Evagrius Ponticus is the living link through whom the ascetic principles of hellenistic philosophers passed into the mainstream of Christian monasticism. Although not known by name for generations, Evagrius molded the ideals of western asceticism through his own widely-disseminated works and through his influence on intermediaries like John Cassian and, through Cassian, Saint Benedict of Nursia. To those seeking God alone, he counselled absolute solitude: the solitude of separation from the world and the solitude of the human soul.
Born in 345 in Ibora in Pontus (the present day Iveronu in Turkey), Evagrius united the mystical theology of Origen and the rigorous asceticism of the desert monks in a tradition which still lives today.
Translated, with an introduction and notes, by John Eudes Bamberger ocso