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For REAL history of the Cistercians see THIS page:

--Owenaprhys 1 November 2005 02:41 (UTC)

I'd really like to read this history, but the link is broken — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:39, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

This article needs some more headers; I don't think I'm quite fit to introduce them though. --Kiwibird 3 July 2005 02:41 (UTC)

I removed the TOCright template as it didn't seem appropriate for this article. See templates for deletion discussion for rationale. QVanillaQ 6 July 2005 01:02 (UTC)

I removed the word 'Gimey' as I can find no authentic reference to this being a name for the Cistercians. --Owenaprhys

Possible Plagiarism?[edit]

While searching for info on the Cistercians, I noticed that the third paragraph of this article cuts and pastes heavily from the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1910. Since it's an old book, I doubt there's a copyright violation, but I don't use Wikipedia much and I don't know if there's an internal policy against this sort of thing. It seems like it would be nice to at least cite the Encyclopedia Britannica as the source of most of that paragraph. Here's a link to the page in question: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Coat of Arms[edit]

The coat of arms depicted appear to be those of France with an escutcheon of Burgundy; i.e., more appropriate as the arms of the Abbey of Citeaux rather than of the entire Cistercian order.

I disagree: it is the coat of arms for all of the Cistercian order, but all the individual abbeys, priories, &tc have their own coat of arms in addition to this. Please visit the OCSO official website for confirmation. +Br Geoff van der Weegen O.Cist (

Cistercians Influence on Wine[edit]

There is quite a bit of information that can go here, potentially enough for its own article. However, I think it would be best to keep it contained in this article. I'm going to be working on putting some things together for this addition. Any other input would be appreciated! Agne27 04:01, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

On the topic of alcohol I have a 100ml bottle of an aromatic digestive liquor given to us by an Italian Cistercian monk originally from Casamari. It has an anise or kind of liquorice flavor and is 180 proof and is a clear yellow color before mixed with water. From the bottle I cannot tell if it is called Tintura Imperiale or Gocce Imperiali. One of these must be the name and the other a descriptor though they both sound like descriptors. It It turned cloudy white when some drops hit ice water as described for Arak and Ouzo which I am not familiar with.Halconen (talk) 14:54, 4 June 2011 (UTC)


If I remember, any item listed as the source of a footnote should also be listed in the list of references, which is not the case with this article yet. Otherwise, I believe the article probably qualifies as "B", and have indicated as much above. John Carter 14:58, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I have altered the citation of Tobin to be consistent with other references, but the citation of Maitland is still incomplete. Peterkingiron 20:31, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

List of Monasteries[edit]

This list seems to be growing out of proportion with the article. Almost all the monasteries have articles, so that a list has little merit in its own right (as a means of identifying articles that are needed. Might I suggest that the list should be deleted since they already appear in thecategory Category:Cistercian monasteries. Peterkingiron 11:22, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I not the lack of response to the above. Perhpas an alternative would be for the list to be forked into a separate article. This should tabulate the monasteries with date of creation and abolition. It should be divided by country, not merely continent, and should perhaps segregate existing monasteries (some of which are quite recent) for ancient ones. A further column should deal with sub-classifications, such as trappist. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
That is a much better idea. Dgf32 (talk) 15:35, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I will look into doing this in the future. --Grimhelm (talk) 12:54, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry I made a lot of edits without looking at this very recent discussion. The Cistercians in Yorkshire project at the University of Sheffield [1] is a great source. I propose to use it to make daughter pages on List of Cistercian abbeys in Britain and List of Cistercian abbeys in Ireland. There is also some comment on the Sheffield website that could be used in this article about the spread of the order in Britain and the association with sheep farming. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I did not see this comment, and as a result I went ahead with a different list. I think that we will only list the abbeys that are UNESCO Heritage Sites in the main article (Cistercians), and the rest will go to List of Cistercian monasteries. This list is organised by general region and then by the date of founding. Some sections of the list will have to be split off eventually, so having separate lists of British abbeys and Irish abbeys is also good to have (as there are so many of them in these areas).
New information on the order's spread and sheepfarming in Britain can be kept in this article in the history section. --Grimhelm (talk) 16:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Problem with image of consecration of Cluny[edit]

