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Elias [1]

(Armen. Eghia).

(1) Patriarch OF Armenia was born at Arjich. He was bishop of the Peznounians, and was raised to the dignity of a patriarch in 703, after the death of Sahag or Isaac III. He showed himself as one of the most violent adversaries of the Council of Chalcedon. At this time, the princess who governed the Aghovans (Albanians) took pains to make her subjects adopt the doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon, and to unite them with the Romish Church; but this displeased the nobility, at whose suggestion Elias wrote three letters to the bishop and to the princess, in order to induce them to renounce the enterprise. But as these remonstrances remained without effect, he resorted to violence and persecution. The Arabians were then masters of Armenia, and the patriarch addressed himself to the emir, or kaliph, accusing his adversaries of forming a conspiracy with the emperor of the Greeks, in order to escape from the authority of the Moslems. In consequence Nerses and the princess were laid in chains, by the order of Omar II, and a new bishop was given to the Albanians. Elias died A.D. 718.

(2) Occupied the patriarchate from A.D. 760 to 797. with the exception of an interval, during which he was expelled by the patriarch Theodoret. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.