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A A (PETER VAN DER) a bookseller of Ley-
den, and a laborious publisher and compiler of
voyages, travels, and geographical collections,
in the Dutch and French languages. Among
these is the " Galerie du Monde," an immense
collection of maps and plates in 66 vols. folio.
He also continued Gra^vius' " Thesaurus Anti-
quitatum Italia?," and carried on an extensive
business from 1682 until his death in 1730.
Nouv. Diet. Hist.

AAGESEN (SUEND.) in Latin, Sueno Agonis,
a Danish historian, much esteemed for his
antiquity and accuracy, who flourished about
1186. He was secretary to Archbishop Absalon,
under whose auspices he compiled 1. a history
of Denmark, under the title of " Compendiosa
Historia regum Danite, a Skioldo ad Canutum
VI;" 2. " Historia legum castrensiurn Ilegis
Canuti Magni;" both which works have been
often reprinted. Biog. Universelle.

AARON, a presbyter of Alexandria in the
seventh century, author of thirty books on me-
dicine in the Syrian language, which he called
" Pandects." These works include treatises
on the small pox and measles, which diseases
were propagated from Arabia. Friend's Hist.

AARON (BEN ASSER) a rabbi of the fifth
century, author of a Hebrew Grammar, printed
at Venice, to whom the invention of Hebrew-
points is very doubtfully assigned. Moreri.

AARON (PiETRo) a Florentine and a canon
of Rimini, was one of the composers in the
chapel of Leo X, and an elaborate writer on mu-
sic. The most considerable of his works is, " II
Toscanello della Musica," Venice, 1523, 1529,
1539, an able production. Pietro Aaron wrote
in the Italian language, which rendered his
labours more widely useful in his own country,
almost all the musical writers before him hav-
ing written in Latin.- Burner's Hist. Mtis.

AARSENS (FRANCIS) Lord of Someldyk and
Spyck, one of the ablest negociators ever pro-
duced by the United Provinces, was born at
the Hague in 1572. Being early introduced
into public life by liis father, who was re-
gistrar of the States, he first became resident,
and subsequently ambassador to the court of
France, where he remained fifteen years. Pro-
foundly skilled in the arts of diplomacy, he seems
to have occasionally much annoyed the French
'.abinet by the depth of his penetration ; but was,
neveitheless, held in high esteem by Cardinal
Ki'.lidieu. He was also employed iu extraor-
EXXJ. DICT. No, 1.


dinary embassies to England and Venice ; tLt.f
to England was to negociate the marriage of
\\illiam Prince of Orange with the daughter
of Charles I the commencement of a family
connexion which led to the most important
consequences. Aarsens died ennobled, at an
advanced age, leaving an only son, the richest
man in Holland. A volume of hisnegociations
has been printed. Bai/Ie. Un. Biog.

ABARIS, a Scythian, the son of Seuthes,
priest of the Hyperborean Apollo, and proba-
bly a real personage ; but the facts recorded of
him are so fabulous and contradictory, that the
time even of his existence is a subject of dis-
pute. The least absurd of these accounts make
him a sort of ambassador from the Scythians to
the Athenians, at the time of a general plague,
on which mission he is said to have disputed
with Pythagoras, in the presence of Phalaris ;
a story that is contradicted by chronology. He
is fabled to have been presented with an arrow
by Apollo, astride of which he could fly
through the air. This fiction has produced
much figurative and humourous allusion to a
character, which probably appertains rather to
Mythology than to Biography. Baijle.

ABATE (ANDREA) a Neapolitan painter,
celebrated for his representation of flowers,
fruit, and inanimate life. He was employed
by Charles II King of Spain, to decorate the
Escurial hi conjunction with Luca Giordano.
He died in 1732. Pilkington.