Given that the Cistercian order came into existence in part as a critical response to the Cluniac order and its opulence, it doesn't seem to me appropriate or relevant -- and may even be confusing to someone trying to learn about the Cistercians -- to have an image of the consecration of Cluny in this article. I would argue that it belongs in the article about Cluny or the Cluniac order. Why is it here? Just because Cluny is mentioned? Jjshapiro (talk) 22:56, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I see your point. A picture of Citeaux would have been more appropriate for the Polity section, but the pictures of Citeaux on Wikipedia are a little later than the founding of the order. Do you have any suggestions? --Grimhelm (talk) 23:13, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
No, not from what's present in my brain. I'm aware of that problem, and am not enough of a scholar of the period to be aware of any. I recently moved, and I have one or two art books about the Cistercians, but the books are in storage for a while, so I won't be able to look in them for a while. I suppose a Web search is in order. I actually know, very slightly, a monk in a French Cistercian monastery, and if other sources don't lead anywhere, I suppose I could write to him, but I have a general sense of not wanting to intrude into his and the monastery's spiritual life. Jjshapiro (talk) 00:38, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "Woods" :
    • Woods, p 37
    • David Derbyshire, 'Henry "Stamped Out Industrial Revolution"', ''[[The Daily Telegraph]]'' (21 June 2002); cited by Woods, p 37.

DumZiBoT (talk) 10:28, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

"Roman" Catholic[edit]

Some one, who has not bothered to sign in, objects to the description "Roman" on the basis that this large Christian sect call themselves simply "Catholic". What they call themselves is irrelevant. The question is what other people call them. There are also "Old Catholics" and "Anglo-Catholics" who may equally call themselves Catholic. I have not reverted the changes, because they have not caused redlinks, but please bear in mind that Wikipedia is a worldwide encyclopaedia and has to use neutral point of view language. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

The reason the Catholic Church is so-called on Wikipedia is actually because of Wikipedia naming conventions, and the objection here is simply that there are Catholics who adhere to the Papacy but are not "Roman". The official name of the Christian denomination is "Catholic", not "Roman Catholic". The Catholic Church is composed of several substituent churches in communion with the Papacy: "Roman Catholic" refers to one such church which follows the Latin Rite, but excludes the 22 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches which are also in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
In this case, what religious groups call themselves is relevant. The Old Catholics and Anglo-Catholics exist as part of a separate tradition within the Union of Utrecht and the Anglican communion respectively, but are of course described using their own terminology for neutrality on Wikipedia. To describe the larger Catholic Church simply as the "Roman Catholic Church", however, would be not only to ignore the Catholic Church's own terminology, but to exclude other churches such as the Maronite Catholic Church, which has always existed in communion with the Bishop of Rome.
I will admit I was also a bit confused when I saw the change to this article, given that the Cistercians are generally part of the Latin Rite anyway, but given the naming convention for both Catholic Church and Catholic religious order, I think the change is valid. --Grimhelm (talk) 21:55, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Please note that Anglicans are both "Catholic" and "Reformed". For Anglicans it remains a real annoyance that the Church of Rome claims to be Catholic as if they owned this title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

History -- Foundation[edit]

(I deleted a post because I figured it out.)CorinneSD (talk) 23:41, 20 April 2013 (UTC) Even though I figured out that ″Molesme″ in the phrase ″In Robert's absence from Molesme″ at the end of the second paragraph refers to the Cluniac monastery in Burgundy that is referred to at the beginning of the first paragraph, I still feel that it is a bit unclear for the reader. At the beginning of the first paragraph, we read ″In 1098,..., Robert of Molesme, left his monastery in Burgundy." However, unless the reader knows about this Cluniac monastery or French geography, it is not clear whether Molesme is the name of the monastery or the name of the town in which the monastery is located (or both). The reader must make a mental leap to connect ″Molesme″ at the end of the second paragraph with a place, not just Robert's name. The last sentence in the second paragraph would be clearer if someone who knows the subject matter would make it clear somewhere in the first or second paragraph whether Robert's monastery was actually called Molesme Abbey at that time or whether it was just the name of the town in which the monastery was located. Then it would be clear to what the "Molesme" at the end of the second paragraph refers. (This comment re-worded August 2013.) CorinneSD (talk) 20:15, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Monasteries are more routinely called by the location in which they stand, especially among the Cistercians. Thus, e.g., a Cistercian monastery in Paris would be formally called the Abbey of Our Lady of Paris, or simply Paris Abbey. Daniel the Monk (talk) 22:42, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. I guess for those who are familiar with monasteries and orders there is no lack of clarity in the second paragraph. I am still a little bit puzzled, however, because earlier today I read the entry in Wikepedia for Molesme and it said that it was the name of a town that grew up around the monastery. If the monastery was there first, how could it be named for the town? Was the monastery named for a tiny village that was there before the monastery was built? CorinneSD (talk) 00:06, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
In the days when vast forests still covered Europe, features of the site could contribute to a name. I note, however, that according to the entry on Molesmes, it was previously the site of a Roman settlement. Presumably, in this case, it is a corrupted form of the old Latin name. Daniel the Monk (talk) 06:39, 4 August 2013 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus. -- tariqabjotu 04:45, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

