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In the 4th century AD the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Arabia and Persia were settled by people who left behind them a strange reputation. They were the first Christian hermits, who abandoned the cities of the ancient Roman world to live in the solitude and silence of the desert. Why did they do this? The reasons were many and various, but they can all be summed up in one brief phrase: the quest for salvation. Among these men and women are the life and witness of St. Anthony the Great.