ABAUZ1T (FIRMIN) a French writer of
great merit, was bom at Uzes, in Languedoc,
in 1679. He lost his father, who was a French
Protestant, at two years of age ; and the Edict
of Nantes being then revoked, his mother, un-
der all the terrors of that perfidious and merci-
less persecution, contrived to have him con-
veyed to Geneva, for which act she was herseli
confined for two years in the castle of Somieres.
On regaining her liberty, she repaired to Ge-
neva, and expended the remains of a small
fortune in the education of Abauzit, who made
great acquirements in languages, history, an-
tiquities, mathematics, natural history, physics
and theology. To finish his education, he sub-
sequently visited Holland and England, where
he was introduced to Sir Isaac Newton, who
quickly appreciated his great attainments, and
sent him his " Commercium Epistolicum," ac-
companied with the following honourable tcsii-
mony in writing " You are well worthy to ju Jg
between Leibnitz aiid me." King William


made handsome offers to Abauzit to settle in
England, but filial affection opposed liis accept-
ance of them, and IIP returned to Geneva, where,
iu 1726, he was made public librarian. The
literary labours of Abauzit, in number and im- '
portance, are not on a par with his high reputa- '
lion, which seems to have been founded on his
known great acquirements, universal informa-
tion, great accuracy, and modest and amiable
character, rather than on his actual productions.
He published an improved edition of Spon's
History of Geneva, with dissertation and notes ; !
but his writings are chiefly theological. One
of the most celebrated is " An Essay on the
Apocalypse," which throws doubt on the ca- ;
nonical authority of that book. This essay '
was answered, in London, by Dr Twells, to!
whom the author sent it ; and that so much to '
his satisfaction, that he stopped an intended j
impression, although this essay is included by
the Dutch editors in their collection of his works.
Abauzit has been highly eulogised both by
Voltaire and Ilousseau, being the subject of
the only panegyric which the latter ever wrote
on a living person. In his religious opinions,
this learned man leaned towards Sociniauism,
or the. modern Unitarian doctrine ; but he was
not distinguished as a partisan. He died, uni-
versally lamented, at the advanced age of
87 years. Hist, of Geneva. Un. Biog.

ABBADIE (JAMES) a celebrated Protestant
divine, born at Hay in Berne, in 1654, or as '
one authority asserts, in 1658. He studied at
Sedan, and obtained the degree of doctor of
divinity ; but the wretched policy of Louis XIV
towards his Protestant subjects obliged him to
repair to Holland, and subsequently to Berlin,
where he became pastor of the French church,
established under the patronage of the elector
of Braudeuburgh. After the death of this
prince, Abbadie returned to Holland with Mar- !
shal Schomberg, and accompanying that noble- j
man in the train of King William to England, ;
was present when he fell at the battle of
the Boyne. Rendered thus by connexion a
zealous partisan of the English revolution, he
wrote warmly in defence of it, in answer to
Bayle ; and after being for some time pastor of
the French church in the Savoy, was promoted
to the deanery of Killaloe, a preferment which
has not been deemed equal to his theological
pretensions. He died in London, in 1727,
much esteemed as a man, and admired as a
write)- and preacher. His works are of course
chiefly theological, of which the most cele-
brated, the " Traite de la Verit6de la Religion
Chretienne," bears a high character, and has
been translated into English. His " Defense
de la Nation Britannique" has already been
noticed ; and he is also author of another, at
present very scarce, work, entitled " Histoire
de la Conspiration derniere de 1'Angleterre,"
which was written by command of William III,
and contains all the particulars of the assas-
sination plot. All the writings of this active
and zealous, yet occasionally fanciful, divine,
aie in the French language ; but several of them
have been translated. Niceron. Biog. Brit.

ABUA3, bon of Abdal Mothleb, arid uncle of


Mahomet. A man of strong character ami de-
termined spirit, he at first waged war against
the pretensions of his nephew ; but on being
taken prisoner, either yielding to the ascend-
ancy of that extraordinary impostor, or per-
ceiving the advantages of compliance, he be-
came one of his most devoted partisans, and
saved Mahomet's life at the battle of Henain.
This chieftain was held in exceeding respect
by the Caliphs Omar and Othman, who always
alighted to salute him. He died in the 32nd
year of the Hegira ; and as his grandson Abul
Abbas became Caliph one hundred years after
his death, he may be regarded as the progeni-
tor of the Abbasside dynasty. D'Herbelot.

above, and cousin german to Mahomet, was
the most considerable of the doctors called
" Sahabah," or companions of the prophet.
He is author of a commentary on the Koran.

Persian physician and follower of Zoroaster, of
the 10th century. He wrote a book on physic,
entitled " Almaleci," or Royal Work, which
was translated into Latin by Stephen of An-
tioch in 1127. Friend's Hist. Ned.

