emperor Zeno

Scetis

SCETIS A name that historically designated the area of monastic settlement extending about 19 miles (30 km) through the shallow valley known in the medieval period as Wad Habb, now called Wad al-Natrun, which runs southeast to northwest through the Western or Libyan Desert, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the Nile Delta. In …

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Henoticon

HENOTICON When Emperor Zeno returned to Constantinople in 482, he issued his famous Henoticon to the Christians of the world in Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. In it, he confirmed the faith of the Fathers of the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople; nothing, however, is mentioned concerning the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Zeno condemned …

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Dayr Anba Maqar

DAYR ANBA MAQAR Rising on the desert horizon like a great fortress, the Monastery of Saint MACARIUS was originally the most remote and least accessible of the monasteries of Wadi al- Natrun. It came into being around 360 when Saint Macarius the Egyptian moved southward from the valley to escape the overcrowding of hermits. Here, …

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Timothy Salofaciolus

TIMOTHY SALOFACIOLUS A Chalcedonian patriarch of Alexandria (460-482). A one-time steward of the church of Alexandria, he was consecrated patriarch after the expulsion of TIMOTHY II AELURUS (“the Cat”) in 459. His nickname may be derived from Coptic with a “dog Latin” ending meaning “wearer of a white turban” or “wobbling turban.” He was the …

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Saint Hilaria

SAINT HILARIA The elder daughter of the fourth-century emperor Zeno, who according to legend became a monk (feast day: 21 Tubah). Zeno had two daughters. The legend is as follows. The elder, Hilaria, seeks the monastic life but Theopiste, the younger, does not entertain such desires. Hilaria secretly, in male attire, travels to Alexandria, where …

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Besa

BESA A fifth-century monk and third abbot of the White Monastery (DAYR ANBA SHINUDAH), situated beside the ancient village of Atrib in the region of Akhmim, near Suhaj. The monastery was founded by PJOL in the middle of the fourth century, and Besa’s immediate predecessor as abbot was SHENUTE. No Life of Besa exists, and …

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Barsanuphians

BARSANUPHIANS One of several Alexandrian splinter groups of those Monophysites who, because they had rejected the communion of their patriarch, were known as Acephaloi (headless). They separated themselves from the Jacobites in the latter part of the fifth century under Emperor Zeno. In the patriarchate of ALEXANDER II (705-730), John of Sa converted the Barsanuphians …

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Saint Theodora

SAINT THEODORA (feast day: 11 Tut) The life of Saint Theodora illustrates a theme dear to the Byzantine hagiographers: the woman monk wearing men’s clothing and living in a monastery of men (Patlagean, pp. 602, 612). Saint Theodora, who lived during the reign of Emperor Zeno (474-491), was courted by a man other than her …

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