« PreviousContinue »
these add to the value of the work. From Mr. Pickering they have received, in a variety of ways, the most important aid. They are also indebted for valuable contributions, or favors of other kinds, to numerous other gentlemen, among whom they may be permitted to mention Mr. Duponceau, of Philadelphia ; Mr. Woodbridge, editor of the Annals of Education ; James E. Heath, Esq., of Richmond, Virginia ; Gov. Marcy, B. F. Butler, Esq., and Dr. Beck, of Albany; Rev. Professor Palfrey, of Cambridge, Massachusetts ; Mr. De Schweinitz, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ; Samuel A. Eliot, Esq., of Boston ; Gov. Cass, and Mr. Brush, of Michigan ; Gen. Dearborn, of Roxbury, Massachusetts ; Mr. James K. Paulding, of New York; Hon. Nathan Appleton, and Professor Ticknor, of Boston; Mr. Roberts Vaux, and Mr. Thomas Evans, of Philadelphia; Rev. Frederic A. Farley, of Providence, Rhode Island; Dr. Walter Channing, of Boston; Dr. Dewees, of Philadelphia; and the late Hon. Charles Ewing, chief justice of New Jersey. The friendly aid received from these and other gentlemen is most gratefully acknowledged.
Boston, Feb. 1, 1833.
Visigoths. The powerful confedera- their independence on the Peninsula, was cy of nations under the name of Goths one of the causes of its internal weak(q. F.), was, at an early period, geographi- ness. Another cause was the difference cally divided into Ostrogoths, who had in the religious doctrines of the conquertheir seats on the Pontus, and Visigoths, ors and the conquered, the former prowho inhabited Dacia. About the middle fessing the Arian doctrines (see Arians), of the fourth century, the two nations which were detestable to the Catholic separated into distinct political bodies. descendants of the Roman settlers. This The Ostrogoths, weakened by this sepa- circumstance gave rise to a strict separaration, having submitted to the Huns, the tion between the Goths and Romans, and Visigoths fled to the mountains, and soon caused the Catholic clergy to become after obtained from the Romans permission more firmly attached to each other and to to settle in the desolated Thrace. The Rome. Notwithstanding this, and notrelation of the nations to each other was withstanding the convulsions produced by this means essentially changed. Under by frequent changes of government, and the name of allies, the Goths formed a by factions, the kingdom of the Visigoths, chief part of the Roman army; but they in the first century of its existence, conbecame hostile whenever the promises tinued to extend itselfeven beyond the Pyrmade them were violated; and scarcely enees, and, by political regulations, obtainwas Theodosius dead, and the empire ed internal consistency. Euric, the fifth divided, when the Visigoths, under Alaric, king, who, from 466 to 483, during the broke forth upon Italy, and Rome fell, in total decline of the Roman empire, made 410, into the power of the Visigoths. great conquests in Spain and Gaul, gave Alaric, had he not been overtaken by the Visigoths, who had previously been death, when on the point of conquering governed by customary laws, written statAfrica, would have founded a Germanic utes, which were extended by his sucempire in Italy. His brother-in-law cessors, and reduced to a system (see LinAthaulf (Ataulphus), who was placed at denbrog's Coder Legum Antiquarum, and the head of the nation, abandoned Alaric's Canciani's Barbarorum Leges Antiquæ), projects, and turned towards Gaul, to which is the most complete of all the make new conquests on both sides of the German codes, and exhibits jurispruPyrenees. He reached Barcelona, where dence in a state of great advancement. he was murdered, in 415; but his suc- His successor, Alaric, gave also to his cessors, in the midst of perpetual con- Roman subjects in Gaul a system of laws, flicts with the previous occupants and which he caused to be compiled, by perwith the Romans, founded in the south sons well versed in jurisprudence, from of France and in Spain the kingdom of the Theodosian code, from the enactthe Visigoths. The unnatural extension ments of the later emperors, and other of this kingdom to the north of the Pyr- sources, in order that the provinces might enees, where even the capital, and the retain their ancient laws, but that the residence of the king, Toulouse, was sit- obligatory force of the law might prouated, while the Suevi still maintained ceed from his own authority. This code was not abolished till about the middle of tres officii palatıni), who formed a kind of the seventh century, till which time the nobility, and as the constitutional counlaws of the Visigoths and Romans con- sellors of the king, usurped the rights tinued different. But the weakness of of popular representatives, remained no the Visigoths became manifest as soon as longer the first