The Mainstream history of Stylites has always made me frown in an “are you joking me?” kind of way.
Take Simeon for instance. So ascetic that he chose to spend 37 years of his life living on a pillar.
Imagine that. Just IMAGINE THE REALITY OF THAT?
It would be all but impossible to survive as a human being with human needs and wants. Surely!
How about this hypothesis/theory?
All the MS HISTORY above is total BS.
These pillars were what we call today – Muezzins.
They were both Christian and Muslim and were actually hollow inside with a long spiral staircase. The balustrade at the top was to stop the person shouting out The Call To Prayer from falling off.
The fact that Simeon’s pillar was built into a Christian church seems to verify this. The original bell tower before Quasimodo was dreamed of.
Makes sense to me :o)