Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/56

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ABBREVIATORS
ABBREVIATORS
28
O.M. Cap. Ordo Minorum Cappucinorum—Capuchins
O.M.C.
O.M.I. Oblati Mariæ Immaculatæ—Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate
O.P. Ordo Prædicatorum—Dominicans
O.Pr.
Ord Fratr. Præd.
Ord. Præm. Ordo Præmonstratensium—Premonstratensians, Norbertines
O.S.A. Ordo (Eremitarum) Sancti Augustini—Augustinians
O.S.B. Ordo Sancti Benedicti—Benedictines
O.S.C. Oblati Sancti Caroli—Oblate Fathers of St. Charles
O.S.F.C. Ordinis Sancti Francisci Capuccini—Franciscan Capuchins
O.S.F.S. Oblati Sancti Francisci Salesii—Oblate Fathers of St. Francis of Sales
O.S.H. Ordo (Eremitarum) Sancti Hieronymi—Hieronymites
O.S.M. Ordo Servorum Mariæ—Servites
O.SS.C. Oblati Sacratissimi Cordis—Oblate Fathers of the Sacred Heart
O. Trinit. Ordo Sanctissimæ Trinitatis—Trinitarians
P.O. Prêtres de l'Oratoire, Presbyteri Oratorii—Oratorians
P.S.M. Pia Societas Missionum—Fathers of the Pious Society of Missions, Pallottini
P.S.S. Presbyteri Sancti Sulpicii, Prêtres de S. Sulpice—Sulpicians
S.C. Salesianorum Congregatio (Congregation of St. Francis of Sales)—Salesian Fathers
S.D.S. Societas Divini Salvatoris—Society of the Divine Saviour
S.D.V. Societas Divini Verbi—Fathers of the Divine Word
S.J. Societas Jesu—Jesuits
S.M. Societas Mariæ—Marists
S.P.M. Societas Patrum Misericordiæ—Fathers of Mercy
S.S.S. Societas Sanctissimi Sacramenti—Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament

Most manuals of palæography (Greek and Latin) contain lists of Abbreviations (ancient and medieval), some of which are yet of ecclesiastical interest, while others have long since become obsolete or rare, and concern only the reader of manuscripts. Some manuals of diplomatics, likewise, have useful lists of pontifical chancery Abbreviations, e.g. Quantin, Dict. de diplomatique chrêtienne (Paris, 1846), 26–42, and Prou (Paris, 1902). In the latter work may be seen the original script-forms of these Abbreviations. Facsimiles of abbreviated pontifical documents may be seen, e. g. in Denifile, Specimina Palæographica ab Innoc. III ad Urban. V, (Rome, 1888). The Abbreviations in Greek manuscripts were first scientifically studied by the Benedictine Montfaucon, in his famous Palæographia Græca (Paris, 1708); see the Introductions to Greek Palæographs of Gardthausen and Wattenbach.—The little work, Modus leqendi abreviaturas in jure tam civili quam pontificio occurrentes (Venice, 1590), is one of the earliest attempts at a dictionary of medieval abbreviations. A very useful work for all Latin abbreviations is that of Capelli, Dizionario delle abbreviature latine ed italiane (Milan, 1900); it is written mostly in Latin and describes all the abbreviations ordinarily used in Latin and Italian documents, civil or ecclesiastical. Other valuable works dealing specifically with abbreviations in pontifical documents are De la Brana, Signos y Abbreviaturas que se uman en los documentos pontificus (Leon, 1884); Rodenberg, Epistolæ saec. XIII e regestis RR.PP. selectæ (Berlin, 1883), I, 323.—For an extensive list of the abbreviations in the epitaphs of the Catacombs see Kraus, Real-Encycl. der christi. Alterth. (Freiburg, 1886), I. 47–51. The chapters on abbreviations of medieval manuscripts in the palæographical manuals of De Wailly (Paris, 1843), Chassant (Paris. 1885), Paoli (Florence, 1891), Reubens (Louvain, 1899), Carini (Rome, 1889), and Thompson (London, 1903) are recommended, also the excellent Latrinische Palæographie of Steffens (Freiburg, Switzerland, 1903, 3 vols. fol. with many plates). See Battandier, Abbréviations, in Ann. Pont. Cath. (Paris 1900), 527–538.

Abbreviators (abbreviare = "shorten", "curtail") those who make an abridgment or abstract of a long writing or discourse. This is accomplished by contracting the parts, i. e. the words and sentences; an abbreviated form of writing common among the Romans. Abbreviations were of two kinds, (a) the use of a single letter for a single word, (b) the use of a sign, note, or mark for a word or phrase. The Emperor Justinian forbade the use of abbreviations in the compilation of the "Digest" and afterwards extended his prohibition to all other writings. This prohibition was not universally obeyed. The abbreviators found it to their own convenience and interest to use the abbreviated form, and especially was this the case at Rome. The early Christians practised the abbreviated mode, no doubt as an easy and safe way of communicating with one another and safeguarding their secrets from enemies and false brethren.

Ecclesiastical Abbreviators.—In course of time the Apostolic Chancery adopted this mode of writing as the curial style, still further abridging by omitting the diphthongs ae and oe, and likewise all lines and marks of punctuation. The ecclesiastical Abbreviators are officials of the Holy See, inasmuch as they are among the principal officials of the Apostolic Chancery, which is one of the oldest and most important offices in the Roman Curia. The scope of its labour, as well as the number of its officials, has varied with the times. Up to the twelfth or thirteenth century, the duty of the Apostolic, or Roman, Chancery was to prepare and expedite the pontifical letters and writs for collation of church dignities and other matters of grave importance which were discussed and decided in Consistory. About the thirteenth or fourteenth century, the popes, whilst they lived at Avignon in France, began to reserve the collation of a great many benefices, so that all the benefices, especially the greater ones, were to be conferred through the Roman Curia (Lega, Prælectiones Jur. Can., I, ii, 2S7). As a consequence, the labour was immensely augmented, and the number of Abbreviators necessarily increased. To regulate the proper expedition of these reserved benefices, Pope John XXII instituted the rules of chancery to determine the competency and mode of procedure of the Chancery. Afterwards the establishment of the Dataria and the Secretariate of Briefs lightened the work of the Chancery and led to a reduction in the number of Abbreviators. According to Ciampini (Lib. de Abbreviatorum de parco majore etc., cap. i) the institution of abbreviators was very ancient, succeeding after the persecutions to the notaries who recorded the acts of the martyrs. Other authors reject this early institution and ascribe it to Pope John XXII (1316). It is certain that he uses the name Abbreviators, but speaks as if they had existed before his time, and had, by overtaxation for their labour, caused much complaint and protest. He (Extravag. Joan. tit. xiil, "Cum ad Sacrosanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ") prescribes their work, determines how much they may charge for their labour, fixes a certain tax for an abstract or abridgment of twenty-five words, or their equivalent, 150 letters, forbids them to charge more, even though the abstract goes over twenty-five words but less than fifty words, enacts that the basis of the tax is the labour employed in writing, expediting, etc., the Bulls, and by no means the emoluments accruing to the recipient of the favour or benefice conferred by the Bull, and declares that whoever shall charge more than the tax fixed by him shall be suspended for six months from office, and upon a second violation of the law, shall be deprived of it altogether, and if the delinquent be an abbreviator, he shall be excommunicated. Should a large letter have to be rewritten, owing to the inexact copy of the abbre-