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MONASTICISM


464


MONASTICISM


Hahn-Hahn, tr. BowDEN, The Fathers of the desert (2 vols., Lon- don, 1867) : Hannav, Spirit and Origin of Christian Monasticism (tiondon, 1903); Idem, The Wisdom of the Desert (London, 1904) : Harnack, Das Afvnchtum, seine Ideate und seine Geschichte, (Giessen, 1S95) ; Hl'MKBEY, Elements of the Religious Life (Lon- don, lS9o); HoLSTElN, Codex Regularum (2 vols., Rome, 1601); Jerque, St., Vita Pauli: Vila Hilarionis: Vita Malchi: Adv. Joh. Jerus. : Adr. Jorinian : De Viris illuslrib. : BpnitoUz in P. L., XXII-XXX: KRANlCH.Dte Ascetik in ihrer dogmalischen Grund- lage bei Basilius dem Grossen (Paderborn, 1S9C) ; KrWger, Gesehichte der alt christ lichen Literatur (Leipzig. 189S) ; Lecky, //is- tcrj/ of European Morals (2 vols., London, 1S69); l'Huiluer, £jr- pJicalion de la Regie dc S. BcnoU (3 vols., Paris, 1901) ; Locius, Die Thcrapcutcn (Strasburg, 1880); MABILLON.^rto SS. Ordinis S. Benedicli (Paris, 1701); Idem, Annates Ordinis S. Benedicti (Paris, 1703): Methodius, Symposium decern rirginum in /*. G., XVIII; MoNTALEMBERT, Lcs Moines d'Oceident (7 vols. Paris, 1860), tr. with introd. by Gabquet (London, 1896); Newman, Historical Sketches (3 vols., London, 1S73); Ozanam, History of Cicilitalion in the Fifth century (London, 1SB8); Preu- BCHEX, Patladius und Ruftnus (Giessen, 1897) ; Pall.\dids, His- toria Lausiaca, ed. Butler (Cambridge, 1904); Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire (London, 1895); Riley. Athos the mountain of the Monks (London, 1887); Rosweyd. lidr Pnlrnm (Antwerp, 1628), mostly reprinted in P. L., LXXIU-LXXIV; RcFlNUS, Historia Monachorum in P. L., XXI; Idem, Verba Seniorum in Rosweyd; Idem, Regula S. Basilii Bp. in HoL- stein; Spreitzenhofer. Die Entu-icklunq des alien Monchtums in Itatien (Vienna, 1894); Idem, Die Hislorischen Voraussetzung der Regcl des HI. Benedict (Vienna, 1895); Suarez, tr. Humfrey, The Religious State (3 vols., London. 1884) ; Smith, fiise of Christian Monasticism (I,ondon, 1892); Idem, Characteristics of Christian Morality (London, 1875); SuLPlcics Severus. Dialogues: Life of St. Martin in P. /-., XX; Weingarten, Der Vrsprung des Mbnch- tums (Gotha, 1877); Weizsacker, tr. Miller, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church; Wolter, Elementa Mortastica (Bruges, 1880) ; WooDHOCsE, Mona-tticism, ancient and modern (London, 1896); Zockler, Askese und Monchtum (Frankfort, 1897).

G. Roger Huddleston.

II. E.\.STERX MONASTICISM BEFORE ChALCEDON

(a. D. 451). — Egypt was the Motherland of Christian monasticism. It sprang into existence there at the beginning of the fourtli century and in a very few years spread over the whole Christian world. The rapidity of the movement was only equalled by the durability of its results. Within the hfetime of St. Anthony the religious state had become what it has been ever since, one of the characteristic features of the Catholic Church, with its ideals, and what may be termed the groundwork of its organization, deter- mined. But this was not all. The simple teaching of the first Egyptian monks and hermits fixed once and forever the broad outlines of the science of the spiritual hfe, or, in other words, of ascetic theology. The study, therefore, of early monasticism possesses a great deal more than a merely antiquarian interest. It is concerned with a movement the force of which is in no way spent and which has had a very large share in creating the conditions which obtain at the present day.

