and of the province of Guamanga, is situated on an elevated plateau, 8911 ft. above sea-level, between the western and central Cordilleras, and on the main road between Lima and Cuzco, 394 m. from the former by way of Jauja. Pop. (1896) 20,000. It has an agreeable, temperate climate, is regularly built, and has considerable commercial importance. It is the seat of a bishopric and of a superior court of justice. It is distinguished for the number of its churches and conventual establishments, although the latter have been closed. The city was founded by Pizarro in 1539 and was known as Guamanga down to 1825. It has been the scene of many notable events in the history of Peru.
The department of Ayacucho extends across the great plateau of central Peru, between the departments of Huancavelica and Apurimac, with Cuzco on the E. and Ica on the W. Area, 18,185 sq. m.; pop. (1896) 302,469. It is divided into six provinces, and covers a broken, mountainous region, partially barren in its higher elevations but traversed by deep, warm, fertile valleys. It formed a part of the original home of the Incas and once sustained a large population. It produces Indian corn and other cereals and potatoes in the colder regions, and tropical fruits, sweet potatoes and mandioca (Jatropha manihot, L.) in the low tropical valleys. It is also an important mining region, having a large number of silver mines in operation. Its name was changed from Guamanga to Ayacucho by a decree of 1825.
AYAH, a Spanish word (aya) for children's nurse or maid, introduced by the Portuguese into India and adopted by the English to denote their native nurses.
AYALA, DON PEDRO LOPEZ DE (1332-1407), Spanish statesman, historian and poet, was born at Vittoria in 1332. He first came into prominence at the court of Peter the Cruel, whose cause he finally deserted; he greatly distinguished himself in subsequent campaigns, during which he was twice made prisoner, by the Black Prince at Nájera (1367) and by the Portuguese at Aljubarrota (1385). A favourite of Henry II. and John I. of Castile, he was made grand chancellor of the realm by Henry III. in 1398. A brave officer and an able diplomat, Ayala was one of the most cultivated Spaniards of his time, at once historian, translator and poet. Of his many works the most important are his chronicles of the four kings of Castile during whose reigns he lived; they give a generally accurate account of scenes and events, most of which he had witnessed; he also wrote a long satirical and didactic poem, interesting as a picture of his personal experiences and of contemporary morality. The first part of his chronicle, covering only the reign of Peter the Cruel, was printed at Seville in 1495; the first complete edition was printed in 1779-1780 in the collection of Crónicas Españolas, under the auspices of the Spanish Royal Academy of History. Ayala died at Calahorra in 1407.
See Rafael Floranes, “Vida literaria de Pedro Lopez de Ayala,” in the Documentos inéditos para la historia de España, vols. xix. and xx.; F. W. Schirrmacher, “Über die Glaubwürdigkeit der Chronik Ayalas,” in Geschichte von Spanien (Berlin, 1902), vol. v. pp. 510-532.
AYALA Y HERRERA, ADELARDO LOPEZ DE (1828-1879), Spanish writer and politician, was born at Guadalcanal on the 1st of May 1828, and at a very early age began writing for the theatre of his native town. The titles of these juvenile performances, which were played by amateurs, were Salga por donde saliere, Me voy á Sevilla and La Corona y el Puñal. As travelling companies never visited Guadalcanal, and as ladies took no part in the representations, these three plays were written for men only. Ayala persuaded his sister to appear as the heroine of his comedy, La primera Dama, and the innovation, if it scandalized some of his townsmen, permitted him to develop his talent more freely. In his twentieth year he matriculated at the university of Seville, but his career as a student was undistinguished. In Seville he made acquaintance with Garcia Gutierrez, who is reported to have encouraged his dramatic ambitions and to have given him the benefit of his own experience as a playwright. Early in 1850 Ayala removed his name from the university books, and settled in Madrid with the purpose of becoming a professional dramatist. Though he had no friends and no influence, he speedily found an opening. A four-act play in verse, Un Hombre de Estado, was accepted by the managers of the Teatro Español, was given on the 25th of January 1851, and proved a remarkable success. Henceforward Ayala's position and popularity were secure. Within a twelvemonth he became more widely known by his Castigo y Perdón, and by a more humorous effort, Los dos Guzmanes; and shortly afterwards he was appointed by the Moderado government to a post in the home office, which he lost in 1854 on the accession to power of the Liberal party. In 1854 he produced Rioja, perhaps the most admired and the most admirable of all his works, and from 1854 to 1856 he took an active part in the political campaign carried on in the journal El Padre Cobos. A zarzuela, entitled Guerta a muerte, for which Emilio Arrieta composed the music, belongs to 1855, and to the same collaboration is due El Agente de Matrimonios. At about this date Ayala passed over from the Moderates to the Progressives, and this political manœuvre had its effect upon the fate of his plays. The performances of Los Comuneros were attended by members of the different parties; the utterances of the different characters were taken to represent the author's personal opinions, and every speech which could be brought into connexion with current politics was applauded by one half of the house and derided by the other half. A zarzuela, named El Conde de Castralla, was given amid much uproar on the 20th of February 1856, and, as the piece seemed likely to cause serious disorder in the theatre, it was suppressed by the government after the third performance. Ayala's rupture with the Moderates was now complete, and in 1857, through the interest of O'Donnell, he was elected as Liberal deputy for Badajoz. His political changes are difficult to follow, or to explain, and they have been unsparingly censured. So far as can be judged, Ayala had no strong political views, and drifted with the current of the moment. He took part in the revolution of 1868, wrote the “Manifesto of Cadiz,” took office as colonial minister, favoured the candidature of the duc de Montpensier, resigned in 1871, returned to his early Conservative principles, and was a member of Alfonso XII.'s first cabinet. Meanwhile, however divided in opinion as to his political conduct, his countrymen were practically unanimous in admiring his dramatic work; and his reputation, if it gained little by El Nuevo Don Juan, was greatly increased by El Tanto por Ciento and El Tejado de Vidrio. His last play, Consuelo, was given on the 30th of March 1878. Ayala was nominated to the post of president of congress shortly before his death, which occurred unexpectedly on the 30th of January 1879. The best of his lyrical work, excellent for finish and intense sincerity, is his Epístola to Emilio Arrieta, and had he chosen to dedicate himself to lyric poetry, he might possibly have ranked with the best of Spain's modern singers; as it is, he is a very considerable poet who affects the dramatic form. In his later writings he deals with modern society, its vices, ideals and perils; yet in many essentials he is a manifest disciple of Calderon. He has the familiar Calderonian limitations; the substitution of types for characters, of eloquence for vital dialogue. Nor can he equal the sublime lyrism of his model; but he is little inferior in poetic conception, in dignified idealization, and in picturesque imagery. And it may be fairly claimed for him that in El Tejado de Vidrio and El Tanto por Ciento he displays a very exceptional combination of satiric intention with romantic inspiration. By these plays and by Rioja and Consuelo he is entitled to be judged. They will at least ensure for him an honourable place in the history of the modern Spanish theatre.
A complete edition of his dramatic works, edited by his friend and rival Tamayo y Baus, has been published in seven volumes (Madrid, 1881-1885).
AYE-AYE, a word of uncertain signification (perhaps only an exclamation), but universally accepted as the designation of the most remarkable and aberrant of all the Malagasy lemurs (see Primates). The aye-aye, Chiromys (or Daubentonia) madagascariensis, is an animal with a superficial resemblance to a long-haired and dusky-coloured cat with unusually large eyes. It has a broad rounded head, short face, large naked eyes, large hands, and long thin fingers with pointed claws, of which the