In the year 529 a.d., St. Benedict, an Italian of noble birth and great reputation, introduced into his new monastery on Monte Cassino—a hill between Rome and Naples—a new monastic rule. To the three vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, which formed the foundation of most of the old rules, he added another, that of manual labour (for seven hours a day), not only for self-support, but also as a duty to God and man.
Europe, 500 A.D.
Map of Europe, 500 A.D.
The irruption of the Ephthalites is memorable not so much because of its permanent effects as because of the atrocities perpetrated by the invaders. These Ephthalites very closely resembled the Huns of Attila in their barbarism; they merely raided, they produced no such dynasty as the Kushan monarchy; and their chiefs retained their headquarters in Western Turkestan. Mihiragula, their most capable leader, has been called the Attila of India. One of his favourite amusements, we are told, was the expensive one of rolling elephants down precipitous places in order to watch their sufferings. His abominations roused his Indian tributary princes to revolt, and he was overthrown. But the final ending of the Ephthalite raids into India was effected not by Indians, but by the destruction of the central establishment of the Ephthalites on the Oxus (565) by the growing power of the Turks, working in alliance with the Persians.
Seal of King Chilpéric, found in his Tomb at Tournay in 1654.
Saints in the costume of the sixth century
Costume of King Clovis (Sixth Century).--From a Statue on his Tomb, formerly in the Abbey of St. Geneviève.