hermit

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hermit

[Gr.,=desert], one who lives in solitude, especially from ascetic motives. Hermits are known in many cultures. Permanent solitude was common in ancient Christian asceticismasceticism
, rejection of bodily pleasures through sustained self-denial and self-mortification, with the objective of strengthening spiritual life. Asceticism has been common in most major world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity: all of
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; St. AnthonyAnthony, Saint
, 251?–c.350, Egyptian hermit, called St. Anthony of Egypt and St. Anthony the Abbot. At the age of 20 he gave away his large inheritance and became a hermit.
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 of Egypt and St. Simeon StylitesSimeon Stylites, Saint
[Gr.,= of a pillar], d. 459?, Syrian hermit. He lived for more than 35 years on a small platform on top of a high pillar. He had many imitators (called stylites) and gained the reverence of the whole Christian world. Feast: Jan. 5.
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 were noted hermits. Many extreme Franciscans (Spirituals) of the 13th and the 14th cent. were hermits, among them Pope St. Celestine. In the East the hermit, or eremetical, life was widely held to be the more perfect form of monasticismmonasticism
, form of religious life, usually conducted in a community under a common rule. Monastic life is bound by ascetical practices expressed typically in the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, called the evangelical counsels.
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 and was open only to those who had first passed years in a monastic community. Monasticism in the West developed along the less rigorous communal lines; the CarthusiansCarthusians
, small order of monks of the Roman Catholic Church [Lat. abbr.,=O. Cart.]. It was established by St. Bruno at La Grande Chartreuse (see Chartreuse, Grande) in France in 1084.
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 are well-known exceptions. The hermit or anchorite of the ancient church lived in the desert, commonly walled up in a cell with only a window. In medieval Europe the cell usually connected with a church. The Ancren RiwleAncren Riwle
or Ancrene Wisse
[Mid. Eng.,=anchoresses' rule], English tract written c.1200 by an anonymous English churchman for the instruction of three young ladies about to become religious recluses.
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 was written for English anchoresses. Juliana of NorwichJuliana of Norwich
, d. c.1443, English religious writer, an anchoress, or hermit, of Norwich called Mother (or Dame) Juliana or Julian. Her work, completed c.1393, Revelations of Divine Love, is an expression of mystical fervor in the form of 16 visions of Jesus.
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 was a famous English anchoress.

hermit

one of the early Christian recluses
References in periodicals archive ?
Take, for instance, one of the sentences used to illustrate the difference between eremetic and hermetic: "King Alabastro kept Dariushka's eyeballs and heart in a hermetically sealed bivalve coffer, her garter belt entwined with his suspenders, her finger cymbals with his cuff links, and her sling-back satin slippers at the foot of their conjugal bed.
Hanna's information about the eremetic life enriches understanding of the texture of Piers.
When he discusses eastern monsticism in the early Byzantine period he draws on Theodoret of Cyrus and Egyptian writers to argue that most monks came from the regions in which they settled, and that it was not until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that monks came to the Holy Land specifically to live the eremetic life there rather than in a forest or desert or mountain close to their home.