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CHALDEE—CHALIER

purely Chaldaean in blood. The sudden rise of the later Babylonian empire under Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, must have tended to produce so thorough an amalgamation of the Chaldaeans and Babylonians, who had theretofore been considered as two kindred branches of the same original Semite stock, that in the course of time no perceptible differences existed between them. A similar amalgamation, although in this case of two peoples originally racially distinct, has taken place in modern times between the Manchu Tatars and the Chinese. It is quite evident, for example, from the Semitic character of the Chaldaean king-names, that the language of these Chaldaeans differed in no way from the ordinary Semitic Babylonian idiom which was practically identical with that of Assyria. Consequently, the term “Chaldaean” came quite naturally to be used in later days as synonymous with “Babylonian.” When subsequently the Babylonian language went out of use and Aramaic took its place, the latter tongue was wrongly termed “Chaldee” by Jerome, because it was the only language known to him used in Babylonia. This error was followed until a very recent date by many scholars.

The derivation of the name “Chaldaean” is extremely uncertain. Peter Jensen has conjectured with slight probability that the Chaldaeans were Semitized Sumerians, i.e. a non-Semitic tribe which by contact with Semitic influences had lost its original character. There seems to be little or no evidence to support such a view. Friedrich Delitzsch derived the name “Chaldaean” = Kasdīm from the non-Semitic Kaššites who held the supremacy over practically all Babylonia during an extended period (c. 1783–1200 B.C.). This theory seems also to be extremely improbable. It is much more likely that the name “Chaldaean” is connected with the Semitic stem kasādu (conquer), in which case Kaldi-Kašdi, with the well-known interchange of l and š, would mean “conquerors.” It is also possible that Kašdu-Kaldu is connected with the proper name Chesed, who is represented as having been the nephew of Abraham (Gen. xxii. 22). There is no connexion whatever between the Black Sea peoples called “Chaldaeans” by Xenophon (Anab. vii. 25) and the Chaldaeans of Babylonia.

In Daniel, the term “Chaldaeans” is very commonly employed with the meaning “astrologers, astronomers,” which sense also appears in the classical authors, notably in Herodotus, Strabo and Diodorus. In Daniel i. 4, by the expression “tongue of the Chaldaeans,” the writer evidently meant the language in which the celebrated Babylonian works on astrology and divination were composed. It is now known that the literary idiom of the Babylonian wise men was the non-Semitic Sumerian; but it is not probable that the late author of Daniel (c. 168 B.C.) was aware of this fact.

The word “Chaldaean” is used in Daniel in two senses. It is applied as elsewhere in the Old Testament as a race-name to the Babylonians (Dan. iii. 8, v. 30, ix. 1); but the expression is used oftener, either as a name for some special class of magicians, or as a term for magicians in general (ix. 1). The transfer of the name of the people to a special class is perhaps to be explained in the following manner. As just shown, “Chaldaean” and “Babylonian” had become in later times practically synonymous, but the term “Chaldaean” had lived on in the secondary restricted sense of “wise men.” The early Kaldi had seized and held from very ancient times the region of old Sumer, which was the centre of the primitive non-Semitic culture. It seems extremely probable that these Chaldaean Semites were so strongly influenced by the foreign civilization as to adopt it eventually as their own. Then, as the Chaldaeans soon became the dominant people, the priestly caste of that region developed into a Chaldaean institution. It is reasonable to conjecture that southern Babylonia, the home of the old culture, supplied Babylon and other important cities with priests, who from their descent were correctly called “Chaldaeans.” This name in later times, owing to the racial amalgamation of the Chaldaeans and Babylonians, lost its former national force, and became, as it occurs in Daniel, a distinctive appellation of the Babylonian priestly class. It is possible, though not certain, that the occurrence of the word kalū (priest) in Babylonian, which has no etymological connexion with Kaldū, may have contributed paronomastically towards the popular use of the term “Chaldaeans” for the Babylonian Magi. (See also Astrology.)

