Asceticism In Late Antique Time

822 Words4 Pages
The Late Antique time period was a time of critical religious development involving everyone from the common peasant to the rich nobles and political leaders. During this time, which extended from approximatly the 3rd century to the 6th century, many religious ideas and concepts became solidified into doctrine and unified by leaders. One religious idea that became increasingly popular, especially in Christianity, was that of ascetic behavior. Individuals practicing asceticism can be traced throughout Late Antiquity, and much information is available regarding how these people lived their lives and how they practiced. By examining various ascetic literature, the Christian ascetic movement can be traced from Antony of Egypt to Basil of Caesarea and we can establish a better understanding of the individuals and communities practicing asceticism. Many people have misconceptions about Late Antiquity as a whole, and ascetic behavior is no exception. Before completing this assignment and doing the necessary research, I had many misconceptions regarding asceticism in Late…show more content…
From Athanasius’s Life of Antony, which was written around 360 and translated into Latin, we know that Antony may have been the first Christian ascetic (Finn, 113). He adopted many ascetic qualities around 285 and proceeded to isolate himself the desert (Finn, 113). Here many intrigued people began to flock towards him and tried to study his way of life. He was very responsible for the expansion of asceticism as he wrote many letters to Alexandria detailing the ‘right’ way to practice asceticism (Finn, 114). His practiced asceticism because “the body purified by the Spirit resembles the spiritual body” (Finn, 114). This included living in isolation, controlling pride, anger, hatred, and practicing humility, fasts, and vigils. Eventually, his version of isolated asceticism spread and proliferated in Egypt, and was often altered and adapted to other similar
Open Document