Cyril of Scythopolis

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Cyril of Scythopolis (ca. 525-559[1] CE), also known as Cyrillus Scythopolitanus (Greek: Κύριλλος ὁ Σκυθοπολίτης, Kyrillos ho Skythopolitēs), was a Christian monk, priest and Greek[2] hagiographer or historian of monastic life in Palestine in the early years of Christianity (6th century CE).


Cyril was born in Scythopolis, Palestine. His father John, a lawyer, supervised his early religious education. Cyril was influenced by Saint Sabas whom he had met when he was still in a young age; in later years, when he was in Jerusalem, he also met St John the Hesychast, bishop of Colonia in Cappadocia Secunda. Cyril in 544 arrived at the monastery of Euthymius otherwise known as Khan el-Ahmar;[3] in 555 CE he moved to the New Lavra of St Sabas with other Orthodox monks after the expulsion from it of Origenist monks, following the general condemnation of Origenism. He died in the Great Lavra of St Sabas whereto he had moved in 557 CE.[1]


His work Peri tou Megalou Euthymiou Syngraphē, i.e. "Writing on Euthymius the Great", commonly called in English The Lives of the Monks of Palestine, remains one of the principal sources of monastic life during the Byzantine period; he described therein seven lives of Palestinian saint monks.[4] Other works by him include a biography of St John the Hesychast.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kazhdan, Alexander P., ed. (1991). "Cyril of Scythopolis". The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ Byzantium and the Arabs in the sixth century By Irfan Shahīd Page 156 ISBN 0-88402-284-6 (2002)
  3. ^ Euthymius (Khan el-Ahmar), by Kelly Jordan, University of Notre Dame, Summer 2000 Field School
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Scythopolis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

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