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Encyclopedia > Monte Cassino
The restored Abbey.
The restored Abbey.

Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about 130 km (80 miles) south of Rome, Italy, a mile to the west of the town of Cassino (the Roman Casinum having been on the hill) and 520 m (1,700 ft) altitude. It is noted as the site where Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery, the source of the Benedictine Order, around 529, and of major battles towards the end of World War II. Download high resolution version (1280x960, 468 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1280x960, 468 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban... Cassino is a comune in the province of Frosinone, Italy, at the southern end of the region of Lazio. ... Casinum, an ancient town of Italy, probably of Volscian origin. ... Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. ... Monastery of St. ... A Benedictine is a person who follows the Rule of St Benedict. ... For other uses, see number 529. ... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict...


As so often with early Christian institutions, the monastery was constructed on an older pagan site, a temple of Apollo that crowned the hill, enclosed by a fortifying wall above the small town of Cassino, still largely pagan at the time and recently devastated by the Goths. Benedict's first act was to smash the sculpture of Apollo and destroy the altar. He rededicated the site to John the Baptist. Once established there, Benedict never left. At Monte Cassino he wrote the Benedictine Rule that became the founding principle for western monasticism. There at Monte Cassino he received a visit from Totila, king of the Ostrogoths, perhaps in 543 (the only remotely secure historical date for Benedict), and there he died. Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... Invasion of the Goths: a late 19th century painting by O. Fritsche, is a highly romanticized portrait of the Goths as cavalrymen. ... Mural depiction of Jesus baptism by the hand of John, Jordan River, Jordan The excavated remains of the baptism site in Bethany beyond the Jordan John the Baptist (also called John the Baptiser, or Yahya the Baptiser) was a 1st century Jewish preacher and ascetic regarded as a prophet by... St. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Totila, born in Treviso, was king of the Ostrogoths, chosen after the death of his uncle Ildibad, having engineered the assassination of Ildibads short-lived successor his cousin Eraric in 541. ...

View across the valley.
View across the valley.

Monte Cassino became a model for future developments. Unfortunately its protected site has always made it an object of strategic importance. It was sacked or destroyed a number of times. In 584 the Lombards sacked the Abbey, and the surviving monks fled to Rome, where they remained for more than a century. During this time the body of St Benedict was transferred to Fleury, the modern Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire near Orleans, France. A flourishing period of Monte Cassino followed its re-establishment in 718 by Abbot Petronax, when among the monks were Carloman, son of Charles Martel; Ratchis, predecessor of the great Lombard Duke and King Astolf; and Paul the Deacon, the historian of the Lombards. In 744, a donation of Gisulf II of Benevento created the Terra Sancti Benedicti, the secular lands of the abbacy, which were subject to the abbot and nobody else save the pope. Thus, the monastery became the capital of a state comprising a compact and strategic region between the Lombard principality of Benevento and the Byzantine city-states of the coast (Naples, Gaeta, and Amalfi). In 883 Saracens sacked and then burned it down. Among the great historians who worked at the monastery, in this period there is Erchempert, whose Historia Langobardorum Beneventanorum is a fundamental chronicle of the ninth-century Mezzogiorno. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2272x1704, 943 KB) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2272x1704, 943 KB) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Events The Visigoths conquer the Suevi kingdom in Spain. ... The Lombards (Latin Langobardi, whence the alternative name Longobards found in older English texts), were a Germanic people originally from Northern Europe that entered the late Roman Empire. ... Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire is a commune of the Loiret département, in France. ... Saint Petronax of Monte Cassino ( Petronace di Monte Cassino) (ca. ... Carloman (716–754) was the son of Charles Martel, major domo or Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia and Chrotrud. ... Ratchis was duke of Friuli (739-744) and king of the Lombards (744-749). ... Aistulf (749 - d. ... Paul the Deacon (c. ... Events February - Hildeprand succeeds Liutprand as king of the Lombards. ... Gisulf II (died between 749 and 753) was the third last duke of Benevento before the fall of the Lombard kingdom. ... The Terra Sancti Benedicti (Land of Saint Benedict) was the secular territory, or seignory, of the powerful Abbey of Montecassino, the chief monastery of the Mezzogiorno and one of the first Western monasteries: founded by Benedict of Nursia himself, hence the name of its possessions. ... The Duchy of Benevento was the southernmost Lombard duchy in medieval Italy, centred on Benevento, a city central in the Mezzogiorno. ... The Duchy of Naples (Latin: Ducatus Neapolitanus), born as a Byzantine province governed by a military commander (dux), rapidly became a de facto independent state, lasting more than five centuries during the Early and High Middle Ages. ... Gaeta (ancient Latin name Caieta) is a city in Province of Latina, in Lazio, Italy. ... The Amalfi coast. ... Events Oldest known mentioning of the city of Duisburg. ... For the rugby club Saracens see Saracens (rugby club) The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi. ... Erchempert (also Herempert, Latin: , Italian: ) was a monk of Monte Cassino in the final quarter of the ninth century. ... Regions usually associated with the Mezzogiorno, with darker areas more closely tied to it. ...

The façade of the church.
The façade of the church.

