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The (almost) unbelievable lives of  the Early Christian ascetics
Christian asceticism started to bloom in the fourth century and for the next two hundred odd years, threw up a considerable number of extreme ascetic practices.Many people have heard of St. Symeon Stylites, who stood on a pillar for forty years, but there were other ascetics whose practices were equally extraordinary. 
We know something of them from the work of writers like Athanasius of Alexandria and Theodoret of Cyrrhus who wrote from personal experience.
Such early documents are our only genuine source of information.
​A study of this fascinating subject led me to research the documents that remain, reading, translating and eventually writing my book,Stylites and Others. The Monks of Egypt and Syria as recorded by their Contemporaries.  
During the course of my research, I visited Syria to see at first hand the landscape in which men practised such extreme forms of asceticism.  It was an experience which brought the ascetics to life in a way which no written text could equal, even more so because, sadly, many historical remains have since been destroyed due to the war.
In my blog, I share the results of my research, drawing on the ancient texts to shed more light on the reality of life as an ascetic in the early days of Christianity.

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