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The Sayings of the Fathers

Format: Digital


From the middle of the fifth century, and probably from the late fourth century, collections of sayings from the hermits of the Egyptian desert began to be circulated. Smaller collections of these sayings were gradually assembled into larger collections arranged alphabetically, by author, or by subject. In The Sayings of the Fathers, Owen Chadwick translates the standard and celebrated edition of this collection of sayings that was printed by the Jesuit Heribert Rosweyde at Antwerp in 1615. Chadwick chose this version to translate because it is one of the earliest of the western collections, and because it was probably the most influential of the collections in western monastic history.

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Key Features

  • Provides an alphabetized collection of ancient sayings
  • Offers a translation of an influential work in western monastic history
  • Examines the priorities and culture of wanderers in the fifth and fourth century


  • Of the Progress of the Fathers in Perfection
  • Of Quiet
  • Of Compunction
  • Of Self-Control
  • Of Lust
  • That a Monk Should Possess Nothing
  • Of Patience, or Fortitude
  • That Nothing Should Be Done for Show
  • That We Should Judge No Man
  • On Discretion
  • That It Is Right to Live Soberly
  • That We Ought to Pray Earnestly and Unceasingly
  • That We Ought to Be Hospitable and Show Mercy with Cheerfulness
  • Of Obedience
  • Of Humility
  • Of Patience
  • Of Charity

Product Details

  • Title: The Sayings of the Fathers
  • Editor: Owen Chadwick
  • Publisher: Westminster Press
  • Publication Date: 1958
  • Pages: 156
  • Christian Group: Anglican
  • Resource Type: Collected Works
  • Topic: Ancient History

About Owen Chadwick

Owen Chadwick was made fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1947, and in 1968 was elected regius professor of modern history, a chair he held for 14 years. A prominent Christian historian, his books include The Secularization of the European Mind in the 19th Century, Hensley Henson: A Study in the Friction between Church and state, and The Christian Church in the Cold War.