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Headword: *monaxo/s
Adler number: mu,1216
Translated headword: monk
Vetting Status: high
Dionysius says: the rank higher than all those appointed, that of the monks, is a holy order, purified with every purification by universal power and the perfect holiness of suitable actions, as it is lawful for them to contemplate every kind of sacred ministration, being in spiritual contemplation and fellowship, undertaking the perfective powers of the priests, learning by their inspired illuminations and priestly traditions also the consecrations which they have beheld of the sacred initiates throughout it [sc. the rank of monks], and being led analogously to their sacred understanding into most perfect perfection. Therefore, our holy leaders deem them worthy of sacred appellations, some calling them "worshippers" [qerapeutai/][1] and some "monks" [monaxoi/] from the pure service and worship [qerapei/a] of God and the indivisible and single life as if unifying them in the holy folds of separateness into godlike oneness and god-loving perfection. Therefore the sacred decree called this a grace bringing perfection; and it deemed them worthy of some hallowed name, not a priestly [name] (for that is only for the priestly ranks), but a consecrated [name], as they are consecrated a second time in a sacred initiation by the holy priests.[2]
Concerning monks: "there, indeed, was a place of meditation[3] for men of philosophical life; these men are called "monks", whose task it is to leave the body early and to die while still living and by some sort of sensible madness to pass on to better things."[4]
Greek Original:
*monaxo/s: fhsi\ *dionu/sios: h( de\ tw=n teloume/nwn a(pasw=n u(yhlote/ra ta/cis h( tw=n monaxw=n e)stin i(era\ diako/smhsis, pa=san me\n a)pokekaqarme/nh ka/qarsin o(likh=| duna/mei kai\ pantelei= tw=n oi)kei/wn e)nergeiw=n a(gno/thti, pa/shs de\ ou)/shs qemito\n qewrei=n au)th=| i(erourgi/as, e)n noera=| qewri/a| kai\ koinwni/a| gegenhme/nh kai\ tai=s tw=n i(erarxw=n teleiwtikai=s duna/mesin e)gxeirizome/nh kai\ tai=s e)nqe/ois au)tw=n e)lla/myesi kai\ i(erarxikai=s parado/sesin e)kdidaskome/nh kai\ ta\s e)popteuqei/sas tw=n kat' au)th\n i(erw=n teletw=n i(erourgi/as kai\ pro\s th=s i(era=s au)tw=n e)pisth/mhs a)nalo/gws ei)s teleiota/thn a)gome/nh telei/wsin. e)/nqen oi( qei=oi kaqhgemo/nes h(mw=n e)pwnumiw=n au)tou\s i(erw=n h)ci/wsan, kai\ oi( me\n qerapeuta/s, oi( de\ monaxou\s o)noma/santes, e)k th=s tou= qeou= kaqara=s u(phresi/as kai\ qerapei/as kai\ th=s a)meri/stou kai\ e(niai/as zwh=s w(s e(nopoiou/shs au)tou\s e)n tai=s tw=n diairetw=n i(erai=s sumptu/cesin ei)s qeoeidh= mona/da kai\ filo/qeon telei/wsin. dio\ kai\ telestikh\n au)th\n h( i(era\ qesmoqesi/a xa/rin e)ka/lese: kai/ tinos au)tou\s h)ci/wsen a)fierwtikh=s e)piklh/sews, ou)x i(eratikh=s [e)kei/nh ga\r e)pi\ mo/nais gi/netai tai=s i(eratikai=s ta/cesin], a)ll' i(erarxikh=s u(po\ tw=n o(si/wn i(ere/wn th=| i(erarxikh=| teleiourgi/a| deute/rws i(erourgoume/nh. peri\ monaxw=n: e)kei=se dh\ frontisth/rion h)=n a)ndrw=n filoso/fwn to\n bi/on: monaxoi\ de\ ou(=toi katonoma/zontai, oi(=s e)/rgon proekdhmei=n tou= sw/matos kai\ zw=ntas teqna/nai kai\ sw/froni mani/a| tini metafoita=n pro\s ta\ krei/ttona.
This entry distinguishes the charismatic holiness of monastics from the institutional consecration of men in priestly orders.
[1] On the Therapeutae, see theta 228.
[2] George the Monk, Chronicon 337.8-338.11. He is summarizing the views of Dionysius the so-called Areopagite (delta 1170), Ecclesiastical Hierarchy 6.1.3 (PG3.532C): see translation at web address 1.
[3] On frontisth/rion, see phi 734.
[4] An approximation of Theophylact Simocatta, Histories 1.14.8.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: Christianity; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; historiography; philosophy; religion
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 9 April 2008@02:31:20.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 9 April 2008@03:55:45.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, augmented notes, added cross-references) on 9 April 2008@11:27:41.
Catharine Roth (added link and keyword) on 9 April 2008@21:29:17.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 26 May 2013@08:35:19.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 9 November 2014@00:42:54.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 9 November 2014@00:49:14.


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