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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

MANY monastical institutions flourished in Palestine. In narrating the events of the reign of Constantius, I had occasion to mention several of the illustrious individuals who dwelt in these monasteries. Many of their associates attained the summit of philosophical perfection, and added lustre to the reputation of the monasteries to which they belonged, and among them Hesycas, a companion of Hilarion, and Epiphanius, afterwards bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, deserve to be particularly noticed. Hesycas devoted himself to a life of philosophy in the same locality where his master had formerly resided; and Epiphanius fixed his abode near the village of Besauduc, which was his birth-place, in the government of Eleutheropolis. Having been instructed from his youth by the most celebrated ascetics of Egypt, with whom he resided many years, Epiphanius became celebrated both in Egypt and Palestine by his attainments in monastic philosophy, and was chosen by the inhabitants of Cyprus to fill the metropolitan see of their island. This important office tended to increase the reputation which his virtues had acquired; and the admiration of strangers and of the inhabitants of the country was soon attracted by the exemplary manner in which he discharged the episcopal duties. Before he went to Cyprus, he resided for some time, during the reign of Valens, in Palestine.

At the same period, Salamanes, Phuscon, Malchius and Crispus, four brethren who were distinguished by their high attainments in ascetic philosophy, dwelt in seclusion, near Bethlehem, a town of Gaza; they were of noble origin, and had been instructed in philosophy by Hilarion. It is related that the brothers were once journeying homewards, when Malchius was suddenly snatched away and became invisible; soon afterwards, however, he re-appeared and continued the journey with his brothers. He did not long survive this occurrence, but died in the flower of his youth. In point of philosophy, virtue and piety, he was equal to men of the most advanced age.

Ammonius lived at a distance of ten stadia from those last mentioned; he dwelt near Capharcobra, the place of his birth, a town of Gaza. He was very exact in the discharge of duty, and sincerely devoted to the practice of asceticism. I think that Silvanus, a native of Palestine to whom, on account of his virtue, an angel was once seen to minister, dwelt about the same time in Egypt. At one period, he fixed his residence on Mount Sinai, and afterwards founded at Geraris, near the great torrent, a very extensive establishment for holy men, over which the excellent Zachariah subsequently presided.








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