Isidore, Saint

, sumamed Pelusiota or Damietta, from his retiring into a solitude near the town which bears both these names, was the most celebrated of the disciples of John Chrysostom, and flourished in the fifth century. He professed the monastic life from his youth, and retired from the world; but appears to have been more useful to the church and to society, than might have been expected from a monk. This appears by his letters, of which, Suidas says, he wrote no less than 3000; and Nicephorus assures us that he composed several works, and mentions particularly ten chiliads of his epistles. Sixtus Senensis also adds, that he saw in the library of St. Mark at Venice, a ms. containing 1184 of such epistles, which are not now extant. He agrees with the orthodox in the leading doctrines of the gospel, but his great excellence is his practical rules. He died about the year 440. We have remaining 2012 of his letters, in five books: they are short; but there are important things in them about many passages of Scripture, as well as theological questions, and points concerning ecclesiastical discipline; they are written in good Greek, and in an agreeable florid style. The best edition of St. Isidore’s works is that of Paris, 1638, folio, in Greek and Latin. In 1737, Christ. Aug. Heumann attacked the authenticity of some of his epistles in a tract entitled “Epistolas Isidoras Pelusiotae maximam partem esse confictas.2


Cave, vol. I.—Lardner’s Works.—Mosheim and Milner’s Ch. Hist.