Many monks and hermits go to great lengths to deny themselves of simple pleasures in order to atone their sins and pursue spiritual goals. Some live frugal lives. Some renounce meat and alcohol. Some live in seclusion. Some even go to extreme cases of self-torment such as fasting and self flagellation. And then, there were the pillar-dwellers that became very common during the early days of Christian monasticism. These type of ascetic, known as stylites, or pillar hermits, lived on top of pillars, and the one who invented this way of life was Simeon Stylites the Elder.
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