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Stacey Graham

is widely considered the first anchoritic monk to be influential throughout the Christian Mediterranean world. The Life of Anthony, written by Alexandrian bishop Athanasius (d. 373 CE), became a model both for late antique hagiography and for the anchoritic lifestyle that subsequently flourished in the eastern Roman Empire. Anthony’s fame also had a significant impact on the spread of monasticism in the western Roman Empire, where the Life was read by such patristic writers as Jerome and Augustine.

The main source for Anthony’s life is Athanasius’s Life of Anthony written in Greek between the years 356 and 362 The influence of this work on the genre of Christian hagiography cannot be overestimated It was quickly translated into Latin by Evagrius of Antioch as well as into Coptic Arabic Syriac and other languages of the eastern empire Jerome was directly inspired by it to write the first hagiographies in ...

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Steven Kaplan

Ethiopian monastic leader commemorated as a saint by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, was born 21 May 1214 in Begemder Province. Having refused to marry, Iyasus Moa left his home and traveled while already in his thirties to the ancient northern monastery of Debre Damo in Tigre Province. There, under the tutelage of the abbot Abba Yohanni, he completed a novitiate of seven years before becoming a monk. Leaving Tigre, he traveled south and eventually settled at Lake Hayq in Amhara Province. Although tradition claims that two earlier churches had existed on the island in the lake from late Aksumite (ninth–tenth century) times, its importance certainly dates from the middle of the thirteenth century and the arrival of Iyasus Moa (c. 1248).

According to several traditions it was while serving at Debre Hayq also known as Debre Nagwadgwad that Iyasus Moa made an alliance with the Amhara leader Yekunno Amlak ...

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Shenute  

T. G. Wilfong

Christian abbot and writer was born near present day Sohag in central Egypt and as a child entered the nearby White Monastery at Atripe headed by his maternal uncle Pjol Shenute advanced rapidly through the monastic hierarchy and ultimately became abbot at the death of Pjol around 385 Shenute expanded the monastery substantially at its height it is said to have housed twenty two hundred men and eighteen hundred women in separate but connected communities Shenute rigorously supervised the lives of the monks under his control inhabitants of the White Monastery lived under a strict monastic rule and carried out both physical labor and spiritual effort on behalf of the monastery The White Monastery became an important economic force in its area and Shenute an important spiritual leader who used his monastery s assets for local charitable purposes and to wield political influence Shenute presented himself as a fierce foe ...