EVAGRIUS, 7f"v8-grf'vs, PONTICUS: Nitrian hermit b. at Ibora, a small town of Pontus, near the capital Amasia, year unknown; d. after 400. He was the son of a presbyter in Ibora. Basil the Great appointed him lector, and Gregory Nazianzen made him deacon. When Gregory left Constantinople (3817), Evagrius remained in the capital under his successor Neatorius. Because of a love affair with a noble lady he went to Jerusalem where he entered the circle of Melania, the friend of Rufinus (q.v.), and was sent by her to Egypt into the Nitrian desert to recover from serious illness, probably acute mental depression induced by his experiences. There he spent two years on the rtwns Nitrite, then fourteen years in the colony of hermits called Kellia, earning his living by pen manship. His works are all monastic. Definite criticism of them is as yet impossible since the Greek writings published under his name are at beat only excerpts. Gennadius (De vir. ill., xi.) gives a list of them: (1) " Suggestions against the Eight Prin cipal Sins " in eight books, essentially a compila tion of Bible texts intended to work like amulets against certain sinful thoughts. (2) A collection of "One Hundred Sentiments" for uneducated anchorites, and one of "Fifty Sentiments" for educated anchorites. (3) A guide to the common life for monks. (4) A writing dedicated to a nun. (5) "Opinions" for monks, which Gennadius pro nounces "° very obscure." These works may be identified with five mentioned by Socrates (Hist. eccl., iv. 23). The doctrine of Evagrius can not be judged on the basis of the existing material. Connections with the Cappadociana [Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa] are probable not only on account of a passage quoted by Socrates but also because of the whole course of his edu cation. He belonged to that small number of practical ascetics who as educated men were able to indicate monasticism and asceticism philosoph-
ically, hence the reputation which he enjoyed in the desert among the colonies of ascetics who were mostly uneducated men. His predilection for Origen became fatal to him. In the later Origenistic controversies the doctrine of Evagrius was condemned, and from the seventh century his name with that of Origen and Didymus is placed among the archheretica.
Bibliography: The beat collection (far from complete) of his writings is in Gallandi, Bibliotheca. vii. bbl-58i, reprinted in MPG, xl. On his Syriac works consult w. Wright, Cataloue of the Syriac MSS. in the British Museum, London, 1870-72. On his life and work: Tillemont, Menwirea, 2d ed., x. 388 sqq.; Fabriciue-Harlea, Bibliotheca Greeea, ix. 284, Hamburg, 1804; E. Nestle, in ZDMG, 1878, pp. 485 sqq.; O. Zöckler, Evagrius Pontikua, Munich, 1893; idem, Aakeae and Monchtum, i. 253 sqq., Frankfort, 1897; J. A. Robinson, in TS, iii. 3 (189b).
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