The pearlers we meet in this book were early monks of Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and Persia (Iran), They saw themselves as pearl-divers and pearl-merchants searching, through asceticism and prayer, for the precious pearls of mystical experience. Their quest led them into the wilderness, to a state of silent solitude in remote caves and hermitages. Working from Syriac manuscripts in the British Museum and the Vatican Library, and from the Greek monastery of Saint Catherine in the wilderness of Sinai and the Coptic monastery of the Syrians (Der es-Suriani) in the Egyptian desert, Brian E. Colless has produced a volume which draws modern readers into this little known world.
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