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AETERNI
AFFINITY
177

follows a rapid review of the existing dangers to faith and morals, to remedy which Pius IX issues this letter summoning the bishops, and others whoso right or duty it is to be present, to a General Council to meet in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, on the 8th of December, 1869, the anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception. This letter must not be confounded with the Decree "Pastor Æternus" which was issued by Pius IX at the close of the Council, the following year, and in which the dogma of Papal Infallibility was defined.

Acta Pii IX (1868), 412–423, tr. in Dub. Rec., 1868, 529–535.

Æterni Patris, The Encyclical, Leo XIII issued 4 August, 1879. Its purpose was the revival of Scholastic philosophy, according to the mind of St. Thomas Aquinas. It opens with the consideration that the Church, although officially the teacher of revealed truth only, has always been interested in the cultivation of every branch of human knowledge, especially of philosophy on which the right cultivation of other sciences in great measure depends. But the Pope declares that the actual condition of thought makes it a duty for him to do something for the study of true philosophy; because many present evils are to be ascribed to false philosophy, inasmuch as, since man is naturally led by reason, whither the reason leads the will easily follows. The Encyclical then shows how rational philosophy prepares the motives of credibility in matters of faith, and explains and vindicates revealed truths. But the truth unfolded by reason cannot contradict the truths revealed by God; hence, although in the pursuit of natural knowledge philosophy may justly use its own method, principles, and arguments, yet not so as to withdraw from the authority of Divine revelation. The Encyclical next shows, by extracts from many Fathers of the Church, what reason helped by revelation can do for the progress of human knowledge. Then came the Scholastics of the Middle Ages, who brought together and bound into one harmonious whole, by a system of philosophy, the Christian wisdom of the Fathers. Since it was the work of the Scholastic theologians, according to the Encyclical, to unite divine and human science, their theology could never have succeeded, as it did succeed, if their philosophy had not been a complete system.

Leo XIII then marks out St. Thomas as the prince of the Scholastic theologians and philosophers, for which he finds evidence in the acknowledgment of the universities, of popes, general councils, and even of those outside the Church, one of whom boasted that if the works of St. Thomas were taken away he would fight and defeat the Church. That accounts for the unrelenting war which has been made against Scholastic philosophy since the Reformation arose. The Encyclical points out how some have turned away from it, but passes on to show how it can help in the pursuit of metaphysical and social science. It also insists that St. Thomas constantly founded his reasons and arguments on experiments; in the course of the centuries which have passed since his time, experiments have, of course, been disclosing facts and secrets of nature; nevertheless the writings of St. Thomas bear witness that the experimental spirit was as strong in him as it is in us. Hence, in the Pope's appeal to the bishops of the Christian world to, help in restoring and spreading the "wisdom" (sapientiam) of St. Thomas, he repeats, Sapientiam Sancti Thomæ dicimus, because, as he explains, he does not at all ask to have the excessive subtleties of some scholastics revived, nor opinions which later investigations have exploded. The purpose of Leo XIII was the revival of St. Thomas's philosophy and the continuing of his spirit of investigation, but not necessarily the adoption of every argument and opinion to be found in the works of the scholastics. It is worthy of remark that Leo XIII, following up the Encyclical, addressed (15 October, 1879) a letter to Cardinal de Luca in which, besides ordering that the philosophy of St. Thomas be taught in all the Roman schools, he founded the "Accademia di San Tommaso", and made provision for a new edition of St. Thomas's works. The Accademia has done much to help on the movement thus inaugurated, and a Collegium of Dominican Fathers have ever since been working at the new (Leonine) edition of St. Thomas. A great part of the work has already been done, but all will not be completed for some years to come.

Acta Leonis XIII, 283–285 (1879); Wynne, Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, 34–37 (tr., New York, 1903.)

Æthelbert, Æthelfrith, Æthelhard, etc. See Ethelbert, Ethelfrith, Ethelhard, etc.

Æthelred of Rieval. See Template:CE.

Aëtius, a Roman general, patrician, and consul, b. towards the end of the fourth century; d. 454. He was the son of an Italian mother and Gaudentius, a Scythian soldier of the empire, and in his youth had been given as a hostage to Alaric (from whom he learned the art of war), and to Rugila, King of the Huns, and in this way, doubtless, acquired among them the prestige and authority that were at once his basis of power and the source of his fall. This deliverer of Europe from the Huns first appears in history as the leader of 60,000 Huns in the pay of the imperial usurper Johannes (424). The ignominious execution of the latter was followed by the pardon of Aëtius and his restoration to the favour of the Empress Placidia. He was made Count (probably of Italy), and became the chief adviser of the Western rulers, Placidia and her son Valentinian III. In this quality it was not long before he came into conflict with the powerful Bonifacius, Count of Africa, and is said by later historians (Procopius of Byzantium, John of Antioch) to have so discredited the latter with Placidia that he was driven to revolt, brought over (428) the Vandals into Africa, and entered Italy (432) with the purpose of overthrowing in civil war his powerful enemy. But Boniface fell in battle near Rimini, and Aëtius retired for some time to the Hunnish camp in Pannonia. In 433 he returned to power at Ravenna, and for the remaining seventeen years of the joint reign of Placidia and Valentinian III was, as before, the ruling spirit of the Western Empire. The peace that he maintained through his alliances with the Huns and the Alani and through a treaty with the Ostrogoths, was broken (450) by the invasion of Attila. In the summer of that year Aëtius, in concert with the brave and loyal Theodoric, King of the Visigoths, relieved Orléans besieged by Attila, and arrested the progress of the great Hun on the Catalaunian Fields, near Troyes, where he won one of the decisive victories of history, and saved Europe for Latins, Teutons, Celts, and Slavs, as against the degraded and odious Huns. His death followed close upon his triumph; this strong and resourceful man was slain at Ravenna (454) by the weakling Emperor Valentinian III, in a fit of jealous rage, never clearly explained, but supposedly caused by the ambition of Aëtius to place his son upon the imperial throne. The assassination of the saviour of Western civilization led to the assassination (455) of Valentinian.

Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, xxxiii–v; Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders (Oxford, 1892), I, ii, 874 sqq; 889–98; Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (London, 1889), I, 159–83. For a critical discussion of certain legendary items in the history of Aëtius see Freeman, Aëtius and Boniface, in English Hist., Review, July, 1887.

Affiliation. See Aggregation; Incardination.

Affinity (in the Bible).—Scripture recognizes