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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: How the Armenians and Persians embraced Christianity.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VIII.—How the Armenians and Persians embraced Christianity.

Subsequently the Christian religion became known to the neighboring tribes and was very greatly disseminated. 1155 The Armenians, I have understood, were the first to embrace Christianity. 1156 It is said that Tiridates, then the sovereign of that nation, became a Christian by means of a marvelous Divine sign which was wrought in his own house; and that he issued commands to all the subjects, by a herald, to adopt the same religion. 1157 I think that the beginning of the conversion of the Persians 1158 was owing to their intercourse with the Osroenians and Armenians; for it is likely that they would converse with such Divine men and make experience of their virtue.



This paragraph is regarded by Valesius as spurious.


The source of this chapter certainly is not Moses Chorenensis. Tiridates III. reigned a.d. 286–342. At first a persecutor, through Gregory the Illuminator he became a Christian. Yet parts of Armenia were Christianized much earlier. Dionysius bishop of Alexandria wrote a letter on Repentance to the Armenians in the reign of Gallus. Eus. H. E. vi. 46. Cf. Agathangelas, History of Tiridates the Great, and the preaching of Gregory the Illuminator.


Here follows in the Greek text a repetition, word for word, of the first two lines of this chapter, which seem to be superfluous, if we do not reject the paragraph above.


Soz. is wrong in attributing the conversion of Persia to Armenia.

Next: Sapor King of Persia is excited against the Christians. Symeon, Bishop of Persia, and Usthazanes, a Eunuch, suffer the Agony of Martyrdom.

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