AskDefine | Define patriarchate

Dictionary Definition



1 the jurisdiction of a patriarch
2 a form of social organization in which a male is the family head and title is traced through the male line [syn: patriarchy]

User Contributed Dictionary



Greek -patros + -archy


  1. The term of office of a Christian patriarch.
    The patriarchate of Pope John Paul II, as Patriarch of the West was more than 25 years.
  2. The ecclesial jurisdiction of such a patriarch.
    The Eucumenical Patriarch has jurisdiction over the whole of the Orthodox world.
  3. The office-space occupied by a patriarch and his staff.
    The Latin patriarchate in Jerusalem is, by modern standards, a very cramped space.

Extensive Definition

A patriarchate is the office or jurisdiction of a patriarch. A patriarch, as the term is used here, is either
The original five patriarchs sat in Rome, Constantinople (now called Istanbul for secular purposes, but still called Constantinople in this ecclesiastical context), Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. In the East-West Schism of 1054, the one Latin-speaking patriarchate (Rome) and the four Greek-speaking patriarchates split, forming the hierarchies of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches respectively. The Patriarch of Antioch moved to Damascus in the 13th century, during the reign of the Egyptian Mamelukes, conquerors of Syria. In Damascus a Christian community had flourished since apostolic times (Acts 9). However, the patriarchate is still called the Patriarch of Antioch.
The four orthodox patriarchates of the East, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, along with their counterpart in the West, Rome, are distinguished as "senior" (Greek: πρεσβυγενή, presbygenē), having had one of the Apostles or Evangelists as their first bishop: Andrew, Mark, Peter, James, and Peter again, respectively.
A patriarchate has "legal personality" in some legal jurisdictions, that means it is treated as a corporation. For example, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem filed a lawsuit in New York, decided in 1999, against Christie's Auction House, disputing the ownership of the Archimedes Palimpsest.
The head of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church is also called a Patriarch.

External links

patriarchate in Bosnian: Patrijarhat (kršćanstvo)
patriarchate in German: Patriarchat (Kirche)
patriarchate in Modern Greek (1453-): Πατριαρχείο
patriarchate in French: Patriarcat (Église)
patriarchate in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Patriarchato
patriarchate in Italian: Patriarcato (cristianesimo)
patriarchate in Lithuanian: Patriarchatas (bažnyčia)
patriarchate in Dutch: Patriarchaat (kerk)
patriarchate in Norwegian: Patriarkat
patriarchate in Russian: Патриархат (церковь)
patriarchate in Finnish: Patriarkaatti (kirkko)
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