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1. Greek: Socrates: Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. cap. 23 sqq. Sozomen: H. E. l. i. c. 12–14; iii. 14; vi. 28–34. Palladius (first a monk and disciple of the younger Macarius, then bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia, ordained by Chrysostom; †431): Historia Lausiaca (Ἱστορία πρὸς Λαῦσον, a court officer under Theodosius II, to whom the work was dedicated), composed about 421, with enthusiastic admiration, from personal acquaintance, of the most celebrated contemporaneous ascetics of Egypt. Theodoret (†457): Historia religiosa, seu ascetica vivendi ratio (φιλόθεος ἱστοπία), biographies of thirty Oriental anchorets and monks, for the most part from personal observation. Nilus the Elder (an anchoret on Mt. Sinai, † about 450): De vita ascetica, De exercitatione monastica, Epistolae 355, and other writings.

2. Latin: Rufinus (†410): Histor. Eremitica, S. Vitae Patrum. Sulpicius Severus (about 400): Dialogi III. (the first dialogue contains a lively and entertaining account of the Egyptian monks, whom he visited; the two others relate to Martin of Tours). Cassianus (†432): Institutiones coenobiales, and Collationes Patrum (spiritual conversations of eastern monks).

Also the ascetic writings of Athanasius (Vita Antonii), Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Nilus, Isidore of Pelusium, among the Greek; Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome (his Lives of anchorets, and his letters), Cassiodorus, and Gregory the Great, among the Latin fathers.


L. Holstenius (born at Hamburg 1596, a Protest., then a Romanist convert, and librarian of the Vatican): Codex regularum monastic., first Rom. 1661; then, enlarged, Par. and Augsb. in 6 vols. fol. The older Greek Menologia (μηνολόγια), and Menaea (μηναῖα), and the Latin Calendaria and Martyrologia, i.e. church calendars or indices of memorial days (days of the earthly death and heavenly birth) of the saints, with short biographical notices for liturgical use. P. Herbert Rosweyde (Jesuit): Vitae Patrum, sive Historiae Eremiticae, libri x. Antw. 1628. Acta Sanctorum, quotquot toto orbe coluntur, Antw. 1643–1786, 53 vols. fol. (begun by the Jesuit Bollandus, continued by several scholars of his order, called Bollandists, down to the 11th Oct. in the calendar of saints’ days, and resumed in 1845, after long interruption, by Theiner and others). D’achery and Mabillon (Benedictines): Acta Sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti, Par. 1668–1701, 9 vols. fol. (to 1100). Pet. Helyot (Franciscan): Histoire des ordres monastiques religieux et militaires, Par. 1714–’19, 8 vols. 4to. Alban Butler (R.C.): The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and other principal Saints (arranged according to the Catholic calendar, and completed to the 31st Dec.), first 1745; often since (best ed. Lond. 1812–’13) in 12 vols.; another, Baltimore, 1844, in 4 vols). Gibbon: Chap. xxxvii. (Origin, Progress, and Effects of Monastic Life; very unfavorable, and written in lofty philosophical contempt). Henrion (R.C.): Histoire des ordres religieux, Par. 1835 (deutsch bearbeitet von S. Fehr, Tüb. 1845, 2 vols.). F. v. Biedenfeld: Ursprung u. s. w. saemmtlicher Mönchsorden im Orient u. Occident, Weimar, 1837, 3 vols. Schmidt (R.C.): Die Mönchs-, Nonnen-, u. geistlichen Ritterorden nebst Ordensregeln u. Abbildungen., Augsb. 1838, sqq. H. H. Milman (Anglican): History of Ancient Christianity, 1844, book iii. ch. 11. H. Ruffner (Presbyterian): The Fathers of the Desert, New York, 1850, 2 vols. (full of curious information, in popular form). Count de Montalembert (R.C.): Les Moines d’Occident depuis St. Bénoit jusqu’à St. Bernard, Par. 1860, sqq. (to embrace 6 vols.); transl. into English: The Monks of the West, etc., Edinb. and Lond. 1861, in 2 vols. (vol. i. gives the history of monasticism before St. Benedict, vol. ii. is mainly devoted to St. Benedict; eloquently eulogistic of, and apologetic for, monasticism). Otto Zöckler: Kritische Geschichte der Askese. Frankf. a. M. 1863. Comp. also the relevant sections of Tillemont, Fleury, Schröckh (vols. v. and viii.), Neander, and Gieseler.

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