Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century/Theodosius of Syria


Theodosius (20), a celebrated solitary of Syria contemporary with Theodoret, born at Antioch of a rich and noble family. Abandoning his worldly possessions, he dwelt in a hut in a forest on the mountain above the city of Rhosus, where he practised the severest self-discipline, loading his neck, loins, and wrists with heavy irons, and allowing his uncombed hair to grow to his feet. He speedily gathered a colony of ascetics, whom he taught industrial arts, as weaving sackcloth and haircloth, making mats, fans, and baskets, and cultivating, setting an example of laborious diligence, and carefully superintending every department. He was an object of reverence even to the Isaurian banditti, who on several predatory inroads left his monastic settlement uninjured, only requesting bread and his prayers. Fearing, however, that the Isaurians might carry him off for ransom, Theodosius was persuaded to remove to Antioch, settling near the Orontes and gathering about him many who desired to adopt an ascetic life, but not long surviving his removal (Theod. Hist. Relig. c. x.).

[E.V.]