Anthony the Great

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Anthony the Great

 

Born circa 250; died 356. Founder of monasticism in Egypt.

Anthony lived as a hermit in the desert and was canonized by the Christian church. Several letters by him have been preserved, and the so-called Rules of St. Anthony are attributed to him; his authorship, however, is doubtful. The Life of Anthony, written by Athanasius of Alexandria, aimed at creating the ideal image of a Christian ascetic and became the model for Greek hagiography. The story of Anthony’s temptations in the desert has often served as a subject of painting and literature—for example, Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. Anthony.