The Story Of The Man Who Lived And Died Without Ever Seeing A Woman
Written by Roneel Narayan on March 28, 2022
A person only feels trapped when he knows what exists beyond the walls. Knowledge about the outside world is what makes us restless to venture and discover. Legend has it that a Greek Orthodox monk called Michael Tolotos died in 1938 at the age of 82, without EVER seeing a woman. Be very surprised, the man never knew, in his 82 years of existence, what a woman looked like.
His story is so rarely talked about and written about, that it’s even hard to find it on the internet, let alone books or newspapers. Putting whatever pieces we found to the puzzle, we tried to trace what Michael’s life was like. In 1856, just after 4 hours of his birth, his mother passed away. Since nobody came ahead, the boy was abandoned at the steps of a monastery atop Mount Athos. The boy was adopted by the monastery and the monks named him Michael Tolotos.
Bred and educated in the walled monastery, Michael never even once ventured past the gates of the monastery. All along this time, a law passed in 1060 banning women and animals from Mount Athos was in force. The law stands rigid to date. Since Michael never had any contact with the outer world and no woman was allowed to visit the monastery, he died in 1983, at the age of 82, without ever knowing what a woman looked like. Even today, only male tourists are allowed inside the monastery and the monks are not allowed to shave, bathe, fight, argue and ask what lies beyond the walls of the monastery.