The Church has known forms of consecrated life since its foundation. However, the phenomena that people band together for the sake of religion and with the idea that good things and happiness can come about by these bonded lifestyles can be traced to ancient cultures. There is early evidence in pre-Christian classical cultures of small social groups that band together for the sake of religious belief. The examples and types of common life listed below by no means touch the immense range of such bandings and bindings. The point is simply to give brief examples.
Frisk, M. Jean
"Brief Historical Overview of Consecrated Life,"
Marian Library Studies:
Vol. 31, Article 17, Pages 11-28.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/ml_studies/vol31/iss1/17