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The church in Pontos, third to sixth century AD

Christian Høgel

Pontos figures largely in the historical narratives of the Christianisation of Anatolia (Mitchell 1993 II, 53). The main reason for this is the Life of Gregory Thaumatourgos, written in the fourth century but narrating the – purportedly massive – conversion implemented by Gregory in third-century Pontos. Despite its inaccuracies, the account given delivers an insight into the earliest phases of Christianisation of the region, which may in some cases be held up against the evidence offered in Gregory's own writings. But from this point on, Pontos recedes into the background in modern historical accounts, and the establishment of Christian communities and institutions in inland Pontos has hardly received any scholarly attention.

Based on new epigraphic material from the area of Pontos and with the inclusion of previously known sources (acts of church councils, dispersed information in the works of churck fathers, church historians and Byzantine authors, as well as re-evaluation of the complete works of Gregory Thaumatourgos) an attempt will be made to write the church history of the Pontos region from the times of Gregory till the sixth century.

References:
Mittchell, S. 1993. Anatolia I-II. Oxford.