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The city would nowadays be called Vagarshapat. It is an ancient city. Gurdjieff provides Vagarshapat as alternative name to Echmiadzin.
The city is best known as the location of Etchmiadzin Cathedral and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church. (It is here where the Catholicos of all Armenians resides and carries out his religious duties.) It is thus unofficially known in Western sources as a "holy city" and in Armenia as the country's "spiritual capital". It is one of the most common pilgrimage destinations of Armenia.
Vagharshapat is the 4th-largest city in Armenia. It is commonly known as Echmiadzin, which is the name that Gurdjieff prefers.
The area of Vagharshapat was once known as Artimed—from the ancient Greek goddess Artemis. Later, it was renamed Avan Vardgesi (Town of Vardges) or Vardgesavan by Prince Vardges Manouk who rebuilt the settlement near the shores of Kasagh River, during the reign of King Orontes I Sakavakyats of Armenia (570-560 BC). The Byzantine historian Procopius refers to the city as Valashabad (Balashabad), named after king Vologases I of Armenia. The town of Vardges was entirely rebuilt and fenced by King Vagharsh I to become known as Norakaghak and later Vagharshapat.
Catholicos is a title used for the head of some churches in Eastern Christian traditions. The title implies autocephaly (the head reports to no-one). In some of cases it is the title of the head of an autonomous church. The name of the Catholic Church comes from the same Greek word.
The Molokans are a Spiritual Christian sect that evolved from Eastern Orthodoxy in the East Slavic lands. Their traditions-especially dairy consumption during Christian fasts-did not conform to those of the Russian Orthodox Church, and they were regarded as heretics.
The name Surenian is Armenian and means "strong" or "powerful."