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Therapeutae (thĕrəpyōˈtē) [key] [Gr., = worshipers], Jewish monastic order living on the shore of Lake Mareotis, Egypt, about the 1st cent. A.D. They led an ascetic life devoted to solitary prayer and study of the scriptures, gathering on the sabbath for study and a communal meal. They may have a connection with the Essenes, although evidence is scanty. The only ancient source to mention them is Philo's De vita contemplativa.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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