Composed in Italy around 530 AD but based on earlier compilations, The Rule of St Benedict has been the defining guide to daily prayer and work for Benedictine communities for fifteen centuries. The Rule also embodies the idea of a written constitution, authority limited by law and under the law, and the right of the ruled to review the legality of their superiors' actions-ideas at the heart of the West's most treasured civic institutions. This is a fundamental contribution to the tradition of simple living that continues to experience a renaissance.
The inspirational work that has been guiding Benedictine monks for fifteen centuries
Founder of a monastery at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples, in the sixth century, St Benedict intended his Rule to be a practical guide to Christian monastic life. Based on the key precepts of humility, obedience and love, its aim is to create a harmonious and efficient religious community in which individuals can make progress in the Christian virtues and gain eternal life. Here, Benedict sets out ideal monastery routines and regulations, from the qualities of a good abbot, the twelve steps to humility and the value of silence to such every day matters as kitchen duties, care of the sick and the suitable punishment for lateness at mealtimes. Benedict's legacy is still strong - his Rule remains a source of inspiration and a key work in the history of the Christian church. Carolinne White's accessible translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Benedict's teachings, what is known of his life, and the influence and spread of his Rule.
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Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 AD 543 AD) founded twelve monasteries, the best known of which was his first monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy. Benedict wrote a set of rules governing his monks, the Rule of Saint Benedict, one of the more influential documents in Western Civilization. Benedict was canonized a saint in 1220.
Carolinne White was born in London and read Classics and Modern Languages at St.Hugh's College, Oxford. She wrote a doctoral thesis on Christian ideas of friendship in the fourth century, published in 1992. After 2 years spent teaching Latin at UNISA in Pretoria, she returned to Oxford where she worked on the supplement to the Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon and taught Patristic and Medieval Latin. She now divides her time between work as an assistant editor on the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, translation work, and her four children. Her publications include a translation of the correspondence between Jerome and Augustine (1990), Early Christian Lives (published by Penguin in 1998), and an anthology of Early Christian Latin poetry in translation (2000).
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