See Ehud Netzer, “The Last Days and Hours at Masada,” BAR 17:06, and Jodi Magness, “Masada—Arms and the Man,” BAR 18:04.



Derwas J. Chitty, The Desert a City—An Introduction to the Study of Egyptian and Palestinian Monasticism under the Christian Empire (Oxford, 1966).


See Yizhar Hirschfeld, The Judean Desert Monasteries in the Byzantine Period (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992). See also Hirschfeld, “List of the Byzantine Monasteries in the Judean Desert,” in G. C. Bottini et al. (eds.), Christian Archaeology in the Holy Land—New Discoveries (Jerusalem, 1990), pp. 1–90; and Hirschfeld, “Monasteries and Churches in the Judean Desert in the Byzantine Period,” in Yoram Tsafrir, ed., Ancient Churches Revealed (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1993), pp. 149–154.


We treat coenobium, unlike laura, as a foreign word because laura appears in most English dictionaries, although it is not always correctly defined. Coenobium does not appear in most English dictionaries, even unabridged dictionaries. It appears in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, but the definition does not include a type of monastery.


Hirschfeld, The Judean Desert Monasteries in the Byzantine Period—Their Development and Internal Organization in the Light of Archaeological Research, Ph.D. dissertation, Hebrew University (Jerusalem, 1987; in Hebrew).


Kyrillos von Skythopolis, ed. E. Schwartz (Leipzig, 1939).


These hagiographies were later copied in medieval monasteries, usually in Greek. Only at the turn of the 20th century have they been published in critical editions. Until recently, however, many of them remained untranslated, and those that were translated appeared in French. In the 1990s, however, a number of these hagiographies were translated into English. See Leah Di Segni, “The Life of Chariton,” in V. L. Wimbush (ed.), Ascetic Behavior in Greco-Roman Antiquity—A Sourcebook (Minneapolis, 1990), pp. 393–424; Cyril of Scythopolis, The Lives of the Monks of Palestine, translated by R. M. Price (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1991); and The Spiritual Meadow of John Moschus, translated J. Wortley (Michigan, 1992). These English translations should open the extraordinary world of the monks of the Judean Desert to a much wider audience.


Joseph Patrich, The Monastic Institutions of Saint Sabas—An Archaeological-Historical Research, Ph.D. dissertation, Hebrew University (Jerusalem, 1987; in Hebrew).


Theodorus Petraeus, Vita sancti Theodosii, ed. H. Usener (Leipzig, 1890).


Hirschfeld, “The Cave Church at Khirbet ed-Deir,” in Y. Tsafrir, Ancient Churches Revealed, pp. 244–259.


L.C. Di Segni and Hirschfeld, “Four Greek Inscriptions from the Monastery at Khirbet ed-Deir in the Judean Desert,” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 53 (1987), pp. 365–386.