The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

SYMEON,

it is correctly ascribed to him, because the author appears " not to have been hostile to the Latins ;" but the very courtesy of tone which occasioned Le Quien's doubts, while sufficiently at variance with the usual style of mediaeval polemics, is just such as a man in Symeon's circumstances would be likely to use. (Willermus s. Guillelmus Tyrensis, lib. i. c. 11; Albertus Aquensis, Historia Hieros. lib. vi. c. 39 ; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, vol. iii. col. 498 ; Allatius, /. c. ; Montfaucon, Bibliotli. Coislin. p. 105 ; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 1090, vol. ii. p. 159.)

12. humilis. [No. 16.]

13. logotheta. [No. 22.]

14. logotheta junior. In the BibliotJieca Juris Canonici of Justellus and Voellus (vol. ii. p. 710) is given the 'E-7riTo/r>) kclvovw, Epitome Canonum s. Synopsis Canonica of Symeon Magister and Logotheta. Cave and Oudin distinguish this Symeon from Symeon Metaphrastes [No. 22], who also bore the titles of Magister and Logotheta, by the epithet Junior. The work itself is more ancient than the period (a. d. 1170) in which Cave places this Symeon junior, who could only have selected and arranged it, and possibly (as Beveridge conjectured) made an­notations upon it. Christopher Justellus in the Praefatio to the second volume of the BibliotJieca Juris Canonici supposes the Symeon Logotheta who compiled the Epitome, to have been some­what later than Alexius Aristinus or Aristenus [alexius aristenus], who belonged to the middle of the twelfth century, and this appears to have led Cave and Oudin to distinguish him from Metaphrastes, who belongs to a much earlier pe­riod. But as, according to Cave's own acknow­ledgment, the Canones are really of earlier date, and as in the title the compiler is no otherwise distinguished than by the titles Magister and Lo­gotheta, which were borne by Metaphrastes, we agree with Fabricius in assigning the Epitome to Metaphrastes, and regard " Symeon Logotheta Junior "as an imaginary person. In that case the other works which Oudin and Cave ascribe to him must belong to some other Symeon. (Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 1170, vol. ii. p. 241 ; Oudin, De Scriptoribus Ecdes. vol. ii. col. 1366, &c. ; Fabric. Bibl. Grace, vol. xi. p. 297.)

15. magister. [No. 22.]

16. S. mamantis, styled in the MSS. of his works, veos SeoXoyos, riyovfj-evos povrjs rov dyiov Mdjuavros rov fypoKepKov, Novus tijeologus (or theologus junior) et hegumenus (s. abbas) monasterii S. mamantis in xero-cerco, or, as some correct it, rov £v\oKepKov, in xylocerco. His title " Theologus" indicates his eminence as a writer on divinity ; and the epithet "Novus" or "Junior" was evidently added to distinguish him from some other ecclesiastic, perhaps from Gregory Nazianzen, to whom at a much earlier period the title " Theologus" was given ; or more probably to distinguish him from some other Symeon, either Symeon Metaphrastes [No. 22] or Symeon the Pious [No. 24]. The time at which this writer flourished has been much dis­puted ; but the facts of his history enable us to assign him to the latter half of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century. He was born about the middle of the tenth century, of wealthy and noble parents, named Basil and Theophano, at a place called Galate in Paphlagonia ; and was

951

SYMEON.

sent at an early age, for his education, to Constan­tinople, where his relatives held high stations at the Byzantine court. His precocious attainments inspired the highest hopes of his family, and. he was introduced by an uncle to the notice of the imperial brothers Basil II. and Constantine IX., apparently at the time when they were yet in their boyhood, and were emperors in name only, the reins of empire being really held successively by Nicephorus Phocas (a. d. 963—969) and John Tzimisces (a. d. 969—975). After the sudden death of the uncle by whom he had been introduced at court, Symeon determined, though only fourteen years of age, to embrace a monastic life ; but the monk Symeon the Pious (Hu/xeeoz/ 6 euAa^s), or as Combefis styles him, " Venerabilis," the Venerable [No. 24], whom he had chosen for his spiritual guide and father, having advised him to defer his purpose, he returned for a time to the house of his deceased uncle. At a somewhat later period he commenced his noviciate in the Monastery of

o

Studium at Constantinople ; but was induced by the envy of the abbot and some of the monks, excited by his pre-eminence in monastic practices, to remove to the Monastery of St. Mamas, where he completed his noviciate, and, in course of time, became abbot and was ordained presbyter. This was some time in the patriarchate of Nicolaus Chry-soberges, who was patriarch of Constantinople from A. d. 982 to 996. After some years Symeon, who had experienced trouble and danger from the tur­bulence of some recusant monks, resigned the abbacy, and devoted himself to the composition of works of piety. His literary labours attracted the approving notice of Sergius II., who held the pa­triarchate from a. d. 999 to 1019 or 1020: but this must have been quite in the early part of the patriarchate of Sergius, who was soon alienated from Symeon by the instrumentality of his syn-cellus, Stephanus, archbishop of Nicomedeia, a man of learning and eloquence, who was jealous of Symeon. The charge against Symeon was, that he paid unauthorized honour to the memory of his spiritual father, Symeon the Pious, who was now dead j and to whom our Symeon paid the honours due to a canonized saint. In consequence of this difference Symeon, after six years of persecution, was banished from his monastery, and from Con­stantinople, by the patriarch and synod. This punishment was remitted, and high honours in the Church offered him, if he would comply with the wishes of the patriarch, but he would not purchase them by sacrificing the memory of his friend. He was enabled by the liberality of his friends to found a monastery in the place where he had taken up his abode during his exile, a deserted chapel of St. Marina, on the Asiatic side of the Propontis ; and there he remained till his death. His life has been written at length by one of his disciples, Nicetas Stethatus, who has embellished the narrative with the usual appendages of celestial gifts, divine visions, and miraculous incidents: and from a summary of this given by Combefis, in his Auctarium Novissi-wzMm,pars ii. p. 119, &c., and from an abridged trans­lation of it in Romaic or modern Greek, we are in­debted for the above particulars. Allatius considers Symeon to have been the precursor of the fanatic quietists, who some centuries after gave occasion to the controversy that so agitated the Greek Church, respecting the uncreated light of Mount Tabor. [palamas.j

3 r 4

Pages
About | First

949

950

951
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.