From the Greek apophthegm, meaning a terse or pointed saying, this term now usually refers to sayings and maxims of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, mostly from fourth- and fifth-century Egypt. Abbas Poemen, Antony, and Arsenius and disciples are featured. The apophthegmata are found in several collections in different languages, arranged either by particular Fathers and Mothers, or systematically. These collections provide evidence for the origins of monasticism and classical Christian spirituality and convey the spirit of primitive desert spirituality.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.