The Ascetic Who Lived atop a Pillar for 37 Years

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Simeon Stylites the Elder invented a whole new type of ascetic: the stylite, or pillar hermit. Ascetics were religious people who practised strict self-denial. Simeon was unparalleled in his zeal and asceticism, so much so that he was kicked out of a monastery for being too hard-core about it. In post-monastic life, he attracted crowds, which was the exact opposite of what he wanted. To escape them, he climbed on top of a pillar, where he lived, ate, and died after 37 years. Read full article here

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