According to the traditional account, he was an official in the court at Constantinople, who became a hermit on Mt Sinai. It appears, however, that he was a native of Ancyra, that he studied at Constantinople, and that he then founded and became superior of a monastery near Ancyra. From here he conducted a large correspondence. His writings deal mainly with ascetic and moral subjects. His ideal of the spiritual life was a ‘Christian philosophy’ based on a ‘moderated poverty’. Feast day, 12 Nov.