Personal Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the Later Byzantine Era - A Note on Monastic Names
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A Note on Monastic Names

Some of the names listed are known to have been used almost exclusively by monks, but not all monks used obscure names. Michael, for instance, was popular both as a secular and as a monastic name. It was the practice of those assuming the monastic habit to alter their names as well as their lifestyles. Typically, the monastic name assumed started with the same letter as the person's secular given name. The emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, for example, became the monk Antony. It should also be noted that, diametrically opposed to western practices, entering a monastery was not considered a permanent vocational choice in the east. In fact, some entered and left monastic life with regularity. Upon leaving, the individual might re-assume his secular name, or keep his monastic name. The noted historian Michael Psellos, for example, was born Konstantinos Psellos. Those names which are known to have been used almost exclusively by monks are noted on the list.

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