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Educated in Rome, St Benedict of Nursia (b. c. 480, d. c. 550) abandoned city life and withdrew to the vicinity of Subiaco, east of Rome, to pursue a spiritual life as a hermit. After falling out with the local religious community, he moved with his followers further south to Monte Cassino where he founded a monastery. At Monte Cassino the saint developed practical and spiritual guidelines by which the community of monks ought to live, now known as the Benedictine Rule.

The Rule was widely adopted in monastic houses throughout Christendom, particularly after Charlemagne (b. c. 742, d. 814) endorsed it as a guide for all monks within in his realm. Accordingly, the text was widely disseminated and formed the basis for many commentaries. More than 300 medieval manuscript copies of the Rule survive. This commentary volume was created in 1129 by the scribe Petrus Guillelmus in the abbey of St Gilles, Nîmes, in southern France and features a necrology (list of deaths) from the abbey.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

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