The Ladder 1590

The first printed edition in Greek of The Heavenly Ladder (Κλίμαξ τοῦ Παραδείσου) was a paraphrase into vernacular Greek made by the learned Maximos Margounios, Bishop of Cythera. It was printed in Venice in 1590 by Francesco Giuliani, and published by Manolis Glyzounis.

The extended title reads,

Ladder of Paradise, or Ascetical Admonitions, of our Father among the Saints John, Abbot of the Monks on Mount Sinai, in which every Christian is taught how it is necessary to govern himself, in order to ascend to the perfection of the monastic and Christian life, now first translated from the Greek language into the vernacular idiom for the benefit of Christians, by Maximos Margounios, humble Bishop of Cythera.

3 comments to The Ladder 1590

  • Mark Robbins

    Hello Fr. Justin,

    I noticed in one of your previous posts that the library at St. Catherine’s has 14 copies of this edition. How humbling it must be to have access to such texts! The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts, has on display an 1837 codex of the Ladder in Church Slavonic, which is itself a rough copy of a 1647 Russian edition of the book. Interestingly, the 1647 edition and the 1837 copy are “illustrated” with an icon of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. I am curious whether the Greek edition from 1590 contains anything similar.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. And thank you for providing the full title of St. John’s book!

    • Father Justin

      It is significant that the monastery library has fourteen copies of the 1590 edition. All of them show signs of wear. They were studied ardently over many generations. Unfortunately, this edition does not have a woodcut of the saint.

  • John Ruskin

    Bless Father, I relish the glimpse and value of your portrail of the Monastery, surroundings and many timeless treasures it has within its walls, I often find with your posts a few words or photograph which encompass much wisdom and spiritual thought, Thank you
    Kissing your right hand

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