The Life of Daniel The Stylite
From Three Byzantine Saints: Contemporary
Biographies of St. Daniel the Stylite, St. Theodore of Sykeon
and St. John the Almsgiver, trans. Elizabeth Dawes, and introductions
and notes by Norman H. Baynes, (London: 1948)
by Norman H. Baynes
THESE simple biographies of three Byzantine saints should speak
for themselves: they need no lengthy preface or elaborate annotation.
A brief introduction will suffice.
During the period of persecution the virtues of the Christian
champions of the faith had been recorded in the Acts of the Martyrs,
of those who had borne the supreme witness to their Lord in the
surrender of their life. But when persecution had ceased in the
fourth century it was by his life and not by his death that the
Christian established his loyalty to his Master, and the record
of the conflict with evil and the passionate struggle towards
perfection created a new type of literature. So far as we know,
it was Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, who in his life of
Antony, 'the first monk', originated the model for this new literary
form. He chose as his theme the ascent of the saint from strength
to strength in his pilgrimage towards the ultimate goal-the vision
of God. And this development in the spiritual life of the Christian
'athlete' determined the traditional shape of the biography of
the Byzantine saint.
To enter into the thought-world of the Byzantine ascetic one must
always be conscious of the biblical background which forms its
presupposition. From the first Christianity has been an other-worldly
faith: in this present world the Christian had no abiding city,
he was a sojourner awaiting the coming of One Who should make
all things new. The Christian had been assured (John 12:31, 14:30)
that the ruler of this world was the Prince of Evil who had no
part in Christ. In this life with its besetting cares the ascetic
heard his Master's words-'If thou wouldst be perfect'-as they
were read in church, and the passion for a fuller discipleship
carried the day. It is the glory of the early Church that it never
succumbed to the temptation to restrict salvation to the learned-the
Christian gnostic; the gate for the simple-the 'little ones' of
the Gospel-even with the Alexandrian thinkers always remained
open. The Church of the third century thus came to develop a double
morality: there was one ethical standard for the ordinary Christian
living his life in the world and another standard for those who
'saying goodbye' to the world sought the high goal of perfection.
For that life the Christian had to go into 'training' (askesis),
he became an 'ascetic', and it was to the ascetic that the common
folk of the Byzantine world looked with wonder and admiration.
The battle waged by the ascetic is a struggle on a double front-against
his own body and against the forces of the demons. It is sometimes
said that 'the animal instincts are morally neutral', but it was
not thus that the Christian saint regarded the body: he was constantly
reminded of the strength of the lusts of the body and of its sadistic
passions. The body was an enemy which only the sternest contest
could subdue. Paul had said, 'I give my body a black eye and reduce
it to slavery', and this was the aim which inspired the Byzantine
ascetic. The biographer of St. Luke the Stylite appropriates the
language of Paul: the task of the saint was 'the strangling of
the body'. The good fight might last for many a long year, but
in the end victory was possible, the body would be forced to surrender
and to come to terms with the soul. Thereafter for the saint the
body ceased to have a moral significance, it was no longer a source
'Unto you', Christ had said to His chosen disciples, 'unto you
it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God', and it
was initiation into that mystery that the Byzantine ascetic sought.
Antony immured himself in a deserted fort; after twenty years
when those who were determined to see the holy man had broken
down the door of his retreat, Antony came forth 'as from some
secret shrine, initiated into the mysteries and indwelt by God',
and straightway the divine grace manifested itself in miracles
of healing. The author of the biography of St. Luke writing in
the tenth century uses the same language of the moment when the
saint left the cave in which he had been confined and then similarly
obtains from God a special gift-the gift of perfect endurance.
But even though the saint might win the battle over the body,
the attacks of the demons did not cease-they lasted until death,
for the pride o£ the demons did not permit them to confess
that their efforts were fruitless. But the saint had won through
to a new confidence: he knew that with God's aid the demons were
powerless to harm-he could laugh them to scorn.
Further, if we are to realize the significance of these records
of the achievements of Byzantine saints we must seek to understand
something of what these 'holy men' meant for the folk of their
own day. To the East Roman Christ had become the Pantokrator,
the all-powerful Sovereign, throned in glory. The figure of the
Christ as it was represented in the mosaics of Byzantine churches
was so majestic and remote that common folk felt that they needed
a mediator who would represent them in the courts of Heaven. The
humanity of the Saviour tended to be obscured by the splendour
of the Second Person of the Trinity. The religion of the Byzantine
world is thus a religion of mediation, but it is to the ascetic
saint rather than to the priest that the East Roman turns. When
you feel that death is near it is to the saint on his pillar that
you look for a letter which shall grant you absolution from past
sins; the saint, even without your asking, may send you such a
letter. The saint has liberty of access, freedom of speech in
the heavenly places. He can perform the task of acting as ambassador
for humble people.
And the saint's services are not confined to the other world,
to this world, too, the saint is a very present help in time of
trouble. He can defend those who are without influence against
the injustice of the powerful: he can even admonish emperors.
The only thing which an emperor can take from an ascetic is his
life, and if his life were taken, he would as a martyr be but
the more dangerous, and emperors were unwilling to run that risk.
The ascetic saint was not only the people's champion against injustice,
he was the source of a healing power more potent than that of
any doctor. Through his conflict with evil and victory over the
demons he had been granted the grace of healing-the power to fulfil
the apostolic commission to heal the sick and to cast out demons.
The Byzantine could claim divine authority for his belief in these
miracles of healing. Jesus had promised: 'he that believeth on
me the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than
these shall he do, because I go unto the Father'. A Byzantine
writer recording the miracles of Saints Cosmas and Damian-the
saints who had vowed to take no gift however small from those
whom they had healed-reminds the reader that nowhere are we told
that Christ's shadow worked a miracle of healing, but we do know
that men and women brought forth the sick into the streets and
laid them on beds and couches that at the least the shadow of
Peter as he passed by might fall on some of them and they were
healed. 'If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him
that believeth.' God's power was not straitened; if miracles had
been performed in earlier days, a living God must still be active
in the world which He had created. To deny that beneficent activity
was to make Christ a liar.
And such an assurance was of daily significance when man was beset
with uncounted demons on every side. It needs some imagination
to recover a sense of the burden which this belief in the universal
presence of the demons must have laid upon men. If we believed
that the myriad bacilli about us were each and all inspired by
a conscious will to injure man we might then gain a realization
of the constant menace which broods over human life in the biographies
of Byzantine saints. The sign of the Cross and the succour of
the 'holy man', these were the East Roman's stand-by in a dangerous
world. We can still catch the echo of the excitement and enthusiasm
of the disciples as they returned from their first missionary
journey: 'Lord, Lord', they cried, 'even the demons are subject
to us in Thy name.' This subjection of the demons was the supreme
test of the virtue of the Gospel which they had been commissioned
to declare. Preaching that Gospel and driving out demons formed
from the first but two sides of one and the same divine commission
and both tasks are in our own day still undertaken by the Christian
The saint's healing could be carried to the sick by many different
means: just as 'from Paul's body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs
or aprons, and the diseases departed from them', so the Byzantine
saint would send the towel with which he had washed his hands,
telling the sufferer to tear up the towel and make little crosses
of it; when these had been nailed up on door and window in the
name of the Trinity the demon would find entry barred. Or the
saint would send a 'benediction' of consecrated bread and water,
or the water in which he had washed his hands or a fragment of
his leathern girdle. It might be the image of the pillar saint
or a little holy dust from the foot of the pillar, it mattered
not provided only that the 'power' of the saint was conveyed to
the sufferer, the 'power' which was God's gift. Or in some cases
healing came through sleeping in the church or oratory dedicated
to the saint who appeared in dream to the faithful and either
cured them or gave directions how they should be cured. This seeking
of a miraculous cure through sleeping close by the relics of the
saint-'incubation'-is still practised in the churches of Southern
East Roman asceticism took many forms and we have sought to illustrate
that diversity in the choice of biographies to be translated.
St. John the Almsgiver was the Patriarch of Alexandria in a time
of crisis during the early years of the seventh century; St. Theodore
the Sykeote represents life amongst the peasantry of Anatolia
at the end of the sixth century, while Daniel, the pillar saint,
brought to the neighbourhood of Constantinople the peculiar form
of the ascetic life which St. Simeon had devised for himself in
Syria. Daniel stationed on the European shore of the Bosphorus,
is in close touch with the Patriarch, with successive emperors
and with the people in the capital. In the present book we have
not included any descriptions of life in the community of a monastery.
Byzantine literature is aristocratic: it centres in the life of
Constantinople, while in language and style it is dominated by
the traditions derived from the masterpieces of the classical
period. It is through the biographies of East Roman saints that
we can form some picture of the life of the province, some understanding
of the thought-world of those humble folk who appear so rarely
in the works of writers whose interests are urban, who are closely
linked with the life of the imperial court.
If for you a world where miracles happen is hopelessly and irredeemably
repellent, East Rome will remain a closed book. Moreover, you
must not bring to the study of Byzantine asceticism a delicate
and queasy stomach; you must banish from your mind the curious
western notion that cleanliness is next to godliness. You must
be prepared to accept the sanctity of dirt, the virtue of 'alousia',
abstention from washing. The modern cult of the body must be for
a while forgotten. But when you have liberated yourself from inherited
prejudices, then you will be free to sympathize with the devotion
which inspired these contemners of the body, who sought through
penitential suffering to attain to peace of soul (ataraxia) and
through that peace to union with God.
The background of miracle in these biographies is omnipresent;
students may find of service some references to modern work on
[Note (Halsall): The bibliography below is now rather dated.
R. HERZOG, Die Wunderheilungen von Epidauros. Leipzig,
J. TAMBORINO, De antiquorum daemonismo (=Religionsgeschichtliche
Versuche und Vorarbeiten edd. R. Wunsch and L. Deubner, vol. 7,
Heft 3). Giessen, Topelmann, 1909.
L. DEUBNER, De Incubatione. Leipzig, Teubner, I900.
F. J. DOLGER, Der Exorzismus im altchristlichen Taufritual (=Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur des Altertums edd. E. Drerup,
H. Grimme and J. P. Kirsch, vol. 3, Heft I-2). Paderborn, Schoningh,
MARY HAMILTON, Incubation or the Cure of Disease in pagan temples
and Christian churches. St. Andrews, Henderson, 1906, and Greek Saints and their Festivals. Edinburgh, Blackwood,
G. G. DAWSON, Healing Pagan and Christian. London, Society
for Promoting Christian Knowledge, I935.
T. K. OESTERREICH, Possession Demoniacal and Other among primitive
races, in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times. London,
Kegan Paul, 1930.
E. R. MICKLEM, Miracles and the New Psychology. London,
Milford, 1922-in this book the evidence for demon possession as
studied by missionaries is discussed.
ST. DANIEL THE STYLITE
by Norman H. Baynes
THE Emperor Marcian died early in A.D. 457 and with him the Theodosian
dynasty (to which he belonged through his marriage with Pulcheria)
came to an end. His successor, Leo I, owed his throne to the influence
of the all-powerful master of the soldiery, the Alan Aspar and
his father Ardaburius. They doubtless thought that Leo would play
the part of their puppet, but the new Emperor was not prepared
to accept that rôle and the Life of Daniel shows us how
the plots of Aspar to overthrow the Augustus of his making were
defeated by Zeno the Isaurian. Leo sought through the support
of the hardy mountaineers of Isauria to rid himself of the dominance
of the German element in the imperial army. From the Life we learn
for the first time of the reason for the disgrace of Aspar and
are informed of the way in which Zeno became known to Leo. We
can understand why it was that the Emperor desired to engage condottieri
from Gaul, and it is not surprising that he was angered when Titus,
their leader, chose to abandon the life of a soldier.
The two outstanding disasters of Leo's reign were the fire in
the capital (September 465) which devastated whole quarters of
Constantinople, and the failure of the naval expedition against
the Vandals for which both the West and the East of the Empire
joined forces. Concerning that defeat the Vita is discreetly silent,
for Daniel's prophecy this time had but a partial fulfilment;
but from the Vita we learn that a report had reached the Emperor
that Gaiseric, the Vandal king, intended to attack Alexandria.
For that intention the Life is our sole authority, but at a time
when the Vandal fleet was laying waste the coastlands of Greece
and massacring the population of the island of Zacynthus an assault
on Egypt might naturally be feared. The costly preparations for
the African expedition emptied the East Roman treasury, and it
is little wonder that the Emperor's subjects complained of the
brutality and oppression of the imperial tax-collectors.
In 468 Leo married his daughter Ariadne to Zeno and the child
of that marriage (born in 469), who was given the name of Leo,
was declared Augustus in the autumn of 473 and became sole emperor
on the death of Leo I in February 474. For the child-emperor Zeno
acted as regent until with the consent of Leo's widow Verina he
was himself created his son's colleague. But Leo II died a few
months later and the Isaurian was left as ruler of the Eastern
provinces. As an Isaurian he was unpopular: Verina plotted against
him and hoped to make her paramour Patricius emperor. But when
the revolution came and Zeno had fled to Asia it was Basiliscus,
the commander in the expedition against the Vandals, and not Patricius,
who was chosen in Zeno's room. Basiliscus favoured the Monophysites
and of the orthodox opposition in the capital, headed by Daniel
the Stylite, we possess in the Life a vivid account. After Zeno
had returned to power Daniel gave him advice which may be regarded
as a veiled criticism of his rule, but of Zeno as emperor Daniel's
biographer has on the whole a high opinion: after his restoration
to his throne the most holy churches en]oyed great happiness,
the State was rendered glorious and the Roman Empire was strengthened.
It is a remarkable tribute to an Isaurian emperor.
Zeno's successor was chosen by his daughter-in-law, the Augusta
Ariadne; her choice fell upon a Civil servant, Anastasius, who
had recently been proposed as bishop for the see of Antioch. Anastasius
(A.D. 49 1-5 1 8) finally banished the threat of Isaurian domination:
they had performed their task, the German element in the imperial
army was no longer dangerous, and thus the mountaineers could
be sent back to their homes. Against the invasions of the Bulgarians,
Anastasius constructed to the west of Constantinople a Long Wall,
a line of fortifications stretching from the Propontis to the
Black Sea at a distance of some forty miles from the capital (cf.
J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, 1923, pp.
435-6). It is apparently this fortification which the author of
the Life of Daniel has in mind in ch. 65. For Anastasius Daniel
s biographer has an enthusiastic admiration; in ch.9 I he gives
an almost lyrical description of the Emperor's character, of his
piety, of the complete absence of that love of money which in
a sovereign Is in very truth for his subjects the root of all
ills. Anastasius, both in peace and war, provides for the world
the fullest prosperity.
Such is the historical background of this Life of Daniel, the
Pillar Saint. It was Simeon the Stylite who in the fifth century
set the model for this strange form of penitential asceticism,
and it was his renown which led others to follow his example.
Syrian asceticism was represented rather by the solitary than
by the monk who shared in the common life of a monastery; when
compared with the Palestinian rule of St. Sabas it adopted extremer
forms in its struggle to subdue the passion of man's intractable
flesh. One form which was widely practised was that of the 'station'
(stasis): the ascetic took his 'stand' and thence forth remained
immobile. Some would stand all the night in prayer, some stood
continuously for years while others divided the day between sitting
and standing in one and the same spot.
Simeon was born c. A.D. 389 on the borders of Syria and Cilicia;
he became a shepherd-boy and was completely illiterate. It was
the hearing of the beatitudes as they were read in church which
led him to asceticism and caused him to join a monastery. Here
the rigours of his mortification of the body roved incompatible
with the common life of the brotherhood, so, leaving the monastery,
he began his discipline as a solitary by shutting himself up in
a cell not far from Antioch. Three years later he retired to a
neighbouring height, and there marked out for himself a circular
enclosure; to prevent himself from passing beyond this enclosure
he attached himself to a large stone by a chain. After some time
he ceased to use the chain, and for four years he stood within
the enclosure without lying or sitting down, 'snowed upon, rained
upon, and scorched'. His fame spread far and wide; pilgrims came
in large numbers; the sick sought healing; all wished to touch
him or to carry off some relic from the Saint. To escape the devotion
of the crowds he thought of the expedient of standing upon a column
and the original column was twice increased in height by the addition
of a new drum. On the column in its final form-forty cubits in
height-he stood for thirty years without shelter either from the
frosts of winter or the scorching heat of summer. At times the
glare of the sun made him completely blind. The night and the
greater part of the day he spent in prayer, but twice a day he
addressed the folk who thronged about the column, giving them
moral counsel, settling their disputes, healing their diseases.
Arabs, Persians and Armenians came on pilgrimage to the Saint;
Christians came from Italy and Spain, from Gaul and from Britain.
St.Geneviève of Paris wrote to him. In Rome little images
of Simeon, even during his lifetime, were to be found in work-
shops to secure the safety of the workers (cf. Karl Holl, Gesammelte
Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte II,Tubingen, 1928,pp-
Many ascetics had their own peculiar forms of devotion: Simeon
would bow so deeply in his worship that his forehead all but touched
his feet. On one occasion an admirer set himself to count the
number of these bowings; he had counted up to twelve hundred and
forty-four and then desisted from sheer weariness: the Saint continued
bowing. The crowds of his admirers had no doubts of Simeon's sanctity,
but the ecclesiastical authorities frowned upon this novel form
of penitential piety. It is clear that the Saint's champions developed
an apologia to meet such criticism: they pointed to the strange
conduct of the Jewish prophets. God, they urged, can use extraordinary
means to bring home to man His messages. The apologia was successful:
when Simeon died seven bishops accompanied in solemn procession
the translation of the Saint's remains to Antioch
In this Byzantine world everything was fair where sacred relics
were concerned: to secure a relic guile and even open theft were
justified. The dead saint would even help those who sought to
steal his body. When it was thought that a certain holy man was
near to death there was a free fight amongst parties from rival
villages. The victors in the affray carried off the body to Antioch
when the Saint, recovering, asked to be taken back to the mountain
from which he had been violently transported. Immediately it was
known that Simeon was dead Saracens rushed up on their camels
in order to gain possession of his body by force of arms, but
the sacred relic was guarded by the imperial troops under the
command of the master of the soldiery. In Antioch the body rested;
it remained the city's pride and protection.
It is not easy for us to picture to ourselves the life led by
the stylite saints on the pillar-top. There was, of course, a
balustrade or iron trellis-work around the platform: we never
hear of a saint inadvertently falling from his pillar. The saint
controlled all access to himself since any visitor was of necessity
compelled to wait until the order was given for the ladder to
be placed against the pillar (see the Life, ch. 42). To reach
Daniel's first column the ladder according to one manuscript had
fourteen rungs but when a column might be sixteen or eighteen
metres in height the moving of the ladder can have been no light
task. The Stylite's column consisted of three parts: the steps
up to the platform at the base of the column, the column itself
and then the enclosure at the column's top. The column of the
elder Simeon had three drums, in honour of the Trinity, says the
Syriac biographer. The elder Simeon, as we have seen, had no shelter
at all as he stood upon his column and St. Daniel desired to follow
his master's example until he was ultimately persuaded to permit
the construction of a covering. Exceptionally in Daniel's case
twin columns were erected, clamped together by iron bars and a
piece of masonry 'of which it is difficult to fix the position'
(Delehaye) Of the extent of the space occupied by the pillar-saint
on the top of the column we have no accurate knowledge; often
it is not easy to decide whether visitors stood on the topmost
rungs of the ladder (cf. the Life of Daniel, ch. 95) or whether
they mounted on to the platform.
The Stylite soon became a magnet and drew disciples desiring to
settle near the Saint; thus, as it was with St. Daniel, a monastery
was formed or, it might be, as with St. Alypius a nunnery as well.
It is terrifying to contemplate the sufferings endured through
whole decades by these athletes in the school of salvation: amongst
those of strict observance it was not permitted to sit or to lie
down: they had taken their 'stand' and might not desert it. They
sought to overcome the need for sleep and, if sleep they must,
they did so, still standing, leaning against the balustrade. To
increase the strain upon the rebel body St. Simeon the younger
forced himself for a whole year to squat upon his heels. Only
in the interest of threatened Orthodoxy might they abandon, as
did Daniel, their 'stance' and descend from their column. When
they had established themselves in lonely places they might be
forgotten and might all but perish of hunger and thirst. We may
sympathize with Delehaye's comment: 'Nous comprenons difficilement
que ces hommes pieux aient pu agir de la sorte sans tenter la
Providence. Leur simplicité est leur grande excuse.'
