at Agaunum; nor do we know whether they were regulars or seculars, though a sermon of St. Avitus, Bishop of Vienne, would appear to indicate the existence of a monastic foundation, which was replaced and renewed by the foundation of Sigismund, King of the Burgundians. Of the two documents which confirm this view, the "Vita Severini Acaunensis" is utterly unreliable, being a tissue of contradictions and falsehoods; the "Vita Sanctorum Abbatum Acaunensium", a work of slight value, to be received with caution, though certain facts may be gathered from it. At the date of Sigismund's first gifts to Agaunum the community was governed by Abbot Enemodus, who died 3 January, 516. His next successor but one, Ambrosius, brought Agaunum into notice by an innovation unknown in the West, the Perpetual Psalmody, in 522 or 523 at latest. This Perpetual Psalmody, or laus perennis, was carried on, day and night, by several choirs, or turmæ, who succeeded each other in the recitation of the Divine Office, so that prayer went on without cessation. This laus perennis was practiced in the East by the Acœmetæ (q. v.), and its inauguration at Agaunum was the occasion of a solemn ceremony, and of a sermon by St. Avitus which has come down to us. The "custom of Agaunum", as it came to be called, spread over Gaul, to Lyons, Chalons, the Abbey of Saint Denis, to Luxeuil, Saint Germain at Paris, Saint Medard at Soissons, to Saint-Riquier, and was taken up by the monks of Remiremont and Laon, though the Abbey of Agaunum had ceased to practice it from the beginning of the ninth century. But Agaunum had gained a world-wide fame by its martyrs and its psalmody. The abbey had some of the richest and best preserved treasures in the West. Among the priceless and artistically exquisite pieces of goldsmith work, we need only mention the châsse (reliquary), decorated with glass mosaic, one of the most important in the West for the study of the beginnings of barbarian and Byzantine art. It ranks with the armour of Childeric, the Book of the Gospels at Monza in Italy, and the crowns of Guarrazar in Spain. It is decorated not only with mosaics, but with tiles and precious stones, smooth or engraved. The front is ornamented with a medallion, long taken for a cameo, but which is a unique piece of work in spun glass. Its date has been much discussed. The back bears a long inscription, which unfortunately affords no solution of the problem, but we may agree with d'Arbois de Jubainville that it is not of earlier date than the year 563.
Stolle, Das Martyrium der thebaischen Legion (Breslau, 1890); Allard, Le Martyre de la legion thêbéenne, Hist. des persécutions (Paris, 1890; V, 335–364); Analecta bollandiana (1891, X, 369–370); Schmidt, Der hl. Mauritius und seine Genossen (Lucerne, 1893); Krusch, La falsification des vies de saints burgondes, in Mélanges Julien Havet (Paris, 1895); Ausbert, Trésor de l'Abbaye de Saint-Maurice d'Agaune (Paris, 1872); Leclercq in Dict. d'archéol. chrêt. et de lit. (1903, I, 850–871).
Agazzari, Agostini, a musical composer, b. 2 December 1578, of a noble family of Sienna; d. probably 10 April, 1640. He is said to have passed the first years of his professional life in the service of the Emperor Matthias. He went to Rome about 1600, succeeding Anerio as maestro di cappella at the German College, going later in a similar capacity to St. Apollinaris and the Roman Seminary. Viadana of Mantua gave him the final touches of his musical education, and both men are entitled to the distinction of having developed thoroughbass and of having taught the correct method of figuring a bass. Agazzari, in his "Sacræ Cantiones", gives hints as to its use. In 1630 he returned to Sienna, where he became maestro of the cathedral, and died while holding that post. He was a member of the Academy of Armonici Intronati, and one of the most fruitful composers of the Roman school. His numerous publications comprise masses (1596–1608), motets, Magnificats, litanies, etc., republished frequently. They are mentioned with eulogies in Proske's "Musica divina". Besides two volumes of madrigals, he also wrote a dramatic composition for a nuptial celebration, entitled "Eumelio, drama pastorale" (Ronciglione, 1614), and a pamphlet (Sienna) containing only sixteen pages, entitled "La Musica ecclesiastica, dove si contiene la vera diffinizione della musica come scienza, non più veduta e sua nobiltà", showing how church music should conform to the resolutions of the Council of Trent.
Agde, Council of, held in 506 at Agatha or Agde in Languedoc, under the presidency of St. Cæsarius of Arles. It was attended by thirty-five bishops, and its forty-seven genuine canons deal with ecclesiastical discipline. One of its canons (the seventh), forbidding ecclesiastics to sell or alienate the property of the church whence they drew their living, seems to be the earliest indication of the later system of benefices. In general, its canons shed light on the moral conditions of the clergy and laity in southern France at the beginning of the transition from the Græco-Roman social order to that of the new barbarian conquerors. They are also of some importance for the study of certain early ecclesiastical institutions.
Mansi, VIII, 323 sq; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2d. ed. II. 649–660.
Age, Canonical.—The word age, taken in its widest meaning, may be described as "a period of time". The geologist, physiologist, and jurist define it differently, each from his own viewpoint. Jurists define it as "that period of life at which the law allows persons to do acts and discharge functions which, for want of years, they were prohibited from doing or undertaking before" (Bouvier's Law Dict.). They divide the years of a man into seven ages, to wit: infancy, from the day of birth, not baptism (Sacr. Congr. Conc., 4 December, 1627), to the seventh year; childhood, 7–14; puberty, 14–25; majority (young manhood), 25–40; manhood, 40–50 or 60; old age, 60–70; decrepitude, 70–100, or death. The terminal year in each of the above ages must be complete. Canonical age is the year. fixed by the canons, or law of the Church, at which her subjects become capable of incurring certain obligations, enjoying special privileges, embracing special states of life, holding office or dignity, or receiving the sacraments. Each and every one of these, being a human act, requires a development of mind and body proportioned to the free and voluntary acceptance of these gifts and privileges, also an adequate knowledge of, and capability for, the duties and obligations attached. Hence the Church prescribes that age at which one is generally supposed to have the necessary qualifications. It is evident that a lesser development of body and mind is necessary to the reception of baptism than is required for either matrimony or the priesthood, and greater qualifications for the higher than for the lower offices. Hence, the canonical age necessarily varies as do the privileges, offices, dignities, etc. The three states, ecclesiastical, religious, and laic, embrace all the ecclesiastical enactments concerning age.
Ante-Tridentine Discipline.—Ecclesiastical State.—The ancient discipline was neither universal nor fixed, but varied with circumstances of time and locality. The requisite age, according to Gratian, for tonsure and the first three minor orders, i.e. doorkeeper, reader, and exorcist, was seven and