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1. Ernst Benz, “Heilige Narrheit,” Kyrios 3 (1938): 18. [BACK]

2. Rydén, Das Leben des heiligen Narren Symeon, pp. 17–18; my translation. [BACK]

3. Rydén, Bemerkungen zum Leben des heiligen Narren Symeon von Leontios von Neapolis (Uppsala: Almquist and Wiksell, 1970), pp. 17–18; my translation. In such a fashion, Richard Reitzenstein (Hellenistische Wundererzählungen [Leipzig: Teubner, 1906], pp. 67–72) argued that the stories of Sarapion found in Palladius’s Lausiac History and in its expanded Syriac version share a similarity of spirit. Sarapion has often been seen by students of holy folly as a precursor to Symeon in the development of the concept of the holy fool in Christianity. Cf. Festugière, Vie de Syméon le Fou, p. 16. [BACK]

4. Alexander Y. Syrkin, “On the Behavior of the ‘Fool for Christ’s Sake,’ ” History of Religions 22 (1982): 150. [BACK]

5. Evagrius, HE 4.34. [BACK]

6. On the model ascetic’s desire to avoid being seen defecating, see Thdt., HR 21.5. [BACK]

7. On Dio Chrysostom generally, see Christopher P. Jones, The Roman World of Dio Chrysostom (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978). [BACK]

8. Dio Chrys., Or. 8.35. [BACK]

9. Dio Chrys., Or. 8.36. [BACK]

10. On δόξα and άδοξα in Cynicism, see Abraham J. Malherbe, “Ps.-Heraclitus, Ep. 4: The Divinization of the Wise Man,” JAC 21 (1978): 60. [BACK]

11. Discussions of φύσις, especially as it is distinct from νόμος (convention), were common in Socratic and Sophistic debate. See especially Plato’s Gorgias. On the history of the concept in ancient philosophy see F. P. Hargar, Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie (Basel: Schwebe, 1971–), s.v. “Natur.” [BACK]

12. Cf. Julian, Or. 6.191d. [BACK]

13. ἀποπατέω, a common euphemism, literally meaning “to go off the path.” Its use here is ironic: Diogenes does not go off, but rather stays in public view. Julian no doubt intends his audience to appreciate the onomatopoeic qualities of the scatological words in this passage. [BACK]

14. Julian, Or. 6.202b, c. [BACK]

15. These details, among others, raise questions about Leontius’s sources for Diogenes. Leontius was no doubt familiar with Diogenes chreiai from his school education, but the parallels between the passage from the Life of Symeon quoted above, the passage from Dio Chrysostom, and this passage from Julian are striking. Thus it is possible that Leontius was familiar with the works of Dio and Julian. On the reception of Dio Chrysostom see Aldo Brancacci, Rhetorike philosophousa: Dione Crisostomo nella cultura antica e bizantina (Rome: Bibliopolis, 1986). On survival of the works of Julian, see N. G. Wilson, Scholars of Byzantium (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), pp. 12, 115 (on Photius), 130–32 (on Arethas). [BACK]

16. On the Diogenes epistles and their probable date, see Malherbe, The Cynic Epistles: A Study Edition (Missoula, Mont.: Scholars, 1977), pp. 14–18. [BACK]

17. Ep. Diog. 42. [BACK]

18. Ep. Diog. 6. [BACK]

19. Simplicius, Commentary on the Enchiridion of Epictetus, ed. Dübner, p. 40; cf. pp. 45, 49. Simplicius’s praise of Diogenes is particularly enthusiastic (In Ench., pp. 53–54):

“Why,” he [i.e., Epictetus] asked, “were Diogenes and Heraclitus despised, [since] they were divine and worthy to be called so?” For they were divine and living according to excellence [κατὰ τὸ ἄκρον], and setting free that which was within them. For they were in all ways excellent and divine, for God is more excellent than all things.


