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Learned borrowing from Latin coenobium (monastery, monastic community), from the Koine Greek κοινόβιον (koinóbion, monastery, monastic community), from κοινόβιος (koinóbios, communal living), from κοινός (koinós, common, shared) + βίος (bíos, life).



cenobium (plural cenobiums or cenobia)

  1. A monastery, a monastic community.
    • 1966, E. C. Butler, Chapter XVIII: Monasticism, H. M. Gwatkin, J. P. Whitney (editors), The Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 1, page 529,
      There were the cenobia, or monasteries proper, where the life was according to the lines laid down by St Basil; and there were the lauras, wherein a semi-eremitical life was followed, the monks living in separate huts within the enclosure.
    • 2002, Robert Imperato, Early and Medieval Christian Spirituality[1], page 45:
      Psalmody refers to singing or reciting psalms; in the cenobium this was performed communally seven times a day.
    • 2011, John Michael Talbot, Blessings of St. Benedict, unnumbered page,
      Yet he also says that the cenobium is the better way for most. Monastic history began with hermits and developed from loose colonies to formal communities.
    • 2012, Mark Sheridan, From the Nile to the Rhone and Beyond: Studies in Early Monastic Literature and Scriptural Interpretation[2], page 417:
      The cenobium is the proper locus for the acquisition of virtue and in the nineteenth conference he has the Abbot John, who had passed thirty years in the cenobium, twenty as an anchorite and then returned to the cenobium, expound the dangers of the desert and the advantages of the cenobium.

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