And, despite everything, they were so astonishingly longlived.
Newman's judgment is familiar: 'if these men so tormented their
bodies as Theodoret describes, which it is difficult to doubt,
and if, nevertheless, instead of killing themselves thereby, they
lived to the great age which he also testifies, this fact was
in itself of a miraculous character'....
And I had hoped that ere this period closed
Thou wouldst have caught me up into thy rest,
not these weather-beaten limbs
The meed of saints, the white robe and the palm.
take the meaning, Lord: I do not breathe,
Not whisper, any murmur of complaint.
Pain heap'd ten-hundred-fold to this, were still
Less burthen, by ten-hundred-fold, to bear
Than were those lead-like tons of sin, that crush'd
My spirit flat before thee.
To make up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ was no
The Life of Daniel can be left to speak for itself. The author,
a younger man than the Saint, writes as a disciple and eye-witness.
He has consulted those who were with Daniel from the time that
he came to the shores of the Bosphorus. For the 'we' accounts
in the Vita see ch. 91, 95, 96 and note ch. I and ch. I2. There
is no reason to think that he used written sources.
It will suffice to add a brief note on the chronology of Daniel's
life as established by Père Delehaye: the Saint was born
in A.D. 409; until he was twelve years old he lived with his parents;
the next twenty-five years were spent in a monastery; then during
five years he visited the most famous ascetes of his time; at
the age of forty-two he arrived in Constantinople; after nine
years spent in what had been a pagan temple he mounted his pillar
on which he passed thirty-three years and three months. He died
at the age of eighty-four years and three months in A.D. 493.
THE LIFE AND WORKS OF OUR HOLY FATHER,
ST. DANIEL THE STYLITE
[An asterisk * indicates a note, keyed by chapter, at the end
of the life.]
BEFORE all things it is right that we should give glory to Jesus
Christ our God, Who for us was made man and for our salvation
endured all things according to the Dispensation; for His sake,
too, prophets were killed, and just men crucified themselves because
of this faith in Him and by His grace, after having kept patience
under their sufferings unswervingly unto the end, they received
a crown of glory. These men our Master and Saviour Christ gave
us as an example that we might know that it is possible for a
man by the patient endurance of his sufferings to please God and
be called His faithful servant.
For this reason I thought good to take in hand a recital of the
labours of St. Daniel, yet I do so with fear; for this man's way
of life was great and brilliant and marvellous, whereas I am but
a witless and humble person. I fear lest I should hear those words
applied to me which our Saviour spoke through the prophet David:
'But unto the sinner God saith, "Why dost thou declare my
statutes and takest my covenant in thy mouth?" '(Ps 1..16)
Yet I do not venture to dismiss in silence those narratives about
the Saint which I received from my fathers for fear lest the Lord
should justly torture me in His great and terrible day for not
having given into the bank the talent through His will entrusted
to me for the edification and profit of the many. Being thus fortified
by your prayers I will put down truthfully everything I heard
from the men who were the Saint's disciples before me and I will
also relate truly all the things I saw with my own eyes. For it
is certain that the Lord 'will surely destroy them that speak
lies'.(Ps 5.6) I therefore beseech you lovers of learning to cast
aside all thoughts of this present life and grant me your favourable
This father among saints was the son of a father named Elias and
a mother Martha; he came from a small village called Meratha (which
is, being interpreted, 'the Caves') in the territory of Samosata
in Mesopotamia. As his mother was barren and was reproached for
this by her husband and kinsfolk, she went out one day secretly
at midnight unbeknown to her husband and stretching forth her
hands to heaven, prayed saying, 'Oh Lord Jesus Christ, Who art
long-suffering towards the sins of men, Thou Who didst in the
beginning create woman to increase the race of men, do Thou Thyself
take my reproach from me and grant me fruit of my womb that I
may dedicate him to Thee, the Lord of All'. After weeping bitterly
and afflicting her soul with many lamentations, she came in to
her husband and whilst sleeping beside him saw in a vision of
the night two great circular lights coming down from heaven and
resting near her.* Next morning she related the vision to her
husband and kinsfolk and each one interpreted differently the
things she had told them. But she sighed and said to herself,
'My God to Whom I prayed will do what is best for my unhappy soul'.
And not many days later she conceived the holy man of whom we
So he was born; and when in course of time he had reached the
age of five years his parents took him with offerings of fruit
to a monastery near the village and the abbot asked them, 'By
what name is the child called?' And when the parents mentioned
some other name, the old man said, 'He shall not be called that,
but whatever the Lord shall reveal to us, that shall his name
be' . And the archimandrite said to the child in the Syrian dialect,
'Go, child, and fetch me a book from the table'. For it is a custom
in monasteries that many different books should be laid in front
of the sanctuary, and whichever book a brother wants he takes
and reads. So the child went and fetched the book of the prophet
Daniel, and from this he got that name.
But when the parents besought the abbot to receive him into the
monastery and let him stay with the brothers he could not be persuaded,
because the child was still so very young; so they took him home
again and he abode with his parents
Now when he was twelve years old* he heard his mother say 'My
child, I have dedicated you to God'. Thereupon one day without
saying anything to anybody he went out of the village for a distance
of about ten miles where there was a monastery containing fifty
brethren. And entering the monastery he fell at the abbot's feet
and begged to be received by him. But the abbot said to him, 'Child,
you are still very young in years and are not able to endure so
hard a discipline; you know nothing of the monks' life; go home,
stay with your parents and after some time when you are able both
to fast and to sing and to endure discipline, then come back to
us'. But the child answered, 'Father, I should prefer to die in
these hardships than to quit the shelter of your flock!' And when,
in spite of all he could do, the archimandrite was unable to persuade
the child, he said to the brethren, 'In truth, my children, let
us receive this boy for he seems to me to be very much in earnest'
And they all yielded to the abbot's counsel, and thus Daniel remained
in the brotherhood.
And shortly afterwards his parents, who had sought him found him
in this monastery and rejoiced with great joy, and then besought
the abbot to give him the tonsure. And he, having noticed his
advancement in godliness and good disposition, sent for him and
said, 'Child, do you wish me to give you the tonsure?' Daniel
immediately threw himself at his feet and said, 'I beseech your
Holiness, father, do it to-day!' But the abbot again said, 'You
are unable to endure the discipline' To this the boy replied,
'I know well that I am young and weak, but I trust in God and
your holy prayers, because the Lord Who accepts our purpose gives
us strength, for He is a God of purposes'. Then after blessing
him and praying fervently over him, the archimandrite with the
wisdom that had been given him by God instructed him in the things
necessary for salvation. And afterwards according to custom he
bade all the brethren gather together, and while they sang a hymn
he bestowed upon him the holy robe of the monk. And dismissing
the parents with blessings he bade them not to visit their son
While Daniel made progress in asceticism and in the splendour
of his way of life he could not bear the scrutiny and the praise
of the abbot and, still less, that of the whole brotherhood; so
he planned to go to the Holy City, Jerusalem, and at the same
time to visit the holy and thrice-blessed Simeon, the man on the
pillar, in whose footsteps he felt constrained to follow.
Therefore he began to pray the abbot of the monastery to set him
free to attain his desire, but he could not persuade him.
Soon after this, since our Master God in truth so willed it and
the need of the church demanded it, the Archbishop of that time
commanded all the archimandrites of the East to assemble in the
capital city of Antioch. And so it happened that this abbot together
with some others went, too, and amongst them he allowed the holy
man also to travel with him as his disciple.
As God granted that the matter for which they had suffered many
vexations should be brought to a satisfactory settlement, they
departed to their own monasteries; and on their way they lodged
in a village called Telanissae* where there was a very large monastery
and monks pursuing a very noble and virtuous way of life; here,
too, the afore-mentioned holy Simeon had received his training.
And when the monks there began talking about the achievements
of the holy Simeon, the monks from Mesopotamia withstood them,
contending that it was but a vainglorious proceeding. 'For', said
they, 'it is true that a man even if he were living in your midst
might practise a mode of life hitherto unknown and please God,
yet never has such a thing happened anywhere that a man should
go up and live on a pillar'.
So the monks of that monastery persuaded them to go and see what
hardships Simeon was enduring for the sake of the Lord.* And they
were persuaded and went and the holy Daniel with them. When they
arrived at the place and saw the wildness of the spot and the
height of the pillar and the fiery heat of the scorching sun and
the Saint's endurance and his welcome to strangers and further,
too, the love he shewed towards them, they were amazed.
For Simeon gave direction that the ladder be placed in position
and invited the old men to come up and kiss him. But they were
afraid and declined the ascent of the ladder- one said he was
too feeble from old age, another pleaded weakness after an illness,
and another gout in his feet. For they said to each other, 'How
can we kiss with our mouth the man that we have just been slandering
with our lips? Woe unto us for having mocked at such hardships
as these and such endurance'. Whilst they were conversing in this
manner, Daniel entreated the archimandrite and the other abbots
and Saint Simeon as well, begging to be allowed to go up to him.
On receiving permission he went up and the blessed man gave him
his benediction and said to him, 'What is your name?' and he answered,
'Daniel'. Then the holy Simeon said to him, 'Play the man, Daniel,
be strong and endure; for you have many hardships to endure for
God. But I trust that the God Whom I serve will Himself strengthen
you and be your fellow-traveller'. And placing his hand upon Daniel's
head he prayed and blessed him and bade him go down the ladder.
Then after the holy and blessed Simeon had prayed for the archimandrites
he dismissed them all in peace.
After they had all by the will of God been restored to their own
monasteries and some little time had passed, the holy man, Daniel,
was deemed worthy to be raised to the post of abbot.
Thereupon he said to himself, 'At last you are free, Daniel,*
start boldly and accomplish your purpose'. When he had made trial
of him who held the second place and found that he was able to
undertake the duties of an archimandrite, he left everything and
quitted the monastery; and when he had reached the enclosure of
the holy Simeon he stayed there two weeks.
The blessed Simeon rejoiced exceedingly when he saw him and tried
to persuade him to remain still longer, for he found great joy
in his company. But Daniel would not consent thereto but pressed
towards his goal, saying, 'Father, I am ever with you in spirit'.
So Simeon blessed him and dismissed him with the words, 'The Lord
of glory will accompany you'. Then Daniel went forth wishing to
travel to the holy places and to worship in the church of the
Holy Resurrection and afterwards to retire to the inner desert.
He heard, however, that the road to Palestine was dangerous, so
he inquired the cause of this and was told that the Samaritans*
had revolted against the Christians. But he said to himself, 'Start,
Daniel, do not swerve from your purpose, and if perchance you
may even have to die for your faith with the Christians, a great
thing is in store for you'. Whilst he was thus deliberating with
himself and walking along one fine noon-day, a monk overtook him,
a very hairy man; he appeared to be a venerable man resembling
After greeting him he said in the Syrian dialect, 'Whither are
you going, beloved?' And our Master, Daniel answered, 'I am going
to the holy places, if it is the will of God'. And the old man
replying said, 'You say rightly, "If it be the will of God",
for have you not heard of the unrest in Palestine?' Daniel, the
servant of God, answered, 'Yes, I have heard, but the Lord is
my helper and I hope to pass through unhurt, and even if we must
endure suffering, yet if we live we are the Lord's, and if we
die we pass into His hands'. The old man said to him, 'Do you
not know that it is written, "Do not let your foot be moved,
for He that keepeth thee will not slumber''?'(Ps. 121.3) To this
holy Daniel replied, 'I told your reverence before that even death
for the sake of God is good'. Then the old man waxed angry and
turned away saying, 'I cannot put up with your arguing, for such
is not our custom'. So Daniel, the servant of God, said to him,
'What do you bid me do? to return?' The old man replied, 'I do
not advise you to return for "he that putteth his hand to
the plough and turneth back is not fit for the kingdom of Heaven".(Luke
9.62) But if you will listen to me, there is one thing I advise.'
Our Master, Daniel answered, 'Indeed, sir, if you advise anything
that is possible and that I can do, that I certainly will do,
for I see that you are both a father and a teacher'. And the old
man said, 'Verily, verily, verily, behold three times I adjure
you by the Lord, do not go to those places, but go to Byzantium
and you will see a second Jerusalem, namely Constantinople; there
you can enjoy the martyrs' shrines and the great houses of prayer,
and if you wish to be an anchorite in some desert spot, either
in Thrace or in Pontus, the Lord will not desert you'.
Whilst they were speaking of these matters, they reached a monastery,
and evening had already fallen. Then holy Daniel said to the elder,
'Do you bid us lodge here?' and the old man said, 'Go in first
and I will follow'. Our Master, Daniel imagining that a bodily
need constrained him, went in first and waited, but never saw
him again;* and all this happened, beloved, because divine power
so willed it. For had not Palestine been in a troublous state
at that time, the West would never have encountered this wonderful
Of these things which I have here written down, beloved, I heard
some, as I told you before, from those who were the Saint's disciples
before me ;* others from trustworthy men who followed the footsteps
of the Saint from the beginning; and yet others I heard myself
when our good shepherd related them with his own mouth-not indeed
in order that we should commit them to writing, for he did not
wish to receive glory from men but looked to his reward from God-but
when he confirmed and comforted us and continually counselled
us to abide patiently under our sufferings. And that you, beloved,
may know that what I say is true, there are still living some
of the devout men who frequently visited the enclosure of the
Saint who bear in memory that which I will now relate, how that
a certain disciple of the Saint's thinking he would achieve a
work of piety and edification, sent for a painter and [Another
reading says: 'And had the events which occurred in the reign
of Basiliscus painted"] had the portrait of the Saint
painted above the porch at the entry to the chapel in the quarter
of the city named after Basiliscus*, and he himself also wished
to write the life of the Saint. But when our most saintly father
heard of it he was exceedingly angry and ordered the painting
to be wiped off, and the papers to be thrown into the fire, so
determined was the servant of God not to receive glory from men.-Let
us now return to our subject.
When Daniel had entered the monastery and had saluted the abbot
and the brethren there, they asked him to partake of food. But
he replied that he had an old man with him and must wait for him.
So they all waited patiently for several hours and as he did not
appear they decided he must be lodging in another monastery, so
after giving thanks they took their supper. And after supper when
the monks were sleeping, the old man came in a vision, they say,
and spoke thus to the holy man, 'Again I say unto you, do that
which I counselled you to do'. Therefore, on awakening Daniel
debated within himself what was this aged counsellor-man or angel?
Then saying nothing to anybody about this, but bidding them all
farewell after the psalm-singing in the night and having received
their 'God speed you!' he left the monastery and started on the
road to Byzantium. When he reached a place called Anaplus* where
there was an oratory dedicated to the archangel Michael he spent
seven days there in this oratory.
Once he heard some men conversing in the Syrian dialect and saying
that there was a church in that place inhabited by demons who
often sank ships and had injured, and still were injuring, many
of the passers-by, and that it was impossible for anyone to walk
along that road in the evening or even at noonday.
As everybody was continually complaining about the destructive
power which had occupied the place, the divine spirit came upon
Daniel and he called to mind that great man, Antony, the model
of asceticism [and Paul, his disciple] ;* he remembered their
struggles against demons and the many temptations they suffered
from them and how they had overcome them by the strength of Christ
and were deemed worthy of great crowns. Then he asked a man who
understood the Syrian dialect about this church and begged him
to show him the spot.
On reaching the porch of the church, just as a brave soldier strips
himself for battle before venturing against a host of barbarians,
so he, too, entered the church reciting the words spoken by the
prophet, David, in the Psalms: 'The Lord is my light and my saviour,
whom shall I fear? the Lord is the defender of my life, of whom
shall I be afraid?' (ps. 27:1) and the rest. And holding the invincible
weapon of the Cross, he went round into each corner of the church
making genuflections and prayers .
When night fell, stones, they say, were thrown at him and there
was the sound of a multitude knocking and making an uproar; but
he persevered in prayer. In this way he spent the first night
and the second; but on the third night sleep overpowered him,
as it might overtake any man bearing the weakness of the flesh.
And straightway many phantoms appeared as of giant shapes some
of whom said, 'Who induced you to take possession of this place,
poor wretch? do you wish to perish miserably? Come, let us drag
him out and throw him into the water!' Again, others carrying,
as it seemed, large stones stood at his head, apparently intending
to crush it to pieces. On waking, the athlete of Christ again
went round the corners of the church praying and singing and saying
to the spirits, 'Depart from hence ! if you do not, then by the
strength of the Cross you shall be devoured by flames and thus
be forced to flee'. But they made a still greater uproar and howled
the louder. But he despised them and taking not the slightest
notice of their uproar, he bolted the door of the church and left
a small window* through which he would converse with the people
that came up to see him.
In the meantime his fame had spread abroad in those regions, and
you could see men and women with their children streaming up to
see the holy man and marvelling that the place formerly so wild
and impassable lay in such perfect calm, and that where demons
danced lately, there by the patience of the just man Christ was
now glorified day and night.
Now the priests of the Church of the Archangel Michael lived nearby
and they were simple folk. So when the envious demon who hates
the good saw such victories gained through the power of Christ,
he was mad with rage and suggested to the minds of the priests
an argument that ran like this: 'It is no good thing that you
are doing in letting the man dwell there; for just look how all
the world goes to him and you in consequence remain with nothing
to do.* You had better go to the city and say to your bishop,
"Some man, come from we know not where, has shut himself
in near us and he is attracting people to him, although he is
a heretic. But he is a Syrian by birth and so we are unable to
hold converse with him."' Having reasoned thus among themselves
the priests went in and reported the matter to the man who was
then the bishop, namely the blessed Anatolius, the Patriarch of
Constantinople.* But the Archbishop said to them, 'If you do not
understand his language, how do you know that he is a heretic?
Leave him alone, for if he has been sent by God he will be established;
but, if it is otherwise, he will go away of his own accord before
you chase him out. Do not bring a scandal upon us and yourselves'.
With these words he dismissed them. And they went home and kept
quiet for a time.
But when the demons saw that they were accomplishing nothing,
they again rose in rebellion against the servant of God and brought
phantoms before him, carrying, it is said, naked swords, and crying,
'Whence have you come, man? give place to us for we have been
living here for a long time. Do you wish your limbs to be cut
in pieces?' And then, it is said, they came towards him with their
swords and spoke again saying to one another, 'Do not let us slay
him, but let us drag him along and cast him into the water where
we sank the ship 1' And they made as though they would drag him
away. But the servant of God arose, and after uttering a prayer
he said to them, 'Jesus Christ my Saviour, in Whom I have trusted
and do trust, He will Himself drown you all in the deepest abyss.'
A great howling arose and they flew round his face like a swarm
of bats and with a whir of wings went out of the window, and so
he drove them all forth by the power of God through prayer.
The Devil, seeing that once more his ministers had been routed,
again stirred up the priests to go to the Archbishop; and they
said to him: 'Master, you have authority over us; we cannot bear
that man, bid him come away from that church, for he is an impostor.'
Then the blessed Anatolius sent the officer of the most Holy Church
with the deacons and in the night they burst open with crowbars
the door which the Saint had closed and brought him to the City.
When the Saint was brought before the holy and blessed Anatolius
in his palace, the Archbishop asked him 'Who are you? and whence
have you come to these parts and what is your belief?-tell us.'
And the servant of God declared his blameless faith by means of
an interpreter and the blessed Anatolius stood up and embraced
him and besought him to remain in the palace, but the men who
had brought him he dismissed, saying, 'Go, hold your peace, for
I find great edification in this man'. So they left him there
in the bishop's palace and went their ways.