class in the state : the old they came in contact with the Franks on mode of choosing the king, which had the Loire, when the Catholic Clovis (q. v.), thrown the election into their hands, was on pretence that it was unjust to let the altered in favor of the bishops ; and under heretic Visigoths possess the fairest portion weak kings, who often attained the crown of Gaul, attacked the penceful Alaric, and by artifices of the priests, or solicited abdefeated him at Rouglé, in 507. The solution and justification from the clergy, Franks obtained possession, without re- on account of the usurpation which they sistance, of most of the cities in southern had committed, or the oaths which they Gaul, and the kingdom of the Visigoths had violated, they found it easy to place would have been in great danger, had not themselves at the head of the state, and Theodoric (q. v.), king of the Ostrogoths, to procure exemption from all public undertaken its defence. While guardian burdens. This prevailing influence was of the Visigothic prince, his grandson, he especially visible in the ecclesiastical embraced the favorable opportunity to councils, which, in previous times, had make himself master of a part of the ter- discussed merely matters of doctrine or ritories still belonging to the Visigoths in church discipline, but, immediately after southern Gaul; and, after a long separation the conversion of the sovereign, began to of the two nations, there existed, for a mingle with spiritual affairs matters of a time, an intimate connexion of the Ostro- political character. When the clergy had goths and Visigoths. After his death, once established their political influence, dissensions soon arose among the Visi- they could, without reluctance, allow the goths, and the pernicious influence of the secular grandees, who came with the king difference of religion between the Arian to the councils, to take part in the delibVisigoths and the Catholic provincials, erations, the more particularly as they who were sometimes tolerated, and some- could always be sure of outvoting them; times persecuted, became more and more and, as early as 633, the regulation was evident. The kingdom of the Visigoths made, that those secular grandees alone arose again with new energy, under the should be admitted, who should be probold and intelligent Leovigild (568_586), nounced worthy of the honor, by the who totally subdued the Suevi, improved bishops. The internal disturbances, which the laws, limited the power of the nobles, the excessive power of the clergy promade Toledo the royal residence, and duced or favored, facilitated the conquest tried to render the regal power heredita- of the country by the Saracens, who were ry. His equally celebrated son, Reccared, settled on the north coast of Africa. As became a convert
, in 589, to the Catholic early as the year 675, the Mohammedans faith ; upon which the divisions of the began their attempts to settle in Spain, people ceased, and Goths and Spaniards encouraged by the factions which conbecame one nation. His conversion had vulsed the Visigoths, and which, during the most important influence on the char- the reign of the weak Roderic, cnabled acter of the government. Scarcely had them to execute their project. The Goths the Catholic faith become the established were defeated, in 711, at Xeres de la Fronreligion, when the clergy, who had be- tera; the king was slain, and the Saracens come accustomed, during their former spread themselves over the greatest part state of oppression, to adhere firmly to- of the country. (See Spain.) The regether, acquired a predominant influence, mainder of the Goths, who, after the such as they obtained in no other Germanic downfall of the empire, had fled to the nation, and constituted a hierarchy, totally mountains of Asturia and Galicia, foundindependent of the Roman papal author- ed there new kingdoms, in which the ity. The Arian bishops had lived quietly constitutions of the Visigoths were in in their dioceses, and had no influence part retained, and which, when the deon the public administration ; but the scendants of the Goths broke forth from Catholic bishops strove after an active their fastnesses, and wrested from the participation in public affairs, in order to Moorish settlers one tract after another, render secure the authority which their finally gave rise to the kingdoms of Spain church had obtained. The grandees of and Portugal. The traces of the pubthe kingdom, the secular public ministers lic institutions of the Visigoths were and officers of the court (called viri illus- preserved longest in the laws, as the Christians, on leaving the mountains, ject, under such circumstances as to debrought with them those by which they ceive the senses. Thus, in regard to the had been governed. The most ancient first, it may be remarked that, in consecollection of Spanish laws, the Fuero quence of an extraordinary impression juzgo, or Forum Judicum, is drawn from upon the brain, through the medium of the ancient laws of the Visigoths; and the circulation of the blood, sensations many of them have been retained to the are greatly increased in intensity, and present day in the provincial law of Cas- ideas in vividness, and that emotions are tile and Catalonia.