Monastic History

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.



Suggested Keywords:


Monastic History Class, finish Anglo-Saxon Monasticism in England




minutes today to finish Anglo-Saxon monasticism in England and the spelling
you have from the board yesterday. I'm not going to write this down again
because we're going to move right into the Anglo-Saxon experience today then
onto the continent and I don't, we won't finish but we'll get a good chunk of
that. Already next week then we're going to be looking at Charlemagne or
Carolingian monasticism and Benedict of Anion and then we're going to go into a
period of decay and monastic reform already. So and we'll start seeing that as
a regular cycle. Reform, decay, reform, decay, new orders, decay, reform, just over and
over and over again. Okay I left off of my discussion about Benedict Bishop. For those of you by the way who are
looking ahead, not next week, actually we'll get to the point where you could
have had it read by Thursday but I would say a week from yesterday, no two weeks
from yesterday. So Wednesday the whatever of March, what would it be?
9th, 16th. The 16th? 9th. The 9th. That sounds right. Next week is the 2nd.
Yeah, yeah, okay the 9th of March is the next reading assignment.
Wednesday. Yeah. So that would be, it's some selections from William of Santieri, the
Golden Epistle and it's a diatribe mainly against black monks who are the
majority and he's writing to Carthusians. He was a great friend of a
Carthusian. He was actually a black monk although the Cistercians claimed him
because he loved the Cistercians and he was anti-black monk and lived with the
Cistercians partly but mostly with the Carthusians. He was all over the place.
Anyway it's kind of, in places it's kind of interesting but it gives you, because he's
against the black monks, he'll write some of the things that they're up to at
that time which are interesting. After that there's only two more readings in the
reading. I mentioned Benedict Biscop yesterday. Other houses that were real
important at this time of Benedict Biscop, who founded Jarrow, remember, and
Wormuth, were Linda's Farm which became, it changed when the Anglo-Saxon
monasticism came in. It was already a Celtic monastic center and it changed
within the influx and it became a mixture, a mixture of the two. Malmesbury
Abbey, also founded by St. Adhelm, was also a big foundation of this. We're
talking hundreds of monks, hundreds, within a couple decades. Linda's Farm had retained
its very famous school which it was known for for a very long time and it was also
renowned for a center of high culture in that whole area. Often at this time
under the patronage of lay rulers, it was very prestigious for a lay ruler to
found a monastery, and so often at this time the lay rulers would do that
and all kinds of monasteries were being founded all over the place. I'm going to
give you a map, we'll wait till we start the continent, but on there also you can
see some of the main monasteries in England at this time, in Saxon monasteries,
all over the place. Often also the abbot was the bishop of the area or the
abbot became the bishop and then his prior became the abbot of the house. It was a very
Benedictine or monastic situation. There really wasn't, we can't really say
Benedictine at this time, there isn't a Benedictine consciousness as such yet. For
the most part, the houses in the Anglo-Saxon monastic experience have the
rule of Benedict, which was brought from Rome, because they're coming from the
West, excuse me, from the East, and they have the codex, they had access to it,
and manuscripts of the rule are being disseminated by these people. However,
they don't consider themselves a Benedictine order, Benedictine houses
even. The rule was one of many rules, and although that was their main standard,
much of the customs of each house were taken from other rules. For instance, the
rule of Columban, which was very popular also. A lot of the little teeny rules of
the house, or customs, came from these other rules, whereas the main principles
came from the Benedictine rule. And each house made up its own rule using the
various tools. Each house had its own customary and its own rules. Wilfred was
the first one, if you remember correctly, to bring the RB to the north of
England, but it spread to all the houses there. Not that it was the only rule, again,
but one among many, although the most important. Benedict Bishop wrote that he
used 17 different rules to compose the rule for his house. This is common.
