Standard Article

Benedict of Nursia (c.480–c.547)

  1. Zachary A. Matus

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0142

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Matus, Z. A. 2011. Benedict of Nursia (c.480–c.547). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


St. Benedict, author of a monastic rule, founder of the religious houses of Subiaco and Monte Cassino, and brother of St. Scholastica (c.480–c.543), was a pivotal figure in the development of monasticism in Western Europe. Details of Benedict's life are scarce, however, and survive only as a hagiographical account in Pope Gregory the Great's (590–604) Dialogues. Gregory did not know Benedict and makes his report on the basis of information gathered from Benedict's disciples.


  • benedict of nursia (c.480–c.547);
  • benedict, and monastic communities, Monte Cassino;
  • rule, expecting monks to work, and prayer;
  • Augustine of canterbury's mission, to Britain;
  • Charlemagne's legacy of reforming, ecclesial life