[black monks]
The monks and nuns belonging to the Order of St Benedict (OSB). The rule dominated Europe from the 9c. They were required to remain in their community, always obeying the abbot. In England the order possessed great areas of land, becoming very rich and powerful. At the time of the Conquest their monasteries were the only sources of education and art in England: the Benedictine rule specified that a set number of hours each day should be set aside for work in the *scriptorium.
Cf. Cluny; Poor

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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