They just used all kinds of tools to get their own, what they wanted in their
house and their customs. Nonetheless, the RB became the general standard overall as
far as principles were concerned. Okay, Bede the Venerable, and you have his
dates from yesterday. An incredible amount of written work was done by Bede at
Jarl. A lot of scriptural exegesis, especially using the time-worn
allegorical method from the patristic writers, that is taking a text and going
with it and applying on another level, an allegorical level, what's being
said in that particular pericope. He also did history, history of the
early English church and kings. When he died, he was actually involved in
Anglo-Saxon translation of the entire Bible. An incredible amount of work being done.
You remember his death scene. We read it every year at Feast at St. Bede,
on the 25th of May. That's when he's dying. He gathers the brothers around him and he hands out
pepper and incense and napkins, all the little treasures he had in a little box.
You'll hear it again this night, if it isn't on Sunday. Reverend engineering a little passage of his
passing. Do we have any fragments of that? Do we? I don't know. I got the, not too long ago, two years ago,
I got the, what is it, the Helgid, which is an Anglo-Saxon translation of something from
scripture. It's fuzzy right now. It was a bargain and I grabbed it. I don't know if we have
beads, any of the beads, or if it is even a mountain. I had no idea. So Luther wasn't the only,
wasn't the first one to put the scriptures into the vernacular. Here we have it in the
early 8th century being done by being into Anglo-Saxon.
Unlike the Celts, that is Celtic monks, Anglo-Saxon monks had great houses that were built to last,
adorned well, lots of art and accoutrements and great possessions, big land holdings and whatnot.
And the Celts didn't. I mean the Celts weren't into, first of all their buildings were not done
all that well, but they weren't concerned with buildings that are going to last 10 centuries.
They were concerned with putting up something that they could live in
and go on with life. And their asceticism took precedence over
over lots of possessions and aesthetics. However, that's not for instance to put down
the Anglo-Saxon. The Anglo-Saxon monastics didn't see a conflict with having great churches,
lots of vestments and all that stuff. The whole poverty angle for the Anglo-Saxon monastics
was not whether you have things for the general community or for the greater glory of God
around you, but how you look at them, how you are regarding possessiveness
rather than just having a lack of everything.
If you lusted after goods, for instance, or if you loved things too much but got
in the way rather than leading you to God, got in the way of a relationship with God or became
the thing, then there was a problem for the Anglo-Saxon monks, but not whether you had them
to begin with. There isn't yet in England a union of monasteries, so we can't talk about it like a
congregation, for instance. There's a lot of bartering back and forth, especially when it
came to books, beer, meat, and wine, presents being sent back and forth, and certain monasteries
were known for certain things and could barter other goods for what they were famous for.
Generally speaking, there was a good rapport among the monasteries, but it wasn't like they
belonged to the congregation and had much to say about what the other ones were doing
or not doing. Each house had its own traditions and its own customs. When V died at 735,
Anglo-Saxon monasticism is in its golden moment. It's at its height, and that didn't last very long.
They started sending missionaries out, and the Anglo-Saxon monastic impulse moves into
what will be Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, so they move into the continent.
And later on, just a couple centuries down the line, France. Well, not just a century down the
line. France is going to become, and remain for centuries, the place of monasticism. It's where
all the great orders, great reform orders, almost all of them, arise, and where the great monasteries
are, and where the power is in monasticism, will be in France. But if one looks at the roots of
that, it isn't because there was Gallican monasticism of a primitive nature there. It's
because of the Anglo-Saxon monks who left England and went to the continent, many of whom ended up
in France also, as opposed to the Celtic monks who caused trouble in France because they wanted to do
it their way and get rid of all the other Gallican ways. The Anglo-Saxons adapted to wherever they
went, Anglo-Saxon monasticism. And it's really because of the Anglo-Saxons, in a root, in
Germany, that France monasticism became as powerful and as important as it did in monastic history.
The decline of Anglo-Saxon monasticism will come mainly another century from now, so at the end of the 8th century, when what happens?
