiritual, and missionary church. Full of energetic, spiritual life they were ever struggling to throw off from the visible establishment the accretions and observances that were destroying its life. They wrestled mightily in opposition with what had been wrapped around it, and endeavored to impart life to a church and a world by the simple gospel. The gospel was their great weapon, and this they were bound to use to enlighten a world; hence their missionary zeal. Over the whole extent of the great Byzantine empire they carried this gospel though imperial armies and fleets opposed them. But this was not enough. With a strong and living missionary agency they gave life to Italy, the south of France, the north of Spain, Flanders, Belgium, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland. They sent thousands of living streams over all the continent so that there is not a country in Europe where there have been manifestations of spiritual life but these cannot be traced back to and connected with Paulician agencies. Thus the Armenians did the great preparatory work for the reformation. This agency,as I remarked at the commencement of this Article, it seems to me we have not fully recognized, and we have not credited to the Armenians, as we ought to have done, the great work they accomplished. Will not the church of the west, after so long a time, recognize her obligations to these Christians of the east, and repay by enlarged missionary and educational efforts the great work they accomplished long ago for Europe and for America?

[ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#24 khodja



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Posted 11 November 2001 - 10:10 AM

Thank you MJ. Yes, the Protestant Reformation sprung from an Armenian movement. A treatise explaining the differences between the Paulicians and Tondrakians will elucidate another earth-shattering movement (political) which sprung forth from the Armenians.

Digging even deeper into the hidden history of Armenian Christianity will reveal mind- boggling and "heretical" thoughts. We Armenians are the "Rosetta Stone" to understanding the true origins of Christianity.

#25 MJ



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Posted 11 November 2001 - 10:35 AM

I advise everyone to have the patience to read the entire material posted above.

#26 Arpa



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Posted 11 November 2001 - 02:42 PM

Thanks for your warm welcome.

Bavlikianner are the same bavghikianner. No mistake in pronounciation. In armenian L and GH are ''ldzort'' kirer, i.e. they replace each other. For example, Jerusalem is YEROUSAGHEM in Armenian.

The Latin/Greek L transliterates to "gh" as in Lazarus/Ghazaros, miele/meghr, sal/agh etc. There is a reason to this madness. During the pre-Mashtots era there was no L in the Armenian as we know it now, i.e it was not the glosso dental L(yun) of today but rather something like the French/German R. Try it an you'll see. Place the tip of your tongue behing your teeth and pronounce L, then raise the back of your tongue almost touching your palate and try again. Armenians did not, could pronounce L, it sounded like the sound of the latter exercise. Mesrop had to devise two letters, one to accomodate the original Armenian sound (gh) and the other(L)to accomodate Latin and Greek words.

The proper Armenian transliteration for Paulician would be Pavghikian (note the P as in Cha Pe Je). Further, the "v" would have been "u" as in Hyun. This letter following the letter Ayb was used to produce the sound of "o" which was eventually adopted during Kilikian times. Therefore if we track back- what we are reading as PaVghikian today, written as PaUghikian would be pronounced as Poghikian. Does the modern surname of Boghigian/Poghikian come from the days of the Paulicians?


Have a nice day



#27 MosJan


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Posted 11 November 2001 - 07:39 PM

ArpaJan Welcome To Hye Forum . BArov es Yekel ...

#28 MJ



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Posted 13 November 2001 - 03:53 PM

Dear Arpa,

Should I also use "ghusin" instead of "lusin?" Just kidding.

But it may be observed that the name Paul or Pavel is the Greek/Roman version of the Biblical Jewish name Savugh. In that sense I can understand where the "gh" in "Bavghikians" may come from. However, the name "Paul" is borrowed from Greek/Latin, not Hebrew, if I understand correctly. Why "Bavghikian?"

By the way, I don't mind the "gh" in Panlikians. I just mind the misplaced angry faces.

P.S. Isn’t it interesting that the two examples brought in above regarding the “ldzord kirer” are “Bavghikian” and “Yerusaghem?” Could you give some other examples? I am curious.

#29 MJ



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Posted 13 November 2001 - 03:57 PM

I just thought of "Gatoghigos," which is another foreign to Armenian word. Anything else?

#30 Twilight Bark

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Posted 13 November 2001 - 04:04 PM

Originally posted by MJ:

P.S. Isn’t it interesting that the two examples brought in above regarding the “ldzord kirer” are “Bavghikian” and “Yerusaghem?” Could you give some other examples? I am curious.

