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The Westernmost and Easternmost Borders of Christendom: Early Christianity in Armenia and Ireland

Project description

A comparative study of early Irish and Armenian Christianity

Armenia and Ireland represented the easternmost and westernmost borders respectively of Christendom and the territory covered by Pax Romana. However, the histories of the two churches were never subjected to a comparative study. The EU-funded CHRISTIAN_FRONTIERS project will investigate early Armenian and Irish Christian identities and specify how they understood their position in relation to the Roman papacy and how Rome regarded these two distant churches. It will explore the history and the defending features of the two national churches. It will introduce a new methodology based on a comparative study of both Irish and Armenian Christianity using a wide range of sources from Ireland and Armenia, contributing to facts about the medieval history of the two countries.


The Christian_Frontiers aims to research the early history of Christianity in the westernmost and easternmost borders of Christendom, that is, in Armenia and Ireland. Neither Armenia, nor Ireland were just the confines of the Roman world, but also the Pax Romana. The aim of this project is to trace early Armenian and Irish Christian identity, to determine how they identified themselves regarding the Roman papacy and how Rome perceived these two remote churches, which were beyond empires. During the work on the Christian_Frontiers not only the history of two national churches will be examined, but also the defending features of Eastern and Western Churches will be explored through the example of Irish and Armenian churches. The history of Irish Christianity has never been researched in comparison to Eastern Christianity, just as Armenian Church has never been considered in context with the Western one. Such a fresh approach in combination with the usage of modern methodology and a wide range of sources, as well as the guidance of an experienced Supervisor will enable the Fellow to provide an original and fresh view on the early medieval history of the countries.
To achieve the desired results The Fellow will work in different libraries in Ireland and Armenia to have access to a wide range of sources and references. Consultation-meetings with the supervisors from the Host and Secondment, and other professional trainings, including Latin courses will be undertaken. Apart from professional skills, the Fellow will gain and improve a number of transferable skills by undertaking the trainings organized by UCC. Hence the contribution to the Researcher’s knowledge and career development, creation of wide scientific ties, publications in the relevant peer-reviewed will assist the Researcher in achieving professional maturity and increase her employability.


Net EU contribution
€ 196 590,72
T12 YN60 Cork

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Ireland Southern South-East
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 196 590,72