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Headword: Λεόντιος μοναχός
Adler number: lambda,257
Translated headword: Leontios the monk
Vetting Status: high
This man lived in the reign of Zeno;[1] making the hidden meanings of the Scriptures clear by prophetic grace, he had many of the zealous men attending him. As some were distraught at the monstrous actions taken by the emperor against the Church, he said, "One should not be astonished at what is done by a man and one who has obtained his authority from men, when even Saul who became king by God's vote slew Abimelech and his sons with a sword when they were in the house of the Lord."[2] When the others were puzzled and supposed that his [sc. Zeno's] nature had been changed from gentle to fierce, because at the beginning of his reign he had done certain things[3] and promised other things which tended towards good, [Leontios] said, "He has not changed in nature, but in prosperity he has displayed the wickedness which lay quiet for a long time through fear of Illos."[4] As the book of Clement, the author of Stromata, was being read and he came to the passage where he ridicules the men who outline their eyes in courtesan-style and dye their hair,[5] when Leontios said, "So is this anyone besides the emperor, the one who dyes his hair and uses eye-makeup?" Answering, another monk said, "We were puzzled about a man, if he ventures at all to change his nature with cosmetics; we did not accept the emperor's doing this." But too glibly the monks ridiculed those who try to change the nature of men[6] to that of females. [As evidence] that even many of the ancients turned away from such persons as not reliable, it is possible to find many [instances] in the histories, notably Philip the father of Alexander [sc. the Great]. For when he appointed a certain Antipater among his friends to the judges and saw that he had his beard and hair dyed, he stood up and said that he did not believe that the man who was untrustworthy in his hair would be worthy of trust in deeds.[7]
Greek Original:
Λεόντιος μοναχός: οὗτος ἐπὶ Ζήνωνος ἦν: προφητικῇ χάριτι τὰς ἐπικρύψεις τῶν γραφῶν ἐμφανεῖς ποιῶν πολλοὺς εἶχε τῶν σπουδαίων παρ' αὐτὸν φοιτῶντας. ἀλυόντων δέ τινων ἐπὶ τοῖς κατὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως τερατευομένοις, οὐ δεῖ ξενίζεσθαι, ἔλεγεν, ἐπὶ τοῖς δρωμένοις παρ' ἀνθρώπου ἐξ ἀνθρώπων τε τὸ ἄρχειν ᾑρημένου, ὁπότε καὶ Σαοὺλ ὁ ψήφῳ θεοῦ βασιλεύσας Ἀβιμέλεχ καὶ τοὺς υἱεῖς ὄντας ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ κυρίου διεχρήσατο μαχαίρᾳ. διαπορούντων δὲ τῶν ἄλλων καὶ οἰομένων μεταβεβλῆσθαι τὴν φύσιν αὐτοῦ ἐξ ἡμέρου εἰς ἀγρίαν, διὰ τὸ τὰ πρῶτα τῆς βασιλείας πρᾶξαί τέ τινα καὶ ὑποσχέσθαι ἕτερα τῶν εἰς χρηστὰ τεινόντων: οὐ μεταβέβληται, ἔφη, τὴν φύσιν, ἀλλ' ἐνδέδεικται ἐν εὐδαιμονίᾳ τὴν κακίαν, πολὺν χρόνον διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ Ἴλλου ἡσυχασθεῖσαν. ἀναγινωσκομένης δὲ βίβλου Κλήμεντος τοῦ Στρωματέως καὶ φθάσαντος χωρίον ἐν ᾧ τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀποσκώπτει τοὺς ἑταιρικῶς τὰς ὄψεις ὑπογράφοντας καὶ βάπτοντας τὰς τρίχας, εἰπόντος τοῦ Λεοντίου, ἆρά γέ ἐστι τις τοῦ βασιλέως ἄτερ, ὁ τὰς τρίχας βάπτων καὶ φυκούμενος τὰς ὄψεις; ὑποτυχών, ἄλλος, ἔφη, μοναχός: ἡμεῖς περὶ ἀνθρώπου διηπορήσαμεν, εἴ γε ὅλως ἀνέχεται κοσμήσει τὴν φύσιν ἐναλλάττειν: οὐ μήν γε τοῦτο διελάβομεν ποιεῖν τὸν βασιλέα. ἀλλ' εὐτρόχως μὲν λίαν οἱ μοναχοὶ ἀπέσκωψαν τοὺς τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων φύσιν εἰς τὴν τῶν θηλειῶν πειρωμένους μετεγγράφειν. ὅτι γὰρ τοὺς τοιούτους καὶ τῶν παλαιῶν πλεῖστοι ἀπεστράφησαν ὡς οὐ βεβαίους, πολλοὺς μέν ἐστιν εὑρεῖν ἐν ἱστορίαις: ἐκδηλότερον δὲ Φίλιππον τὸν τοκέα Ἀλεξάνδρου. ἐπεὶ γὰρ Ἀντίπατρόν τινα τῶν φίλων τάξας εἰς τοὺς δικαστὰς τὸν πώγωνα καταβαπτόμενον εἶδε καὶ τὴν κόμην, ἐξανέστησεν εἰπών, τὸν ἄπιστον ἐν θριξὶ μὴ νομίζειν ἐν πράγμασιν ἀξιόπιστον ὑπάρχειν.
Neither the source of this entry nor the identity of the monk Leontius has been identified.
[1] Zeno, emperor AD 474 to 491: zeta 83, zeta 84.
[2] Abimelech: alpha 45.
[3] Bernhardy suggested the emendation ἄξια πρᾶξαί τε καί τινα : "that at the beginning he had done things worthy of the imperial authority and had promised others ..."
[4] Illos, magister equitum for Zeno: iota 324.
[5] See Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogos 3.3: "Against Men Who Embellish Themselves": translation at web address 1.
[6] Manuscripts of the Suda read ἀνθρώπων "human beings"; Immanuel Bekker suggested ἀνδρῶν "men", for a clearer contrast with θηλειῶν "female persons".
[7] A mangled version of an anecdote in Plutarch, Moralia 178F (in the Sayings of Kings and Commanders; translation at web address 2): it is not Antipater himself (alpha 2703, alpha 2704) but an unnamed friend of his whom Philip distrusts for this reason. A similar story is told about King Archidamus of Sparta and a man from Chios (Aelian, Varia Historia 7.20) or Keos (Stobaeus, Florilegium 3.12.19).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; clothing; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; law; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 29 March 2009@18:53:46.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (expanded n.7; more keywords; cosmetics) on 30 March 2009@03:09:21.
David Whitehead (further expansion of n.7; cosmetics) on 4 April 2013@09:17:19.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 5 April 2013@01:24:16.


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