The love of learning and the cultivation of a literary culture are central to the charism of Benedictine monasticism, and the Order of St. Benedict has produced countless illustrious authors over its fifteen centuries of existence. Indeed, throughout the Middle Ages, Benedictine monasteries functioned as the primary repositories of knowledge and the leading centers of learning for all Western Europe. In his Illustrious Authors of the Order of St. Benedict, the great early Renaissance abbot and polymath Johannes Trithemius compiled a catalogue of the outstanding writers of the order, from its inception in the early sixth century until the end of the fifteenth century. This magisterial and much-respected work of reference, which has not hitherto been available in English, provides not only encyclopedic biographical and bibliographic data on each Benedictine author, but is punctuated by many striking and illuminating anecdotes and observations. Moreover, it provides profound reflections on monastic life, values, and culture, and an insight into Trithemius's own remarkable personality and vision for his order.