Literature.—Delattre, Les Chaldéens jusqu’à la fond. de l’emp. de Nebuch. (1889); Winckler, Untersuchungen zur altor. Gesch. (1889), pp. 49 ff.; Gesch. Bab. u. Assyr. (1892), pp. 111 ff.; Prince, Commentary on Daniel (1899), pp. 59-61; see also Babylonia and Assyria and Sumer and Sumerian.  (J. D. Pr.) 


CHALDEE, a term sometimes applied to the Aramaic portions of the biblical books of Ezra and Daniel or to the vernacular paraphrases of the Old Testament (see Targum). The explanation formerly adopted and embodied in the name Chaldee is that the change took place in Babylon. That the so-called Biblical Chaldee, in which considerable portions of the books of Ezra and Daniel are written, was really the language of Babylon was supposed to be clear from Dan. ii. 4, where the Chaldaeans are said to have spoken to the king in Aramaic. But the cuneiform inscriptions show that the language of the Chaldaeans was Assyrian; and an examination of the very large part of the Hebrew Old Testament written later than the exile proves conclusively that the substitution of Aramaic for Hebrew as the vernacular of Palestine took place very gradually. Hence scholars are now agreed that the term “Chaldee” is a misnomer, and that the dialect so called is really the language of the South-Western Arameans, who were the immediate neighbours of the Jews (W. Wright, Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages, p. 16). (See Semitic Languages.)


CHALICE (through a central O. Fr. form of the Lat. calix, calicis, cup), a drinking-vessel of the cup or goblet form, now only used of the cup used in the celebration of the Eucharist (q.v.). For the various forms which the “chalice” so used has taken, see Drinking-Vessels and Plate. When, in the eucharistic service, water is mixed with the wine, the “chalice” is known as the “mixed chalice.” This has been customary both in the Eastern and Western Churches from early times. The Armenian Church does not use the “mixed chalice.” It was used in the English Church before the Reformation. According to the present law of the English Church, the mixing of the water with wine is lawful, if this is not done as part of or during the services, i.e. if it is not done ceremonially (Martin v. Mackonochie, 1868, L.R. 2 P.C. 365; Read v. Bp. of Lincoln, 1892, A.C. 664).


CHALIER, JOSEPH (1747–1793), French Revolutionist. He was destined by his family for the church, but entered business, and became a partner in a firm at Lyons for which he travelled in the Levant, in Italy, Spain and Portugal. He was in Paris in 1789, and entered into relations with Marat, Camille Desmoulins and Robespierre. On his return to Lyons, Chalier was the first to be named member of the municipal bureau. He organized the national guard, applied the civil constitution of the clergy, and regulated the finances of the city so as to tax the rich heavily and spare the poor. Denounced to the Legislative Assembly by the directory of the department of Rhone-et-Loire for having made a nocturnal domiciliary perquisition, he was sent to the bar of the Assembly, which approved of his conduct. In the election for mayor of Lyons, in November 1792, he was defeated by a Royalist. Then Chalier became the orator and leader of the Jacobins of Lyons, and induced the other revolutionary clubs and the commune of his city to arrest a great number of Royalists in the night of the 5th and 6th of February 1793. The mayor, supported by the national guard, opposed this project. Chalier demanded of the Convention the establishment of a revolutionary tribunal and the levy of a revolutionary army at Lyons. The Convention refused, and the anti-revolutionary party, encouraged by this refusal, took action. On the 29th and 30th of May 1793 the sections rose; the Jacobins were dispossessed of the municipality and Chalier arrested. On the 15th of July, in spite of the order of the Convention, he was brought before the criminal tribunal of the Rhone-et-Loire, condemned to death, and guillotined the next day. The Terrorists paid a veritable worship to his memory, as to a martyr of Liberty.

See N. Wahl, “Étude sur Chalier,” in Revue historique, t. xxxiv.; and Les Premières Années de la Révolution à Lyon (Paris, 1894).