[St. Pachomius Library]

Æthicus Ister

Date unknown
Christian cosmological writer, noted for his almost unreadably complex Latin style. (The work claims to have been translated by St. Jerome from a "Scythic" language.) Because "Ister" means "Danube", Æthicus is assumed to have had ties to Central or Eastern Europe, and Romanian historians have claimed him as a Daco-Romanian. Western scholars, on the other hand, usually consider him Irish on the basis of his style and content, presumably one of the Irish Orthodox missionaries to the Continent. Older scholarly sources confidently identify him as St. Virgil O'Neal, who worked in Austria and was wrongly accused of heresy partly on the basis of his unusual geographical theories, but more recent authors seem less convinced of this identification.

Norman Hugh Redington


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