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In either case, however, the text of the "autograph" is the one to be adopted.
That of Calmet is perhaps the most literal and exhaustive on many important points; those of Marténe and Haeften are mines of information regarding monastic tradition: Perez and Mége are practical and pious, though the latter has been considered lax in many of the views maintained; that of Turrecremata is useful as treating the Rule from the standpoint of moral theology ; and others give mystical interpretations of its contents.
It may be pointed out that in studying the Rule as a practical code of monastic legislation, it is necessary to facilitate uniformity of observance, each congregation of the order has its own constitutions, approved by the Holy See , by which are regulated many of the matters of detail not touched upon by the Rule itself. Benedict's Rule and to discuss its leading characteristics, something must be said about the monasticism that preceded his times, and out of which his system grew, in order that some idea may be gained as to how much of the Rule was borrowed from his precursors and how much was due to his own initiative.
This work holds the first place among monastic legislative codes, and was by far the most important factor in the organization and spread of monasticism in the West. Benedict wrote his Rule are not known, nor can it be determined whether the Rule, as we now possess it, was composed as a single whole or whether it gradually took shape in response to the needs of his monks.
For its general character and also its illustration of St. Somewhere about 530 however, may be taken as a likely date, and Monte Cassino as a more probable place than Subiaco, for the Rule certainly reflects St. The earliest chronicler says that when Monte Cassino was destroyed by the Lombards in 581, the monks fled to Rome, carrying with them, among other treasures, a copy of the Rule "which the holy Father had composed"; and in the middle of the eighth century there was in the pope's library a copy believed to be St. It has been assumed by many scholars that this was the copy brought from Monte Cassino ; but though this is likely enough, it is not a certainty.
of Metten, at Ratisbon in 1892, presenting in substance the text of St.