Meletios was a monk at the monastery of Holy Trinity in Tiberioupolis. He wrote a treatise on human anatomy and physiology, entitled “On the Constitution of Man”, based on works from earlier authors, such as Nemesios of Emesa. This treatise consists the first medical anatomical work. However this work hasn’t got a medical nature, but more "teleological orientation".

Meletios seems that originally used as a source, the philosophical-theological work of Nemesios, On the Nature of man. Nemesios based on Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus with reductions in Christian teaching.

    Meletios parallel processed and utilized the philosophical reflections of Nemesios, the medical theories of Hippocrates and Galen and the theological positions of the Church Fathers. As he states in the preamble (hypothesis), the aim is a comprehensive and complete study of human existence as a tripartite whole: body - spirit - soul. Indicates fact that neither the Greek physicians and philosophers nor the Fathers of Church studied with details this issue, as everyone was facing its own perspective. Announces that utilizing all previous partial knowledge, he will try to provide completely the description of human existence.

   The text of Meletios is the first substantial effort for comprehensive study of human nature and its content has great interest on study of concepts ontological hypostasis of man in the middle Byzantine period. In many passages of the text is obvious how to combine philosophical and medical views emanating from the ancient Greek culture and Christian conceptions of man. Meletios treats man as a single mental-spiritual-physical entity destined for immortality and divinity. It examines in detail the human nature, describing the anatomy of the body, the forces and passions of the spirit and soul, senses, desires, inclinations and needs of man, age phases and manifestations from birth to death.

   The epilogue of the text is a kind of praise for the uniqueness of human nature and its Creator. The work of Meletios serves as a basis for the writing of the medical work of Leo of Constantinople (9th), entitled “Synopsis on the Nature of Man”.


Other names - versions: 
Μελέτιος ὁ Μοναχός, Meletius the Monk, Meletius the physician and philosopher


J. A. Cramer (ed.), “Meletios the Monk, On the Constitution of Man”, Anecdota Graeca Manuscripts Bibliothecarum Oxoniensium 3 (1963) 1-157.


J. P. Migne (ed.), Patrologia Greaca (P.G), Paris 1886 vol. 64.


 P. Kazhdan, The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, New York and Oxford (1991) 1333.

M. Chrone, (2012) Η εξέλιξη των ιατρικών αντιλήψεων στο Βυζάντιο κατά τον 9ο αιώνα (The evolution of medical concepts in Byzantium in the 9th century). Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2015)

A. M. Ieraci Bio, "Medicina e teologia nel De Natura Hominis di Melezio", Les Pères de l'Église face à la science médicale de leur temps, V. Boudon-Millot - B. Pouderon (eds), Paris 2005, 29-48.