The Stromata (Greek: Στρώματα) or Stromateis (Στρωματεῖς) is the third in Clement of Alexandria's trilogy of works on the Christian life. Clement titled this work Stromateis, "patchwork," because it deals with such a variety of matters. It goes further than its two predecessors and aims at the perfection of the Christian life by initiation into complete knowledge.
It attempts, on the basis of Scripture and tradition, to give such an account of the Christian faith as shall answer all the demands of learned men, and conduct the student into the innermost realities of his belief.
Clement intended to make but one book of this; at least seven grew out of it, without his having treated all the subjects proposed. The absence of certain things definitely promised has led scholars to ask whether he wrote an eighth book, as would appear from Eusebius (VI. xiii. 1) and the Florilegia, and various attempts have been made to identify with it short or fragmentary treatises appearing among his remains. In any case the "excerpts" and "selections", which, with part of a treatise on logical method, are designated as the eighth book in the single 11th-century manuscript of the Stromata, are not parts of the Hypotyposes, which Clement is known to have written. This work was a brief commentary on selected passages covering the whole Bible, as is shown in the fragments preserved by Oecumenius and in the Latin version of the commentary on the Catholic Epistles made at the instance of Cassiodorus.
- "And when [God] says, 'Be not much with a strange woman,' He admonishes us to use indeed, but not to linger and spend time with, secular culture."
- "Wisdom is therefore queen of philosophy, as philosophy is of preparatory culture. For if philosophy professes control of the tongue, and the belly, and the parts below the belly, it is to be chosen on its own account. But it appears more worthy of respect and pre-eminence, if cultivated for the honour and knowledge of God."
- The Stromata (Book 1), Chapter 5.
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- Στρώματα (original text in Greek)
- Reinhold Koltz, Titi Flaui Clementis Alexandrini opera omnia (E.B. Schwickerti, Lipsiae 1831), Vol. 1, 2, 3, and 4.
- Stromata, including English translation of Book 3 – The Gnostic Society Library (Due to sexual content, Book 3 is provided only in Latin in the classic Ante-Nicene Fathers edition)
- Clement of Alexandria: Stromata, Book 1 – Early Christian Writings
- English translation of Stromata at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- English translation of Stromata at the New Advent