Historical region of Country
In the life of individuals, the experience of the desert prepared the protagonists of the great religious undertakings: Moses, David, the prophets. Sacramento Map Tourist Attractions In the OT an idealistic, mystical conception of the desert, linked to the spirituality and mentality of the Exodus and to the eschatology of the Messianic times, coexists with a realistic, pessimistic conception, not exclusive to the Jews but shared by the neighboring civilizations, for whom the desert was the place that contrasted with cultivated and inhabited lands, and was therefore inhabited by wild beasts and demons: the fitting place for those excluded from human society.
The great prophets who received theophanies in the desert cf. the theophanies of Moses, Ex 3:1-18, and Elijah, 1 Sam 19:9ff., with Athanasius’s Vita Antonii, the first to present Elijah as a model for desert solitaries, John the Baptist, who preached conversion and penance in the desert Mt 3:1ff.: Mk 1:1ff.; Lk 3:1ff., and Jesus, who withdrew to the desert to combat the devil Mt 4:1ff.; Mk 1:12-13; Lk 4:1ff., are the anchorites’ models. For monks the desert was the place where all these realities were fulfilled, even if different aspects of life in the desert were emphasized at different periods.
Ancient wisdom had offered human beings the experience that two things otium and solitudo that brought weariness to most languorem afferunt made better men of those with great and wise souls Cic., De off. 3, 1,1, taken up by Ambr., De off. 3, 1,2, who notes that Moses, not Scipio the African, was the first to experience solus non esse, cum solus esset, nec minus otiosus, cum otiosus esset. Stoicism invited many to consistere and secum morari, as the primary condition of inner serenity see Sen., Ep. 2,1; 7,2; 10,1; 56,5; etc.. Plato invited men to e`autw pwj prose,cein to.n noun Symp. 174 D 5, withdrawal into oneself and separation from sensible realities evk tou,twn sc. twn aivsqh,sewn avnacwrein, Phaedo 83 A6. If Dio Chrysostom recognized pollh . e vrhmi ,a kai. avnacw,resij Lo,goi, ed. von Arnim II 261,32 262,4 as indispensable for paideia and philosophy, Plotinus used and practiced avnacwrein as inner refuge Porph., Vita Plotini 22, as flight of the alone to the alone mo,noj pro.j mo,non.