  • CisterciansCistercian – Encyclopedia entries should be in the singular. Tried to move this myself, but system wouldn't let me. Target is currently a redirect. Eric talk 11:51, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Not sure about this one. This is a religious order and in that context it would seem always to be properly pluralized. When we speak of them we say "the Cistercians". Cutting the other way, we might answer the question what kind of monk is he", with "Cistercian", but we might also say "he's of the Cistercians". Not that this is determinative—it could just mean many need to be moved—but all similarly situated articles I've looked at are at plural names, e.g., Carmelites, Trappists, Alexians, Canossians, Assumptionists, etc. Anyway, this does not appear to me to be clear cut as it would be were this some more straightforward, generic plural noun, and I think it should be discussed. If we determine this should be singular, that would be precedent for related moves.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 15:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes, the plural entry name is a widespread phenomenon on Wikipedia--one of the delights of having an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. So we get titles like Vikings and Greeks instead of "Viking (people)", "Greek (people)". No professional reference work lists entries in the plural, but we ain't striving for that standard, I guess. Now I just got the idea from looking at the French article that I should have proposed "Cistercian order". Eric talk 16:54, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
      • Oppose It would be inaccurate to use the singular for the title of an entry as it is an adjective, not a noun. In your own example, it answers the question "what kind [of monk]?". Cistercian Order would be a more logical title for me as well, but, with the exception of the Society of Jesus, the group form does seem to be the standard one used here. Daniel the Monk (talk) 19:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
        • I don't think you'll find any plural adjective entries in a dictionary or encyclopedia. I think you will find that in most reference works, the Cistercian entry is in the singular, and is classified as a noun. Examples: Encyclopedia Britannica, AHD. Eric talk 03:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia uses the plural, [2] but I don't think that it's clearly a noun even in the EB, which does include the term "monk" in the variant forms of the name, which is assumed in the singular usage. It's the same as the use of "Greeks" noted above. Daniel the Monk (talk) 04:22, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The article is about the Cistercians as an order, not an individual Cistercian. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:10, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Best left I think. "Cistercian Order" is technically correct but rarely seen (I suppose because their importance is essentially a thing of the distant past). Johnbod (talk) 13:19, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
    • I'm not putting forth some radical new notion here, friends. Take a look at a dictionary or encyclopedia other than Wikipedia—my above links might be a good start. In long-established practice, reference works list entry terms in the singular. An encyclopedia listing a term in the singular does not exclude the possibility of there being more than one of the thing in the universe. For example, Webster's listing of the term cat does not imply that there is only one cat in the world.
    • As for "Cistercian Order" being a rare term, the Cistercians are an order, so I doubt "Cistercian Order" would cause any confusion. If that term really is rarely used, I'd guess it's because while most people today probably don't know the word Cistercian, those who do might not bother to add the word order because it's already understood among the Cistercian-aware. Eric talk 14:00, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
      • Note that Wikipedia does many things differently from other encyclopaedias. For instance, we use common names instead of full names in our article titles. Another work doing something one way creates no precedent for us. When we describe a cat we are describing the animal known as a cat. When we describe Cistercians we are not describing a person known as a Cistercian but an organisation known as the Cistercians. There's a big difference. Under WP:COMMONNAME they are commonly known as the Cistercians and not the Cistercian Order. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:59, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
        • Noted many times, with regret, in the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. I'd love to see a comprehensive poll of English speakers that shows people being familiar with the term Cistercians while stumbling on Cistercian Order or Cistercian. On second thought, I wouldn't. Eric talk 17:42, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
          • I admit I mainly come across the term in terms of medieval architecture and history, which is perhaps the general experience as they are not today an order with a high public profile - very much the reverse. There references are most often to "Cistercian" as an adjective, for which the current plural title is I think the best compromise between our naming conventions and a form readily understood by those not familiar with the term. Johnbod (talk) 13:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Checking Category:Roman_Catholic_orders_and_societies, the plural name seems common with "Order of ..." next most common and the singular least common. If this one moves a number of others should as well. (talk) 13:15, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Constitution and Rule[edit]

