This treasury of early Western monastic thought, which is no longer available in the print edition, contains five rules from the tradition that produced the Rule of St. Benedict. These rules reveal the early evolution of cenobitic monasticism in the West. As such, they help document the appropriation of the original general of Christian cenobitic monastic literature—the Rules of Basil, Pachomius, and Augustine—to a new setting and circumstance.
Three of the rules precede Benedict's Rule. These are "The Rule of the Holy Fathers Serapion, Macarius, Paphnutius, and Another Macarius," "The Second Rule of the Fathers," and "The Rule of Macarius." The Third Rule of the Fathers and the Regula orientalis are contemporary with the Rule of St. Benedict. Presented here, in Latin and English, as a component of The Rule of St. Benedict Library, this volume is enhanced by its integration into the sophisticated, customizable critical apparatus provided by the Libronix Digital Library System™. Early Monastic Rules, together with the Rule of the Master, offer the reader the resources to systematically study this earliest strata of Western cenobitism.