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Early Christian Lives (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carolinne White divides her time between research projects and tutoring in patristic and medieval Latin at Oxford University. She has worked on the supplement to the Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon and the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources and has published a translation of the correspondence between St Jerome and St Augustine of Hippo (1990) alongside other work.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Penguin Classics edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140435263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140435269
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Redbird on December 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a translation of the biographies of six early monastic saints of Christianity. The particular lives - Antony, Paul of Thebes, Hilarion, Malchus, Martin of Tours and Benedict - are chosen as representatives of particular monastic styles from the early hermits to the monastic community, as generally envisioned today. The choice is also driven by the fact that the lives were written in Latin, which is the interest of Latin scholar and translator, Carolinne White.

In her introduction, she discusses the issues of proper translation, the types of monasticism, the milieu of their lives, and the styles of the authors, the likes of Sts. Athanasius and Jerome, Sulpicius Severus and Gregory the Great. To put things in context, she also provides a brief introduction to each biography.

For the Christian, however, the value of the book is the witness to the lives themselves. They are inspirational, if not almost unbelievable; so far are God's work through them so different than our own modern experience and subconsciously accepted empiricism. These are struggles with visible demons, not only seen by them, but also seen or felt by those around them. These are struggles with pagans and with heretics who mean to torture and kill them. These are struggles with the envious, who want a prophetic relationship with God without making the sacrifice. And these are struggles with good Christians, who fall and are helped by them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luby on October 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Great introductions by the translator, these early church writings should be on any of the faithful's required reading lists to gain an undrestanding of the difficulties early Chirstians faced, what the time was like, and how dedicated these men were to a monastic life.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Stein on February 11, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. Just as advertised. Thanks!
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