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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

PASSING thence to Syria and Persia, we shall find that the monks of these countries emulated those of Egypt in zeal and austerity. Battheus, Eusebius, Barges, Halas, Abbo, Lazarus who attained the episcopal dignity, Abdaleus, Zeno and Heliodorus flourished in Nisibis, near the mountain called Sigoro. When they first entered upon the ascetic mode of life, they were denominated shepherds, because they had no houses, ate neither bread nor meat, and drank no wine, but dwelt constantly on the mountains, and passed their time in praising God by prayers and hymns, according to the canons of the church. At the usual hours of meals, they each took a sickle, and cut some grass on the mountains; and this served for their repast. Such was their course of life. Eusebius voluntarily shut himself up in a cell, near Carras. Protogenes dwelt in the same locality, and subsequently succeeded to the bishopric of the celebrated Vitus, whom God caused repeatedly to appear in a vision before Constantine, after charging the emperor to follow faithfully the injunctions of the man who should be shown him. Aones dwelt at Phadana, near the spot where Jacob the grandson of Abraham, on his journey from Palestine, met the damsel whom he afterwards married, and where he rolled away the stone, that her flock might drink of the water of the well. It is said that Aones was the first who introduced the ascetic mode of life in Syria, just as ascetic philosophy was first introduced by Antony in Egypt.








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