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Cli'macus, Joannes

Ἰωάννης Κλίμακος), surnamed the Learned ( Σχολαστικός), a Greek writer who lived in the sixth century of the Christian aera.

His original name was Joannes, and he was called Climacus on account of a work written by him, which was entitled Κλίμαξ. He took orders, and although the learned education which he had received seemed to have destined him for a life among scholars, he lived during forty years with monks of the most rude and illiterate description, till he was chosen abbot of the convent on Mount Sinai, where he died at the age of one hundred, or thereabouts, on the 30th of March. The year of his death is uncertain, but it was probably in the beginning of the seventh century. (A. D. 606?)

Life of Climacus by Daniel

The life of Climacus was written by a Greek monk of the name of Daniel.


This Life is contained in Bibliotheca Patrum Maxima, in the Acta Sanctorum, ad 30 diem Martii, in the editions of the works of Climacus, and in Johannis Climaci, Johannis Damasceni, et Johannis Eleemosynarii Vitae, &c., ed. Johannes Vicartius, Jesuita, Tournai, 1664, 4to.


Two works of Climacus, who was a fertile writer on religious subjects, have been printed, viz. :--

1. (Κλίμαξ

Addressed to John, abbot of the monastery of Raithu, this is divided into thirty chapters, and treats on the means of attaining the highest possible degree of religious perfection.

In some MSS. this work has the title Πλάκες Πνευματικαί, or Spiritual Tables.


Latin Editions

A Latin translation of this work by Ambrosius, a Camaldulensian monk, was published at Venice. 1531, ibid. 1569, Cologne, 1583, ibid. 1593, with an exposition of Dionysius, a Carthusian friar; ibid. 1601, 8vo.

Greek Editions

The Greek text, with a Latin translation and the Scholia of Elias, archbishop of Creta, was published together with the work of Climacus cited below, by Matthaeus Raderus, Paris, 1633, fol. It is also contained, together with the previously mentioned Scholia of Elias, in the different Bibliothecae Patrum.



Latin Editions

A Latin translation of this was published by the Ambrosius mentioned above, and was reprinted several times.

Greek editions

The Greek text with a Latin version was published, together with the Scala Paradisi and the Scholia of the archbishop Elias, by Raderus mentioned above, Paris, 1633, fol.


Both these works of Climacus were translated into modern Greek and published by Maximus Margunius, bishop of Cerigo, Venice, 1590.

Further Information

Fabric. Bibl. Graec. ix. p. 522, &c.; Cave, Hist. Lit. vol. i. p. 421, ad an. 564; Hamberger, Zuverlässige Nachrichten von gelehrten Männern, vol. iii. p. 467.


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606 AD (1)
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