ABBAS I (SHAH) the Great. This celebrated
Persian sovereign was bom about the year
1558, and ascended the throne on the murder
of his brother Ismael, in 1585. The character
of Abbas was sanguinary, but politic and de-
termined. When he assumed the sovereignty,
Persia was divided into satrapcies or govern-
ments, the kahns or heads of which were
nearly independent. Added to this source of
weakness, a body of soldiery existed, similar
to the Prastorian guards of Rome and the Ja-
nizaries of Turkey a description of troops
always dangerous to the throne they are no-
minally raised to protect. These, as well as
the leading families, were of the race of Kur-
chi, or Turkmans, whose interests being the
same, they formed a party for mutual support,
which materially weakened the royal autho-
rity. Abbas commenced his reign with a de-
termination to crush this source of weakness,
and pursued his object with great ability, but
at the same time with all the perfidy and
cruelty which have ever characterised Eastern
political expediency. In other respects, the
life of Abbas was very warlike, and he en-
larged his dominions by successful expeditions
on every side. It was lie who first removed
the seat of government to Ispahan. One of
the most remarkable exploits of Shah Abbas
was the taking of Ormuz, in the Persian gulf,
from the Portuguese : in this enterprise he
was assisted by an English fleet, to which the
place surrendered in 1622. The result of
this exploit was a commercial treaty between
Abbas and the English, that was very advan-
tageous to the latter. A few years after thia
transaction, Shah Abbas died, at the advanced
age of seventy, and was succeeded by liit
grandson Shah Sephi. In his family he dia
played the same jealous rigour as elsewhere
having three sons by as many wives, the two
youngest were deprived of sight, and he put


the eldest to death, in consequence of a con-
spiracy in his favour, which the dutiful prince
had himself assisted to put down. This murder
produced a great tumult among the people ;
and even the Shah, who excused himself on
the score of self-preservation, affected or felt
great remorse, and never would wear the in-
siguia of royalty afterwards. It was the son
of this prince who succeeded him. Notwith-
standing the public and domestic rigour of
Abbas, he was much esteemed by his subjects,
and his memory is held by the Persians in
great veneration. This is often the case in
despotic governments, where cruelty and ty-
ranny only extend to individuals or a small
circle round the court, while the general policy
is popular and beneficial. By putting down
the independent kaluis, the people were bene-
fitted, as also by the alliance of their sove-
reign with European rulers, in furtherance of
commercial intercourse. Abbas also patron-
ized a rigid administration of justice between
man and man, and adorned his dominions with
many magnificent and useful works. As an
eastern sovereign, politician, and conqueror,
he may therefore merit the name of Great,
which has been bestowed upon him. Craft
and cruelty have notunfrequently distinguished
the dominating sovereigns of Europe, but in
Asia they form no small share of the art of
government. Shah Abbas was a man of low
stature, with a keen aspect, small and grey
eyes, a high hooked nose, a pointed beardless
chin, and thick mustachoes a characteristic
physiognomy. Mod. Un. Hist.

ABBAS H (SHAH) great grandson of the
above, succeeded his father Shah Sephi when
only thirteen years of age. This prince has
been made known to Europe by Tavernier and
other travellers, who, in consequence of his
taste for the arts, found access to him. He
was humane for an eastern sovereign, and was
thought to possess capacity, although obscured
by his attachment to wine and women. His
reign was signalized by nothing memorable ; but
a reply of his, when solicited to propagate
Islamism by compulsion, deserves recording.
" The Almighty alone," said Abbas, " is Lord
of men's minds ; and for my own part, instead of
meddling with private opinion, I feel it my duty
to administer justice impartially." This was
the observation of a Mahometan prince not
many years before Louis XIV revoked the
Edict of Nantes. Mod. Un. Hist.

ABBASSA, sister of the Caliph Haroun Al
Raschid, who was betrothed by her brother to
his celebrated vizier Giaffer, the Barmecide,
but under a strict injunction that the marriage
should never be consummated. The mutual
affection of the lovers soon led to a neglect of
this mandate, and a son was born, whom his
parents contrived to forward to Mecca, but not
with so much secresy as to escape detection.
The deatli of the unfortunate Giaffer and seve-
ral of his kindred, was immediately pronounced
by the irascible caliph, who also turned his
sister, hi a state of destitution, from the palace.
The unhappy princess is said to have wandered
ticr.u reciting her own story in verse, and to


have been relieved several years afterwards H
a compassionate lady to whom she sang her
misfortunes. The romantic nature of these in
cidents has rendered the loves of Giaffer and
Abassa celebrated throughout the East ; and
certain amatory poetry exists in the Arabic lan-
guage, which is said to have been composed by
the latter and addressed to Giaffer. D'Her-

ABBE (LoutsA i/) wife of a ropemaker of
Lyons in the sixteenth century, celebrated for
her personal attractions and poetical talent.
She was usually denominated " La Belle Cor-
donniere ;" she was the author of several light
poems. Noun, Diet. Hht.

ABBO (CERNUUS) a monk of St. Germain-
des-Pres, and author,among otherthings, of "A
poetical relation of the Siege of Paris by the
Normans and Danes, towards the end of the
Ninth Century." Abbo was an eye witness of
the events which he describes, a fact that ren-
ders his work curious as a narrative, although
the poetry is miserable. It is contained in the
collection of Duchesne, as well as in the " Nou-
velles Annales de Paris," by Duplessis. It has
been translated from the original Latin into
French. Vossi-us* Cave.

ABBO (FLORIACENCIS) or Abbot of Fleuri,
a Benedictine monk of the tenth century, highly
celebrated for his learning. Abbo resided for
some time in England, and became a great
favourite with King Ethelred. He was subse-
quently employed by King Robert of France, to
negotiate with Pope Gregory V, who had laid
France under an interdict ; and he was killed on
his return, in 1004, in a fray originating in an
attempt to restore the discipline of a monastery.
He wrote an epitome of the lives of the Popes,
a life of St Edmund the Martyr, and various
ecclesiastical epistles. Cave.

ABBOT (GEORGE) archbishop of Canter-
bury in the reign of James I and Charles I,
was born at Guildford in Surrey, in October,
1562. He was the second son of Maurice
Abbot, a clothworker, who, having suffered
persecution for his religious opinions under the
reign of Mary, naturally instilled into his chil-
dren that aversion to popery by which the arch
bishop was all his life distinguished. The lat-
ter having passed through Guildford school,
became a student at Baliol college, Oxford, and
after a rapid attainment of academical honours,
was elected master of University college, and
three times vice-chancellor of the University ;
having in the mean time received the prefer-
ment of dean of Winchester. His early ad-
vancement has been attributed to his anti-
catholic zeal, which was a recommendation in
the reign of Elizabeth ; but his reputation for
learning doubtless much assisted his promotion,
as he was second in the list of the eight learned
men of Oxford to whom the charge of trans-
lating the historical parts of the New Testament
was intrusted. At Oxford, Dr Abbot displayed
great zeal against the Arminian doctrines, and
there commenced the hostility between him and
Laud, by which their more public life was sub-
sequently distinguished. Anew path to eccle-
siastical honours was soon after opened to All-


dot, who accompanied the Earl of Dunbar to
Scotland, in order to effect a union between the
churches of England and Scotland, the great
wish of James. The success of this commis-
sion brought him into great favour with the
king ; and although, generally speaking, of an
unbending character, he at this time stooped
to the usage of the court, and fed James with
extravagant adulation. The sapient monarch
was " zealous as David ; learned and wise ;
the Solomon of the age ; religious as Josias ;
careful of spreading Christ's gospel as Cou-
stautine the Great ; just as Moses ; undefiledin
all his ways as a Jehosoplmt or llezekias ; full of
clemency as another Tlieodosius," &c.v\c. In
some other respects, Abbot also showed a more
slavish spirit at this time than he afterwards
displayed: for instance, when asked whether a
Protestant king might assist the subjects of a
neighbour labouring under tyranny and oppres-
sion, he replied " No : for even tyranny is
God's authority." James did not absolutely
yield to this reasoning, which was given in
reference to the propriety of his interfering as a
mediator between the United Provinces and
Spain ; but the succeeding preferments of
Abbot showed that it did not altogether dis-
please him. In rapid succession, he became
bishop, first of Lichfield and Coventry, then of
Lond<i ; and in about two years afterwards,
archbishop of Canterbury, to the discomfiture
of many rivals of the party opposed to him.
As primate, Archbishop Abbot showed the
rigid Calvinism of his opinions with too much
of the tyrannical religious principle and bigotted
spirit of the age, especially in asserting the full
prerogative of his office, in the court of high
commission, against the salutary restrictions
which the chief justice, Sir Edward Coke, at-
tempted to put on its oppressive jurisdiction.
His Calvinistic zeal also led him to attempt to
persuade the king to remonstrate with the states-
general against the choice of the Arminian
Vorstius for the professor's chair at Leyden. In
other respects too he interfered with the reli-
gious parties in Holland, which induced the
remonstrants to send over the celebrated Gro-
tius to vindicate their conduct and tenets.
Such was the prejudice of the archbishop, th at he
found nothing extraordinary in Grotius, whom
he regarded, independently of his Latin elo-
quence, as a " simple fellow." In the affair of
the Lady Frances Howard, so infamously di-
vorced from the Earl of Essex to gratify James's
minion Somerset, Archbishop Abbot, in a
court of delegates consisting of bishops and
civilians, resolutely voted against the divorce,
and wrote a vindication of his conduct for so
doing ; which, although answered by James
himself, produced no alteration in his conduct.
From this lime, it is thought that the king's
favour abated towards the archbishop, notwith-
standing it was he who had just then intro-
duced to James his future powerful favourite,
Buckingham. The latter however, so far from
serving his early patron, subsequently became
one of his most formidable opponents. The zeal
of Archbishop Abbot for the Protestant interest
induced him to forward with all his rmVht the


