Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Concerning the Monks who lived in Nitria

Palladius departs from Alexandria and crosses the lake Mareotis to dwell for a year at Mount Nitria. He meets many monks there, and hears of the desert hermits. Near the church were several bakers who provided for the community, and anyone who came and wished to work was invited to join for a year or two. Three whips hung from a palm tree: the first to punish "monks who transgress in folly," the second for thieves, and the third for strangers who "transgress in any manner whatsoever" (99). Every evening the entire community gathered to sing the Psalms. In Nitria Palladius meets the monk Arsenius, who tells him of the saints of that place.

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