The first chapter in the history of monasticism is the life of St. Anthony which has already been de- scribed (see Anthony, Saixt). The inauguration of the monastic movement may be dated either about 285, when St. Anthony, no longer content with the life of the ordinary ascetic, went info the wilderness, or about 305, when he organized a kind of monastic life for his disciples. Ascetic is the term usually employed by writers on monasticism for those who in pre-mo- nastic days forsook the world so far as they were able. Of the three Evangelical counsels, chastity alone can be practised independently of external circumstances. Naturally, therefore (beginning with the sub-Apos- tolic age), w^e hoar first of men and women leading the virgin life (cf. I Clem., xxxviii; Ignat., "ad Poly- carp.", c. v; Hermas, "Sim.", IX, 30).

The Apologists pointed triumphantly to such (Justin, "ApoL", I, xv; Athenagoras, "Lcgat.", xxxiii; Minu- cius Felix, "Octav.", xxx-i). Voluntary poverty, in the complete renunciation of all worldly possessions, would be difficult till there were monasteries, for per- sons with wealth to renounce would not, generally speaking, have been brought up so as to be capable of earning their own livelihood. Still we have the examples of Origen, St. Cyprian, and Pamphilus to


show that the thing was done. A full practice of the last Evangelical counsel (obedience) could only be re- alized after the monastic ideal had taken root and pa.ssed beyond the purely eremitical .stage. The ante-Nicene ascetic would be a man who led a single hfe, practised long and frequent fasts, ab.stained from flesh and wine, and supported lum.seh', if ho were able, by some small handicraft, keeiiing of what he earned only so much as was absolutely necessary for his own sustenance, and giving the rest to the poor. If he were an educated man, he might be employed by the Church in some such capacity as that of cate- chist. Very often he would don the kind of dress which marked its wearer off as a philosopher of an austere school.

In Egypt, at the time when St. Anthony first embraced the ascetic life, there were numbers of ascetics living in huts in the neighbourhood of the towns and villages. When St. Anthony died (356 or 357), two types of monasticism flourished in Egypt. There were villages or colonies of hermits — the eremitical type; and monasteries in which a com- munity life was led — the cenobitic type. A brief survey of the opening chapters of Palladius's "Lausiac History" will serve as a description of the former type.

Palladius was a monk from Palestine who, in 388, went to Egypt to drink in the spirit of monasticism at the fountainhead. On landing at Alexandria he put himself in the hands of a priest named Isidore, who in early life had been a hermit at Nitria and now apparently presided over a hospice at Alexandria without in any way abating the austerity of his life. By the advice of Isidore, Palladius placed himself un- der the direction of a hermit named Dorotheus who hved six miles outside Alexandria, with whom he was to pass three years learning to subdue his passions and then to return to Isidore to receive higher spirit- ual knowledge. This Dorotheus spent the whole day collecting stones to build cells for other hermits, and the whole niglit weaving ropes out of palm leaves. He never lay down to sleep, though slumber sometimes overtook him while working or eating. Palladius, who seems to have hved in his cell, ascertained from other sohtaries that this had been his custom from his youth upwards. Palladius's health broke down before he completed his time with Dorotheus, but he spent three years in Alexandria and its neighbour- hood visiting the hermitages and becoming acquainted with about 2000 monks. From Alexandria he went to Nitria, where there was a monastic village containing about 5000 sohtaries. There was no kind of monas- tic rule. Some of the solitaries hved alone, some- times two or more hved together. They assembled at the church on Saturdays and Sundays. The church was served by eight priests of whom the oldest always celebrated, preached, and judged, the others only assisting. All worked at wea\ing flax. There were bakeries where bread was made, not only for the village itself, but for the solitaries who lived in the desert beyond. There were doctors. Wine also was sold.

Strangers were entertained in a guest-house. If able to read, they were lent a book. They might stay as long as they liked, but after a week they were set to some kind of work. If at the ninth hour a man stood and listened to the sound of psalmody issuing from the different cells, he would imagine, says Palladius, that he was caught up into paradise. But, though there was no monastic rule at Nitria, there was municipal law, the outward symbol of which was three whips suspended from three palm trees, one for monks who might be guilty of some fault, one for thieves who might be caught prowling about, and the third for strangers who misbehaved. Further into the desert was a place called Cells, or Cellia, whither the more perfect withdrew. This is described by the