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Die Leges Pachoms und die Mönchsregeln der Pachomianer

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Abstract After having examined the first three collections of the Pachomian monastic rules, the Praecepta ac leges are scrutinized in this article. Although their title suggests regulations of “the six evening prayers and the gathering of the six prayers in the varioues houses”, the main theme of the Leges is the authority of the housemasters and their “Seconds”. When compared with the rules on the task of the “Second” in the Praecepta, it seems that the Leges are a little bit older and earlier. It is true we only have the Latin text of the Leges. However, there is a slight chance to prove a Coptic background of this set of rules by examining a hidden biblical allusion and following it up through the various versions of Scripture. The paragraph on the role of a board of holy men to judge in cases of conflict between a brother and his superior, when compared with similar regulations in the other collections of rules, appears to be part of the oldest layer of Pachomian legislation. This proves that all the collections underwent changes and adaptations while being used parallel to each other; there is no reason to search for a genealogy of the four sets of Pachomian rules suggesting that one would have been developed out of the other. The rules on the “Six Prayers” show clearly the origin of the communal prayers of the Pachomians in the anchoritic way of prayer. Saint Pachomius has certainly issued these rules although not necessarily written them down.

Affiliations: 1: Gnadenthal 12, 65597 Hünfelden Germany


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