Given the diachronic importance of the Holy Mountain, as it is often styled, the editors and translators of Holy Men of Mount Athos have done a great service to the academy and the wider reading public by providing the lives of five Athonite saints in accessible Greek texts and, more importantly, first-ever English translations. Richard P.H. Greenfield and Alice-Mary Talbot were the main editors and translators, while Alexander Alexakis re-edited the first Life and Stamatina McGrath translated the last one.
In terms of chronology the Lives cover large intervals of the history of Mt. Athos during the Byzantine period, from the ninth to the fifteenth century. In terms of forms of monastic life, they include the exploits of isolated hermits, the communal institution-building of coenobites, and different practices in between–sometimes in the life of one and the same saint. Though differing in linguistic and stylistic register and showing differing degrees of theological interpretation and reworking, all six of them present their subjects in substantial detail, replete with anecdotes of both exalted and mundane happenings in their lives.
The Medieval Review