Cyrion (Kyrion)

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Catholicos of Iberia, East Georgia, c. 598 to after 609; d. after 609. Iberia had adhered to the Emperor zeno's pro-Monophysite policy and had in recompense the rank of a catholicos for its primate (486488). In 505 or 506, together with Armenia and Caucasian Albania, it had accepted the henoticon. In 519 the empire, later followed by Iberia and Lazica (West Georgia), was reconciled with Rome, while Armenia drifted toward monophysitism; thus Cyrion on accession to the catholicate was still in communion with the Monophysite Church of Armenia. But in 600 he returned to the Catholic faith and entertained direct relations with Rome (Pope gregory i's letter of June or July 601 was written in reply to Cyrion's message). This caused a clash between the Iberian and the Armenian Monophysite Churches, which began in 602 and was complicated by the Georgian-Armenian rivalry in the South Iberian Diocese of Tsurtavi. Finally, in 608 or 609 Abraham, Catholicos of Monophysite Armenia, excommunicated Cyrion and the Catholic Iberians, and the seeds of discord were sown between the two Christian Caucasian nations.

Bibliography: Gregory I, Monumenta Germaniae Epistolae (Berlin 1825) 2.2:52. p. goubert, Byzance avant l'Islam, 2 v. (Paris 195155). c. toumanoff, "Christian Caucasia between Byzantium and Iran," Traditio 10 (1954) 109189. n. akinian, Kiwrion Kat'olikos Vrac' (Vienna 1910), in Armenian. i. a. dzhavakhov, "Istorīa tserkovnago razryva mezhdy Gruzīeĭ i Armenīeĭ v nachaliȇ VII viȇka," Bulletin de l'Académie des Sciences de St. Pétersbourg 6 (1908) 433446.

[c. toumanoff]