Early Church Fathers
20 The weekly officers here spoken of were termed "Hebdomadarii" (see the next chapter). According to most rules their duties included cooking, serving, and reading at meals. They are mentioned in S. Jerome's preface to the Rule of Pachomius (cf also Ep. xxii. ad Eustochium), but it would appear from what Cassian says below in c. xxii. that in Egypt the office of cook was assigned to some one brother and not undertaken by all in turn. According to Cassian they entered upon office on Monday morning but the Benedictine (c. xxxv.) and other rules speak of them as beginning their duties on Sunday morning. The custom of washing the feet of the brethren, which Cassian here describes, is also mentioned by S. Benedict. 1. c.
22 Xerophagia (chrofagi/a), "dried food," distinguished from what is raw (omophagia) in the next chapter. Cf. for the word Tertullian on Fasting c. i. and xvii.
23 This shows that Cassian is here writing about the monks of Palestine, not those of Egypt, who (according to the next chapter) had a permanent cook. There is a further allusion to and description of this desert in the Conference VI. i.
24 The distinction between the xerophagia and omophagia is shown by the following passage from S. Jerome's Life of Hilarion describing his food: "From his twenty first year to his twenty seventh for three years .... his food was dry bread and water (xerophagia). Further from his twenty-seventh to his thirtieth year he supported himself on wild herbs, and the raw roots of certain plants (omophagia)."
25 Sal frictum, "rubbed salt," i.e., table salt as distinct from rough or block salt.
26 Moenomenia (Petschenig) or Moenidia (Gazaeus). The word comes the Greek Greek maino/mena or maini/dion, dimin. from mai/nh, a small salted fish.
27 Lycon or Lycopolis in the Thebaid is the modern El Syout on the west banks of the Nile, S. E. of Hermopolis ( = Minieh).
28 This John of Lycopolis was one of the most celebrated hermits of the fourth century. Originally a carpenter, he retired at the age of twenty-five into the wilderness, and after the death of his instructor settled near Lycopolis. Here, as Cassian tells us, he received as reward for his obedience the gift of prophecy, and was consulted by crowds who came to him for this purpose and among others by the Emperor Theodosius, to whom he foretold (1) his victory over the usurper Maximus (a.d.. 388), and (2) his success against Eugenius in a.d.. 395. He is mentioned again by Cassian in the Conferences I.xxi., XXIV. xxvi., etc. A full account of him is given by Rufinus n in his history of the monks c. i. and by Palladius in the Lausiac History 43-60; he is also mentioned by Augustine De Civitate Dei Book V. c. xxvi, De Cura pro mortius gerenda, c. xvii., and Jerome Ep. cxxxiii. ad Ctesiphontem, as well as by Theodoret H.E. V. xxiv, and Sozomen H.E. VI.. xxviii.
29 A somewhat similar story is told by Sulpitius Severus (Dialog) I. c. xiii.) of an Egyptian monk, only in that case the story terminates in a more satisfactory manner, as in the third year the stick took root and sprouted!
30 Lenticula; the word used for a cruse of oil in the Vulgate. 1 Sam. x. 1; 2 Kings ix. 1, 3.
31 Patermucius (Petschenig) or Mucius (Gazaeus). probably a different person from the man of this name of whom we read inRufinus, History of the Monks, c. ix., as there is no allusion there to the narrative which Cassian gives here, nor any hint that that Patermucius had a son.
32 Affectionem.... charitatem.- Petschenig. The text of Gazaeus reads the ablative.
33 Cassian repeats this story in the Conferences XX. c. i., as an introduction to the Conference "On the End of Penitence and the Marks of Satisfaction," which he gives as the work of the said Abbot Pinifius.
34 Panephysis is more fully described in the Conferences VII. xxvi.; XI. iii. It is mentioned by Ptolemy (IV.v; § 52) but not by any other ancient writers. It was situated in the Delta between the Champollion with the modern Menzaleh.
35 On Cassian's connection with the monastery at Bethlehem, see the Introduction.
37 S Matt. v. 14.
38 Eccl. v. 4 (LXX.); Jer. xlviii. 10 (LXX.).
39 Cf. Gal. vi. 14.
41 Cf. Gal. ii. 20.
42 Cf. Ps. cxviii. (cxix.) 120, where the Gallican Psalter has "Confige timore tuo carnes meas."
43 S. Matt. x. 38.
46 Cf. S. Matt. xxiv. 18.
47 S. Luke ix. 62.
48 Cf. Gal. ii. 18.
49 Cf. S. Matt. xxiv. 13.