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Monasteries and Villages: Rural Economy and Religious Interdependency in Late Antique Palestine

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Monasticism played a significant role in the Late Antique economy of the Holy Land, as it did in neighboring regions, a role that can be traced both in hagiography and in archaeology. Though holy men settled in secluded monasteries in the desert of the Holy City, most of the monks of Palestine were living in and near villages throughout the land. The rural monastery housed presses that produced wine and oil in quantities exceeding the needs of the local monastic community. It seems that the monasteries, in addition to their obvious spiritual and religious functions, served as part of the region’s economy, thus creating substantial relations with their lay neighbors.

Affiliations: 1: Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Zemach Regional CenterIsrael ; 2: Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Zemach Regional CenterIsrael


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