Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Antony the Great
(3,936 words)

Antony (or Anthony; d. 356 CE) was an Egyptian ascetic, desert monk, and monastic teacher, and he is considered the first hermit and the father of monasticism. The most important – but also problematic – source on Antony is his Vita written shortly after his death by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria (d. 373 CE; Desert Fathers).

Antony needs to be described from three different perspectives:

1.  as historical figure who was probably the author of a series of…

Cite this page
Diem, Albrecht, “Antony the Great”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 30 September 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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