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E05080: Evagrius Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History mentions the story of *Symeon the Stylite the Younger (ascetic, ob. 592, S00080), recounting the beginnings of his station on his column near Antioch, and some of his miracles of healing and clairvoyance; some of this miraculous activity the author experienced in person. Written in Greek at Antioch (Syria), 593/594.

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posted on 13.02.2018, 00:00 by erizos
Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 6.23

23. Ἐν τοσούτῳ δὲ Συμεώνου τοῦ ἐν ὁσίοις τὴν ἐπὶ θάνατον νοσήσαντος, ἐμοῦ τὰ περὶ τούτου μηνύσαντος, ἐκτρέχει Γρηγόριος τοῦτον τὰ τελευταῖα κατασπασόμενος· οὐ μὴν ἔτυχεν. Ἦν δέ γε ὁ Συμεώνης πάντων τῶν κατ’ αὐτὸν ἀνθρώπων τὴν ἀρετὴν ἐξοχώτατος, ἐξ ἁπαλῶν τῶν ὀνύχων τὸν ἐπὶ κίονος διαθλεύων βίον, ὡς καὶ τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτοῦ διήλλαξεν ἐν τῇ στάσει τοῦ κίονος. Ἀνήχθη δὲ κατὰ τὸν κίονα ἐξ αἰτίας τοιᾶσδε. Ἔτι σμικρὰν κομιδῇ τὴν ἡλικίαν ἄγων, κουρίζων τε καὶ ἀλώμενος ἀνὰ τὰς κολώνας τοῦ ὄρους περιῄει. Καὶ περιτυχὼν πάρδῳ τῷ θηρίῳ τὴν ζώνην περὶ αὐχένα βάλλει, καὶ ἐκ ῥυτῆρος ἦγεν τῆς φύσεως ἐπιλαθόμενον, καὶ ἀνὰ τὸ οἰκεῖον ἤγαγε φροντιστήριον. Ὅπερ ἑωρακὼς ὁ τοῦτον μαθητεύων καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπὶ κίονος ἑστὼς ἐπυνθάνετο τί ἂν εἴη τοῦτο. Ὁ δὲ ἔφη αἴλουρον εἶναι, ἣν κάτταν ἡ συνήθεια λέγει. Ἐντεῦθεν τεκμηράμενος πηλίκος ἔσται τὴν ἀρετήν, ἐπὶ τοῦ κίονος ἀνήγαγεν. Ἐν τούτῳ δὲ τῷ κίονι καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ ἐς τὰς ἀνωτάτω τοῦ ὄρους ἀκρωρείας, ὀκτὼ καὶ ἑξήκοντα διετέθη χρόνους, πάσης χάριτος ἠξιωμένος περί τε τὴν τῶν δαιμονίων ἔλασιν, ἀκούμενός τε πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν, προορῶν τε ὡς παρόντα τὰ μέλλοντα. Ὃς καὶ Γρηγορίῳ προειρήκει αὐτὸν μὲν μὴ ὁρᾶν τὸν αὐτοῦ θάνατον, τὰ δὲ μετ’ αὐτὸν ἀγνοεῖν. Κἀμοῦ δὲ λογισμοὺς θεωρήσας ἐπὶ τέκνων ἀποβολῇ καὶ διαπορουμένου τί δή ποτε Ἕλλησι πολυτέκνοις οὐ γέγονε ταῦτα, καὶ πρὸς μηδένα τὸ παράπαν ἐξαγαγόντος, γέγραφεν ἐκστῆναι τούτων ὡς οὐκ ἀρέσκοντα τῷ θεῷ. Καὶ γυναικὸς δέ τινος τῶν ὑπογραφόντων μοι, ἐπεὶ τὸ γάλα τεκούσῃ κεκώλυτο καὶ περὶ τῶν ἐσχάτων τὸ βρέφος ἐκινδύνευεν, ἐπιθεὶς τὴν χεῖρα τῇ δεξιᾷ τἀνδρός, ἐπέτρεπεν ταύτην ταῖς θηλαῖς τῆς γυναικὸς ἐπιβαλεῖν. Ὅπερ ἐπειδὴ πέπραχεν, εὐθέως ὡς ἔκ τινος πηγῆς ἥλατο τὸ γάλα, ὡς καὶ τὴν ἐσθῆτα τοῦ γυναίου ἐμπλῆσαι. Καὶ παιδαρίου δὲ παρὰ τῶν συνοδοιπόρων ἐπιλελησμένου πόρρω τῶν νυκτῶν, λέων τοῖς νώτοις ἐπιβιβάσας παρὰ τὸ μανδρεῖον ἤγαγεν, καὶ Συμεώνου προστάξαντος ὑπεξελθόντες οἱ διακονούμενοι τὸ παιδίον ἤγαγον ὑπὸ τοῦ λέοντος φρουρούμενον. Πολλὰ δὲ ἕτερα καὶ κρείττονα μνήμης πέπραχεν, ἃ καὶ γλώσσης κεκομψευμένης καὶ χρόνου καὶ πραγματείας ἰδίας δεῖται, ταῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ᾀδόμενα γλώσσαις. Ἐκ πάσης γὰρ σχεδὸν γῆς, οὐ μόνον Ῥωμαίων ἀλλὰ καὶ βαρβάρων, παρ’ αὐτὸν ἐφοίτων, καὶ τῶν αἰτουμένων ἐτύγχανον. Ὧι ἀντὶ παντὸς βρωτοῦ καὶ ποτοῦ, κλάδοι τινὲς ἐτύγχανον ἐκ θάμνου τῷ ὄρει φυομένης.

