While Pachomius is generally considered as the father of cenobitic monasticism, some scholars note that other cenobitic groups had preceded his efforts. Examples of such groups included communities of [[heresy|heretical]] Melitians and Manichaeans who may have adopted the idea from other cenobitic monastic groups, such as the Buddhists and Elkasites, who already were practicing the cenobitic tradition. Thus, the idea of cenobitic monasticism cannot be traced to a single source. In the history of cenobitic monasticism, Pachomius was the first to bring separate monasteries together in a larger, more organized structure.
Initially, monks were prohibited from becoming [[clergy]]. As monasticism grew, its “charismatic” nature led to overzealousness and extremes, to the extent that the zealots began to advocate monasticism for all Christians. These practices were condemned by the Council of Gangra in 343. As monasticism developed into a strong movement in the life of the Church, the Church also shaped the monastic movement. In part this was accomplished as the Church encouraged a convergence of monasticism and the clergy. Monks were now [[
ordinated|ordained]] in a special religious service, the [[tonsure]], at which the monk subscribed to special monastic vows.
As monasticism spread to Asia Minor, [[Basil the Great|St. Basil]], [[Archbishop]] of Caesaria in Cappadocia, with influence from Eustathius of Sebastia, formulated two significant sets of rules for regulation of cenobitic monastic life. These were the ''Great Rules'' and the ''Brief Rule'', which regulate cenobitic monastic life, extolling it as the ideal Christian life while noting the dangers of solitary anchorite life. St. Basil’s ''Rules'' became the monastic standard in the East, while in the West both this work and that of St. [[Benedict of Nursia]] were the most common influences.
*Mar Awgin founded a monastery on Mount Izla above Nisibis in Mesopotamia from which the cenobitic tradition spread through Mesopotamia, Persia, Armenia, and Georgia.
*[[Sabbas the Sanctified]] organized, in 483, the monks of the Judean Desert into a monastery that was to bear his name, the [[Holy Lavra of St. Savas (Jerusalem)|Lavra of St. Savas]], which is considered the mother of all Orthodox monasteries.
*Benedict of Nursia, using a modified Basilian rule, founded, in 529, the Monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy, which became the seed for monasticism in western Europe.