End of the 8th century.
Now, if Jonah were here, he'd know. The Danish invasions. The Danes destroyed...
Didn't you know that?
The Danish invasions. When the Danes came through, they destroyed many monasteries,
carted off confidants of nuns, killed many monastics. Now, that's going to happen
in a century from Bede's death. No, not really. 60 years from Bede's death.
Excuse me. Started in the late 790s.
You're also thinking through the English, you said?
Yeah, they're basically conquering. This is just another wave of invasions, this time from the Vikings.
The Viking invasions. And that's going to pretty well hit the monastic tide in England for now,
but it's blooming then by that time in Germany, in Switzerland, Austria.
Okay, you've got a map there, this next one,
on which you can see some of the places we're going to be looking at on the continents.
You can also look at the ones in England as I'm lecturing. Going on to Italy,
notice that this isn't... We're not talking... We don't have a map here for the 700s.
Commodity wouldn't be there, if it were. But this is a map that gives a lot of the bigger
monastic foundations during this century and the centuries to come.
The ones I want to point out in Italy there, you see where Milan is?
And if you go below that to Bobbio, huh? Bobbio, okay. Then down to... You see where Spoleto is?
It's easy, it's Spoleto in the center. Just below Spoleto, Farfa. Farfa is very important.
I've underlined in green the important, dark green, the important figures and houses
that I can mention today and next week. Let's see, if we go up to Switzerland, so go above Milan,
see Reichenau and St. Gallen? Those two are real important.
For now, I mean. Just next to Reichenau, to the east, Luxury.
Luxury, okay. Yeah, to the west.
Where is it? Where is Fleury? Right below the tram. Okay, Fleury. Does everyone see that?
Okay, above... How do I say this? Folda. Do you see where Folda is?
You see where Maria Lach is? Just to the east of Maria Lach.
Yeah, those are the ones I needed to point out.
Just for a general picture, then, moving to the continent.
In many ways, the Anglo-Saxons moving into the continent, now we're speaking monastically,
are going to make up for some awful things that have been happening due to the rise of Islam.
And that is, just during the 80 years following the death of Muhammad, which was in 632,
during those 80 years following, Islam conquers two-thirds of the world, the then-known world,
which includes one-half of Christian life. So, Islam is almost dead.
So, thanks to Charles Martel, in 732, another century beyond the death of Muhammad,
it stopped. The move is stopped, the move of Islam, but not before they had conquered that much.
They had, by that time, Syria, Egypt, northern Africa, Spain, part of Gaul,
all of which were considered Christian countries, until this time.
But by this time, by the time of Charles Martel, the Anglo-Saxons are building all over the German
lands, building monasteries left and right. I mean, we have some, just as an example,
something like, is it Willebrord or Boniface? One or the other builds 60 monasteries,
60 in his lifetime. We'll see which one it is, I might have that in the wrong place.
And many of these have hundreds of mosques. One monastery was founded, and we'll run into it,
one monastery was founded, and within the lifetime of the founder, by the time he died,
they had over 400 mosques in the community. So, the real blossoming of Anglo-Saxon monasticism
just follows, like the death of Bede's time, and then just take it from there, it just blooms.
And many of these foundations are going to come to great prominence under the Frankish empire,
under the, right now, Merovingian, but then it's the Carolingian times.
We really don't know how the rule of Benedict spread around in Gaul.
We know how it spread to other countries, but we don't know how it spread around in Gaul,
except the hypothesis that a lot of these Anglo-Saxons going through to make their
foundations and whatnot, spread the rule of Benedict out. Obviously there's going to be
some houses in Gaul that have heard of the rule of Benedict and have it, but not in the sense that
it's the one that's being used the greatest. Well, evidently the Anglo-Saxons and their influence
got this going in Gaul as well.
