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