The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II or Pope Stephen V, but it was supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV and Pope Pius II. Although quoted uncritically from the 8th to 18th century, the Liber Pontificalis has undergone intense modern scholarly scrutiny; the work of the French priest Louis Duchesne, of others has highlighted some of the underlying redactional motivations of different sections, though such interests are so disparate and varied as to render improbable one popularizer's claim that it is an "unofficial instrument of pontifical propaganda."The title Liber Pontificalis goes back to the 12th century, although it only became current in the 15th century, the canonical title of the work since the edition of Duchesne in the 19th century. In the earliest extant manuscripts it is referred to as Liber episcopalis in quo continentur acta beatorum pontificum Urbis Romae and the Gesta or Chronica pontificum.
During the Middle Ages, Saint Jerome was considered the author of all the biographies up until those of Pope Damasus I, based on an apocryphal letter between Saint Jerome and Pope Damasus published as a preface to the Medieval manuscripts. The attribution originated with Rabanus Maurus and is repeated by Martin of Opava, who extended the work into the 13th century. Other sources attribute the early work to Hegesippus and Irenaeus, having been continued by Eusebius of Caesarea. In the 16th century, Onofrio Panvinio attributed the biographies after Damasus until Pope Nicholas I to Anastasius Bibliothecarius; the modern interpretation, following that of Louis Duchesne, is that the Liber Pontificalis was and unsystematically compiled, that the authorship is impossible to determine, with a few exceptions. Duchesne and others have viewed the beginning of the Liber Pontificalis up until the biographies of Pope Felix III as the work of a single author, a contemporary of Pope Anastasius II, relying on Catalogus Liberianus, which in turn draws from the papal catalogue of Hippolytus of Rome, the Leonine Catalogue, no longer extant.
Most scholars believe the Liber Pontificalis was first compiled in the 6th century. Because of the use of the vestiarium, the records of the papal treasury, some have hypothesized that the author of the early Liber Pontificalis was a clerk of the papal treasury. Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire summarised the scholarly consensus as being that the Liber Pontificalis was composed by "apostolic librarians and notaries of the viiith and ixth centuries" with only the most recent portion being composed by Anastasius. Duchesne and others believe that the author of the first addition to the Liber Pontificalis was a contemporary of Pope Silverius, that the author of another addition was a contemporary of Pope Conon, with popes being added individually and during their reigns or shortly after their deaths; the Liber Pontificalis only contained the names of the bishops of Rome and the durations of their pontificates. As enlarged in the 6th century, each biography consists of: the birth name of the pope and that of his father, place of birth, profession before elevation, length of pontificate, historical notes of varying thoroughness, major theological pronouncements and decrees, administrative milestones, date of death, place of burial, the duration of the ensuing sede vacante.
Pope Adrian II is the last pope for which there are extant manuscripts of the original Liber Pontificalis: the biographies of Pope John VIII, Pope Marinus I, Pope Adrian III are missing and the biography of Pope Stephen V is incomplete. From Stephen V through the 10th and 11th centuries, the historical notes are abbreviated with only the pope's origin and reign duration, it was only in the 12th century that the Liber Pontificalis was systematically continued, although papal biographies exist in the interim period in other sources. Duchesne refers to the 12th century work by Petrus Guillermi in 1142 at the monastery of St. Gilles as the Liber Pontificalis of Petrus Guillermi. Guillermi's version is copied from other works with small additions or excisions from the papal biographies of Pandulf, nephew of Hugo of Alatri, which in turn was copied verbatim from the original Liber Pontificalis from other sources until Pope Honorius II, with contemporary information from Pope Paschal II to Pope Urban II.
Duchesne attributes all biographies from Pope Gregory VII to Urban II to Pandulf, while earlier historians like Giesebrecht and Watterich attributed the biographies of Gregory VII, Victor III, Urban II to Petrus Pisanus, the subsequent biographies to Pandulf. These biographies until those of Pope Martin IV are extant only as revised by Petrus Guillermi in the manuscripts of the monastery of
Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 3 September 590 to 12 March 604 AD. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. Gregory is well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as Pope; the epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. English translations of Eastern texts sometimes list him as Gregory "Dialogos", or the Anglo-Latinate equivalent "Dialogus". A Roman senator's son and himself the Prefect of Rome at 30, Gregory tried the monastery but soon returned to active public life, ending his life and the century as pope. Although he was the first pope from a monastic background, his prior political experiences may have helped him to be a talented administrator, who established papal supremacy. During his papacy, he surpassed with his administration the emperors in improving the welfare of the people of Rome, he challenged the theological views of Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople before the emperor Tiberius II.
