His parents were of rank and probably pagan; according to Barhebraeus, he was in youth a priest in a heathen temple at Mabbōg. Another probable tradition asserts that he shared the education of a royal prince who afterwards became king of Edessa—perhaps Abgar bar Manu, who reigned 202-217. He is said to have converted the prince to Christianity, and may have had an important share in christianizing the city. Epiphanius and Barhebraeus assert that he was first an orthodox Christian and afterwards an adherent of Valentinus; but Eusebius and the Armenian Moses of Chorene reverse the order, stating that in his later days he largely, but not completely, purged himself of his earlier errors. The earliest works attributed to him (by Eusebius and others) are polemical dialogues against Marcionism and other heresies; these were afterwards translated into Greek. He also wrote, probably under Caracalla, an apology for the Christian religion in a time of persecution. But his greatest title to fame was furnished by his hymns, which, according to St Ephrem, numbered 150 and were composed in imitation of the Davidic psalter. He thus became the father of Syriac hymnology, and from the favour enjoyed by his poems during the century and a half that intervened between him and St Ephrem we may conclude that he possessed original poetic genius. This would be clearly proved if (as is not unlikely) the beautiful Hymn of the Soul incorporated in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas could be regarded as proceeding from his pen; it is practically the only piece of real poetry in Syriac that has come down to us. Perhaps owing to the persecution under Caracalla mentioned above, Bardaiṣān for a time retreated into Armenia, and is said to have there preached Christianity with indifferent success, and also to have composed a history of the Armenian kings. Porphyry states that on one occasion at Edessa he interviewed an Indian deputation who had been sent to the Roman emperor, and questioned them as to the nature of Indian religion. He was undoubtedly a man of wide culture. He died (according to the patriarch Michael) in 222.
For our knowledge of Bardaiṣān's doctrine we are mainly dependent on the hostile witness of St Ephrem, and on statements by Greek writers who had no acquaintance with his works in their original form. His teaching had certain affinities with gnosticism. Thus he certainly denied the resurrection of the body; and so far as we can judge by the obscure quotations from his hymns furnished by St Ephrem he explained the origin of the world by a process of emanation from the supreme God whom he called "the Father of the living." On the other hand the dialogue known as the Book of the Laws of the Countries, which was written by a disciple and is quoted by Eusebius as a genuine exposition of the master's teaching—while it recognizes the influence of the celestial bodies over the body of man and throughout the material sphere and attributes to them a certain delegated authority—upholds the freedom of the human will and can in the main be reconciled with orthodox Christian teaching. On this M. Nau has based his effort (see Une Biographie inédite de Bardesane l'astrologue, Paris, 1897; Le Livre des lois des pays, Paris, 1899) to clear Bardaiṣān of the reproach of gnosticism, maintaining that the charge of heresy arises from a misunderstanding of certain astrological speculations. It must be admitted that it is impossible to reconstruct Bardaiṣān's system from the few fragments remaining of his own work and therefore a certain verdict cannot be given. But the ancient testimony to the connexion of Bardaiṣān with Valentinianism is strong, and the dialogue probably represents a modification of Bardesanist teaching in the direction of orthodoxy. The later adherents of the school appear to have moved towards a Manichean dualism.
The subject is exhaustively discussed in Hort's article "Bardaisan" in Dict. Christ. Biog., and a full collection of the ancient testimonies will be found in Harnack's Altchristliche Litteratur, vol. i. pp. 184 ff.
