The system of double monasteries, or monasteries for both men and women, is as old as that of Christian monasticism itself, though the phrase "monasteria duplicia" dates from about the C6. The term was also sometimes applied to twin monasteries for men; Bede uses it in this sense with reference to Wearmouth and Yarrow, while he generally speaks of a double monastery as "monasterium virginum." The use of the word "double" is important. The... more...