Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/553

This page needs to be proofread.


BEREN6ER


489


BERGAMO


mitllmn Znl (Ireiburg im. Br., 1882); Delarc, Les orig. de I her de Bermger in Rev. des quest. hi»t. (Paris, 1876), XX; tyt. Gregoire V 11 el la rejorme de VEglUe au Xle Sihle (Paris, 18891; &CHNITZEB, Berenffor von Tours, ein Beitrag zur Abend- mahlslehre des begmn. M. A. (Munich, 1890); Clerval Les Ecoies de Chartres au M. A. (Chartres, 1895); Gore, Disserta- tions on Subjects Connected with the Incarnation (London, 1895); BiGiNELLi, La Rinascema degli Studi Eucaristici net Medio Era in Compte Rendu du fVe cong. internal, scientif. des cath. tenu b Fribourg (Suisse), le sec: Sciences Relig. (Fribourg, 1898); Renaudin, L'hcresie Euchar. de Berenger in L'Vnivernte Cath., nouv. serie (Lyons, 1902), XL; Ver.net in Diet, de thiol, cath., s. V. Berenger,

George M. Sauvage. Berenger, Pierke (Peter of Poitiers, Petrus ScHOLASTicu.s), a French writer who flourished about the middle of the twelfth century. From the second name we may, perhaps, infer that Poitiers was his native place. He was a disciple of Abelard, and is celebrated chiefly for his \agorous defence of his master in a letter which he addressed to St. Bernard after .A.belard's condemnation at the Council of Soissons in 1141. Later on he wandered through the Cevennes Mountains, hunted, he tells us, not by wild beasts, but by the Christian faithful of the Diocese of Mende, who apparently took sides with St. Bernard. Those attacks were the occasion of a letter which he directed to the Bishop of Mende, and in which he re- tracted all that he had said against "the man of God" in his former epistle. There is also extant a letter of Berenger's against the monks of the Grand Chartreux (Contra Carthusienses). Finally, we find mention of a treatise, now lost, in which he discussed the doctrine of the Incarnation. The three letters are pubhshed by Migne (P. L., CLXXVIII, 1S57 sqq.). That addressed to St. Bernard, while not wanting in grace and elegance of style, is altogether too in- temperate in tone to deserve serious consideration as an historical document. In it occurs the well- known description of an informal meeting of the bishops on the eve of the Council of Soissons. If we are to believe Pierre, the prelates were primed in a most disgraceful manner in St. Bernard's interests, and the condemnation of Abelard was decided before the council actually opened. Even if the author of this story had not afterwards excused it on the ground that it was the work of an inconsiderate youth, overcome by the ardour of his devotion to his teacher, the violent tone of the letter itself would be enough to condemn it. In the letter to the Bishop of Mende Pierre protests that he would recall all that he has written against St. Bernard were it possible to sup- press all the copies of the letter, and begs that what he wrote be taken as a jest. He goes even farther when he says that his more mature judgment con- demns the doctrines attributed by St. Bernard to Abelard — not, indeed, because they are untrue, but because they are unsafe. The invective against the Carthusians pays high tribute to the rule of the order, but finds fault with the proclivity of the mem- bers of the order to indulge in malicious gossip. Pierre exhibited many of the traits of his master. He was by nature a lover of contention, totally de- void of respect for the prestige of either person or institution. His sole merit was the undeniable vivacity and brilliancy of his style and his unusually extensive acquaintance with the poets of classical antiquity. He professed his devotion to Catholic dogma and apparently maintained that .Abelard, though he had spoken of matters of faith in a man- ner novel and unsafe, had not been guilty of formal heresy, and had not been treated with that mercy to which his love of Catholic truth, as he saw it, entitled him.

RfeMUSAT, Abflard (Paris, 1855), I, 234 sqq.: Cousin, Petri Abalardi opera (Paris, 1859), II, 771 sqq.; Vacandard in Di<A. de theot. cath., s. v.

William Turner.

Berenice, a titular see of Egypt which was sit- uated at the end of Major Syrtis where Bengazi


stands to-day. Its old name was Euhesperidcs, or Hesperides, for which Ptolemy III Evergetes substituted Berenice in honour of his wife (Droysen. Geschichte des Hellenismus, III, 2, 331). Like the other cities of (^yrenaica, it had received a Jewish colony, so it became early an important Christian centre. Dionysius of Alexandria (264-282) wrote a letter to its bishop, Ammonas (Eusebius, H. E. VII, 26), who is also spoken of in the "Apoph- thegmata Patrum" (Cotelier, Monum. cedes, grsc I, 385; xMigne, P. G., LXV, 119). Daces was present at the Council of Nica;a in 325 (H. Gelzer, Patrum Nica;n. nomina, 219). In 394, Probatius followed to Constantinople the Patriarch of .Alexandria, Theophilus (Mansi, III, 852). The city was re- stored by Justinian (Procopius, De Aedif. VI, 2). It is mentioned with the ^\Tong spelling "Beronice", by Hierocles (733, 3) and by Georgius Cj-prius (n. 794) among the bishoprics of the Lybian Pen- tapolis, but is omitted by the later "Notitiai". It must have disappeared, like so many otlier sees, at the time of the Arab invasion in the seventh century.

Leqdien, Oriens Christ.. II, 623-626; Gams, Series epin-opa- rum, 462.

L. Petit.

Beretta. See Biretta.

Bergamo, Diocese of. — ^The city, called by the ancients Bergonum, is capital of the province of that name in Lombardy, and contains 45,000 inhabitants. It is said to be of Etruscan foundation. During the anarchy that reigned in Italy in the eleventh century, Bergamo set itself up as a commune, and as such joined the various leagues of Lombard com- munes formed to resist the power of the German emperors. At a later period, however, a number of powerful families succeeded each other in the mas- tery of the city, e. g. the Turriani, the Visconti, and the Suardi. From 1797 to 1859 Bergamo passed through all the political vicissitudes of Northern Italy It has always been a city of great industrial and com- mercial importance. The neighbouring territory is rich in minerals, chiefly iron; there are also extensive quarries of choice marble. Among the celebrities of Bergamo are the poet, Bernardo Tasso, father of Torquato; the Jesuit MaiTei, known for his history of Italian literature; Donizetti, the musical composer; Cardinal Angelo Mai, etc.

Bergamo is the seat of a bishop, suffragan to the Archbishop of Milan; the diocese contains a popul.a- tion of 430,000. Legend traces the beginnings of Christianity in this city back to St. Barnabas, said to have ordained St. Narnus who became first Bishop of Bergamo. More trustworthy is the ac- count of the martyrdom of St. Alexander, said to have been tribune of the Theban Legion. Wliatever the value of the details of the legend, the fact has been proved that long before Diocletian proclaimed the great persecution in 303, both Galerius and Maximian in the West inaugurated, on their own responsibility, a crusade against Cliristianity and sought particularly to remove all Christians from the armies (.\llard, I^a persecution de Diocl^tien, I, 101-146). St. Alexander was one of the victims of this persecution, and his martyrdom may well have taken place in 287. To this martyr was dedicated the first cathedral of the city, richly endowed by the Lombard king, Grimoaldus, and by Charlemagne.

In 1561 this was destroyed by the Venetians on account of its adaptability to the purposes of a fortress, and the church of San Vincenzo v,'as raised to the dignity of a cathedral under the title of San Alessandro. This is a magnificent church adorned with a cupola of unusual size, rebuilt in 1089 after the designs of Carlo Fontana. It contains paintings by Previtali, Tiepolo, Ferrari, Moroni, Palma il Giovine, and Colghetti who decorated the interior of