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Armenian Priests In Iceland


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#1 Boghos

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 06:03 AM

Marginalia on the Question of Armenians in Iceland (11th Century)



In the present paper we examine once more the accounts of two Old Icelandic sources concerning the Armenian ((h)ermskr) and Greek / Russian (girskr) missionaries visited Iceland in the 11th century. In Islendingabok Ari Thorgilsson writes: "Furthermore there came here other five [men] who claimed to be bishops. Örnulf and Godescalc and three ermsker, Petrus and Abraham and Stephanus". The "hermskir" bishops are mentioned also in the Old Icelandic Laws (Grágás): "If bishops or priests come to this country, who are not versed in the Latin language, whether they are hermskir or girskir, then people are allowed to attend their service if they want to".




Several interpretations of the term (h)ermskr have been suggested. The most persuasive of them, appeared at the end of last century, is that the term means "Armenian" (derived from the Old Icelandic country name Ermland "Armenia"). Correspondingly the bishops who visited Iceland at that time were Armenians. However, in 1960 M. Már Lárusson proposed that they came not from Armenia (Ermland), but from Ermland on the south-east Baltic coast. This seems to have become the accepted view nowadays. In the present article we argue against this opinion. Moreover, we attempt to demonstrate that (h)ermskr has no ethnic meaning in Old Icelandic Laws, but designates the representatives of the faith. In other words, the term (h)ermskr in Grágás refers to someone professing the Armenian variety of the Christian faith. The same observation can be made concerning the second term in Grágás, girskr, which signifies first of all the representatives of the Greek Church, who might also be Russians. It is essential to stress that the word gerskr / girskr served in the Old Icelandic written literary tradition as a term for both Greeks and Russians, although an etymologist would reveal here two originally separate terms.

http://www.hf.uio.no...scsl/toc46.html

#2 gamavor

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 11:39 PM

If the above it true then Hagarak might be right about St. Patrick being Armenian. :)

#3 Boghos

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 12:05 PM

I thought that hagarag said that St Patrick was half Chinese, 3/16 Ossetian,1/8 Assyrian, 1/8 Lezgi, and only 1/16 Armenian. And a convert from Judaism to Christianity, of course.

#4 gamavor

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:10 PM

:)

#5 Arpa

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 01:48 PM

I thought that hagarag said that St Patrick was half Chinese, 3/16 Ossetian,1/8 Assyrian, 1/8 Lezgi, and only 1/16 Armenian. And a convert from Judaism to Christianity, of course.

Tell me something Boghos!
Did that "devil" St. Paddy have to send all those snakes that he banished from Ireland to Anatolia?? :angry:

I don't know about St. Patrick being Armenian but I know about Sourb Galoust. :lol:
What? You don't know who he is? :huh:

Look here;
http://www.guidetotu...santa_claus.asp

#6 gamavor

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 02:00 PM

Should I say freaky, filthy, shity barbaric turks usurping again history!!!

St. Nicholas born in South of Turkey! The authors forgot to mention that the so-called turkey has been established in 1919!

The day will come when we would say loud and clear Freedom and Justice for All!

#7 America-Hye

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 10:07 PM

Same on you Gamavor, AMOT! AMOT!

The whole world knows what a beautiful Turkish church sits on an island in the middle of Lake Van, with a multitude of Turkish churches at an abandoned city which is a tourist site near the Turkish city of Kars. Are you trying to undermine the Turkish tourist industry?

#8 America-Hye

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 11:59 PM

If you cut through all the PR crap that the Catholic Church foists upon the world, you will see that Armenian missionaries not only preached in Iceland but in Ireland as well. Study well the religious heritage of Ireland and you will see that for many centuries in the past she held a more Armenian view of Jesus' ministry than that of Rome. There are relics on isolated parts of the Western coast of Ireland that would astound you.

#9 gamavor

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 11:17 PM

Seriously though, the theory about Armenians spreading the Word of God in Iceland might be believable. I did some research and I found out that Baltic states (at that time principalities) were pagan up to 14 century. Lithuania in particular was the last country in Europe to adopt Christianity as a state religion.

#10 Arpa

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 04:52 AM

Seriously though, the theory about Armenians spreading the Word of God in Iceland might be believable. I did some research and I found out that Baltic states (at that time principalities) were pagan up to 14 century. Lithuania in particular was the last country in Europe to adopt Christianity as a state religion.
I am confounded at all this Armenian Irish connection. Do the Irish even know that we exist??

I am just hoping that you guys are kidding about Armenians proseletyzing or engaging in missionary activity. It never happened. It will never happen, well, maybe very shyly at their immediate neighborhood, it nevertheless failed. Consider that all of our neighbors subscribe to religions other than Christianity.
I will give the reasons in an expanded post.

#11 Boghos

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 06:15 PM

Indeed. One thing is your usual Armenian wanderer, who could be a priest, a chess player or a flame thrower or whatever, another thing is an "organized" effort. Thank God we are not the proselytizing type. We should give up this mythical stories about past prowess or the much better standing of our ancestors and other similar nonsense. Why do we have to refer to the past in a longing mannner ? Is that one of the reasons we repeat the same errors over and over again ?

