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431

AMMONIAN 431 AMMONITES they kept faithfully, though living together for eighteen years; at the end of this time he became a Jierniit in the desert of Nitria, and she formed a congregation of religious women in her own house. Nitria, to which Animon betook liimself, is a moun- tain surmounted by a desolate region, seventy milos south of Alexandria, beyond Lake Mareotis (wliicli Palladius calls Maria). At the end of the fourth century there were fifty monasteries there inhabited by 5,000 monks. St. Jerome called the place "The City of God ". As to w hethcr Amnion wjis the first to build a monastery there, autliorities disagree, but it is certain that the fame of his sanctity drew many anchorites aroimd liim, who erected cells not only on the mountain but in the adjacent desert. St. Anthony came to visit him and induced him to gather his scattered solitaries into monasteries. When Amnion died at about the age of 62 Anthony, though thirteen days' journey distant, saw his soul entering heaven. He is honoured on 4 October. Acta 6'S., II. October; Botler, 4 October. T. J. Campbell. Ammonian Sections. — Divisions of the four Gos- Eels imlkatiil in the margin of nearly all Greek and atin .I.'>.'^. Tliey are about 1105 in number; 355 for St. Mattliew, Xio for St. Mark, 343 for St. Luke, and 232 for St. John; the numbers, however, vary slightly in different MSS. I'ntil recently it was com- monly" liolieved that these divisions were de-ised by Ammonius of Alexandria, at the l)Ogiiming of the third century (c. L'20), in connection with a Har- mony of the Gospels, now lost, which he compo.sed. He divided the four Gospels, it was said, into small numbered sections, which were similar in content where the narratives are parallel, and then wrote the sections of the three last Gospels, or simply the sec- tion numbers with the name of the respective evan- gelist, in parallel columns opposite the corresponding sections of the Gospel of St. Matthew, which lie had chosen as the basis of his Harmony. Of late, how- ever, the view has obtained among scholars that the work of Ammonius was restricted to what Euse- bius states concerning it in his letter to Carpianus, namely, that lie jilaced the parallel passages of the last three Gospels alongside the text of St. Matthew, and the sectioas liitherto credited to Ammonius are now ascribetl to Lusebius (a. d. 265-340). At any rate the Harmony of Ammonius suggested to Euse- bius, as he liimself tells us (loc. cit.), the idea of drawing up ten tables (Kaj-iws) in which the sections in question were ?-> classified as to show iit a glance where each Gospel agreed with or differed from the others. In the first nine tables he placed in parallel columns tlic numbers of the sections common to the four, or three, or two, evangelists; namely: (1) Matt., Mark, Luke, John; (2) Matt., Mark, Luke; (3) Matt., Luke, John; (4) Matt., Mark, John; (5) Matt., Luke; (6) Matt., Mark; (7) Matt., John; (8) Luke, Mark; (9) Luke, John. In the tenth he noted suc- cessively the sections special to each evangelist. The usefulness of these tables for the purpose of reference and comparison soon brought them into common u.se. and from the fifth centur- the .Xnimonian sections, with references to the Eu.scbian tallies, were indicated in the margin of the MSS. (It neetl hardly be said that our cliapters and verses were not then in exist- ence; the first date from the thirteenth, the latter from the sixteenth centurj'.) Opptisite each section was written its number, and underneath this the number of the Eu.'M.'bian table to be consulted in or- der to find the parallel texts or text; a reference to the tenth table would of course show that this sec- tion was proper to that evangelist. These marginal notes are reproduced in several editions of Tis- chendorf's New Testament. P. G.. XXII. 1274-92; P. I... XXIX. 528-542; Buboon. The Latt Ttceive Vrr»t» of St, Mark (Oxford and London, 1871). 126 »q.; 295 aq. Goillian, The Ammonian Sections (Oxford. 1890). 241 aq.: Leoe-ndre in Via.. Did. de la BihU (Paris. 18951. I. 493; II. 2051; Herzoo. Rral-Encyclop., II. 404; IV. 425; (Jhki.ort. PruUgum. Titchmdurj., S. T. Gntce (Leipzig. 1894). 143. 14.'.; Zah.n, Hinlnluny in ./u« Neue Tttta- m<n(l-' e.l.. Uipilg, 1900!. II. 183. 194; GuKOORY. TtJtkritlk lira .V. T. (Leipzig. 1902>. II. 801 »q. E. Bechtel. Ammonites. — Origin and Race. — The Ammonites were a race very clo.sely allied to the Hebrews. One use of their name itself in the liible indicates the ancient Hebrew belief of this near relationship, for they are called liin'dmmi or "Son of my people", meaning that that race is regarded as descended from Israel's nearest relative. This play of words on the name .mmon did not arise from the name it.self, but presupposes the belief in the kinship of Israel and Ammon. The name Amman itself cannot be accepted as proof of this belief, for it is obscure in origin, derived perhaps from the name of a tribal deity. A strong proof of their common origin is found in the .mmonite language. No Ammonite inscription, it is true, has come down to us, but the Ammonite names that have been preserved belong to a dialect very nearly akin to the Hebrew; moreover, the close blood relationship of Moab and Ammon being admitteil by all, the language of the Moabite Stone, almost Hebrew in form, is a strong witness to the racial allinity of Israel and Amnion. This linguistic argument vindicates the behef that Israel always entertained of his kinship with the .m- monites. The belief itself has foimd expression in an unmistakable manner in Gen. xix, where the origin of .Vninion and his brother, Moab, is ascribed to Lot, the nephew of Abraham. This revolting narrative has usually been considered to give literal fact, but of late years it has been interpreted, e. g. by Eather Lagrange, O.P., as recording a gross popular irony by which the Israelites expressed their loathing of the corrupt morals of the iloabites an<l Ammonites. It maybe tloubted, however, that such an irony would be directed against Lot him.self. Other scholars see in the very depravity of these peoples a proof of the reality of the Biblical storj' of their incestuous origin. Ktlmologists, interpret- ing the origin from the nephew of Aoraham by the canons usually foimd true in their science, hold it as indicating that the Israelites are considered the older and more powerful tribe, while the Ammonites and Moabites are regarded as offshoots of the parent stem. The character of Genesis, which at times seems to preserve popular traditions rather than exact ethnology, is taken as a confirmation of this position. But it is not denied, at any rate, thai the Hebrew tradition of the near kinship of Israel. Amnion, and Moab is correct. .ll three, forming together a single group, are classified as belonging to the Arama-an branch of the Semitic race. Theik CofXTKY AND CIVILIZATION. — The Am- monites were .settled to the east of the Jordan, their territory originally comprising all from the Jordan to the wilderness, anil from the River Jabbok south to the River .mon (Jud.. xi, 13-22) which later fell to the h)t of Reuben and Gad. "It was accounted a land of giants; and giants formerly dwelt in it, whom the Ammonites called Zomzommims" (Deut. ii. 20). of whom was Og. King of Basan, who perished before the children of Israel in the days of Mo.ses (iii). The Ammonites were, however, a short time before the invasion of the Hebrews under Josue. driven aw.iy by the .Vmorites from the rich lands near the Jordan and retreatctl to the mountains and valleys which form the eastern part of the district now known as EI-Belka. They still continued to regard their original tcrriton,' as rightfully theirs, and in later times regained it and held it for a consider- able period. Their land, in general, while not very fertile, was well watered and excellent for pasture.