However, Irish monachism emerges into the full light of history, it was in its manifestations closely akin to the Egyptian, or even to the Syrian type: there was the same love of the eremitical life, the same craving after bodily austerities of an extraordinary kind, the same individualistic piety.
He served as a conscript in one of Constantine's campaigns, and on his return became a Christian (314); he at once went to live an eremitical life near Dendera by the Nile, putting himself under the guidance of an aged hermit.
Antonian monachism grew out of the purely eremitical life, and it retained many of the characteristic features inherited from its origin.
Monastic life here tended to revert to the eremitical form, and to this day Syrian and Armenian monks are to be found dwelling in caverns and desert places, and given up wholly to the practice of austerity and contemplation (see E.
On leaving Athens Basil visited the monasteries of Egypt and Palestine; in the latter country and in Syria the monastic life tended to become more and more eremitical and to run to great extravagances in the matter of bodily austerities (see Monasticism).
Here in one portion of the desert, named Cellia, the monks lived a purely eremitical life; but in Nitria (the Wadi Natron) they lived either alone, or two or three together, or in communities, as they preferred.
Some of these congregations went in the matter of austerity beyond the original idea of the institute; and so in the 16th century there arose in Spain, Italy and France, Discalced or Barefooted Hermits of St Augustine, who provided in each province one house wherein a strictly eremitical life might be led by such as desired it.
In all these lesser orders may be discerned the tendency of a return to the elements of Eastern monasticism discarded by St Benedict - to the eremitical life; to the purely contemplative life with little or no factor of work; to the undertaking of rigorous bodily austerities and penances - it was at this time that the practice of self-inflicted scourgings as a penitential exercise was introduced.
The monastic ideals prevalent were those of the Antonian monachism, with its hankering after the eremitical life and the practice of extreme bodily austerities.
Was an attempt to unite the eremitical and cenobitical modes of life.