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AMPURIAS 440 AMRAH vases which contained the unguents that the Chris- tians, like the Jews and tlie pagans, often interred with the dead. A third class of vessels, ordinarily referred to as blood-ampulla;, has been the subject of considerable speculation by archaeologists. Por- tions of these vessels have been found in the cement employed to enclose certain graves in the catacombs. Their peculiarity consists in the sediment of dark red colour they contain, from which they derive the name, blood-ainpulUe, on the theory that the sedi- ment is the remains of the blood of a martyr. This theory was for a time rather generally accepted, and the presence of a blood-vase was regarded as one of the marks of a martyr's tomb. Martigny, how- ever, in the second edition of his "Diet, des an- tiquit&s chr^tiennes" (Paris, 1S77), expressed him- self as dissatisfied with the proofs put forward by its supporters. Professor Kraus, also, in a work de- voted to this subject, pronounced against the un- conditional acceptance of the blood theory. The reasons for this conclusion are as follows: (1) the so-called blood-ampulke have been found on tombs of the latter half of the fourth century, a time when the era of persecution was long over; (2) the mono- gram of Christ, which in practically all cases indi- cates the age of Constantine, is frequently repre- sented on tombs containing blood-ampuUse; (3) a fifth of the tombs with ampullae of this class contained the remains of children under seven, and it is difficult to admit that so large a proportion of martyrs were mere infants; (4) a chemical analysis made at Green- wich of the contents of sixty ampuUte has shown that the sediment contains a quantity of oxide of iron twenty, or more, times greater than would have existed in blood. These results of later investigation are wholly neg- ative, and the theories advanced in place of that formerly accepted are by no means satisfactory. Kraus regards vessels of this class as having been, as a rule, receptacles for holy water; in six instances, however, he thinks it probable that they contained blood. The Bollandist Victor De Buck conjectures that the wine left after the celebration of Mass was placed in them, but this view is not borne out by the Greenwich analysis. Leclercq concludes his re- searches in this matter by calling attention to the fact that ampulte have been found on Jewish tombs fastened in the same way as in the Christian ceme- teries, in the catacombs of the Vigna Randanini and the Via Labicana. In relation to this subject two decisions of the Sacred Congregation of Rites are of interest. The first of them, given 10 April, 1668, states that the palm on a tomb, and the blood-vase (uos illorum sanguine tinclum) are evidences of a martyr's grave. The second decision, dated 10 De- cember, 1863, is formulated in substantially the same terms {Phialae .... sanguine tinctce). These decrees require no modification, even at the present time; but it is now necessary to determine by chemical analysis whether the content of a vase is really blood or not. The term ampulla was applied also to the vessels of terra-cotta, metal, or glass in which the holy oils were kept (Optat. Mil., Contra Donatist., II, 19; ampulla chrismatis). The "Sainte Ampoulle" used at the consecration of the kings of France in the Cathedral of Reims was an object of great rever- ence in medieval France (see Kkimk), and was pop- ularly believed to have been brought from Heaven by a dove at the baptism of Clovis (496). In the Cathedral of Monza are preserved several of the am- pulla; sent to Queen Theodolinda by Pope Gregory the Great; they contained oil from the tombs of the most famous Roman martyrs. This custom of ob- taining ampulhe filled with oil from the lamps at the shrines of martyrs was generally ob.served in the Middle Ages; those from the tomb of St. Mennas in Egypt, brought to Europe by pilgrims, are especially numerous. Ampullae usually bore the image or sym- bols of the saint from whose tomb the oil was ob- tained. Kraus, Die Blutampidlen der roem. KaUikomben (Frank- fort, 18fJ8); Leclercq in Diet, d'arch. chrct. I, 1747-78. M.URICE M. Hassett. Ampurias (or Castelsardo and Tempio), The Diocese of. — An Italian diocese in Sardinia, suf- fragan of Sassari. The Right Rev. Antonio Maria Contini, b. 6 Nov., 1S39, was appointed Bishop of Ogliastra, 26 Sept., 1882, and transferred to this dio- cese, 16 Jan., 1893. Ampurias was erected in 1113; Civita, now Tempio, in 304 by St. Simplicius. Civita was united to Ampurias by Julias II in 1506. Later the see was transferred to Terranuova. Gregory XVI suppressed the cathedral there by the Bull "Quamvis aqua", 26 Aug., 1839, and raised the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, in Tempio, to a cathedral, unit- ing Tempio and Ampurias, so that one bishop should govern both. The see was vacant from 1854 to 1871. Ampurias, or Castelsardo, has 11,200 Catho- lics, 8 parishes, 25 secular priests, 5 seminarists, 34 churches or chapels. Tempio has 26,200 Catholics, 17 parishes, 44 secular priests, 6 seminarists, 71 churches or chapels. Battandier, Ann. ponl. cath. (1906); Gams, Striea episc. Ecclesiw cathol. (Ratisbon, 1873); Martini, Storia eccUs. ddla Sardinia (Cagliari, 1839), IV, 349. John J. a' Becket. Amra, The name of certain ancient Irish elegies or panegyrics on native saints. The most famous of these which have reached us is known as the Amra of Coluimb Cille (Columbkille). It was printed with a translation by O'Beirne Crowe in 1871 from the im- perfect text in the Leadhar na h'Uidhre; also in his edition of the " Liber Hymnorum " by Professor Atkin- son, and in his "Goidelica" by Whitley Stokes, from an imperfect text in Trinity College, Dublin. These editions may, however, be considered as superseded by the Bodleian text (Rawlinson B. 502) edited, with a translation, for the first time (Rev. Celt., vols. XX- XXI) by Stokes. According to the traditional ac- count this eulogy was composed about the year 575 by Dalian Mac Forgaill, the chief oUamh of that time, in gratitude for the services of St. Columbkille in saving the bards from expulsion at the great assembly of Druim Cetta in that year. "The Amra is not", says Stokes, "as Professor Atkinson suf>- posed, a fragment which indicates great antiquity." Strachan, however, on linguistic grounds, assigns it in its present form to about the year 800 (Rev. Celt., XVII, 14). Stokes, too, seems to favour this view (ibid., XX, 16). But linguistic grounds are a some- what unstable foundation, and Strachan adds "per- haps something more may be learned from a pro- longed study of this and other such as the Amra Senain and the Amra Conroi." Dalian was the author of the former, "held in great repute", says Colgan, "on account of its gracefulness", and also of another Amra on Conall of Ineskeel in Donegal, with whom he was buried in one grave. Douglas Hyde, A Literary History of Ireland (New York, 1899), 405, 40G. Arthur Ua Clerigh. Amrah. — Central Syria has preserved for us an unequalled series of Christian monuments. From an early period, the insecurity of a land overrun, at intervals, by armies or by brigands, has driven the inhabitants away from a soil, the very fertility of which has made it the prey of armed nomads. The scarcity of wood suggested to architects the possibility of a form of construction in which stone alone should be used, and blocks, placed with won- derful skill and science, should obviate the need of woodwork. This, indeed, explains the long endur- ance of buildings which have suffered little at the hands of time and not much more from earthquakes.