Can I pitch in? Gallia <--> Kaghia

The tendency to turn "ll" to "gh" apparently goes back to the times when the Armenian language diverged from other indo-europen languages. The word "kaghak" (city) probably comes from the word for wall (the first towns were surrounded with a wall, and the wall really was the point of the town), as the w<-->k transformation is well known.

#31 Arpa



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Posted 13 November 2001 - 05:38 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by MJ:
[QB]Dear Arpa,

Should I also use "ghusin" instead of "lusin?" Just kidding. :)

Don't be shy. A very good question.
It is altogether possible that "lusin" is a relatively new word based on "luys", from the Greek "lux". It is also possible that before that we used the word "mah" for moon, the Persians still use it while our usage has been reduced (literally) to "mahik/little moon" to mean crescent. As we know "mah" also means death in Armenian. The latter is a variation on "mard/mart", a word that can be found in many languages all the way from Persian "mert" to Latin and English "mort(al)". The Armenian word "mard" to mean "man/mankind" simply means mortal/mahkanatsou.

But it may be observed that the name Paul or Pavel is the Greek/Roman version of the Biblical Jewish name Savugh. In that sense I can understand where the "gh" in "Bavghikians" may come from. However, the name "Paul" is borrowed from Greek/Latin, not Hebrew, if I understand correctly. Why "Bavghikian?"
There are several theories about the origin. One is that a certain Poghos of Samosat started the movement and another, more credible, is that the movement aimed to remove all extraneous mythology, be it of the OT or the NT and purify the religion solely based on the Epistles of Paul, i.e concentarte on the message rahter than the nature of the messenger.

Paul's native name, as you mention was Saul, he adopted the Greek name of Paul after his conversion. The latter may have been dubbed on him partly because of his diminutive stature as Paulos/Polos means small in Greek. Observe many Greek surnames that end in -poulos to mean the son of or the little one. Even in the Armenian particularly in some Kilikian dialects, most notably those of Zeitoun and Marash "poloz/boloz" means child, little one.
The Translators of the Bible were very careful to distinguish the OT Saul and the NT Saul/Paul. The Latter is transliterated as Soghos while the former as Savugh.


#32 Twilight Bark

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Posted 13 November 2001 - 06:01 PM

Originally posted by Arpa:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MJ:
[QB]Dear Arpa,

Should I also use "ghusin" instead of "lusin?" Just kidding.

Don't be shy. A very good question.
It is altogether possible that "lusin" is a relatively new word based on "luys", from the Greek "lux".

Here is a speculative twist on the word "lusin": The name of the Akkadian (the civilization that replaced the Sumerians) moon-god is "Sin". It is possible to speculate that some people in the area called the deity representing the moon Lu-Sin, "Lu" meaning "man" in sumerian. Or, maybe the word luys and "Sin" merged into one. Now, please understand that an "orthodox" linguist would probably chase me out of the room for speculating like this, but hey, we're among friends.

#33 MJ



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Posted 29 November 2001 - 07:56 PM


Twice happy tonight! Got home between the trips, and a copy of the "Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia" translated by Fred C. Conybeare and published by The Clarendon Press in 1898 was waiting for me.

#34 khodja



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Posted 29 November 2001 - 09:11 PM

I suggest that you also study the differences of belief between the Paulicians and their Tondrakian offshoot.

#35 MJ



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Posted 01 December 2001 - 01:42 PM

The next message represents the renown letter by Grigor Narekatsi, to dismiss from him the suspicions of belonging to the Tondraki "sect." I had read about this letter in many places. Finally, it was possible to read it. The material below is entirely due to Fred Coneybeare - with all the footnotes. I have made only two or three (I think) technical comments, while initializing them.

P.S. In the material below, Conybeare uses the epithet "heresy" to characterize Paulicians or the Tondraki. However, in the introduction of his book, he mentions that he is using the tem not in the sense of considering Paulicians and the Tondraki as a heresy, but just in the conventional historical sense, since historically these were qualified to be so.

