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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