Patriarch (Gr. , chief of a race), a title applied to the fathers or heads of generations mentioned by the sacred writers from Adam to Jacob. After the destruction of Jerusalem it was the title of the chief religious rulers of the Jews in Asia; and in early Christian times it became the designation of the bishops of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Certain other bishops were likewise termed patriarchs in course of time, especially those of newly converted nations. In modern times patriarchs have jurisdiction over all the bishops and metropolitans or archbishops of their patriarchates, but their authority extends little beyond the right of convoking councils and exercising a general watchfulness over the conduct of their subordinate prelates. The patriarchs at present in communion with the see of Rome are those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, the East Indies, Venice, and Lisbon, besides those of the Melchites, Haron-ites, and Syrians at Antioch, Armenians in Cilicia, and Nestorians (Chaldeans) nominally at Babylon. In the orthodox Greek church the title of patriarch is attached to the sees of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; and various Christian sects of the East have patriarchs.