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981
BIRGER—BIRKENFELD

enlarged, forming a rim of thick stuff projecting beyond the close-fitting cap. This was the “square cap” so virulently denounced by the Puritans as a symbol of High Church Erastianism. With the triumph of High Church principles at the Restoration it was natural that a loyal clergy should desire to emphasize this squareness, and the consequent exaggeration of the square top of the cap necessitated a further stiffening. In the 18th century, accordingly, the top began to be made of a board of wood or card covered with cloth, the close-fitting cap proper retired farther from the edges, the knob developed into a long tassel, and the evolution of the modern “college cap” was complete (see fig. 1).

On the continent, meanwhile, in the Roman Catholic Church, the biretum had also developed into its present characteristic form, and by a very similar process. By the end of the 16th century the square shape was everywhere prevalent; at the beginning of the 17th century cardboard was introduced to stiffen the sides and emphasize the squareness, and the actual form of the biretta, as described above, had become fixed (see fig. 2). Only in Spain has the biretta continued to be worn without the raised ridges.

1911 Britannica-Biretta2.png
(Redrawn from Braun’s Liturgische Gewandung.)
Fig. 2.—Illustrations of the biretum from monuments in the cathedrals
of—
a, Brandenburg (1281).
b, Augsburg (1342).
c, Bamberg (1483).
d, Regensburg (1550).
e, Würzburg (1521).
f, Regensburg (1564).
g, ib. (1605?).
h, Bamberg (1626).

The use of the Roman biretta has been introduced by a certain number of the clergy into the Anglican Church. It is clear that there is no historical justification for this; for though both college cap and biretta are developed from the same “square cap,” the biretta in its actual shape is strictly associated with the post-Reformation Roman Church, and its actual ceremonial use is of late growth. Braun (Liturgische Gewandung, p. 513) thinks that the symbolism of the cross may have had some influence in fixing and propagating the square shape, and he quotes a decree of the synod of Aix (1585) ordering the clergy to wear a biretta sewn in the form of a cross (biretum in modum crucis consutum, ut ecclesiasticos homines decet). So far as the legality of the use of the biretta in the Church of England is concerned, this was pronounced by Sir R. Phillimore in the Court of Arches (Elphinstone v. Purchas, 1870) to be legal “as a protection to the head when needed,” but this decision was reversed on appeal by the judicial committee of the privy council (Hebbert v. Purchas, 1871). Of late years the old square cap of soft padded cloth or velvet has been revived in the Anglican Church by some dignitaries.

See J. Braun, S.J., Die liturgische Gewandung (Freiburg-i-B., 1907); Hierurgica Anglicana, part ii. (London, 1903); H. Druitt, Costume on Brasses (London, 1906).

 (W. A. P.) 

BIRGER (?-1266), Swedish statesman, nephew of Birger Brosa, and the most famous member of the ancient noble family of the Folkungeätten, which had so much to say for itself in early Swedish history, was created jarl of Bjälbo by King Erik Eriksson in 1248 and married the king’s sister. On Erik’s death (1250) Birger’s son Valdemar was elected king while his father acted as regent. During the sixteen years of his sway Sweden advanced greatly in fame and prosperity. In 1249 he led an expedition to Finland, built the fortress of Tavastehus, and thus laid the foundations of Sweden’s oversea empire. He also built Stockholm, and enriched it by making it the chief mart for the trade of Lübeck, with which city he concluded a commercial treaty. As a lawgiver also Birger laboured strenuously in the interests of civilization. In his old age he married the daughter of King Abel. There is a fine statue of the great jarl in the Riddarholm church at Stockholm, erected by Fogelberg at the expense of the Stockholm magistracy in 1884. He is also the central figure of Fr. Hedberg’s drama Bröllopet på Ulfåsa (1865).

See Sveriges Historia, vol. i. (Stockholm, 1879-1883).

BIRIBI, or Cavagnole, a French game of chance, prohibited by law since 1837. It is played on a board on which the numbers 1 to 70 are marked. The players put their stakes on the numbers they wish to back. The banker is provided with a bag from which he draws a case containing a ticket, the tickets corresponding with the numbers on the board. The banker calls out the number, and the player who has backed it receives sixty-four times his stake; the other stakes go to the banker. In the French army “to be sent to Biribi” is a cant term for being sent to the disciplinary battalion in Algeria.

BIRJEND, the capital of Káïn, a sub-province of Khorasan in Persia, in 32° 53′ N. 59° 10′ E., and at an elevation of 4550 ft. Pop. about 25,000. It is situated 328 m. from Meshed by the direct road, in a fertile valley running east and west, of which the southern boundary is a lofty range of barren hills known as Kuh i Bakeran. Through the valley runs the Khusp river, which loses itself in the desert towards the west; it is, however, generally dry. The water-supply of the town and of the 70 or 80 villages under its jurisdiction is very scanty. On the east of the town at the foot of a hill stands a dilapidated fort. Birjend has six good caravanserais, a college and some mosques; post and telegraph offices were established there in 1902.

BIRKBECK, GEORGE (1776-1841), English physician and philanthropist, was born at Settle in Yorkshire on the 10th of January 1776. He early evinced a strong predilection for scientific pursuits; and in 1799, after graduating as doctor of medicine, he was appointed to the chair of natural philosophy at the Andersonian Institution of Glasgow. In the following year he delivered, for the benefit of the working-classes, a gratuitous course of scientific lectures, which were continued during the two following years and proved eminently successful. He removed to London in 1804, and there he endeavoured to prosecute his philanthropic schemes, at first without much encouragement, but ultimately with marked success. In 1823 he contributed to found the Mechanics’ Institute, the name of which was afterwards changed to Birkbeck Institution or College, in honour of its founder. He was appointed director of the institute, which he had originally endowed with the sum of £3700, and held the office till his death on the 1st of December 1841. The sphere of usefulness of the institution was gradually enlarged, and an enlargement of the buildings was carried out in 1883-1885. The college now holds day and evening classes in many of the sciences, in literature, languages and art.

BIRKENFELD, a town of Germany, capital of the principality of the same name, on the Zimmerbach, 25 m. S.E. of Trier and on the main line of railway from Bingerbrück to Neunkirchen. Pop. 2500. Close by, on an eminence, lie the ruins of the castle of Birkenfeld, dating from the 14th century, once the residence of the counts palatine of Zweibrücken. The town has an Evangelical and a Roman Catholic church, a grand-ducal high school and a hospital. Besides brewing and tanning, its industries include the manufacture of tobacco and chicory. There is also a considerable trade in cattle.

The Principality of Birkenfeld is hilly and well-forested; agriculture prospers on the cleared lands, and fruit is grown in the valley of the Nahe, the principal stream. Ironstone and roofing slates are quarried, and there is some industry in agate-polishing and the manufacture of trinkets. The principality