With contemporary colouring, this imaginative work is a collection of biographies from early Christian hermits (male and female) who retreated from mundane life to the desert, there practicing ascetism and lives of devotion. This was a popular text in early monastic circles, never following one standardised order but rather adapted according to the convents for which they were made. This copy ended up in Nonnberg Abbey, a Benedictine convent near Salzburg, and the oldest continuously existing nunnery north of the Alps.
This copy has a huge number of lively, dynamic woodcut illustrations, and Sorg's edition is one of the most richly illustrated incunables printed in Augsburg. Many of the stories require more than one illustration: for example, the story of Malchus has 4. Malchus was a monk captured by Saracens on the way to his home town in Syria, then, as a slave, was forced to marry a young Christian woman who was already married. Together they decided to escape and, using goat-skin bags for buoyancy, they floated away to safety. The story invites a rare depiction of nudity in a narrative other than the Adam and Eve story.