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Headword: *pafnou/tios
Adler number: pi,828
Translated headword: Paphnoutios, Paphnutius
Vetting Status: high
Bishop of one of the cities of Upper Thebes,[1] a man loved by God and a worker of miracles. In the time of the persecution[2] one of his eyes was put out. The emperor[3] used to summon him and kiss his eye. The bishops in council[4] decided to introduce a novel rule for the church, that those in holy orders, that is bishops, presbyters, deacons, and subdeacons, should not sleep with the wives whom they had married while they were still laymen. When it was time to discuss this matter, Paphnutius stood up in the middle of the assembly of bishops and cried out in a loud voice that they should not lay a heavy yoke on men in holy orders, saying that marriage was honorable, lest they harm the church more by excessive strictness. For not everyone can bear ascesis of passionlessness, nor perhaps will the chastity of each man's wife be maintained. And he called the intercourse with one's lawful wife 'chastity'; it was sufficient for one who had attained the rank of the clergy no longer to enter into marriage, according to the ancient tradition of the church, but not to be separated from her with whom already earlier he had joined in a single[5] marriage while a layman. And he said this, having no experience of marriage or -- to speak plainly -- of any woman; for from childhood he had been raised among ascetics and was renowned for chastity more than any other. And the whole assembly of the clergy was persuaded by Paphnutius' words, and they silenced the inquiry concerning this matter, leaving it to the judgment of those who wished to abstain from intercourse with their wives.
Greek Original:
*pafnou/tios, mia=s po/lews tw=n a)/nw *qhbw=n e)pi/skopos, a)nh\r qeofilh\s kai\ shmeiofo/ros: o(\s e)n tw=| kairw=| tou= diwgmou= to\n o)fqalmo\n e)ceko/ph. tou=ton o( basileu\s metepe/mpeto kai\ au)tou= to\n o)fqalmo\n katefi/lei. e)do/kei de\ kata\ su/nodon toi=s e)pisko/pois no/mon nearo\n e)s th\n e)kklhsi/an e)sfe/rein, w(/ste tou\s i(erwme/nous, le/gw dh\ e)pisko/pous, presbute/rous, diako/nous, u(podiako/nous, mh\ sugkaqeu/dein tai=s gametai=s, a(\s e)/ti lai+koi\ o)/ntes h)ga/gonto. kai\ e)pei\ peri\ tou/tou bouleu/esqai prou)/keito, dianasta\s e)n me/sw| tou= sullo/gou tw=n e)pisko/pwn o( *pafnou/tios e)bo/a makra/, mh\ baru\n zugo\n e)pitiqe/nai toi=s i(erwme/nois a)ndra/si, ti/mion ei)=nai to\n ga/mon le/gwn, mh\ th=| u(perbolh=| th=s a)kribei/as ma=llon th\n e)kklhsi/an prosbla/ywsin. ou) ga\r pa/ntas du/nasqai fe/rein th=s a)paqei/as a)/skhsin, ou)de\ i)/sws fulaxqh/sesqai th\n swfrosu/nhn th=s e(ka/stou gameth=s: kai\ swfrosu/nhn e)ka/lei th=s nomi/mou gunaiko\s th\n sune/leusin: a)rkei=sqai/ te to\n fqa/santa klh/rou tuxei=n mhke/ti e)pi\ ga/mon e)/rxesqai, kata\ th\n th=s e)kklhsi/as a)rxai/an para/dosin: mh\ mh\n a)pozeu/gnusqai tau/ths, h(\n a(/pac h)/dh pro/teron lai+ko\s w)\n h)ga/geto. kai\ tau=t' e)/legen, a)/peiros w)\n ga/mou kai\ a(plw=s ei)pei=n gunaiko/s: e)k paido\s ga\r e)n a)skhtai=s a)nete/qrapto kai\ e)pi\ swfrosu/nh| ei) kai/ tis a)/llos peribo/htos h)=n. kai\ pei/qetai su/mpas o( tw=n i(erwme/nwn su/llogos toi=s *pafnouti/ou lo/gois, kai\ th\n peri\ tou/tou zh/thsin a)pesi/ghsan, th=| gnw/mh| tw=n boulome/nwn a)pe/xesqai th=s o(mili/as tw=n gunaikw=n katalei/yantes.
From Socrates, Ecclesiastical History 1.11 (web address 1).
On Paphnutius, see Catholic Encyclopedia at web address 2.
[1] A strange vagueness, but it reproduces what the primary source says.
[2] This is taken to be the one under Maximinus (308-313), rather than the one under Diocletian (delta 1156) in 303.
[3] Constantine the Great (kappa 2284).
[4] At the First Council of Nicaea, in 325.
[5] The adverb a(/pac suggests that this permission would not apply if the clergyman had married more than once.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; children; Christianity; chronology; definition; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; law; medicine; religion; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 12 May 2004@01:45:29.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 12 May 2004@03:41:23.
Catharine Roth (modified translation, added note) on 12 May 2004@11:38:21.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 October 2005@07:42:58.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 18 September 2013@06:11:50.
David Whitehead (added one note, expanded another) on 17 June 2016@03:04:51.


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