The Paulician Movement

The great British historian Edward Gibbons in his monumental work, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, noted that the Paulician movement “shook the East and enlightened the West.” The Paulicians or the Tondraketsi movement is one of the most interesting chapters in Armenian history and global history. Some scholars regard the Paulician movement as a proto-protestant movement—a forerunner of the European Reformation. Little is known about the movement because most of the sources about them were written (Armenian and Greek) by their adversaries. Founded in Greater Armenia, it spread to Mesopotamia, the Balkans (the Bogomil movement) and eventually influenced heretical movements of Western Europe (Catharism, Albigensianism, Waldensiansim, Anabaptism and other early protests movements).  

The great British historian Edward Gibbons in his monumental work, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, noted that the Paulician movement “shook the East and enlightened the West.” The Paulicians or the Tondraketsi movement is one of the most interesting chapters in Armenian history and global history. Some scholars regard the Paulician movement as a proto-protestant movement—a forerunner of the European Reformation. Little is known about the movement because most of the sources about them were written (Armenian and Greek) by their adversaries. Founded in Greater Armenia, it spread to Mesopotamia, the Balkans (the Bogomil movement) and eventually influenced heretical movements of Western Europe (Catharism, Albigensianism, Waldensiansim, Anabaptism and other early protests movements).  

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