Simeon I of Yerevan

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Simeon I of Yerevan or Simeon Yerevantsi (Armenian: Սիմեոն Ա Երևանցի "Simon of Yerevan"; 1710–1780) was the Catholicos of All Armenians from 1763 to 1780. In 1771, he founded a printing press at the Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the first in Armenia.[1][2] According to Rouben Paul Adalian, the pontificate of Simeon I of Yerevan marked the reemergence of Etchmiadzin as a "truly important center of Armenian national affairs".[3]


Simeon I was born in 1710 in Yerevan, then under the Safavid Iranian sway.[4][5][6] He received his education in Etchmiadzin.[4] As a legate of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, he travelled to Istanbul and Madras, the latter which was an important center of Armenian intellectual activity at the time.[4]

He was elected catholicos at Etchmiadzin in 1763.[4] However, by that time, with the remoteness of Etchmiadzin in a frontier province of Iran, the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul had become the most important see of the Armenian Church.[4] Simeon took active efforts in order to increase the role of the see of Etchmiadzin by establishing a printing press in 1771, the very first on the territory of historical Armenia.[4] Four years later he established a paper factory to meet the growing needs and costs of the printing press. He furthermore improved the monastery school, which would later, in the 19th century, become a major center of theological learning.[4]


  1. ^ Adalian, Rouben Paul (2010). Historical dictionary of Armenia (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 543. ISBN 9780810874503.
  2. ^ Agop Jack Hacikyan; Gabriel Basmajian; Edward S. Franchuk; Nourhan Ouzounian (2005). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times. Detroit: Wayne State Univ Pr. p. 151. ISBN 9780814332214.
  3. ^ Adalian 2010, p. 300. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFAdalian2010 (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Adalian 2010, p. 543. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFAdalian2010 (help)
  5. ^ Bournoutian, George (1982). Eastern Armenia in the last decades of Persian rule, 1807-1828. Undena Publications. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0890031230. Thus until the Afghan invasion and the subsequent crumbling of the Safavids in 1722, Eastern Armenia was under Persian rule.
  6. ^ Floor & Herzig 2012, p. 376.