1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Acoemeti

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ACOEMETI (Gr. ἀκοίμητος, sleepless), an order of Eastern monks who celebrated the divine service without intermission day or night. This was done by dividing the communities into choirs, which relieved each other by turn in the church. Their first monastery was established on the Euphrates, in the beginning of the 5th century, and soon afterwards one was founded in Constantinople. Here also, c. 460, was founded by the consular Studius the famous monastery of the Studium, which was put in the hands of the Acoemeti and became their chief house, so that they were sometimes called Studites. At Agaunum (St Maurice in the Valais) a monastery was founded by the Burgundian king Sigismund, in 515, in which the perpetual office was kept up; but it is doubtful whether this had any connexion with the Eastern Acoemeti.

The Constantinopolitan Acoemeti took a prominent part in the Christological controversies of the 5th and 6th centuries, at first strenuously opposing Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in his attempted compromise with the monophysites; but afterwards, in Justinian's reign, falling under ecclesiastical censure for Nestorian tendencies.

See the article in Dictionary of Christian Antiquities; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexicon (2nd ed.); and Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie (3rd ed.); also the general histories of the time.

(E. C. B.)