2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Built on the ruins of a temple to Apollo, Monte Cassinos was founded in 529 by St. Benedict of Nursia and became the model for Western monasteries, as St. Benedict's rule became the rule by which the monks lived. Midway between Rome and Naples, Monte Cassino was destroyed and restored many times in its history. The earliest destruction was by the Lombards, who plundered the monastery c. 585 as the monks fled to Rome, and the most recent destruction was the by the Allies, who bombed Monte Cassino during WWII. Petronax restored the monastery in 720, and Paul VI reconsecrated it in 1964. Monte Cassino was at its peak in the XI Century under the abbots Desiderius (later Pope Victor III) and Oderius I, when it became famous for the monks' work in science, literature, medicine, and history. The scriptorium developed Beneventan script and was noted for its illuminated books. The library contained many rare classical manuscripts. The monastery school flourished into the XII Century. In the XIV Century, John XXII made the abbots bishops, and many abbots ruled from afar and ruled for short terms. The monastery had so declined by 1504 that it joined the congregation of St. Justina of Padua. Napoleon's army looted Monte Cassino in 1799, and since 1866, the monastery has been a national Italian monument, with the monks as its caretakers.
Karen Rae Keck
including the header and this copyright remain intact.