Click to donate today!
A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography
Marcianus, a Solitary in Syria
Marcianus (3), Nov. 2 ( Menol. Graec. Sirlet. and Mart. Rom. ), a celebrated solitary in the desert of Chalcis in Syria (Theod. Rel. Hist. c. 3); a native of Cyrrhus and of good family. In the desert he built himself within a narrow enclosure a cell in which he could neither stand upright nor lie at full length. In course of time he admitted to his society, but in separate dwellings, two disciplesâ€”Eusebius, his successor in the cell, and Agapetus. At some distance he established an abode, under the care of Eusebius, for those who desired to pursue a monastic life under regulations framed by him. Agapetus retired and became bp. of Apamea. Towards the end of his life Marcian allowed himself to be visited by all who pleased, women excepted, but only after the festival of Easter. About 382 he was visited by Flavian, the new bp. of Antioch, in company with four of the most eminent bishops of Syriaâ€”Acacius of Berrhoea, Eusebius of Chalcis, Isidore of Cyrrhus, and Theodotus of Hierapolisâ€”besides some religious laymen of high rank. They came to listen to his wisdom, but he persisted in humble silence, and only observed that such as he could not expect to profit men while the word and works of God were so continually appealing to men in vain. Living in the Arian reign of Valens, Marcian's great influence was steadily exerted on the side of orthodoxy and he was an uncompromising opponent of all the prevailing heresies. He zealously upheld the Nicaean rule of Easter and broke off communion with the venerable solitary Abraham in the same desert until he gave up the old Syrian custom and conformed to the new one. Tillemont (viii. 483, xiv. 222) places his death c. 385 or 387. The Roman Martyrology commemorates him on Nov. 2. His disciple Agapetus founded two monasteries, one called after himself at Nicerta in the diocese of Apamea, and another called after Marcian's disciple Simeon. From them sprang many, all observing the rules of Marcian. His disciple Basil erected one at Seleucobelus. Tillem. viii. 478, x. 533, xi. 304, xii. 20, xiv. 222, xv. 340, 349; Dupin, i. 455, ed. 1722; Ceill. x. 52; Baron. A. E. ann. 382, lxviii.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Marcianus, a Solitary in Syria'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hwd/m/marcianus-a-solitary-in-syria.html. 1911.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26