THE MONKS OF BYZANTINE EGYPT (4-7TH CENTURIES). AN ATTEMPT AT A COLLECTIVE PORTRAIT (Stan mnichow w Egipcie bizantyjskim (IV-VIII wiek). Proba nakreslenia zbiorowego portretu)
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The portrait of the monastic milieu in Byzantine Egypt, as presented in this paper, has no pretence of being complete. It uses various sources: literary texts (apophthegms, in particular), documents written on papyrus and ostraca, remains of monks' dwellings. It aims at throwing light on a number of points, such as: the procedures necessary for a candidate to enter a monastic community; the monks' social background; literacy among the monks; hierarchic order regulating community life; the monks' everyday interpersonal relationships, especially the kinds of conflicts arising among them and the ways of solving them; the mobility of the monks before the introduction of the principle of stabilitas loci; the attitude of the Church and of public opinion towards those who gave up the cowl.
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