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Early Christian Lives

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Written between the mid-fourth and late sixth centuries to commemorate and glorify the achievements of early Christian saints, these six biographies depict men who devoted themselves to solitude, poverty and prayer. Athanasius records Antony's extreme seclusion in the Egyptian desert, despite temptation by the devil and visits from his followers. Jerome also shows those wh ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published January 29th 1998)
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Nicholas Whyte

Six biographies of important figures in early monatsticism - Athanasius' life of Anthony, three short biographies by Jerome, Sulpicius Severus' life of Martin of Tours and Gregory the Great's life of Benedict. They all live holy lives and perform many miracles (often involving expelling demons from the possessed). Arians and other heretics are at least as bothersome as the pagan authorities (and more so after the early fourth century). Devils take on physi
I am very happy that these six saints' Lives are available in one edition. The translation is pretty good. The introductions and commentary are just ok.
Pretty good collection.
The "Life of St. Martin of Tours" is worth the price of the book. This fourth century monk-bishop went on an anti-pagan rampage throughout Gaul, with extraordinary results. The poor pagans didn't know what hit them...but neither did the church hierarchy.
This collection of early Christian monastics provides insight into the practice of Christianity in its first few centuries. The book also contains introductory notes on the period and the writers in question.
Benjamin Fry
This is an essential collects of hagiography for those with an interest in western monasticism. Great read!
Dec 18, 2007 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who has an interest in the Desert Fathers or St. Benedict.
A great read that highlights the graces and the challenges of early Christians living the life!
This was a fairly interesting book: the strange beginnings of a strange religion.
I read it for class, and it was dreadful. I have never enjoyed monastics.
Purely non-Christian
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  • Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers
  • The Complete Works
  • The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
  • The Desert Fathers
  • The Age of Bede
  • The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity
  • The Confession of Saint Patrick
  • The Life of St. Anthony
  • The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine
  • The Major Works (World's Classics)
  • On the Apostolic Preaching
  • The Talmud: A Selection
  • An Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer and Selected Works
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources
  • Selected Writings
  • On the Unity of Christ
  • The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church
Lives of Roman Christian Women The Rule of St Benedict (Penguin Classics) The Correspondence (394 419) Between Jerome And Augustine Of Hippo Early Christian Latin Poets Christian Friendship in the Fourth Century

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