Thanks for the reply.
I also know that there is an Armenian nun living in Constantinople.
One Armenian nun! I didnt know it was that bad.
Actually, I know of one Copt who lived as a hermit for a while in the mid twentieth century. That was Pope Kyrillos, who lived for a while in a deserted wind mill in the middle of the desert. I think that was before he was pope.
Do you know if he undertook this independently, or if he was under the patronage of a monastery, or whatever?
Anyways, I went to the university library today to try to find some more information, and I'm surprised I finally found some things.
There was a book written by the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople in 1913. He said that the Armenians ceased to practice the contemplative life [I guess even in its cenobitical form] a long long time ago. And he said that the [socalled] monasteries that are still around exist "solely" [to use his word] for the training of celibate clergy. They are basically seminaries. The priests who live there permanently are teachers and no one takes vows.
I also came across a book written in 1947 which mentioned the state of Coptic and Syrian monasticism in that time. In regards to the Copts he said that only 8 monasteries remain, that there are about 300 monks, and that there are 3 convents for women. Thats next to nothing. And this was merely 60 years ago! Apparently the monastic revival in the late 20th century must have been huge. I wonder what the numbers are now. Anyways this book mentioned nothing about the semieremitic life. The 8 monasteries he mentioned were the ancient famous cenobitical centres. In regards to Syrian monasticism he said that only a few monasteries remain, that those few are basically uninhabited, and that they are struggling even to stay alive.
Personally I believe that there is an ubroken lineage of Godbearing hermits going back to the time of the Old Testament prophets. Heb 11:37- "They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves and holes in the ground." We dont know where they are. Just like we would have never known about St Paul if St Antony had not received a revelation about him.