Some of us are going through Sketches from Church History by S M Houghton one small chapter at a time. (By the way, the book has pictures.) Aiding us in this study is the work book by Rebecca Frawley. Both are Banner of Truth books.
Now we are at
Chapter 5   Monasticism

Some keywords/names to remember/key ideas from this chapter are:

-Monasticism refers to a life of seclusion devoted to meditation and prayer in accordance to prescribed rules
-Antonius in Egypt wanted to follow Jesus’ command to the rich young ruler
-Stylites or Pillar Saints of Antioch in Syria, followers of Simeon (died in 459 AD). Simeon began with a pillar of about six feet and gradually increased it’s height, living for 30 years on a pillar 60 feet high. He preached to his many pillars from atop his pillar.
-Abbot Benedict who established a monastry near Naples in 529 AD.  Three vows required were poverty, chastity, and obedience
-Augustine (different from the Bishop of Hippo) of the Benedictine order took 40 monks to Canterbury and established a Benedictine monastery
-Positive points about monasticism: Seats of learning, copying of manuscripts, distribution of alms to the poor, cared for sick and afflicted, cultivation of fields
-Venerable Bede (673 to 735 AD), Father of English History, wrote The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.
-Columbia established a monastery in the Island of Iona in 583 AD and took the gospel to Scotland
-Aiden established a monastery in Holy Island, close to the Northumbrian coast; thus the gospel was preached in England.

    To read more about Sketches from Church History