In the meantime the Bishop fell into a very severe illness, so
he sent for the holy man and begged him to offer prayers on his
behalf that he might be freed from the illness. And, since it
so pleased the Divine Power, after the Saint had made his prayer,
the Bishop was cured of his illness by God's good pleasure. Thus
the words of the psalm were fulfilled towards the Saint: 'He will
perform the desire of them that fear Him, He also will hear their
cry and will save them.' (Ps. 114:19) After the Bishop's recovery
the servant of God asked to be allowed to depart; but the Archbishop
would not agree thereto and said 'I wish you to live with me'.
Then he again begged to be allowed to go, and asked him to grant
pardon to the men who had slandered him to the Bishop, for the
latter was threatening to excommunicate them. And the Bishop said,
'I must ask pardon of you, servant of God, for your arrest, but
God has made your presence here a great blessing to me, for if
your holiness had not settled there, I should certainly have departed
this life'. He also implored him to let him build a cell for him
saying, 'Since I am unable to persuade you to live here with me,
if you will let me I will build you a small monastery,* for our
most Holy Church has many a suitable spot in the suburbs of the
city. Go out and look at them and whatever pleases you, I will
give you'. But the holy man replied, 'If you really wish to do
me a service, I beseech your Holiness to send me to the place
to which God led me'. Finally the Bishop bade him be taken back
with great respect and settled in the aforementioned church. Then
the people could be seen flocking to the holy man again with joy
and delight and many were granted healing so that all marvelled
at the merciful grace of our Master Christ which He poured out
upon His servant. And even those who had formerly wished to persecute
him did not cease serving him and in all ways caring for the holy
man. And he did as he had done formerly-he bolted the door and
left only a small window open* through which he spoke, instructing
and blessing the people, as I said before.
After a space of nine years had elapsed, the servant of God fell
into an ecstasy, as it were, and saw a huge pillar of cloud standing
opposite him and the holy and blessed Simeon standing above the
head of the column and two men of goodly appearance, clad in white,
standing near him in the heights. And he heard the voice of the
holy and blessed Simeon saying to him, 'Come here to me, Daniel'.
And he said, 'Father, father, and how can I get up to that height?'
Then the Saint said to the young men standing near him, 'Go down
and bring him up to me'. So the men came down and brought Daniel
up to him and he stood there. Then Simeon took him in his arms
and kissed him with a holy kiss, and then others called him away,
and escorted by them he was borne up to heaven leaving Daniel
on the column with the two men. When holy Daniel saw him being
carried up to heaven he hard the voice of Saint Simeon, 'Stand
firm and play the man'. But he was confused by fear and by that
fearful voice, for it was like thunder in his ears. When he came
to himself again he declared the vision to those around him. Then
they, too, said to the holy man, 'You must mount on to a pillar
and take up Saint Simeon's mode of life and be supported by the
angels'. The blessed one said, 'Let the will of God, our Master,
be done upon His servant'. And taking the holy Gospel into his
hands and opening it with prayer he found the place in which was
written, (Luke 1:76) 'And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet
of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord
to prepare His ways'. And he gave thanks and closed the book.
Not many days later a monk came from the East by name Sergius,
a disciple of Saint Simeon, annou1lcing the good end of the Saint's
life and carrying in his hands Saint Simeon's leather tunic* in
order to give it to the blessed Emperor Leo by way of benediction.
But as the Emperor was busy with public affairs, the aforesaid
Sergius could not get a hearing, or rather it was God who so arranged
it in order that the new Elisha might receive the mantle of Elijah.
When Sergius grew weary of waiting in the City because he could
not obtain a hearing, he decided to go as far as the monastery
of the Akoimetoi (The Sleepless ones): now it was not possible
for anyone to reach that monastery except by passing the church
and the channel by it, as there was generally a north wind blowing.
When he had entered into the boat with many others, men and women,
they set sail. On reaching the spot where the demons used formerly
to hurl stones at the passengers and continually sank their boats,
those in the boat gave thanks to God and made mention of the holy
Sergius inquired who he was, for said he, 'I should like to be
blessed by him'. They answered 'Whilst the sailors tow the boat
past, we can all land and go up to him.' And this they did. And
Sergius came and embraced the Saint. And whilst they were talking
and Daniel, the servant of God, was hearing about the end of the
holy Simeon he related his vision to Sergius, who on hearing it
said, 'It is to thee rather than to the Emperor that God has sent
me; for here am I, the disciple of thy father; here, too, is his
benediction'. And taking out the tunic he handed it in through
the window. The Saint took it and kissing it with tears said,
'Blessed be Thou, O God, Who dost all things after Thy will and
hast deemed my humbleness worthy of the benediction which Thy
servant has brought'. Then some men from the ship upbraided Sergius
for delaying and preventing them from sailing; to them Sergius
answered, 'Go on your ways and fare well; God has led me from
one father to another'.
From that day he remained near the blessed Daniel, and Sergius
saw the following vision. Three young men, it seemed, came to
him and said, 'Arise, say unto father Daniel "The appointed
time of thy discipline in this church is now fulfilled, from henceforth
leave the church, come hither and begin thy contest".' When
he awoke he related what he had seen. The blessed Daniel said
to him, 'Brother, the Lord has revealed quite clearly to us what
should be done, for this dream which your Piety saw fits in with
the vision which I saw; be ready therefore to endure hardships
for the Lord and come up on the hill and we will search out the
more desolate and higher lying spots in these parts and judge
where we ought to set up a column. For it was not without a purpose
that God guided you to bring to my unworthiness the father's garment'.
Whilst the blessed Daniel was saying this to Sergius, lo! a certain
imperial guardsman,* by name Mark, who had been a friend of the
holy man from the beginning joined them; and now, knowing his
intention from the conversation he had overheard, besought Daniel
to allow him to provide the column. The blessed Daniel said to
him, 'Behold God has sent you according to your faith, my son
Mark, so that you may be the pioneer in this good work; pray therefore
that the good Lord may also grant us endurance.'
After the guardsman had embraced the holy man and sailed away,
Sergius went up to view the spot where the column was to be set;
and a short distance away he saw a white dove fluttering* and
then settling again. Thinking it was caught in a snare he ran
towards it, and then it flew up and away out of his sight. Seeing
that the place was solitary and considering the incident of the
dove that it had not been shown to him casually or by chance,
he gave thanks to the Lord and returned to the holy man in the
church bringing him the glad tidings that the Lord had prepared
for them a suitable place. Then he, too, gave thanks to the Lord
Who brings all things to pass according to His will.
And indeed after two days men came back from the city carrying
the pillar; there were with them two workmen sent by the guardsman
to fix the column in whatever place it was desired. So Sergius
went up with them by night and they fixed the pillar and came
back reporting that the pillar was erected. Daniel gave them his
blessing and sent his blessing to the guardsman, and then dismissed
them. And the blessed Daniel said to Sergius, 'We do not know
the measure of the circumference of the pillar'. But Sergius was
unwilling to go up again and take the measurement of the column.
However, the blessed man had another disciple dwelling near him
by name Daniel, him he bade go up and take the measurement of
the column. So he went up and as he was measuring the column,
he was seen by the men who were guarding the vineyards in the
neighbouring field which belonged to Gelanius, who at that time
was steward of the sacred table* to the most pious Emperor Leo.
They ran up and held him and asked, 'Whence are you and by whose
authority are you taking the measurements of the column?' He answered
them, 'I am not a stranger, I belong to the father Daniel who
lives in the church and I have come upon his business. And when
I saw the column I was delighted'. And when they heard his answer
they let him go. And the brother went back to the City to a place
called 'The Three Crosses', and ordered a balustrade, and took
it with him. Afterwards he related to Daniel everything that had
happened to him and the answer he had given to the men. The blessed
man replied, 'The will of the Lord be done !'
And it came to pass after three days when night had fallen they
opened the church in which Daniel was shut up, and taking the
brother he went up to the spot-for Sergius had departed to another
place Thrace-wards-and they found a long plank lying there which
the inhabitants of the suburb had prepared for knocking down the
column. This they bound with a rope and stood it up against the
column, and then went up and put the balustrade on the column,
for that column was not really high, only about the height of
two men. When they had fitted the balustrade and bound it firmly
with a rope they knelt and prayed to God. And the blessed Daniel
went up and stood on the column inside the balustrade and said,
'Oh Lord Jesus Christ, in Thy holy name, I am entering upon this
contest; do Thou approve my purpose and help me to accomplish
my course'. And he said to the brother, 'Take away the plank and
the rest of the rope and get away quickly so that if anybody comes
he may not find you'. And the brother did as he was told.
The next morning the husbandmen came and when they saw Daniel
they were amazed; for the sight was a strange one, and they came
near him, and when they looked on him they recognized him as the
man who had formerly been in the church. After having received
the Saint's blessing they left him and went to the City and reported
to Gelanius, the owner of the property. On hearing their news
he was very angry with them for not having guarded that part of
his land; and he was also annoyed with the blessed Daniel for
having done this without his consent. And he went and reported
the matter to the blessed Emperor Leo and the Archbishop Gennadius,
for the blessed Anatolius had already gone to his rest.* The Emperor
for his part said nothing. But the Archbishop said to him, 'As
master of the property, fetch him down; for where he was he had
no right to be, but he was not there on my authority'.
Then Gelanius took several men with him and went up to the servant
of God, and, although it was a calm day and the air was still,
yet it came to pass that suddenly the clouds gathered and a storm
arose accompanied with hail so that all the fruit of the vineyards
was destroyed and the leaves were stripped from the vines, for
it was the time of the vintage. And it was only with difficulty
that the men who were with Gelanius got away and they muttered
amongst themselves, for they were astonished at the strangeness
of the sight.
Gelanius then approached the blessed man and said, 'Who gave you
permission to take up your stand on land belonging to me? Was
it not better for you in the church?-but since you have shown
contempt of me, the owner of the property, and have taken no account
of the Emperor and the Archbishop, let me tell you that I have
been empowered by them to fetch you down.
But when he persisted and repeated his demands it seemed an unjust
and illegal proceeding to his companions and they opposed its
being done, 'Because', said they, 'the Emperor himself is a pious
man and this man is orthodox and this spot lies at a distance
from your field'. When Gelanius perceived that there would be
a disturbance he said to the Saint in the Syrian language-for
by birth he was a Syro-Persian* from Mesopotamia-'Please pretend
to come down for the sake of those who ordered you to descend,
and then I will not allow you really to touch the ground.' So
then a ladder was brought and Daniel came down about six rungs
from the column. There were still several rungs before he actually
reached the ground, when Gelanius ran forward and prevented his
coming down the last rungs,* saying, 'Return to your dwelling
and your place and pray for me'. For as Daniel was coming down
he had noticed that sores and swellings had begun to appear on
his feet, and he was distressed. And the blessed man went up the
rungs of the ladder down which he had come, and stood inside the
balustrade on the column; and after offering prayer. all received
his blessing and went down from the hill in peace. So Gelanius,
when he had reached the capital, reported everything to the Emperor
telling him of the patience and endurance of the man so that he
won the Emperor s pity for him.
Not many days later Gelanius went up to the Saint asking him to
allow him to change the column and have a very large one placed
for him. And lo! while they were conversing a certain Sergius
arrived from the parts about Thrace, a lawyer by profession, bringing
with him a very young boy, his only son, by name John, who was
grievously tormented by a demon. This man came and threw himself
to the ground in front of the column, weeping and lamenting and
crying out, saying, 'Have pity upon my son, oh servant of God;
it is now thirty days since the unclean spirit first called upon
the name of your Holiness; and after inquiring for you through
eight long days, we have come to claim your blessing'. When Gelanius
heard this and saw the old man afflicting himself thus out of
pity [or, by altering the punctuation, '
he, too, was moved with sympathy for him] he, too, was affected
and burst into tears. And the holy Daniel said to the old man,
'He that asketh in faith receives all from God; if therefore you
believe that through me a sinner, God will heal your son, according
to your faith it shall be given unto you'. And he bade the young
man approach; and he drew near and stood before the column. And
the Saint bade them give him a drink of the oil of the saints.
And it came to pass when they gave him to drink that the demon
threw him to the ground and there he rolled in their midst. Then
the evil spirit rose up and shouted swearing that he would go
out on that very day a week hence. (see Ch.. 23)
Gelanius was amazed when he saw this and besought the holy man
to agree to a new column being brought; and when the Saint yielded
to his entreaties Gelanius went home after receiving a blessing.
And on the following day he sent stones for the steps, and the
base together with the column itself and the workmen and all the
things necessary for fixing it, and for a week they were at work
preparing the foundation and erecting the column. While this work
was in progress Sergius returned from Thrace and the blessed Daniel
said to him, 'Oh faint-hearted, why did you desert me?' Sergius
fell down and received forgiveness and remained with him again.
And the other brother, seeing that the Lord made all things prosper
for the Saint, fashioned for himself a booth of branches and dwelt
there near the Saint opposite the column. And by the grace of
God the number of disciples increased and Sergius was made their
superior as he was qualified by his age and had been the disciple
of Saint Simeon.
In the meantime there came to the Saint one Cyrus,* an exconsul
and ex-pretorian prefect. He was a very trustworthy and wise man
who had passed through all the grades of oice owing to his extreme
sagacity. But late in life he suffered from a plot hatched by
Chrysaphius,* the Spatharius, and was sent as bishop to a small
town, namely to Cotyaeum in Phrygia, and realizing the treachery
of Chrysaphius he yielded so as not to bring his life to a miserable
end. After the death of the Emperor Theodosius he divested himself
of his priestly dignity and resumed his secular rank and so continued
to the end of his life, for he lived till the reign of Leo of
most pious memory. He used to distribute all his belongings to
the poor. This man Cyrus, had a daughter called Alexandria who
was afflicted by an evil spirit, and he had brought her to the
holy man Daniel when the latter was still at the foot of the hill
in the church, and thanks to the intercessions of the archangels
and the tears and prayers of the holy man the Lord freed her from
the demon within seven days. Consequently from that time forth
the two men had a passionate affection for each other.
So when Cyrus came and found that the column had been erected,
he inquired who had placed it and hearing that it was Gelanius,
the steward at the imperial court,* to whom the lands also belonged,
at first he was indignant that Daniel should have allowed this
to be done by one who had shown him such insolence. 'Should not
I far rather have been allowed to do this, if anything else was
wanted?' Then the Saint began to beg and beseech him saying, 'All
people everywhere proclaim your good will towards me; I accepted
this column from Gelanius in order that I might not offend him.
The God Whom I serve will recompense you with good things according
to your faitll'. And after giving him his blessing he dismissed
And it came to pass that on the following day, Saturday, Gelanius
came with a large company to remove the Saint to the larger column;
and as they were about to transfer the servant of God from pillar
to pillar, the demon in Sergius' son (see ch. 29) became agitated,
for he was being forced to go out of him, and he cried with a
loud voice saying, 'Oh, the violence of this false magician! When
he was still in the church he drove me out of Cyrus' daughter;
so I went away to Thrace and found a dwelling in this young man;
and behold, he has brought me here from Thrace and now he persecutes
me. What have you to do with me, Daniel?-oh violence! I must come
out from this one, too !' and after reviling the Saint furiously
and afflicting the young man he came out of him by the power of
the Lord. As the demon came out, he created such a stench that
all the crowds present could not endure the stench and had to
cover their noses; and the young man lay on the ground with his
mouth open so that all said he was dead and his father beat his
breast as if over a corpse. Then the holy Daniel said to Sergius,
'Make him sit up and give him to drink of the oil of the saints'.
And as the boy drank, vomiting came upon him and he brought up
black clotted blood. Then the servant of God cried from above
with a loud voice saying, 'John, what ails you? stand up!' And
immediately, as if awakened from sleep, the boy said, 'What is
your will, master?' and He ran forward and embraced the column,
giving thanks to God and the Saint. And fear seized upon them
all and for a long space of time they stretched out their hands
to heaven and with tears kept shouting the 'Kyrie, eleison' (Lord,
Then with great ceremony and with an escort to guard him Daniel
moved on to the taller column. And Gelanius, having seen the wonderful
works of God, went down from the hill and related everything in
detail to the Emperor and to all the great folk of the Court.
The young man who had been cured fell at his father's feet and
implored him to entreat the servant of God to grant him the holy
robe of a monk and, as the old man could not be persuaded because
he wished to keep his son near him, the son protested saying,
'If you will not do this, then I shall go away secretly to some
other place where you will not even be able to see me'. In this
way he persuaded his father who then petitioned the holy man who
received his son and bade him live with the brethren. After a
year had been fulfilled and the young man by the grace of God
was making progress towards the good way of life the holy man
sent for his father and gave the son the holy robe. Then the father
was content and returned to his home rejoicing and glorifying
God. After three years the young man passed away and went to the
Lord after having lived a good life.
And when these things had thus been auspiciously accomplished
Eudoxia* of pious memory came from Africa and heard all about
this holy man from her own son-in-law Olybrius* of glorious memory;
she rejoiced greatly and visited the Saint's enclosure.
And after prayers had been offered and she had been blessed by
him she said, 'Everything I heard from my son Olybrius I have
found more abundantly in your angelic presence* and the prophecies
which you announced to him about my coming here when you were
still in the church are also known to me. On that account am I
come both to enjoy seeing you face to face and to receive a perfect
blessing. Now I have many convenient lands here, therefore, if
it is to your liking, I beg you to move on to land that belongs
to me, for by so doing you would cause me great content of spirit'.
But the Saint replied to her, 'May the God, Who has shown us sinners
the face of your Piety in the flesh, grant you together with an
earthly kingdom a heavenly and eternal one according to your faith.
But as regards my removal you will remember that our Lord told
us (1. Cor 7:24) not to move from place to place, but where each
man is called-provided only that the place be pleasing to God-there,
too, let him practise to remain until he leave this tabernacle;
therefore as the Lord has once planted me here, it is not permissible
for me to move from here. For as your Piety sees, this place is
barren and I must not seek a pleasant resting-place'. When Eudoxia,
the most faithful Empress, heard these words she was edified by
them all and, having paid him reverence with all good-will, she
came down from the hill.
On the following day there happened to come the elder daughter
of Cyrus, the eminent man of whom we have already spoken,* and
she had an evil spirit; and after staying some time in the enclosure
she obtained healing through God. After his daughter had been
freed from the demon and returned to her home, the most distinguished
man, Cyrus, whom we have often mentioned, came giving thanks to
God and to the Saint and asked to be allowed to put an inscription
on the column. Though the just man did not wish this to be done,
yet, being hard pressed by Cyrus and not wishing to grieve him,
he allowed him to do it. So he had carved on the column the following
Standing twixt earth and heaven a man you see
Who fears no gales that all about him fret;
Daniel his name. Great Simeon's rival he
Upon a double column firm his feet are set;
Ambrosial hunger, bloodless thirst support his frame
And thus the Virgin Mother's Son he doth proclaim.*
These verses are still inscribed on the column and thus preserve
the memory of the man in whose honour they were written.
Things were in this state when a certain elder born in Pontus
came to the Saint's enclosure bringing with him his son, a young
man of about twenty years old, who was afflicted by an evil spirit.
And this evil spirit was deaf and dumb. Then the father fell down
before Daniel begging him to heal his son. Now while the father
and his son were still on their way the Saint saw the young man
being held fast by his own servants. And knowing in his spirit
why the man was coming, he besought God for him and asked that
He would give him a speedy healing. In consequence the demon was
greatly agitated and having wrenched the young man from the grasp
of the servants who were holding him he dashed away from them.
It was Sunday and thus by the providence of God the ladder was
necessarily standing against the column. And the young man rushed
headlong to the ladder and climbed up it, but before he had gone
half way up he was cleansed and descended in perfect health and
stood in front of the column with his father glorifying God; and
other signs, too, God did at Daniel's hands.
Now the blessed Emperor Leo* of pious memory had heard from many
of these things and desired for a long time to see the man. Therefore
he sent for the pious Sergius, who carried the Saint's messages,
and through him he asked that the Saint would pray and beseech
God to grant him a son. And Daniel prayed, and through God's good
pleasure the Emperor's wife, the Empress Verina,* thereafter conceived
and begot a son- whereupon the Emperor immediately sent and had
the foundations laid of a third column.
