ARMENIAN CHURCH. The Armenian Church was firmly established as a branch of the Christian Church in A.D. 300 by Gregory the Illuminator (A.D. 257-325), who was supported by King Tiridates III. Gregory became its head or Catholicos (A.D. 302-318), the office for some centuries being made hereditary, and fixed the chief see at Etchmiazin near Mount Ararat. He con ciliated the pagan priests by allowing the continuance of sacrifices for the dead, etc., but the formulae were christianized and the chief priests were made bishops. At first the Catholicos was ordained at Caesarea in Cappadocia. Monasticism was introduced in the fourth century by Basil (A.D. 330-379). In the fifth century Mesrop and Isaac the Great translated the Old Testa ment into Armenian and revised an already existing translation of the New Testament. They also translated Greek liturgies and homilies. This made the Armenians more independent. After the Persian conquest, the con nection with Caesarea was broken (c. A.D. 370), and towards the end of the fifth century the Armenians declined to accept the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451). The Church then became Monophysite (see
MONOPHYSITES). Some of the members took up an extreme position, a-nd in the seventh century existed as a sect called Paulicians. Since the time of the Cru sades, some of the Armenians (e.g., in Cilicia. Poland, and Russia), the Uniats, have recognised the Pope. In Turkey many of the clergy and laity amongst the " United Armenians " went over to Rome altogether in 1879. There has been change and development in Armenian worship. The Armenians used not to observe the Christmas Festival. They commemorated the Baptism of Jesus, the spiritual birth, and introduced a commemoration of the human birth later (c. A.D. 500). They observed the Jewish Sabbath as well as the Christian Sunday. Originally they practised Adult baptism, hut they added Infant baptism later (eighth century). The Feast of the Annunciation was established in the ninth century. Protestant missionaries have had some success in Turkey. See F. C. Conybeare in Prot. Diet., 1904, and in R.S.W., 190S; Cath. Diet.; M Ormanian, The Church of Armenia, 1912.