A close reading of selected texts that reflect routine life in monasteries during the early and high Middle Ages suggests that monastic culture, centered around stability and obedience, long rejected or ignored the urban communities that emerged in northwestern Europe. This monastic attitude persisted until the late twelfth century, when urban institutions began to wield sufficient authority to maintain order in their areas and thus contribute to the preservation of the status quo. Even so, monks continued to perceive cities in an essentially feudal guise, as fortified spaces.

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