The Ladder 1590

The Sinai library has fourteen copies of The Ladder of Divine Ascent, printed in Venice in 1590, and ten copies of The Spiritual Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian, printed in Leipzig in 1770.

5 comments to The Ladder 1590

  • Richard Saloom


    In the centuries prior to the modern library, what factors posed the greatest risks to the books? Did the dryness of St. Catherine’s benefit or is a bit more moisture than naturally occurs a plus? Did insects and other animals pose threats? Is there any modern routine maintenance required for the books, e.g. oiling leather covers.

    Father, thank your work in preserving these treasures.

    • Father Justin

      The dry and stable climate at Saint Catherine’s has had a lot to do with the preservation of the books and manuscripts. Indoor humidity averages between 20% and 30%, and temperature changes are gradual. We do not see insect damage or problems with mould. There are a few examples of rodent damage, from the time the books were stored in closed storerooms centuries ago. In 1951, the library was moved to the modern building, and the renovation of the building was completed in September, 2017.

  • Maria

    Thanks Father Justin for photographing all this holy treasure

  • Richard Saloom


    Thank you for your response.

  • Mark Robbins

    I am curious whether any of the 1590 texts contained any “illustrations” or icon-like depictions of the Ladder of Divine Ascent.

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