The Temptation of Saint Anthony (French La Tentation de Saint Antoine) is a book which the French author Gustave Flaubert spent his whole adult life fitfully working on.
In 1845, at age 24, Flaubert visited the Balbi Palace in Genoa, and was inspired by a painting of the same title, then attributed to Bruegel the Elder (now thought to be by one of his followers).  Flaubert worked at the subject in three versions, completed in 1849, 1856 (with extracts published at that time) and 1872, before publishing the final version in 1874. It takes as its subject the famous temptation faced by Saint Anthony the Great, in the Egyptian desert, a theme often repeated in medieval and modern art. It is written in the form of a play script, detailing one night in the life of Anthony the Great, during which he is faced with great temptations.
The following is a list of major characters and does not include characters such as the gods or the prophets. A complete list of characters can be found in the glossary of the Random House edition (Olds, 195-233).
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