A society prepared to vest fellow humans with such powers was ever vigilant. Men watched each other closely for those signs of intimacy with the supernatural that would validate their claim. Holiness itself might be quantifiable. Symeon Stylites, we are told, touched his toes 1,244 times in bowing before God from the top of his column. The true horror of this story lies not in the exertions of the saint, but in the layman who stood there counting.
Peter Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity.