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Benedict was born around 480 in a little Italian town called Nursia. His family belonged to the lower nobility of great landowners. Before reaching the age of twenty he had already been sent to Rome to study literature. However, Benedict did not enjoy the academic environment, nor the social decadence surrounding it. He felt the need for something else. He left again and went further inland this time. After a while he withdrew in order to live by himself, as his earliest biographer, Gregory the Great, puts it in his Dialogues.

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