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MONASTICISM


467


MONASTICISM


tainly does not underrate St. Basil's influence, "to affirm that the Basihan Order is a myth. One must go further and give up calling the Byzantine monks Basilians. Those most concerned have never taken to themselves this title, and no Eastern writer that I know of has ever bestowed it upon them" (Pargoire in "Diet. d'Arch^ologie chretienne", s. v. "Basile"). In a word, every monastery is an order of its own. With St. Basil Eastern monasticism reached its final stage — communities of monks leading the contempla- tive life and devoting themselves wholly to prayer and work. The cenobitical life steadily became the normal form of the religious calling, and the eremiti- cal one the exceptional form, requiring a long previous training.

We must now speak of the grounds upon which St. Basil based his decision — a decision .so momentous for the future history of monasticism — in favour of the cenobitical life. Life with others is more ex- pedient because, in the first place, even for the supply of their bodily needs, men depend upon one another. Further, there is the law of charity. The solitary has only himself to regard; yet "charity seeks not itself".

Again, the solitary will not equally discover his faults, there being no one to correct him with meekness and mercy. There are precepts of charity which can only be fulfilled in the cenobitical life. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not all given to all men, but one is given to one man and another to another. We can- not be partakers in the gifts not bestowed on ourselves if we live by ourselves. The great danger to the solitary is self-complacency; he is not put to the test, so that he is unable to learn his faults or his progress. How can he learn humility when there is no one to prefer before himself? Or patience when there is no one to yield to? V\'Tiose feet shall he wash? To whom shall he be as a servant? (Reg. fus. tract., Q. vii.) This condemnation of the eremitical life is interesting because of what might almost be called its tameness. One would exfject at least a lurid picture of the dangers which the solitary ran, delu- sions, melancholy culminating in despair, terrible moral and spiritual falls, the abandonment of the religious calling for the life of vice, and so forth. But instead of such things we have little more than what amoimts to disadvantages and the risk of somewhat flat and commonplace kinds of failure, against which the common life afforded the best protection. Clearly St. Basil found very little that was tragic during the two years he was investigating monasticism in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and elsewhere.

It might be supposed that so uncompromising a verdict against the eremitical life would stir up a fierce conflict. As a matter of fact, it did nothing of the kind. Palestine, towards the end of the fourth cen- tury, began to supersede Egypt as the centre of monas- ticism, and in Palestine the laura and the cenobium were in perfect harmony. That of St. Gerasimus, with its cenobium already referred to, may be taken as a typical example. St. Basil's authority was equal to St. Anthony's among the leaders of Palestinian monasticism; yet they took it as a matter of course that life in the laura" was the most perfect, though under ordinary circumstances it should not be en- tered upon before an apprenticeship had been served in a cenobium. The paradox is not so great as it may at first sight appear. The dweller in the laura was under an archimandrite or abbot and so was not exposed to the dangers of the purely eremitical state. (A number of passages from the Lives of St. Euthy- mius, St. Theodosius, and others bearing upon the above subject have been brought together by Holl, "Enthusiasmus und Bus,sgewalt beim Griechischen Moncthum", Leipzig, pp. 172 sqq.)

At the Council of Chalcedon, monasticism had so become a recognized part of the life of the Church


that it was especially legislated for. Monasteries were not to be erected without the leave of the bishop; monks were to receive due honour, but were not to mix themselves up with the affairs of Church or State. They were to be subject to the bishop, etc. (can. iv). Clerics and monks were not to serve in war or embrace a secular life (can. vii). Monasteries were not to be secularized (can. xxiv).

Solitary spots, according to St. Basil, .should be chosen as sites for monasteries. Nevertheless, they soon found their way into cities. According to Marin ("Les Moines de Constantinople", Paris, 1897, 330-898), at least fifteen monasteries were founded at Constantinople in the time of Constantine the Great; but Besse (Les Moines d'Orient, 18) affirms that the three most ancient ones only dated back to the time of Theodosius (375-95). In 518 there were at least fifty-four monasteries in Constan- tinople. Their names and those of their rulers are given in a petition addressed by the monks of Con- stantinople to Pope Hormisdas in 518 (Martin, ibid., 18).

