Godchecker's mythology encyclopedia


He rose to great Hermit heights by living on pillars known as Stylites.

He started life as a poor shepherd on the borders of Syria, and at the age of thirteen lay outside the gates of a monastery refusing to eat or drink until they admitted him as a lowly novice.

After two years he moved on to Helidoras and because life was too easy he wound a coarse well rope around his person as underwear. Hair shirts indeed.

The rope ate into his flesh, and he never changed it, just tightened it. In time, noxious smells came from the running sores it caused. When the other monks discovered it wasn't the drains causing the odors, Simeon was dismissed rather rapidly.

So off he went to be a full-time hermit. A hermitage didn't come up to scratch, being far too luxurious for his taste. So he went to it alone by building a rock enclosure with no roof and chaining his leg to a rock.

This made him a target for sightseers and pilgrims, so he moved higher up the mountain he'd chosen and erected a stone pillar to live on.

His first effort in 423 was a modest six cubits high. Four years later he built another twelve cubits high. This lasted three years, and then it was into the big league: twenty-two cubits for ten years, with a final amazing effort of forty cubits to last him for his remaining 27 years.

He was popular to the last and drew great crowds to hear him preach on high. And also, one assumes, to pass him food on a long stick. A very long stick.

When he died, his body was bowed in prayer on top of his pillar. It was quite a while before anyone noticed. They just thought he was having a quiet time; just humming a bit.

N.B. A cubit is the distance from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger. Not knowing how long Simeon's arms were we cannot tell you the exact height — but it is possible the pillar is still there somewhere in Syria. We have seen photos in some ancient travel book which we have been unable to trace so far.

  • Share this page:

Article last updated on 12 February 2009
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

Please mention Godchecker.com when praying to deities.

Godchecker's article on St Simeon-stylites is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Worldwide Christianity
Gender : Male
Type : Saint or Sage
Celebration or Feast Day : January 2nd
Birth and Death Dates : ???-459
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : None known
Popularity index : 615

Join the Godchecker mailing list

Stay in the loop with Godchecker updates. You can unsubscribe at any time.
We are often asked about merchandise. Can we supply the latest St Simeon-stylites graphic novel, book or comic? Not to mention role-playing games (RPG), video games, St Simeon-stylites movies on DVD, BluRay and so on. To purchase such goodies we suggest you search for a dedicated mythology-based online store - or try Amazon, Ebay or other reputable websites. We offer a wide range of our own merchandise in our online GodShop, but we don't currently sell third party items. Yet!

Visitors often email us asking about St Simeon-stylites statues, sculptures or carved figurines of St Simeon-stylites. We regret we cannot assist with identifying such items.

PRESS or MEDIA enquiries? Contact us here.

REPRODUCTION REQUESTS. This site is copyright and all rights are reserved. If you wish to use our material in your essay, book, article or project, please consult our permissions information page.

SUPPORT THE GODS. Found this site useful? Consider donating a few pennies to the Godchecker Temple Roof Fund.

The Gods told us to do it.
The Complete List of CHRISTIAN SAINTS GODS...

Can't find the Christian God you want? Try searching our Holy Database...