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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Glycerius, a Deacon in Cappadocia

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Glycerius (5) , a deacon in Cappadocia, who caused Basil much annoyance by his extravagant and disorderly proceedings c. 374. Being a vigorous young man, well fitted for the humbler offices of the church, and having adopted the ascetic life, he was ordained deacon by Basil, though to what church is doubtful. It is variously given as Venesa, Ve√ęsa, Venata, and Synnasa. His elevation turned the young man's head. He at once began to neglect the duties of his office, and gathered about him a number of young women, partly by persuasion, partly by force, of whom he took the direction, styling himself their patriarch, and adopting a dress in keeping with his pretensions. He was supported by the offerings of his female followers, and Basil charges him with adopting this spiritual directorship in order to get his living without work. The wild and disorderly proceedings of Glycerius and his deluded adherents created great scandal and caused him to be gravely admonished by his own presbyter, his chorepiscopus, and finally by Basil himself. Glycerius turned a deaf ear, and having swelled his fanatical band by a number of young men, he one night hastily left the city with his whole troop against the will of many of the girls. The scandal of such a band wandering about under pretence of religion, singing hymns, and leaping and dancing in a disorderly fashion, was increased by the fact that a fair was going on, and the young women were exposed to the rude jests of the rabble. Fathers who came to rescue their daughters from such disgrace were driven away by Glycerius with contumely, and he carried off his whole band to a neighbouring town, of which an unidentified Gregory was bishop. Several of Basil's letters turned on this matter, the further issue of which is not known.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Glycerius, a Deacon in Cappadocia'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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