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Desert ChristiansAn Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism$
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William, S.J. Harmless

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195162234.001.0001

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(p.115) 5 Pachomius
Desert Christians

William, S.J. Harmless (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Pachomius (c.292–346) is often (and somewhat inaccurately) singled out as the founder of cenobitic monasticism, that is, of monks living in organized communities. He established in Upper Egypt a remarkable confederation of monasteries—known as the Koinonia (“Fellowship”)—that housed hundreds, perhaps thousands of monks. He also composed the first known monastic rule. This chapter examines the early biographies of Pachomius—especially the First Greek Life and the Bohairic Life. It also reconstructs daily life within the Koinonia and its development under Pachomius's successors, Theodore and Horsiesius.

Keywords:   Pachomius, cenobitic monasticism, Upper Egypt, Koinonia, monastic rule, First Greek Life (of Pachomius), Bohairic Life (of Pachomius), Theodore, Horsiesius

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