By Conrad Leyser

While barbarians invaded the Roman Empire within the years round four hundred advert, Christian clergymen concealed of their cloisters--or so it's always assumed. Conrad Leyser exhibits that priests within the early medieval West have been, actually, pioneers within the production of a brand new language of ethical authority. He describes the making of this practice over centuries from St. Augustine to St. Benedict and Gregory the nice.

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With the move to Hippo, however, this small group undertook to receive new members, such as Antoninus, or Possidius, who did not share their experience. For these younger men, coming in from the countryside, entry to Augustine’s monastery represented their ‘chance’. Monks trained in Hippo were much in demand in the North African Church. ’69 For such men, monastic life in Hippo, patterned as far as its bishop was concerned on the Jerusalem community, had come to fill the role that municipal schooling had played for Augustine himself.

SC – (). The identification is, however, circumstantial and not universally accepted: see M. Carrias, ‘Vie monastique et règle à Lérins au temps d’Honorat’, RHEF  (), –; S. 33 The male community is traditionally identified with that of St Victor at Marseilles, but secure evidence for this identification dates no further back than the eleventh century, at which point the monks of the refounded community of St Victor’s were keen to claim descent from Cassian’s foundation: in our period, however, the presumption that either the male or the female monastery founded by Cassian enjoyed a continuous history is based on the rarely punctuated silence of the historical record.

Can I keep silent? I am afraid to keep silent. ’96 He knew he must resist the offer of easy acquiescence with the desire of his hearers for a quiet life. Augustine, however, refused to accept the isolation of power. He attempted to turn his discussion of his authority back again towards a meditation on community. ’97 The Lord had given Ezekiel amnesty if he announced to the people their sins and they ignored him. Augustine protested against this separation of the watchman from the people. He was not content to let his exhortations simply fall on deaf ears, to watch his people perish while he lived.

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