St. Antony the Great
This introductory text of the Philokalia sets forth a standard of practical holiness to which the remaining sacred writings of the Philokalia will adhere. "Holiness and intelligence of soul are to be recognized from a man's eye, walk, voice, laugh, the way he spends his time and the company he keeps.
This magnificent text appointed by St. Nikodemos as the first work in the Philokalia was considered by St. Nicodemos to be authored by St. Antony while most Philokalic scholars today consider it to be of Stoic-Platonic provenance. As such it serves in its content and placement as a transitional piece between the best of Hellenic philosophy and asceticism and the burgeoning Christian asceticism of the 4th and following centuries.