LAUSIAC HISTORY (PALLADIUS) A history of the desert Fathers, written about – by Palladius, Bishop of Helenepolis, who dedicated it to Lausus, the. Palladius: The Lausiac History (Ancient Christian Writers) [Robert T. Meyer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A monumental project which . THE LAUSIAC HISTORY OF PALLADIUS. He who would adequately portray the meaning and character of the Christian life of the century that followed the.

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It contains also memoirs of aged women and illustrious God-inspired matrons, who with masculine and perfect hidtory have successfully accomplished the struggles of virtuous aceticism, which may serve as a model and object of desire for those women who long to wear the crown of continence and chastity.

I am referring to Lausus, the best of men, who by the favour of God has been appointed guardian of our godly and religious empire; it is he who is inspired with this divine and spiritual passion. Nevertheless, respecting in the first place the eager virtue of the man who urged us to obey the command, and considering the benefit accruing to the readers, and fearing also the danger of a refusal albeit with a reasonable excuse, I first commended the noble task to Providence and then applied myself diligently to it.

Sustained, as if on wings, by the intercession of the holy fathers, I attended the contests of the arena. I have described in a kind of summary only the main contests and achievements of the noble athletes and great mennot only illustrious men who have realized the best manner of life, but also blessed and highborn women who have practised the highest life. In the course of my journey on foot I visited many cities and very many villages, every cave and all the desert dwellings of monks, with all accuracy as befitted my pious intentions.

Palladius, The Lausiac History () pp Introduction.

Some things I wrote down after personal investigation, the rest I have heard from the holy fathers, and I have recorded in this book the combats of great men, and women more like men than nature would seem to allow, thanks to their hope in Christ. I now send the whole to you whose ears love divine oracles, to you, Lausus, lauusiac are the pride of excellent and God-beloved men, and the ornament of the most faithful and God-beloved empire, noble and Christ-loving servant of God.

I have recorded 4 to the best of my feeble powers the lsusiac name of each of the athletes of Christ, male and female, describing a few short contests out of the many mighty ones engaged in by each, adding in most lauziac the family and city and place of residence. Hisgory by the grace of our Saviour and the fore-knowledge of the holy fathers and the sympathy of spiritual affection they have been snatched from the nets of the devil and, helped by the prayers of the saints, have recovered their former lasiac of virtue.

Indeed I am justified in yistory my letter with congratulation, because, when all men are gaping after vain things and building their edifice with stones from which they got no joy, 7 you yourself want to historj taught words of edification. For only the God of all is untaught, since He is self-originate and has none other before Him. But all other things are taught, since they are made and created. The first orders of angels have the supreme Trinity as teacher, the second hitsory from the first, the third from the second, and so successively in order until the last.

For those who are superior in judgment and virtue teach those who are inferior in knowledge. Their leaders on the road to destruction are those who have fallen from the heavenly life, the demons who fly in the air having fled from their teachers in heaven. For teaching does not consist in words and syllablessometimes men possess these who are as vile as can bebut 39 in meritorious acts of character, cheerfulness, intrepidity, bravery, good temper; add to these unfailing boldness, which generates words lxusiac a flame of fire.

For the soul that is being trained according to God’s purpose must be either learning faithfully what it does not know, or teaching clearly what it knows. But if it wants to do neither, though able to do them, then it is mad.

For to be sated with teaching and unable to bear the word, for which the soul of him who loves God is always hungry, is the beginning of apostasy. Be strong then and of sound mind and play the man, and may God grant you to pursue closely the knowledge of Christ.

When I thus decided12 it was, I suppose, my thirty-third year in the society of the brethren and the twentieth year of my episcopate, and the fifty-sixth of my whole life. For by means of these meritorious works all lovers of Christ press on historg be joined to Hisory. You will neither take amiss the guidance of my directions, nor will you despise the uncouthness and inelegance of my style; for indeed it is not the work of divine pausiac to speak with studied elegance, but to persuade the mind with considerations of truth, as it is written: Putting aside considerations of prudence, 19 I have made journeys of thirty days, yes and twice as long.


I say it as before God, traversing on foot in my journeys all the land of the Romans, 20 I welcomed all the hardship of the way so long as I might meet some man that loved God, that I might gain what I had not got.

Knowing these things then, Lausus, most loyal servant of Christ, and impressing them on yourself, be patient with my folly, which is designed to preserve the pious disposition of your mind; for it is naturally exposed to lausiaac of evil, both visible and invisible, and can enjoy calm only with the help of continuous prayer and spiritual self-culture.

This policy you have already adopted, since of your own accord you have lessened it by distributing to those- in need owing to the supply of virtue which is thereby gained. Nor have you yielded to impulse and unreasonable premature decision and fettered your free choice with an oath 27 to curry favour with men, as some have done who in a spirit of rivalry, that they may boast of not eating or drinking, have enslaved their free will by the constraint of an oath hkstory have succumbed again miserably to the love of this world and accidie 28 and pleasure and so have suffered the pangs of perjury.

For if you partake laudiac and abstain reasonably you will never sin. And, please, look on those who drink wine with reason as holy men and those who drink water without reason as profane men, and no lwusiac blame or praise the material, but count lausiad or wretched the minds of those who use the material well or ill. The apostle Peter and his companions used wine to some extent, so that their Master, our Saviour, was himself reproached on account of their participation, by the Jews’ saying: The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners” 33 because of his eating and drinking.

What are we laysiac do then? Let us follow neither those who blame nor those who praise, but let us either fast with John reasonably even if they say: For when faith accompanies every action, he that eateth and drinketh because of faith is uncondemned, “for lauxiac is not of faith is sin.

