THE “ENCYCLICAL LETTER” BY NERSES THE GRACEFUL AS A SOURCE FOR STUDYING THE HISTORY OF EVERYDAY LIFE AND SOCIAL RELATIONS IN THE 12TH CENTURY
In the 11th century an Armenian powerful state was formed in Cilicia becoming the political, religious and cultural center of the Armenians during the 11th up to 14th centuries. Close political and economic ties with the crusaders were established, promoting to the deepening of Armenian-European relations. From the other hand Byzantine Emperors were striving to restore Church Unity hoping to obtain political unity and thereby to strengthen the position of the Empire.
Nerses the Graceful, the Catholicos of All Armenians (the seat in Hromkla) in Cilicia, was one of the most prominent figures of the ecclesiastical and political life of the 12th century. He was born in about 1101 and descended from the Pahlavuni patrician family. Nerses received his education in Karmir Vank (Red monastery) located on of the famous Black Mountain in Cilicia. At the age of 16 he was ordained a priest. From 1166 until his death 1173 he was the Catholicos of the Armenians. Nerses the Graceful is notable for his literary legacy and ecumenical activity. He has various writings: Letters, Theological, Liturgical, Pedagogical works, Commentaries, Poems, Prayers and Hymns. He started to participate actively in the ecumenical events when he was a bishop, assisting his elder brother Grigoris Pahlavuni the Catholicos of the Armenians.
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