BARDILI, CHRISTOPH GOTTFRIED (1761-1808), German philosopher, was born at Blaubeuren in Württemberg, and died at Stuttgart. His system has had little influence in Germany; Reinhold (q.v.) alone expounded it against the attacks of Fichte and Schelling. Yet in some respects his ideas opened the way for the later speculations of Schelling and Hegel. He dissented strongly from the Kantian distinction between matter and form of thought, and urged that philosophy should consider only thought in itself, pure thought, the ground or possibility of being. The fundamental principle of thought is, according to him, the law of identity; logical thinking is real thinking. The matter upon which thought operated is in itself indefinite and is rendered definite through the action of thought. Bardili worked out his idea in a one-sided manner. He held that thought has in itself no power of development, and ultimately reduced it to arithmetical computation. He published Grundriss der ersten Logik (Stuttgart, 1800); Über die Gesetze der Ideenassociation (Tübingen, 1796); Briefe über den Ursprung der Metaphysik (Altona, 1798); Philos. Elementarlehre (Landshut, 1802-1806); Beiträge zur Beurteilung des gegenwärtigen Zustandes der Vernunftlehre (Landshut, 1803).
See C. L. Michelet, Geschichte der letzten Systeme; J. E. Erdmann, Versuch einer Geschichte d. neu. Phil. Bd. iii. pt. i.; B's und Reinholds Briefwechsel.
BARDOUX, AGÉNOR (1820-1897), French statesman, was a native of Bourges. Established as an advocate at Clermont, he did not hesitate to proclaim his republican sympathies. In 1871 he was elected deputy of the National Assembly, and re-elected in 1876 and in 1877. In the chamber he was president of the group of the left centre, standing strongly for the republic but against anti-clericalism. After the coup d'état of the 16th of May, he was one of the leaders of the "363." In the republican chamber elected after the 16th of May, he became minister of public instruction (December 1877), and proposed various republican laws, notably on compulsory primary education. He resigned in 1879. He was not re-elected in 1881, but in December 1882 was named senator for life. He wrote essays on Les Légistes et leur influence sur la société française (1878); Le Comte de Montlosier et le Gallicanisme (1881); and published in 1882 his Dix Années de vie politique.
BARDOWIEK, a village of Germany, in the Prussian province of Hanover, 3 m. N. of Lüneburg on the navigable Ilmenau. Pop. 2000. Its trade consists entirely in agricultural produce. The Gothic parish church (c. 1400) incorporates remains of a cathedral of vast dimensions.
Bardowiek was founded in the 8th century by Charlemagne, who established a bishopric in it, and until its destruction by Henry the Lion in 1189, it was the most prosperous commercial city of north Germany. Its name is derived from the Longobardi, the tribe for whom it was the home and centre, and from it the colonization of Lombardy started.
BARDSEY (i.e. "Bards' Island": cf. Anglesey, "Angles' Island"; Welsh, Ynys Enlli, "isle of the current"), an island at the northern extremity of Cardigan Bay. The "sound" between Aberdaron point and the island is some 4 m. wide. Bardsey is included in Carnarvonshire, North Wales (but traditionally in S. Wales). On the N.W. side it has high cliffs. It is about 2½ m. long by ¾ m. broad, with an area of some 370 acres, a third of which is hilly. Barley and oats are grown. On the S.E. side is a fairly deep harbour. On the N.E. are the ruins of the tower of St Mary's abbey (13th century). There is no Anglican church, the inhabitants being Dissenters. They are farmers and fishermen. The lighthouse, with fixed light, 140 ft. high and visible for 17 m., is locally celebrated. The rectory of Aberdaron (on the mainland, opposite Bardsey), Penmachno and Llangwnadl (Llangwynhoedl), in Lleyn (S. Carnarvonshire), belong to St John's College, Cambridge. St Dubricius made the sanctuary famous, and died here in 612. Here was the burial-place of all the monks whose friends could afford to go thither with their bodies. All the great abbeys of England sent their quota. Roads to Bardsey—with the monks' wells, found at intervals of 7 to 9 m.—run from north, east and south. The remnant of priests fled thither (after the great massacre of Bangor-is-coed in 613, by Ethelfride of Northumbria) by the road of the Rivals (Yn Eifl)
- Even Ephrem allows that Bardaiṣān was in principle a monotheist.