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.
John Wortley is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He has published widely on the Byzantine era and has completed several translations to date, including Les Recits edifiants de Paul, eveque de Monembasie, et d'autres auteurs (1987), The Spiritual Meadow of John Moschos, including the additional tales edited by Nissen and Mioni (1992), The Spiritually Beneficial Tales of Paul, Bishop of Monembasia and of Other Authors (1996) and John Skylitzes: A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057 (2010). Professor Wortley has also served as an Anglican priest since 1960.
Note on the translation; Introduction; Text and translation; Select bibliography; Indices.