One subset of stylites
chose not to live atop man-made pillars.
St Symeon Stylites
left his monastery in 423 and spent the remainder of his life atop a series of increasingly high columns, on the last of which, 60 feet high, he remained for twenty years, absorbed in prayer, until his death in 459.
, standing bareheaded in the downpour on the guilty spot (which he remembered fifty years later) as the astonished townsmen glanced at the madman and hurried on to find shelter.
Indeed, Simon Stylites
himself might well have been induced to come down off his pillar and sidle sheepishly up to the ring.
As a result, we live with an honor roll of saints in our minds who punished themselves to control themselves: desert monastics who lived on locusts and wild honey and fasted even from those for days, Simon Stylites
who lived on top of a pole for years, women who mutilated themselves to preserve their chastity, men who beat themselves with whips to subdue the impulses of the body.
There is an element of insanity in Timon's withdrawal from society to his desert pit and we might compare his self-realisation half naked and in gritty solitude to Simeon Stylites
on his desert pillar.
, a vascular land plant without stomata absorbs [CO.
For some reason, we sometimes catch what I call the "Saint Simeon Stylites
Sometimes, though, even within the same piece, the phrasing is so rhetorically exacerbated as to replace our attention to (and even our consciousness of) the artworks being considered: "Morandi's studio belongs to that land, as unlocatable as it is harsh, where in other times dwelled anchorites, stylites
in the frost air, and where even now - for light here is still shadow, as these still lifes show - glimmer Elsinore's funereal terraces, the ebony room where a raven came repeating 'Nevermore,' and that other room, deeper still in night, where Igitur cast the die.
Besides presenting a very readable English translation of these texts, Doran helps the reader to understand why Simeon and other stylites
attracted pilgrims from as far away as Britain and Persia.
, and recluses undertook their vocations in the context of monastic communities that cared for them and sought to embody collectively the spirituality of these exemplars.
The most celebrated were Simeon Stylites
of Syria and Daniel the Stylite