Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/773

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ARCOSOLIUM


(3'J'J


ARDBRACOAN


Arcosolium. — This word is derived from arcus " arcli " iiiid .solium, a term soinetiines used by Latin writers in the sense of "sarcophagus"; solium por- pht/rctici marmoris (Suet., Ner., 50). The term arcosolium was applied l)y tlie primitive Christians to one form of the tombs that exist in the l{oman catacombs. Thus, an inscription published by Marchi (.VIon. dello arti prim., 85), which may still be seen in the courtyard of the Palazzo Borgho.se, states that ".'Vur. Celsus and Aur. Hilarita.s have had made for themselves and their friends this arcosolium, with it.s little wall, in peace." The arcosolium tombs of the catacombs were formed by first excavating in the tufa walls a space similar to an ordinary loculus surinoimted by an arch. After this space was cleared an oblong cavity was opened from above downwards into that part of the rock facing the arch; a marble .«lab placed horizontally over the opening thus made completed the tomb, which in this way became a species of sarcophagus hewn out of the living rock. The horizontal slab closing the tomb was about the height of an ordinary table from the ground. In some instances, as in the "papal crypt" and the crypt of St. Januarius, the front wall of the arco.soliuin tomb was con- structed of masonry. \ species of tomb similar in all respects but one to the arcosolivun is the so-called seputchrum a mcnsA, or tabl(!-tomb; in this a rectan- gular niche takes the place of the arch. The baldac- ehino tombs of Sicily and Malta belong also to this class; they consist of a combination of several arcosolia. A more ancient form of the arcosolium than that described consisted of an arched niche, excavated to the level of the floor, in which sar- cophagi of marble or terra-cotta containing the re- mains of the deceased were placed. Arcosolium tombs wore much in vogue during the third century in Rome. Many of the later martyrs were interred in them, and there are reasons to suppose that in such instances the horizontal slabs closmg the tombs served as altars on certain occasioi:is. The arcosolia of the Roman cemeteries were usually decorated with symbolic frescoes, the vault of the arch and the lunette being prepared with stucco for this purpose. One of the most interesting examples of an arco- solium adorned in this maimer may be seen in the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus; in the lunette the miracle of Cana is represented as a symbol of the Eucharist, while on the arch a baptismal scene and a symbol of baptism — always a.ssociated with Eucharistic symbols — are depicted on cither side of a veiled orans. A second excellent examjile of a decorated arcosolium, in the Camrlerium Majus, represents on the arch our Saviour between two praying figures, and in the lunette Maiy as an ornns (unique in the catacombs), with the child Jesus. (.See Catacombs.)

Kraus, Rml-Encyklop., I, 89, 90; Leclercq in Diet, d'arch. chrH., I.

Maurice M. Hassett.

Arculf , a Frankish Bishop of the latter part of the seventh century. According to .some, c. g. Alexis de Gourgues (Le -saint Suaire, P^'rigueux, 1868), he Wiis Bishop of Pi'Tigueux; but it is generally be- lieved that he was attached to some monastery. St. Bede relates (Hist, liccles. Angl., V, 15) that Arculf, on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about the year 670 or 690, was cast by a tem- pest on the shore of Scotland. Ho was hospitably received by Adamnan. the abbot of the island moniistery of lona, to whom he gave a detailed nar- rative of his travels in the Holy I>and, with specifi- cations and designs of the .sanctuaries .so preci.se that Adamnan. with aid from some extraneous .sources, wa.s able to produce a descriptive work in three books, dealing with Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the principal towns of Palestine, and Constantinople. Atlamnan


presented a copy of this work to Aldfrith (q. v.). King of Northumbria in 698. It aims at giving a faithful account of what Arculf actually saw durmg his journey. As the latter "joined the zeal of an antiquarian to the devotion of a pilgrim during his nine months' stay in the Holy City, the work con- tains many curious details that might otherwise have never been chronicled. " Hcde makes some excerpts from it (on. cit., V, c. xv-xvii), and bases upon it his treati.se "be locis Sanctis". It was first edited by Father Gretser, S.J. (Ingolstadt, 1619). Mabillon gives an improved text in " Acta SS. Ord S. Bened. ", IV,,-)01.'-522, (reprinted in P. L.,LXXXIII, 779) and by Delpit, " Essai sur les anciens p^lerinages il Jerusa- lem" (Paris, 1870).

ToBLER, Arculfi relatio de Iccia aanctis in Itinera term aunctoe (Geneva, 1877); Levesque, art. Arculfe in Vio., Diet, de la Bible. There i» an English translation (truncated) in WmauT, Early Travel) in PaUttitie (.London, 1848), 1-13.

Thomas Walsh.

Ardagh (High Field), an Irish diocese in the ecclesiastical province of .■\rmagh, takes its name from a town in the parish and barony of same name in county Longford, province of Leinstcr. Here, according to Colg;in, St. Patrick baptized Maine, Lord of South Tellia, in Longford, built a church in a place called Ardachadh, which to this day is a see, and consecrated Mel, the son of his sister Darerca, the bishop leaving with him Melchu (Mel's brother) as co-bishop. Archbishop Healy accepts this statement, thougli Lanigan and O'Hanlon reject the co-epi.scopate of the brothers. The church of Ardagh was founded in 454 and is justly held to have been one of the most ancient in Ireland. St. Mel, or Mod, was not only the bishop of this church, but also abbot of the ad- joining monastery, and is yet patron of the diocese. Outside the town are the ruins of a small primitive church the remains of which are of cydopean char- acter. The see originally compri.sed the country of the Eiistern Conmaice. It consisted of the terri- tory of the O'Ferals and the O'CJuinns in the county Longford, called Annally, and the territory of Muintir Eolais, i. e. of MacRannal (O'Reynolds) in Leitrim. From the death of St. Mel to the coming of the English under Henry II (1169) the extant records of episcopal succession (for which see Gams, Series episcoporum Ratisbon, 1873-76) are uncer- tain, meagre, and broken. St. Erard, who ruled over this diocese in 7.54, having journej'ed to Koine with some companions, died at Ratisbon, of which see he is said to have been bishop. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries several mem- bers of the O'Feral clan occupied the chair of St. Mel. The Diocese of Clonmacnoise was united to that of Ardagh in 1729, during the episcop.'ite of Bishop Flynn, and so continues. The modern Diocese of Ardagh includes nearly all of Longford, the greater part of Leitrim, and portions of King's County, vVestmeath, Roscommon, and Sligo. There is a cathedral chapter of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, and there are forty-one parishes in the united dioceses. The seat of the bishop is at Longford, where a fine cathedral and a diocesan seminary have been erected. (See Clonmacnoise.)

Lewis, Topniiruphical Diet, of Ireland (London, 1837); Coi.OAN. Acta iianrturum /libcmioe (Louvain, 1(>45): Healy, f.ifr and Writinas of .St. Patriek (Dublin, 1905). 176; Lanioan. £<•<•/<•». Hint, of Ireland (I)ul)lin, 1822), I. 339: OHani.on, Lirca of the Irith Sainta (Dublin, 1875), II, 308; Monahan, Records of .•Irdagk and Ctanmacnoitc (Dublin, 1886); National Gazetteer, 1868.

J. J. Ryan. Ardbraccan (Hill of Braccan, or Brecan), site of an ancient abbey, now a parish and village in the county Mcath. Ireland, three miles west from Navan. .■^rdl)raccan .\bbey was founded and governed by St. Brecan. He was grandson of Carthan Finn, first Christian prince of Thoniond and son of Eochaidh