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480


BENJAMIN


that the burial spot was that of the holy martyr Benignus, he had the tomb in which the sarcophagus lay restored, and he built a basilica over it. About this date there was a sudden appearance of Acts of the martyrdom of the saint, which were brouglit to Dijon by a pilgrim on the way to Italy (Gregor. Tur., De gloria martjTum, I, li; Migne, P. L., LXXI, 752). Tliese accounts have no historical basis; according to them St. Polycarp of Smyrna had sent Benignus as a missionarj- to Dijon, where he had laboured as a priest and had finally died a martyr. For some unknown reason his death is placed in the persecu- tion mider Aurelian (270-275). The author liad not noticed that the sending by Polj-carp and the mar- trydom under Aurelian are chronologically irre- concilable. Duchesne has proved that these "Acts" belong to a whole group of legends which arose in the early years of the sixth century and were intended to describe the beginnings of Christianity in the cities of that region (Besan^on, Autun, Langres, Valence). They are all falsifications by the same hand and possess no historical value.

Acta SS., Nov.. I, 134 sqq.; Duchesne, Pastes episcopaux de Vancienne Gaule (Paris. 1S94), I. 48 sqq.; Tille.mont, Memoires (ed. 1695), III. 3S sqq., 603 sqq.; De Belloguet, Oru/ines Dijonnaises (Dijon, 1852); Bocgacd, Etude hist, el crit. sur la mission, les actes, et te cidte de S, Benigne (.\utun, 1859); Beause, De la mission de S, Benigne et du marti/re des SS, Jumeaux h Langres (Langres, 1S61).

J. P. KiRSCH.

Benin, Vic.\RLiTE Apostolic of the Co.\.st OF (Or-E Bexin'i), includes an extensive negro country and the former kingdom of Western Equa- torial Africa, in Upper Guinea, on the Bight of Benin, or Gulf of Guinea. In 1860 a mission was founded in the former Kingdom of Dahomey, but as this name was disliked by the inhabitants the title was changed to "Vicariate of the Coast of Benin". The mission of Dahomey was separated from Benin in 1S82 and made a Prefecture .\postolic, in 1901 a Vicariate Apostolic. On 10 May, 1894, the Niger mission was also cut off. Since the latter date the Vicariate of the Coast of Benin has been bounded by Dahomey, the Niger, and the Bight of Benin; it includes the British colony of Lagos (Southern Nigeria), the native Kingdom of Porto Novo (under French pro- tection), and the native kingdoms of Yoruba, Isebou, Ibadan, etc.

The region is rich in vegetable resources. Cotton is indigenous and is woven by the women. .Axnong the pagan blacks human sacrifices are frequent; cruelty in atrocious forms is characteristic of these natives. The coast is indented with estuaries, some of considerable breadth and studded with islands. Behind the flat shores plateaux rise to heights of 2000 and 3000 feet. There is an extensi\e traffic in salt, palm oil, and other staples. The area is about 55,985 square miles, about one-half of which belongs to Great Britain; the population in 1901 numbered 1,500.000, and there were in the territorj- about 308 Europeans. The appointment of a vicar Apostohc dates from 1891; the residence is at Lagos, which in 1901 had a population of 41,847, of whom 233 were Europeans. The \icar .\postolic is chosen from the members of the Society for .\frican missions of Lyons to whom the mission has been entrusted. The development of this mission has been greater than that of Dahomey, as the British Government grants the missionaries greater freedom for their spiritual labours and gives subsidies to the mission schools when this course furthers British interests. The first converts among the blacks were ex-slaves re- turned from Brazil: for a long time they were cate- cliized by one of their own race, known as "Padre Antonio", who kept aUve the Faith till the arrival of the Fathers from Lyons (Louvet, 291). The mis- sionaries number 26 regular clergj' and 1 lay brother; they have charge of about 15,500 Catholics. The