And the rule of Benedict in Gaul, for the most part, is used in conjunction with the
RC, with the rule of Columbo, the two together, even though there are, again, some 20 that we
know of, 20 rules available for people. Starting in the 7th century, though, so starting in the 600s,
a lot of these rules start disappearing, for the most part. And people are just using either the
rule of Benedict, or whatever they do to the rule of Benedict, or the rule of Columbo, or both of them.
So, since the Celts themselves didn't have any problem with other rules coming into their type
of monasticism, the rule of Benedict had no problem moving into the Celtic houses as well
over time. We do know, and this includes the Celtic foundations on the continent.
Remember, Bobbio, the original foundation, and St. Gaul in Switzerland, original foundations of
Columbo, St. Columbo, the one who becomes a peregrinus and ends up
making great foundations on the continent. We know that Bobbio used the rule of Benedict
already in 643. We know that, it might even be there before. We don't know that, but we have
evidence by 643. L'Auxerre, this first order, this monastery, is a Celtic foundation, originally.
We know that by 629, the rule of Benedict is being used there. And we assume that the Celts
actively brought it there with the rule of Columba, both to be used.
And gradually, in all the Columbanian foundations on the continent, the rule of Benedict becomes
present there, along with the rule of Columba, or instead, later on, of course, instead of the rule
of Columba. The R.B. makes great headway at this point because it's so practical, and these people
saw it that way. And in the long run, what you get, before it's legislated that you have to have
the rule of Benedict, is that the rule of Benedict becomes your practical rule, and you fill in the spaces
wherever you need to punish anyone. And the rule of Columba is very good for that. It's got all the penal codes and everything.
So they take the penal codes out of the R.C. and add them to the text of the R.B.
So it's like the parentheses, if you don't do this, is all from the R.C.
The rule of Donatus, which is one of those I mentioned when we were talking about
how Benedict, what influenced Benedict's rule, and this is the one that we didn't know whether, really,
whether Benedict knew of it as such, because it comes to prominence just after Benedict.
It's right around the time of Benedict's life, and then just after the time.
He had been trained, Donatus had been trained at this house, so at a Celtic house,
and he wrote a rule which became known as the rule of Donatus.
He wrote that for a foundation where his mother had become a monastic,
and really the rule of Donatus is sort of a conglomeration of the rule of Benedict,
the rule of Columban, and Cesarus of Arles.
And so some houses use this rule of Donatus, because it was a convenient way of getting all of those,
or a nice synthesis of those three already done.
You didn't have to do the work, it was already there for you.
In some houses, we know of, only use the rule of Benedict, even at this time.
I'm talking Celtic houses, originally Celtic houses.
Alteba is a house, for instance, and they have evidence that all the other rules were done away with,
only the rule of Benedict was being used in 600, 630, they get the day that they know for sure.
Also, in the area of Auton, where Leodegar is a leader there,
Leodegar, from the mid to late 600s, when he was in prominence,
in that whole area, all the other monastic rules were forbidden,
except the rule of Benedict, so that everybody would have a,
this is a presage of what's to come under the Carolingian Empire.
Here's just one pocket that says, eh, let's all use the same rule, there's too many,
let's just have some kind of order about this business.
And so in that area, Leodegar decreed that only the rule of Benedict, for Athens.
You have, not just at this time in the German, in the pagan lands,
this time the German lands are pagan lands, in Scandinavia,
not only is monasticism going to take off in those areas,
not so much in Scandinavia, but in the other lands south of that,
but also in Gaul, in France, there's already many, many foundations,
there's going to be many new ones.
And many of them rise in numbers of locations into prominence already at this time,
much also due to the Anglo-Saxons coming through on their way for foundations.
Fleury-sur-Loire is one house that becomes very important at this time,
because the relics of Saint Benedict are moved there.
The body is moved there.
Later on, the Italians will steal back the body,
but the French say, oh no you didn't, you got the wrong body.
And so there are two skeletons of Benedict, one at Fleury and one in Italy.
But anyway, the body is brought to Fleury around the year 673 for safety reasons.
And because of that, Fleury becomes a great monastic center.
We've got the body of Benedict.
And they will continue in prominence.
Another reason why, in France, from 673 on,
the rule of Benedict is going to be much more important than it was in the past.
We've got his body in our country, and we should be using his rule more.
So we prepare the way for what's going to happen under the Carolingian.
The area of the Merovingian Empire,
this is some of the area here,
during this time becomes a real important area for Anglo-Saxon houses to be founded,
for pagan tribes to be converted.
And humongous growth in monasticism.
Northern France, and then what will be Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Those areas.
And so I've listed here main areas,
and to underline the figures and the foundations that are really important during this time.
Reichenau Abbey, which is on Lake Constance,
is founded this time.
It becomes quickly an important foundation, and always has been.
Except during the moments of, the little moments like Napoleon,
and those, you know, those
eventual, inevitable moments of monastic decay.
Certain points when you're in the lower trough of the state.
Here with Reichenau, there were so many foundations,
and so many monks in no time at all,
that they started their own little congregation.
Sort of like a Benedictine congregation.
Just as a set up, it wasn't official or anything like that,
but they worked as if they were one.
With Reichenau as the center.
In Bavaria, you have a Rupert.
Rupert, you may run across Rupert,
you'll see Rupert once in a while.
This is Rupert Deutz.
Emera, and Corbinian.
Corbinian, it sounds like something you cut off your foot.
Oh my, Corbinian, it's Corbinian.
So Reichenau, you have St. Killian, who was a martyr.
Yeah, we can go past that.
Willebrord, Willeport, Willeport, Willebrord.
Maybe I should say just a word about Amman.
See, after Killian, St. Amman, or Ammandus.
You'll see the name Ammandus.
If you go to Benedictine houses, there's often an Ammandus.
We had one, it was originally from Switzerland.
This Anglo-Saxon monk was born in France, so in Gaul.
He trained as a monk, and then lived in seclusion in Rome.
So he lived as a hermit for 15 years in Rome,
after his monastic training.
Then he was sent back to Gaul,
and converted this barbarian leader, Dagobert.
And because of that, he held great influence in what is now
Holland and Belgium.
So basically the Low Countries, huh?
We call them Low Countries, we're bordering a pond.
And his monastery, which is important now, but won't be so important down the line,
Elnum, becomes the hub of many monastic foundations,
another monastic center for this time.
His achievements were not all that great.
They were a real splash, but a lot of the houses he founded continued on.
And so that's why I mentioned his name.
Witherbroard was much more important.
Witherbroard died at 739.
Witherbroard was an Anglo-Saxon from the north part of England, the Northumbria,
who entered Raiphan, Abbey, mentioned yesterday.
He entered that at the age of six,
as a lay monk, under St. Wilford, who founded Raiphan.
And then he moved to Ireland, where for 12 years he did studies with Celts.
And so he had 12, a dozen years of Celtic monastic experience.
And then the year 690, he becomes a Peregrinus.
He gets in his waddle boat, and away he goes.
And he ends up in Frisia.
Frisia is in the present-day Germany, a section of that,
which is run by the Frisians, who are a rather bloody group.
Who worship their ancestors in an oak tree, I believe.
Boniface later on is going to be marred by the Frisians as he chops down their oak tree.
So Witherbroard took along 11 other monks with him.
They ended up in Frisia.
And began to work as missionaries, trying to convert the heathens.
Mainly this guy Radborg, who is the heavy there, the heavy barbarian.
And they have lots of problems with that, up and down with Radborg.
He's ordained a bishop by Pope Sergius.
And he sets up a large monastery as his hub of activities.
The monastery is near Utrecht.
And Ekternach is the name.
No, that's Eberbach.
I didn't know where Ekternach is.
Should be here.
And he gets heavily involved in church activities.
Like a lot of these situations where monastic formers go in.
They build their monastery and then monasteries.
And they use those as the hub for pastoral work.
Because they're involved with converting whole nations of people.
Whole tribes.
He runs into problems later on because he had the backing of Pippin.
Who was emperor at that time.
He had the backing.
This is a time when, yes, there's a Merovingian empire.
But there's still barbarians who are not Christians.
And who are slaughtering.
And it goes back and forth.
And during the time of Pippin, Willard Roy was pretty high.
He has the royal backing.
And he gets lands and whatnot.
Well, when Pippin dies, not only do the pagans start in again.
And encroach on the lands.
And destroy some monasteries and whatnot.
But the Danes also come through this area.
And they didn't just go to England.
They were all over the place.
And the Danes allowed this Radboud who had lost his lands to Pippin.
He's the arch enemy of Willard Roy.
He gets put down.
And for years, smoulders and waits.
And when the Danes come through, the Danes give Radboud back all of his land and influence.
And Willard Roy is out.
And so he runs for safety.
And his monks run.
And they destroy most of everything that had been built up.
That is, Radboud and his group.
Four years later, Willard Roy comes back to the scene with Boniface, who was originally
Winfred, but becomes Boniface because the pope changes his name.
Douglas, the one who does wonderful things, Boniface.
And it just starts all over again.
And it takes off again.
Willard Roy died at the age of 81.
Which was unusual for those days.
And it would appear successfully endured any number, maybe as many as 10 assassination
Many of which were from these pagan groups who wanted to do away with him.
He left behind a number of flourishing monastic foundations.
And we know a lot about him.
We have some of his letters.
A lot of which are about, please send me these two books and thanks for the barrel of beer.
But because of his biography is written a generation later by a very famous Anglo-Saxon
Alcuin of York, who also becomes a political figure.
Religio-political figure.
So we have a good, reliable record of his life.
Originally, Winfred was a very famous teacher at the Abbey back in England.
The Abbey of Nursling.
And he decided he wanted to be a missionary.
Now there's some evidence that he decided this at the point when he was going to be
elected Abbot.
He wanted to get the heck out of there.
So he decided that being a missionary would be a way to do it.
He went to Denmark of all places, trying to convert the Danes.
At this, who at this time are getting ready to conquer the world.
And so that collapses.
And goes back to England and he decides to try it again.
This time he goes to Rome, where the Pope changes his name to Boniface.
He does good things along the way.
The Pope is very impressed with Winfred and he gave him the name Boniface.
And the Pope commissions him to work in the area of Hesse and then on to Bavaria.
And he does wonderful things.
He converts people and he sets up foundations and he sets up the church there.
And what does he give to the Pope?
A pallium.
He becomes a biggie in what will be the German ecclesiastical scene.
Very, very important.
And yes, he is the one.
He is the one who founded in Germany 60 monasteries.
He founded during his lifetime.
And also reformed, was instrumental in reforming a number of other foundations that were already
within the Frankish kingdom.
And he was called in to do the job of reformation.
He was made a bishop and then became archbishop at Pallium.
And he was, along with, just like Willowbrook, very successful, very famous.
And those two, more than anybody else, set up an amazing ecclesiastical structure in
their lives.
Basically built the church of the Frankish lands.
And set the stage for Charlemagne's empire and the church, Carolingian church.
Yeah, I don't need to go on that.
Why was he called in to reform the Frankish churches, Frankish monasteries and the Frankish
Which is in trouble.
Why is it in trouble?
What's going on there?
We're talking about the mid-600s or the mid-600s.
No, rather, turn of the century.
And then the early 700s.
What's going on there?
Well, they got some nice things going on there.
Some things that are going to become very, very important later on down the line.
But already in the Frankish kingdom, they're having a wonderful time with Simony.
What's Simony?
Paying to get your kid into the monastery.
Well, or paying for your oiled hands.
Do you want to be a priest, a deacon?
You pay for it.
Do you want to be a bishop?
You just hand over enough bread and you've got it.
Simony, owning monasteries and trading them back and forth for money or whatever.
Embezzlement is all over the place.
We're talking bishops, priests, monks, lay abbots.
This is always going to be a problem over the centuries.
And that means different things at different times.
And here you have people who are the abbot because that gives them the money coming in
from the farms and whatnot.
And they're never there.
There is no abbot.
There's some nobleman who has the name abbot and he owns the place.
It's a scary situation.
It's not really good for monasticism.
Also, benefits.
A benefit is something that you tack on to your, for instance, if you're the pastor
of Big Sur, your benefits would be all the monies that come that that parish owns, okay?
Or certain titles and rights that come with having that position that have built up over
the years with benefits.
We have all kinds of benefits problems at this time because people are selling their
benefits illegally and all kinds of crap going on.
And not only that, but you have a lot of immorality going on among the clergy at this time, which
is going to be a perennial problem throughout history.
This is just the church, the whole church itself within the Frankish kingdom.
Boniface decided that during his, at least under his administration, the R being the
rule of Benedict is going to be the standard for all the monasteries in the Frankish lands.
Again, this was started in the year 754 by the Frisians, whom he had gone back, he had
gone back to help with a guard.
He was 80 years old, to do some work back at Frisia, and that's where he was.
He just wasn't too diplomatic about it.
He went and chopped down their ancient oak tree, and they chopped him down.
Just in summation regarding Boniface, Boniface really is one of the greats of monastic history,
of Benedictine monastic history.
He was an eminently capable man.
Remember, he was a famous teacher already in England.
So he was a scholar to begin with, but most of his life was not devoted to scholarship,
it was active church organization, very practical, common sense, and very, very strong faith.
And he had a way about him which evoked admiration from the pagans, and he won an awful lot of
converts just by being who he was at that time.
His reform of the clergy in the Frankish lands are really what made the Carolingian church,
the church of the Carolingian empire, even possible.
It never could have worked out the way it did without Boniface's pre-work, how would
I say that?
The work he did beforehand in setting up and reforming what was already there.
And so thanks to him, and thanks to his Anglo-Saxon heritage that he brings there, the Carolingian
empire is going to be, and the monasticism within the Carolingian empire is going to
be able to profit from what the Celts have to offer, what Benedictine monasticism has
to offer, and what the Italian Western monasticism has to offer.
Because it all comes together at that point up there, just as like a convergence of various
monastic traditions under, of all people, a missionary working among the pagans.
Okay, we're actually going to finish today.
Great, we'll start then next Wednesday, we will start with Carolingian and Benedictivonian.
But I've got to do Italy, Anglo-Saxon monasticism in Italy?
Yeah, yeah, in Italy, because a lot of the Anglo-Saxon monks were, I mean, I just didn't
go to the German-speaking countries to convert the pagans, but some of them went to Italy
and went to foundations that were already existing, but had gone downhill, or were dead
and they decided to revive them, or they built new monasteries in Italy.
The Lombards didn't destroy all the houses, they destroyed Monte Cassino, that was bad
enough, but they didn't destroy all of them, but once they got in charge, they weren't too
helpful for quite a while regarding monasteries.
There were a lot of monasteries in the south of a Byzantine nature, remember Byzantium's
down there in the south.
So it's a different type of monasticism as such.
Once the Lombards are converted, then monasticism is able to take off again, and in some cases
the Lombards actually help, they adopt some monasteries and really build them up once
their converts, and that happens during the 8th century, at which time there are at least
40 monasteries that we know of in Italy, in the 8th century, 700s.
I want to look at five of them.
The first one, Bobbio.
We go back to the Celtic monks, so the roots of Bobbio.