'23. During this time Symeon, who is among the saints, fell mortally ill and, after I had passed on the news of this, Gregory [Patriarch of Antioch, 571-593] rushed to salute him for the last time; but he did not succeed. Of all men in his time Symeon was the most exceptional for virtue, since from his tenderest youth he had pursued the life on a column, so that he had even acquired his second teeth on his station on the column. He was elevated onto the column in the following way. While he was still extremely young in age, he was wandering around the peaks of the mountains, roaming about and playing like a child. And on encountering a wild leopard he put his belt around its neck, and with this bridle he led it, forgetful of its real nature, and brought it to his own monastery. When his teacher, who was himself standing on a column, saw this, he enquired what this was, and he said it was a feline which is customarily called a cat. Inferring from this how great his virtue would be, he brought him up onto the column. On this column, and on another one on the very topmost summit of the mountain, he spent 68 years, being deemed worthy of every grace in respect of the expulsion of demons, and curing every disease and every sickness, and foreseeing the future just like the present.

He actually predicted to Gregory that he would not see his death, but that he was ignorant of matters after that. He saw my thoughts about the loss of my children, and that I was perplexed as to why this had never happened to pagans with many children; even though I had never expressed any of this to anyone, he wrote that I should distance myself from these thoughts, as it was displeasing to God. And with regard to the wife of one of my secretaries, when her milk was obstructed after she had given birth and the infant was in extreme danger, he placed his hand on the husband’s right hand and enjoined him to place this on his wife’s breasts. When he had done this, at once the milk sprang forth as if from a spring, so that the wife’s dress was soaked.

And when a child had been forgotten late at night by a group of travellers, a lion put it on its back and brought it to the Enclosure, and on Symeon’s instructions the attendants went out and brought in the child, which had been protected by the lion. He has done many other things as well which surpass recollection, which require an elegant tongue and time and a separate treatise, since they are celebrated on the tongues of men. For people from nearly every land, not only Romans but also barbarians, visited him and obtained what they requested. For him the branches of a bush which grew upon the mountain took the place of all food and drink.'

Text: Bidez and Parmentier 2014. Translation: Whitby 2010.

History

Evidence ID

E05080

Saint Name

Symeon the Younger, stylite near Antioch, ob. 592. : S00860

Saint Name in Source

Συμεώνης

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

593

Evidence not after

594

Activity not before

593

Activity not after

594

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Major author/Major anonymous work

Evagrius Scholasticus

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting/veneration of living saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracle with animals and plants Revelation of hidden knowledge (past, present and future) Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Children Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Animals

Source

Evagrius was born in about 535 in the Syrian city of Epiphania. Educated at Antioch and Constantinople, he pursued a career as a lawyer at Antioch, serving as a legal advisor to Patriarch Gregory (570-592). He wrote the Ecclesiastical History in 593/4, with the express purpose of covering the period following the coverage of the mid 5th century ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. His narrative starts with Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus (431) and stops with the death of Evagrius’ patron, Gregory of Antioch, in 592. The work offers a balanced mixture of ecclesiastical and secular events in the East Roman Empire, being best informed about Antioch and Syria. Evagrius also published a dossier of original documents from the archive of Patriarch Gregory of Antioch, which has not survived.

Discussion

On the hagiography and legend of Symeon, see E04126, E04127.

Bibliography

Text and French translation: Bidez, J., and Parmentier, L., Evagre le Scholastique, Histoire ecclésiastique (Sources Chrétiennes 542, 566; Paris, 2011, 2014), with commentary by L. Angliviel de la Beaumelle, and G. Sabbah, and French translation by A.-J.Festugière, B. Grillet, and G. Sabbah. Other translations: Whitby, M., The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus (Translated Texts for Historians 33; Liverpool, 2000). Hübner, A., Evagrius Scholasticus, Historia ecclesiastica = Kirchengeschichte (Fontes Christiani 57; Turnhout, 2007). Carcione, F., Evagrio di Epifania, Storia ecclesiastica (Roma, 1998). Further Reading: Allen, P., Evagrius Scholasticus, the Church Historian (Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, Etudes et Documents 41; Leuven, 1981). Treadgold, W., The Early Byzantine Historians (Basingstoke, 2006), 299-308.

Usage metrics

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports