France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The cassock or soutane is an item of Christian clerical clothing used by the clergy of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Reformed churches, among others. "Ankle-length garment" is the literal meaning of the corresponding Latin term, vestis talaris. It is related to the habit, traditionally worn by nuns and friars; the cassock derives from the tunic that in ancient Rome was worn underneath the toga and the chiton, worn beneath the himation in ancient Greece. In religious services, it has traditionally been worn underneath vestments, such as the alb. In the West, the cassock is little used today except for religious services, save for clergy in traditionalist Catholic orders such as the Society of Saint Pius X, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius, the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen who continue to wear the cassock as their standard clerical attire. However, in many countries it was the normal everyday wear of the clergy until the second half of the 20th century, when it was replaced in those countries by a conventional suit, distinguished from lay dress by being black and by incorporating a clerical collar.
The word cassock comes from Middle French casaque. In turn, the Old French word may come from Turkish kazak, an allusion to their typical riding coat, or from Persian کژاغند kazhāgand – کژ kazh + آغند āgand; the name was specially applied to the dress worn by soldiers and horsemen, to the long garment worn in civil life by both men and women. As an ecclesiastical term the word cassock came into use somewhat late, being mentioned in canon 74 of 1604; the word soutane is a French-derived word, coming from Italian sottana, derived in turn from Latin subtana, the adjectival form of subtus. The cassock comes in a number of cuts, though no particular symbolism attaches to these. A Roman cassock has a series of buttons down the front. In some English-speaking countries these buttons may be ornamental, with a concealed fly-front buttoning, known as a Chesterfield front, used to fasten the garment. A French cassock has buttons sewn to the sleeves after the manner of a suit, a broader skirt. An Ambrosian cassock has a series of only five buttons with a sash on the waist.
A Jesuit cassock, in lieu of buttons, has a fly fastened with hooks at the collar and is bound at the waist with a cincture knotted on the right side. The ordinary Roman cassock worn by Roman Catholic clerics is black except in tropical countries, where because of the heat it is white and without shoulder cape. Coloured piping and buttons are added in accordance with rank: black for priests, purple for chaplains of His Holiness; the 1969 Instruction on the dress of prelates stated that for all of them cardinals, the dress for ordinary use may be a simple black cassock without coloured trim. A band cincture or sash, known as a fascia, may be worn with the cassock; the Instruction on the dress of prelates specifies that the two ends that hang down by the side have silk fringes, abolishing the sash with tassels. A black faille fascia is worn by priests and major seminarians, while a purple faille fascia is used by bishops, protonotaries apostolic, honorary prelates, chaplains of His Holiness, when wearing a cassock with coloured trim.
A black watered-silk fascia is permitted for priests attached to the papal household, a purple watered-silk fascia for bishops attached to the papal household, a scarlet watered-silk fascia for cardinals. The Pope wears a white watered-silk fascia, sometimes with his coat of arms on the ends. In choir dress, chaplains of His Holiness wear their purple-trimmed black cassocks with a cotta, but bishops, protonotaries apostolic, honorary prelates use cassocks that are purple with scarlet trim, while those of cardinals are scarlet with scarlet trim. Cardinals have the additional distinction of having both choir cassock sleeves and the fascia made of scarlet watered-silk; the cut of the choir cassock is still a Roman-cut or French-cut Roman cassock. In the past, a cardinal's cassock was made of watered silk, with a train that could be fastened at the back of the cassock; this train was abolished by the motu proprio Valde solliciti of Pope Pius XII with effect from 1 January 1953. With the same motu proprio, the Pope ordered that the violet cassock be made of wool, not silk, in February 1965, under Pope Paul VI, a circular of the Sacred Ceremonial Congregation abolished the use of watered silk for the red cassock.
An elbow-length shoulder cape, open in front, is sometimes worn with the cassock, either fixed to it or detachable. It is known as a pellegrina, it is distinct from the mozzetta, buttoned in front and is worn over a rochet. The general rule of the Roman Catholic Church is that the pellegrina may be worn with the cassock by cardinals and bishops. In 1850, the year in which he restored the Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales, Pope Pius IX was understood to grant to all priests there th
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V, born Camillo Borghese, was pope from 16 May 1605 to his death in 1621. He is best remembered today as the pope. Camillo Borghese was born in Rome on 17 September 1550 into the Borghese family of Siena which had established itself in Rome, he was the eldest son of seven sons of the lawyer and Sienese patrician Marcantonio Borghese and his wife Flaminia Astalli, a Roman noblewoman. In June 1596 Camillo was made the Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Eusebio and the Cardinal Vicar of Rome by Pope Clement VIII, had as his secretary Niccolò Alamanni. During this time, he opted for other titular churches like Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Clement VIII bestowed upon him episcopal consecration in 1597 after his appointment as Bishop of Iesi. Bishop Borghese retained the diocese of Iesi until 1599; when Pope Leo XI died, 1605, Cardinal Borghese became pope over a number of candidates including Caesar Baronius and Roberto Cardinal Bellarmine. In character he was stern and unyielding, a lawyer rather than diplomat, who defended the privileges of the Church to his utmost.
