If you are looking simply for a biography of Pachomius, don't look here; go instead to the lives of Pachomius in Pachomian Koinonia
. Rousseau includes a sensitive portrait of Pachomius, and in fact is concerned to highlight the particular charisma of spiritual direction that made his foundations of monasticism possible, but he also explores the sources of our knowledge of Pachomius, and the nature of the fourth-century Egyptian Christianity he inhabited and shaped. These tasks involve a multitude of scholarly questions with which Rousseau is deeply engaged, and the reader is required to wrestle with them along with him. The reward, however, is a vibrant rather than pedantic sense of Pachomius's incalculably important achievement.
An Eighth Day View:
Pachomius, who died in 346, has long been regarded as the "founder of monasticism." Available again, Philip Rousseau's careful reading of the available texts reveals that Pachomius's pioneering enterprise has been consistently misread in light of later monastic practices. Rousseau not only provides a fuller and more accurate portrait of this great teacher and spiritual director but also gives a new perspective on the development of monasticism. In a new preface Rousseau reviews the scholarly developments that have modified his views and emphases since the book was published. The result is to make Pachomius an even less assured pioneer, a man likely to have been more involved in the village and urban society of his time than previously thought.