I would even go further and say that our beloved Christianity is not really suited to our ethos. Or at least our praxis is a very unusual one to the point of being antagonistic...But that´s what being Armenian is all about ;) .

#12 gamavor

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 07:01 PM

I agree with you guys but Paulicians spread their version of Christianity far away from their native Armenia. It was not some Board of missionaries that sent them to do so, they simply fulfilled their Christian duty as they perceived it.

#13 Arpa

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 10:33 AM

I am just hoping that you guys are kidding about Armenians proseletyzing or engaging in missionary activity. It never happened. It will never happen, well, maybe very shyly at their immediate neighborhood, it nevertheless failed. Consider that all of our neighbors subscribe to religions other than Christianity.
I will give the reasons in an expanded post.

What am I doing answering myself!
Everyone talks to oneself sometime or other. This is common phenomenon but one has to watch out when one answers oneself.

Let us first consider some terms.
The Greek word for missionary is "apostol", apostle, and the Armenian term is "araqyal/araqel" Hey "araqel", aka Boghos, are you reading this? :)
The NT book simply known as the book of "Acts" in the English, in the Armenian is known as Gortsq Araqelots (Acts of the Apostles) it should have been known as Gortsq Arqeli(singular) since it mainly deals with the works of the Apostle Paul.
The Armenian Church is known as the Hayastanyayts Araqelakan Ekeghetsi, the ARMENIAN Apostolic Church. What does this mean? Was it established by Armenian apostles? It was named such by default rather than design since the "apostles" that converted us were not Armenian, on the contrary, they were persecuted and murdered(by us). So, what does "Araqelakan Ekeghetsi" mean?!!!
I have no idea!!!
Did the Armenians ever engage in missionary endeavor? Did they actually, actively preach and proselyize?
BTW, Gamavor, the Paulicians and the Thondrakians did not willfully and actively engage in missionary work. If they in fact spread the "word" it was by default, not by design, as they were persecuted and banished,when their message fell on deaf ears in Armenia, as the Armenians, all of a sudden became more "catholic than the Pope", i.e more Jewish than the Jew, rejecting everything and everyone that tried to re-Armenianize the religion, rejecting all extraneous mythology, they may have found more receptive ears in Greece and Macedonia. Some may even go as far as to claim that protetantism in Europe was influenced by the Paulicians.

Did Armenians actually engage in missionary work?
There may be as many versions of the "history of the Armenian Church" as there are seminarians. It seem like it is a prerogative of the seminaries to have their students write their version of history. Yet, as many versions may exist none of these have any mention of Armenian Missionaries )most, if not all "history of the Armenian Church write about our saints, no mention sof our sinners). If this were the case we would have the boldest headlines emphasizing this fact. It is said that Mesrop did actually try to spread the "word" in the neighborhood. The only evidence of this may be our activity in Caucasian Albania (Aghvan). Yes, there is mention of diocese in that region.
Where else did we preach?
We also had "missionaries" in such remote places as Calcutta and Singapore, but their main mission was not to preach to the natives (who cares?), but to attend to the needs of the Armenian communities, such as perform baptisms, weddings and funerals. They may have also engaged in teaching(the Ayb Ben Gim) to the Armenina children. That is the extent of it. How many natives did they convert? Why not? There is a reason for it!
Let's get back to definitions and semantics.
We did say that the Armenian church is known as the ARMENIAN Apostolic Church.
Let us repeat that.
The ARMENIAN Apostolic Church!
There is just one other people besides us who identify ethnicity and religion. An Armenian is an Armenian, is an Armenian and is an Armenian. In th narrowest of defintions only an Armenian will belong to the Armenian Apostolic church.
I will spare us all the conditions one must meet to be called an Armenian, the most common of them that one must be born of Armenian parents and subscribe to the national church. Then, what and how would an Armenian missionary preach? What brand of Christianity would they preach? Cathlocicism? Universal Christianity? Didn't we say that for one to be an Armenian Christian one had to meet many criteria?
This is getting too long. Let us wrap it up.
Why did not the Armenian missionaries preach to our neighbors? Consider this. If they were to prech to the Persian and Aramazt forbid, to the Turk, and if these "unclean" people would agree to accept and convert then how would we classify them?

Turkish-Armenian Apostolics? What a disgustful thought!!??

Would they be fully adopted? Or should we have told them;" You can become Christians but NEVER ARMENIANS!!
Remember! The Armenian Apostolic Church is OF Armenians, BY Armenians and FOR Armenians. Revery one else need not apply!
Is it really a Christian Church by the definition of the word??
Armenians never did, nor will they ever engage in missionary activity since nobody, repeat, nobody can be or become an Armenian(Apostlic).Neither can one be Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox (note the erhnic qulifiers)

And you ask me why we "grow smaller" while our more ethnically liberal neighbors grow by leaps and bounds.
If we were to gather all the REAL Armenian Apostolic Christians and give them a country it would not even fill the Harapetutyan Hraparak.