chief stations are: Lagos, situated on an island at the mouth of the Ogun, and known as the " .African Liverpool", Titolo, Tocpo, Abeokuta, Oyo, Ibadan, Ishure, Ibowon. Less important and more irregularly served are Eboute-Meta, Bada-gri, Iboak^, Awe, Ishwo. The vicariate has a number of flourishing schools with 2,059 pupils, of whom 800 are in the school at Lagos. There are 25 catechists. Orphan- ages and hospitals have also been founded, and a promising agricultural school exists at Tocpo. The principal hospital is the one conducted at Abeokuta by Father Coquard, commonly called Dr. Coquard; he is consulted as a physician as far as Lagos, a town where there are Enghsh physicians. The King of Aque, the head of the federation of Abeokuta, grants a subsidy to the hospital and, although a heathen, is present with his followers at the cliief festivals of the Cathohc mission. The mission territory includes three large cities: Abeokuta, Ilorin, and Ibadan. Constrained to defend themselves against raids from L^ahomey, the native blacks have gathered in Abeo- kuta, on the left bank of the Ogun, in large numbers, variously estimated from 150,000 to 200,000, and have surrounded the city, or collection of 140 villages, with a wall twenty-four miles in circuit. Ibadan has a reputed population of 150.000 and Ilorin 60.000 to 80,000. As yet no Cathohc missions have been es- tablished in them.

La societ'^ des missions afrieaines de Lyon et ses missions (Lyons); Heilprix, Gazetteer (Philadelphia. 1906); Stales- man's Year-Book (I>ondon, 1907"); Missioned Catholiew (Rome, 1906); BrxGER, Du Niger au Golfe de Guinie (Paris, 1892); Toutee. Dahome, Niger el Touarez (Paris, 1897); JIiele, La C6te d'lvoire (Paris. 1900); Planque in Piollet, Missions iranc, calh. au XIXe siicle (Paris, 1902), Airupie, V, 196-200; Louvet, Miss. calh. au XIX' sihU (Paris, 1898), 292.

Albert Battanmer.

Benito, Marcus. See Mijes.

Benjamin (Heb. PD'J3. binjdmin, "son of the right hand"). (1) The youngest son of Jacob bom of Rachel. His original name was Ben-oni (Heb. 'JIS'iD, "son of my sorrow"), given to him by his mother just before she died in child-birth, but was changed to Benjamin by Jacob (Gen., xxxv, 18). The Sa- maritan reading. Bcnjamim, i. e. "son of days", would refer to the ad\anced age of Jacob at the time of Benjamin's birth. Upon the loss of Joseph, Benjamin's full-brother, Jacob's affections were bestowed upon Benjamin, and it was only with great reluctance that he permitted his beloved child to accompany his brethren to Egj^t to purchase corn (Gen., xlii, 36: xliii, 15). Joseph, too, showed a marked preference of Benjamin to his other brethren and puts the hitter's mind concerning him to a rather severe test (Gen., xliv-.xlvi). (2) The son of Balan and grandson of Benjamin, Jacob's son (I Paralip., ^^i, 10). (3) One of the .sons of Herem who had married a foreign wife in the days of Esdras (I Esdras, X, 32). (4) One of those who took part in the re- building of the walls of Jerusalem at the time of Nehemias (II Esdras, iii, 23; cf. xii, 33). (5) The name of a gate in the northern wall of Jerusalem (Jer., xxxvii, 12; Zach., xiv, 10). It is not men- tioned by Nehemias in his enumeration of the gates of Jerusalem (II Esdras, iii). (6) The name of tli'- northern gate of the Temple, where Jeremias «; ~ imprisoned (Jer.. xx, 2; xxxviii, 7, 14), probably tin same as "watch-gate" (II Esdras, xii, 38) and as tin- one spoken of in Jeremias (viii, 3, 5, 16; i.x, _ (7) Name of eastern gate of the ideal Jerusalem a- drawn by Ezechiel (Ezech., xlviii, 32). (8) Name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel which during the sojourn in Egj-pt numbered 35,4(X) warriors, and according to a second census 45,600 (Nimi., i, 36; xx\-i, 41). The territory assigned to it is de- fined in Josue, x\nii, 11 sqq. It was about twenty- five miles in length and twelve in breadth, and was bounded on the north by Ephraim, on the east by