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Finding and Giving: Sayings and Stories of Abba Agathon from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Apophthegmata Patrum) with a Reflection and Commentary

Abba Agathon (4th–5th c.) does not have even a cameo role in Hugh G. Evelyn White’s monumental and magisterial study of the early Christian monks of Egypt,2 William Harmless’s Desert Christians,3 or Adalbert de Vogüé’s Histoire littéraire du movement monastique.4 He does not appear in The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity,5 Encyclopedia of the Early Church,6 Encyclopedia of Early Christianity,7 or The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church,8 nor does Jean-Claude Guy list him in the “three generations” of his “Prosopography of the Monks of Scetis” or “The Heirs.”9 Agathon gets two paragraphs in the Coptic Encyclopedia. 10 In works from late antiquity, he does not appear in stalwarts such as Palladius’s Lausiac History11 or Te Lives of the Desert Fathers (Historia Monachorum in Aegypto).12

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