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Title: Making, remembering and forgetting the Late Antique Caucasus
Author: Aleksidze, Nikoloz
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The present thesis examines probably the ultimate focal point in the history of the Christian South Caucasian Cultures – the Caucasian Schism that occurred in the early seventh century – a major scandal that ended the ecclesiastical communion between the Georgian and Armenian Churches and gave impetus to the rise of the so-called national Churches. The schism became the central point of reference in both medieval and modern Caucasian historiographies. Modern scholarship has advanced different claims concerning the nature, reasons and results of the Schism, in many cases arguing that almost all aspects of the respective cultures have been affected by the Schism. As for medieval Armenian historical narratives, they made a good conceptual use of the schism, presenting the schism as a major interpretive schema for the explanation of all aspects of their relations with their northern neighbours. Contrary to such view, I argue that our knowledge of the reasons behind the schism and theological controversies that preceded, accompanied or followed the Schism in the sixth century is in most cases determined by the conceptual framework created in the Middle Ages together with the changes in political state of affairs in the Caucasus. In the period between the tenth to thirteenth centuries, when all major South Caucasian powers were struggling for the unification of the Caucasus under their aegis, the remembrance of the schism became particularly important. The remembrance and indeed forgetting of the Caucasian unity and separation became a rhetorical tool in medieval Armeno-Georgian debates. Therefore instead of taking the Schism at face value, I propose to abandon the traditional liminalist perception of the history of unity and separation in the Caucasus, and adopt a more rewarding approach, that is to say to try to understand when, why and by whom were the crucial events of the Late Antique Caucasian history conceptualized and adapted for contemporary ideological needs.
Supervisor: van Lint, Theo Maarten Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Europe ; Near East ; Intellectual History ; Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Church history ; Caucasus ; Armenia ; Georgia ; Iberia ; Schism ; Late Antiquity ; Chalcedonian ; non-Chalcedonian ; memory ; historiography ; rhetoric ; hagiography ; polemic ; Christology