[ December 01, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#36 MJ



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Posted 01 December 2001 - 01:49 PM

The original of the copy from which the following letter is printed by Father Basil Sarkisean1 in his volume of “Manichean Paulician Heresy” (Venice, 1893, in Modern Armenian), is preserved in a codex called the Book of Letters, which used to be in the library of the Fathers of Antony at Constantinople. This codex was written out in 748 of the Armenian Era = A.D. 1300, in Hromkla, by Thomas Vardapet, on charta bombycina, from an older copy which belonged to Gregory Vkayaser in the year 527 = A.D. 1079. The convent of Khjav, to the Abbot of which the letter was written, was very ancient, and was situated in the province of Mokatz.

About the year 987 accusations where made against many Armenian monks and priests of being secret or open members of Tondraki sect. Among those accused was Gregory of Narek, the famous saint and author of book of devotions which is still in the hands of every Armenian priest. A council was held at Ani before which he was acquitted, and, to fully exculpate himself, he was forced to write the following letter to the Abbot of Kdjav, who notoriously leaned to the side of the heretics.


Of the Grecious Droctor Gregory of Narek, which he wrote to the celebrated convent of Kdjav, concerning the tenets of the cursed Tondraki, Ians and Iamres, who came in the guise of sheep, but within is a ravening wolf; who moreover by his fruits was made known to all. Him the holy doctor having heard of, wrote in order to liberate others from the evil tenets: -

Lord Father2, I write this because an untrustworthy rumor of evil of tendency, -although those who heard it considered trustworthy, nor was there any ill-will to prejudice them – admits of no other means of contradiction.

For I heard that the unmentionable and obscene lechery of the heresy of the cursed Tondraki sect is mentioned among your poise ones. And I was lost in astonishment at a statement so improper on the part of the enemies of God, who declare that you furthermore reported to Mushel , a learned man by repute, that you had been satisfied by

1 Many of Father Sarkisean’s valuable notes I translate, adding his initials B.S.
2 Nothing more is known of this Abbot, nor do we know at all if any steps were taken inconsequence of to this letter to purge his convent of heresy (B.S).
B.S. Conjectures that Mushel was i.q. Mushel Bagratuni Abasean, mentioned by the historian Asolik as a governor of Karse in 984. But as he was a Vardapet, I doubt this identification. In any case it was honored name in Armenia from the earliest times. It is written with a strong l answering to Greek lambda. Or translate “that you (and) specially Mushel … reported that.”

a bearer of letters whom you had sent that they (i.e. the Tondraki) are not alien to the apostolic tradition1 ; and that you are keenly desirous to share in their lot and associate yourself closely with those who have been cut off by the sword of the avenging heathen Amir2 Apl-Vard, who is in fact a rod of wrath in the hand of Lord Jesus.

We learn from the same source that you ask, What writing directs any one to be anathematized ? asserting the marvelously composed letter of contradiction of our blessed Lord Ananias 3 , to be nonsensical or absurd, or spoken against God. Now, if all this has been inspired by you, - I omit to say agreed by you and (spare so to write) relished by you – than you have summed up in yourself the afore-written opinion that “their chosen food became loathing.”

There is much that is divine and everything that is apostolical that is yet denied and abolished by them. Of divine ordinances, there is the laying on of hands4 as the Apostles received it from Christ. There is the communion in his body5 , as the Apostle defined it, saying: In eating the bread of communion, we receive and eat God himself, who was united in flesh. This communion-bread, before which we tremble, Smbat6 thought to be ordinary bread. And as for the birth through spiritual throes, I mean by water and Spirit, of which it was declared that it make sons of God, concerning this, he taught others that it consisted of mere bath water.

And as to the exalted day of the Lord7, on which [the word of God] created the first light and perfected thereon the light off his rising, and prefigured by an economy the quickening light of his Advent, - this day, adorable for doth image, he has explained to them is to be counted just like any other days.

Then among the observances which we know to have been repudiated as neither apostolic nor divine, [we know to be] the mysterious prayers of genuflexion8 , though the Creator of all, Jesus Christ, bowing bent the knee. We know that the Font is denied by them, in which Christ himself was baptized; that the communion of immorality, which Lord

