are a class of devotees among the Nestorians (q.v.), claiming to be of the Order of St. Anthony, though they do not strictly adhere to the rules of that or any other order, and are but insignificant in number. They probably were quite powerful as a monastic body at one time, for there are a large number of monasteries now extant in the Nestorian country which these devotees named and supported. Most of these monasteries are now deserted, especially those upon the River Tigris; the rest have but few inmates except that of Ormuz, which is the most considerable, and in that there are only about fifty monks. This monastery is the residence of the patriarchs, and takes its name from Hormisdas, one of the Nestorian saints.
There are some other monasteries in Persia, the most considerable of which is that near Tauris. They have about twenty double convents, that is, both for monks and nuns, who have separate habitations, though but one common church. While the monks are employed in bodily labor the nuns prepare their victuals. The religious Nestorians eat no fish, drink no wine. Their Lents are six in number; viz., the grand Lent of the universal Church; that of the Apostles, which begins fifteen days before the festival of St. Peter; that of the Assumption of Our Lady; that of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, each of fifteen days; that of Elias, or the Ninevites, which lasts eight days; and that of Christ's Nativity, which continues twenty-five days. The Nestorian monks are habited in a black gown tied with a leathern girdle. They wear, instead of a capuche. a blue turban. The nuns are habited after the same manner, excepting that they tie a kind of black veil about their heads and under their chins. They must be forty years old before they take the monastic habit. If a monk desires to quit his convent to marry, he asks leave of the pasha, and the bishop is obliged to consent to it for fear the monk might turn Mohammedan. See Brunel, Histoire des Clerges Seculier et Regulier, 2:44-47.