Now the demon of envy could not control his envy so he found an
instrument worthy of his evil designs. A certain harlot,* Basiane,
who had lately come to Constantinople from the East, entrapped
many of those who hunted after women of her sort. The sons of
some heretics summoned her and made the following suggestion to
her: 'If you can in any way bring a scandal upon the man who stands
on the pillar in Anaplus* or upon any of those who are with him,
we will pay you a hundred gold pieces.' The shameless woman agreed
and went up to the holy man with much parade and took with her
a crowd of young men and prostitutes and simulated illness and
remained in the suburb opposite the Saint's enclosure. And though
she stayed there no little time she spent her time in vain. As
she was anxious to get possession of the money she went down to
the city and plotted after this fashion. To her lovers she said,
'I managed to seduce the man, for he became enamoured of my beauty
and ordered his disciples to bring me up to him by means of the
ladder; but as I would not consent, the men there planned to lie
in wait and kill me; and it is with difficulty that I have escaped
from their hands'. When her lovers heard this they thought they
had gained their object and imparted the news to all their fellow
conspirators. And thereupon as the report spread you could have
seen a war between the believers and unbelievers. While matters
were in this state, God Who rejoices in the truth and ever defends
His servants, brought it about that the abandoned woman, Basiane,
should be tormented by an evil demon in the middle of the City
and then and there should proclaim her plot and the wrong which
the licentious men had suggested to her against the righteous
Daniel, promising her money if she were successful. And not only
did she make public their names, shouting them for all to hear,
but their rank also. Then could be seen a change in the ordering
of affairs, for the faithful now rejoiced, whilst the faithless
who had threatened to throw stones against the just man were put
While she was being chastised terribly for many days, the Christ-loving
inhabitants of the City took pity upon her and led her away to
the Saint and importuned him to pray to God on her behalf that
she might obtain healing. But the servant of God said to them,
'Believe me, beloved, the former calumnies have now become as
it were blessings to me; for neither does a man who is praised
falsely benefit thereby nor does he sustain any injury who is
slandered unjustly. For he who has entrusted his soul to God rejoices
rather in false calumnies-for they procure a reward for him-than
in true praises which swell and puff up the mind'. After these
words as they all besought him to bear no malice against her,
because they saw the wretched woman being so afflicted before
the column, he
bade them all stand for prayer. And stretching out his hands to
heaven in the sight of them all, he besought God with tears for
many hours that she might be healed. And it came to pass, as he
prayed, that the demon cast her to the ground and came out of
her in that same hour; and he bade them give her to drink from
the oil of the saints. And when she came to herself she stood
up and embraced the pillar weeping and praising God. And all those
who were present gave thanks to God Who had granted such grace
to the holy man: and they took her and went away with rejoicing.
About that time it was revealed to the holy man by the power of
God that very great wrath from heaven was about to descend upon
the city, and he made this known to the blessed Archbishop Gennadius,*
and also to the Emperor, begging them to order rites of intercession
concerning this. But as the feast of the saving Passion of Christ
was at hand, they did not wish to disturb the people and cause
sorrow to reign through the whole city during the feast. And when
the holy feast was past, the matter was not remembered any more.*
Thereafter the blessed Emperor Leo of pious memory reflected that
he had often put Daniel to the test and had obtained many benefits
through his holy prayers; so, through a guardsman,* he sent a
message to the Archbishop, of whom I have already spoken, saying,
'Go up to the holy man and honour him with the rank of priest'.-But
the Archbishop was unwilling and sent various excuses to the most
pious Emperor through the messenger. The Emperor waxed indignant
at the delay and sent again to the blessed Gennadius saying, 'If
you intend to go up, do so, for I myself am going and the will
of God is coming to pass'. Then the Bishop was afraid, so he took
some of the clerics with him, and came to the holy man's enclosure.
The reason of his coming had been made known to the holy man beforehand.
The Archbishop said, 'Father, bless your children'. The holy man
replied, 'Your Holiness must bless both me and them'. The blessed
Gennadius said 'For a long time I have wished to come up and enjoy
your prayers; I pray you order the ladder to be placed so that
I may come up and receive a full blessing, for God will convince
your Holiness that it is through my being busied with the manifold
needs of the Church that I have not been able to do this long
ago'. But the servant of God having heard these words, though
the Archbishop continued to implore him to allow the ladder to
be set against the column, yet refused to make any further answer.
Whilst all those present continued to importune Daniel and the
just man still refused to consent, the day was slipping by; and
as the crowd was tormented with thirst owing to the heat and the
Archbishop saw that he was not achieving anything, he bade the
Archdeacon offer a prayer; he himself stood and uttered a further
prayer and through the prayer ordained the holy man to be a priest
and said, 'Bless us, sir priest; from henceforth you are a priest
by the grace of Christ; for when I had prayed God laid His hand
upon you from above'.* And for a long time the crowd shouted,
'Worthy is he'. Afterwards all, together with the Archbishop,
besought the holy man saying, 'Order the ladder to be put in position,
seeing that you have now become what you wished to avoid'. On
the just man's giving permission for this to be done, the Archbishop
mounted the ladder holding in his hand the chalice of the Holy
Body and the Precious Blood of our good Mediator Jesus Christ
our God. After saluting each other with a holy kiss, they received
the communion at each other's hands. Then the Archbishop descended
from the hill and entering the palace reported all that had happened
to the Emperor.
And the blessed Leo of pious memory rejoiced in these doings;
and not long afterwards he visited the place in which the holy
man dwelt and asked for the ladder to be set so that he might
go up and be blessed. When the ladder was placed, the Emperor
went up to the servant of God and begged to touch his feet; but
on approaching them and seeing their mortified and swollen state
he was amazed and marvelled at the just man's endurance. He glorified
God and begged the holy man that he might set up a double column
and that Daniel would take his stand upon it. [And when this double
column had been set up] the Bishop and almost the whole city came
up and people, too, from the opposite shore. As the Emperor Leo
importuned him incessantly to cross over on to it there and then,
the servant of God bade planks to be laid to form a bridge from
one ladder to another. This being done, the holy man walked across
to the double column. And on that day so many received healing
that all were astonished.
And it came to pass shortly afterwards that there was a great
fire in the capital.* So all the inhabitants were in great distress
and the majority had to flee from the city. They made their way
to the holy man and each of them implored him to placate God's
anger so that the fire should cease. At the same time they would
relate to him the personal misfortunes they had suffered; one
would say, 'I have been stripped bare of great possessions'; another,
'As the fire was far off I felt no uneasiness but slept with my
wife and children; but suddenly the catastrophe overtook me and
now I am a widower and childless, and have barely escaped being
burnt alive'. Or again another, 'I ran away from that terrible
danger only to suffer shipwreck of my scanty belongings'. The
holy man wept with them and said, 'The merciful God wished to
spare you in His goodness and made these things known beforehand
and He did not keep silence concerning it ;* you should therefore
have importuned God and escaped His terrible wrath. For once upon
a time when the Ninevites were warned by the prophet that destruction
threatened them, they escaped it by repenting. I was not vexed
by the thought that God's mercy might prove me to be a false prophet;
for I had as an example the prophet who was angry because of the
gourd; and now I beg you bear with gratitude that which God has
sent. For a master is most truly served when he sees his servant
bearing chastisement gratefully; and then he deems him worthy
not only of his former honour but even of greater by reason of
his goodwill towards him'. And many other words of counsel he
spoke unto them and turned their hopelessness into hopefulness
and then dismissed them saying, 'The city will be afflicted for
When the fire had ceased, fear seized upon all the citizens. And
then the most blessed Emperor Leo of pious memory took his wife
and went up and did reverence to the servant of God and said,
'This wrath was caused by our carelessness; I therefore beg you
pray to God to be merciful to us in the future'.- Now consider,
dear reader, how the saying of the holy man's mother was fulfilled.
For now he received the adoration of the two lights which his
mother had seen over her bed in a vision of the night.*-After
all had with one accord received a blessing, the Emperor lodged
in the palace of St. Michael, which was about one mile distant
near the sea.
One day a terrific storm arose and as for some reason the column
had not been properly secured, it was torn from its supports on
either side by the violence of the winds and was only kept together
by the iron bar which held the two columns in the middle. Thus
you could see the double column swaying to and fro with the just
man; for when the south wind blew it leant over to the left side,
but when the north wind blew it inclined to the right, and streams
of water poured down like rivers, and the base was getting shattered,
for the violent winds were accompanied by thunderstorms. His disciples
sought to underpin it with iron bars, but one swing of the column
smashed them, too, and very nearly killed the men who tried to
withstand it. Their shouts were mingled with their tears, for
they were likely to suffer the loss of their father, and in their
distracted state one ordered one thing and another. By this time
they had all become pretty well desperate; there they stood trembling
and aghast, turning their head from side to side as the column
swayed now this way and now that, following with their eyes to
see in what direction the corpse of the just man would be hurled
with the column. But the servant of God answered not a word to
anyone but persevered in prayer and invocations to God for aid;
and through His compassion the merciful God caused the danger
to cease by sending a calm.
On the following day the Emperor sent his chamberlain,* Andreas
by name, to inquire whether the holy man had suffered any harm
from the violence of the winds. When the messenger came up and
saw the extremity of the danger through which the just man had
passed he went back and reported it to the Emperor. When he heard
it he was furious against the architect who had laid the foundation
of the column so badly and the Emperor purposed to put him to
death. He went up at once in all haste and when he saw with his
own eyes how the column had been shaken and what the holy man
had endured, he was amazed and all present glorified God. And
the Emperor said to the holy man, 'For all that man could do,
you were helpless and in sore peril, but as you had God to support
you, you have triumphed over the plot of the devisers of evil'.
Hearing of the Emperor's threat against the architect, the servant
of God begged the Emperor not to do him any harm. And so a pardon
was granted him, and instructions were given that the column should
be fixed securely; and this was done.
As the Emperor was on the point of leaving, the Devil, who is
ever envious of the good, devised against him a dangerous snare
because of the so great affection which he cherished for the holy
man; for the horse he was riding shied and reared, and then fell
to the ground on its back together with its rider. The curved
edge of the saddle caught the Emperor's face and grazed it a little
and the crown which he was wearing was shot from his head, and
some of the pearls which hung over the back of his neck were dashed
from their setting. The Emperor by the will of God was preserved
unhurt, and after he had gone down to the City a special act of
grace was shown by God. For the Emperor was angry with the general,
Jordanes*, who was his count of the stable, and the latter, seized
with fear on hearing his threats, took refuge in the holy man's
enclosure and obediently listening to the just man's counsel,
he renounced the doctrine of the Arians and joined the community
of the Orthodox faith. At the same time the Emperor was reconciled
to him; for when he of pious memory heard that the holy man was
anxious about the accident which he had sustained on riding home
he immediately sent Calapodius, his head chamberlain, to reassure
the servant of God and say, 'Your angelic presence* must not have
any anxiety about me, for through your holy prayers I was preserved
unhurt, and I know now why I had that accident, for when visiting
your Holiness I ought not to have mounted my horse so long as
you could see me; but, I beg you, pray earnestly to God to forgive
me for my ignorance'.
Remark now, dear readers, the Wicked One's disgrace!- for just
as he thought he would have some success, he was still further
disgraced, for the aforementioned most pious Emperor built a palace
close to the church of St. Michael and spent the greater part
of his days there and became the holy man's inseparable companion.
And in future as soon as he perceived the just man from a distance
he alighted from his horse; similarly, too, when he went down
from the hill, he did not mount until he was hidden from his sight.
It happened about the same time that Gubazius,* the king of the
Lazi arrived at the court of the Emperor Leo, who took him up
to visit the holy man. When he saw this strange sight Gubazius
threw himself on his face and said, 'I thank Thee, heavenly King,
that by means of an earthly king Thou hast deemed me worthy to
behold great mysteries; for never before in this world have I
seen anything of this kind'. And these kings had a point in dispute
touching the Roman policy; and they laid the whole matter open
to the servant of God and through the mediation of the holy man
they agreed upon a treaty which satisfied the claims of each.
After this the Emperor returned to the city and dismissed Gubazius
to his native land, and when the latter reached his own country
he related to all his folk what he had seen. Consequently the
men who later on came up from Lazica to the City invariably went
up to Daniel. Gubazius himself, too, wrote to the holy man and
besought his prayers and never ceased doing so to the end of his
In the following year a storm of unbearable violence took place
and caused the Saint's leather tunic* to become like a bit of
tow under the searing blast of the winds, and then the wind tore
off even that wretched rag from the holy man and hurled it some
distance away into a gully and the holy man was exposed to the
snow all night long. And as the bitterest winds dashed against
his face, he came to look like a pillar of salt. When morning
broke the ladder could not be dragged along to him because of
the tempest's violence, so he remained as he was and very nearly
became a lifeless corpse.
But by God's mercy a calm followed, and they brought up the ladder.
His disciples saw the hair of his head and beard glued to the
skin by icicles, and his face was hidden by ice as though it were
covered by glass and could not be seen and he was quite unable
either to speak or to move. Then they made haste and brought cans
of warm water and large sponges and gradually thawed him and with
difficulty restored his power of speech. When they said, 'You
have been in great danger, father', he answered them as though
he were just awaking from sleep and said at once, 'Believe me,
children, until you woke me, I was completely at rest. When the
terrible storm broke and my garment was torn off me by the force
of the winds, I was in great distress for about an hour, and then
after a violent fainting fit I called upon the merciful God for
help. And I was wafted, as it were, into sleep and I seemed to
be resting on a magnificent couch and kept warm by rich coverings
and I saw an old man sitting on a seat by my head, and I thought
he was the man who met me on the road when I was coming away from
the blessed Saint Simeon's enclosure.* And he appeared to be talking
with great love and sincerity and he pointed out to me a huge
hawk coming from the East and entering this great city and finding
an eagle's nest on the column in the Forum of the most pious Emperor
Leo. And he came and settled down in the nest with the eagle's
young and then no longer appeared to be a hawk but an eagle. And
I inquired of the old man what that might mean. And he answered.
"There is no need for you to learn that now, but you shall
know hereafter". And whilst he held me in his arms and warmed
me, the same Old man said very pleasantly, "I love you dearly;
I wanted to be near you; many fruit-bearing branches are to blossom
from your root". And as we found pleasure in each other you
did not do well in waking me; for I was delighted at meeting him'.
Then the disciples said to the holy man, 'We pray your forgiveness,
but truly we were in great despair; for we thought your Holiness
had died. What do you think that vision means, father?' He said
to them, 'I do not understand it clearly, but God will do what
is pleasing to Him and expedient for us'. But his disciples tried
to interpret the vision and said, 'It behoves you with the help
of the Emperor to bring the corpse of the holy and most blessed
Simeon to this city. For it appears from the vision that this
is the pleasure of the blessed Saint Simeon'.
The servant of God said to them, 'Fetch another leather tunic
and wrap me in it'.
And the Emperor considering the peril through which Daniel had
passed, said, ' It is not right for him to stand naked and unprotected
and incur such dangers'. And he went up to him and begged him
to let him make him a shelter of iron in the shape of a little
enclosure. But the holy man did not wish it saying: 'Our sainted
father Simeon did not have anything of the kind although he was
far older than myself; therefore it is right that I who am young
should practise endurance and not seek ease which relaxes the
body'. But the Emperor replied, 'You have spoken well, father,
and I approve your resolve; for I rejoice in your endurance, when
I see, too, the help of God which constantly sustains you. For
this reason a crown is being woven for you; yet be willing to
serve us for many years still, and therefore do not kill yourself
outright, for God has given you to be fruitful on our behalf'.
With these arguments he with difficulty persuaded the holy man
to accept his offer; and then the shelter was made. And from that
time on the holy man remained untouched by storms. All the visitors
who came from different nations, were they kings or emperors or
ambassadors, the Emperor in person would either take them to see
the Saint or send them up, and he never ceased boasting of the
Saint and showing him to all and proclaiming his feats of endurance.
About that time a certain Zeno,* an Isaurian by birth, came to
the Emperor and brought with him letters written by Ardaburius,
who was then General of the East; in these he incited the Persians
to attack the Roman State and agreed to cooperate with them. The
Emperor received the man and recognizing the importance of the
letters he ordered a Council to be held; when the Senate had met
the Emperor produced the letters and commanded that they should
be read aloud in the hearing of all the senators by Patricius,*
who was Master of the Offices at that time. After they had been
read the Emperor said, 'What think you?' As they all held their
peace the Emperor said to the father of Ardaburius, 'These are
fine things that your son is practising against his Emperor and
the Roman State'. The father replied, 'You are the master and
have full authority; after hearing this letter I realize that
I can no longer control my son; for I often sent to him counselling
and warning him not to ruin his life; and now I see he is acting
contrary to my advice. Therefore do whatsoever occurs to your
Piety; dismiss him from his command and order him to come here
and he shall make his defence'.
The Emperor took this advice; he appointed a successor to Ardaburius
and dismissed him from the army; then ordered him to present himself
forthwith in Byzantium. In his place he gave the girdle of office
to Jordanes* and sent him to the East; he also appointed Zeno,
Count of the Domestics.
And the Emperor went in solemn procession and led him up to the
holy man and related to him all about Ardaburius' plot and Zeno's
loyalty; others told him, too, how Jordanes had been appointed
General of the East in place of Ardaburius. The holy man rejoiced
about Jordanes and gave him much advice in the presence of the
Emperor and of all those who were with him then he dismissed them
with his blessing.
Some time later it befell that a report was spread that Genseric,
King of the Vandals, intended to attack the city of Alexandria;*
this caused great searchings of heart to the Emperor and to the
Senate and to the whole city. So the Emperor sent his spatharius*
Hylasius, who was a eunuch, to inform the holy man about Genseric
and of the Emperor's intention to dispatch an army to Egypt. Hylasius
went up and delivered the Emperor's message to the holy man; and
the holy man said to him, 'Go and say to the Emperor, "Do
not be troubled about this, for God sends word to you through
me, a sinner, that neither Genseric nor any of his will ever see
the city of Alexandria; but if you wish to send an army that is
a matter for you to decide; the God, Whom I adore, will both preserve
your Piety unhurt and will strengthen those who are sent against
the enemies of the Empire".' Hylasius departed and reported
these words to the Emperor, and by the grace of God his words
Thereupon the Emperor returned thanks to God and the holy man,
and went up to the ladder and asked his permission to build a
lodging for the brethren and for strangers. But the blessed Saint
opposed the idea saying, 'Saint Simeon never had any building
at all in his enclosure during his lifetime; but I beseech your
Piety to grant me the request I make of you'. The Emperor said,
'I for my part beseech you to do so, command me if you have any
wish', to which the holy man replied, 'I beg you to send men to
Antioch, and to bring back the corpse of Saint Simeon'. The Emperor
rejoiced at this request and answered, 'Do you then give orders
for a house to be built where strangers can rest, and a dwelling
for the brethren: for I see that with God's help the number of
brethren and disciples will increase, and there will be a large
crowd of strangers who will be sore put to it if they come up
and find no place wherein to lodge. For the blessed Simeon, as
you said, did not live in such a storm-beaten place, nor did people
go up to him for so many different needs but only to pray and
to be blessed; whereas you suffer annoyance in many ways from
those who are perplexed over matters of State. Through them I
receive many letters from you and rejoice to do so, for they bring
me much profit. And so let that come to pass which I wanted when
I made my request'. Then the blessed Daniel said to the Emperor,
'Since it was for the glory of God and for the protection of brothers
and strangers that your Piety proposed to do what you suggest,
give orders for it to be done'. Then the Emperor planned that
the martyr-chapel of Saint Simeon should be placed to the north
of the column and be built with piers and vaults but no columns;*
and the monastery for brothers and strangers should be behind
the column. And after prayers had been offered, he returned to
While the work was progressing well by the grace of God, the remains
of Saint Simeon arrived from the city of Antioch.* Being informed
of this the Emperor ordered the Archbishop to announce that the
deposition of the holy remains would take place and that there
would also be an all-night service in the church of St. Michael
at Anaplus because the Emperor himself was in his palace there.
