PALLADIUS (363-431)

A Monk, historian of early monasticism. He was born in and spent several years as a monk in Egypt. He stayed three years at Alexandria and then moved to Nitria. In 390, he went to Kellia, where he became a pupil of Evagrius Ponticus. It is not clear whether he was Origenist or not; however, both St. Jerome and St. Epiphanius accused him of Origenism. Around 400 he returned to Asia Minor, where he was consecrated Bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia.

He spoke in defense of St. Chrysostom at the Synod of the Oak in 403, and was therefore forced into exile by Emperor to Antinoe in Upper Egypt, where he visited the monasteries of that region. When Patriarch Theophilus died in 412, he returned to and then to the See of Aspona, where he composed the Historia Lausiaca in about 419. Its title derives from the dedication of the book to Lausiac, the chamberlain of Emperor Theodosius II. There are several recensions of this work with numerous translations in Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, and Ethiopic.

A number of fragments have been preserved in Coptic. It is an indispensable work for the study of Egyptian monasticism, and in particular in Nitria and Scetis.