- The "sleepless ones," referring to the so-called sleepless monks of the monastery of the Akoimetoi in Constantinople (q.v.), said to have been founded by Alexander the Akoimetos in 405. Akoimetoi monks observed absolute poverty, but they did no manual labor. Instead, they devoted themselves to perpetual prayer, praying ceaselessly in eight-hour shifts. Alexander was an unpopular and controversial figure in the capital who was condemned for Messalianism (q.v.). One of his immediate successors as archimandrite (q.v.), Markellos the Akoimetos, was equally embroiled in controversy. In addition to being accused of Messalianism and Nestorianism (qq.v.), he led a public protest in the Hippodrome (q.v.) ca. 470 against the elevation of Aspar's (q.v.) son, an Arian (q.v.), to the rank of caesar (q.v.). The monastery of the Akoimetoi appears to have ceased functioning in the 13th century, during the period of the Latin Empire (q.v.).
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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