1 This testimony that the Abbot and Mushel had satisfied themselves after examination of Tondraki sect to be an apostolic church and to possess the apostolic tradition was a valid one, is both important and interesting. It is the claim which is made on almost every page of the Key.
2 This Amir cannot be identified with certainty. The reference proves that the Paulicians took the field against the Mahometan invaders, and were not spared by them.
3 This letter, written under compulsion of the Armenian Catholicos by Anaias of narek, Gregory of Narek’s uncle, is preserved but does not merit translation., being mere invective. Ananias was, like his nephew, accused of being a Tondraki or Paulician.
4 But we saw above that the prominent Armenian churchmen of the tenth century admitted that their heretical rivals had the true apostolical tradition.
5 The account preserved in the Key of the Paulician Eucharist is so fragmentary that it is not easy to say against what aspects of it Gregory of Narek directs his remarks. The grain of truth in them most be that the Paulicians rejected the orthodox sacraments in favor of their own.
6 Smbat (the same name as Sinbad) is stated below to have been the founder of the Tondraki Church.
7 The Key gives us no information as to how Paulicians regarded the Lord’s day.
8 We gather that the Paulicians preyed standing erect in the primitive Christian manner. The continuity of observance of their Church is strikingly illustrated by the fact that its modern adherents still forebid genuflexions, as we learn from the confession adduced in pp. xxv, xxvi of the Prolegomena.

himself gave unto all, is denied. We know their filthy habit of lecherous promiscuity1 , where the Lord reproved and suppressed even a glance. We know that they deny the adored sign2 (i.e. the Cross), which God, made man, raised and carried on is shoulder as his own glory and authority. We know of their anthropolatrous apostasy, more abominable cursed than idolatry; of their self-conferred3 contemptible priesthood, which is a likening of themselves to Satan ; of their depreciation of the sacrament (lit.) of marriage , which our Lord, by his own miracles , and through his own God-bearing mother, prized and honored. This sacrament (lit. crown) they contemn, and reckon the mere fact of union in love with one another to be perfect love, and from God and pleasing to Christ; saying that God is love and desires the love union alone, and not the sacrament of marriage (lit. crown). I know, too, of their railing caviling of the first-fruits , which Able and Noe and Abraham and David and Solomon and Elias appointed to conciliate the Divine wrath. We know how they dare to call the head of their abominable sect a Christ ; of whom Christ testified beforehand, saying, There shall arise false prophets. And this is the meaning of the prophet’s saying: The fool said in his heart, there is no God.

Such then are the apostolic men of your Mushel who examines and finds them to be people of unswerving faith. These, then, are they whom my father’s brother, a Vardapet of great acumen, closely investigated, as being himself an apologist of God. And he, like a learned champion, radically demolished the fabulous blasphemies of the lawless Tondraki sect; and had he not done so we should hardly known from report even the name of foul creatures, so insignificant is their fame. What gifts then of election have they seen in the abominable Kumbricus , what trace of good in Simon , or what hope to look forward to in the antichrist, or all of whom they are disciples? For, forgetful of the ineffable favors and kindness bestowed on them through the Passion, they call these their refuge though they have lied about the same. For they are packs of dogs and bands of thieves, troops of wolves and arrays of devils; tribes of brigands and masses weevils,

1 Here the malice of the writer has to be discounted. It was the regular and the stereotyped charge against all heretics, even the purest in their lives. It, of coarse, refers to their denial that marriage was sacrament.
2 See the Key, p. 115.
3 The Armenian word is a compound and = xxxxxxx [something in Greek – MJ], “with one’s own hand.”
See note 7, below.
See the Key, p. 119.
Perhaps the Key, p. 115, should be compared, where offerings of incense, candles, and victims are prohibited.
The elect one, according the Key, was the image of Jesus Christ on earth, his office was to reproduce on earth the life and calling of Christ himself. See the Key, pp. 95 and 106. The same charge of pretending that he was Christ or the Holly Spirit was advanced against Sergius the Paulician, who is identified by Dr. Mkerttschian and the historian Tchamitch with Smbat. See also the Prolegomena, pp. lxi foll.
The claim of those who used the Key and of him who wrote it was that the Paulician was the only true apostolic church. See above, note 1, p. 126, and Prolegomena, pp. xxxlil and xli.
Why was Gregory so anxious to disclaim all knowledge of the sect? Because he was accused of belonging to it. Was the accusation true? Probably he had, at least in secret, once belonged to it, for his enemies nicknamed him ‘Apostate.’
Gregory glances at ‘Election’ and ‘Elect ones’ of the Paulicians.
I.e. Mani called [something in Greek – MJ]. Gregory perhaps draws upon Photius or the Archelaus acts.
In the Key Simon Magus is mentioned on pp. 91, 92.
See the prayer in the Ordination Service in the Key, p. 108.

hordes of savages and legions of crucifiers, congregations of evil ones and men of blood, swarms of poisonous snakes and herds of wild beasts, enemies of mankind, societies of wizards and heretics, the scorn not only of churchmen, but of heathen as well.

