57 In this last chapter Cassian certainly makes his own the sentiments of Abbot Joseph on the permissibility of lying; and is therefore not unreasonably attacked for the teaching of this Conference by Prosper. "Contra Collatorem," c. ix.
1 Piamun who has been already spoken of in XVII. xxiv.,is also mentioned by Rufinus (History of the Monks, c. xxxii.), Palladius (the Lausiac History, clxxii.), and Sozomen (H. E. VI. xxix.), all of whom tell, with slight variations, the same story, how that one day while he was officiating at the altar, he saw an angel writing down the names of some of the brethren, and passing by the names of others, all of whom Piamun on subsequent inquiry found to have been guilty of some grievous sin.
7 Paul was from very early days celebrated as the first of the anchorites. Indeed S. Jerome, who wrote his life (Works, Vol. ii. p. 13 ed. Migne) calls him "auctor vitae monasticae" (Ep. xxii. ad Eustochium). He is said to have fled to the Thebaid from the terrors of the Decian persecution, and to have died there in extreme old age. Antony has already been several times mentioned by Cassian. See the Institutes V. iv.: Conference II. ii.; III. iv., etc.
9 Sarabaites, this third sort of monks whom Cassian here paints in such dark colours, are spoken of by S. Jerome (Ep. xxii. ad Eustochium) under the name of Remoboth. The origin of both names is obscure, but Jerome and Cassian are quite at one in their scorn for these pretended monks. S. Benedict begins his monastic rule by describing the four kinds of monks, coenobites, anchorites, sarabaites, and a fourth class to which he gives the name of "gyrovagi," i e., wandering monks; these must be those of whom Cassian speaks below in c. viii. without giving them any definite name. See further Bingham, Antiquities VII. ii., and the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, Art. Sarabaites.
10 Lucius took the lead of the Arian party at Alexandria after the murder of George of Cappadocia in 361, and was put forward by his party as the candidate for the see which they regarded as vacant. In 373, after the death of Athanasius, he was forced upon the reluctant Church of Alexandria by the Arian Emperor Valens, and according to Gregory Nazianzen a fresh persecution of the orthodox party at once began; and to this it is that Piamun alludes in the text.
12 To work in the mines was a punishment to which the Confessors were frequently subjected in the time of persecution: Cf. the prayer in the Liturgy of S. Mark that God would have mercy on those in prison or in the mines, etc. Hammond's Liturgies, p. 181.