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Chapter XXXIII.—Monks of Syria and Persia: Battheus, Eusebius, Barges, Halas, Abbo, Lazarus, Abdaleus, Zeno, Heliodorus, Eusebius of Carræ, Protogenes, and Aones.

Let us pass thence to Syria and Persia,15011501    Again, presumably, from Syrian biographies. Theodoret, H. E. iv. 28, has but one identical name; and the same is true of his Historia Religiosa. Battheus, Halas, and Heliodorus are repeated in the following chapter. the parts adjacent to Syria. We shall find that the monks of these countries emulated those of Egypt in the practice of philosophy. Battheus, Eusebius, Barges, Halas, Abbos, Lazarus, who attained the episcopal dignity, Abdaleus, Zeno, and Heliodorus, flourished in Nisibis, near the mountain called Sigoron. When they first entered upon the philosophic career, they were denominated shepherds, because they had no houses, ate neither bread nor meat, and drank no wine; but dwelt constantly on the mountains, and passed their time in praising God by prayers and hymns, according to the law of the Church. At the usual hours of meals, they each took a sickle, and went to the mountain to cut some grass on the mountains, as though they were flocks in pasture; and this served for their repast. Such was their course of philosophy. Eusebius voluntarily shut himself up in a cell to philosophize, near Carræ.15021502    Cf. Basil, Ep. cclv. Protogenes dwelt in the same locality, and ruled the church there after Vitus who was then bishop. This is the celebrated Vitus of whom they say that when the Emperor Constantine first saw him, he confessed that God had frequently shown this man in appearances to him and enjoined him to obey implicitly what he should say. Aones had a monastery in Phadana; this was the spot where Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, on his journey from Palestine, met the damsel whom he afterwards married, and where he rolled away the stone, that her flock might drink of the water of the well. It is said that Aones was the first who introduced the life apart from all men, and the severe philosophy into Syria, just as it was first introduced by Antony into Egypt.


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