THE YEAR 500 A. D. - MONASTICISM
orders were the only religious communities during this era.
Monasticism was widespread, firstly in the East. Constantinople and
its suburbs contained one hundred monasteries.
monasteries, too, had their ups and downs. During this era monks got
involved in controversial issues and in politics. . .and ended up
supporting countless heresies. This era saw the demise of
monasticism mostly because of their involvement in controversies and
politics. A spirit of intrigue and disobedience grew up; discipline
relaxed and monasteries saw themselves producing feeble souls.
in the West, on the other hand, flourished. They were the
foundations of civilizations. They preached the Gospel, served the
poor and the sick, and instructed the young in religion, on various
arts and crafts. They worked as copyist, preserving for all times
Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers of the Church. They
cleared forests, constructed roads, dug canals, built bridges and
cultivated barren lands.
monasteries were under the new monastic founders: Caesarius of
Arles, Benedict of Nursia, St. Columba, St. Finian, St. Brendan, St.
David and St. Kentigern.
monastic founders founded the first schools, called monastic
schools. And these schools became the center of learning for the