Thus on the following day an imperial carriage was prepared in
which the Archbishop took his seat and taking the remains with
him went up the hill in this fashion, and all the people in untold
numbers, some going ahead, and others following, made their way
to the appointed place singing psalms and hymns. And many healings
took place on that day of the deposition of the holy remains.
After the service which followed the whole populace streamed out
into the enclosure to the holy man in order to be blessed. And
the Archbishop with all the clergy went there likewise; and a
throne was placed in front of the column; and when the Archbishop
had taken his seat he said to the holy man, 'Behold, the Lord
has fulfilled all your desires; and now bless your children with
your counsel'. After the deacon had said the 'Let us attend',
the holy man from his pillar said to the people: 'Peace be upon
you !' and then opening his mouth taught them, saying nothing
rhetorical or philosophical, but speaking about the love of God
and the care of the poor and almsgiving and brotherly love and
of the everlasting life which awaits the holy, and the everlasting
condemnation which is the lot of sinners. And by the grace of
God the hearts of the faithful people were so touched to the quick
that they watered the ground with their tears. After this the
Archbishop offered a prayer, and then the holy man dismissed them
all, and each man returned to his house in peace.
One day a disbelieving heretic came up to the holy man, ostensibly
for prayer, with his wife and children and some girls; but instead
of prayers he began uttering calumnies against the holy man and
poking witticisms at him. And the crowds who were united in their
belief in God said to him, 'What are you doing, man, talking thus
foolishly and, instead of praying, hindering us? Why have you
come up here?' He said to them, 'I, too, heard from many about
this man and came up to be edified, and I found the opposite;
for when I approached the column to do obeisance I found this
fish lying on the step'. And from the inside of his garment he
pulled out a very large fried fish, which he had prepared in the
market as lunch for himself and his companions; this he showed
them, casting blame upon the holy man for being a voluptuary and
not temperate. They who saw it first were astonished at his scheme
and then, after censuring him severely, they left him alone saying,
'You will find out what lies you are uttering against the servant
of God'. And as he was returning to the city, in order that the
merciful God might make manifest how He protects His servants,
it came to pass that the man himself, as well as his wife and
children, began to shiver with ague; then after they had reached
the market of the Archangel Michael and he wanted to partake of
the fish, the wretched fellow was suddenly seized by an unclean
spirit, and as he was driven by the demon all round the market
he confessed all the deception he had practised against the holy
man. And so, being driven on by the demon, he reached the enclosure
with all his friends following him. There they persisted in their
repentance and made full confession. Within three days the Lord
healed them after they had been given oil of the saints to drink.
As thank offering he dedicated a silver icon, ten pounds in weight,
on which was represented the holy man and themselves writing these
words below, 'Oh father, beseech God to pardon us our sins against
thee'. This memorial is preserved to the present day near the
At that time the blessed Emperor Leo heard from many about a certain
Titus, a man of vigour who dwelt in Gaul and had in his service
a number of men well trained for battle; so he sent for him and
honoured him with the rank of Count that he might have him to
fight on his behalf if he were forced to go to year. This Titus
he sent to the holy man for his blessing; on his arrival the Saint
watered him with many and divers counsels from the Holy writings
and proved him to be an ever blooming fruit-bearing tree; and
Titus, beholding the holy man, marvelled at the strangeness of
his appearance and his endurance* and just as good earth when
it has received the rain brings forth much fruit, so this admirable
man Titus was illuminated in mind by the teaching of the holy
and just man and no longer wished to leave the enclosure, for
he said, 'The whole labour of man is spent on growing rich and
acquiring possessions in this world and pleasing men; yet the
single hour of his death robs him of all his belongings, therefore
it is better for us to serve God rather than men'. With these
words he threw himself down before the holy man begging him to
receive him and let him be enrolled in the brotherhood. And Daniel,
the servant of the Lord, willingly accepted his good resolve.
Thereupon that noble man Titus sent for all his men and said to
his soldiers,* 'From now on I am the soldier of the heavenly King;
aforetime my rank among men made me your captain and yet I was
unable to benefit either you or myself, for I only urged you on
to slaughter and bloodshed. From to-day, however, and henceforth
I bid farewell to all such things; therefore those of you who
wish it, remain here with me, but I do not compel any one of you,
for what is done under compulsion is not acceptable. See, here
is money, take some, each of you, and go to your homes'. Then
he brought much gold and he took and placed it in front of the
column and gave to each according to his rank. Two of them, however,
did not choose to take any, but remained with him. All the rest
embraced Titus and went their ways.
When the Emperor heard this he was very angry and sent a messenger
up to the holy man to say to Titus, 'I brought you up from your
country because I wanted to have you quite near me and I sent
you to the holy man to pray and receive a blessing, but not that
you should separate yourself from me'. Titus replied to the messenger,
'From now on, since I have listened to the teaching of this holy
man, I am dead to the world and to all the things of the world.
Whatever the just man says about me do you tell to the Emperor,
for Titus, your servant, is dead'. Then the messengers went outside
into the enclosure to the holy man and told him everything. And
the holy man sent a letter of counsel by them to the Emperor,
beseeching him and saying, 'You yourself need no human aid; for
owing to your perfect faith in God you have God as your everlasting
defender; do not therefore covet a man who to-day is and tomorrow
is not; for the Lord doeth all things according to His will. Therefore
dedicate thy servant to God Who is able to send your Piety in
his stead another still braver and more useful; without your approval
I never wished to do anything'.
And the Emperor was satisfied and sent and thanked the holy man
and said, 'To crown all your good deeds there yet remained this
good thing for you to do.* Let the man, then, remain under your
authority, and may God accept his good purpose'. Not long afterwards
they were deemed worthy of the holy robe, and both made progress
in the good way of life; but more especially was this true of
Titus, the former Count.
Next the Devil, the hinderer of good men, imbued Titus with a
spirit of inquisitiveness and suggested that he should watch the
holy man in order to see if he ate and what he took to eat. So
one day he waited till about the time of lamp-lighting and then
unnoticed by all the brethren he remained outside in the enclosure
hidden behind the column. When the nightly psalmody took place
in the oratory the brothers imagined he had stayed behind because
he was sick. The following day he spent with all the others. Although
he did the same thing for seven nights, he found out nothing.
Finally he openly conjured the holy man to explain his manner
of life to him. And the holy man granted him his wish saying,
'Believe me, brother, I both eat and drink sufficient]y for my
needs; for I am not a spirit nor disembodied, but I too am a man
and am clothed with flesh. And the business of evacuation I perform
like a sheep exceedingly dryly, and if ever I am tempted to partake
of more than I require, I punish myself, for I am unable either
to walk about or to relieve myself to aid my digestion; therefore
in proportion as I struggle to be temperate, to that degree I
benefit and the pain in my feet becomes less intense'. Titus answered,
'If you, your Holiness, who are in such a state of body and standing
in such a wind-swept spot, struggle in that manner to be temperate
for your own good, what ought I to do who am young in years and
vigorous in body?' The Saint replied, 'Do whatever your flesh
can endure; neither force it beyond measure nor on the other hand
abandon it to slackness; for if you load a ship beyond its usual
burden, it will readily be sunk by its weight, but if on the contrary
you leave it too light, it is easily overturned by the winds.
By the grace of God, brother, I understand my natural capacity
and know how to regulate my food'. After hearing this Titus went
away to the oratory, took his place in one corner and hung himself
up by ropes under his armpits so that his feet did not rest upon
the ground, and from one evening to another he would eat either
three dates or three dried figs and drink the ration of wine.
He also fixed a board against his chest on which he would sometimes
lay his head and sleep and at others place a book and read.
And he did this for some long time and benefited all those who
visited him; amongst these was the most faithful Emperor, Leo,
for whenever he went up to the holy man, after taking leave of
him, he would go in to the blessed Titus; and beholding his inspired
manner of life he marvelled at this endurance and besought him
to pray for him. And it pleased the Lord to call him while he
was at prayer, with his eyes and his face turned upwards and heavenwards,
and thus it was that he breathed his last. The brethren looking
at him thought he was praying as usual. When evening had fallen,
the two brethren came who had formerly been his servants and now
ministered unto him and brought him all he required, and they
discovered that he was dead. And when they began to lament all
recognized that he had gone to his rest. His head lay back on
his neck, his hands were crossed and supported by the plank and
since the weight of the body was borne by the shoulder ropes his
legs hung down straight and were not bent up. And as one looked
on the corpse of this saintly champion it showed the departed
soul's longing for God. The brethren went and told the elders
who came out to the holy man's enclosure and announced to him
the death of the glorious saint. When he heard of it he thanked
the Lord and bade them carry out the corpse to him after the time
of lamp-lighting and put it in front of the column and hold an
all-night service there in his memory. The nest day Titus was
buried in the tomb of the elders by command of the holy man.
After Titus had died this holy death, one of the barbarians who
had come with him and had been named Anatolius by the holy man
aspired to the same kind of life in the same place, and conducting
himself blamelessly therein for a long time he greatly benefited
all those who visited him. Thus his fame spread on every side.
As he wished to flee from glory among men he went out at night
into the enclosure to the holy man and fell down before him imploring
him to grant him his permission. The holy man inquired the reason
and, on hearing it, prayed over him and dismissed him. After receiving
his dismissal Anatolius travelled to the chapel of St. Zacharias
in Catabolus (the Harbour) and took up his dwelling there in a
suburb on the opposite shore; at that time Idoubingos* was general.
Shutting himself up in a small cell, he lived in it for a long
time; later he established a small monastery* of about twelve
men, which by the grace of God and the prayers o f the holy father
is still in existence to-day; thus in blessedness he passed away
to the Lord.
About that time the pious Emperor Leo married his daughter Ariadne
to Zeno* (of whom we have spoken before) and also created him
consul. And shortly afterwards when the barbarians created a disturbance
in Thrace, he further appointed him commander-in-chief in Thrace.*
And in solemn procession he went up to Anaplus to the holy man
and besought him as follows: 'I am sending Zeno as general to
Thrace because of the war which threatens; and now I beg you to
pray on his behalf that he may be kept safe'. The holy man said
to the Emperor, 'As he has the holy Trinity and the invincible
weapon of the Holy Cross on his side he will return unharmed.
However, a plot will be formed against him and he will be sorely
troubled for a short time, but he shall come back without injury'.
The Emperor said, 'Is it possible, I beg you, for any one to survive
a war without some labour and trouble?' When they had received
a blessing and taken their leave they returned to the city. Then
the aforesaid Zeno set out for the war and soon afterwards a plot
was formed against him as the holy man had foretold, but by God's
assistance he escaped and reached the Long Wall and crossed from
there and came to Pylae ;* and later still he reached the city
of the Chalcedonians.
Now while the patrician Zeno was still absent at the war a male
child was born to him by the Emperor's daughter and received the
name of Leo.* When Aspar and his sons stirred up a rebellion against
the most pious Emperor Leo, He 'that maketh wars to cease unto
the ends of the earth (Ps. 45:9) fought on the side of the pious
Emperor and destroyed them both. After that Leo crowned his own
grandson and namesake, emperor. And thus it came to pass that
Zeno took courage and crossed from Chalcedon to the city and entered
the palace and came to the Emperor Leo.
As time went on it befell that the pious Emperor Leo the Great
fell sick and died;* he made a good end and left as successor
to the throne his own grandson Leo, son of the patrician Zeno.
Then the Senate convoked a meeting because the Emperor was an
infant and unable to sign documents; and they determined that
his father Zeno should hold the sceptre of the Empire. And thus
he was crowned and became Emperor. After three years had passed
the Lord took the infant, the pious Emperor Leo, into His eternal
kingdom; and he went to the land of his fathers, and left the
Empire to his* father.
The Roman government was being well administered by the will of
God, and the State was enjoying a time of quiet and order, and
the holy churches were living in peace and unity, when the ever
envious and malignant Devil sowed seeds of unjust hatred in the
hearts of some who claimed to be the Emperor Zeno's kinsmen, I
mean Basiliscus, Armatus and Marcianus and some other senators.
When Zeno became aware of the treachery that was being planned
against him, he went up to the holy man and confided to him the
matter of the plot. The holy man said to him, 'Do not let yourself
be troubled about this; for all things that have been foreordained
must be accomplished upon you. They will chase you out of the
kingdom, and in the place where you find a refuge, you will be
in such distress that in your need you will partake of the grass
of the earth. But do not lose heart; for it is necessary that
you should become a second Nebuchadnezzar, and those who are now
expelling you, having felt the lack of you, will recall you in
the fullness of time. You will return to your Empire, and more
honour and glory shall be added unto you and you shall die in
it. Therefore bear all with gratitude; for thus must these things
be'. The Emperor thanked him for these words (for he had already
put him to the test in the case of other prophecies of his) and
after being blessed by the holy man he took his leave and went
down to the City.
Now the malicious men whom I mentioned above had free access to
the blessed Empress Verina, Basiliscus because he was her brother
and chief of the Senate, and Armatus as being her nephew and Zuzus
as being the husband of her sister, and Marcianus the husband
of her daughter and son of an emperor. They were constantly at
her side and by their guile persuaded her to conspire with them
to drive Zeno from the throne. As he knew of their wickedness
and that he was in danger of assassination, he took his own wife,
the Empress Ariadne, and some eunuchs, and unbeknown to all he
left the palace one night during a very heavy storm. They crossed
the straits and landed* at Chalcedon because of their pursuers,
and they escaped and reached the province of Isauria. The Empress
Verina so controlled the revolution that she secured the crown
for her brother Basiliscus; who shortly afterwards attempted to
do away with his own sister. However, she fled to the oratory
of the Ever-Virgin Mary in Blachernae and remained there as long
as Basiliscus lived.
Next Basiliscus-name of ill omen*-made an attack upon the churches
of God, for he wished to bring them to deny the incarnate dispensation
of God. For this reason he came into conflict with the blessed
Archbishop Acacius, and sought to malign him so as to bring about
his ruin. Directly news of this attempt reached the monasteries
all the monks with one accord assembled in the most holy Great
Church in order to guard the Archbishop. After some consideration
the Archbishop ordered all the churches to be draped as a sign
of mourning, and going up into the pulpit he addressed the crowds
and explained the blasphemous attempt which was being made. 'Brethren
and children', he said, 'the time of martyrdom is at hand; let
us therefore fight for our faith and for the Holy Church, our
mother, and let us not betray our priesthood.' A great shout arose
and all were overcome by tears, and since the Emperor remained
hostile and refused to give them any answer, the Archbishop and
the archimandrites determined to send to the holy man, Daniel,
and give him an account of these things, and this they did.
And it happened by God's providence that on the following day
Basiliscus sailed to Anaplus, and sent a Chamberlain* named Daniel,
to the holy man to say, 'Do those things which the Archbishop
Acacius is practising against me seem just to your angelic nature?*
for he has roused the city against me and alienated the army and
rains insults on me! I beg you, pray for us that he may not prevail
against us'. After listening to him the holy man said to Daniel,
'Go and tell him who sent you, "You are not worthy of a blessing
for you have adopted Jewish ideas and are setting at nought the
incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ and upsetting the Holy Church
and despising His priests. For it is written 'Give not that which
is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine'
(Matt. 7: 6.) Know therefore and see, for the God Who rendeth
swiftly will surely rend your tyrannous royalty out of your hands".
When the chamberlain heard this answer he said he dared not himself
say these things to the Emperor and besought Daniel to send the
message in writing, if he would, and to seal it with his seal.
The holy man yielded to the eunuch's entreaties, wrote a note
and after sealing it, gave it to Daniel and dismissed him; and
he returned and delivered the sealed note to the Emperor. He opened
it and when he learnt the purport of the message he was very angry
and immediately sailed back to the city. These things were not
hidden from the Archbishop Acacius and his most faithful people;
therefore on the following day almost the whole city was gathered
together in the Great Church and they kept shouting, 'The holy
man for the Church! let the new Daniel save Susanna in her peril!
another Elijah shall put Jezebel and Ahab to shame! in you we
have the priest of orthodoxy; he that standeth for Christ will
protect His bride, the Church'. And other such exclamations they
poured forth with tears.
On the morrow the Archbishop Acacius sent to Daniel some of the
archimandrites who were best beloved of God; these were the blessed
Abraamius of the monastery of St. Kyriakus, Eusebius who dwelt
near the Exakionium* Athenodorus of the monastery of Studius*
and Andreas, the vicar of the exarch,* and some others. Having
chosen these he sent them saying, 'For my sake and the faith's
go to the holy man Daniel, throw yourselves before his column
and importune him with entreaties saying, "Do you imitate
your teacher Christ Who 'bowed the heavens and came down' (Ps.
18:9) and was incarnate of a holy virgin and consorted with sinners
and shed His own blood to purchase His bride, the Church. (Acts
20:28) Now that she is insulted by the impious, and her people
are scattered by fierce wolves and the shepherd tempest-tost,
do not ignore my grey hairs but incline your ear and come and
purchase your mother, the Church'. And they went and did as they
were bid and threw themselves down before the column; and the
holy man seeing them lying on the ground was disturbed and began
to call to them from above, 'What are you doing, holy fathers,
mocking my unworthiness? What is it that you bid me do?' Then
they stood up and said, 'That you with God's help should save
the faith which is being persecuted, save a storm tossed church
and a scattered flock, and save our priest who, despite his grey
hairs, is threatened with death'. And Daniel said to them, 'He
is truthful that said, "The gates of hell shall not prevail
against the holy Church'' (Matt. 16:18); wait patiently therefore
where you are and the will of God shall be done; pray then that
God may reveal to us what we should do'. And it came to pass that
as Daniel was praying in the middle of the night, and as the day
dawned-it was a Wednesday-he heard a voice saying distinctly to
him, 'Go down with the fathers and do not hesitate; and afterwards
fulfil your course in peace!' Obedient therefore to the counsel
of the Lord he woke his servants. And they placed the ladder and
went up and took away the iron bars round him. And Daniel came
down with difficulty owing to the pain he suffered in his feet,
and in that same hour of the night he took the pious archimandrites
with him and they sailed to the City and entered the church before
the day had begun.
And thus it was that when the people came to God's house while,
according to custom, the fiftieth psalm was being sung, they saw
the holy man in the sanctuary with the Bishop and marvelled; and
the report ran through the City that he had come. All the City,
and even secluded maidens, left what they had in hand and ran
to the Holy Church to see the man of God. And the crowds started
shouting in honour of the Saint saying, 'To you we look to banish
the grief of the Church; in you we have a high priest; accomplish
that for which you came; the crown of your labours is already
yours'. But the holy man beckoned with his hand to the people
to be silent and addressed them through the deacon, Theoctistus,
'The stretching forth of the hands of Moses, God's servant, utterly
destroyed all those who rose up against the Lord's people, both
kings and nations; some He drowned in the depths of the sea, others
He slew on dry land with the sword and exalted His people; so
to-day, too, your faith which is perfect towards God has not feared
the uprising of your enemies, it does not know defeat nor does
it need human help; for it is founded on the firm rock of Christ.
Therefore do not grow weary of praying; for even on behalf of
the chief of the apostles earnest prayer was offered to God, not
as if they thought he was deserted by God but because God wishes
the flock to offer intercessions for its shepherd. Do you, therefore,
do likewise, and amongst us, too, the Lord will quickly perform
marvellous things to His glory'. After he had said this they took
down all the mourning draperies from the sanctuary and the whole
church. Daniel also wrote a letter to the Emperor saying, 'Does
this angering of God do you any service? is not your life in His
hands? What have you to do with the Holy Church to war against
its servants, and prove yourself a second Diocletian?' And many
other things like these he wrote both by way of counsel and of
blame. When the Emperor received the letter and found that Daniel
had come down and was in the church he was stung by the prick
of fear and sent back word to him, 'All your endeavour has been
to enter the City and stir up the citizens against me; now see,
I will hand the City, too, over to you'. And he left the palace
and sailed to the Hebdomon.*
When the holy man heard this news, he took the crossbearers and
the faithful people and bidding the monks guard the Church and
the Archbishop he went out. As they reached Ammi, close to the
chapel of the prophet the holy Samuel, the just man being carried
by the crowd of the Christ-loving people, behold, a leper approached
and cried aloud saying, 'I beseech you, the servant of the God
Who healed lepers, to pray Him that I may be healed!' On hearing
him the holy man ordered his bearers to halt; and when the leper
had drawn near, the holy man said to him, 'Brother, how came you
to think of asking me things that are beyond my power? for I,
too, am a man encompassed with weakness even as you are'. The
leper replied, 'But I beg you, I know that you are a man of God;
and I believe that the God Whom you serve will grant me cleansing
in answer to your prayers; for the apostles too were but men and
yet through their prayers the Lord healed many'. The holy man
marvelling at his faith said to him, 'Do you then believe in Him
Who gave healing to many through His saints?' The leper said,
'Yes, and I believe that even now if you pray I shall be healed'.
