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NERSES


754


NERSES


pleasure tour through lower Italy and Grcocc ; as actor, singer, and harp player lie gained the scorn of the world; he heai)ed upon his triumphal chariots the vic- tor-crowns of the great (irecian games, and so dis- honoured the dignity of Rome that Tacitus through respect for the mighty ancestors of the Caesar would not once mention his name.

Outbreaks in I he provinces and in Rome itself now presaged the a|ii)roaeliing overthrow of the Neronian tyranny. Julius \iiulex, Proconsul of Gallia Lugdu- nensis, with the intent of giving Gaul an independent and worthy govenunent, raised the banner of revolt, and sought an alliance with the Proconsuls of Spain and the Rhine Provinces. Sulpicius Galba, Procon.sul of Hispaiiia Tarraconensis, who was ready for the change, agree(l to the plans presented to him, declared his fealty to Nero ended, and was proclaimed emperor by his own army. L. Wrginius Rufus, Proconsul of Upper Germany, was offered the principate by his troojis, and led them against the usurper Vindex. In a battle at Vesontio (Besan^on) Vindex was defeated, and fell by his own sword. In Rome the praitorians dazzled by the exploits of Galba deserted Nero, the Senate declared him the enemy of his country, and sentenced him to the death of a common murderer. Outlawed and forsaken, he committed suicide in the house of one of his freedmen, June, a. d. 68. At once and everywhere Sulpicius Galba was accepted as em- peror. The sudden disappearance of Nero, whose enemies had spread the report that he had fled to the East, gave rise to the later legend that he was still liv- ing, and would return to sit again upon the imperial throne.

.Schiller, Gesch. derrdm. Kaiser, I (Gotha, 1883); Stiglmayer, Tacitus abet den Brand von Rom in Stimmen aus Maria Loach, LXXVIII (Freiburg, 1910), 2; von Domaszewisici, Gesch. der rOm. Kaiser, H (Leipzig, 1909). KaKL HoeBER.

Nerses I-IV, Armenian patriarchs. — Nersej? I, surnamed the Great, d. 373. Born of the royal stock, he spent his youth in Ca>sarea where he married San- ducht, a Mamikonian princess. After the death of his wife, he was appointed chamberlain to King Ar- ghak of Armenia. A few years later, having entered the ecclesiastical state, he was elected catholicos, or patriarch, in 3.53. His patriarchate marks a new era in Armenian history. Till then the Church had been more or less identified with the royal family and the nobles; Nerses brought it into closer connexion with the people. At the Council of Ashtishat he pro- mulgated numerous laws on marriage, fast days, and Divine worship. He built schools and hospitals, and sent monks throughout the land to preach the Gospel. Some of these reforms drew upon him the king's dis- pleasure, and he was exiled, probably to Edcssa. Upon the accc.s.sion of King Bab (.369) he returned to his see. Bab proved a dissolute and unworthy ruler and Nerses forbade him entrance to the church. Under the pretence of .seeking a reconciliation, Bab having invited Nerses to his table poisoned him.

Nerses II, said to have been born at Aschdarag in Bagrevand, w.as patriarch from 548 to ,557. He was a Jacobite Monophysite (cf. Ter-Minassiantz, 16.3-64). Under him was held the Second Council of Tvin or Dovin (5,54).

Nerses III of Ischkan, surnamed Schinogh, "the church builder", was elected patriarch in 641 ; d. 661. He lived in days of pohtical turmoil. The Armenians had to choose between the Greeks and the Persians, and their new conquerors, the Arabs. Nerses remained friendly to the Greeks, whilst the military chiefs sided with the Arabs. Constans II (642-48) hastened into Armenia to punish the rebels and subject them to the Greek Church. Nerses and a number of bishops went forth to meet him, and declared they accepted the Council of Chalcedon. Disagreement with the satrap Theodorus compelled Nerses to withdraw from the administration of the patriarchate from 652 to 658.


