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Apostolic Sees - Early Church Centers


Definition: In the early Church there were five major centers or sees of Christianity. These five sees are known as the Apostolic Sees because they were said to have been founded by the apostles. The sees at Rome and at Antioch (in Syria) were said to have been established by Peter; the see at Constantinople (Byzantium) by Andrew; the see at Alexandria (Egypt) by Mark; and the see at Jerusalem by James. The word 'see" comes from the Latin for seat, "sedes."

Note that the apostolic fathers, including Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Polycarp of Smyrna, are those early Church writers who are thought to have contact with the 12 Apostles.

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