20. D. L. 6.46, 69; Epp. Diog. 35, 42, 44; Dio Chrys., Or. 6.16–20; Athenaeus, Deip. 4.145 ff. [BACK]

21. D. L. 6.46. [BACK]

22. This is a diminutive of θέρμος, also “lupines,” to be distinguished from υερμός, the adjective meaning “warm,” and its derivatives. Nevertheless, the popular lore about the physical effects of lupines is no doubt enhanced by the fact that their name is a pun for “heating.” Heated foods were believed to lead to flatulence as well as to increased sexual desire. Cf. Foucault, The Care of the Self, vol. 3 of The History of Sexuality, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage, 1986), p. 132. [BACK]

23. The φουσκάριος sold a soup called φούσκα, which was made with vinegar. (Cf. Latin posca, a mixture of vinegar, hot water, and eggs.) He is not a “wine merchant” as others have conjectured. On this point, see also Rydén, “Style and Historical Fiction in the Life of St. Andreas Salos,” JöB 32 (1982): 175–83. An epigram in the Greek Anthology includes lupines in the description of a dinner party in which only vegetables are served. The poet deems the selection more fit for sheep than for friends. Anth. Pal. 11.413. [BACK]

24. Mari Abba is a Greek transliteration of the Syriac “mry ab’,” meaning “my Lord Abba.” [BACK]

25. See for example the Hippocratic Regimen in Acute Diseases (Appendix) 47: “All pulses produce flatulence. . . . The lupin is the least injurious of the pulses” (Hippocrates, trans. Paul Potter, vol. 6 [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988], pp. 308–9). Cf. Regimen 2.45 (Hippocrates 4:314–17), where lupines are grouped under the heading of κυάμοι, here “legumes” in general, which produce flatulence. [BACK]

26. D. L. 6.48, trans. R. D. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, vol. 2 (London: Heinemann, 1932), pp. 49–51. [BACK]

27. D. L. 6.94; my translation. [BACK]

28. Other examples of Diogenes causing a stir by eating in public include D. L. 6.57 (eating salt fish at a lecture); 6.58, 61 (eating in the market place). [BACK]

29. Julian, Or. 6.202b. [BACK]

30. D. L. 6.20, 80. Diogenes Laertius seems to have regarded the work as authentic! On farting in ancient times generally see Ludwig Radermacher, “Pordē,” in RE 22.235–40; Jeffery Henderson, The Maculate Muse: Obscene Language in Attic Comedy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975), pp. 195–99; and J. N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), pp. 249–50. [BACK]

31. Epictetus, Disc. 3.22.80. [BACK]

32. D. L. 8.24. Cf. Pliny the Elder, HN 28.18; Cicero, Div. 1.62; Aulus Gellius, NA 4.2.3. Other reasons for the prohibition are given by Porphyry, Vita Pyth. 44; Iamblichus, Vita Pyth. 109. On the Pythagorean avoidance of broad beans, see Mirko D. Grmek, Diseases of the Ancient Greek World, trans. Mireille Muellner and Leonard Muellner (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), pp. 210–24. Grmek sees the prohibition against eating the beans as only part of an elaborate taboo against the plant, forbidding touching the bean or walking through a field of bean plants. Celsus seems to have understood Pythagorean avoidance of kuamos to have been much like Jewish food taboos (Origen, Contra Cels. 5.41). I have been unable to find evidence that this concern to avoid foods which cause flatulence was carried into Christian monastic practice in the East. On the contrary, legumes (pulses) constituted a major element of the monastic diet. See Maria Dembin«ska, “Diet: A Comparison of Food Consumption between Some Eastern and Western Monasteries in the 4th–12th Centuries,” Byzantion 55 (1985): 431–62, and esp. p. 440. [BACK]

33. In an epigram attributed to Lucian an unnamed Cynic avoids lupines, although he does eat a sow’s womb; Anth. Pal. 11.410. [BACK]