Then Daniel turning to the East asked the people to stretch forth
their hands to heaven and with tears to cry aloud the 'Kyrie eleeson'
(Lord, have mercy!) And when he deemed that they had done this
long enough, he said to the men near him, 'In the name of Jesus
Christ, Who cleansed lepers, take him and wash him in the sea
and wipe him clean and bring him back'. They ran off with the
man, washed him in the sca and by the power of Jesus Christ the
leper was healed on the spot. When the multitudes saw this astonishing
miracle they shouted unceasingly the 'Kyrie eleeson'. Then the
crowds took the man that was healed, all naked as he was, and
returned to the City and brought him into the Holy Church and
leading him up to the pulpit declared this wondrous miracle to
all. The whole city ran together and beholding him who had been
a leper cleansed by God through the holy man's prayers they glorified
God for making the leper spotless. And so all those in the City
who had sick folk ran to the servant of God. And the Lord gave
healing abundantly to them all.
Thereafter as the holy man with the crowd approached the palace
of Hebdomon, a Goth leant out of a window and seeing the holy
man carried along, he dissolved with laughter and shouted, 'See
here is our new consul !' And as soon as he said this he was hurled
down from the height by the power of God and burst asunder. Then
sentinels, or the palace guards,* prevented those who had seen
the fall from entering into the palace, saying they should have
an answer given them through a window. But when the people insisted
with shouts that the holy man should enter the palace but received
no answer, the servant of God said to them, 'Why do you trouble,
children? You shall have the reward promised to peacemakers from
God; and since it seems good to this braggart to send us away
without achieving anything, let us do to him according to the
word of the Lord. For He said to His holy disciples and apostles,
"Into whatsoever city or village ye shall enter and they
do not receive you, shake off the dust of your feet against them
as a testimony to them"; (Matt 10:11) let us therefore do
that'. And he first of all shook out his leather tunic and incited
the whole crowd to do likewise; and a noise as of thunder arose
from the shaking of garments. When the guards who were on duty*
saw this and heard all the marvellous things God had wrought by
Daniel most of them left all and followed him.
When the impious Basiliscus heard what the holy man had done in
condemnation of him, he sent two guardsmen of the court and a
legal secretary of the Emperor* with them to overtake Daniel and
implore him to return. These men overtook Daniel and implored
him in the name of Basiliscus saying 'The Emperor says "if
I indeed sinned as a man, do you as servant of Christ propitiate
Him on my behalf and I will seek in everything to serve God and
your Holiness"." But the holy man said to them, 'Return
and say to the Emperor: Your words of guile and deceit will not
avail to deceive my unworthiness, for you are doing nothing but
"treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath";
(Rom 2:5) for in you there is no fruit of good works; wherefore
God will shortly confirm his wrath upon you that you may know
that "the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men"
(Dan 5:21) and will give it to the good man in preference to you'.(Cf.
I Sam 15:28) With these words he bade the Emperor's secretary
to spread out his cloak and after shaking the rest of the dust
from his own clothing into the cloak he said, 'Go, carry this
to the braggart as a testimony against him and against her who
is his confederate* and against his wife' Directly after the messengers
had returned and given the Emperor the just man's answer, the
tower of the palace fell; since even lifeless things may feel
the wrath of God to the salvation of many.
When the just man had arrived at the Golden Gate and saw the concourse
of people, he besought them to return each to their own home.
But they as with one voice cried, 'We intend to live and die with
you; for we have nothing with which to repay you worthily; receive
the resolve of your suppliants and lead us as you will, for the
Holy Church awaits you'. Whilst the people were uttering these
cries two young men afflicted with demons were brought to him;
and after he had prayed with tears to God, they were immediately
cleansed and they followed him glorifying God.
When they came to the chapel of St. John in the monastery of Studius*
the monks came out and requested the holy man to come in and offer
prayer in their prophet's shrine and to rest a little from the
thronging press which encompassed him. When he consented to come
in and offer prayer there was such a crush of people in the narrow
passages that many only narrowly escaped being trodden to death.
Then after Daniel had offered prayer in the venerable shrine and
passed through to the sacristy he and the men who carried him
had a short rest. And the monks had the idea of taking him through
the garden to the sea and bringing him by boat to the Great and
very Holy Church. When the people got wind of this, a great tumult
arose among them and they shouted and said, 'Bring the just man
here if you love orthodoxy; do not begrudge healing to the sick'.
They also said to the just man, 'Freely you have received therefore
freely give! (Matt 10:8) if you desert us we will burn down the
chapel at once'. So the holy man came out of the sacristy and
addressed them, reassuring them and asking them to go on ahead
of him and thus relieve the pressure of the crowd.
When Daniel came out of the prophet's shrine and was going on
his way, behold, a certain woman, as did the woman of Canaan,
(Matt 15.22) cried to him saying, 'Oh servant of God, have pity
on my daughter, for she whom you see has now been bedridden for
three years in the grip of an unknown disease, and though many
doctors have visited her, not one of them has been able to help
her. So now I beseech you, oh holy man, do not despise my tears
for I am sorely distressed about her'. Seeing her in such terrible
grief, the holy man was dissolved in tears, and raising his eyes
to heaven and stretching out his hands to God he prayed; and then
calling the girl close to him he sealed her with the sign of the
precious Cross and said to her, 'In the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ Who ever worketh our salvation and does not desert us,
be thou cured of this disease'. And the girl was cured of her
scourge in that hour in the sight of all the people.
When they drew nigh to the house of the most glorious patrician
Dagalaiphus,* the patrician himself leaned out from an upper window
and seeing that the holy man was being unbearably crushed by the
thronging crowd, he ran down with a body of helpers and took him
out of the crush and caused him to be carried into his house near
the Forum of the Ox* to rest there. He himself stood in the porch
and excused himself to the people by saying, 'I did this in order
that my house might be blessed'. And he put Daniel into a litter
and secured him well by posting men round the litter to prevent
his being troubled by the crowd. And in this manner he was brought
in safety to the Church without any difficulty.
When he entered into the most holy Cathedral he was received in
great sincerity and with acclamation by the Archbishop Acacius
and the holy archimandrites and all the reverend clergy and the
most pious monks and the most faithful people. And all glorified
the merciful God for the marvellous things that they had heard
and seen which God had done through him. And they led him into
the vestry that he might have a short rest from the pressure of
the crowd. And behold a snake came out from some hole and wound
itself round his feet; those present were terrified on seeing
the animal and ran forward to kill it; but the holy man prevented
them saying, Leave it alone, it is near its end'. and shaking
it off his feet he said to it 'Go to thy place !' and it went
to the wall opposite them and in the sight of all of them it burst
The patrician Herais* hearing that he was in the vestry came in,
threw herself on the ground and seized the holy man's feet, begging
him that she might have a son. But when she saw that on the one
foot the sole had dropped away from the ankle bone and there was
nothing left but the shin bone she was amazed at the man's endurance.
She gave him a little cord and begged him to wind it round his
inflamed foot and give it to her. But he would not suffer this
to be done. Then the Archbishop Acacius and all the pious men
present besought the holy man to grant her what she asked. Then
the holy man consented, took the cord and placed it on his inflamed
foot and gave it to her saying, 'According to thy faith may the
Lord grant thee thy request for a son; and his name shall be Zeno'.
And it came to pass that soon afterwards this most noble woman
conceived and bore a son and called him by the name of Zeno according
to the word of the Saint.
When all these things had been thus auspiciously accomplished
by the grace of the Lord, and when Basiliscus of ill-omened name*
had heard from his legal secretary of the Saint's condemnation
of him and of the sudden fall of the palace tower, it did not
seem to him to augur any good. And immediately without a moment's
delay he entered a boat and sailed from the Hebdomon to the City;
and the next day he sent senators to the very holy Cathedral to
beseech the Saint to take the trouble to come as far as the palace.
But he would not consent to go but said, 'Let him come himself
to the Holy Church and make his recantation before the precious
Cross and the holy Gospel which he has insulted; for I am but
a sinful man'. The senators went back and gave this message to
the Emperor, whereupon in solemn procession he at once went to
the Church. The Archbishop met him with the holy Gospel in the
sanctuary and was received by the Emperor with dissimulation;
then after the customary prayer had been offered Basiliscus went
in with the Archbishop to the holy man. And they both fell at
his feet before all the people, both Basiliscus and the Archbishop
Acacius. And Daniel greeted them and counselled them to seek the
way of peace and for the future to refrain from enmity towards
each other. 'For if you are at variance', he said, 'you cause
confusion in the holy churches and throughout the world you stir
up no ordinary unrest'. The Emperor then made a full apology to
the holy man and the people cried out saying, 'Oh Lord, protect
both father and sons; it is in Thy power to grant us concord between
them; let us now hear the Emperor's confession of faith! why are
the canons of orthodoxy upset? why are the orthodox bishops exiled?
To the Stadium with Theoctistus,* the Master of the Offices! the
Emperor is orthodox! burn alive the enemies of orthodoxy! send
the disturbers of the world into exile! a Christian Emperor for
the world! let us hear what your faith is, Emperor!'
These and countless other exclamations the people kept shouting,
and all the time the Emperor and the Archbishop lay prostrate
on the ground at the holy man's feet.
Then the holy man summoned Strategius, the imperial secretary,
and bade the Emperor make a proclamation to the people by way
of justification, and this he did. And the secretary mounted the
pulpit and began to read as follows: 'We believe that your Reverences-perfect
in understanding as you are-cannot fail to know that from infancy
up we have been orthodox and have communicated in the very Holy
Church in which our children were baptized; and that we believe
in the one holy and consubstantial Trinity, and we approve your
warm championship of the faith. Do not, therefore, accept any
childish insinuation against us from those who say that we do
not think rightly concerning the holy faith. For you know yourselves
that we who are soldiers brought up and trained to arms are not
able to understand the depths of the holy faith; but since it
is now a time for peace and no season for controversy, I can pass
over many things, since we are able completely to convince you,
our beloved subjects, that we shall not be found guilty of a single
one of those charges which men in their fickleness plotted to
bring against us. This is our justification before God and the
holy man and we have stated it clearly to you.' Having in this
way appeased the holy man and the people, the Emperor was reconciled
to them. And having been reconciled to the Archbishop in the sight
of them all the Emperor returned to his palace. Thus did our Master
God bring the enemy of His Holy Church to His feet.
When all minds were set at rest and the people were moving off
to their own homes the servant of God returned to his usual practice
of asceticism, but when he had sailed back he reached his column
only with difficulty owing to the press of faithful people and
of those overmastered by divers illnesses. Therefore with great
danger and much distress he made the ascent of his column and
summoned them all, and after praying to God he dismissed them
all restored to health. To the clergy and monks and the people
who had remained behind he said, 'It was not with honesty of purpose
that the persecutor appeared to make peace with us; be patient
therefore and you will soon see the glory of God; for the Lord
will not overlook the affliction of His servants and His holy
churches'. And thus it was accomplished by the will of God, for
after a short time Zeno, the Emperor, returned with his wife,
the Empress Ariadne, the daughter of royal parents.* Thenceforth
the holy churches rested in much contentment and the State grew
glorious and the Roman government waxed in strength. And the aforesaid
usurper met with his due reward, as the servant of God had foretold.
And thereafter the Emperor often went up to the holy man returning
thanks to the merciful God, and also to the Saint, reminding him
of the things which he had foretold should happen.
Once a goldsmith came up from the City to the holy man with his
wife and they brought with them their seven-year-old child who
had never walked from birth but spent his life crawling along.
This goldsmith came to the holy man and throwing himself and his
child in front of the column, he besought the holy man saying,
'Oh servant of God, have pity on my young child who longs to stand
up but cannot do so, for nature conceived him contrary to nature;
grant me this joy, oh servant of God, for I have followed your
holy foosteps; do not send me away, I pray you, with my petition
unfulfilled'. The holy man replied, 'Do not be so impatient in
your words; for your zeal towards God, if accompanied by faith
and patience, will release your son from his calamity; do not
be discouraged but go with the child and remain by the holy relics
of Simeon,* the holy servant of God and our father; anoint the
child's feet with the holy oil and bring him back here when prayer
is being offered, and we trust in God that He will give him healing'.
The man did as the holy man had ordered him, and on the seventh
day, when prayer had been offered in the enclosure, the boy suddenly
jumped on to the steps of the pillar and went up and embraced
the column; all marvelled and glorified God for this wonderful
happenings And his parents gave thanks to God and to the holy
man and took the boy home in health. When the boy grew to be a
man he frequently visited the holy man, received a blessing and
A certain man travelling to Constantinople from the East fell
among robbers who stole from him everything that he had with him,
mutilated his body, cut the sinews of his knees and leaving him
half dead, went their ways; but by the providence of God they
had not inflicted any mortal wound on him. Some wayfarers who
came to that place picked him up and carried him to the city of
Ancyra, for it was close to that city that this had befallen him.
There they took him to the bishop who ordered him to be conveyed
to the hospital and cared for there. But while his wounds were
tended he was not able to walk. He therefore made this request
of the bishop, 'I was travelling to Constantinople in fulfilment
of a vow making my way to our lord Daniel, who stands on the column,
when I met with this accident; and now that, thanks to you, I
have been healed it behoves me to fulfil my vow. I pray you, therefore,
servant of God, to send me safely to Constantinople to the holy
man' The bishop, since he thought that this was a pious request;
gave him money for his expenses, also a beast and two men to conduct
him to the holy man Daniel. So the men took him and brought him
to the holy man's enclosure and then carried him and laid him
in front of the column. The man cried aloud and told the holy
man the reason for which he had come and related what had happened
to him and how he had been saved by the help of God and the bishop.
The holy man sent thanks to the bishop for the kindness he had
shown to the man and after furnishing those who had brought him
with supplies for their journey he dismissed them in peace with
presents for the bishop. He handed over the man to some of the
servants with orders to carry him and bring him to the enclosure
daily at the hour of prayer, and to anoint him with the oil of
the saints; the man's legs hung down as if they did not belong
to him. After a few days, one Friday when the Saint had said the
prayers as usual and all had said 'Amen', the man suddenly leapt
from the litter, and stood on his feet and said with a loud voice,
'Bless me, oh servant of God'. And he quickly ran up the steps
and embraced the column giving thanks the while to God.
Here I think it would be reasonable to make known the faith which
lay hidden in Hippasius, the 'second centurion'.( Matt 7:5-13:
Luke 7:2-10) This man was so rich in the great poverty of Christ
that the cures performed by Christ's disciples he accepted as
though wrought by the Lord Himself; for if any one of his house,
be it son or daughter or man-servant or maid-servant, fell ill
or suffered from anything, he judged himself unworthy to seek
the intercession of the Saint, but would send letters asking for
the Saint's prayers. On receiving the holy man's written rep1y
he would lay the letter, as if it were the miracle-working hand
of Jesus, on the sufferer and immediately he received the fruits
of his faith
A certain woman had a son of twelve years, Damianus by name, dumb
from birth; him she brought to the holy man's enclosure and signing
to him not to go away, she left him and departed. Then when the
brethren saw the boy staying there and saying nothing to anybody,
they brought him to the holy man. He, beholding him, ordered that
he should remain in the monastery, saying, 'The boy shall be God's
minister'. The brethren said, 'He is dumb, master !' He said to
them, 'Moisten his tongue with the oil of the saints'. But the
brethren suspected that from stress of poverty the mother had
suggested to him to feign dumbness; so very often when the boy
was asleep they woke him suddenly by making a noise; and at other
times they would prick him in the body with needles or pens to
try whether he would speak. But he said nothing, as he was held
by the power of dumbness. One Sunday, after some considerable
time had passed, when the holy Gospel was going to be read aloud,
and the deacon had announced the lesson from the holy Gospel of
St. Matthew, the boy shouted out ahead of the others, 'Glory be
to thee, oh Lord!' And after uttering this first cry he in future
surpassed all the brethren in his singing of the psalms. A certain
chamberlain, Calopodius by name, had built an oratory to the holy
Archangel Michael and came to the holy man asking him to give
him some brethren for this oratory in Parthenopolis.* And together
with the brethren the holy man gave him this boy to sing the psalms
and he became God's minister, as the servant of God had foretold
about him. So great are the achievements of grace, so great the
gifts of our Master to His sincere servants; he came not speaking
and became a good speaker, he came voiceless and gained a beautiful
voice, he was deserted by his mother as dumb and he proved to
be the wonderful herald of the church.
Many other marvellous works, too, were performed by God through
His servant Daniel which neither words can describe nor tongue
relate; these we must of necessity omit so as not to prolong our
story unduly; for those we have told are sufficient to confirm
the faithful and to lead the faithless to turn to the faith. But
let us attempt to describe how resolute and inflexible was the
faith of the holy man.
Through the Devil's working a tumult once arose in the most holy
churches, for tares had sprung up from vain disputations and questionings,
so that some of the monks, who were renowned for good living,
through their simple-mindedness and through their failure to consider
the matter with precision, left the most Holy Church and separated
themselves from the holy fellowship and liturgy. These mischief-makers
came to the holy man and tried to confound him with similar arguments,
but he who kept the foundation of the holy faith unmovable and
unshakable answered them saying, 'If the question which you raise
is concerning God, your inquiry is no simple or ordinary matter,
for the Divinity is incomprehensible; and it will be sufficient
for you to study the traditions of the holy apostles about Him
and the teaching of the divine Fathers who followed in their steps
and not trouble yourselves any further. But if the matter in dispute
is about human affairs, as, for instance, if one priest has removed
another, or has accepted one to whom the others object, all such
things must be submitted to the judgment of God and to the rulers
themselves to judge according to the divine canons; for we are
the sheep and they are the shepherds, and they will give account
to God for the flocks entrusted to them; let us abstain from vain
and dangerous questionings and let us each consider that which
concerns ourselves knowing that it is not without danger that
we separate ourselves from our holy mother, the Church. For her
bridegroom is the true Shepherd Who is able to recall to His fold
the sheep that have strayed and to lead those who have not strayed
to better pasture. Therefore it suffices us to believe unquestioningly
in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and to receive the incarnate
dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ and his birth from the Virgin
in the same way as He Himself was pleased to do in His own loving
kindness, for it is written: 'Seek not out the things that are
too high for thee, neither search the things that are too deep
for thee' (Ecclesiasticus 3:21). With this and similar counsel
and warning he led their hearts away from soul-destroying questionings
and kept them unshaken in the faith.
He also foresaw the death of the Emperor Zeno and this he made
known to him through one of those who often came to visit him,
first by ambiguous messages, and then later he warned him clearly
that he would receive the recompense for his good and evil deeds.
He told Zeno that owing to his faith in God and his good deeds
he might have full confidence when he came into the presence of
God; but he must be mindful to abstain from all covetousness,
and he must excel in the good ordering of his life and banish
all informers and treat with generosity all those who had sinned
against him; for by nothing is God better pleased than by forgiveness
and gentleness. These things he said before Zeno's death; and
to us he foretold that after her husband's death the Christ-loving
Ariadne would reign over the Empire because of her perfect faith
in the God of her fathers. And that with her would reign a man
who loved Christ and had devoted his whole life to hymns to God
and to vigils, who was a model of sobriety to all men and who
in gentleness and justice would surpass all those who had reigned
at any time; 'he will turn aside, too', he said, 'from that love
of money which according to the apostle is "the root of all
evil''.(I Tim 6:10) He will govern the State impartially and honestly,
and throughout his reign he will grant peace and confidence to
the most holy churches and to the order of monks. In his time
the rich shall not be favoured, neither shall the poor be wronged,
for this above all, both in peace and in war, will be the surest
guarantee of prosperity to the world.' All these predictions were
confirmed shortly afterwards, for when Anastasius* had been elected
Emperor, his acts in themselves were sufficient proof to the world
that the Saint's prophecies had been fulfilled, and those who
dwelt in the holy man's enclosure realized this more especially
since they received all manner of benefits.
