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21 X (4.45 Warsaw time) Albrecht Diem (Syracuse University), Basil, Benedict and Beyond. Understanding regular observance

In this paper I will discuss the question how monastic rules – there are roughly thirty of them preserved – can be used as sources for gaining understanding not only of the emergence of monastic life in the Latin West but also about societal and cultural change in the period of the Transformation of the Roman World. I will especially focus on the Regula Ferrioli, a monastic rule written in southern France around the same time as the Rule of Benedict. Using the Regula Benedicti and the Regula Basilii as framework for comparison I will show how the Regula Ferrioli challenges common assumptions about the structure of monastic communities and their place in late Roman society at large.