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METASTASIO


234


METEMPSYCHOSIS


Metastasio, Fiethii. ltali:iii poet, b. at Rome, 169S; d. at Vienna, 17S2. Of humble origin, his father, once a Papal soldier, was later a pork-butcher; Metastasio was placed in tlie shop of a poldsinith to learn liis craft. By some chance he attracted the attention of the jurisconsult and litterateur, \'incenzo (iravina, who took him in charge, and Cra^cizing his name of Trapassi, into the synonymous Metastasio, pive him a solid education. .\i his death in 171S he left to his protepi? a considerable smn of money, which the latter soon di.ssipated. Then he was compelled to apprentice himself at Naples toa lawyer, who, however, found the appn>ntice more prone to write verses than to study legal codes. The beginning of Metastasio's real career is marked by the composition, at the re- quest of the \'iceroy of Naples, of his musical drama, the " Orti Espe- ridi ", which had signal success. The leading part therein was played by the famous ac- tress, laRomanina (Marianna Benti- Bulgarelli). She at once became attached to the young poet, com- missioned him to w rite a new play, t he " Didone ab- bandona", had him taught music liya noted teacher, and took him to Home and to Ven- ice with her on her PlETRO Metastasio professional tours.

At Vienna the Italian melodramatist, Apostolo Zeno, was about to relinquish his post as imperial poet, and in 1730 he recommended that Metas- tasio be appointed his successor. With this rec- ommendation and with the aid of the Countess of Althann, who remained his patroness during her hfe- time, he obtained the appointment. Thereafter, and especially during the decade lietween 17.30 and 1740, Metastasio was engaged in the composition of his many melodramas (over seventy in number), his oratorios, cantate, canzonette, etc. Among the most noted of his melodramas — which announce the com- ing opera — are: "Endimione", "Orti Esperidi", "Galatea", "AngeUca", "Didone", "Siroe , "Ca- tone", "Artaserse", "Adriano", "Demetrio", "Is-sipile", " Demofoonte ", "Clemenza di Tito", "Semiramide", " Olimpiade ", " Temistocle ", and the " Attilio Regolo". The last-named is regarded as his masterpiece. All the pieces of Metastasio took the popular fancy, chiefly because he sedulously avoided all unliappy d^'nouements, and, enlivening his effica- cious dialogue with commijii .sense aphorisms, he combined them with arias and ariettas that appealed to the many. His Letters are important in connexion with any study of his artistic development.

The best edition of his works is that of Paris, 1780- 82. .\dditions are found in the Opere Postume, Vienna, 1795. (See also the editions of Florence, 1820 and 1826). His letters were edited bv Oarducci (Bologna, 1883), and by Antona Traversi (Home, 1886.)

J. M. D. Ford


Metcalfe^ EDw.\nD, b. in Yorkshire, 1792; d. a martyr of cliarity at Leeds, 7 May, 1847. He entered the Benedictine monastery at Ampleforth in 1811, and was ordained five years later. He distinguished him- self early as a linguist. From 1822 to 1824, he served on the mi.ssion at Kilvington. About this time, at the request of Bishop Baines, he and some other members


of the community left .Ampleforth to establish a monastery at Prior Park, near Bath. On 13 March, 1830, the Holy See autliorized them to transfer their obedience to the vicar -Vpo.stolie; a little later, owing to some misunderstaiulirig, they were .secularized. In IS.il I'ather Metcalfe was made chaplain to Sir E. Mostyn, of Talacre, Flint, and soon accjuired a knowl- edge of the Welsh language, so as to mini.ster to the Welsh [xipulat ion. .\fler five years he was tran.sferred to Newport, and in 1.S4 t to Bristol. Arrangements were almost completed for his re-admission into the Bene- dictines in 1847, when an outlireak of fever in Leeds, inspired him to offer his services to the bishop of that city; he hastened to the plague-stricken populace, and in a short time fell a victim to llie epidemic. His principal works are: a Welsh translation of t'h.dloner's two works, " Think well on't " and " The Garden of the Soul" (Llyfr Gweddi y Catholig); also "Crynoad o'r Athrawiaeth Cristionogol " (Rhyl, 1866).

GiLLOw, Biog. Diet, of Eng. Cath.:' Dolman's Magazine, V, 65; The Tablet, IV, 790; Shepherd, Reminiscences of Prior Park, passim.

A. A. MacErlean.

Metellopolis, a titular see of Phrygia Pacatiana, in Asia Minor. The inscriptions make known a Phrygian town named Motella, which name is connecteti with the Phrygian feminine proper name Motalis and the Cilician masculine Motales, as also with Mutalli, or Mutallu, the name of an ancient Hittite king of North- ern C'ommagene. One of these inscriptions was found in the village of Medele, in the vilayet of Broussa, which evidently preserves the ancient name. Motella seems to be the town which Hierocles (Synecdemus, 668, 6) calls Pulcherianopolis; it may be supposed to have been raised to the rank of a bishopric by the Empress Pulcheria (414-53). Shortly before 553, per- haps in 535, Justinian raised Hierapolis to metropoli- tan rank, and attached to it a certain number of suffragan sees previously dependent on Laodicea. Among these the " Notitice Episcopatuum " mention, from the ninth to the twelfth or thirteenth century, this same Motella, which they call Metellopolis, and even once Metallopolis. An inscription informs us of Bishop Michael, in 556; and another, of Bishop Cyriacus, perhaps in 667. At the Council of Nica;a, 787, the see was represented by Eudoxius, a priest and monk. Bishop Michael attended the two councils of Constantinople in 869 and 879.

Le QulEN, Oriens Christianus, I, 826 (very incomplete); Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, 109, 121, 141, 158, 541.

S. PETRiniiS.

Metempsychosis (Gr. /xeTA e^n^uxos. Lat. metemp- sychosis: Ft. metempsijchose: Ger. seelenwanderung), in other words the doctrine of the transmigra- tion of souls, teaches that the same soul inhabits in succession the bodies of different beings, both men and animals. It was a tenet common to many sys- tems of philosophic thought and religious belief widely separated from each other both geographically and historically. Although in modem times it is as- sociated among civilized races almost exclusively with the countries of Asia and particularly with India, there is evidence that at one period or another it has flour- Lshed in almost every part of the world ; and it still pre- vails in various forms among savage nations scattered over the globe. This universality seems to mark it as one of those spontaneous or instinctive beliefs by which man's nature responds to the deep and urgent problems of existence; whilst the numerous and ricnly- varied forms which it assumes in different systems, and the many-coloured mythology in which it has clothed itself, show it to be capable of powerfully ap- pealing to the imagination, and of adapting itself with great versatility to widely different types of mind. The explanation of this success seems to lie partly in its being an expression of the fundamental belief in im-