Rule for dating my son
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.
Benedict's own life, see the article SAINT BENEDICT. Be that as it may, this manuscript of the Rule was presented by Pope Zachary to Monte Cassino in the middle of the eighth century, a short time after the restoration of that monastery.
Here, however, it is treated in more detail, under the following heads: I. Charlemagne found it there when he visited Monte Cassino towards the end of the century, and at his request a most careful transcript of it was made for him, as an exemplar of the text to be disseminated throughout the monasteries of his empire.
For its general character and also its illustration of St. Somewhere about 530 however, may be taken as a likely date, and Monte Cassino as a more probable place than Subiaco, for the Rule certainly reflects St. The earliest chronicler says that when Monte Cassino was destroyed by the Lombards in 581, the monks fled to Rome, carrying with them, among other treasures, a copy of the Rule "which the holy Father had composed"; and in the middle of the eighth century there was in the pope's library a copy believed to be St. It has been assumed by many scholars that this was the copy brought from Monte Cassino ; but though this is likely enough, it is not a certainty.
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.
Gall Library was copied directly from Charlemagne's copy for the Abby of Reichnau.
Such considerations are important because there is no doubt whatever that the introduction and propagation of St.
Benedict's Rule was the turning-point which changed the whole trend of monasticism in the West.
And in both, the prevailing idea was that they were spiritual athletes, and as such they rivaled each other in austerity.