Discover essential, reliable information on over 800 Christian personalities, groups, and literature to the end of the sixth century A.D. in this unique, concise volume. It includes descriptions of the principal sects and heresies that challenged orthodox Christianity on several fronts during the early years. A remarkably comprehensive work, this volume evolved from the distinguished four-volume Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature. For anyone serious about the early church and the people who made indelible marks in its story, this is a fundamental resource. - Features reliable sketches of major Christian personalities of the first six centuries. - Analyzes the documents, creeds, and literature of the early church and its opponents. - Describes the principal sects and heretics of early Christianity, including discussions of the theological tendencies of these opponents.