No woman may sleep in a monastery of men, nor any man in a monastery of women. For it behoves the faithful to be without offence and to give no scandal, and to order their lives decorously and honestly and acceptably to God. But if any one shall have done this, whether he be cleric or layman, let him be cut off.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLVII.
It is not allowed that a woman should sleep in a convent of men, nor a man in a monastery of women.
The ground covered by this canon is also found in Justinians Code, Book xliv., Of Bishops and Clergy. Vide also Novella cxxxiii., chap. v.
From the whole context of Justinians law it is manifest that Justinian here is condemning “double monasteries,” in which both men and women dwelt. And he wishes such to be separated, the men from the women, and e contra the women from the men, and that each should dwell in separate monasteries.
The reader may be reminded of some curious double religious houses in England for men and women, of which sometimes a woman was the superior of both.