His first act was to send home to their sees the bishops who were sojourning in Rome, for the Council of Trent had insisted that every bishop reside in his diocese. Soon after his accession as Pope Paul V, Borghese determined to humiliate Venice, as his predecessor had done, for attempting to preserve its independence from the papacy in the administration of its government. Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy. A letter from Bellarmine to Galileo states only the injunction that the heliocentric ideas could not be defended or held. Paul V canonised Charles Borromeo on 1 November 1610 and Frances of Rome on 29 May 1608, he canonized Pompejanus in 1615 and canonized Cardinal Albert de Louvain on 9 August 1621. He beatified a number of individuals which included Ignatius Loyola, Philip Neri, Theresa of Avila, Aloysius Gonzaga, Francis Xavier.
The pope created 60 cardinals in ten consistories held during his pontificate. He named his nephew Scipione Borghese as a cardinal and named Alessandro Ludovisi as a cardinal. Paul's insistence of ecclesiastical jurisdiction led to a number of quarrels between the Church and the secular governments of various states, notably Venice, where patricians, such as Ermolao Barbaro of the noble Barbaro family, argued in favor of the exemption of the clergy from the jurisdiction of the civil courts. Venice passed two laws obnoxious to Paul, one forbidding the alienation of real estate in favour of the clergy, the second demanding approval of the civil power for the building of new churches. Two priests charged by the Venetian state with cruelty, wholesale poisoning and licentiousness, were arrested by the Senate and put in dungeons for trial. Having been found guilty, they were committed to prison. Paul V insisted, he demanded the release of the priests as not being amenable to the secular law. When this was refused, the Pope threatened an interdict on account of the property laws and the imprisonment of ecclesiastics, which threat was presented to the Senate on Christmas 1605.
The Venetian position was ably defended by a canon lawyer, Paolo Sarpi, who extended the matter to general principles defining separate secular and ecclesiastical spheres. In April 1606 the Pope excommunicated the entire government of Venice and placed an interdict on the city. Father Sarpi advised the Venetian government to refuse to receive the Pope's interdict, to reason with him while opposing force by force; the Venetian Senate willingly accepted this advice and Fra Paolo presented the case to Paul V, urging from history that the Pope's claim to intermeddle in civil matters was a usurpation. The rest of the Catholic clergy sided with the city, with the exception of the Jesuits, the Theatines, the Capuchins; the dissenting clergy were forthwith expelled from Venetian territories. Masses continued to be said in Venice, the feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with displays of public pomp and "magnificence", in defiance of the Pope. Within a year the disagreement was mediated by Spain; the Most Serene Republic refused to retract the laws, but asserted that Venice would conduct herself "with her accustomed piety."
The Jesuits, which Venice considered subversive Papal agents, remained banned. No more could be expected. Paul withdrew his censure; the Venetian Republic rewarded Fra Paulo Sarpi, its successful canon lawyer, with the distinction of state counsellor in jurisprudence and the liberty of access to the state archives, which infuriated Pope Paul. In September 1607, after unsuccessfully attempting to lure Father Sarpi to Rome, the Pope responded by putting out a contract on his life. Father Sarpi was the target of at leas
Leather is a natural durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhides and skins. The most common raw material is cattle hide, it can be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from artisan to modern industrial scale. Leather is used to make a variety of articles, including footwear, automobile seats, bags, book bindings, fashion accessories, furniture, it is decorated by a wide range of techniques. The earliest record of leather artifacts dates back to 2200 BC; the leather manufacturing process is divided into three fundamental subprocesses: preparatory stages and crusting. A further subprocess, can be added into the leather process sequence, but not all leathers receive finishing; the preparatory stages are. Preparatory stages may include: soaking, liming, bating and pickling. Tanning is a process that stabilizes the proteins collagen, of the raw hide to increase the thermal and microbiological stability of the hides and skins, making it suitable for a wide variety of end applications.
The principal difference between raw and tanned hides is that raw hides dry out to form a hard, inflexible material that, when rewetted, will putrefy, while tanned material dries to a flexible form that does not become putrid when rewetted. Many tanning methods and materials exist; the typical process sees tanners load the hides into a drum and immerse them in a tank that contains the tanning "liquor". The hides soak while the drum rotates about its axis, the tanning liquor penetrates through the full thickness of the hide. Once the process achieves penetration, workers raise the liquor's pH in a process called basification, which fixes the tanning material to the leather; the more tanning material fixed, the higher the leather's hydrothermal stability and shrinkage temperature resistance. Crusting is a process that lubricates leather, it includes a coloring operation. Chemicals added during crusting must be fixed in place. Crusting culminates with a drying and softening operation, may include splitting, dyeing, whitening or other methods.
