320 The Egyptian Contribution to Christianity Roman Army was the one great model of efficient organization then in sight: the community was divided into various 'houses', each practising one trade and each under a prior, the whole assembling for Vespers and the Night Office. It was left to a monk's choice whether he shared in the communal meals or drew rations of bread and salt to eat in his own cell. Every August, at the Coptic New Year, the community assembled and elected officers for the ensuing year. When necessary the monks went out to work in the fields with the peasants of the neighbourhood and food was sent out to them from the monastery. Pakhom's rule had a wider influence than over the monasteries associated with what might be called his order, and many other monasteries adopted portions of his rule or imitated his system without following the whole of his discipline. St. Athanasius visited the monastery at Tabennesi and was warmly welcomed as a defender of the faith. Pakhom's influence lay chiefly in Upper Egypt, but branch houses existed as far away as the Delta.* Monastic history generally is a record of successive reforms and relaxations, very much as is the history of the Church at large. After Pakhom came a reformer in the person of Shenoute, who died probably about 451. Nephew of the abbot of Atripe near Akhmim, he was trained in his uncle's monastery and succeeded him as abbot. In his day he enjoyed fame as a vigorous administrator and drastic reformer of the existing monasteries and convents. But his influence was confined to the Coptic community and his name was hardly known to the Greek-speaking clergy of Alexandria. Thus Shenoute's name never appears in Western calendars, though they mention Paul of Thebes, Antony, and Pakhom. Still he, as one of the leading Egyptian abbots, attended the Council of Ephesus in 431. His reforming activities were chiefly connected with the two great monasteries known as 'the White Monastery' (Deir el-Abyad) on the rising ground west of Sohag, and the 'Red Monastery'