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Gregory of Mopsuestia was thought to have used fidgeting as a prelude to mystical experience (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 14).

Inspiration

There’s a better known Theodore of Mopsuestia[1] (c.350-428), a respected Christian theologian and bishop. Mopsuestia is the ancient city on the Ceyhan River located in southern Turkey[2].

Bellairs changed or mis-remembered the name – "and this is the kind of 'historical writing' where it isn't really necessary to get all the details right."[3] Bowen also sets up this scene, doubting that such an ancient city could have harbored two Greek Fathers:

Scenario: Gregory sits in the tavern, idly jotting down a new insight on the action of grace, when a shadow falls across his scroll. He looks up to encounter the grim stare of Theodore, who leans ominously on his stout staff. "Listen up, kid," growls the senior theologian. "Mopsuestia isn't big enough for both of us. You know the way to Ephesus. I don't want the sun to set on your miter -- you got that?"

Reference

  1. Wikipedia: Theodore of Mopsuestia
  2. Wikipedia: Mopsuestia
  3. Correspondence with Charles Bowen.

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