The Stromata is the third in Clement of Alexandria's trilogy of works on the Christian life. Clement entitled this work Stromateis, "patchwork," because it dealt with such a variety of matters. It goes further than its two predecessors and aims at the perfection of the Christian life by initiation into complete knowledge.
It attempts, on the basis of Scripture and tradition, to give such an account of the Christian faith as shall answer all the demands of learned men, and conduct the student into the innermost realities of his belief.
Clement intended to make but one book of this; at least seven grew out of it, without his having treated all the subjects proposed. The absence of certain things definitely promised has led scholars to ask whether he wrote an eighth book, as would appear from Eusebius (VI. xiii. 1) and the Florilegia, and various attempts have been made to identify with it short or fragmentary treatises appearing among his remains. In any case the "excerpts" and "selections" which, with part of a treatise on logical method, are designated as the eighth book in the single 11th century manuscript of the Stromata, are not parts of the Hypotyposes which Clement is known to have written. This work was a brief commentary on selected passages covering the whole Bible, as is shown in the fragments preserved by Oecumenius and in the Latin version of the commentary on the Catholic Epistles made at the instance of Cassiodorus.