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Chapter I.

Of the services of the third, sixth, and ninth hours, which are observed in the regions of Syria.

The nocturnal system of prayers and Psalms as observed throughout Egypt has been, I think, by God’s help, explained so far as our slender ability was able; and now we must speak of the services of Tierce, Sext, and None, according to the rule of the monasteries of Palestine and Mesopotamia, 716 as we said in the Preface, and must moderate by the customs of these the perfection and inimitable rigour of the discipline of the Egyptians.



According to S. Jerome, Hilarion was the first to introduce the monastic life into Palestine (Vita Hilar.). His work was carried on by his companion and pupil Hesycas and Epiphanius, afterwards Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus. In Asia Minor S. Basil was the greater organizer of monasticism, though, as he tells us, there were already many monks, not only in Egypt but also in Palestine, Cœlosyria, and Mesopotamia (Ep. ccxxiii.). See also on the early monks of Palestine and the East, Sozomen, H. E., Book VI., cc. xxxii.–xxxv.

Next: Chapter II. How among the Egyptians they apply themselves all day long to prayer and Psalm continually, with the addition of work, without distinction of hours.