During the holy man's first illness, from which he was expected
to die, the pious sovereigns of whom I have spoken moved by divine
zeal, displayed great eagerness to honour his memory, for they
brought from the capital a very large tomb of precious stone and
splendid metal-work which can be seen to this day in the consecrated
enclosure, a very wonderful sight for visitors and of surpassing
lavishness, and whatever was needed for the funeral they supplied
with the greatest generosity. And it is superfluous to mention
the munificence of the liberality of the pious sovereigns and
their unfailing protection. This devotion to the Saint which was
so fruitful and a fountain of kindly deeds the servant of God
heard of after his recovery and said, 'All these acts are truly
great and worthy of their faith in God and sufficient to call
down the goodwill from above upon them, but a resting-place of
stone and one so distinguished does not befit me; for I desire
the earth only according to God's command: "Dust thou art
and unto dust shalt thou return''.(Gen. 3:19) The rulers will
receive a far greater recompense from God; but I myself wish to
be buried deep down in the earth and have the remains of holy
martyrs laid above me, so that, if anyone should wish to visit
my resting-place to strengthen his faith, he may pay his reverence
to the Saints and from them receive the reward of his good deeds
and free himself from condemnation'. This wish we carried out
according to his orders after his second illness and actual translation.
For above his revered grave lie the relics of the three holy children,
Ananias, Azarias and Misael. These were brought from Babylon by
the Emperor Leo of pious memory during the lifetime of the holy
man, and were deposited by Euphemius,* the most holy Archbishop
of the imperial city, who out-rivalled all others in his zeal
for showing honour to the holy man; so we did not experience any
feeling of separation from our blessed and glorious father. And
at the moment of Daniel's blessed death the sovereigns increased
their gifts, for they bought tens of thousands of candles and
illuminated both the oratories; and beginning at the very top
of the column they filled with candles all the spiral scaffolding
built for the descent of the holy corpse.
So great a grace of prophecy was granted to this holy man that
three months before his falling asleep he foretold to us that
within a few days he would quit the dwelling of his body and go
to dwell with the Lord. And from that time on he did not converse
with those that resorted to him about present-day matters only,
but by foreknowledge he also announced future events to them,
strengthening them with words of good counsel, and he gave injunctions
to his usual attendants and to us how his precious body was to
be brought down from the column.
And in every instance in which we obeyed him things turned out
propitiously for us; but if perchance we did anything contrary
to his command, or as we thought fit, being satisfied with our
human planning, it was sure to turn out contrariwise for us; for
he had been deemed worthy by God of the prophetic gift.
And as he had been granted this wonderful grace the glorious man
also told us beforehand of Herais,* the servant of God, and said
that moved by spiritual zeal she would not allow his holy body
to be brought down except by the means she herself would provide,
and he warned us that nobody should oppose her in this intention,
and this, too, came to pass. For this most noble servant of God,
Herais, generous as ever, made lavish provision for the funeral
of our thrice-blessed father Daniel supplying an abundance of
candles and oil beyond measure and gold for distribution to the
poor and a great quantity of wood. And she ordered a number of
men who were experienced in such works to erect a structure spiralwise
round the column and about the entrance to the oratory where the
much-enduring body of the noble champion of the ascetic life was
to lie, so that it might not be injured by the onrush of the crowd
trying to snatch a relic. And according to the command of the
holy man nobody hindered her in this pious purpose.
Seven days before his falling asleep he summoned the whole brotherhood,
from chiefest to least, and some he bade stand quite near him
on the top of the ladder and listen to his words. When he knew
they were assembled, he said, 'My brothers and children, behold,
I am going to our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. God Who created
all things by His word and wisdom, both the heaven and the earth
and the sea and all that in them is, Who brought the race of men
into being from that which was not, He Who is terrible to the
angels but good to men, Who "bowed the heavens and came down''
(Ps. 18:9) upon the earth "like rain upon the mown grass",
(Ps. 72:6) upon the holy virgin Mary, the mother of God, and was
pleased to be incarnate of her, as He alone understands, and to
be seen by men upon earth, Who "took away the sins of the
world'' (John 1:29) and suffered for us, and "with His stripes"
(Is. 53:5) upon the Cross healed our spiritual wounds, and "nailed
the bond that was against us to the wood of the Cross'', (Col
2:14) He will strengthen you and will guard you safe from evil
and will keep your faith in Him firm and immovable if you continue
in unity with each other and perfect love until you draw your
last breath. May He give you grace to serve him blamelessly and
to be one body and one spirit continuing in humility and obedience.
Do not neglect hospitality; never separate yourselves from your
holy mother, the Church, turn away from all causes of offence
and the tares of heretics, who are the enemies of Christ, in order
that ye may become perfect even as also your heavenly Father is
perfect. And now, I bid you Farewell, my beloved children, and
I embrace you all with the love of a father; the Lord will be
with you.' These words he ordered to be read aloud to the brethren
by those who had stood nearest to him and caught the words, for
he was lying down. When this had been done, and the brethren had
heard the holy father's prayer and farewell they burst into such
weeping and wailing that the noise of their lamentation sounded
like unto a clap of thunder. Once again the holy man prayed over
us and then dismissed us telling us not to be faint-hearted but
bear up bravely, 'and make mention of me in your prayers !'
From that hour on, as if moved by some divine providence, the
body of faithful people came up of their own accord. And they
would not move from the holy man's enclosure until Euphemius,
the most holy Archbishop of this imperial city, arrived. He mounted
the column and looked, and then standing high up on the ladder,
announced to all the people, 'The holy man 1S still alive and
with us; do not be troubled; for it is impossible for his holy
body to be consigned to the grave before news of his death has
been published to everyone and all the holy churches everywhere
have been informed'. And this was done.
But I must not forget to mention the greatest thing of all which
was indeed worthy of wonder. Three days before his falling asleep
in the middle of the night he was allowed to see at one time all
those who had been well-pleasing to God. They came down and when
they had greeted him they bade him celebrate the divine and august
sacrament of the Eucharist, and two brethren standing by were
allowed to be hearers of the words and to make the due responses.
And directly he had completed the liturgy of God he woke up from
his trance and coming to himself he asked for the holy communion
to be administered to him; this was done and he partook first,
and we all at that hour of midnight also partook of the Holy Mysteries
just as if he had been administering to us the holy sacrament.
Then, bidding farewell to the crowds who surrounded him, he bade
the brethren present throw incense into the censer without ceasing.
Just about the time of his holy departure from this life a man
vexed with an unclean spirit suddenly cried aloud in the midst
of the people, announcing the presence of the saints with the
holy man, naming each one of them; and he said, 'There is great
joy in heaven at this hour, for the holy angels have come to take
the holy man with them, besides there are come, too, the honourable
and glorious companies of prophets and apostles and martyrs and
saints; they are tormenting me now, and to-morrow at the third
hour they will drive me out of this tabernacle; when the holy
man is going to his home in the heavens and his saintly corpse
is being brought down, I shall come out.' And this did indeed
happen. Our glorious father Daniel died at the third hour on the
following day, a Saturday, December 11th in the second indiction
(A.D. 493), and at the time of his death he worked a miracle in
that the man with an unclean spirit was healed.
When they took down the railing they found his knees drawn up
to his chest, and his heels and legs to his thighs. And whilst
his body was being forcibly straightened, his bones creaked so
loudly that we thought his body would be shattered; yet when he
was laid out, he was quite entire except that his feet had been
worn away by inflammation and the gnawing of worms. The weight
of the hair of his head was divided into twelve plaits, each of
which was four cubits long; likewise his beard was divided into
two and each plait was three cubits long. Most of the Christ-loving
men saw this.
They clad him, as was his wont, in a leather tunic, and a plank
was brought up and laid on the column and he was placed on it.
At early dawn the Archbishop Euphemius, dearly beloved of God,
came and went up the column by the spiral way and kissed the precious
corpse, and thus, too, did all the faithful high dignitaries and
officials, for they went up* to the head of the column, gave their
benediction and kissed his blessed body and came down.
But the people demanded that the holy man should be shown to them
before his burial, and in consequence an extraordinary tumult
arose. For by the Archbishop's orders the plank was stood upright-the
body had been fixed to it so that it could not fall-and thus,
like an icon, the holy man was displayed to all on every side;
and for many hours the people all looked at him and also with
cries and tears besought him to be an advocate with God on behalf
of them all. When this had been done, behold, all the people suddenly
saw clearly with the naked eye three crosses in the sky above
the corpse and white doves flying round it.
Next there was great anxiety about the manner of bringing it down
for the funeral; for the Archbishop Euphemius was afraid the corpse
might be torn asunder by the crowd, so he ordered it to be put
into a case of lead, and this coffin the aforementioned 'illustris',
the most pious Herais, also provided. This coffin was raised on
the shoulders of the most holy Archbishop Euphemius and he bore
it together with the noblest officials and pious men, and they
brought down the corpse by way of the spiral stairway without
its being hurt.
But in order to receive a blessing the people rushed forward in
front of the entry to the chapel and as the planks could not bear
such a sudden rush they parted from each other and all the men
who were carrying the coffin were thrown to the ground with the
holy corpse. By the grace of the Lord the carriers did not suffer
any injury nor did they give way, but they most marvellously withstood
the onrush of the crowd so that among those countless thousands
of men, women and children not a single one sustained any harm.
And Daniel was brought into the oratory and laid to rest underneath
the holy martyrs as he had wished.
These few short reminiscences out of many, beloved, we have recorded
in this our work as best we might. We rejected a multitude of
words in order to avoid satiety, and although numberless incidents
have been omitted, we are assured that these will suffice the
faithful for remembrance and give them all that they desire.
Now let us in a short summary review his whole life down to the
end of his time on earth.
Our all-praiseworthy father Daniel bade adieu to his parents when
he was twelve years old, then for twenty-five years he lived in
a monastery; after that during five years he visited the fathers
and from each learned what might serve his purpose, making his
anthology from their teaching. At the time when the crown of his
endurance began to be woven the Saint had completed his forty-second
year, and at that age he came by divine guidance, as we have explained
above, to this our imperial city. He dwelt in the church for nine
years, standing on the capital of a column, thus training himself
beforehand in the practice of that discipline which he was destined
to bring to perfection. For he had learned from many divine revelations
that his duty was to enter upon the way of life practised by the
blessed and sainted Simeon.
For three and thirty years and three months he stood for varying
periods on the three columns, as he changed from one to another,
so that the whole span of his life was a little more than eighty-four
During these he was deemed worthy to receive 'the prize of his
high calling';( 1 Philipp. 3:14.)1 he blessed all men, he prayed
on behalf of all, he counselled all not to be covetous, he instructed
all in the things necessary to salvation, he showed hospitality
to all, yet he possessed nothing on earth beyond the confines
of the spot on which the enclosure and religious houses had been
built. And though many, amongst whom were sovereigns and very
distinguished officials occupying the highest posts, wished to
present him with splendid possessions he never consented, but
he listened to each one's offer and then prayed that he might
be recompensed by God for his pious intention.
While we bear in mind our holy father's spiritual counsels let
us do our utmost to follow in his steps and to preserve the garment
of our body unspotted and to keep the lamp of faith unquenched,
carrying the oil of sympathy in our vessels that we may find mercy
and grace in the day of judgment from the Father, the Son and
the Holy Ghost now and henceforth and to all eternity, Amen.
For the whole subject of the asceticism of the Stylite Saints
see the masterly study of Hippolyte Delehaye, Les Saints stylites (=Subsidia Hagiographica, vol. I4), Brussels, Société
des Bollandistes, 1923; the text of the Life of Daniel, pp. I-94.
There is a previous publication of the Life in Analecta Bollandiana 32 (19I3), pp. 121-229; this has an index of proper names which
is lacking in the later edition. For a study of the new historical
material contained in the Vita cf. English Historical Review 40 (1925),pp.397-402.
The reader of the Life of Daniel will naturally be interested
in the life of Daniel's master Simeon: for that life the sources
(i) Theodoret, Historia Religiosa, ch. 26, the account
of an eye-witness;
(ii) a Syriac Life of which there is a German translation by Hilgenfeld
in H. Lietzmann, Das Leben des heiligen Symeon Stylites (=Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen
Literatur, edd. A. Harnack and C. Schmidt, vol. 32, Heft 4), Hinrichs,
(iii) a Greek Life-the text in Lietzmann, ibid.;
(iv) Evagrius, Historia Ecclesiastica, Book I, ch. I3;
of this there is an English translation in Bohn's Ecclesiastical
Library, History of the Church by Theodoret and Evagrius, London,
[Note (Halsall): Now also see Robert Doran, trans, The Lives
of Simeon Stylites, (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications,
1992), for translations of the lives by Theodoret of Cyrrhus,
by Antonius, and of the Syriac Life]
Of these sources there is an admirable study by P. Peeters recently
published in Analecta Bollandiana 61 (1943), pp. 29-71, S. Syméon Stylite et ses premiers Biographes which
shows that our most reliable source is the Syriac Life.
Antioch might share with Constantinople the possession of the
saint's relics, but the pillar remained and about the pillar the
devotion of Simeon's Syrian admirers raised a majestic church.
The remains of that church have been closely studied of recent
years and a note of the principal publications may be of interest:
H. W Beyer, Der Syrische Kirchenbau (=Studien zur spätantiken
Kunstgeschichte, edd. Richard Delbruck and Hans Lietzmann, vol.
I), De Gruyter, Berlin, I925, pp. 69-72: the building of the church
dated between A.D.460 and 490.
H. C. Butler, Early Churches in Syria: Fourth to Seventh Centuries,
ed. E. Baldwin Smith. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology,
Princeton University, I929,pp.97-I09. For Simeon's column see
p. 100: height 40 ft.: it is suggested that the summit was 6 ft.
Daniel Krencker and Rudolf Naumann, Die Wallfahrtskirche des
Simeon Stylites, etc. Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie
der Wissenschaften Jahrgang 1938 Philosophisch-historische Klasse
Nr.4, De Gruyter, Berlin, 1939-a sumptuous publication: account
of excavations in the spring of 1938 with plans and photographs,
but see the review by A. M. Schneider in Göttinger Gelehrte
Anzeigen for 1939, pp.335-42; G. de Jerphanion, in Voix
des Monuments N.S., Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Roma, I938,pp.
III-33 and in Orientalia Christiana Periodica 9 (1943),pp.
Readers may be glad to have a reference to the French translation
of the life of another stylite saint: François Vanderstuyf, Vie de Saint Luc le Stylite (879-979), Patrologia Orientalis,
edd. R. Graffin and F. Nau, Tome II, Fasc. 2(1914).
For the history of the period covered by Daniel's life cf. J.
B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, Macmillan,
London, 1903, vol. I; Otto Seeck, Geschichte des Untergangs
der antiken Welt, vol. 6, Metzler, Stuttgart, I920, with an Anhang of notes, 192I; Ernst Stein, Geschichte des spatromischen
Reiches, Vol. I, Seidel, Vienna, 1928. For details of the
struggle between the Germans and the Isaurians cf. E. W. Brooks
in English Historical Review 8 (1893), pp.209-38.
'two great lights': for the explanation of the vision see ch.
'When he was twelve years old-' For the admission of children
into monasteries at this time cf. the case of Heliodorus who was
received into the monastery of Eusebonas when he was only three
years old: for sixty-two years he never left the monastery and
he told Theodoret that he had no idea what a pig or a cock might
look like. Theodoret, Historia religiosa, Migne, Patrologia
Graeca. vol. 82.Col 1468.
Telanissae: the Greek text of Theodoret has the form Telanissos
or Telanessos: the Syriac form is Telneschin or Telneschil: cf.
H. Lietzmann, Das Leben des heiligen Symeon stylites (see
above), p. 205.
For the apologetic for St. Simeon's strange form of asceticism
see Theodoret, Historia Religiosa, ch. 26, Migne: Patrologia
Graeca, vol. 82, col. 1473, and in Hilgenfeld's translation of
the Syriac Life in Lietzmann, op. cit., ch. 117, pp. 163-5.
'at last you are free': a surprising consequence of his appointment
The revolt of the Samaritans. Hatred of the Christians led to
many revolts of the Samaritans: in 484 Zeno took Gerizim from
the Samaritans and built there a church dedicated to the Virgin.
After the violence of the Samaritan revolution of 529 many of
their synagogues were destroyed: some of the Samaritans became
Christians, while others escaped into Persia.
For the reappearance of the old man see ch. 53.
On the writer's sources of knowledge see the Introduction, p.
'in the quarter of the city named after Basiliscus': "epano
tou propulou tes eisodou tou marturiou ta kata Basilikon. Tà K.B. is curious and we are not sure how the words
should be translated.
a place called Anaplus: cf. J. Pargoire, Anaple et Sosthène,
Izvyestiya russkago arkheologicheskago Instituta v Konstantinopolye
3 (1898), pp. 60-97. Pargoire has shown that the word Anaplous has many meanings: (i) the navigation of the Bosphorus up against
the current from Constantinople to the Black Sea or the whole
of the Bosphorus itself; (ii) the S.W. coastline of the Bosphorus
from the suburb of Sycae (Galata) to the narrows halfway between
Constantinople and the Black Sea; (iii) a specific place (or perhaps
to two specific places), as in this Vita, where Anaplus=the modern
'Paul his disciple'-a mistake which was corrected by the author
of the shorter Life who omits the name of Paul. Antony is, of
course, St. Antony, 'the first monk', whose Life was written by
'a small'window': semnen thurida cf. ch. 20 s.f. Thurida;
see ch. 20 monasterion semnon, ch. 64 s.f. Kai sustesamenos
semnon monasterion hosei andron dodeka. It is not easy to
see how semnos comes to mean 'small' .
with nothing to do: umeis adioketoi menete We are not sure
of the translation of adioketoi.
'the blessed Anatolius': Anatolius was Patriarch of Constantinople
from 449 to July 3rd, 458. For the date of his death cf. Franz
Diekamp, Analecta Patristica (=Orientalia Christiana Analecta,
No. 117), Pontificium Institutum Orientalium Studiorum, Roma,
1938, p. 55 note.
'a small monastery': see note on ch. 15.
'a small window': see note on ch. I5.
St. Simeon's leather tunic: dermokoukoullon. There is a
difficulty here, since Simeon's instruction before his death was
that the skins which were his only garments should be his sole
covering after death. The writer of the Syriac Life says 'and
this was done'. Hilgenfeld in Lietzmann, Das Leben, etc.,
ch. 123, p. 168.-The leather covering may of course have been
abstracted after Simeon's death to be presented to the Emperor,
as later the Saint's relics were carried to Constantinople. Peeters
writes: 'S'il y a contradiction entre les deux textes, on ne la
résoudra pas en accordant a priori la préférence
au narrateur gree', Analeeta Bollandiana 61 (1943), p.
59. Perhaps dermokoukoullon should be translated 'leather
tunic with its cowl', cf. ch. 52 infra.
'the sleepless ones': the monks who sought to maintain prayer
both night and day within the monastery: to 'pray without ceasing'.
Cf. the article by E. Marin s.v. 'Acémètes' in the Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, edd. A. Vacant
and E. Mangenot, vol. ix Paris, 1903, coll. 304-8. The founder
of the body of 'sleepless monks' was Alexander, who formed a monastery
in Constantinople c. 420. The monks had attacked Nestorius who
was at that time supported by the Court; in consequence they were
driven from the capital and took refuge in the monastery of Rufinianae
of which Hypatius was abbot. Later they moved fifteen miles farther
up the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus to Irenaion=the modern village
of Tchiboukly opposite Stenia-for the identification of Stenia
with Sosthenion of the Byzantines see Pargoire, op. cit. (note
on ch. 13) pp. 61-5. At Irenaion the 'sleepless monks' built a
large monastery housing some 300 monks: they were divided into
separate choirs and thus praise to God was sung continuously without
pause night or day. A vivid account of the sufferings of the Akoimetoi
before they settled at Irenaion is given in the Life of St. Hypatius
by Callinicus of which there is a useful edition, Leipzig ,
and that story is re-told by J. Pargoire, Les Débuts
du Monachisme à Constantinople, Revue des Questions
historiques, N.S. 21 (1899), pp. 133-43.
