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  • Author or Editor: Henrik Rydell Johnsén x
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Abstract

How Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399) composed his highly influential treatises of short and succinct chapters (kepahalaia) is bewildering and has been discussed by many scholars. In this essay the literary composition of Evagrius’ To monks in monasteries and communities, or Ad monachos, a typical text of short chapters, is examined from a literary perspective by relating the text to literary conventions, common in late antique literature and in rhetorical handbooks and exercises (progymnasmata). It is demonstrated how the teaching develops gradually in accordance with a pattern for a so-called amplified argument (epicheireme) codified in Pseudo-Hermogenes Progymnasmata. By this arrangement of the teaching, the reader is offered, not just a random taste of various aspects of the monastic life, but a set of specific conclusions to implement or to be aware of practically in the life as monk; conclusions that are perceptible not at just a cursory glance, but at a careful and repeated reading.

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In: Vigiliae Christianae
Wisdom on the Move explores the complexity and flexibility of wisdom traditions in Late Antiquity and beyond. This book studies how sayings, maxims and expressions of spiritual insight travelled across linguistic and cultural borders, between different religions and milieus, and how this multicultural process reshaped these sayings and anecdotes. Wisdom on the Move takes the reader on a journey through late antique religious traditions, from manuscript fragments and folios via the monastic cradle of Egypt, across linguistic and cultural barriers, through Jewish and Biblical wisdom, monastic sayings, and Muslim interpretations. Particular attention is paid to the monastic Apophthegmata Patrum, arguably the most important genre of wisdom literature in the early Christian world.