Nerses IV surnamed Klaientsi from the place of his birth, and Schnorkhali, "the Gracious", from the elegance of his writings, h. at llromcla, Cilicia; d. 1173. He was educated liy his grand iHicle, Patriarch Greg- ory Vkaiaser ami afterwards by the varlahal, or doctor of theology, Stephen Manuk. Having been conse- crated bishop by his brother. Patriarch Gregory 111, he was sent to jireach throughout Armenia. He was jiresent at the Latin Council of Antioch in 1141 and was elected ])atriarch in 1166. Nerses, together with Kmperor Manuel Comnenus, laboured hard to unite the Greek and Armenian Churches. The union, however, w;as never consummated, the majority of the bishojjs remaining obstinate. Nerses is regarded as one of the greatest Armenian writers. His prose works include: "Prayers for every hour of the day" (Venice, 1822); his "Synodal letter" and five "Let- ters" to Manuel Comnenus (tr. Latin by Capelleti, Venice, 1833). He wrote in verse: "lesu Orti", a Bible history; an "elegy" on the capture of Edessa; a "History of Armenia"; two "Homilies", and many hymns. In the "lesu Orti", the elegy on Edessa, and the first letter to Manuel Comnenus, we find tes- timonies to the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.

Langlois, Collection des historiens de I'Arm^nie, II (Paris, 1869) ; Ormanian, L'eglise armenienne, son histoire, sa doctrine, son regime, sa dicipline, sa liturgie, sa litt^ature, son present (Paris, 1910): Hefele, Hist, of the Councils of the Church, IV (tr. Clark, Edinburgii, 1895): SuKiAS Somal, Quadro delta storia letteraria di Armenia (Venice, 1829); Weber, Die kathol. Kirche in Armetden (Freiburg, 1903) ; Ter-Minassiantz, Die armenische Kirche in ihren Beziehungen zu den syrischen Kirchen bis zum Ende des 13 Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1904) ; Neumann, Versuch einer Gesch. der armen. Litter. (Leipzig, 1836) ; Fink, Gesch. der armen. Litter, in Gesch. der christl. Litter, des Orients (Leipzig, 1907) ; Azarian, Ecclesim Armenia; traditio de Romani Pontificis primatu iurisdiC' tionis el inerrabih magisterio (Rome, 1870) ; Chamich, Hist, of Armenia, (Calcutta, 1827).

A. A. Vaschalde.

Nerses of Lambron, b. 1153 at Lambron, Cili- cia; d. 1198; son of Oschin II, prince of Lambron and nephew of the patriarch, Nerses IV. Nerses was well versed in sacred and profane sciences and had an ex- cellent knowledge of Greek, Latin, Syriac, and prob- ably Coptic. Ordained in 1169, he was consecrated Archbishop of Tarsus in 1176 and became a zealous advocate of the union of the Greek and Armenian Churches. In 1 179 he attended the Council of Hrom- cla, in which the terms of the union were discus.sed; his address at this council is considered a masterpiece of eloquence and style. The union was decided upon but never consummated owing to the death of Em- peror Manuel Comnenus in IISO. Manuel's succes- sors abandoned the negotiations and persecuted the Armenians, who dissatisfied with the Greeks now turned to the Latins. Leo II, Prince of Cilicia, desir- ous to secure for himself the title of King of Armenia, sought the support of Celestine III and of Emperor Henry VI. The pope received his request favourably, but made the granting of it dependent upon the union of Cilicia to the Church of Rome. He sent Conrad, Archbishop of Mayence, to Tarsus, and the terms of union having been signed by Leo and twelve of the bishops, among whom was Nerses, Leo was crowned King of Armenia, 6 January, 1198. Nerses died six months afterwards, 17 July. Nerses is justly regarded as one of the greatest writers in Armenian literature. He deserves fame as poet, prose writer, and translator. He wrote an elegy on the death of his uncle, Nerses IV, and many hymns. His prose works include his oration at the Council of Hromcla (tr. Italian by Aucher, Venice, 1812; tr. German by Neumann, Leip- zig, 1834); Commentaries on the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom, and the Minor Prophets; an ex- planation of the liturgy; a letter to Leo II and another to Uskan, a monk of Antioch; and two homilies. He translated into Armenian the Rule of St. Benedict; the "Dialogues" of Gregory the Great; a life of this saint; and the letters of Lucius III and Clement III to the patriarch, Gregory. From the Syriac he trans-