For Egj'ptiaD monasticism, not only are the original sources far superior to those for early Monasticism elsewhere, but the subject has been more thoroughly investigated. The most important work that has appeared in recent times is Butler, The Lausiac History of Palladium in Cambridge Texts and Studies. VI, (first

Eart, 1S9S; second part, 1904). Other important works are ADEUZE, Etude sur le cenobitisme Pakhomien pendant le IV' siecle et la premiere moiti^ du V' (Louvain and Paris, 1898) ; ScHiEWiETZ, Das moTgenlandische Monchthum, I (Mainz, 1904); Leipoldt, Sckenute von Atripe (Leipzig, 1903) in Texte und Unter- such. (new series), XI (Leipzig, 1903). Ladeuze gives an exhaustive study of the documents upon which our knowledge of Pachomius and Schenoudi are based. Schiewietz treats of (1) Christian asceticism in the first three centuries and (2) EgjTDtian mo- nasticism in the fourth; he omits Schenoudi altogether. A very important point of difference between Ladeuze and Schiewietz on the one hand, and Butler on the other, is the unfavourable esti- mate formed by the first two and the favourable one by the last of Palladius's account of the Pachomian monasticism. Classifi- cations and appreciations of the original sources will be found in Butler, op. cit.. pt. I, 196 sqq.; pt. II, p. xii. The most valuable, now that th text has been restored by Butler, is the Lausiac His- tory of Palladius (see above). What used to pass for Palladius was a test ver>- much interpolated with the Historia monachorum in Mgypto, an account of information gathered by seven monks of Palestine who visited Egjlit in 394-95, written by one of them. The Greek text was printed for the first time by Pbeuschen. Pal- ladius und Rufinus (Giessen, 1897). Til! 1897 it was only known in the Latin version of Rufinus, which was supposed to be the original. As the experiences narrated do not square with the facts of Rufinus's Life, this supposition reduced it to the level of an his- torical romance. Butler has proved, or nearly proved, that the Greek is the original and thus restored the work to its proper place as a genuine record. He has done the same for the Lausiac Hist, by recovering the uninterpolated text. The Institutes and Conferences of Cassian are also records based upon personal knowledge (see art. Cassian, John). For Pachomian monasti- cism the chief authorities are the Greek Life of Pachomius; Pacho- Miua. Ascelicum, known also as the Paralipomena; the Epistola Ammonis on Theodore (all to be found in Acta SS.. May. I); and St. Jerome's translation of the Rule. \ number of Coptic and Arabic MSS. concerning Eg>T*tia-n monasticism have been pub- lished of late years chiefly byAiwi^UNEAU, for which we must refer the reader to the bibliography at the end of Laheuze, op. cit., and to Leipoldt. op. cit. An English translation of Syriac versions of the Lausiac History, the Asceticum, and the Hist. Monach. (there attributed to St. Jerome) will be found in vol. I of Budge, Para- dise of the Fathers (London, 1907). For Palladius, references to the corresponding Greek text of Butler will be found on pp. xxxiii,


For non-Egvptian Eastern mona^icism, the chief ! the Lives, when authentic, of individual monks and hermits; St. Theodoket, De vitis patrum; certain writings of St. Basil, St. Jerome. St. John Chrysostom, St. Epiphanius, St. Ephrem Strub, St. Hilus. etc.; the historians Socrates and Sozomen. Among older books dealing with the subject Tillemgnt's Memoires is perhaps the most indispensable. Marin, Vies des Peres dea deserts d'Orient (9 vols., Paris, 1824), gives copious quotations from the original sources. The only important modem work upon Eastern Monasticism as a whole seems to he Besse, Les mnine^ d'Orient antirieurs au concile ChalcMoine (451) (Louvain, 4001)

Francis Joseph Bacchus.

III. Eastern Monasticism. — (1) Origin. — The first home of Cliristian monasticism is the Egyptian desert. HitliiT (luring j)ersecution men fled tin- world and the daiiticr ()f ;ii)()sta,sy, to serve (lo(i in solitude. St. An- thony f270-:^r»6) is counted the fat her of all monks. His fame attracted many others, so that under Diocletian and Constantine there were large colonies of monks in