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St Gregory I

(c. 540—604)

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acedia

acedia  

Or accidie is a chronic state of ennui and discouragement, a general atony of soul and body that prevents one from carrying out any manual, intellectual or spiritual activity. Its ...
active life

active life  

As distinguished from the ‘contemplative life’, the ‘active life’ means (1) the cultivation of the Christian virtues and (2) a life devoted to Christian works, esp. works of fraternal charity ...
ad limina

ad limina  

Gregory the Great ordered that the bishops dependent on him should come on 29 June to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul (limina apostolorum). The annual obligation, which ...
Æthelbert

Æthelbert  

(d. 616),king of Kent (560–616), was the king who welcomed the Christian missionaries led by St Augustine to England in 597. He exercised overlordship over all the English peoples south of the ...
Agapetus I

Agapetus I  

Pope (from 8 or 13 May 535); died Constantinople 22 Apr. 536; Roman feastday formerly 20 Sept. (the day of his interment in Rome), now 22 Apr.; Byz. feastday 17 ...
Agathangelos

Agathangelos  

The reputed author of a ‘History of the Armenians’. This gives an account of the conversion of Armenia and the life of St Gregory the Illuminator (q.v.), whom the author claims as a contemporary. ...
Agnoetae

Agnoetae  

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Religion
A Monophysite sect whose members attributed ignorance to the human soul of Christ. Founded by Themistius, a 6th-cent. deacon of Alexandria, they are also known as ‘Themistians’. Most Monophysites ...
Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great  

(849–99)King of Wessex (871–99). Alfred's military resistance saved south‐west England from Viking occupation. He negotiated the treaty giving the Danelaw to the Norsemen (886). A great reformer, he ...
Alleluia

Alleluia  

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Music
This Lat. form of Hebrew exclamation, meaning ‘Praise Jehovah’, was added to certain of the responds of the RC Church, suitably joyful mus. to be grafted on to traditional plainsong and, in time, ...
alms

alms  

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Religion
Money or food given to poor people. Recorded from Old English (in the form ælmysse, ælmesse), the word comes via Christian Latin from Greek eleēmosunē ‘compassion’, and ultimately from eleos ‘mercy’.
Amalfi

Amalfi  

A small Italian city in Campania, clinging to the rocky slopes of its peninsula dominating the bay of Salerno, Amalfi is mentioned as a bishopric in a letter of Pope ...
Ambrosius Autpertus

Ambrosius Autpertus  

(died 784)Born in Provence, a monk at San Vincenzo al Volturno in the Beneventano, Ambrosius Autpert became its abbot in 777. In 774 Charlemagne had defeated the Lombards, but ...
ampulla

ampulla  

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Religion
A flask for sacred uses such as holding the oil for anointing the sovereign at a coronation. Recorded in this sense from late Middle English, the word is Latin, originally denoting a roughly ...
Anastasius I

Anastasius I  

(d. 598), Patr. of Antioch 559–70 and 593–8. A critic of Justinian I's aphthartodocetism, he was deposed by Justinian II and spent 23 years in exile. A key figure in the dogmatic discussions of the ...
Ancren(e) Riwle

Ancren(e) Riwle  

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Religion
An early 13th-cent. ‘Rule’ or ‘Guide for Anchoresses’, written in English. It was originally composed for three well-born sisters and later revised by the author for a larger group of recluses. The ...
Andorra

Andorra  

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History
A small co‐principality in the Pyrennes, between France and Spain.Physical.Andorra has a landscape of valleys at around 900 m (3000 feet) which rise to peaks at 2900 m (9600 feet). The attractive ...
angel

angel  

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Religion
Hermes was the messenger of Zeus. Iris was ascribed the same function; for Plato the two are the divine angeloi. By the 3rd cent. ad, angels played a large part in Judaism and Christianity, and they ...
Angles

Angles  

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History
A member of a Germanic tribe closely linked to the Jutes and Saxons, thought to have originated in Schleswig‐Holstein or Denmark. In the 5th century they settled in eastern Britain in East Anglia and ...
Apion

Apion  

(᾽Απίων), an Egyptian family of large landowners of uncertain origin. Before 328 Aurelius Apion was eparch or prefect of Egypt (PLRE 1:82), but there is no evidence that either he ...
Apokrisiarios

Apokrisiarios  

(ἀποκρισιάριος, Lat. responsalis), in its ecclesiastical sense, the messenger or representative of a bishop or hegoumenos in dealings with higher authorities. The institution existed in the 5th C., ...

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