32. STYLITES JUNIOR, or THAUMASTORITES, or A MONTE THAUMASTO (Τοῦ θαυμαστοῦ ὄρους
, or DE MONTE MIRABILI. The Greek and other Eastern churches reverence the memory of a younger Symeon Stylites, who has, however, no place in the Latin calendar, and is indeed of far less celebrity than the subject of the preceding article.
He was born at Antioch of parents in humble life, about A. D. 521, as Conrad. Janninghus calculates. His mother Martha was a woman of great piety.
He embraced a monastic life, when yet a child, in a monastery near Seleuceia, the port of Antioch, in which monastery he found an eminent stylite or pillar saint, Joannes; and Symeon, desiring to imitate his example, had a pillar erected opposite John's, on the top of which, within a wooden enclosure, which may perhaps be compared to a circular pulpit, he took up his abode for eight years, being only seven years old when he ascended it.
He then removed to a mountain called ' the Wonderful Mountain' (τὸ θαυμαστὸν ὄρος
), from which he derived his epithet Thaumastorites : here he afterwards established a monastery, in which he resided for the rest of his life, having another column erected for his domicile.
He was ordained priest by Dionysius, bishop of Seleuceia, but in what year is not known.
He died in his seventy-fifth year, and in the forty-fifth of his abode on his second column, probably in or about A. D. 596.
The prolix life of him from which we have taken the above particulars, was written by " Nicephorus Magister Antiochiae," a writer of a later but unascertained period, and is full of miracles, visions, and other legendary matters.
It is given. with a valuable Commentarius Praevius
by Conrad Janninghus, in the Acta Sanctorum Maii,
a. d. xxiv. vol. v. p. 298, &c.
Several writings are ascribed to the younger Symeon the Stylite. They are, 1. Περὶ εἰκόνων
, De Imaginibus,
mentioned by Joannes Damascenus, who cites a passage from it among the passages subjoined to his own third oration on the same subject.
It may be doubted, however, whether the title applies to the work from which the citation is made, or merely describes the subject of the cited passage. (Damascenus, Opera,
vol. i. p. 386, ed. Le Quien.) 2. Ἐπιστολὴ πρὸς τὸν Ἰουστινιανὸν βασιλέα
, Epistola ad Justinianum Imperatorem,
cited by Sophronius of Jerusalem in his Συνοδική
, Epistola Synodica
(apud Phot. Biblioth.
This letter of Symeon was directed against the Nestorians and Eutychians, and was much prized by Justinian, who called it " a treasure." (Phot. ibid.
) 3. Πρὸς βασιλέα Ἰουστῖνον τὸν νέον ἐπιστολή
, Ad Imperatorem Justinum Juniorem Epistola,
of two lines only, given in the life of Symeon by Nicephorus (c. 24.189). 4. Ἐπιστολὴ πέμπτη πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα Ἰουστῖνον τὸν νέον
, Ad Imperatorem Justinum Juniorem Epistola Quinta,
exciting him to punish the Samaritans, given at length in the Acta Concilii Nicaeni secundi Oecumenici septimi,
Actio V. (see Concil.
vol. iv. coll. 289, 663, ed. Hardouin).
It is uncertain whether the title indicates that this was the fifth in some general collection of the Epistolae
of Symeon, or the fifth which he had written to the emperor. Its genuineness also has been disputed and is vindicated at some length by Allatius (De Symeon. Scrptis,
p 18, &c.). 5. Πρὸς τὸν ἐν τοῖς Ἱεροσολυμοῖς ὁσιώτατον σταυροφύλακα Θωμᾶν ἐπιστολή
, Ad Sanctissimum in Hierosolymis Sanctae Crucis Custodem Thomam Epistola,
given at length in the Vita S. Marthae matris Symeonis Junioris,
c. 7.63, &c. (apud Acta Sanctorum Maii,
vol. v. p. 426). 6.
A letter to Evagrius the ecclesiastical historian, mentioned by him (H. E.
6.23). 6. Devotional compositions, as Τροπάρια
mentioned by Allatius (ibid.
p. 21) as extant in MS.
A short Ὠδή
is given in the life of Symeon by Nicephorus, c. 13.109. 7. Sermones Ascetici XXXVI., Responsiones ad Quaesita XXV.,
and Sententiae XXXVI.,
are extant in an Arabic version at Rome (Assemani, Biblioth. Oriental.
vol. ii. p. 510); and the Sermones
at Oxford also. (Catalog. MStorum Angliae et Hiberniae,
vol. i. p. 280.)
Beside the life of Symeon, from which our account is chiefly taken, various particulars are recorded by Evagrius (H. E.
5.21, 6.23), the contemporary and countryman of the Saint; by the biographer of St. Martha, the mother of Symeon, apparently a contemporary; by Joannes Damascenus (l.c.
p. 378), who cites a passage from a lost life of Symeon by Arcadius of Cyprus; in the Acta Concilii Nicaeni Secundi,
Actio IV. (Concil.
vol. iv. col. 217 and 632), where two extracts are given front an anonymous life of Symeon, perhaps that by Arcadius; and by Nicephorus Callisti (H. E.
18.24); Allatius (De Symeon. Scriptis,
pp. 17-22); Janninghus (apud Acta Sanctorum, l.c.
); Cave (Hist. Litt.
ad ann. 527, vol. i. p. 508); Fabricius (Biblioth. Graec.
vol. x. pp. 325, 524, vol. xi. p. 299); and Baronius (Annales
ad ann. 574. §§ vi. viii. ix).