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ATRI


59


ATTAINDER


Atri, Diocese of. See Civita di Pexne.

Atrib, a titular see of Lower Egypt (Athribites) whose episcopal list (325—179) is given in Gams (p. 461).

Lequien, Oriejis Christ. (1740), II. 553-556.

Atrium. — I. An open place or court before a church. It consisted of a large quadrangle with colonnaded walks on its four sides forming a portico or cloister. It was situated between the porch or vestibule and the body of the church. In the center of the atrium was a fountain or well, where the worshippers washed their hands before entering the church. A remnant of this custom still survives in the u.se of the holy-water font, or basin, usually placed near the inner entrances of churches. In the atrium those that were not suf- fered to advance farther, and more particularly the first class of penitents, stood to solicit the prayers of the faithful as they went into the church. It was also used as a burying-ground, at first only for dis- tinguished persons, but afterwards for all believers. The covered portion next the church was called the narthex and was the place for penitents. The basilicas at Ravenna seem usually to have had a closed narthex; while those of Rome were open to the West. A mosaic in S. ApoUinare Nuovo, Ravenna, shows an open narthex closed by curtains. The atrium existed in some of the largest of the early Christian churches, such as old St. Peter's at Rome in the fourth century, and Sancta Sophia at Con- stantinople, in the sixth. In the residences {palalia, domus) of the Roman aristocracy, where the Roman Christians first worshipped, there was a threefold divi- sion; first, on entering, a court called theo^n'um; then, farther in, another colonnaded court called the peri- shile; and then the tablimim, where the altar was prob- ably placed, and services conducted. (See B.\silic.\.) So large a fore-court to a church required an area of land costly and ditficult to obtain in a large city. For this reason the old Roman atrium survived only occa- sionally in Eastern and Western churches. Typical examples may be seen in the churches of St. Clement, at Rome, and St. Ambro.se, at Milan; also in the seventh-century churches of Novara and Parenzo.

II. In secular architecture the atrium was the prin- cipal entrance-hall and apartment in a Roman house, and formed the reception-room. It was lighted by an opening in the roof, caMed the complurium, the roof sloping so as to throw the rain-water into a cistern in the floor called the impluvium. In large houses it was surrounded by a colonnade.

Thomas H. Poole.

Attainder. — A Bill of Attainder may be defined to be an Act of Parliament for putting a man to death or for otherwise punishing him without trial in the usual form. Thu-s by a legislative act a man is put in the same position as if he had been convicted after a regular trial. It is an act whereby the judicature of the entire Parliament is exercised, and may be contrasted with the procedure by impeachment in which the accusation, presented by the Commons acting as a grand jurj' of the whole realm, is tried by the I^rds, exercising at once the functions of a high court of justice and of a jurj'. In a strictly technical sense it may be said that a Bill of Attainder is a legislative act inflicting the punishment of death with- out a trial, and that a Bill of Pains and Penalties is such an act inflicting a milder punishment. In the popular sense, however, the term " Bill of Attainder" embraces both classes of acts, and in that sense it is evidently u.sed in the Constitution of the United States, as the Supreme Court has declared in Fletcher V. Peck, 6 Cranch, 138, that "A bill of attainder may affect the life of an individual, or may confiscate his property, or both ". Such a bill deals with the merits of a particular case and inflicts penalties, more or less severe, ex post facto, without trial in the


usual form. While bills of attainder were used ir. England as early as 1321 in the procedure employed by Parliament in the banishment of the two Des- pensers (1 St. tr. pp. 23, 38), it was not until the period of passion engendered by the civil war that the summary power of Parliament to punish criminals by statute was for the first time perverted and abused. Then it was that this process was first freely used, not oidy against the living, but sometimes against the dead, the main object in the latter case being, of course, the confiscation of the estate of the attained person. In the flush of victory which followed the battle of Towton, Edward IV obtained the passage of a sweeping bill of attainder through which the crown was enriched by forfeiture of the estates of fourteen lords and more than a hundred knights and esquires. In the seventeenth year of that reign was passed the Act of Attainder of the Duke of Clarence in which, after an oratorical preface setting out at length the off'ences imputed to him, it is enacted "that the said George Duke of Clarence be con- victed, and atteynted of high treason ". Then fol- lows the appointment of the Duke of Buckingham as lord high steward for that occasion to do execution. It is a remarkable fact that during a period of one hundred and sixty-two years (1459-1621) there is no record of a parliamentary impeachment either in the rolls of Parliament or in the Lords' journal. After the impeachment of Lord Stanley in 1459, for not sending his troops to the battle of Bloreheath, there was not another impeachment until that of Sir Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Mitchell in 1621. Dur- ing the interval, covering a little more than the reigns of the hoase of Tudor, enemies of the State were dis- posed of either by bills of attainder, by trials in the Star Chamber, or by trials for treason in the courts of common law. In the reign of Henry VIII Bills of attainder were often used instead of impeachments, as in the cases of Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Queen Katharine Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Earl of Surrey. During that reign religious persecu- tion was carried on rather through the legal ma- chinery' devised for the punishment of high treason as defined by the Act of Supremacy than by bills of attainder. By the Act of Supremacy, the King was declared Head of the Church with "the title and style thereof"; by the penal act which followed as a corollary thereto, it was declared that any attempt to deprive him "of the dignity, title, or name" of his royal estate should constitute high treason; under the special act providing the amended oath, it was possible to call upon anyone to declare his belief in the validity of the new title, and a failure to do so was sufficient evidence of guilt. By that legal machinery were dashed to pieces the Charterhouse monks of London, who are admitted on every hand to have been the noblest and purest of all church- men. Even Fronde admits that they were "gallant men, whose high forms, in the sunset of the old faith, stand transfigured on the horizon, tinged with the light of its dying glory". The legal proceedings through which the Bishop of Rochester and Sir Thomas More were brought to the block were but a repetition of what had been gone through with in the case of the Carthusians. After the Tudor time the most remarkable bills of attainder are those that were directed against Lord Strafford, Lord Danby, the Duke of Monmouth, and Sir John Fenwick. .\s instances of bills of pains and penalties, reference may be made to those against Bishop Atterbury and Queen Caroline, usually referred to as the last in- stances of such legislation. When Queen Caroline returned to England, in July, 1S30, all the ministers, except Canning, were induced to consent to the in- troduction in the House of Lords of a bill of pains and penalties, providing for the dissolution of her marriage with the King, upon the ground of adultery.