Gregory sent missionaries to England. The realignment of barbarian allegiance to Rome from their Arian Christian alliances shaped medieval Europe. Gregory saw Franks and Visigoths align with Rome in religion, he combated against the Donatist heresy, popular in North Africa at the time. Throughout the Middle Ages, he was known as "the Father of Christian Worship" because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day, his contributions to the development of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, still in use in the Byzantine Rite, were so significant that he is recognized as its de facto author. Gregory is one of the Latin Fathers, he is considered a saint in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, some Lutheran denominations. After his death, Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim; the Protestant reformer John Calvin admired Gregory and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers and teachers.
The exact date of Gregory's birth is uncertain, but is estimated to be around the year 540, in the city of Rome. His parents named him Gregorius, which according to Ælfric of Abingdon in An Homily on the Birth-Day of S. Gregory, "... is a Greek Name, which signifies in the Latin Tongue, in English, Watchful...." The medieval writer who provided this etymology did not hesitate to apply it to the life of Gregory. Ælfric states, "He was diligent in God's Commandments."Gregory was born into a wealthy patrician Roman family with close connections to the church. His father, who served as a senator and for a time was the Prefect of the City of Rome held the position of Regionarius in the church, though nothing further is known about that position. Gregory's mother, was well-born, had a married sister, Pateria, in Sicily, his mother and two paternal aunts are honored by Orthodox churches as saints. Gregory's great-great-grandfather had been Pope Felix III, the nominee of the Gothic king, Theodoric. Gregory's election to the throne of St Peter made his family the most distinguished clerical dynasty of the period.
The family owned and resided in a villa suburbana on the Caelian Hill, fronting the same street as the former palaces of the Roman emperors on the Palatine Hill opposite. The north of the street runs into the Colosseum. In Gregory's day the ancient buildings were in ruins and were owned. Villas covered the area. Gregory's family owned working estates in Sicily and around Rome. Gregory had portraits done in fresco in their former home on the Caelian and these were described 300 years by John the Deacon. Gordianus was tall with light eyes, he wore a beard. Silvia was tall, had a round face, blue eyes and a cheerful look, they had another son whose fate are unknown. Gregory was born into a period of upheaval in Italy. From 542 the so-called Plague of Justinian swept through the provinces of the empire, including Italy; the plague caused famine and sometimes rioting. In some parts of the country, over 1/3 of the population was wiped out or destroyed, with heavy spiritual and emotional effects on the people of the Empire.
Politically, although the Western Roman Empire had long since vanished in favour of the Gothic kings of Italy, during the 540s Italy was retaken from the Goths by Justinian I, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire ruling from Constantinople. As the fighting was in the north, the young Gregory saw little of it. Totila sacked and vacated Rome in 546, destroying most of its population, but in 549 he invited those who were still alive to return to the empty and ruined streets, it has been hypothesized that young Gregory and his parents retired during that intermission to their Sicilian estates, to return in 549. The war was over in Rome by 552, a subsequent invasion of the Franks was defeated in 554. After that, there was peace in Italy, the appearance of restoration, except that the central government now resided in Constantinople. Like most young men of his position in Roman society, Saint Gregory was well educated, learning grammar, the sciences and law, excelling in all. Gregory of Tours reported that "in grammar and rhetoric... he was second to none...."
A papal name or pontificial name is the regnal name taken by a pope. Both the head of the Catholic Church known as the Pope, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria choose papal names; as of 2013, Pope Francis is the Catholic Pope, Tawadros II or Theodoros II is the Coptic Pope. This article lists the names of Catholic Popes. While popes in the early centuries retained their birth names after their accession to the papacy on popes began to adopt a new name upon their accession; this first became customary in the 10th century. Since 1555, every pope has taken a papal name; the pontificial name is given in Latin by virtue of the Pope's status as Bishop of the Holy See of Rome. The Pope is given an Italian name by virtue of his Vatican citizenship. However, it is customary when referring to popes to translate the regnal name into all local languages. Thus, for example, Papa Franciscus, is Papa Francesco in Italian, Papa Francisco in his native Spanish, Pope Francis in English; the official style of the Catholic Pope in English is His Holiness Pope.
