On one of his numerous journeys, Sidonius Apollinaris, by now bishop of Clermont Ferrand, turned aside to visit an old acquaintance, a former Palatine official, by name Maximus. He found him much changed: his villa, a rather remote one several miles from the main road, was sparsely furnished, with three-legged stools, hard couches and simple hangings of goat hair. His diet was frugal, more vegetables than meat; his dress was simple, and his beard long. Clearly, this was not the result of poverty (Sidonius' reason for visiting him was to plead for flexibility in the matter of a loan made ten years earlier to a mutual friend), but rather of deliberate choice. Sidonius himself had little doubt that there was a religious explanation, and so it proved: Maximus had been compelled by his fellow citizens, somewhat against his will, to accept ordination to the priesthood.