Alice Mary Talbot, An Introduction to Byzantine Monasticism
The institution of monasticism was one of the most important characteristics of Byzantine society, and touched the life of virtually every imperial subject in many ways. First of all, a substantial number of Byzantine men and women took monastic vows: some in their youth, who pledged themselves to a lifetime of dedication to Christ; some in middle age, when their children were grown; many more at the end of their lives. Countless Byzantines, when they realized they were on their deathbed, took the monastic habit for their final hours or days, in the belief that, by dying in the holier monastic state, they were more likely to achieve salvation in the world to come.
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