—The liturgy of the produced corresponding, in intensity, to Visigoths, which was established by the the acuteness of the sensations, and the assembly of Toledo, in 633, for the pur- vividness of the ideas. Then, again, the pose of introducing into all the churehes effect of a disordered state of the physa uniform mode of worship, long survived ical functions is to disturb the order of the downfall of the kingdom. This offi- the succession of ideas, or to influence cium Gothicum, as it was termed, which the velocity of their succession (procontained many rites and forms that had ducing indistinctness of perception, conbeen used in the Spanish church from the fusion of thought, inaccuracy of judgearliest period of Christianity, maintained ment, and, of course, a disregard to inconitself in spite of all the efforts of the gruities), or to increase the vivacity of popes to introduce the Roman liturgy; ideas. The same effects may be proand so violent were the disputes to which duced by a diseased state of the body itthis gave rise, that an attempt was made self, or by violent mental excitements, into adjust the quarrel by duel and fire- fluencing the physical functions, which, ordeal. Even after the Roman liturgy in turn, react upon the mind. These had been introduced into Castile, as it “principles will be found to account for had previously been into Arragon, several many spectral illusions of which we have churches in Toledo nevertheless retained authentic accounts. In some instances, their old usages. The Spanish Christians it is a transient madness; in others, á living under the dominion of the Moors, permanent mania, under the influence of and styled Mozarabians, adhered still which the patient labored. In general, Jonger to the Gothic liturgy, which was it will be observed that the images which therefore called officium Mozarabicum. constitute the subject of spectral illuCardinal Ximenes caused the missal and sions assume the form of figures which breviary of this liturgy to be printed. have been rendered familiar to the mind, The Spanish language also still preserves, and which have made strong impresin some words, the remains of the Gothic, sions upon it. The sights seen bear a although the Visigoths, after the conquest strict relation to the character of the of the peninsula of the Pyrenees, adopted seer, and of the superstitions of the age the language of the Romans. There is a and country in which he lived. Thus Geschichte der Westgothen, by John Asch- the intelligent and philosophical Nicolai bach (Frankfort, 1827).
(q. v.) saw nothing but men and women, Vision. (See Optics.)
horses, dogs and birds in their natural Visions. Ghosts, phantoms, appari- form. The illusions of the superstitious tions, spectres, spirits,--for the vocabulary consist of demons or angels, and all sorts of superstition is rich in terms,-or, in of fantastic shapes, benign or malignant, philosophical language, spectral illusions, according to the peculiar disposition or have, in some ages, played an important state of mind of the seer. “Ghosts,” part in the machinery of society ; nor cân says Grose, “commonly appear in the it be said that they have yet been laid by saine dress they wore when living, though the voice of that great exorciser, knowl- they are sometimes clothed all in white; edge. The guilty conscience still evokes but that is chiefly the church-yard ghosts, the avenging spirits, and the disordered who have no particular business, but action of the physical functions is some- seem to appear pro bono publico, or to times mistaken for the operation of exter- scare drunken rustics from tumbling over nal objects upon the senses. All appear- their graves. Dragging chains is not the ances of this nature may be classed under fashion of English ghosts, chains and the two heads of mental illusions, and op- black vestments being chiefly the accoutical illusions, the former comprising those trements of foreign spectres seen in arbicases in which the spectral appearances trary governments: dead or alive, Engare produced by the disordered state of lish spirits are free." Doctor Abercromthe mind, and the latter, those occasion- bie (Inquiries concerning the Intellectual ed by the presence of some external ob- Powers, 2d ed., Edinburgh, 1831), in treating of spectral illusions, refers them to particularly Hibbert's Philosophy of Apthe following heads:-1. False percep- paritions (Edinburgh, 1824). tions, or impressions made upon the VISTULA (Polish, Visla; German senses only, in which the mind does not Weichsel), a river about 500 miles long, participate. 