1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Orange (France)
ORANGE,, a town of south-eastern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vaucluse, 18 m. N. of Avignon on the railway from Lyons to MarseiUes. Pop. (1906) of the town, 6412; of the commune, 10,303. Orange is situated at some distance from the left bank of the Rhone, in the midst of meadows, orchards and mulberry plantations, watered by a stream called the Meyne, and overlooked by the majestic summit of Mount Ventoux, which lies 22 m. to the east. The district is highly fertile, and the town deals largely in fruit, and mUletstalks for brooms, as weU as in wool, silk, honey and truffles.
Orange is interesting mainly from its Roman remains. The triumphal arch is not only far finer than any other in France, but ranks third in size and importance among those still extant in Europe. Measuring 72 ft. in height, 69 ft. in width, and 26 ft. in depth, it is composed of three arches supported by Corinthian columns. On three sides it is weU preserved, and displays remarkable variety and elegance in its sculptured decorations. To judge from the traces of an inscription, the arch seems to have been erected in honour of Tiberius, perhaps to commem.orate his victory over the GalUc chieftain Sacrovir in a.d. 21. It suffered from being used as a donjon in the middle ages. Another most imposing structure is the theatre, dating from the time of the emperor Hadrian and built against a hiU from the summit of which a colossal figure of the Virgin commands the town. The facade, which is 121 ft. high, 340 ft. long and 13 ft. thick, is pierced by three square gates surmounted by a range of bUnd arches and a double row of projecting corbels, with holes in which the poles of the awning were placed. Of the seats occupied by the spectators, only the lower tiers remain. It was used as an out-work to the fortress built on the hiU by Maurice of Nassau in 1622, and destroyed fifty years later by order of Louis XIV., whose troops in 1660 captured the town. Up to the beginning of the 19th century it was fiUed with hovels and stables; these were subsequently cleared out, and at the end of the century the building was restored, and now serves as a national theatre. In the neighbourhood of the theatre traces have been found of a hippodrome; and statues, bas-reUefs and ruins of an amphitheatre also serve to show the importance of the Roman town. Notre Dame, the old cathedral, originally erected by the prefect of Gaul, was ruined by the Barbarians, rebuilt in the nth and 12th centuries, and damaged by the Protestants.
The town has a sub-prefecture, a tribunal of first instance, and a communal college among its institutions; and it has tile and mosaic works and flour-miUs, and manufactories of boots and shoes and brooms. There is trade in truffles, fruit, wine, &c.
Orange (Arausio), capital of the Cavari, was in 105 B.C. the scene of the defeat of a Roman army by the Cimbri and Teutones. It became after Caesar an important Roman colony. Its ramparts and fine buildings were partly destroyed by the Alamanni and Visigoths, and partly ruined by the erections of the middle ages. Orange was included in the kingdom of Austrasia, fell into the hands of the Saracens and was recovered by Charlemagne. It became the seat of an independent countship in the 11th century. From the 14th century till the Revolution the town had a university. At the latter period the town suffered severely from the excesses of a popular commission.
Councils of Orange.—In 441 a synod of sixteen bishops was held at Orange under the presidency of St Hilary of Aries, which adopted thirty canons touching the reconciliation of penitents and heretics; the ecclesiastical right of asylum, diocesan prerogatives of bishops, spiritual privileges of the defective or demoniac, the deportment of catechumens at worship, and clerical celibacy (forbidding married men to be ordained as deacons, and bigamists to be advanced beyond the sub-diaconate). In 529 a synod of fifteen bishops, under the presidency of Caesarius of Aries, assembled primarily to dedicate a church, the gift of Liberius, the lieutenant of Theodoric, in Gaul, but proved to be one of the most important councils of the 6th century. Caesarius had sought the aid of Rome against semi-Pelagianism, and in response Pope Felix IV. had sent certain capitula concerning grace and free-will, drawn chiefly from the writings of Augustine and Prosper. These to the number of twenty-five the synod subscribed, and adopted a supplementary statement, reaffirming the Augustinian doctrines of corruption, human inability, prevenient grace and baptismal regeneration. Its acts were confirmed by Boniface II. on the “25th of January 530,” a date which is open to question.
(T. F. C.)