A religious house for both men and women. The two sexes lived in separate but contiguous establishments, worshipped in distinct parts of a common church, and were ruled by a common superior. Such monasteries are first found in the E. in the last years of the Roman Empire. In the W. they were numerous in 6th- and 7th-cent. France, England, and Germany. Most disappeared in the 9th and 10th cents., but they were revived by some of the smaller monastic orders in the 12th cent., including that of St Gilbert of Sempringham.
Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).