Monasticism became part of European culture from the early period of Christianity and developed into a powerful institution that had a profound effect on the greater Church, on wider society, and on the landscape. Monastic communities were as diverse as the societies in which they lived, following a variety of rules, building monasteries influenced by common ideals and yet diverse in their regionalism, while also contributing to the economic and spiritual well-being inside and outside their precincts.
Cariboni, G., The Cistercians and the Laity in Thirteenth-Century Italy: The Familia Monastica, in Krasnodebska-d'aughton, M., Bhreathnach, E., Smith, S. K. (ed.), Monastic Europe. Medieval Communities, Landscapes, and Settlements, Brepols, Turnhout 2019: <<Medieval Monastic Studies>>, 4 195- 212 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/147570]