It was rebuilt and reached the apex of its fame in the 11th century under the abbot Desiderius (abbot 1058 - 1087), who later became Pope Victor III. The number of monks rose to over two hundred, and the library, the manuscripts produced in the scriptorium and the school of manuscript illuminators became famous throughout the West. The unique Beneventan script flourished there during Desiderius' abbacy. The buildings of the monastery were reconstructed on a scale of great magnificence, artists being brought from Amalfi, Lombardy, and even Constantinople to supervise the various works. The abbey church, rebuilt and decorated with the utmost splendor, was consecrated in 1071 by Pope Alexander II. A detailed account of the abbey at this date exists in the Chronica monasterii Cassinensis by Leo of Ostia and Amatus of Monte Cassino gives us our best source on the early Normans in the south. Download high resolution version (1280x960, 491 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1280x960, 491 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 11th century was that century which lasted from 1001 to 1100. ... The Blessed Victor III, born as Dauferius (Benevento, 1026? – September 16, 1087), Pope (May 24, 1086 until his death), was the successor of Pope Gregory VII (1073–85). ... A Scriptorium was a room or building, usually within a Christian monastery where, during medieval times, manuscripts were written. ... Rule of St. ... Alexander II (died April 21, 1073), born Anselmo da Baggio , Pope from 1061 to 1073, was a native of Milan. ... Leo Marsicanus (meaning of the Marsi) was of noble birth and became a monk in Monte Cassino around 1061. ... Amatus of Montecassino (Amatus Casinensis), a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Montecassino is one of three Italo-Norman chroniclers, the others being William of Apulia and Goffredo Malaterra. ... Norman conquests in red. ...


Abbot Desiderius sent envoys to Constantinople some time after 1066 to hire expert Byzantine mosaicists for the decoration of the rebuilt abbey church. According to chronicler Leo of Ostia the Greek artists decorated the apse, the arch and the vestibule of the basilica. Their work was admired by contemporaries but was totally destroyed in later centuries except two fragments depicting greyhounds (now in the Monte Cassino Museum). "The abbot in his wisdom decided that great number of young monks in the monastery should be thoroughly initiated in these arts" - says the chronicler about the role of the Greeks in the revival of mosaic art in medieval Italy. The Blessed Victor III, born as Dauferius (Benevento, 1026? – September 16, 1087), Pope (May 24, 1086 until his death), was the successor of Pope Gregory VII (1073–85). ... Map of Constantinople. ... Leo Marsicanus (meaning of the Marsi) was of noble birth and became a monk in Monte Cassino around 1061. ...

The Polish flag flying over the rubble of Monte Cassino, 1944.
The Polish flag flying over the rubble of Monte Cassino, 1944.

An earthquake damaged the Abbey in 1349, and although the site was rebuilt it marked the beginning of a long period of decline. In 1321, Pope John XXII made the church of Monte Cassino a cathedral, and the carefully preserved independence of the monastery from episcopal interference was at an end. In 1505 the monastery was joined with that of St. Justina of Padua. The site was sacked by Napoleon's troops in 1799 and from the dissolution of the Italian monasteries in 1866, Monte Cassino became a national monument. There was a final destruction on February 15, 1944 when during the four battles of Monte Cassino (January - May 1944), the entire building was pulverized in a series of heavy air-raids. The Abbey was rebuilt after the war, financed by the Italian State. Pope Paul VI reconsecrated it in 1964. Source: Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum This work is copyrighted. ... Source: Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum This work is copyrighted. ... // Events January 9 - The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland is rounded up and incinerated, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing bubonic plague. ... Pope John XXII, born Jacques Duèze or dEuse (1249 – December 4, 1334), was the son of a shoemaker in Cahors. ... 1505 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1799 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... February 15 is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Poland New Zealand Canada Free France India and others Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark Clark Oliver Leese Albert Kesselring Heinrich von Vietinghoff Frido von Senger Strength 105,000 80,000 Casualties 54,000 20,000 The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Pope Paul VI (Latin: ), (Italian: Paolo VI), born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (September 26, 1897 – August 6, 1978), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and as sovereign of Vatican City from 1963 to 1978. ...


The archives, besides a vast number of documents relating to the history of the abbey, contained some 1400 irreplaceable manuscript codices, chiefly patristic and historical. By great foresight on the part of Lt.Col. Julius Schlegel (a Catholic), a Vienna-born German officer, and Captain Maximilian Becker (a Protestant), both from the Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, these were all transferred to the Vatican at the beginning of the battle. First page of the Codex Argenteus A codex (Latin for block of wood, book; plural codices) is a handwritten book, in general, one produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. ... Polizeiabteilung z. ...


Reference

  • Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908.

External links

Coordinates: 41°29′24″N, 13°48′50″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Abbey of Monte Cassino (1797 words)
Monte Cassino involved the abbey in the constant political struggles of the period.
Monte Cassino, collected monks from other houses to reinforce the community, and in 1370 appointed Andrew of Faenza, a Camaldolese, as superior.
Monte Cassino is the property of the Italian Government, which has declared it a national monument; the abbot, however, is recognized as Guardian in view of his administration of the
Abbey of Monte Cassino (2004 words)
The town of Cassinum (Cassino), lying at the foot of the mountain, had been destroyed by the Goths some thirty-five years earlier, but a temple of Apollo still crowned the summit of the mountain, and the few remaining inhabitants were still sunk in idolatry.
The bishops of Monte Cassino, nominated at Avignon, were secular prelates who never visited the diocese, but who appropriated the income of the abbey to their personal use.
At the present day Monte Cassino is the property of the Italian Government, which has declared it a national monument; the abbot, however, is recognized as Guardian in view of his administration of the diocese.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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