The Life of Saint Simeon Stylites

Christian Roman Empire Series

Book 7
Arx Publishing, LLC
Free sample

Originally published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, this English translation of The Life of Saint Simeon the Stylite is a fascinating account of the prototypical pillar saint-the first of those strange holy athletes who took their stand atop a high column. Of unknown authorship, this vita was originally written in Syriac and was most likely penned shortly after Simeon's death in AD 459. Much of Simeon's biography consists of mystical events, miraculous cures, piety rewarded, depravity punished, divine and satanic interventions in the lives of men. But the vita also contains a wealth of information about monastic and penitential practices and provides dozens of vignettes chronicling daily Christian life and the many hardships faced by ordinary citizens of the late Roman Empire in the East. This book also includes an another article originally published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society by Charles C. Torrey entitled, "The Letters of Simeon the Stylite." This article offers English translations of several letters purportedly written by Simeon, along with a useful discussion of the controversy over the saint's opinion of the Council of Chalcedon.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Arx Publishing, LLC
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
143
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ISBN
9781889758916
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
History / Ancient / Rome
Religion / Christianity / History
Religion / Christianity / Saints & Sainthood
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century AD, Pope Saint Gregory the Great set down in the Dialogues a sequence of tales to help his contemporaries escape from their worldly troubles and contemplate eternal life. Peter, Gregory’s interlocutor, laments that he has never heard of anyone famous in Italy for virtue. To set him straight, Gregory offers an entire litany of stories of Italian saints—from Honoratus of Funda who pinned a great rock to a mountainside to prevent it from crushing an abbey, to the holy virgin Tarsilla who received a vision of Pope Felix immediately before her death. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. Perhaps most importantly, Gregory’s Dialogues contain an entire book dedicated to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia. This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint. Often viewed as mere folk-history, the Dialogues served a higher function than simple history—they were a spiritual exhortation to Gregory’s worn and weary countrymen. To modern readers, these tales of visions, miracles and extraordinary Christian virtue paint a vivid portrait of daily life amid the wreckage of once-prosperous Roman Italy. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void."--
"Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century AD, Pope Saint Gregory the Great set down in the Dialogues a sequence of tales to help his contemporaries escape from their worldly troubles and contemplate eternal life. Peter, Gregory’s interlocutor, laments that he has never heard of anyone famous in Italy for virtue. To set him straight, Gregory offers an entire litany of stories of Italian saints—from Honoratus of Funda who pinned a great rock to a mountainside to prevent it from crushing an abbey, to the holy virgin Tarsilla who received a vision of Pope Felix immediately before her death. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. Perhaps most importantly, Gregory’s Dialogues contain an entire book dedicated to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia. This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint. Often viewed as mere folk-history, the Dialogues served a higher function than simple history—they were a spiritual exhortation to Gregory’s worn and weary countrymen. To modern readers, these tales of visions, miracles and extraordinary Christian virtue paint a vivid portrait of daily life amid the wreckage of once-prosperous Roman Italy. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void."--
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