For I must relate what a certain valiant man said, who destroyed and pout to infamous death their cursed ancestors. This is what he said to the second Iamres1 ‘If Christ rose on the third day, then since you call yourself Christ2, I will slay you and burry you; and if you shall come to life again after third days, then I will know that you are Christ, even if even though you take so many days over your resurrection. Now he was in close contact with them as a neighbor, and he had learned the story of the bitter phrensy of these offenders from many who had told him, and certainly believed3 in the true resurrection of Christ, and was making mock of them as proper objects of ridicule, when he left behind him the memory of this laudable saying. For it was God and no earthly being who raised up this idea in him, and it was providence which enjoined to reprove or destroy the wicked according to their wickedness; just as providence gave for food the terrible serpent of land,and chastised the Jews through the Chaldeans, and in judgment overwhelmed those who crucified Jesus, by the hand of Titus and Vespasian and Adrian, and reprimanded the Egyptian nation with twofold destruction by the hand of Cyrus. And he is said to have hung up in the dread oracular temple of Beliar himself the lance with which he smote them. Now the very devils knew God the only-born and confessed him to be judge of all; but the foul Smbat, a second Simon, allowed himself to be worshiped by his disciples, men rooted in bitterness and sowers of tares; just like that wizard of Samaria, and Montanus and Pythagoras the illiterate and heathen philosopher.

I have set down a few points out of many, and I await your answer. For it is a leading principle of our Lord’s canon, which says: And by the words shalt thou be justified, and out of the works shalt thou be judged. But if you admire their writings4, we know that Satan too recited a psalm on the day of the temptation of the Savior of all. But unless you place on record a double curse and manifold anathema against their founder Smbat, and their dead and wizard-like cults and their profession of faith5; and unless you in writing declare that what they represent as good is mere ordure over and over, and find the same to be excess of apostasy, and intimate the same in your letter to me, which is the way in which it beseems you to clear your character and to get rid of the scandal and the prejudice: anyhow, know for certain that I have written entirely out of consideration for you good and peace and love. For if your citadel of refuge6 be betrayed by you, its own guardian, then of yourself will you become a traitor of your high office. And since this Mushel writes that he is a Vadapet7, you must arm a champion against the enemy and


1 A sobriquet for Smbat.
2 .See above, note 7, p. 128.
3 Yet Gregory adduces this story by way of illustrating how the Tondraki were the scorn heathen as well as of churchmen. He was not ashamed to gloat over Mahometan mockery and murder of his own countrymen, and this although – as is clear from its context - the Paulicians had given their lives in order that to repeal the Mahometan invaders of Armenia. See the Prolegomena, pp. lxiii foll.
4 Or ore probably ‘grabanutiun [in Armenian – MJ] should be rendered “quoting of the Scripture.”
5 See the Key, pp. 93, 94 and 97.
6 i.e. the convent of the Abbot of which this letter is addressed.
7 Therefore Mushel was probably a doctor of the Armenian Gregorian Church.


repair the breach that has been effected, and defend exposed places, and be light and salt and mentor to him that is in the dark, according to the divine canon. But if your light to be his thinking darkness, he is beyond doubt a viperous sorcerer and sensless giver of poison. For his science is not holpen by the finger of God, his voice is ill-starred and inspired by evil, and his report is deceitful – destroyer of peace.

And now, with what conscience can he repeat the words: “Out of what writings can I anathematize one?” Paul anathematized even an angel that should think things alien to his gospel, and he did not scruple to repeat the anathema twice. And David cursed his transgressions and subscribed to reprimand. And the Lord saith of those who have deserted from the ranks and are altogether on his left hand: Depart from me ye cursed ones. And we received from the Council of Nice1, and learned an anathema on the vainglory of heretics, which is formally directed to be used twice over in the hymn of the confession of faith which follows after the reading of the gospel. An answer from the letters if Petros from Sahak prescribed forms of anathema against these excommunicated at Chalcedon. And there are the heads of Cyril of Alexandria’s anathema’s against Nestorius, and the Honoticon letter of the Emperor Zeno, which curses by name the utterly heretical sects.

