Translatorsf This VolumeCOLM LUIBHEIDwasborn in Dublinin l9i6and receivedhisB.A. and M.A.from UniversityCollege,Dublin.He wasawardedaPh.D. nClassicsromPrincetonUniversity.Since 96l hehasbeenamember ofthe teachingstaff at UniversityCollege,Galway.Hisscholarlynterests ocuson theearly Churchin the easternhalf of theMediterraneanbetween the thirdand fifthcenturies.Inaddition topublishingwobookson Eusebius, es preparinga volumeonJohnCassianorthis series.r. Luibheidiveswithhis wifeand fourchil-dren nthe villageof Abbeyknockmoy,earGalway.REV. NORMANVICTORRUSSELLwas bornin Belfast n1945and waseducatedt King's College,Universityof London.Subse-quentlyhe tookhis theologydegreesat Oxford. Inl97l he wasor-dained Deaconn theChurch of England.Afterbeing receivedntothe CatholicChurcha year laterhe wasordained a priestof the Con-gregationof theOratory. FatherRussell san editorof Sobonrostndhascontributedto the Englisheditionsof the PDilokaliaand TbeLivesof tbe DesertFatbers.Authorof the IntroductionBISHOP KALLISTOSWAREwasborn in Bathin l9i4and waseducatedat the WestminsterSchool,London,and MagdalenCotlege,Oxford wherehe studiedClassics,Philosophyand Theology.Re-ceived ntothe OrthodoxChurch in1958, e wasordainedapriestin1966,he same yearhe took monasticvowsat the Monasteryof StJohnthe Theologiann Patmos.n 1982he wasconsecrateditularBishop of Diokleiaandappointedassistantishop n the OrthodoxArchdioceseof ThyateiraandGreat Britain.Since 1966he has beenbeen SpaldingLecturer in EasternOrthodoxStudiesat Oxford,andin 1970hebecamea Fellowat PembrokeCollege.Heis the co-editorof Sobornostnd theauthor ofmany books, ncludingTbeOrtbodorCburcb.
If there are numerousand well-founded doubtsconcerningthefewsparedetails of the biographyofJohnClimacus,orJohnScholas-ticus,here s ittle risk of over-estimetinghe nfluencef the treatisewhich emergedrom thepenofthis notably elusiveigure whose ifetouched he endof the sixth andthe beginningof theseventh entu-ries.TheLadderof Dipire Ascertsundeniablya classicof earlyChris-tianspirituality.It offers advice, counsqlandguidancetothosecapableof embarkingon that difficultroad whose summit is encoun-terwith God, and it embodieshe fruit both oflong personalexperi-enceand ofthe intensely dynarnicinsights of earliergenerationsofmen caughtupin the firstgreatsurgeof monasticism.Thepresent translation is basedon the textPrintedbyMigne-PatrologiaGraeca8. Apart from the detailsobegatheredn the stan-dardhandbooksofpatology, a most useful andwide-ranging bibliog-raphyhas been supplied byGuerric Couilleau at the endof his^rticle,JeattClimaquen DictiornairedeSpiritualiti,Fasc. ii-liii(Paris)1972. his is to be stronglyrecommendedoanyonewishingtoex-plore the various issuesaised by the impact ofTbeLadderof DiuircAscent-