to the armchair explorer's guide to a medieval abbey.
monks live in self sufficient simplicity, pray for other's souls,
imbibe on wine from their vineyards, (a little
too much, says St. Benedict) heal common maladies with herbs
from their gardens, pray, protect fugitives from the law, teach
local children, and pray and pray.
their scriptoriums and libraries, monastic
scribes are the saviors of ancient civilizations from the likes
of Vandals and Visigoths, now running rampant through Europe after
the Rome's inevitable fall.
in the field, monastic farmers are the agricultural experts of their
time, taking on any craggy outcropping and turning it into a verdant
humble beginnings, these hard working landowners have come to hold
vast influence over local political life, and so it is no coincidence
that the rise of the monasteries is closely tied to the power attained
by the Church entire, for good or ill.
now, take a look at the day-to-day lives of a typical monastic community
- a major social hub anywhere they happened to settle. Up
ahead, a virtual abbey...now under construction...