Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Macarius, an Egyptian Hermit or Monk

Macarius (17). Two hermits or monks of this name both lived in Egypt in the 4th cent.; their characters and deeds are almost indistinguishable. The elder is called the Egyptian, the younger the Alexandrine. One of them was a disciple of Anthony and the master of EVAGRIUS, and one of them dwelt in the Thebaid. Jerome speaks of Rufinus ( Ep. iii. 2, ed. Vall. a.d. 374) as "being at Nitria, and having reached the abode of Macarius." Yet Rufinus, who lived 6 years in Alexandria and the adjoining monasteries, describes the residence of Macarius ( Hist. Mon. 29)—which he names Scithium and says was a day and a half's journey from the monasteries of Nitria—from the accounts of others rather than as an eye-witness. Rufinus, however, seems to have seen both hermits (Apol. Ruf. ii. 12). The stories about them are of a legendary character. Rufinus, Hist. Mon. 28, 29, and Hist. Eccl. ii. 4, 8; Palladius, 19, 20; Soz. iii. 13; Socr. iv. 18; Gennad. d. V. Ill. 11; Martyrolog. Rom. Jan. 5 and 15.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Macarius, an Egyptian Hermit or Monk'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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