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464
BASEMENT—BASHAN

measures which regulated the elections, the celebration of divine service, the periodical holding of diocesan synods and provincial councils, are found also decrees aimed at some of the "rights" by which the popes had extended their power, and helped out their finances at the expense of the local churches. Thus annates (q.v.) were abolished, the abuse of "reservation" of the patronage of benefices by the pope was much limited, and the right claimed by the pope of "next presentation" to benefices not yet vacant (known as gratiae expectativae) was done away with altogether. By other decrees the jurisdiction of the court of Rome was much limited, and rules were even made for the election of popes and the constitution of the Sacred College. The fathers continued to devote themselves to the subjugation of the Hussites; they also intervened, in rivalry with the pope, in the negotiations between France and England which led only to the treaty of Arras, concluded by Charles VII. with the duke of Burgundy; finally, they investigated and judged numbers of private cases, lawsuits between prelates, members of religious orders and holders of benefices, thus themselves falling into one of the serious abuses for which they had most blamed the court of Rome.

The democratic character of the assembly of Basel was the result both of its composition and of its organization; not only was the number of prelates in it always small in comparison with that of the doctors, masters, representatives of chapters, monks or clerks of inferior orders, but the influence of the superior clergy had all the less weight because, instead of being separated into "nations," as at Constance, the fathers divided themselves according to their tastes or aptitudes into four large committees or "deputations" (deputationes), one concerned with questions of faith (fidei), another with negotiations for peace (pacis), the third with reform (reformatorii), the fourth with what they called "common concerns" (pro communibus). Every decision made by three of these "deputations"—and in each of them the lower clergy formed the majority—was ratified for the sake of form in general congregation, and if necessary led to decrees promulgated in session. It was on this account that the council could sometimes be called, not without exaggeration, "an assembly of copyists" or even "a set of grooms and scullions."

Eugenius IV., however much he may have wished to keep on good terms with the fathers of Basel, was neither able nor willing to accept or observe all their decrees. The question of the union with the Greek church, especially, gave rise to a misunderstanding between them which soon led to a rupture. The emperor John Palaeologus, pressed hard by the Turks, showed a great desire to unite himself with the Catholics; he consented to come with the principal representatives of the Greek church to some place in the west where the union could be concluded in the presence of the pope and of the Latin council. Hence arose a double negotiation between him and Eugenius IV. on the one hand and the fathers of Basel on the other. The chief object of the latter was to fix the meeting-place at a place remote from the influence of the pope, and they persisted in suggesting Basel or Avignon or Savoy, which neither Eugenius nor the Greeks would on any account accept. The result was that Palaeologus accepted the offers of the pope, who, by a bull dated the 18th of September 1437, again pronounced the dissolution of the council of Basel, and summoned the fathers to Ferrara, where on the 8th of January 1438 he opened a new synod which he later transferred to Florence. In this latter town took place the momentary union, which was more apparent than real, between the Latin and the Greek church (6th July 1439). During this time the council of Basel, though abandoned by Cesarini and most of its members, persisted none the less, under the presidency of Cardinal Aleman, in affirming its oecumenical character. On the 24th of January 1438 it suspended Eugenius IV., and went on in spite of the intervention of most of the powers to pronounce his deposition (25th June 1439), finally giving rise to a new schism by electing on the 4th of November Amadeus VIII., duke of Savoy, as pope, who took the name of Felix V.

This schism lasted fully ten years, although the antipope found hardly any adherents outside of his own hereditary states, those of Alphonso of Aragon, of the Swiss confederation and certain universities. Germany remained neutral; Charles VII. of France confined himself to securing to his kingdom by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, which became law on the 13th of July 1438, the benefit of a great number of the reforms decreed at Basel; England and Italy remained faithful to Eugenius IV. Finally, in 1447 Frederick III., king of the Romans, after negotiations with Eugenius, commanded the burgomaster of Basel not to allow the presence of the council any longer in the imperial city. In June 1448 the rump of the council migrated to Lausanne. The antipope, at the instance of France, ended by abdicating (7th April 1449). Eugenius IV. died on the 23rd of February 1447, and the fathers of Lausanne, to save appearances, gave their support to his successor, Nicholas V., who had already been governing the Church for two years. Trustworthy evidence, they said, proved to them that this pontiff accepted the dogma of the superiority of the council as it had been defined at Constance and at Basel. In reality, the struggle which they had carried on in defence of this principle for seventeen years, with a good faith which it is impossible to ignore, ended in a defeat. The papacy, which had been so fundamentally shaken by the great schism of the West, came through this trial victorious. The era of the great councils of the 15th century was closed; the constitution of the Church remained monarchical.

Authorities Mansi, vol. xxix.-xxxi.; Aeneas Sylvius, De rebus Basileae gestis (Fermo, 1803); Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vol. vii. (Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1874); O. Richter, Die Organisation und Geschaftsordnung des Baseler Konzils (Leipzig, 1877); Monumenta Conciliorum generalium seculi xv., Scriptorum, vol. i., ii. and iii. (Vienna, 1857-1895); J. Haller, Concilium Basiliense, vol. i.-v. (Basel, 1896-1904); G. Perouse, Le Cardinal Louis Aleman, président du concile de Bâle (Paris, 1904). Much useful material will also be found in J. C. L. Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 312, &c., notes (Eng. trans., Edinburgh, 1853).

 (N. V.) 


BASEMENT, the term applied to the lowest storey of any building placed wholly or partly below the level of the ground. It is incorrectly applied to the ground storey of any building, even when, as for instance in the case of Somerset House, London, the ground floor is of plain or rusticated masonry, and the upper storey which it supports is divided up and decorated with columns or pilasters.


BASHAHR, or Bisahir, a Rajput hill state, within the Punjab, amid the Himalayan mountains, with an area of 3820 sq. m. and a population in 1901 of 80,582. In 1898, the raja being of weak intellect and without heir, the administration was undertaken by a British official. In 1906 there were some local troubles owing to the refusal of the people to pay taxes. The revenue is obtained chiefly from land and forests, the latter being leased to the British government.


BASHAN, a region lying E. of the Jordan, and towards its source. Its boundaries are not very well defined, but it may be said in general to have been north of the territory of Gilead. The name first appears in Hebrew history in connexion with the wanderings of the Israelites. According to Numbers xxi. 33, the tribes after the rout of Sihon, king of the Amorites, turned to go by the land of Bashan; and its king, Og, met them at Edrei, and was there defeated and slain. The value of this narrative is a matter of much dispute. The gigantic stature of the king, and the curious details about his "bedstead" (Deut. iii. 11) are regarded as suggestive of legend; to say nothing of the lateness of all the documents relating to the wars of Og, and the remoteness of Bashan from the regions of the Israelites' wandering. The story, however, had so firm a hold on Hebrew tradition that it can hardly fail to have some basis in fact; and an invasion by Israel of Bashan before coming to Jordan is by no means an improbability.

The great stature of Og is explained in the passage of Deuteronomy mentioned by the statement that he was of the remnant of the aboriginal Rephaim. This was a race distinguished by lofty stature; and in Genesis xiv. 5 we find them established in Ashteroth-Karnaim (probably the same as Ashtaroth, which, as we shall see, was an important city of Bashan). The territory