of navigable waterway. The department is divided into the arrondissements of Privas, Largentière and Tournon, with 31 cantons and 342 communes. It forms the diocese of Viviers and part of the archiepiscopal province of Avignon. It is in the region of the XV. army corps, and within the circumscription of the académie (educational division) of Grenoble. Its court of appeal is at Nîmes. Privas, the capital, Annonay, Aubenas, Largentière and Tournon are the principal towns. Bourg-St Andéol, Thines, Mélas and Cruas have interesting Romanesque churches. Mazan has remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century to which its vast church belongs. Viviers is an old town with a church of various styles of architecture and several old houses.
ARDEE, a market-town of Co. Louth, Ireland, in the south parliamentary division, on the river Dee, 48 m. N. by W. from Dublin on a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. (1901) 1883. It has some trade in grain and basket-making. The town is of high antiquity, and its name (Ather-dee) is taken to signify the ford of the Dee. A form Ath-Firdia, however, is connected with the ancient story of the warrior Cuchullain of Ulster, who, while defending the ford against the men of Connaught, was forced to slay many with whom he was on friendly terms, and among them the warrior Firdia, whom he regarded with special affection. A castle of the lords of the manor was built early in the 14th century, and remains, as does another adjacent fortified building of the same period. Roger de Peppart, lord of the manor early in the 13th century, founded the present Protestant church and a house of Crutched Friars. There was also a house of Carmelite Friars, but neither of these remains. Ardee received its first recorded charter in 1377. It had a full share in the several Irish wars, being sacked by Edward Bruce (1315) and by O’Neill (1538); and it was taken by the Irish and recaptured by the English in the wars of 1641, and was occupied later by the forces of James II. and of William III. It returned two members to the Irish parliament. A large rath, or encampment, with remains of fortifications, stands to the south of the town.
ARDEN, FOREST OF, a district in the north of Warwickshire, England, the “woodland” as opposed to the “felden,” or “fielden,” i.e. open country, in the south, the river Avon separating the two. Originally it was part of a forest tract of far wider extent than that within the confines of the county, and now, though lacking the true character of a forest, it is still unusually well wooded. The undulating surface ranges for the most part from 250 to 500 ft. in elevation. Wide lands in this district were held in the time of Edward the Confessor by Alwin, whose son Thurkill of Warwick, or “of Arden,” founded the family of the Warwickshire Ardens who in Queen Elizabeth’s time still held several of the manors ascribed to Thurkill in Domesday. Shakespeare, whose mother Mary Arden claimed to be of this family, knew the district well, living as he did at Stratford; and its natural characteristics, then still unchanged, inspired his pictures of forest life in As You Like It. The name of the Forest of Arden, besides remaining a convenient designation of a well-marked physical area, is preserved in such place-names as Henley-in-Arden and Hampton-in-Arden.
ARDENNES, a district covering some portion of the ancient forest of Ardenne, and extending over the Belgian province of Luxemburg, part of the grand duchy, and the French department of Ardennes. Bruzen Lamartinière states in his Dictionnaire Géographique that the Gauls and Bretons called it by a word signifying “the forest,” which was turned into Latin as Arduenna silva, and he thinks it quite probable that the name was really derived from the Celtic word ardu (dark, obscure). The Arduenna Silva was the most extensive forest of Gaul, and Caesar (Bello Gallico, lib. vi. cap. 29) describes it as extending from the Rhine and the confines of the Treviri as far as the limits of the Nervii. In book v. the Roman conqueror describes his campaign against Indutiomarus and the Treviri in the Ardenne forest. Strabo gave it still greater extent, treating it as covering the whole region from the Rhine to the North Sea. It is safer to give it the more reasonable dimensions of Caesar, and to accept the verdict of later commentators that it never extended west of the Scheldt. At the division of the empire of Charlemagne between the three sons of Louis the Débonnaire, effected by the pact of Verdun in 843, the forest had become a district and is called therein pagus Arduensis. It was part of the division that fell to Lothair, and several of the charters of 843 expressly specify certain towns as being situated in this pagus. In the 10th century the district had become a comitatus, subject to the powerful count of Verdun, who changed his style to that of count of Ardenne.
The Belgian Ardennes may be said now to extend from the Meuse above Dinant on the west to the grand duchy of Luxemburg and Rhenish Prussia as far north as the Baraque de Michel on the east, and from a line drawn eastward from Dinant through Marche, Durbuy and Stavelot to the Hautes Fagnes on the north, to the French frontier roughly marked by the Semois valley in the south. Within these limits there are still some of the finest woods in Europe, which seem to have come down to us almost intact from the days of the Arduenna of Caesar. Notable among these portions of the great forest are the woods of St Hubert, the woods round La Roche, and those of the Amerois, Herbeumont, and Chiny on the Semois. In the grand duchy the forest has almost entirely disappeared, but owing to the compulsory law of replanting in Belgium this fate does not seem likely to attend the Belgian Ardennes.
In addition to being a forest the Ardennes is a plateau, and it offers to the geologist a most interesting field of investigation. The greater part of the Ardennes is occupied by a large area of Devonian beds, through which rise the Cambrian masses of Rocroi and Stavelot, and a few others of smaller size. Upon the folded slates and schists which constitute these inliers the Devonian rests with marked unconformity; but north of the ridge of Condroz Ordovician and Silurian beds make their appearance. Near Dinant carboniferous beds are infolded among the Devonian. Along the northern margin lies the intensely folded belt which constitutes the coalfield of Namur, and, beneath the overlying Mesozoic beds, is continued to the Boulonnais, Dover and beyond. The southern boundary of this belt is formed by a great thrust-plane, the faille du midi, along which the Devonian beds of the south have been thrust over the carboniferous beds of the coalfield.
The Ardennes are the holiday ground of the Belgian people, and much of this region is still unknown except to the few persons who by a happy chance have discovered its remoter and hitherto well-guarded charms. There is still an immense quantity of wild game to be found in the Ardennes, including red and roe deer, wild boar, &c. The shooting is preserved either by the few great landed proprietors left in the country, or by the communes, who let the right of shooting to individuals. Occasionally it is still stated in the press that wolves have been seen in the Ardennes, but this is a mere fiction. The last wolf was destroyed there in the 18th century.
ARDENNES, a department of France on the N.E. frontier, deriving its name from that of the forest, and formed in 1790 from parts of Champagne, Picardy and Hainault. Pop. (1906) 317,505. Area, 2028 sq. m. It is bounded N. and N.E. by Belgium, E. by the department of Meuse, S. by that of Marne, and W. by that of Aisne. In shape it is quadrilateral with a cape-like prolongation into Belgium on the north. The slope of the department is from north-east to south-west, though its longest river, the Meuse, entering it in the south-east, pursues a winding course of 111 m. in a north-westerly, and afterwards through deep gorges in a northerly, direction. The other principal river, the Aisne, crosses the southern border and takes a northerly, then a westerly course, separating the region known as Champagne Pouilleuse from the more elevated plateau of Argonne which forms the central zone of the department and stretches to the left bank of the Meuse. The highest points of the department are found in the wooded highlands of the Ardennes which, with an altitude varying between 980 and 1640 ft., cover the north and north-east. The climate is comparatively mild in the south-west, but becomes colder and more rainy towards the north and north-east. Agriculture is carried on to