Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/281

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ALAIS
ALAN
245

by revelation. His philosophy is a syncretism, or eclecticism, in which the principal elements are Platonism, Aristoteleanism, and Pythagoreanism. He esteemed Plato as the philosopher; Aristotle he regarded merely as a subtle logician. His knowledge of Plato he derived from Martianus Capella Apuleius, Boethius, and the members of the school of Chartres; his first-hand acquaintance with the "Dialogues" being limited to Chalcidius's rendering of a fragment of the "Timæus". He was acquainted with some of Aristotle's logical writings and with the commentaries of Boethius and Porphyry. He derived his Pythagoreanism from the so-called Hermetical writers, Asclepius and Mercurius. Finally his mystic manner was influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius and John Scotus Erigena.

The effect of all these influences was an attempt on Alain's part to fuse into one system the various elements derived from different sources, without taking much pains to find a common basis or a principle of organic synthesis. Thus, in psychology he gives at different times three different divisions of the faculties of the soul: a twofold (ratio, sensualitas), a threefold (sapientia, voluntas, voluptas), and a fivefold (sensus, imaginatio, ratio, intellectus, intelligentia). The soul, he teaches, is spirit; the body, matter (in later Platonic sense); and the bond between them is a physical spirit (spiritus physicus). In cosmology he teaches that God first created "Nature", whose role it was to act as his intermediary (Dei auctoris vicaria) in the details of creating and organizing matter into the visible universe. At every step in this portion of his philosophy the influence of the neo-Pythagoreans appears. As a writer, Alain exhibited an unusual combination of poetic imaginativeness and dialectical precision. He modeled his style on that of Martianus Capella, though in his later years the influence of Boethius was, perhaps, predominant. He is to be enumerated among the medieval writers who influenced Dante.

Baumgartner, Die Philos. d. Alanus de Insulis etc. in Beitr. z. Gesch. d. Philos; d. M.A., (Münster, 1896) Bd. II; Bäumker, Handschriftliches zu den Werken des Alanus (Fulda, 1894); Ueberweg, Gesch. d. Philos., (Berlin, 1905), Bd II, 9 Ed., 214 sqq.; Hauréau, Hist. de la phil. scol. (Paris, 1872), I, 521 sq.; De Wulf, Hist. de la phil. scol. dans les Pays-Bas (Louvain, 1895), 41 sq.; Turner, Hist. of Phil. (Boston, 1903), 301, 302.

Alais, Peace of. See Huguenots.

Alalis (Alalius), a titular see of Phœnicia (Palmyra), whose episcopal list is known from 325 to 451. It was located near the Euphrates, and was a suffragan of Damascus.

Lequien, Oriens Christ. (1740), II, 847–848.

Alaman, Lucas, a Mexican statesman and historian of great merit, b. at Guanajuato in Mexico, of Spanish parents, 18 October, 1792; d. in the city of Mexico, 2 June, 1853. He received his early education in the city of Mexico, went to Spain and France in 1814, and returned to America in 1815. He made a second voyage between 1815 and 1823; in 1824 he became Secretary of State of the Mexican Republic. Alaman was a moderate Republican, and, therefore, violently persecuted by the extremistic factions in 1834, and compelled to hide for a full year. After 1836 he dedicated himself to literary and historical work until 1851, when Santa Ana recalled him to the post of Secretary of State. His two monumental works are: "Disertaciones sobre la Historia de la Republica mexicana" (Mexico, 1844), and "Historia de México, desde los primeros movimientos que prepararon su independencia en el año de 1808, hasta la época presente" (Ibid., 1849). With the exception of the (now antiquated) conceptions of the primitive condition of the Mexican Indians, these works are of standard value.

Diccionario universal de historia y de geografía (Mexico, 1853), I, Introduction, An obituary of Alaman; Memorias de la academia mexicana (Mexico, 1878), I, 4; Montes de Oca, Oración fúnebre en las honras de D. Juan Ruiz de Obregon.

Alamanni, Niccolò, a Roman antiquary of Greek origin, b. at Ancona, 12 January, 1583; d. in Rome, 1626. He was educated in Rome at the Greek College, founded by Gregory XIII, but was ordained deacon and priest according to the Latin rite. After teaching Greek for some time to persons of rank, he was appointed secretary to Cardinal Borghese, and afterwards made custodian of the Vatican Library. His death is said to have been caused by too close attendance at the erection of the high altar of St. Peter's, to which honorable duty he had been assigned with orders to see that the sepulchres of the holy martyrs were not interfered with in the course of the work. He wrote a "Syntagma de Lateranensibus parietibus" (Rome, 1625) on the occasion of restorations carried out in the church of St. John Lateran by his patron, Cardinal Borghese, also a dissertation on the relative importance of the right and left side as exhibited in certain old papal coins that place St. Paul to the right of St. Peter, "De dextræ lævæque manus prærogativâ ex antiquis Pontificum nummis Paulum Petro apostolo anteponentibus." He is known in the history of classical literature as the editor (Lyons, 1623) of the famous "Anecdota", or "Secret History", of Procopius, a work that was violently criticized outside of Italy.

Moréri, Dict. historique (1740), I, 206; Nicius Erythrœus, Pinacotheca Imag. Ill., I, lxx.

Alan, William. See Allen.

Alan of Tewkesbury, a Benedictine abbot and writer, d. 1202. Alan is stated by Gervase of Canterbury, a contemporary chronicler, to have been English by race, i.e. not of Norman, or any immigrant, extraction. He is supposed to have spent some years at Benevento in Italy, before entering the Benedictine novitiate at Canterbury, where he became Prior in 1179. He zealously espoused the cause of the clergy against Henry II in the struggle which led to the martyrdom of St. Thomas; He was removed from Canterbury to the Abbey of Tewkesbury, where he could less effectively oppose Henry's encroachments on the rights of the church; The intimacy with St. Thomas which Alan of Tewkesbury enjoyed, and his almost lifelong acquaintance with the politico-ecclesiastical controversies of the time, qualified him to write the "Life of St. Thomas", which (as Life of Becket) is printed in the second volume of "Materials for the History of Thomas Becket", edited by the Rev. J. C. Robertson (Rolls Series, London,; 1875–85; Part I, CXC, 1475–88). Alan also collected and arranged a number of the Saint's epistles. Critics are doubtful as to the genuineness of the other works traditionally ascribed to him.

Dict. of Nat. Biog., s.v.; Gervase, Chronica, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Series, London, 1879–80); Robertson, preface to Materials for the History of Thomas Becket.

Alan of Walsingham, d. c. 1304; a celebrated architect, first heard of in 1314 as a junior monk at Ely, distinguished by his skill in goldsmith's work, and for his acquaintance with the principles of mechanics. He afterwards turned his attention to the study of architecture, and in 1331, when sub-prior of his convent, designed and began to build the beautiful St. Mary's Chapel (now Trinity Church), attached to the cathedral. At the same time he was engaged in the erection of Prior Cranden's chapel, the new sacristy, and many minor works. In December, 1321, he was elected sacristan, with sole charge of the fabric of the cathedral. In February, 1322, the great tower of the cathedral fell, and carried with it the choir and other attached portions of the struct-