Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

“Land of [Caucasian] Albanians” and Albanian church in the Albanian narratives

Fri31  Mar12:30pm(15 mins)
Gilbert Scott Room 251


Kamala Imranli-Lowe1
1 University of Oxford, UK


Study of academic discourse on Caucasian Albania reveals conflicting views on Albanian “homeland” and church, leaving readers with a long list of inter-related questions. These include the interpretations of the terms of Albania, Arran and Aghowank, their boundaries and population in different periods, and the nature and period of the religious, ethnic and cultural transformations that took place in the area. The questions also concern the history of the Albanian church and its relationship with the Armenian church, as well as the conflicting dates and circumstances of the abolishment of the Albanian church. There is also lack of scholarly agreement on the perceptions of Albania in the narratives of Albanian and Armenian historians and chroniclers of the medieval to late modern periods, and on the period until which these terms were in use. My paper focuses on the chronicles by Esai Hasan Jalal (1702-1727/8), Albanian Catholicos of the early eighteenth century, and Sergius Hasan Jalal, the last Albanian Catholicos (1812-1815) and the first Albanian metropolitan (1815-1828). It argues that up until the early nineteenth century an independent Albanian Catholicosate was present in the eastern half of southern Caucasus, referred to as the “land of Albanians” by the Albanian, as well as Armenian narratives up until the late modern period.