(This exchange moved from Eric's talk page.) I understand your reason for reverting my edit, changing "Constitution and rule" back to "Constitution and Rule", in Cistercians. (See also discussion about this at User talk:Rothorpe). However, I had to search back in the lead/lede to find "The Rule of St. Benedict". I did not see any mention of it in this section. Don't you think, if the section heading reads, "Constitution and Rule", there should be some mention of the Rule of St. Benedict (I assume this refers to the title of a book) in that section? –CorinneSD (talk) 01:06, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi Corinne- My initial impulse was to revert Nicholasbufano's capitalization. Then it occurred to me that the section must be covering the Cistercians' version or interpretation of the Benedictines' code, which I have always seen referred to as the "Rule of Saint Benedict". I agree with you that if that is the purpose of the section, it ought to mention the Rule of St B and how the Cistercians depart from it. But I'm no expert here, did not read the section before now, and have not participated in writing the article, only copyediting it. It might be best to move this and/or the Rothorpe talk page discussion to a new section on the Cistercians talk page. Eric talk 04:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I am not an expert, either. Perhaps other editors will be able to address this. CorinneSD (talk) 23:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Corinne, I received your request to look at this. Reading what I can of the discussion, I'm still not really sure what the dispute is about. If it is about including the term "Rule" (which as a specific document would be capitalized), I agree that it doesn't appear in the text of the article. The focus seems to be on the Charter of Charity and Cistercian practice.
Perhaps it would be better simply to entitle the section with the name of the Charter. If people want to keep the word Constitution, in monastic usage it is used in the plural. Daniel the Monk (talk) 01:52, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your informative reply. It's not really a dispute. It just began with my changing the capitalized "Rule" to "rule" (following WP:MOSHEAD, followed by Eric's undoing it because he understood it to be referring to the "Rule of St. Benedict", which was a book title. Then I realized that that did not appear in the section, and neither of us knew what to do next. That's why I contacted you. Your comment makes perfect sense, but I do not know enough about the topic to make the decision to change the heading (and whether or not to keep the word "Constitution", or "Constitutions", in the heading). You seem to know more about it than we do. Do you want to "be bold" and go ahead and change the section heading? CorinneSD (talk) 15:00, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Done. Please advise if you discern any problem with my edit. Daniel the Monk (talk) 04:15, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Again, understanding that I'm not an expert by any means on this topic, but just speaking as an educated reader, I'd like to make a few points:
  • Your heading "Cistercian reform" is a good one, but upon reading the content of that section, it seems to me that there are not enough details specifically about that reform in that one section. and that there are several more important details that really describe the reforms in the next section that you have headed "Constitution of Charity". I'm wondering whether the two sections could be merged into one under the heading "Cistercian reform".
  • In the first section is the following sentence:
" Although the Cistercians originally regarded themselves as the "perfect", reformed Benedictines, they distinguished themselves from the monks of Benedictine houses by wearing white habits instead of black."
It seems to me that the second (independent) clause does not follow logically from the first. The connection is not clear. The two clauses merely provide two separate facts about the Cistercians and perhaps should simply be joined with "and" or a semi-colon, or not joined at all. CorinneSD (talk) 19:12, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I see your points. I think that the section I labeled as the reform also gives some details about their differences from general Benedictine practice, so I subordinated the section on the Charter to it, rather than combine them. This allows for highlighting the Charter, which is a significant document in Western monasticism.
I hope that my edit clarifies the point on their habit. Daniel the Monk (talk) 12:50, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand how you "subordinated the section on the Charter" to the section on the Cistercian reform; the headings are the same size and font. But I also want to add that the sentences, both the ones that were there and the newly added ones, are well-written.
Regarding the sentence on the habit, while it is somewhat clearer than before, I still don't understand why the change in habit is singled out as the one way the Cistercians "distinguished themselves" from the "unreformed" Benedictines. I can't imagine that it was the only way they distinguished themselves from the Benedictines. Are you saying that the change in habit came first, and that other changes followed? I should think that changes in ideas, attitudes, and behavior would come first, then signaled or reinforced by a change in the color of their habit. The way it is written suggests that the change in the color of their habit came first. CorinneSD (talk) 15:24, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I had noticed myself that the fonts of the section headings seem to be identical, but if you look at the article index, you will see that the section on the Charter is a subsection to that of the reform.
I'm not sure that I see your point on the habit. The paragraph speaks about the differences in lifestyle followed by the two groups before the mention of the distinction in habits. To me that should reflect a chronological sequence. Daniel the Monk (talk) 03:13, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Here is the beginning of the sentence as it is now:
"The Cistercians initially regarded themselves as regular Benedictines, albeit the "perfect", reformed ones, but they soon came to distinguish themselves from the monks of unreformed Benedictine communities by wearing white tunics instead of black,..."
To me, the sentence is almost all right, which means it could be left as it is. But it seems to me that there is something missing in the middle. The first clause says they "regarded themselves as regular Benedictines". That means that they considered themselves to be regular Benedictines, with just a slight difference. The second clause (after "but") says they soon adopted a different-colored habit in order to visually distinguish themselves from the regular Benedictines. What's missing in the middle is any indication of what occurred to make them feel they were really a distinct group, different enough from the regular Benedictines that they felt they ought to show the world (by a different-colored habit) that they were different, or even any indication that the adoption of a new habit was a reflection of a new attitude about themselves. If you think it's all right to skip over that change in their view of themselves, then all right. I'll defer to you since you seem to know more about the subject than I do. I guess you feel that it's clear enough as it is. I just wish you understood my point, that's all. CorinneSD (talk) 17:10, 17 June 2014 (UTC)