Byzantine-Rite Christians (Melkites) in Central Asia in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Ken Parry

Abstract


Abstract

The presence of Christians in Central Asia in the Late Antiquity late antique and medieval periods represents a forgotten episode in the history of Christianity. It is perhaps surprising to find Christians of the Byzantine-rite contributing to this history given their remoteness from the patriarchates of the Eastern Mediterranean. The patriarch of Antioch in particular seems to have appointed bishops to Central Asia, although it is not always clear where their sees were located and when they became merely titular appointments. These minority Chalcedonian communities are mentioned in a variety of Greek and Arabic sources and survived in this distant region in spite of changes in the ethnic and religious hegemony. Recent archaeological discoveries have endorsed the textual references to their settlement, but many questions relating to their identity still remain unanswered.


Full Text:

PDF