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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] IN this city of Antinoë there are twelve convents of women; in one of them I met Amma Talis, an old woman who had spent eighty years in asceticism, as she and the neighbours told me. With her dwelt sixty young women who loved her so greatly that no key even was fixed on the outer wall of the monastery, as in other monasteries, but they were kept in by love of her. Such a height of impassivity did the old woman reach that when I entered and sat down she came and sat by me and put her hands on my shoulders in a transport of freedom.

[2] In this monastery there was a disciple of hers by name Taor, a virgin who had been thirty years in the monastery; she would never accept a new habit or hood or shoes, saying: “I do not need them, lest I be forced also to go out.” For all the others go out on Sunday to church for the Communion; but she remains in the house clothed in rags, ceaselessly sitting at her work. But her looks were naturally so charming that even the most stedfast would almost have been deceived by her beauty, if she had not had her chastity as an exceedingly strong sentinel, and by her modesty had been compelling the unrestrained eye to reverence and fear.








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