For some leathers, tanners apply a surface coating, called "finishing". Finishing operations can include oiling, buffing, polishing, glazing, or tumbling, among others. Leather can be oiled to improve its water resistance; this currying process after tanning supplements the natural oils remaining in the leather itself, which can be washed out through repeated exposure to water. Frequent oiling of leather, with mink oil, neatsfoot oil, or a similar material keeps it supple and improves its lifespan dramatically. Tanning processes differ in which chemicals are used in the tanning liquor; some common types include: Vegetable-tanned leather is tanned using tannins extracted from vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills. It is the oldest known method, it is supple and brown in color, with the exact shade depending on the mix of materials and the color of the skin. The color tan derives its name from the appearance of undyed vegetable-tanned leather. Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water.
This is a feature of oak-bark-tanned leather, exploited in traditional shoemaking. In hot water, it shrinks drastically and congeals, becoming rigid and brittle. Boiled leather is an example of this, where the leather has been hardened by being immersed in hot water, or in boiled wax or similar substances, it was used as armor after hardening, it has been used for book binding. Chrome-tanned leather, invented in 1858, is tanned using chromium other chromium salts, it is known as "wet blue" for the pale blue color of the undyed leather. The chrome tanning method takes one day to complete, making it best suited for large-scale industrial use; this is the most common method in modern use. It is more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather and does not discolor or lose shape as drastically in water as vegetable-tanned. However, there are environmental concerns with this tanning method. Aldehyde-tanned leather is tanned using oxazolidine compounds, it is referred to as "wet white" due to its pale cream color.
It is the main type of "chrome-free" leather seen in shoes for infants and automobiles. Formaldehyde has been used for tanning in the past. Chamois leather is a form of aldehyde tanning that produces a porous and water-absorbent leather. Chamois leather is made using marine oils that oxidize to produce the aldehydes that tan the leather. Brain tanned leathers are made by a labor-intensive process that uses emulsified oils those of animal brains such as deer and buffalo, they are known for their exceptional washability. Alum leather is transformed using aluminium salts mixed with a variety of binders and protein sources, such as flour and egg yolk. Alum leather is not tanned. In general, leather is produced in the following grades: Top-grain leather includes the outer layer of the hide, known as the grain, which features finer, more densely packed fibers, resulting in strength and durability. Depending on thickness, it may contain some of the more fibrous under layer, known as the corium. Types of top-grain leather incl
A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with face gestures. A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a chorus; the former term is often applied to groups affiliated with a church and the second to groups that perform in theatres or concert halls, but this distinction is far from rigid. Choirs may sing without instrumental accompaniment, with the accompaniment of a piano or pipe organ, with a small ensemble, or with a full orchestra of 70 to 100 musicians; the term "Choir" has the secondary definition of a subset of an ensemble. In typical 18th- to 21st-century oratorios and masses, chorus or choir is understood to imply more than one singer per part, in contrast to the quartet of soloists featured in these works.
Choirs are led by a conductor or choirmaster. Most choirs consist of four sections intended to sing in four part harmony, but there is no limit to the number of possible parts as long as there is a singer available to sing the part: Thomas Tallis wrote a 40-part motet entitled Spem in alium, for eight choirs of five parts each. Other than four, the most common number of parts are three, five and eight. Choirs can sing without instrumental accompaniment. Singing without accompaniment is called a cappella singing. Accompanying instruments vary from only one instrument to a full orchestra of 70 to 100 musicians. Many choirs perform in many locations such as a church, opera house, or school hall. In some cases choirs join up to become one "mass" choir. In this case they provide a series of songs or musical works to celebrate and provide entertainment to others. Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as a choral concert, by way of visible gestures with the hands, arms and head.
The primary duties of the conductor or choirmaster are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble. The conductor or choral director stands on a raised platform and he or she may or may not use a baton. In the 2010s, most conductors do not play an instrument when conducting, although in earlier periods of classical music history, leading an ensemble while playing an instrument was common. In Baroque music from the 1600s to the 1750s, conductors performing in the 2010s may lead an ensemble while playing a harpsichord or the violin. Conducting while playing a piano may be done with musical theatre pit orchestras. Communication is non-verbal during a performance. However, in rehearsals, the conductor will give verbal instructions to the ensemble, since they also serve as an artistic director who crafts the ensemble's interpretation of the music. Conductors act as guides to the choirs they conduct, they choose the works to be performed and study their scores, to which they may make certain adjustments, work out their interpretation, relay their vision to the singers.
