The Desert a City: An Introduction to the Study of Egyptian and Palestian Monasticism Under the Christian Empire 978-0913836453

This study of early Christian monasticism by Derwas Chitty has already proved to be a classic. No other account of this

435 31 17MB

English Pages 129 Year 1977

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

The Desert a City: An Introduction to the Study of Egyptian and Palestian Monasticism Under the Christian Empire

Table of contents :
L Tns CaLr
The Three Heads-Athanasius, Antony, Pachomius. The Call of
Antony, and his LiG up to the Peace of the Church. The Conversion
of Pachomius, and his Life up to the foundation of the
Coenobium at Tabennesi. Amoun and the foundation of Nitria.
Macarius the Egyptian and Scetis. Hilarion and the Gaza region.
Chariton and the {irst Judaean lavrx. Antony itt his Interior
II. THn lNsrrrutror.r
ru. TUE-Wonro Bnraxs hs
Antony in relation to other communities. His Letters. Meletian
monks'near his Outer Monastery. Character and extension of
the Pachomian Coenobium. Early Pachomian literature. Geography
and organization of Niria, the Cells, and Scetis. Pachomius'
death, and Athanasius' homecoming, in a.o. 346. Extension
of Coenobiurn under Theodore. Antony's death (4.o. 356).
Athanasius in the Thebaid. Theodore's death (,r.o. 368). Antony's
Foreign visitors and monks in Egypt and Palestine. Jerome and
Rufinus and their companioru. Evagrius Ponticus-his life,
wrirings, and influence. Palladius. Historia Monachorum in
Aegypio. Cassian. The Golden Age of Nitria and Sceris. The
Paiiiirch Theophilus and the destrucrion of the pagan temples.
StriG over Origen, in Palestine and in Egypt. The end of an age
in Nitria. Barbarian devastation of Scetis (,r.o. 4o7-8).
IV. Annn TITREE GsNnnerroNs .
Melania the Younger on Olivet (,r.o. ar7-39). Decadence in
Scetis and the Tabennesiote Community. Apophthegmata
Patrum. Return to Scetis, and second Devastation (c. a.o. 434).
Poemen and his brothers. Movements away &om Scetis before
and after the Devastations. Porphyry of Gazz. Sisoes. Silvanus
and his disciples. The Abba Esaias and his writings. His attitude
to Chalcedon.
,r. NEur BncrNNrNcs .
Euthymius comes to Palestine, A.D. 4oj: founds his Lavra, a.o.428.
His system. His {irst twelve disciples. Contrasts with Xgypt.
Hesychius ofJerusalem. Passarion.'Melania's chaplain G.r#tiut
on Olivet. Peter the Iberian comes to Jerusalem, e.o. 428. His
monastic beginnings. Eudocia. Revolt against Juvend after
Chalcedon. Peter a bishop. Euthymius stands firm. Return of
Juvcnal and dispersal of rebels-Peter goes to Egypt, and consecrates
Timothy the Cat. Euthymius reconciles Eudocia and others
to Chalcedon, but resistance continues. Martyrius and Elias come
from Nitria to Jerusalem. Monasric establishments in Jerusalem. Arrival of young aspirants. Anasrasius succecds Juvenal as
Patriarch. Eudocia's death. Euthymius' last years. His death,
A.D. 473. His place in monastic history.
VI. Barrrs FoR rHB Ferrs
Sabas in solitude. Chalcedon at its nadir. Partial reunion on
terms of the Henotikon: Marcian of Bethlehem. Euthymius'
Lavra converted into a coenobium. Peter the Iberian returns to
Palestine. His last years. John Rufus, his biographer. His death
in a.o. 489. Severus enrers rhe monasric ltfe. Zacharias of Mirvlene.
The Dionysian writings. Early years of Mar Saba (from
a.o. 478). ,St. Theodosi.s Ld his'ioenobium ('Deir [)osi').
Diocesan adminjstration of the monasteries. Hostelries in Jerusalem
andJericho. Development of the Great Lavra of Mar Saba.
The New Lavra and other Sabaite foundations. Severus and
Sabas in Constantinople. The Judaean monks as champiorx of
Chalcedon against Severus and the Emperor Anastasius. Triunrph
of Chalcedon under Justin. Death of Theodosius. Sabas on
embassy to Constantinople after the Samaritan Revolt. His last
years and death (a.o. 532).
VII. Tnn MorvasrERrrs uNDERJusrrNrAN
Early liG of Cyril of Scythopolis. Growth of Origenism in the
Judaean monasteries, and its fortunes up ro A.D. J43. Cyril enrers
the monastic life. His conracrs with Cvriac the Anchorite.
Decline and fall of Origenist power. The Fifth Council (A.D. J j3).
Cyril at the New Lavra. Death of Cyriac. Cyril's Biographies.
The Gaza Monks. Varsanuphius andJohn. Dorotheus. Zori-as.
Vm. Tnr ENo oF rHE Pax RouaNa
A retrospective age. John Moschus and his Meadow. Daniel of
Scetis. Moschus and Sophronius at Deir Dosi. Choziba. The Lifc
of St. George of Ch2ziba. Jerusalem and St. Gregory of Rome.
Story of St. Mary of Egypt. Phocas' usurpation and murder of
the Emperor Maurice. Moschus and Sophronius in Egypt. St.
John the Almoner. Fall ofJerusalem to the Persians. Sacli bf Mar
Saba. Modctus as Locum Tenens in Jerusalem. The Pandect of
Antiochus the Sabaite. Moschus and Sophronius in thc 'Wct.
Anastasius the Persian. Heraclius brings back the Cross to Jerusalem.
Modestus becomes Patriarch, and dies. Sophronius as
teacher of Maximus in Africa. He returns to Jerusalem and becomes
Patriarch (4.o. 6J4). His Synodical a decisive document
agairst the Monothelete compromise, He surrenders Jerusalem
to the Arabs (February, a.n. 638).
[X. A Flrcn Mourqrarx Apanr
Sinai's monastic history from the fourth century. Justinian's
Church and fortress. Gregory hegumen of Sinai, then Patriarch
of Antioch (e.o. 57o). Moschus. St. Gregory of Rome. The
Account of the Martyrs of Sinai and Rhaithou. The Narratives
of Nilus. Narratives'of Anastasius of Sinai. The Ladder of St.
Tohn Climacus. The'Viae Dux' and other works under the name
tf ^A,o"tt"ri* of Sinai. The Christian tribes in the peninsula forced
to accept Islam. Death of the one surviving Christian.
lNorx oF PERSoNS
Iuorx oF PLAcES
Suryncr Iuorx
CnnoNorocrcAr, TABLE
BrsuOCnapgy 216