Now if we are by ordinance obliged to curse those whose shortcomings are but in part, how much more2 must we curse the manyfoldly heretical ranks of this congregation, which is cut of from Christ and united by bond with Satan. And now, Lord Abbot, take no offence at the terms of my letter, nor take unfeigned love as if it were hatred. For the love of Christ compels me to this, and we only desire you to be spotless. And do you order to be copied volumes3 full of learning which the father Ananias, with great care, wrote against these schismatics.


1 The anathema is still repeated by Armenians at the end of the Nicene Symbol.
2 This passage proves at least that Tondraki had nothing to do with Nestorians and other heretical sects enumerated in the Heneticon. See the Prolegomena.
3 This volume of Ananias is unfortunately lost. If it could be discovered, it might give valuable information. Nerses Shnorhali quotes it in his Epistola I (see [I]Sancti Nersetis Clajensis Opera, vol. 1, pp. 58-64, Venice, 1823), but his citations, though valuable, hardly make up for the loss. Gregory Magistros, early in the eleventh century, also quotes this lost work of Ananias in his letter to the Patriarch of Edessa, which, along with the letter of Nerses Schnorhali, will be given in English below.

Appendix I: The Key of Truth
Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia
pp. 125-130

By Fred C. Conybeare
Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1898

[ December 01, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]

#37 MJ



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Posted 02 December 2001 - 01:21 PM

From THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, from the birth of Christ to the 18th Century: including the very interesting account of the Waldenses and Albigenses
By William Jones (1762-1843)

