A general theory of monodromy preserving deformation is developed for a system of linear ordinary differential equations dY dx=A(x)Y, where A(x) is a rational matrix. The non-linear deformation equations are derived and their complete integrability is proved. An explicit formula is found for a 1-form ω, expressed rationally in terms of the coefficients of A(x), that has the property dω=0 for each solution of the deformation equations. Examples corresponding to the "soliton" and "rational" solutions are discussed.
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