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Patericon or paterikon (Greek: πατερικόν), a short form for πατερικόν βιβλίον ("father's book", usually Lives of the Fathers in English), is a genre of Byzantine literature of religious character, which were collections of sayings of saints, martyrs and hierarchs, and tales about them.

Among the earliest collections of this kind are the Αποφθέγματα των άγίων γερόντων (Apophthegmata of Saint Elders, also known as the Alphabetical Patericon, Apophthegmata Patrum, Sayings of the Fathers of the Desert (Sayings of the Desert Fathers) [1]), the Egyptian Paterikon (Historia Monachorum in Aegypto, History of Monks in Egypt) and Λαυσαϊχόν (Historia Lausiaca, [2]) by Palladius - of the 4th century. Various paterica also known in translations into a number of languages (Latin, Slavonic, Coptic, Armenian, etc.)

In Russian Orthodoxy this kind of literature is known from the early Slavic literature, first translations, then original texts created in various monasteries.

Some paterica[edit]

See also[edit]