While the Christian world, as it has been the fashion to call it, was thus sunk into an awful state of superstition -- at a moment when "darkness seemed to cover the earth, and gross darkness the people" -- it is pleasing to contemplate a ray of celestial light darting across the gloom. About the year 660, a new sect arose in the east, under the name of PAULICIANS, which is justly entitled to our attention. It is much to be regretted that of this class of Christians, all our information is derived through the medium of their enemies. The two original sources of intelligence concerning them are Photius, b. 1. Contra Manichaeos; and Siculus Hist. Manicheor. and from them Mosheim and Gibbon have deduced their account of the Paulicians. The latter writer has entered far more fully into the subject than the former, and, what is singular enough, he has displayed more candor! I have collected from these two modern authors the concise account given as follows, and have aimed at impartiality.]
In Mananalis, an obscure town in the vicinity of Somosata, a person of the name of CONSTANTINE entertained at his house a deacon, who, having been a prisoner among the Mahometans, was returning from Syria, whither he had been carried away captive. From this passing stranger, Constantine received the precious gift of the New Testament in its original language, which, even at this early period, was so concealed from the vulgar, that Peter Siculus, to whom we owe most of our information on the history of the Paulicians, tells us, the first scruples of a Catholic, when he was advised to read the Bible, was, "it is not lawful for us profane persons to read those sacred writings, but for the priests only." Indeed, the gross ignorance which pervaded Europe at that time, rendered the generality of the people incapable of reading that or any other book; but even those of the laity who could read, were dissuaded by their religious guides from meddling with the Bible. Constantine, however, made the best use of the deacon’s present -- he studied his New Testament with unwearied assiduity -- and more particularly the writings of the apostle Paul, from which he at length endeavored to deduce a system of doctrine and worship. "He investigated the creed of primitive Christianity," says Gibbon, "and whatever might be the success, a Protestant reader will applaud the spirit of the enquiry." [Decline and Fall, vol. 10, ch. 54.] The knowledge to which Constantine himself was, under the Divine blessing, enabled to attain, he gladly communicated to others around him, and a Christian church was collected. In a little time several individuals arose among them qualified for the work of the ministry; and several other churches were collected throughout Armenia and Cappadocia. It appears from the whole of their history to have been a leading object with Constantine and his brethren to restore, as far as possible, the profession of Christianity to all its primitive simplicity.
Their public appearance soon attracted the notice of the Catholic party, who immediately branded them with the opprobrious appellation of Manichaeans; but "they sincerely condemned the memory and opinions of the Manichaean sect, and complained of the injustice which impressed that invidious name on them." [Gibbon, Ubi supra.] There is reason, therefore, to think, that they voluntarily adopted the name of Paulicians, and that they derived it from the name of the great apostle of the Gentiles. Constantine now assumed or received the name of Sylvanus, and others of his fellow laborers were called Titus, Timothy, Tichicus, etc. and as the churches arose and were formed in different places, they were named after those apostolic churches to which Paul originally addressed his inspired writings, without any regard to the name of the city or town in which they assembled for worship.
The labors of Constantine -- Sylvanus, were crowned with much success. Pontus and Cappadocia, regions once renowned for Christian piety, were again blessed with a diffusion of the light of divine truth. He himself resided in the neighborhood of Colonia, in Pontus, and their congregations, in process of time, were diffused over the provinces of Asia Minor, to the westward of the Euphrates. "The Paulician teachers," says Gibbon, "were distinguished only by their scriptural names, by the modest title of fellow-pilgrims; by the austerity of their lives, their zeal and knowledge, and the credit of some extraordinary gift of the Holy Spirit. But they were incapable of desiring, or at least of obtaining the wealth and honors of the Catholic prelacy. Such anti-christian pride they strongly censured."
Roused by the growing importance of this sect, the Greek emperors began to persecute the Paulicians with the most sanguinary severity; and the scenes of Galerius and Maximin were re-acted under the Christian forms and names. "To their excellent deeds," says the bigoted [Roman Catholic] Peter Siculus, "the divine and orthodox emperors added this virtue, that they ordered the Montanists and Manichaeans (by which epithets they chose to stigmatize the Paulicians) to be capitally punished; and their books, wherever found, to be committed to the flames; also that if any person was found to have secreted them, he was to be put to death, and his goods confiscated. " A Greek officer, armed with legal and military powers, appeared at Colonia, to strike the shepherd, and, if possible, reclaim the lost sheep to the Catholic fold. "By a refinement of cruelty, Simeon (the officer) placed the unfortunate Sylvanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as the price of their own pardon, and the proof of their repentance, to massacre their spiritual father. They turned aside from the impious office; the stones dropt from their filial hands, and of the whole number, only one executioner could be found; a new David, as he is styled by the Catholics, who boldly overthrew the giant of heresy." [Gibbon, ut supra.] This apostate, whose name was Justus, stoned to death the father of the Paulicians, who had now labored among them twenty-seven years. The treacherous Justus betrayed many others, probably of the pastors and teachers, who fared the fate of their venerable leader; while Simeon himself, struck with the evidences of divine grace apparent in the sufferers, embraced at length the faith which he came to destroy -- renounced his station, resigned his honors and fortunes, became a zealous preacher among the Paulicians, and at last sealed his testimony with his blood.
[It has been already stated that we derive all our information concerning the Paulicians, through the medium of their adversaries, the writers belonging to the Catholic church. It should not, therefore, surprise us to find them imputing the worst of principles and practices to a class of men whom they uniformly decry as heretics. Mosheim says, that of the two accounts of Photius and Peter Siculus, he gives the preference for candor and fairness to that of the latter -- and yet I find Mr. Gibbon acknowledging, that "the six capital errors of the Paulicians are defined by Peter Siculus with much prejudice and passion" (Decline and Fall, vol. 10, ch. 54.) One of their imputed errors is, that they rejected the whole of the Old Testament writings; a charge which was also brought, by the writers of the Catholic school, against the Waldenses and others, with equal regard to truth and justice. But this calumny is easily accounted for. The advocates of popery, to support their usurpations and innovations in the kingdom of Christ, were driven to the Old Testament for authority, adducing the kingdom of David for their example. And when their adversaries rebutted the argument, insisting that the parallel did not hold, for that the kingdom of Christ, which is not of this world, is a very different state of things from the kingdom of David, their opponents accused them of giving up the divine authority of the Old Testament. Upon similar principles, it is not difficult to vindicate the Paulicians from the other charges brought against them; but to do that would require more room than can be here allotted to the subject.]
During a period of one hundred and fifty years, these Christian churches seem to have been almost incessantly subjected to persecution, which they supported with Christian meekness and patience; and if the acts of their martyrdom, their preaching and their lives were distinctly recorded, I see no reason to doubt, that we should find in them the genuine successors of the Christians of the first two centuries. And in this as well as former instances, the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church. A succession of teachers and churches arose, and a person named Sergius, who had labored among them in the ministry of the gospel thirty-seven years, is acknowledged, even by their vilest calumniators, to have been a most exemplary Christian. The persecution had, however, some intermissions, until at length Theodora, the Greek empress, exerted herself against them, beyond all her predecessors. She sent inquisitors throughout all Asia Minor in search of these sectaries, and is computed to have killed by the gibbet, by fire, and by the sword, A HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS. Such was the state of things at the commencement of the ninth century.

