According to Gregory, Benedict was born at Nursia, an area in the Sabine hills of central Italy (what is now the province of Umbria) in about 480.
After three years of living in seclusion, engaged in prayer and introspection broken only by brief contact with a monk named Romanus, he emerged from his cave and accepted the request of the local monks to become abbot of their monastery at Vicovaro.
Still persecuted by his more ambitious underlings, Benedict later traveled south and created his famous hilltop monastery, Monte Cassino, above the city of Cassino in the province of Campagna.
He resided at Monte Cassino for the remainder of his life as abbot of the monastery.
In addition to many passages aimed at the spiritual edification of monks, Benedict's Rule also contains a great many mundane or bureaucratic pronouncements designed to assure that the Benedictine monastery runs smoothly and in accordance with the decree of God.
Textual History Critics believe that Benedict drew on many sources for his Rule. Basil, and others, the Rule of Saint Benedict demonstrates a significant debt to the earlier treatise Regula magistri, or Rule of the Master, as well as to the thought of Abbot John Cassian of Marseilles.