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The Tales and Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Apophthegmata Patrum) are a key source of evidence for the practice and theory respectively of eremitic monasticism, a significant phenomenon within the early history of Christianity. The publication of this book finally ensures the availability of all three major collections which constitute the work, edited and translated into English. Richer in Tales than the 'Alphabetic' collection to which this is an appendix (both to be dated c.AD 500), the 'Anonymous' collection presented in this volume furnishes almost as much material for the study of the late antique world from which the monk sought to escape as it does for the monastic endeavour itself. More material continued to be added well into the seventh century and so the spread and gradual evolution of monasticism are illustrated here over a period of about two and a half centuries.Read more
- Provides the first full English translation of these historically important and fascinating texts
- Presents the first complete edition of the Greek text, only half of which has ever been published before
- Includes a valuable introduction to an older oral tradition
Reviews & endorsements
"Wortley has served up not only a translation but, as he calls it, a ‘select edition’ of the Anonymous Collection of the Apophthegmata Patrum for Cambridge University Press. It is a collection long awaited by scholars, and Wortley is certainly to be commended for, at last, making available both edition and translation of this important but heretofore understudied body of Greek monastic literature."
Reviews in Religion and TheologySee more reviews
"Beautifully produced with a concise introduction, select bibliography, and index, this volume inspires hope for comparable, even matching, text and translation editions of the other collections … Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
G. R. Thursby, Choice
'Despite the ‘Anonymous’ of the title, many of the stories are attached to the names of great monastic saints, but the overall sense is of an almost folkloric world of nameless governors, farmers, ascetics, soldiers, husbands, and wives. There is plenty more research to be done on what this family of texts brings to light, both theological and historical, and this handsomely produced volume is a welcome invitation to further study.' Rowan Williams, Common Knowledge
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- Date Published: June 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521509886
- length: 658 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 158 x 33 mm
- weight: 1.18kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Note on the translation
Text and translation
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