Choral conductors may have to conduct instrumental ensembles such as orchestras if the choir is singing a piece for choir and orchestra. They may attend to organizational matters, such as scheduling rehearsals, planning a concert season, hearing auditions, promoting their ensemble in the media. Eastern Orthodox churches, some American Protestant groups, traditional synagogues do not use instruments. In churches of the Western Rite the accompanying instrument is the organ, although in colonial America, the Moravian Church used groups of strings and winds. Many churches which use a contemporary worship format use a small amplified band to accompany the singing, Roman Catholic Churches may use, at their discretion, additional orchestral accompaniment. In addition to leading of singing in which the congregation participates, such as hymns and service music, some church choirs sing full liturgies, including propers. Chief among these are the Roman Catholic churches. Mixed choirs; this is the most common type consisting of soprano, alto and bass voices abbreviate
A hermit is a person who lives in seclusion from society for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, the concept is found in other religions as well. In Christianity, the term was applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament. In the Christian tradition the eremitic life is an early form of monastic living that preceded the monastic life in the cenobium; the Rule of St Benedict lists hermits among four kinds of monks. In the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to hermits who are members of religious institutes, the Canon law recognizes diocesan hermits under the direction of their bishop as members of the consecrated life; the same is true in many parts of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the US, although in the canon law of the Episcopal Church they are referred to as "solitaries" rather than "hermits". Both in religious and secular literature, the term "hermit" is used loosely for any Christian living a secluded prayer-focused life, sometimes interchangeably with anchorite/anchoress, recluse and "solitary".
Other religions, for example, Hinduism and Taoism have hermits in the sense of individuals living an ascetic form of life. In modern colloquial usage, "hermit" denotes anyone living apart from the rest of society, or participating in fewer social events, for any reason; the word hermit comes from the Latin ĕrēmīta, the latinisation of the Greek ἐρημίτης, "of the desert", which in turn comes from ἔρημος, signifying "desert", "uninhabited", hence "desert-dweller". In the common Christian tradition the first known Christian hermit in Egypt was Paul of Thebes, hence called "St. Paul the first hermit", his disciple Antony of Egypt referred to as "Antony the Great", is the most renowned of all the early Christian hermits owing to the biography by his friend Athanasius of Alexandria. An antecedent for Egyptian eremiticism may have been the Syrian solitary or "son of the covenant" who undertook special disciplines as a Christian. In the Middle Ages some Carmelite hermits claimed to trace their origin to Jewish hermits organized by Elijah.
Christian hermits in the past have lived in isolated cells or hermitages, whether a natural cave or a constructed dwelling, situated in the desert or the forest. People sometimes sought them out for spiritual counsel; some acquired so many disciples that they no longer had physical solitude. The early Christian Desert Fathers wove baskets to exchange for bread. In medieval times hermits were found within or near cities where they might earn a living as a gate keeper or ferryman. From the Middle Ages and down to modern times eremitical monasticism has been practiced within the context of religious institutes in the Christian West. For example, in the Catholic Church the Carthusians and Camaldolese arrange their monasteries as clusters of hermitages where the monks live most of their day and most of their lives in solitary prayer and work, gathering only briefly for communal prayer and only for community meals and recreation; the Cistercian and Carmelite orders, which are communal in nature, allow members who feel a calling to the eremitic life, after years living in the cenobium or community of the monastery, to move to a cell suitable as a hermitage on monastery grounds.
This applies to both their nuns. There have been many hermits who chose that vocation as an alternative to other forms of monastic life. In the 11th century, the life of the hermit gained recognition as a legitimate independent pathway to salvation. Many hermits in that century and the next came to be regarded as saints; the term "anchorite" is used as a synonym for hermit, not only in the earliest written sources but throughout the centuries. Yet the anchoritic life, while similar to the eremitic life, can be distinct from it. Anchorites lived the religious life in the solitude of an "anchorhold" a small hut or "cell" built against a church; the door of an anchorage tended to be bricked up in a special ceremony conducted by the local bishop after the anchorite had moved in. Medieval churches survive that have a tiny window built into the shared wall near the sanctuary to allow the anchorite to participate in the liturgy by listening to the service and to receive Holy Communion. Another window looked out into the street or cemetery, enabling charitable neighbors to deliver food and other necessities.
Clients seeking the anchorite's advice might use this window to consult them. Catholics who wish to live in eremitic monasticism may live that vocation as a hermit: in an eremitical order, but in both cases under obedience to their religious superior, or as an Oblate affiliated with the Camaldolese or as a diocesan hermit under the canonical direction of their bishop. There are lay people who informally follow an eremitic lifestyle and live as solitaries. In the Catholic Church, the institutes of consecrated life have their own regulations concerning those of their members who feel called by God to move from the life in community to the eremitic life, have the permission of their religious superior to do so; the Code of Canon