stylitic /stuy lit"ik/, adj.
/stuy"luyt/, n. Eccles. Hist.
one of a class of solitary ascetics who lived on the top of high pillars or columns.
[1630-40; < LGk stylítes, equiv. to styl(os) pillar + -ites -ITE1]

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▪ Christian ascetic
      a Christian ascetic who lived standing on top of a column (Greek: stylos) or pillar. The first to do this was St. Simeon Stylites (Simeon Stylites, Saint) (the Elder), who took up residence atop a column in Syria in AD 423. The best known among his imitators were his Syrian disciple St. Daniel (409–493) in Constantinople, St. Simeon Stylites the Younger (517–592) on Mount Admirable near Antioch, St. Alypius (7th century), near Adrianopolis, St. Luke (879–979) at Chalcedon, and St. Lazarus (968–1054) on Mount Galesion near Ephesus. Apart from these saints, of whom Greek biographies exist, various other stylites who lived in Greece and the Middle East were mentioned in ecclesiastical sources. John Moschus (died 619) mentions several in his Pratum spirituale, and references to female stylites have also been found.

      The practice never spread to the West. Only one abortive attempt was recorded: St. Gregory of Tours in his Historia Francorum (late 6th century) described meeting St. Wulflaicus, then a deacon at Yvoi (near Carignan, Ardennes), who had tried living atop a column but was soon forced by church authorities to descend.

      The stylite was permanently exposed to the elements, though he might have a little roof above his head. He stood night and day in his restricted area, usually with a rail around him, and was dependent for his scanty sustenance on what his disciples brought him by ladder. He spent most of his time in prayer but also did pastoral work among those who gathered around his column. A stylite might continue this practice briefly or for a long period; St. Alypius reportedly stayed atop his column for 67 years.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • stylite — [ stilit ] n. m. • 1608; gr. stulitês « de colonne » ♦ Didact. Solitaire qui vivait au sommet d une colonne ou d une tour. « ces saints, ces ermites, stylites ou quoi, qui passaient leur vie méditant sur le sommet d une colonne » (Cl. Simon). «… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Stylite — Sty lite, n. [Gr. ?, fr. ? a pillar.] (Eccl. Hist.) One of a sect of anchorites in the early church, who lived on the tops of pillars for the exercise of their patience; called also {pillarist} and {pillar saint}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stylite — ascetic living on the top of a pillar, 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Gk. stylites, from stylos pillar (see STET (Cf. stet)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • stylite — [stī′līt΄] n. [LGr(Ec) stylitēs < Gr, dwelling on a pillar < stylos, pillar < IE * st(h)ū < base * stā , to STAND] any of various Christian ascetics who lived on the tops of pillars stylitic [stī′lit′ik] adj. stylitism n …   English World dictionary

  • Stylite — Les stylites (de στύλος, colonne) sont des ermites des débuts du christianisme, des anachorètes, qui plaçaient leur cellule au sommet d une ruine, colonnade, portique ou colonne pour y pratiquer une ascèse extrême. En Orient, Siméon le Stylite… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stylite —    Monk who lived atop a pillar (stylos). Symeon the Stylite the Elder (q.v.) was the first to practice this type of asceticism (q.v.). From a platform secured to the top of a high (ca. 16 meters) pillar he preached and responded to the queries… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • stylite — (sti li t ) s. m. Surnom donné à quelques solitaires chrétiens qui avaient placé leurs cellules au dessus de portiques ou de colonnes. Saint Siméon le stylite.    Substantivement. •   C est pourtant de cette guérite, C est de ce céleste tombeau… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • STYLITE — adj. m. Surnom donné à quelques solitaires qui avaient placé leurs cellules au dessus de portiques ou de colonnades en ruine. Saint Siméon Stylite …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • STYLITE — adj. m. Surnom donné à quelques solitaires qui avaient placé leur cellule au sommet d’une colonne ou au dessus d’un portique. Saint Siméon Stylite …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • stylite — noun Etymology: Late Greek stylitēs, from Greek stylos pillar more at steer Date: circa 1638 a Christian ascetic living atop a pillar • stylitic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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