CYRIL OF SCYTHOPOLIS: THE LIVES OF THE MONKS OF PALESTINE TRANSLATED BY R. M. PRICE INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY JOHN BINNS
The narrow stretch of desert between the Jordan Valley and the hill country of Judea drew great biblical prophets—Elijah and John the Baptist—and unforgettable christian ascetics. Our best source of information on this movement from AD 400-600 comes from Cyril`s pen.
During the later fifth and early sixth centuries the most creative developments in Eastern Christian monasticism occurred not in Egypt or in Syria but in Palestine, through the work of St. Euthymus and St. Sabas. Cyril recounts their lives with striking vividness. He writes as an insider, basing himself carefully on the evidence of those who knew the two saints personally, and describing with unusual topographical accuracy the monastic world in which he was himself living. This is the first time that a major text concerning Palestinian monasticism has been made available in English. This is a primary source of genuine value, highly influential in later Orthodox history, that brings to life a key period in the evolution of the monastic. — Bishop Kallistos Ware