John Klimachos

   Author (died ca. 650) of The Heavenly Ladder, hence the epithet klimachos ("of the ladder"). The ladder is a metaphor for the spiritual life, in which one ascends to higher levels (30 "rungs") of spirituality. The Apophthegmata Patrum (q.v.) of the early eremites (q.v.) provided John with a rich source of advice, most often unorganized and obscure, but never prosaic. It was immensely popular over the centuries, and hundreds of icons (q.v.) exist showing monks treading upward on the ladder's rungs, while demons attempt to pull them off.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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  • Moschos, John —    Monk, saint, and author of The Spiritual Meadow, a popular account of encounters with monks in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt (qq.v.) during the late sixth century. Among those John and his spiritual son Sophronios (q.v.) met were John Klimachos… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

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