ANTHONY Hagiographer

ANTHONY 6th c.. Hagiographer of Simeon Stylites the elder the first of three of that name, the senior, who lived on a column near Antioch, and died at nearly 100 d. 459. The author of Simeon’s life calls himself Anthony and claims to be Simeon’s disciple and an eyewitness of the events he narrates ch. 7. In fact the Greek life of Simeon, transmitted also in Latin translation in many codices, seems to be the work of a hagiographer who knows Theodoret’s work Hist. mon. 26 but has no direct experience of the country, background or traditions of the place. It can be conjectured that this counterfeit was composed early 6th c. at Constantinople by a certain Anthony, to validate the authenticity of Simeon’s supposed relics. The emperor Leo I ca. 411 474 had ordered their translation from Antioch to Constantinople, but we have no certain knowledge that the order was carried out, since the inhabitants of Antioch opposed it; if the translation occurred, it was probably only partial. CPG III, 6724; BHG 1682-1685m; PL 73, 325-334; H. Lietzmann, Das Leben des hl. Symeon Stylites TU 32,4, Leipzig 1908, 20-78 Gr. and Lat. text; H. Delehaye, Les saints stylites Subs. hagiogr. 14, Brussels 1923, II-XXXIV; P. Peteers, St. Symon stylite et ses premiers biographes: AB 61 1943 29-71; R. Doran, The Lives of Symeon Stylites, Kalamazoo 1992, 85-100. ANTHONY, abbot 251 ca. 335. The most famous of the fathers of anchorism, considered its founder by a substantial branch of the tradition that goes back to Athanasius’s Life of Anthony. Born 251, at age 20 he adopted the ascetic life, first in a village under the direction of an old man, then in a tomb dug out of a mountainside near the Nile, then in abandoned ruins in the middle of the desert. Later a system of small monasteries arose around him, a community of which he was the father. Still later he moved toward the Red Sea to a place where the monastery dedicated to him still stands and where he spent most of his life until he died ca. 355. His interventions in Alexandria seem to have been at the time of Diocletian’s persecution Maximinus, and later during the Arian controversy, to register his support for Athanasius, whose Life of Anthony makes him an example of monastic life, fully describing his ascesis, way of life, his struggles with demons in the desert and his spirituality. A corpus of letters is attributed to Anthony himself, varying in number and reaching us in various languages. A corpus of seven letters, the original Greek lost, has reached us in Georgian, Latin, and partially in Coptic and in Syriac. A corpus of twenty letters has reached us in Arabic, generally hortatory in character but inspired by doctrines typical of the Platonism of the Origenian school, as recently shown by Rubenson. Also attributed to him is a letter to Theodore of Tabennesi, a series of rules and some twenty sermons. Only the corpus of seven letters and the letter to Theodore appear authentic. BHG 140-141h; CPG 2330-2350; Letters, PG 40, 977-1000; G. Garitte, Lettres de S. Antoine, version gorgienne et fragments coptes, Louvain 1955 CSCO 148-149; B. Steidle ed., Antonius Magnus Eremita, Rome 1956 SA 38; S. Rubenson, The Letters of St. Anthony: Origenist Theology, Monastic Tradition and the Making of a Saint, Lund 1990 = Bibliotheca HistoricoEcclesiastica Lundensis, 24; Coptic Encyclopedia 1,149-151; C. Corsato, Sant’Antonio abate 251-356, Verona 2002.

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