Citation preview

The Desert A City An Introduction to the study of Egyptian and Palestinian Monasticism under the Christian Empire



This study of early Christian monasticism by Derwas Chitty has already proved to be a classic. No other account of this vital period in the history of the monastic movement equals it for detailed scholarship combined with vivid and dynamic writing. Dr. Chitty, one of the major scholars in this period, deals with the golden age of Egyptian monasticism and describes the three founders of the movement, Anastasius, Anthony and Pachomius. He follows the development of monastic life in all its forms in Egypt to the end of the fourth century, when the center shifted to Palestine; the following chapters are devoted to accounts of the great ascetics of Palestine. The controversies surrounding the monastic movement are examined in their political and ecclesiastical aspects and the book concludes with an account of the monastic history of Mount Sinai. This book contains a wealth of material indispensable to any serious student of monasticism; it is also a book which will bring alive for any reader the great questions underlying monasticism in any age. As Dr. Chitty writes in his prologue, "This making a City of the Wilderness was no mere was rooted in a stark realism of faith in God and acceptance of the battle which is not against flesh and blood ... Has it not its challenge for today?"

"Scholarly, yet far from dry, passionately interesting without being biased... a good story as well as good history." Robert Taft, S.J. Orientalia Christiana Periodica

ISBN 0-913836-45-1



THE DESERTA CITY An Introduction to the Study of Egyptian and Palestinian Monasticism under the Christian Empire

Derwas J. Chitry

tl €pnpos e no).io0q urid povcXriu e[e].06urroy rind rriy rcai rino).por.l.rop€t,ru iy iv ro09 oipauois no1lre [av.