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BENEDICTINE


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BENEDICTINE


ists of Fontanelle, Reims, and Corbie were especially noted for the beauty of their penmanship, and the number of different MSS. transcribed by some of their monks was often very large.

Full particulars are given by Ziegelbauer (Hist. Lit. O. S. B., I) of the most important medieval Benedictine Libraries. The following are some of the chief amongst them: In England: Canterbury, founded by St. Augustine, enlarged by Lanfranc and St. Anselm, containing, according to a catalogue of the thirteenth century, 698 volumes; Durham, catalogues printed by the Surtees Society (VII, 1838); Whitby, catalogues still existing; Glastonbury, catalogues still existing; Wearmouth; Croyland, burnt in 1091, containing 700 volumes; Peterborough. In France: Fleury, MSS. deposited in the town library of Or- leans, 1793; Corbie, 400 of the most valuable MSS. removed to Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris, 1638, the remainder, partly to the National Library, Paris (1794), and partly to the town Ubrarj' of Amiens; Saint-Germain-des-Pres; Cluny, MSS. dispersed by the Huguenots, except a few which were destroyed at the Revolution; Auxerre; Dijon. In Spain: Montserrat, the majority of the MSS. still existing; ValladoHd; Salamanca; Silos, library still existing; Madrid. In Switzerland: Reichenau, destroyed in the seventeenth century; St. Gall, dating from 816, still existing; Einsiedeln, still existing. In Germany: Fulda, much indebted to Charlemagne and Rabanus Maurus, with 400 copyists under Abbot Sturm, and containing, in 1561, 774 volumes; New Corbie, MSS. removed to the University of Marburg in 1811; Hirschau, dating from 837; St. Blaise. In Austria and Bavaria: Salzburg, foimded in the sixth century, and containing 60,000 volumes; Kremsmiinster, of the eleventh century, with 50,000 volumes; .\dmont, the eleventh century, 80,000 volumes; Melk, the eleventh century, 60,000 volumes; Lambach, the eleventh century, 22,000 volumes; Garsten; Metten. In Italy: Monte Ca.ssino, three times destroyed, by the Lombards in the sixth century, by the Saracens, and by fire in the ninth, but each time restored and still existing; Bobbio, famous for its palimpsests, of which a tenth-century catalogue is now in the Ambrosial! Library, Milan, printed by Muratori (Antiq. Ital. Med. Aev., Ill); Pomposia, with an eleventh-century catalogue printed by Montfaucon (Diarium ItaHcum, c. xxii).

Besides preserN-ing the writings of the ancient authors, the monks were also the chroniclers of their day, and much of the history of the Middle Ages was written in the cloister. English history is especially fortunate in this respect, the monastic chroniclers including St. Bede, Ordericus VitaUs, William of Malmesbury, Florence of Worcester, Simeon of Durham, Matthew Paris, and Eadmer of Canterbury. The rise of the scholastics, for the most part outside the Benedictine Order, in latei medieval times, .seems to have checked, or at any rate relegated to the background, both the literary and the educa- tional activity of the black iiKuiks, "whilst the intro- duction of the art of printing rendered superfluous the copying of MSS, by hand; at the same time it is worth noticing that many of the earhest printing presses were set up in Benedictine cloisters, e. g. by Caxton at Westminster, and by some authorities the invention of movable types is also ascribed to the sons of St. Benedict.

The most notable revival of learning in post- Reforination times was that efTecteil by the con- gregation of St.-Maur in France in the seventeenth century. Diligent and profound study in all de- partments of ecclesiastical literature was one of the professed objects of this reform, and a congregation that produced such men of letters as Mabillon, Montfaucon, d'Ach^ry, Menard, Lami, Gamier, Ruinart, Martene, Sainte-Marthe, and Durand needs


no further eulogy than a reference to their literary achievements. Their editions of the Greek and Latin Fathers and their numerous historical, theologi- cal, archaeological, and critical works are sufficient evidence of their industry. They were not less suc- cessful in the conduct of the schools they estab- lished, of which those at Soreze, Saumur, Auxerre, Beaumont, and Saint-Jean d'.\ngely were the most important. (See M.\urists.)

The arts, sciences, and utiUtarian crafts also found a home in the Benedictine cloister from the earliest times. The monks of St. Gall and Monte Cassino excelled in illumination and mosaic work, and the latter community are credited with having invented the art of painting on glass. A contemporary hfe of St. Dunstan states that, he was famous for liis "writ- ing, pamting, moulding in wax, car\-ing of wood and bone, and for work in gold, silver, iron, and brass". Richard of Wallingford at St. Alban's and Peter Lightfoot at Glastonbury were well-known fourteenth- century clockmakers; a clock by the latter, formerly in Wells cathedral, is still to be seen in the South Kensington Museum, London.

In modern times the monks of Beuron have estab- lished a school of art where painting and design, especially in the form of polychromatic decoration, have been brought to a high stage of perfection. The printing presses of Solesmes and Ligug^ (both now confiscated by the French Government) have produced much excellent typographical work, whilst the study and restoration of the traditional plain- chant of the Church in the same monasteries, un- der DD. Potliier and Mocquereau, is of world-wide reputation. Embroidery and vestment-making are crafts in which many communities of nuns excel, and others, like Stanbrook, maintain a printing office with considerable success.

IV. Present Condition of the Order. — De- velomnent of external organization. — A brief sketch of the constitution and government of the order is necessary for a proper understanding of its present organization. According to St. Benedict's idea, each monastery constituted a separate, independent, au- tonomous family, the members of which elected their own superior. The abbots, therefore, of the ditTerent houses were equal in rank, but each was the actual head of his own community and held his office for life. The necessities of the times, however, the need for mutual support, the establishment of daughter- houses, and possibly the ambition of individual su- periors, all combinecl in course of time to bring about a modification of this ideal. Although foreshadowed by the Aachen (Aix-la-Cliapelle) capilida of 817 under St. Benedict of Aniane. the actual results of which died out with their originator, the first real departure from the Benedictine ideal, subjecting the superiors of diiferent houses to one central au- thority, was made by Cluny in the tenth century. The plan of the Cluniac congregation was that of one grand central monastery with a number of depend- encies spread over many lands. It was feudalism applied to the monastic institute. Everj' prior or subordinate superior was the nominee of the Abbot of Cluny and held office only during his pleasure; the autonomy of the indiWdual commimities was de- stroyed so far, even, that no monk could be pro- fessed in any house except by permission of the Abbot of Cluny, and all were obliged usually to spend some years at Cluny itself. But notwithstanding the extent of this departure from Benedictine tradi- tion, the Cluniacs were never considered to have seceded from the main Benedictine body or to have instituted a new order. Hirschau, in Germany, copied Cluny, though mth less conspicuous success, and Citeaux developed the system still further and constituted a new order outside the Benedictine fold, which has ever since been regarded as such.