How to use Therapeutae in a sentence
The contemplative asceticism of the Essenes of Judaea may be mentioned, and, somewhat later, the life of the Therapeutae on the shores of Lake Moeris.
While the Essenes were confined to Palestine or its near neighbourhood, the Therapeutae, we are told, existed in many parts of the world, but especially in Egypt.
So far as we are informed, prayer and study were the sole occupations of the Therapeutae.
In addition to the Old Testament the Therapeutae had books by the founders of their sect on the allegorical method of interpreting Scripture.
Thus during the six days of the week the Therapeutae "philosophized," each in his own cell, but on the Sabbath they met in a common assembly, where women also had places screened off from the men, and listened to a discourse from one who was the eldest and most skilled in their doctrines.Advertisement
In contrast with the drunken revels of the Greeks, Philo describes the sober enjoyment by the Therapeutae of the feast of Pentecost, or rather of the eve of that festival.
Such is the account of the Therapeutae given by Philo.
To the modern reader the importance of the Therapeutae, as of the Essenes, lies in the evidence they afford of the existence of the monastic system long before the Christian era.
We have no clue to the origin of the Therapeutae, but it is plain that they were already ancient when Philo described them.
Eusebius was so much struck by the likeness of the Therapeutae to the Christian monks of his own day as to claim that they were Christians converted by the preaching of St Mark.Advertisement
Nothing is more likely than that Christianity gained adherents among the Therapeutae, and that their institutions were adapted to the new religion, just as they seem to have been borrowed by the Jews from the Egyptians.
The sacred feasts of the Essenes and Therapeutae in particular, as described by Josephus and Philo, closely resembled the Eucharistic agape.
The example had been already set by the Essenes in Judea and the Therapeutae in Egypt.
The same fear of imbibing the irrational soul of animals, and thereby reinforcing the lower appetites and instincts of the human being, inspired the vegetarianism of Apollonius of Tyana and of the Jewish Therapeutae, who in their sacred meals were careful to have a table free from blood-containing meats; and the fear of absorbing the animal's psychic qualities equally motived the Jewish and early Christian rule against eating things strangled.
His own favourite ascetics, the Therapeutae, whose chief centre was in Egypt, had renounced property and all its temptations, and fled, irrevocably abandoning brothers, children, wives, parents, throngs of kinsmen, intimacy of friends, the fatherlands where they were born and bred (see Therapeutae).Advertisement