Its golden age, however, will be in the 9th to the 11th century, so it's just down the
line, but it's already gone through a trough of depression, and the Anglo-Saxons bring
it out of that, and with the active help of the Lombards who say, this is a great place,
we want to give lots of money and lands to this place, and encourage people to join in.
So within 50 years of Anglo-Saxon monks restarting Bobbio and taking it over and having the influence
or the help of the Lombards, but within 50 years it had 500 monks.
These are not, this is not an exaggerated number.
We're at a period in history now where we can trust the numbers, 500 monks.
Here you had the Rule of Columbine and the Rule of Benedict, both being used, but slowly
over the years, the Rule of Benedict became the standard, and the Rule of Columbine they
used for the penal codes.
Nonantola, Nonantola is another monastery founded about 752 or 753, they don't know
which year.
This was founded by one of the kings, one of the Lombard kings, his name was Astolf.
It had problems getting off the ground, but grew to be one of the greatest houses in this
It had a huge number of monks.
Farfa, notice I have that one underlined.
That's going to be, that back and forth through the centuries, that's going to come to prominence.
Farfa was the first monastery founded, and then it was destroyed, and the Anglo-Saxons
re-founded it, and it didn't have any ties at all to politics, Lombards or anybody else.
It just did what it did on its own, and the only one who protected it was the Pope, and
Farfa came to great prominence, and the Rule of Benedict was the only rule there.
Volturno, the fourth one, was built sometime in the first 10 years of the 700s by monks
of Farfa, so it's one of Farfa's foundations.
Now all of these are going to make foundations.
This was a foundation, interestingly enough, and that's why I underlined it, not that it's
that important a house, but these are the monks from Farfa who wanted to be hermits,
or who at least wanted more quiet and solitude, founded Volturno.
So already here in the 700s you have people who are saying, there isn't enough quiet,
there isn't enough solitude, and they go off to make another foundation where that
was to be allowed.
This is another one that doesn't have any protection.
Later on, Farfa will have protection from the Dukas Paletto, but right now basically
they're doing their own thing.
They don't worry about where they're going to get some money or prestige or whatever
to get going.
And the rule of Benedict also then, because it's a daughter house of Farfa, the rule of
Benedict's at Volturno also.
And lastly, Montecassino.
Montecassino was destroyed by the Lombards when they first got a strength and came through,
but it was refounded up top by a monk named Petronas sometime in the early 700s, right
here on 715-720.
And this foundation is helped by monks from Volturno.
So some of the monks who went here for solitude helped rebuild and re-found Montecassino with
And in the year 729, so this is only maybe 10 years after it was re-founded, rebuilt,
we have an Anglo-Saxon monk, Willie, Willie Bold, who is, as it turns out, is another
great monastic saint from this time, who arrived there.
He arrived at Montecassino.
He had been well trained at an Anglo-Saxon abbey back in England named Waltham, Waltham
And he stayed at Montecassino for 10 years, and he basically became the formation director
for the community, and really brought them together into a cohesive unit, and to a point
where people looked at them with awe at how they were living.
And, you know, it was a firm, put a firm community together.
In the years 747 to 750, we don't know, in a three-year period at some point, the Codex
is brought back to Montecassino.
The Codex of the rule that was originally hustled down to Rome for safety keeping so
the Lombards wouldn't destroy it, this is brought back to Montecassino, and then Montecassino
goes through another reorganization, in which, and this is the important thing we want to
point out, this time, Montecassino is reorganized, and it's made quite clear that no bishop
can have put any finger on Montecassino.
Montecassino is only under the Pope.
So you have an exemption here that's set up, an exemption that's clear and understood,
and it's only under the Pope, in order to protect it, protect what's happening.
Unfortunately, in the year 883, another century from now, it's going to be destroyed again
by the Saracens, and so they start all over again.
Montecassino's been built many times, many times through the centuries.
So, Wednesday, then, we'll start with the Charlemagne of Carolingian monasticism.