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Document Details :
Title: Five Leaves from a Copy of Shenute's Third Canon
Author(s): YOUNG, D.W.
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 113 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2000
It is now generally known that many of Shenute’s numerous works were organized into a set of nine volumes, each given the ancient designation κανων. A particular Canon consists largely or entirely of a collection of teachings (commonly in the form of expository epistles) intended to instruct and promote obedience to vows within the cloisters. On the whole, the date of their composition and compilation is uncertain, but there is some evidence that part was written early in the abbot's lengthy life span. The First Canon shows he was grappling with misbehavior in the monastery even before he became its leader. The early material reveals, in addition, that Shenute was the third head of the community, rather than the second, as had generally been assumed. On the other hand, part of the material originated quite late. At least one work in the Third Canon came into being during Shenute’s old age, for within it he avers his life in the desert had already lasted more than a century.