But because he who sets himself to get such fruit will not eat meat or drink wine unreasonably or without definite aim or out of season, nor will he dwell with an uneasy conscience, again the same Paul says: Flee, as far as is in your power, encounters with men whose presence confers no benefit and who beautify their skin in unseemly fashion, even if they be orthodoxnot to speak of heretics! They do you harm by their hypocrisy, even when they seem to be dragging out a great age with their grey hair and wrinkles.

For, even supposing you come to no harm at their hands by reason of your noble character, you will suffer this lesser evil in becoming insolent and proud, and mocking at them, and this will do you harm. But go near a bright window and seek encounters with holy men and women, in order that by their help you may be able to see 46 clearly also your own heart as it were a closely-written book, 38 being able by comparison to discern your own slackness or neglect. So now I begin my tales.

I shall leave unnoticed neither those in the cities nor those in the villages or deserts. For the object of our inquiry is not the place where they have settled but the fashion of their plan of life. He was said to have fought successfully his first youthful contests in the desert, and I actually saw his cell in the mountain of Nitria. But when I met him, he was an old man seventy years of age, who lived another fifteen years and then died in peace.

His slender frame was so well-knit by grace that all who did not know his manner of life expected that he lived in luxury. Time would fail me if I were to tell 42 in detail the virtues of his soul.

He was so benevolent and peaceable that even his enemies the unbelievers themselves reverenced his shadow because of his exceeding kindliness. And being urged to tell the details 48 of his ecstasy he would say: But he commended them to Christ, saying: When I visited him as a young rnan and besought that I might be trained in the solitary life, since I was in the full vigour of my age and needed, not discourse, but bodily hardships, like a good tamer of colts he led me out from the city to the so-called Solitudes five miles away and handed me over to Dorotheus.


But being unable to complete the three years owing to a laysiac in health, I left Dorotheus before the three years were up, for living histkry him one got parched and all dried-up. Each year he completed one cell. And once when I said to him: God is my witness, I never knew him stretch his legs and go to sleep on a rush mat, or on a bed.

But he would sit up all night long and weave ropes of palm leaves to provide himself with food. Once when I tried to constrain him to rest a little on the mat, he was annoyed and said: There lived in the time of Maximianus the persecutor a very beautiful maiden called Potamiaena, a certain man’s slave.


Her master failed to seduce her, though he besought her laueiac with many promises. For one of them, the judge had a great cauldron filled with pitch and ordered it to be heated. When the pitch was now bubbling and terribly hot, he gave her the choice: I met him four times in all, visiting him at intervals during a lausiaf of ten years.

He was 85 years old when he died. He was blind, 52 having lost his sight at the age of four, so he told me, and he had never learned to read nor gone to school. He was adorned with such a gift of knowledge, that, so it was said, the passage of scripture was fulfilled in him: I besought him to say a prayer and he instantly knelt down in the cell and did not make me repeat my lausiaac, giving me by his action a lesson in obedience. So if you want to follow in the steps of his life, as you seem to, since you are a solitary and living away from home to acquire virtue, lay aside your contentiousness.

Palladius, The Lausiac History () pp. English Translation.

Rise then and eat,’ they said, ‘and send to Athanasius the bishop, that he too may know,’ And I marked,” he said, “the hour and month and week and day, and it was found to hisotry so.

And in the tenth year she fell asleep, having arrayed herself for death: And she called out to me through the opening: And having eaten my bread I remain in patience for the other hours, waiting for my end with hisory hope. There was a virgin at Alexandria of humble exterior but haughty inward disposition, exceedingly wealthy, but never giving 60 an obol either to a stranger or a virgin or a church or a poor man. In spite of the frequent exhortations of the fathers she was not weaning herself from material things.

For this is a form of the deceit of the devil, who afflicts us with pangs of avarice under the pretext of family affection.

For it is common knowledge that he cares nothing about family ties, since he teaches men to murder brothers and mothers and fathers. But when a man subordinates his whole soul 55 to the interests of his relations, he comes under this law, reckoning his soul “unto vanity. He that has clean hands and is pure in heart, who did not lift up his soul unto vanity.

In his youth he had been a worker in precious stones what they call a lapidary.

The Lausiac History

So he goes and says to her: They have not been valued, since they are beyond price, but any one who has the money can buy them for five hundred pounds. For I do not want to see the man who sells them. Time sped along and she was shy of reminding him of the matterfor Macarius clearly had a great reputation in Alexandria, being a lover of God and charitablehe remained vigorous until he was a hundred, and we too passed some time with him.

Finally, having found him in the church, she says to him: And if you would like to come and see them in the hospitalfor there they arecome and look if they please you. If not, take back your money. Now the hospital had women on the first floor and men on the ground floor. And having taken her there he brings her into the porch and says to her: Do they please you?

Between this mountain and Alexandria lies the lake called Maria 68 seventy miles in extent. Having sailed across this I came to the mountain on its south side in a day and a half. On the mountain live some men with different modes of life, each living in accordance with his own powers and wishes, so that it is allowed to live alone, or with another, or with a number of others.

There are seven bakeries in the mountain, which serve the needs both of these men and also of the anchorites of the great desert, in all. In this mountain of Nitria there is a great church, by 58 which 72 stand three palm-trees, each with a whip suspended from it. One is intended for the solitaries who transgress, one for robbers if any pass that way, and one for chance comers; so that all who transgress and are judged worthy of blows are tied to the palm-tree and receive on the back the appointed number of stripes and are then released.

Having allowed him to spend one week in idleness, the rest of his stay they occupy with work either in the garden, or bakery, or kitchen. If he should be an important person, they give him a book, not allowing him to talk to any one before the hour. And they use wine and wine is on sale. And indeed at the ninth hour it is possible to stand and hear how the strains of psalmody rise from each habitation so that one believes that one is high above the world in Paradise.