2. Real dreains, though the navigable from Cracow, which rises in the person was not, at the time, sensible of principality of Teschen, in Austrian Sihaving slept, nor, consequently, of having lesia, on the northern declivity of the dreamed. ` A person under the influence Carpathian mountains, flows round the of some strong mental impression, drops territory of Cracow and Gallicia, through asleep for a few seconds, perhaps without the kingdom of Poland, towards the northbeing sensible of it; some scene or per- west, passes through West Prussia, and son connected with the impression ap- divides into two branches, of which the pears in a dream, and he starts up under eastern, the Nogat, empties, about two the conviction that it was a spectral appear- and a half miles from Elbing, into the ance. 3. Intense mental conceptions, so Frische Haff; the western divides again, strongly impressed upon the mind as, for about nine miles above Dantzic, into two the moment, to be believed to have a real branches, of which the western flows existence. This takes place when, along into the Baltic at Weichselmunde, near with the mental emotion, the individual is Dantzic; the eastern, by many small chanplaced in circumstances in which exter- nels, into the Frische Hlaff. The Vistula nal impressions are very slight, as soli- contains numerous and excellent fish : its tude, faint light, and quiescence of body. navigation is very important, as the prodIt is a state bordering closely upon dream- ucts of Poland--wood, grain, &c.—are ing, though the vision occurs while the transported on it to Dantzic, on the Balperson is in the waking state. 4. Errone- tic. The canal of Bromberg connects ous impressions, connected with bodily the Vistula with the Oder. (q. v.) Several disease, generally disease in the brain. navigable rivers empty into the Vistula. The illusions, in these cases, arise in a VITALIANS. (See Apollinarians.) manner strictly analogous to dreaming, VITELLIUS, Aulus, a Roman, raised by and consist of some former circumstances his vices to the throne, was descended recalled to the mind, and believed, for from one of the most illustrious families a time, to have a real and present exist- of Rome. The greatest part of his youth ence. The diseases, in connexion with was spent at Capreæ, where he labored which they arise, are generally of an apo- to gratify the vicious propensities of Tiplectic or inflammatory character, some- berius. He passed through all the offices times epileptic; and they are very fre- of the state, and gained the soldiery by quent in the affection called delirium tre- donations and liberal promises. He was mens, produced by a continued use of in- at the head of the Roman legions in Gertoxicating liquors. Under each of these many when Otho was proclaimed empeheads, the author states a number of in- ror, and was likewise invested with the teresting facts, illustrative of the general purple by his soldiers. He accepted the theory:--The second species of illusions, office, and instantly marched against or optical illusions, are occasioned by the Otho. After losing three battles, he was state of the atmosphere, producing a re- successful in the plains between Mantua flection or unequal refraction of light, and Cremona. He now gave himself up such as the famous gigantic figure called to luxury and debauchery. He feasted the spectre of the Brocken, aërial troops four or five times a day, and was often of horsemen, spectre ships, &c. (see Op- seen to make himself vomit, to begin his tics), of which phenomena the reader will repast afresh. Above thirty million find descriptions and explanations in dollars were spent in maintaining his taBrewster's Natural Magic (London, 1832). ble in the space of four months. This Illusions are often also produced by the extravagance soon raised the indignation appearance of objects imperfectly seen of the people. Vespasian 'was proclaimin a dim light, and by electric phenome- ed emperor by the army, and his minister na, when the credulous and terrified ob- Primus was sent to destroy the imperial server “ sees, or thinks he sees," mon- glutton. Vitellius concealed himself unstrous shapes flitting around and glaring der the bed of the porter of his palace; upon him.--For further information on but he was discovered, and dragged nathis interesting chapter in the history of ked through the streets, with his hands human weakness, see Scott's Letters on tied bebind his back. After suffering the Demonology and Witchcraft ; Thacher's greatest insults from the populace, bis Essay on Demonology (Boston, 1831); and head was cut off and fixed to a pole, and