Sunday, 10 February 2019

Henrik Rydell Johnsén: Reading kephalaia: The composition of Evagrius’ Ad monachos reconsidered

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 such as Antoine Guillaumont, Jeremy Driscoll, Columba Stewart, and Joel Kalvesmaki. While scholars have regarded some of Evagrius’ texts of chapters as more or less haphazard gnomic collections, they have tried to detect some sort of structure and progress of thought in some others, like Evagrius’ Praktikos and his Ad monachos.In this paper the literary composition of Evagrius’ Ad monachos is reconsidered by paying attention to literary practices and conventions codified in the so called progymnasmata tradition of late antiquity in order to further elucidate Evagrius’ way of composing his teaching and the reading practices that this type of texts seem to presuppose.

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