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Moschus, Joannes

or, as Photius calls him, JOANNES the son of MOSCHUS, surnamed Εὐκρατᾶς, or, what appears to be a corruption of that, Eviratus, was first a monk in the monastery of St. Theodosius at Jerusalem, afterwards lived among the anchorites in the desert on the banks of the Jordan, and subsequently filled the police of canonarchus in the convent of St. Saba. Bellandus gives A. D. 620 as the date of his death.


Account of the lives of monks of his age

After visiting a large number of the monasteries in Syria, Egypt, and the West, he applied himself to the composition of a work giving an account of the lives of the monks of that age, down to the time of Heraclius. It was addressed to Sophronius or Sophronas, his friend and pupil, who accompanied him on his travels, and became subsequently patriarch of Jerusalem. The work was entitled Λειμών or Λειμωνάριον, or Νέος παράδεισος. In the editions it is divided into 219 chapters; Photius speaks of it as consisting of 304 διηγήματα, but mentions that in other manuscripts it was divided into a larger number of chapters. In compiling it Moschus did not confine himself to giving the results of his own observations, but availed himself of the labours of predecessors in the same field. His narratives contain a plentiful sprinkling of the marvellous. He every where attacks the heresy of Soerus Acephalus. The style of the work, as Photius says, is mean and unpolished. But Joannes Damascenus and Nicephorus assigned Sophronius himself as the author of the work, from which it has been supposed that it was in reality mainly his work, though the name of Joannes Moschus was allowed to stand as that of the writer.


The work was first published in an Italian translation, and incorporated in several collections of lives of the saints. The Latin translation of Ambrosius Camaldulensis is in the seventh volume of Aloysius Lipomannus, Venice, 1558. It appeared in Greek and Latin in the second volume of the Auctarium Bibl. Patrum Ducaeanum, Paris, 1624, and in the Bibliotheca Patrum, Paris, 1644, 1654.

Further Information

Phot. Bibl. 199; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. x. p. 124; Voss. de Hist. Graec. p. 334, Westermann.


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620 AD (1)
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