At the turn of the sixth century the Mediterranean world was witnessing the decline of Roman rule that had formed the bedrock of its civil order. During the chaos of those years, there arose in the deserts of Egypt and Syria monastic movements that offered men and women a radical God-centered alternative to the present society. Among the most eloquent interpreters of the new movement to western Europe was John Cassian (c. 365-c. 435). Drawing on his own early experience as a monk in Bethlehem and Egypt, he journeyed to the West to found monasteries in Marseilles and the region of Provence.
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Pambo, Evagrius, Macarius of Egypt and Macarius of Alexandria, the four fathers presented in this volume, were well-known in Alexandria and Lower Egypt some 1600 years ago. Their lives, brought to fame by Palladius’ Lausiac History, provide valuable insight into the Egyptian monastic communities of the fourth century and into the saintly tradition of the [...]
In the Orthodox Church St Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. 329 ca. 390) is known as the Theologian, a title he shares only with the Evangelist John. As one of the three Cappadocian fathers, together with his colleagues SS Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, his reputation and influence in the Byzantine world as both [...]
Macarius the Great (also referred to as Macarius of Egypt or Macarius the Egyptian) presided over a loosely knit scattering of ascetic monastic communities in the fourth century Egyptian desert. He enjoyed great respect during his lifetime and his fame was further spread after appearing in Palladius’ Lausiac History. This volume presents three ancient texts [...]