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E03329: Palladius of Helenopolis in his Lausiac History recounts the story of the ascetic Innokentios who had relics of *John the Baptist (S00020) in his private chapel on the Mount of Olives (Jerusalem). The author also mentions the shrine of *Lazarus (friend of Jesus, S01417). Written in Greek at Aspuna or Ankyra (both Galatia, central Asia Minor), 419/420.

online resource
posted on 18.07.2017, 00:00 by erizos
Palladius of Helenopolis, Lausiac History (BHG 1435-1438v; CPG 6036), 44

Summary:

Innokentios was a presbyter living on the Mount of Olives, with whom Palladios spent three years. He was a former member of the court of Constantius II and had a son, Paulos. Paulos sinned with the daughter of a priest, upon which, Innokentios prayed that his son be possessed by a demon, in order to be prevented from sinning. This came true, and Paulos was still in fetters and tormented by the spirit on the Mount of Olives at the time of writing. Innokentios was charitable, simple, good, and had power against demons. At some point a possessed young man was brought to him. He took him into his chapel which contained relics of John the Baptist, and exorcised him. He also received a revelation about thieves of sheep near the Lazarion [probably the shrine of the tomb of *Lazarus in Bethany, near the Mount of Olives].

Text: Bartelink et al. 1974. Summary: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E03329

Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020 Lazarus, friend of Jesus : S01417

Saint Name in Source

Ἰωάννης ὁ Βαπτιστής

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Monastic collections (apophthegmata, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

419

Evidence not after

420

Activity not before

386

Activity not after

400

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Aspuna Ankyra

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Aspuna Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Ankyra Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Palladius of Helenopolis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult Activities - Miracles

Exorcism

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Privately owned relics

Source

Born in 364 in Galatia in central Asia Minor, Palladius became a monk in 386, spending some years in Palestine, before moving to Alexandria. In c. 390, he joined the monastic community of Nitria, where he spent nine years, under Makarios of Alexandria and Evagrios of Pontus. In c. 399, he returned briefly to Palestine and then left for Constantinople where he became closely associated with John Chrysostom. By 400, he was ordained bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia (north-west Asia Minor), probably by Chrysostom. Palladius stood by his new protector throughout John’s conflict with Pope Theophilos of Alexandria over the affair of the Tall Brothers and the Council of the Oak. One year after John’s exile in 404, Palladius visited Rome in order to plead on John’s behalf with Pope Innocent I (401-411). Returning to Constantinople, he was arrested and one year later (406), he was exiled to Syene (Aswan) and Antinoe in Egypt. There he received the news of John’s death in Pontus (407) and wrote the Historical Dialogue on the Life of John Chrysostom (in 408 or shortly after, E02400). In the 410s, he was allowed to return to his native Galatia, and was restored as a bishop in the imperial church, being appointed to the see of Aspona. After his return from exile, in c. 419/420, Palladius published the Lausiakon (‘Book for Lausos’, widely known as the Lausiac History), a book commissioned by and dedicated to the patrician Lausos (imperial chamberlain in 420-422). Along with the History of the Monks of Egypt (E03558, composed in 395/397), Palladius’ work inaugurates the monastic genre of edifying stories and apophthegms. It immediately became a success: two decades after its publication, the ecclesiastical historian Socrates used the Lausiac History as a source (4.23.78), and it was translated into Latin and Syriac. There are also Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Arabic translations. Its copious manuscript tradition (242 manuscripts) and unstable transmission render a definitive critical edition of the text very difficult. On the manuscript tradition of the Greek text, see: http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/6840/ Like all monastic collections, the Lausiac History was mainly written to provide exemplars of ascetic virtue and edifying stories for broader spiritual benefit, rather than to encourage the active cult of the men and women included within it – indeed some of them serve as negative examples to avoid. It was, therefore, difficult for us to decide how to treat this work in our database, focused as it is on the cult of saints. At one extreme, we could have entered every (positive) figure within it as a saint, while, at the other extreme, we might have ignored the text altogether. In the end we came to a compromise position, with one overview entry for the full text (E03176), where all the holy men and women are named, and individual entries for chapters that either reveal interesting incidental details of saintly cult or cover major figures who, in time, came to attract cult. The Lausiac History in its many manuscripts and its many translations was in fact one of the principal ways these figures came to be known, and often venerated, across the Christian world. Some of its chapters were, indeed, later detached from the collection, and circulated as independent pieces of hagiography.

Discussion

The acquisition of the relics of John the Baptist by the monks of the Mount of Olives is reported in Rufinus' Ecclesiastical History 11.28.

Bibliography

Text: Butler, Cuthbert. The Lausiac History of Palladius: Greek Text Edited with Introduction and Notes. Texts and Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904. Bartelink, G. J. M., Barchiesi, M. and Mohrmann, C. Palladio, La Storia Lausiaca. Scrittori Greci E Latini. Milano: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1974. (with Italian translation) English Translations: Wortley, J. Palladius, the Lausiac History, Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications, 2015. Meyer, R. T. Palladius, the Lausiac History, Westminster MD: Newman Press: 1965. Lowtber Clarke, W. K. The Lausiac History of Palladius, London: Macmillan, 1918. Further reading: Katos, D. Palladius of Helenopolis: the Origenist Advocate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Rapp, C. ‘Palladius, Lausus and the Historia Lausiaca.’ In C. Sode, S. Takács (eds.), Novum Millennium. Studies on Byzantine History and Culture Dedicated to Paul Speck, 19 December 1999, Aldershot: Ashgate, 279-289.

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