Albanopolis, Caucasia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Albanopolis, Armenia)
Jump to: navigation, search

Albanopolis was a city, probably in the Caucasus, famed in Christian myth as being the place at which the apostle Bartholomew was crucified.[1][2][3]

In Lives of the Saints, 18th-century hagiographer Alban Butler says The popular traditions concerning St Bartholomew are summed up in the Roman Martyrology, which says he "preached the gospel of Christ in India; thence he went into Greater Armenia, and when he had converted many people there to the faith he was flayed alive by the barbarians, and by command of King Astyages fulfilled his martyrdom". However, Butler himself cautions about taking the geographical clues too literally. He points out that "India" was a name applied indifferently by Greek and Latin writers to Arabia, Ethiopia, Libya, Parthia, Persia and the lands of the Medes.[4] Similarly the term Greater Armenia was used rather loosely by medieval writers to denote almost anywhere in the region between Eastern Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.

Nonetheless, at least three locations have been proposed as possible sites of Albanopolis: Derbend[5][6] in Dagestan, Albyrak/Albac near Başkale in the then Armenian region of what is now eastern Turkey, and Baku, Azerbaijan.[7] The latter has a certain ring of truth given that the area of today's Azerbaijan was historically known as Albania but no conclusive evidence has been found of any such theory. Butler is also sceptical of the Albyrak suggestion stating while the assertion that Batholomew preached and died in Armenia is possible, and is a unanimous tradition among the later historians of that country; ... earlier Armenian writers make little or no reference to him as connected with their nation.[8] Thus although a very holy Armenian Monastery guarded what was believed to be Bartholomew's tomb on the site, this was probably a later idea.


  1. ^ Sacred Lives, Batholomew
  2. ^ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible by David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck ,2000,page 152: "... Bartholomew preached to the Indians and died at Albanopolis in Armenia). It was condemned in the Gelasian decree, referred ..."
  3. ^ The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament by Frank Viola,page 170: "... one of the Twelve, is beaten and crucified in Albanopolis, Armenia. ..."
  4. ^ Butler on Batholomew
  5. ^ The Search for the Twelve Apostles, by William Steuart McBirnie
  6. ^ Butler's Lives of the Saints says "The place is said to have been Albanopolis (Derbend, on the west coast of the Caspian Sea)"
  7. ^ In the Life of apostle Bartholomew Baku is identified as Alban. Some historians assume that Baku during the existence of Caucasian Albania was called Albanopolis.
  8. ^ Butler's Lives of the Saints