Terra Sancti Benedicti

The Terra Sancti Benedicti ("Land of Saint Benedict") was the secular territory, or seignory, of the powerful Abbey of Montecassino, the chief monastery of the Mezzogiorno and one of the first Western monasteries: founded by Benedict of Nursia himself, hence the name of its possessions. It lasted from the 8th to the 19th century.

Rocca Janula, Cassino

The "Terra Sancti Benedicti" was part of larger states, according to the historical succession, from the Duchy of Benevento to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Despite the wide autonomy it enjoyed in some periods, it was never, neither de jure nor de facto, an independent state, as were the Italian city-states of Northern and Central Italy. The nature of the dominion of the Abbey of Montecassino has sometimes been improperly assimilated to these Italian states. The "Terra Sancti Benedicti" is therefore an integral part of the Terra di Lavoro and has always followed its political vicissitudes.[1]