This chapter examines two early and influential historical narratives. The first, Palladius’s Lausiac History (Historia Lausica), is a set of brief biographies and vignettes of the desert fathers (and mothers), written in Greek in the 420s. The other, the anonymous History of the Monks in Egypt (Historia monachorum in Aegypto), is a travelogue, composed in Greek about 400. It describes a journey through Egypt taken by seven Palestinian monks in 394 and strings together anecdotes about their meetings with remarkable hermits, healers, and holy men. These works highlight other important monastic sites, especially Nitria and Kellia, and stress the links between miracles and holiness.
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