34. The lupines in the Origen episode function as they do in the anecdote about Diogenes, as a commentary on the discussion at hand, dismissing debates concerning Origen’s orthodoxy. The question of Leontius’s possible sympathy for Origenism, which is beyond the scope of this study, is a subject worthy of further investigation. Despite the condemnation of Origen at the council of Constantinople in 553 at Justinian’s behest, debate over the status of Origen was still possible in the mid-seventh century, as witnessed by the trial of Maximus the Confessor. Cf. Sebastian Brock, “An Early Syriac Life of Maximus the Confessor,” AB 91 (1973): 299–346; and also Antoine Guillaumont, Les “Képhalaia Gnostica” d’évagre le Pontique et l’histoire de l’origénisme chez les grecs et chez les syriens (Paris: du Seuil, 1962). [BACK]

35. The notion that eating raw camel was particularly disgusting recalls Thdt., HR 26 where Symeon the Stylite is credited with influencing the pagan Ishmaelites to such a degree that in assimilating to Greco-Roman culture and converting to Christianity they gave up their ancestral custom of eating “wild asses and camels.” [BACK]

36. Plutarch, Mor. (Whether Water or Fire Is More Useful) 956b, and Mor. (On the Eating of Flesh) 995d; Lucian, Vitarum Auctio (Philosophies for Sale) 10. The chreia on which Plutarch is dependent suggests that Diogenes ate raw squid for the salvation of others. [BACK]

37. D. L. 6.34. [BACK]

38. D. L. 6.76. “Colic” is a particularly satisfying translation, since it implies an inability to flatulate. [BACK]

39. Julian, Or. 6.191c et seq. [BACK]

40. Ewald Kislinger, “Symeon Salos’ Hund,” JöB 38 (1988): 165–70. [BACK]

41. Kislinger, “Symeon Salos’ Hund,” p. 168; my translation. [BACK]

42. On dog = Cynic in collections of Cynic anecdotes, see for example D. L. 6.33, 40, 61, 77; Gnomologium Vaticanum 175, 194; Athenaeus, 5.216b; Florilegium Monacense 155 = Meinecke, 4.278; Stobaeus, 4.55.11; Anth. Pal. 7.63–68. [BACK]

43. Κυνικός, in fact, looks like an adjectival form of κύων, and can also mean “doglike.” Cf. LSJ, s.v. On Cynics as dogs, see Ferrand Sayre, Greek Cynicism and Sources of Cynicism (Baltimore: Furst, 1948), pp. 4–5; see also Schulz-Falkenthal, “Kyniker—Zur inhaltlichen Deutung des Namens,” Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift des Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Gesellschaftsreihe) 26.2 (1977): 41–49. [BACK]

44. Philo, De plantatione 151, Philo, ed. F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker, vol. 3 (London: Heinemann, 1930), p. 290; my translation. [BACK]

45. Clement, Strom. 8.12.4–7; trans. ANF 2:561. We should not think of Clement as dependent on Philo here; rather, it seems, the word kuōn was a stock example in rhetorical education. The “land-sea-and-heaven” trope is found in two scholia to Dionysius Thrax’s treatise on grammar which date from the middle or late Byzantine periods, commenting in both cases on the problem of homonyms. Scholia in Dionysii Thracis Artem Grammaticum, ed. A. Hilgard (Leipzig: Teubner, 1901): Scholia Vaticana (cod. C) to Dionysius Thrax, p. 236; Scholia Marciana (VN), p. 389. [BACK]

46. The lexica are very difficult to date and are remarkable for the high degree of continuity which they suggest in Greek education. On the grammarians generally, see Robert A. Kaster, Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). [BACK]

47. Hesychius of Alexandria, Lexicon, ed. Kurt Latte, vol. 2 (Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, 1953), p. 555, entry Kappa 1763. See Hesychius’s prosopographical entry in Kaster, Guardians of Language, p. 292. Hesychius was a Christian. [BACK]

