Basil of Caesarea (AD 329-78), called "the Great" by later generations, was one of the fourth century's greatest theologians and pastors. His influence on the foundation of monastic life was enormous.
As he toured the early ascetic communities, members would ask Basil about various aspects of living the Gospel life. Their questions and Basil's replies were taken down by tachygraphers and eventually became the "Small Asketikon," first published in 366. The "Regula Basilii" is a Latin translation of this work, done by Rufinus of Aquileia in 397. It is one of the major sources of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and Benedict recommends it to zealous monks, calling it "the rule of our holy father Basil."
This volume represents a new Latin edition, translated and annotated in English by Anna M. Silvas. It is based on the Latin text Basili Regula - A Rufino Latine Versa from Klaus Zelzer: Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiastricoum Latinorum, Vol. 86. It also includes three extra questions and answers that survive only in the Syriac translation. Silvas balances masterfully between the rigors of academic research and the interests of an intelligent, non-specialist readership. This volume promises to become an indispensable resource in understanding both the history and the spirituality of monastic life.