Holy Father is another honorific used for popes. The full title used, of the Catholic Pope in English is: His Holiness, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God; the official title of the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle; the Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist, Holy Apostle and Martyr, on the Holy Apostolic Throne of the Great City of Alexandria, he is considered to be Father of Fathers. Shepherd of Shepherds. Hierarch of all HierarchsHonorary titles attributed to the Hierarch of the Alexandrine Throne are The Pillar and Defender of the Holy, Apostolic Church and of the Orthodox Faith; the Dean of the Great Catechetical School of Theology of Alexandria. The Ecumenical Judge of the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church.
The Thirteenth among the Holy Apostles. During the first centuries of the church, the bishops of Rome continued to use their baptismal names after their elections; the custom of choosing a new name began in AD 533: Mercurius deemed it inappropriate for a pope to be named after the pagan Roman god Mercury, adopted the name John II in honor of his predecessor John I, venerated as a martyr. In the 10th century clerics from beyond the Alps Germany and France, acceded to the papacy and replaced their foreign-sounding names with more traditional ones; the last pope to use his baptismal name was Marcellus II in 1555, a choice, then quite exceptional. Names are chosen by popes, not based on any system. Names of immediate or distant predecessors, saints, or family members—as was the case with John XXIII—have been adopted. In 1978 Cardinal Albino Luciani became the first pope to take a double name, John Paul I, to honour his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI. John Paul I was the first pope in 1,100 years since Lando in 913 to adopt a papal name that had not been used.
After John Paul I's sudden death a month Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła was elected and, wishing to continue his predecessor's work, became the second Pope to take a double name as John Paul II. In 2013, a new name was introduced into the lineage: on being elected Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio selected the name Francis to emphasize the spirit of poverty and peace embodied by Saint Francis of Assisi; the new pontiff's choice of name upon being elected to the papacy is seen as a signal to the world of who the new pope will emulate, what policies he will seek to enact, or the length of his reign. Such was the case with Benedict XVI – it was speculated that he chose the name because he wished to emulate Benedict XV, to call attention to the fact that at 7.5 years, Benedict XV's reign was short. Benedict XVI's own reign, which ended with his resignation on 28 February 2013 lasted less than 8 years. Saint Peter was the first Pope. Since the 1970s some antipopes, with only a minuscule following, took the name Pope Peter II.
Because of the controversial fifteenth-century antipope known as Pope John XXIII, this name was avoided for over 500 years until the election in 1958 of Pope John XXIII. After John XXIII's election as pope in 1958, it was not known if he would be John XXIII or XXIV; the number used by an antipope is ignored if possible, but this is not possible if, by the time someone is reckoned as antipope, the name has since been used by one or more legitimate popes. After a new pope is elected, accepts the election, he is asked in Latin "By what name shall you be called?"† The new pope chooses the name by which he will be known from that point on. The senior Cardinal Deacon, or Cardinal Protodeacon appears on the balcony of Saint Peter's to proclaim the new pope by his birth name, announce his papal name: †Unless impeded, the Dean of the College of Cardinals asks the newly elected po
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
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches, associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; the word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos, a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man", "minister", or "messenger". One promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it means "through the dust", referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger, it is assumed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men by the apostles, among them Stephen, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts 6. The title deaconess is not found in the Bible. However, one woman, Phoebe, is mentioned at Romans 16:1–2 as a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Nothing more specific is said about her duties or authority, although it is assumed she carried Paul's Letter to the Romans.
The exact relationship between male and female deacons varies. In some traditions a female deacon is a member of the order of deacons, while in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order. In some traditions, the title "deaconess" was sometimes given to the wife of a deacon. Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to the emperor Trajan dated c. 112. “I believed it was necessary to find out from two female slaves who were called deacons, what was true—and to find out through torture ”This is the earliest Latin text that appears to refer to female deacons as a distinct category of Christian minister. A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13. Among the more prominent deacons in history are Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Athanasius of Alexandria, Thomas Becket, Reginald Pole. On June 8, 536, a serving Roman deacon was raised to Silverius.
The title is used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland. The diaconate is one of the major orders in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox churches; the other major orders are those of bishop and presbyter and sub-deacon. While the diaconate as a vocation was maintained from earliest Apostolic times to the present in the Eastern churches, it disappeared in the Western church during the first millennium, with Western churches retaining deacons attached to diocesan cathedrals; the diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course toward ordination to priesthood. In the 20th century, the diaconate was restored as a vocational order in many Western churches, most notably in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the United Methodist Church. In Catholic and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties, but report directly to the bishops of their diocese, they have a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Western Churches.