48. John Chrysostom, Ad populum Antiochenum de statuis 12.2, PG 49.130; cf. English translation NPNF (first series) IX, p. 420. See also Aelian (Varia Historia 7.19, second or third century) who comments, “Dogs and flies are without shame,” when he relates an incident of a dog committing adultery with a Roman woman. [BACK]

49. Etymologicum magnum, ed. Frederic Sylburg (Leipzig: Wiegel, 1816), col. 498. [BACK]

50. Cf. the kuōn entry of the Hellenistic Homer Lexicon of Apollonius Sophista (Lexicon Homericum, ed. J. C. Molini, vol. 2 [Paris, 1773], p. 510). [BACK]

51. Manuel Moschopoulos, De ratione examinandae orationibus libellus [Peri Schedōn] (Paris: Stephanus, 1545), s.v. (p. 4). On the Peri Schedōn, see John J. Keaney, “Moschopulea,” BZ 64 (1971): 303–21. [BACK]

52. Greg. Naz., Or. 25.2. [BACK]

53. Greg. Naz., De vita sua, ll. 751–52. [BACK]

54. Greg. Naz., De vita sua, ll. 1030–33. [BACK]

55. Greg. Naz., Poems 1.2.10, l. 218, PG 37.696. [BACK]

56. Augustine, Civ. Dei 14.20. [BACK]

57. Festugière, who appears to acknowledge the allusion to Diogenes here, remarks in a footnote that the last words of the passage, “having lost his senses,” “show that it is not possible to confuse Symeon with the Cynics” (!) (my trans.). Festugière, Vie de Syméon le Fou, p. 21 n. 1. [BACK]

58. D. L. 6.54. Cf. Aelian, Var. Hist. 14.33. [BACK]

59. Stobaeus, 3.3.51. [BACK]

60. Transliterated: qynwqws. [BACK]

61. Luz, “A Description of the Greek Cynic in the Jerusalem Talmud,” JSJ 20 (1989): 49–60. In yGittin, in a pericope which Luz dates to the mid-third century, a madman is defined as someone who sleeps in a graveyard, burns incense to demons, wears torn garments, and destroys his property. Such a madman is then called a Cynic. Luz correctly observes that these attributes do indeed identify a Cynic type. Such a type is distinguished in the passage from a kanthropos (spelled: qntrwpws) which Luz conjectures is a Hebrew version of the Greek κυνάνθρωπος “dog-man,” a term with obvious Cynic overtones. Luz, “A Description of the Greek Cynic,” p. 52 n. 14. [BACK]

62. Aëtius of Amida, 6.11.1, 2. The condition is elsewhere referred to as lukanthrōpia (from λύκος, “wolf”). Cf. Giuseppe Roccatagliata, A History of Ancient Psychiatry (New York: Greenwood, 1986), pp. 155–56, 255; on Aëtius as a psychiatrist, see pp. 256–60. [BACK]

63. Pseudo-Dionysius of Tell-Mahre, Incerti auctoris chronicon 3.7; Michael the Syrian, Chronique 9.32. On the “plague of madness” at Amida, see Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Asceticism and Society in Crisis: John of Ephesus and The Lives of the Eastern Saints (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), pp. 64–65. [BACK]

64. D. L. 6.57. Other anecdotes about Diogenes eating in public include D. L. 6.58 and 61, where Diogenes eats in the marketplace. [BACK]

65. The identification of a black dog as a demon is also found in the Life of Theodore of Sykeon where an innkeeper is afflicted with fever after such a dog yawns in front of him. Theodore explains that the dog was a demon; George of Sykeon, Life of Theodore of Sykeon 106. [BACK]

66. See above. [BACK]

67. On the relationship between madness and demonic possession see also Palladius, LH 34. [BACK]

68. D. L. 6.46. [BACK]

69. See John Moschus, Spiritual Meadow 3 for a similar story. [BACK]

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