A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀμμώνας) or AMOUN (Ἀμοῦν), founder of one of the most celebrated monastic communities in Egypt. Obliged by his relations to marry, he persuaded his bride to perpetual continence (Sozom. Hist. Eccl. 1.14) by the authority of St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians. (Socr. Hist. Eccl. 4.23.) They lived together thus for 18 years, when at her wish, for greater perfection, they parted, and he retired to Scetis and Mt. Nitria, to the south of Lake Mareotis, where he lived 22 years, visiting his sister-wife twice in the year. (Ibid. and Pallad. Hist. Laus. 100.7; Ruffin. Vit. Patr. 100.29.) He died before St. Antony (from whom there is an epistle to him, S. Athan. Opp. vol. i. pt. 2, p. 959, ed. Bened.), i. e. before A. D. 365, for the latter asserted that he beheld the soul of Amoun borne by angels to heaven (Vit. S. Antonii à S. Athanas. § 60), and as St. Athanasius's history of St. Antony preserves the order of time, he died perhaps about A. D. 320.