#38 CHE


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Posted 07 April 2004 - 07:41 AM

Strikes insane after 3 years is presented somebody in order to write here. Only that this somebody is not accidental. He is the last descendant of the Pauliciens !

No. I'm not crazy.
My real name is Constantine Paulicianis. I am Greek and I am living in Athens.
As you see I have the same name with the Founder of the paulicians and this is not accidental.
I am impressed from the work that you made. Unfortunately we remained only few from the Paulicians. In Greece we are this moment only 18 descendants from which only 2 we keep the name. Me and my cousin that we have the same full name.
I feel like the last of the moicans! I am the last of the paulicians!!!
I will come back the next week because I don't have much time now and I am going to leave for Easter.

See you soon.

P.S. I say the truth.

Edited by CHE, 07 April 2004 - 07:42 AM.

#39 Arpa



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Posted 07 April 2004 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (CHE @ Apr 7 2004, 01:41 PM)
Strikes insane after 3 years is presented somebody in order to write here. Only that this somebody is not accidental. He is the last descendant of the Pauliciens !

No. I'm not crazy.
My real name is Constantine Paulicianis. I am Greek and I am living in Athens.
As you see I have the same name with the Founder of the paulicians and this is not accidental.

First off Konstantin, aka CHE welcome!
You may be pleasantly surprised that you are not alone. There are many Armenians who may have the surname in some form or other. I have cited some of them in the item below. You may search the internet using any of the variations of the surnames. There may be even others that are so unrecognizably evolved that it would need an even wider imagination. If I may dare say that even such a common surname as Boghosian/Poghosian may somehow be ralated.
I am not sure how much you know about Armenian orthography and transliteration, a couple of hints may help better understand. Mainly in the so called Western Armenian (Istanbul Armenian) the sounds have been corrupted, so when we read Boghigian/Boghikian, Boghosian it was meant to be spelled as Poghikian or Poghosian, but when the Istanbul Armenians saw it spelled with the Armenian letter Pe (the 26th letter) which they were accustomed to read as Be (the second letter). You will see it better when you consider that those same people will write and pronounce Constantinople as GonsdandnuBolis or simply Bolis instead of Polis.
BTW. Konstan, how do you spell your surname in Greek?
As to the "o" and the "gh". Some time ago there was no "o" in the Armenian alphabet, the diphthong of "au"(ayb hyun), or to some "av"(ayb ve) was used to give the sound just as in the Latin "au" as in auto. Once the letter O was adopted during the Kilikian times many "au"s transformed to O as in Paulikian/Pavlikian rewritten as Poghikian.
As to the "gh" that is pronounced like the French and German R, it is a common and accepted phenomenon that the Latin L is transliterated to "gh" in the Armenian. Some good examples would be Lazarus-Ghazaros, Bartholomew-Barthoghomeos, yet you would probably understand even better when we consider the fact that the Greek "polos/poulos" which literally means "small" is transliterated into Armenian as Poghos/Boghos/Pavghos/Bavghos.

Here is one example. Note that the person mentioned here is a well known prominent Armenian. I have known others many who may in some way bear the surname in one form or other.


The following item is extracted from this site;

And, Martin as to your question from long time ago; The Armenian term for Manicheian is "Maniqeiakan".


BTW. You do realize that there still are Paulicians among us. I will explain, but first run a search using the keyword "Boghikian/Boghigian". You will be surprised to learn that the principal spokesperson for thr ARF has a name like Apo Boghikian. Boghikian is a corrupted [istanbulized, Hi! Paulos, Pavghos, Poghos, Boghos )form of Pavghikian, Pavlikian, Paulician, Boghikian]. Yes, There are several dynasties that have that surname, I have met some of them. It may be an attestmnet that the movement has not yet died. Ther were still Paulicians until the 1900's


long as we understand the message. Do we?.


#40 CHE


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Posted 15 April 2004 - 01:24 AM

Kalimera !

First of all I would like to thank you for the precious informations that you gave me. It is real interesting to know that in various parts of the world, exist persons linked with a distant kinship.
My surname in Greek is Pavlikianis (the ton on the second ''a'').
As I told you before, there isn't any other descendant of Paulicians in Greece except me and my first cousin.
Unfortunately all the other children of my uncles and my father, are girls. So, there is only me and my cousin who can keep this historical name... sad.gif

Anyway, I will continue the research based on the links that you gave me.
I am really grateful for this.


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