Hebrew: av karemon
The title dates back to the earliest centuries, but its implementation was gradual. There is not one single moment when "patriarch" was introduced as a title, the closest to this being Byzantine Emperor Justinian 1's recognition in 6th century CE of 5 episcopal sees: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem.
To the role of the patriarch is to ordain other, lower bishops, to administer and oversee his territorial jurisdiction.
The word comes from Greek, a combination of "pater" (father) and "archon" (leader, ruler).
The title patriarch is still in use, with a content very close to the one of the early church. There are today 9 patriarchs of the Orthodox churches: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, Georgia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
The Armenian Catholic Church, is headed by the Patriarch of the Catholic Armenians and Katholikos of Cilicia, who resides in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Armenian Orthodox Church has 2 patriarchs, one in Istanbul, Turkey and one in Jerusalem, Israel.
The Chaldean Catholic Church is headed by the Katholicos Patriarch residing in Baghdad, Iraq.
The Coptic Church is headed by the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, Pentapolis and Ethiopia, who resides in Cairo, Egypt.
The Maronite Churchhas the Patriarch of Antioch as its spiritual head, residing in Jounieh (north of Beirut).
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is headed by a patriarch in Damascus, Syria.
The Syrian Catholic Church is headed by a patriarch in Beirut.