Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 August 2005
In Palestine, Christian monasticism began early in the fourth century C.E. The first monks known to us by name are Hilarion of Thavata, who lived in the region of Gaza; Epiphanius, who settled near Eleutheropolis, in the Shephelah; and Chariton, a native of Iconium in Asia Minor who became the founder of monasticism in the Judean Desert. The monastic movement spread throughout Palestine during the Byzantine period (324–642 C.E.), and the remains ofmonasteries have been found in diverse areas. Many monasteries were establishedin or around large cities, or at holy places and sites of pilgrimage, while others were set in desert areas.
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