'guardsman': Silentiarius. The silentiarii formed the body of
'ushers who kept guard at the doors during meetings of the Imperial
Council and Imperial audiences'. J. B`. Bury, History of the
Later Roman Empire, Macmillan, London, 1923, vol. I, p. 33
note. Cf. ch. 42 infra, and see A. Vogt, Constantin VII Porphyrogénète,
Le Livre des Cérémonies, Commentaire, Les Belles
Lettres, Paris, 1935, pp. 46-7.
'fluttering': Thopeuousan. Topeuein means to 'flatter'.
There is apparently no parallel to its meaning in this passage
which can be only to 'flutter'. It has been suggested that in
English 'flatter' and 'flutter' are forms of the same word and
that it has undergone a change in meaning similar to that in the
case of the Greek Topeuein, though this differentiation
has been marked in English by a vowel change. See Maurice Leroy, Nugulae byzantinae, Annuaire de l'Institut de philologie
et d'histoire orientales et slaves 6 (1938), pp 95-9
'steward of the sacred table': kastriesios tes theias trapezes.
For the imperial table and its controller o epi tes trapezes,
cf. Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Ceremoniis (Bonn edition),
p. 463 (cf. pp. 70, 484); J. B. Bury, The Imperial Administrative
System of the Ninth Century (=British Academy Supplementary
Papers I), Oxford University Press, 1911, pp. 125-6. The Castresios
(Castrensis) would appear to have been his subordinate; he is
mentioned by Constantine VII, ibid., pp. 742, 744.
Anatolius, cf. ch. 17. For a biography of Gennadius see Franz
Diekamp, op. cit. (note on ch. 17), pp. 54-70, and see ch. 41-3
'a Syro-persian from Mesopotamia': 'Syro-persian'= a Persian subject
speaking Syriac. Leroy argues that in the case of such compound
words the first part describes the country of origin and the second
part the habitat. He compares Mark vii. 26. Maurice Leroy, loc.
cit. (note on ch. 24), pp. 102-4.
'the last rungs': In the Vienna MS. of the Vita the word 'four'
is added here: if this reading were adopted the ladder used for
Daniel's first column would have had ten rungs.
Cyrus. For the famous Praefect of Constantinople and Praetorian
Praefect of the East cf. J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman
Empire (see note on ch.23), vol. l, pp. 227-9. His buildings
in the capital caused the crowd in the Hippodrome to shout 'Constantine
built the city, but Cyrus renewed it'. See further the article
by Otto Seeck in Pauly-Wissowa-Kroll, Realencyclopädie
der classischen AItertsmswissenschaft, vol. 12, Stuttgart,
1924, coll. 188-90. Cf. ch. 36 infra.
Chrysaphius: the all-powerful eunuch under Theodosius II. See
J. B. Bury, op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 229, 235-6; Otto Seeck, Realencyclopädie,
vol. 3 (1899), coll. 2485-6-'the Spatharius'-see note on ch. 56.
On Gelanius see note on ch. 25.
Eudoxia, the daughter of Theodosius II and Eudocia, married Valentinian
III in 437 and in Ravenna was declared Augusta in 439. In 455
her husband died, and in the same year Gaiseric, the Vandal, invaded
Italy, sacked Rome and carried off as prisoners Eudoxia and her
two daughters, Placidia and Eudocia. In 462, under the terms of
a treaty of peace concluded with Gaiseric, Eudoxia and Placidia
were restored from captivity and returned to Constantinople. Of
her later history we know nothing. See the article by Otto Seeck, Realencyclopädie (see note on ch. 31), vol. 6 (1907),
Olybrius, a member of the aristocracy of Rome, escaped from the
western capital when it was sacked by Gaiseric and as the present
Vita shows reached Constantinople; he had probably been betrothed
to Placidia, the daughter of Eudoxia, while in Italy: this would
explain his inquiries which Daniel had answered concerning the
return from Africa of Eudoxia and her daughtcr. Gaiseric (whose
son Huneric had married Placidia's sister Eudocia) desired Olybrius
to be declared Emperor in the West. Olybrius was sent to Italy
by Leo, and after the death of Anthemius ruled there as emperor
for seven months. He died-surprisingly-a natural death. It is
doubtful whether he was recognized as Emperor by the East Roman
Court; on the circumstantial story given by Malalas of Leo's attempt
to procure the assassination of Olybrius see J. B. Bury, English
Historical Review, vol. I (1886), pp. 507-9. The story is
unsupported by any other authority; how did Malalas learn the
details which he gives (Malalas, p. 374, Bonn ed.)? See Ernst
Stein, Geschichte des spätramischen Reiches, vol.
I (see p. 73), pp. 582-3, and T. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders,
vol. 2, ed. 2, Oxford, I 892, index. s.v. 'Olybrius', and probable
genealogy, p. 474.
'your angelic presence': para to so angelo i.e. 'with your
angel'='with your angelic self'. For this curious use of the word
'angel' see H. Grégoire, 'Ton Ange' et les Anges de
Théra", Byzantinische Zeitschrift 30 (1929-30),
pp. 641-4. Professor Grégoire thinks that this form went
out of use after the seventh century: it was too 'osé de
saluer un ange dans un chrétien vivant, fût-il un
saint'. 'On se contente d'expressions plus prudentes comme isangelos ['equal to the angels'], angelikos ['angelic']; on parla
d'âmes concitoyennes des anges'. Cf. infra, ch. 49, 7 I
Cyrus. See note p. 77, ch. 31I .
On this epigram cf. Père Delehaye's article Revue des
Études grecques 9 (1896), pp. 216-24. Delehaye suggested
that the inscription was the work of Cyrus himself: he has contributed
several epigrams to the Greek Anthology: cf. vii. 557; ix. s36,623,
808,809; xv. 9.
The Emperor Leo I. For the reign cf. J. B. Bury, op. cit. (see
note on ch. 23), vol. I, pp. 314-23; Ensslin in Realencyclopädie (see note on ch.31 ), vol. 12 (1925), coll. 1947-61.
The Empress Verina, cf. the note on ch. 55.
'a certain harlot': the Greek text has an otherwise unknown word tuphas.: Maurice Leroy proposes to read truphas:
cf. his study of the Greek words for prostitute, op. cit. (see
note on ch. 24), pp. 106-9.
Anaplus: see note on ch. 13.
Gennadius: see note on ch. 27.
'the rnatter was not remembered': see ch. 45.
'guardsman': Silentiarius; see note on ch. 23.
On this remarkable ordination to the priesthood see H. Delehaye, Les Saints stylites, Brussels, 1923, p. lvi.
The great fire (cf. ch . 4 I )-September 2nd, 465 (for references
cf. Ensslin, Realencyclopädie -see note on ch. 31-vol.
12, coll. I959). A great part of the capital was destroyed by
the conflagration which is probably to be identified with that
reported in Chron. Pasch. (Bonn ed.), vol. I, p. 598, which
was the greatest ever known: the fire spread from sea to sea.
The Emperor fled from Constantinople and crossed to the Asiatic
shore where he remained for six months.
'did not keep silence', etc.: or, as in the abbreviated version
of the Vita: 'God in His mercy and wishing to spare the people
disclosed these things to me and I did not keep silence, but more
than once I declared them and besought men that they should repent
and my words were counted as idle babbling. You should have obeyed
my words and have escaped from such anger. For formerly-the Ninevites
. . .'
'the two lights': see ch. 2 supra.
'his chamberlain': see note on ch. 7I.
Jordanes, son of John, the Vandal Master of the Soldiers, who
was murdered in Thrace in 44 I . Jordanes was consul in 470. For
his appointment as general on the Eastern front see ch. 55 infra.
'your angelic presence': see note on ch. 35.
Gubazius, King of the Lazi: In 456 Marcian had attacked Colchis
and had called upon the King of the Lazi to abdicate or to depose
his son, as it was against tradition to have two joint rulers.
Gubazius abdicated and agreed to come to Constantinople to discuss
the relations of his kingdom towards the Empire. In 466 Gabazius
pays his visit. Lazica lay at the eastern extremity of the Black
Sea. See the sketch-map in V. Chapot, La Frontière de
l'Euphrate, Fontemoing, Paris, 1907. On Lazica see ibid.,
pp. 13-14, and the chapter on L'Extrémité du
Pont-Euxin et les Régions caucasiques, ibid., pp. 363-73.
'the Saint's leather tunic': see note on ch. 22.
'the man who met me on the road': cf. ch.10.
This is an important section; it tells us for the first time how
Zeno was brought to the notice of the Emperor. For Ardaburius
and his father Aspar see Otto Seeck in Realeneyclopadie (see note on ch. 31), vol. 2 (1895), coll. 607-10.
Patricius: not to be identified with Aspar's son of that name
(J. B. Bury, op. cit. (see note on ch. 23) vol. I p. 317 note).
Later Patricius became the paramour of Verina: she plotted against
Zeno in order to raise Patricius to the throne. In this she failed,
as her brother Basiliscus was made Emperor and he put Patricius
to death (cf. Bury, ibid., pp. 390-1). For Jordanes see note on
So far as we know this is the only place where a threatened Vandal
attack upon Egypt is mentioned.
spatharius: spatha = a long sword. Spatharii appear as private
soldiers maintained, as were the bucellarii, by generals and other
potentiores. Here Hylasius is clearly a member of the troop of
imperial guards, cf. R. Grosse, Römische Militärgeschichte,
Weidmann, Berlin, 1920, pp. 137-8, 285-6.
The biographer here is very discreet: it is true that Gaiseric
did not attack Egypt, but the combined naval expedition of the
forces of the East and of the West of the Emperor directed against
the Vandal kingdom ended in a complete catastrophe. The expedition
was under the command of Basiliscus and it was ruined by his incompetence.
It was said that he had been instigated by Aspar to betray the
fleet under the promise of empire: Priscus, a contemporary, states
that he was bribed by Gaiseric [for sources: E. W. Brooks, English
Historical Review 8 (1893), p. 213]. It is not necessary to
accept either of these attempts to explain the disastrous failure.
For Gaiseric or Genseric see: Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and her
Invaders, vol. 2, 2nd ed., Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1892,
pp. 227 sqq.; F. Martroye, Genséric, La Conquête
vandale en Afrique et la Destruction de l'Empire d'Occident,
Hachette, Paris, 1907; E. A. Gautier, Genséric, Roi
des Vandales, Payot, Paris, 1932. For the range of Gaiseric's
hostile action see the account of his attack on Greece, Gautier,
p. 254. For the disastrous attack on Africa by the Empire, Gautier,
pp. 255 sqq.; Hodgkin, p. 446; Bury, op. cit. (see note on ch.
23), pp. 335-7.
but no columns: ektos kionon. We do not know how this should
be translated: it seems as if ektos must mean 'free from'
The relics of St. Simeon. Since Antioch continued to regard the
body of St. Simeon as its great protection we must conclude that
a part only of the Saint's remains was brought to Constantinople.
'II n'est pas nécessaire d'admettre, dans un pays où
la division des corps saints n'était pas regardée
comme un sacrilège, que l'on n'a pu enrichir la capitale
sans dépouiller complètement Antioche.' Delehaye, Les Saints stylites, p. Ivi.
'at his endurance': Here we have adopted a change in punctuation.
'to his soldiers': his bucellarii-i.e. soldiers serving under
a military commander as his own private troop. The word is said
to be derived from bucella = fine white bread as distinguished
from the ordinary rations of the common soldier. See Grosse, op.
cit. (note on ch. 56), p. 287.
We owe this translation to Professor Dawkins; cf. ch. 49 (short
version). Peri de Iordanou kai touto to agathon te se emenen
We know nothing about Idoubingos.
'a small monastery': see note on ch. 15.
Zeno marries Leo's daughter Ariadne. Since Zeno was consul in
469 the marriage presumably was celebrated in the winter of 467-8.
Brooks placed it in 466, English Historical Review 8 (1893),
p. 212. Leo had previously promised that Patricius, Aspar's son,
should marry Ariadne. 'Henceforth there were two factions at the
Court of Constantinople, the Isaurian and the barbarian. . . For
the next twenty years the history of the Empire turns upon the
struggle between these factions.' Brooks.
Apparently in 470 Anagast revolted in Thrace; this would explain
Zeno's mission to Thrace. Anagast later claimed that his revolt
had been instigated by Ardadurius and produced letters from Ardaburius
in support of his assertion (John of Antioch, frag. 206). This
revolt may in its turn have led to the murder in the palace in
47 I of both Aspar and Ardaburius (ch. 66 infra).
'came to Pylae': see note to p. 191.[= note to chap 127 in Life
of Theodore Sykeon]
Birth of Leo II. Leo was in his seventh year when he died in November
474. He must therefore have been born in 468. Malalas xiv (Bonn
ed.), p. 376; Seeck, Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste,
Metzler, Stuttgart, 1919, p. 425
Death of Leo I: January 18th, 474.
'went to the land of his fathers': this reads oddly here- eporeuthe
en te ge ton pateron. Presumably such texts as 1 Kings viii.
34, 48; 2 Chron. vi. 25, 38 are interpreted as signifying Heaven.
'his father': oikeios has merely the force of the possessive
For the plot organized by Verina in concert with her brother Basiliscus
with the object of dethroning Zeno, the husband of her daughter
Ariadne, see Bury, op. cit. (note on ch. 23), vol. 1, pp. 390-7.
Armatus, nephew of Verina, was the lover of Zenonis, the wife
of Basiliscus: he was created a Master of the Soldiers by his
uncle and was his colleague in the consulship in 476.
Marcianus, the son of Anthemius, the Roman Emperor in the West,
had married Leontia, the second daughter of Leo I. His participation
in the revolt of Basiliscus (475) is to be distinguished ffom
his later attempt to overthrow Zeno, on which see Bury, op. cit.,
Vol. l, p. 395. Cf.`the article by Ensslin, Realencyclopädie (see note on ch. 31), vol. 14 (1930), coll. 1529-30. We do not
know of any other mention of Zuzus. It is to be noted how carefully
the writer shields Verina and puts on others the responsibility
for the attack on Zeno.
'and landed': epoiesan hekotabla. We do not know how these
words should be translated: is it 'they landed' or does it mean
literally 'they took horse'?
' Basiliscus-name of ill omen': Basiliscus-a diminutive of Basileus
= 'a little emperor'. For the Monophysitism favoured by Basiliscus
see J. B. Bury, op. cit. (note on ch. 23), vol. I, p. 403; Ernst
Stein, op. cit. (see p. 73), p. 538; for the Encyclical of Basiliscus
anathematizing the Creed of Chalcedon cf. Zechariah of Mitylene,
Book V, ch. 2-in the translation of E. W. Brooks (Methuen, 1899),
pp. 105-7; in the German translation of K. Ahrens and G. Kruger
(Teubner, Leipzig, }899), pp. 60-2.
Acacius: Patriarch of Constantinople, A.D. 471-89.
chamberlain: a cubicularius. On these trusted servants of the
Emperor see the article by Rostowzew, Realencyclopädie (see note on ch. 3}), vol. 4, coll. 1734-7.
'your angelic nature': literally 'to your angel'; see note on
The Exakionium, more usually Exokionion or corrupted into Hexakionion
= the district outside (exo) the wall of Constantine to
the south of the City. Cf. Van Millingen, Byzantine Constantinople (Murray, 1899), pp. 18 sqq. and map opposite p. 19.
The Monastery of Studius. Studius, a patrician from Rome, founded
in 463 the famous monastery dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
It lay south of the Exokionion (see note supra). Delehaye has
shown that the monastery was always known as 'of Studius' and
never as 'Studium'. Analecta Bollandiana 52 (1934), pp.
Exarch. Probably here = the superintendent of the monasteries
of the capital.
The Hebdomon = seven miles from the central milestone in the capital.
Its site at Makrikeui on the shore of the Sea of Marmora, three
miles to the west of the Golden Gate, was determined by Van Millingen: Byzantine Constantinople, pp. 316-41 and map opposite p.
316. See further Heinrich Gluck, Das Hebdomon und seine Reste
in Makrikoi (=Beiträge zur vergleichenden Kunstforschung
Heft 1), Vienna, 1920 (illustrated), and for the most recent excavations
cf. Échos d'Orient (Bucharest) 38 (1939), 146 sq.
sentinels or the palace guards':phrouroi eitoun phulakes tou
palatiou. Of the precise meaning of these terms we are not
sure; are they synonymous? Cf. Phrourophulaki in the Lexikon
'the guards who were on duty': hoi scholarioi hoi ta ekskoubeta
poiountes. Cf. J. B. Bury, op. cit. (note on ch. 23), vol.
1, p. 37: 'The Scholarians were picked men and till the middle
of the fifth century chiefly Germans, mounted, better equipped
and better paid than the ordinary cavalry of the army. There were
seven schools at Constantinople each 500 strong.' They were under
the control of the Master of the Offices. 'The decline of the
Scholarian Guards is attributed by Agathias (v. 15) to Zeno, who
bestowed appointments on Isaurian relatives of no valour.' Bury,
ibid., p. 401. Cf. R. Grosse, op. cit. (see note on ch. 56), pp
'two guardsmen': here silentiarii - for these Court ushers see
note on ch. 23.
'a legal secretary of the Emperor': raipherendarion, On
the Referendarii see J. B. Bury, Magistri Scriniorum, ANTIGRAPHES and REPHERENARIOI, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology
21 (1910) (Harvard University), pp.23-9. 'The referendarii, who
might be described as legal secretaries of the Emperor . . . acted
as bearers of the unwritten answers of the Emperor, in judicial
matters, to the persons concerned, and they might be employed
on various special missions. From the nature of the case they
might possess much influence on the imperial decisions', p. 29.
'against her who is his confederate': presumably Verina.
'monastery of Studius': see note on ch. 72.
Dagalaiphus: son of Areobindus (consul in 434) and married to
the daughter of Ardabur. He was consul in 461 .
Forum of the Ox (Bous): at Akserai, not far from the harbour
of Eleutherius (see map in Van Millingen, Byzantine Constantinople,
at p. 19).
We do not know of any reference to Herais in other sources; cf.
'Basiliscus of ill-omened name': see note on ch. 70.
Theoctistus had been appointed Master of the Offices by Basiliscus;
he was a doctor from Alexandria. See Zechariah of Mitylene, translation
of Hamilton and Brooks (Methuen, 1899), p. 104. For his part in
the religious controversy of the reign, ibid., pp. 104, 110. In
the translation of Ahrens and Kruger (Leipzig, 1899), pp. 59,
Zeno's return to Constantinople: Armatus, the nephew of Basiliscus,
went over to the side of Zeno, cf. E. W. Brooks, English Historical
Review 8 (I893), pp. 217-18. Zeno had fled from the capital
on January 9th, 475, and the fall of Basiliscus must be placed
at the end of August 476; see Seeck, Regesten (note on
ch. 66), p. 426.
'The holy relics of Simeon": see ch. 58.
Parthenopolis: where is this place?
Anastasius: Emperor 491-518.
Euphemius: Patriarch of Constantinople, 490-6.
Herais. Cf. ch. 82.
anientes: we have translated as though the text read aniontes.
Source: Three Byzantine Saints: Contemporary Biographies of
St. Daniel the Stylite, St. Theodore of Sykeon and St. John the
Almsgiver, trans. Elizabeth Dawes, and introductions and notes
by Norman H. Baynes, (London: 1948)
The book is currently  published in the US. By St. Vladmir's
Seminary Press. Inquiries at SVSP confirmed, however, that the
US copyright on this text was allowed to lapse. The text in this
case seems to be in the Public Domain in the US, but not necessarily
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