And in both, the prevailing idea was that they were spiritual athletes, and as such they rivaled each other in austerity.
Syrian and strictly Oriental monasticism need not be considered here, as it had no direct influence on that of Europe. Basil (fourth century) organized Greek monasticism, he set himself against the eremetical life and insisted upon a community life, with meals, work, and prayer, all in common.
With him the practice of austerity, unlike that of the Egyptians, was to be subject to control of the superior, for he considered that to wear out the body by austerities so as to make it unfit for work, was a misconception of the Scriptural precept of penance and mortification.
His idea of the monastic life was the result of the contact of primitive ideas, as existing in Egypt and the East, with European culture and modes of thought. In Italy, as also in Gaul, it was chiefly Antonian in character, though both the rules of St. Pachomius were translated into Latin and doubtless made their influence felt.
An exact diplomatic reprint (not in facsimile) of this codex was published at Monte Cassino in 1900, so that the text of this manuscript, certainly the best individual text of the Rule in existence, can be studied without difficulty.
Various other manuscripts go back to Charlemagne's manuscript, or to its original at Monte Cassino, which was destroyed by fire in 896, and thus the text of the so-called autograph may be restored by approved critical methods with quite unusual certainty, and could we be certain that it really was the autograph, there would be no more to say.
Benedict, viz: the "common life" and family spirit.
Under the Antonian system the austerities of the monks were left entirely to their own discretion; under the Pachomian, though there was an obligatory rule of limited severity, the monks were free to add to it what other ascetical practices they chose.
Pachomius, though they more nearly approached the cenobitical ideal, were yet without that element of stability insisted upon by St.
The earliest commentary, in point of date, is that which has been variously ascribed to Paul Warnefrid (a monk of Monte Cassino about 780-799), Hildemar, Ruthard of Hirsau, and others.
Hildemar, a Gallic monk, brought to Italy by Angelbert, Archbishop of Milan, reformed the monastery of Sts. Marténe, who considered this commentary to be the best ever produced, maintained that Hildemar was its real author, but modern critics attribute it to Paul Warnefrid. Rupert, near Bingen on the Rhine, who held that St.
Thus the text in current use is critically a bad one, but very few of the readings make any substantial difference.
The Rule was written in the Lingua Vulgaris or Low Latin vernacular of the time, and contains much syntax and orthography not in conformance with the classical models.
Several copies of the Rule were made from it, one of which survives to this day; for there can be no doubt that the present Codex 914 of the St.