In the Eastern Church, deacons have a profound liturgical presence in the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church, Pope St. Gregory the Great reduced the liturgical role of the deacon in the Roman Rite, limiting them to serving the bishop, the proclamation of the Gospel, assisting the celebrant at the altar aside from the deacon's calling of charity. Today, deacons are granted permission to preach. Beginning around the fifth century, there was a gradual decline in the permanent diaconate in the Latin church, it has however remained a vital part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. From that time until the years just prior to the Second Vatican Council, the only men ordained as deacons were seminarians who were completing the last year or so of graduate theological training, so-called "transitional deacons", who received the order after they complete their third year at the theological seminary, several months before priestly ordination. Following the recommendations of the council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI issued the motu proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, restoring the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination.
These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those continuing their formation, who were called transitional deacons. There is no sacramental or canonical difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons; the permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church varies from diocese to diocese as it is determined by the local ordinary. But it entails a year of prayerful preparation, a four- or five-year training period that resembles a collegiate course of study, a year of post-ordination formation as well as the need for lifelong continuing education credits. Diaconal candidates receive instruction in philosophy, study of the Holy Scriptures (
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
Benedict of Nursia
Benedict of Nursia, a Christian saint, is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion and Old Catholic Churches. He is a patron saint of Europe. Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy; the Order of Saint Benedict is of origin and, not an "order" as understood but a confederation of autonomous congregations. Benedict's main achievement, his "Rule of Saint Benedict", contains a set of rules for his monks to follow. Influenced by the writings of John Cassian, it shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master, but it has a unique spirit of balance and reasonableness, this persuaded most Christian religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is called the founder of Western Christian monasticism.
Apart from a short poem attributed to Mark of Monte Cassino, the only ancient account of Benedict is found in the second volume of Pope Gregory I's four-book Dialogues, thought to have been written in 593, although the authenticity of this work has been disputed. Gregory's account of this saint's life is not, however, a biography in the modern sense of the word, it provides instead a spiritual portrait of the gentle, disciplined abbot. In a letter to Bishop Maximilian of Syracuse, Gregory states his intention for his Dialogues, saying they are a kind of floretum of the most striking miracles of Italian holy men. Gregory did not set out to write a chronological anchored story of Saint Benedict, but he did base his anecdotes on direct testimony. To establish his authority, Gregory explains that his information came from what he considered the best sources: a handful of Benedict's disciples who lived with the saint and witnessed his various miracles; these followers, are Constantinus, who succeeded Benedict as Abbot of Monte Cassino.
In Gregory's day, history was not recognised as an independent field of study. Gregory's Dialogues Book Two an authentic medieval hagiography cast as a conversation between the Pope and his deacon Peter, is designed to teach spiritual lessons, he was the son of a Roman noble of the modern Norcia, in Umbria. A tradition which Bede accepts makes him a twin with his sister Scholastica. If 480 is accepted as the year of his birth, the year of his abandonment of his studies and leaving home would be about 500. Saint Gregory's narrative makes it impossible to suppose him younger than 20 at the time, he was old enough to be in the midst of his literary studies, to understand the real meaning and worth of the dissolute and licentious lives of his companions, to have been affected by the love of a woman. He was at the beginning of life, he had at his disposal the means to a career as a Roman noble. Benedict was disappointed by the life he found there, he does not seem to have left Rome for the purpose of becoming a hermit, but only to find some place away from the life of the great city.
He took his old nurse with him as a servant and they settled down to live in Enfide. Enfide, which the tradition of Subiaco identifies with the modern Affile, is in the Simbruini mountains, about forty miles from Rome and two from Subiaco. A short distance from Enfide is the entrance to a narrow, gloomy valley, penetrating the mountains and leading directly to Subiaco; the path continues to ascend, the side of the ravine, on which it runs, becomes steeper, until a cave is reached above which the mountain now rises perpendicularly. The cave is about ten feet deep. On his way from Enfide, Benedict met a monk, Romanus of Subiaco, whose monastery was on the mountain above the cliff overhanging the cave. Romanus had discussed with Benedict the purpose which had brought him to Subiaco, had given him the monk's habit. By his advice Benedict became a hermit and for three years, unknown to men, lived in this cave above the lake. Gregory tells us little of these years, he now speaks of Benedict no longer as a man of God.
Romanus, served the saint in every way he could. The monk visited him and on fixed days brought him food. During these three years of solitude, broken only by occasional communications with the outer world and by the visits of Romanus, Benedict matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, at the same time he became not known to, but secured the respect of, those about him. Benedict was acquainted with the life and discipline of the monastery, knew that "their manners were diverse from his and therefore that they would never agree together: yet, at length, overcome with their entreaty, he gav