Have we ever forgiven Thaddeus and Bartholomew(neither was an Armenian) for having sold us this stupid religion?

I can go on and on forever, but I must let you guys add your comments.


PS. As to missionaries in Iceland and Ireland. I am puzzled as to why such a potential "feather in our cap" is totally ignored by the historians of the ArmenianChurch.

#14 vava

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 11:12 AM

We did say that the Armenian church is known as the ARMENIAN Apostolic Church.
Let us repeat that.
The ARMENIAN Apostolic Church!

There is just one other people besides us who identify ethnicity and religion. An Armenian is an Armenian, is an Armenian and is an Armenian. In the narrowest of defintions only an Armenian will belong to the Armenian Apostolic church.
I will spare us all the conditions one must meet to be called an Armenian, the most common of them that one must be born of Armenian parents and subscribe to the national church.
Then, what and how would an Armenian missionary preach? What brand of Christianity would they preach? Cathlocicism? Universal Christianity? Didn't we say that for one to be an Armenian Christian one had to meet many criteria? ..........

......The Armenian Apostolic Church is OF Armenians, BY Armenians and FOR Armenians. Revery one else need not apply!

Arpa jan,

So this then is our Catch-22.

You must be Armenian to become a member of the church. You must be a member of the church in order to be considered Armenian. So, if you want to join the church, you must already be a member of the church - this is turning very Dominoesque. :wink2: and it's all too crazy for me.

#15 Arpa

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 12:20 PM

We did say that the Armenian church is known as the ARMENIAN Apostolic Church.
Let us repeat that.
The ARMENIAN Apostolic Church!

There is just one other people besides us who identify ethnicity and religion. An Armenian is an Armenian, is an Armenian and is an Armenian. In the narrowest of defintions only an Armenian will belong to the Armenian Apostolic church.
I will spare us all the conditions one must meet to be called an Armenian, the most common of them that one must be born of Armenian parents and subscribe to the national church.

..........

......The Armenian Apostolic Church is OF Armenians, BY Armenians and FOR Armenians. Revery one else need not apply!

Arpa jan,

So this then is our Catch-22.

You must be Armenian to become a member of the church. You must be a member of the church in order to be considered Armenian. So, if you want to join the church, you must already be a member of the church - this is turning very Dominoesque. :wink2: and it's all too crazy for me.

Yes dear Captain Joseph Yossrian!
Vava Jan, you hit the nail on the head. You said it in such few words that I could not in a whole page.

No wonder we are caught in a "catch 22". Look who is the inventor. We have not yet figured a way to get out of that abyss that we ourselves created. We withdrew in our own shell, perhaps with good reason, but the outcome was atrophy. We have nor grown an iota in 2000 years, on the contrary w have constantly "grown smaller". At this rate there will be none of us left in .... much less than 2000 years.

As to missionaries, again, the only true missionary that we boast of was not even an Armenian himself. Remember Grigor the Partev??
As to Mashtots' missionary work. I will have to reread that chapter and refresh my memory as well as yours. One thing to remember. Mashtots' missionary work wa again limited to preach to his own kind. His message was; "You may claim to be an Armenian since you think you speak the language, but now there is a new defintion of the word. You cannot be a genuinely true Armenian without this new fangled faith."

#16 Boghos

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 06:59 PM

and people believe that Existentialism started with Kierkegaard and then Sartre...Armenians are very bad at marketing, what else can I say...

#17 America-Hye

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 07:57 PM

I find a little bit of "brain-shrinking" going on here. I consider myself Armenian, but neither I nor my Armenian parents were ever members of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Only one grandparent was and she left that church and became a Hye Catholic when she married my grandfather. Some of my ancestors had been Catholic since
the 1100's.

Do you Apostolics reallly think that you are the only real Armenians???? THINK AGAIN.

#18 gamavor

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 11:08 PM

I think in the recent decade, and even prior to that, The Armenian Apostolic Church had started slowly to revise her "church politics" and re-discover the universalism, which I believe is a very positive trend. We lost so many ethnic Armenians to Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. and only because of ecclesiastical egoism the Church couldn’t grow further out of the Armenian sphere. Right now we have non-Armenian priests and Sargavaks, and almost every new mixed marriage goes under the dome of the Armenian Church, as a courtesy to our diminishing number, rather than to any religious priority.

#19 America-Hye

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Posted 16 July 2003 - 12:01 AM

We must continue with this universalism and continue to connect with fellow Christian nations in the EU, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox.

Our Armenian Protestants and Catholics can be our world ambassadors. The highest ranking Armenian ever in the US government, George Deukmejian, was a Protestant. Kirk Kerkorian is a Catholic, as are both the Armenian Democrat Eshoo and Armenian Republican Sweeney in the US House of Representatives. Every other Armenian ever in the US Congress, except for *****yan from Fresno, was not Apostolic. Derounian was a Protestant. Benjamin was a Catholic.

#20 America-Hye

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Posted 16 July 2003 - 12:00 PM

SORRY, *****yan was a Congregationalist Protestant. I forget which Armenian Apostolic was the SOLO Armenian to achieve a high US government position. There was ONE.




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