marriage of the Princess Elizabeth with the
Elector Palatine ; an union which subsequently
led to the Hanoverian succession. In the year
1621, an accident happened which occasioned
him much trouble and vexation. His consti-
tution requiring much exercise, he occasionally
followed the diversion of hunting ; and unfor-
tunately discharging an arrow from a cross-bow
at a deer, in Lord Zouch's park in Leicester-
shire, the archbishop shot an attendant game-
keeper, who died of the wound. A very odious
portion of theological rancour was displayed on
this occasion, every attempt being made to
misrepresent the affair to the king ; who how-
ever sensibly maintained, that " an angel
might have miscarried in this sort.' J A formal
commission of inquiry was, notwithstanding,
instituted ; when it was determined that there
had been an irregularity, and that it must be
obviated, both by a pardon from the king and
by a dispensation to reinstate Abbot in his me-
tropolitan authority. Even after this purgation,
so much scruple was felt by certain candidates
for consecration, that they obtained the king's
permistion to receive it from the hands of sundry
bishops, in lieu of the archbishop. In fact,
Laud and the Arminian party sought to connect
the misfortune of the archbishop with certain
Jewish and Papistical theories relative to homi-
cide or chance-medley by the priesthood, in
order, if possible, to set him on the shelf. The
zeal and courage of the primate were not how-
ever abated by this circumstance, as he strenu-
ously opposed the projected match between
Prince Charles and the Infanta of Spain, as un-
favourable to the Protestant interest ; which
conduct did not injure him with James, whom
he frequently attended during his last illness,
being present when he expired. Under the
next reign, the current of court favour changed
to the ecclesiastical party to which Archbishop
Abbot was directly opposed, and means were
soon found to bring him into difficulties. A
sermon was preached by a Dr Sibthorpe, the
purport of which was to justify a loan that
Charles demanded. The archbishop honour-
ably and conscientiously refused to obey the
king's command to license the printing of this
sermon, which however received the sanction
of the I5ishop of London. For this refusal, the
archbishop was suspended ; but it was soon
found necessary to recal him. No way daunted,
he displayed the same firmness when the Pe-
tition of Right was under consideration ; he
gave it his decided support ; and when Dr
xMainwaring was brought to the bar of the
house of lords, for maintaining, in two sermons,
the right of the king to impose taxes without
the consent of parliament, he officially repri-
manded him, and declared his abhorrence of
the doctrine. With similar determination, he
acted contrary to various instructions which,
through the influence of Laud, were sent to the
bishops of the province ; and, in short, persisted
in the line that he deemed his duty until his
death, which took place at his palace at Croy-
don, in 1653. From the foregoing sketch, it is
obvious that, with certain defects, originating
in the bigotry and intolerance of the timts


Arcl bishop Abbot was a firm and conscien-
tious character. It may he observed, with-
out partiality to either opinion, that his Calvin-
istic tendencies were by no means remarkable ;
for it is obvious that the first hue produced by
the Reformation was of that complexion ; and,
that during the reign of Elizabeth, aud a part
of that of James, many of the prelacy favoured
that more rigid view of the articles ; a fact which
accounts for the ardent predilection of the bulk
of the people, as displayed in the ensuing civil
contests. In private life, Archbishop Abbot
supported the character of an upright and wor-

Online LibraryJohn GortonA general biographical dictionary (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 181)