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The primitive setting of the northern version has vanished utterly. Sigmund is king of the Netherlands; the boy Siegfried is brought up by “wise men that are his tutors” (Avent. ii.); and when, attracted by the fame of Kriemhild's beauty, he rides to Worms to woo her, it is as the typical handsome, accomplished and chivalrous king's son of medicval romance. It is at this point (Avent. iv.) that some of the primitive elements of the story are suddenly and awkwardly introduced. As Siegfried approaches Worms, Kriemhild's brothers, the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselhér and Gërnot watch his coming, and to them their faithful retainer, “the grim Hagen,” explains who he is. This, he exclaims, can be no other than the hero who slew the two kings of the Nibelungs, Schilbunc and Nibelunc, and seized their treasure, together with the sword Balmunc and the tarnkappe, or cape of darkness, which has the virtue of making him who wears it invisible. Another adventure, too, he can tell of him, namely, how he slew a dragon and how by bathing in its blood his skin became horny, so that no weapon could wound him, save in one place, where a linden leaf had fallen upon him as he stooped, so that the blood did not touch this spot. In spite of Hagen's distrust and misgivings, Siegfried now fights as the ally of the Burgundians against the Saxons (Avent. iv.), and undertakes, on condition of receiving Kriemhild to wife, to help Gunther to woo Queen Brunhild, who can only be won by the man who can overcome her in three trials of strength (Avent. vi.). together to Brunhild's castle of Isenstein in Iceland, and there the hero, invisible in his tarnkappe, stands beside Gunther, hurling the spear and putting the weight for him, and even leaping, with Gunther in his arms, far beyond the utmost limit that Brunhild can reach (Avent. vii.). Brunhild confesses herself beaten and returns with the others to Worms, where the double marriage is celebrated with great pomp (Avent. x.). But Brunhild is ill content; though she saw Siegfried do homage to Gunther at Isenstein she is not convinced, and believes that Siegfried should have been her husband; and on the bridal night she vents her ill humour on the hapless Gunther by tying him up in a knot and hanging him on the wall. “I have brought the evil devil to my house!” he complains to Siegfried next morning; and once more the hero has to intervene; invisible in his tarnkappe he wrestles with Brunhild, and, after a desperate struggle, takes from her her girdle and ring before yielding place to Gunther. The girdle and ring he gives to his wife Kriemhild (Avent. x.). One day, while Siegfried and his wife were on a visit to the Burgundian court, the two queens fell to quarrelling on the question of precedence, not in a river but on the steps of the cathedral (Avent. xiv.). Kriemhild was taunted with being the wife of Gunther's vassal; whereupon, in wrath, she showed Brunhild the ring and the golden girdle taken by Siegfried, proof that Siegfried, not Gunther, had won Brunhild. So far the story is essentially the same as that in the Volsungasaga; but now the plot changes. Brunhild drops out, becoming a figure altogether subordinate and shadowy. The death of Siegfried is compassed, not by her, but by the “grim ” Hagen, Gunther's faithful henchman, who thinks the glory of his master unduly overshadowed by that of his vassal. Hagen easily persuades the weak Gunther that the supposed insult to his honour can only be wiped out in Siegfried's blood; he worms the secret of the hero's vulnerable spot out of Kriemhild, on pretence of shielding him from harm (Avent. xv.), and then arranges a great hunt in the forest, so that he may slay him when off his guard. The 16th Aventiure, describing this hunt and the murder of Siegfried, is perhaps the most powerful scene in all medieval epic. To heighten the effect of the tragic climax the poet begins with a description of the hunting, and describes the high spirits of Siegfried, who captures a wild boar, rides back with it to camp, and there lets it loose to the great discomfiture of the cooks. When the hunters sat down to feast, it was found that the wine had been forgotten. Hagen thereupon proposed that they should * Compare the heel of Achilles.
Siegfried and Gunther accordingly go.
race to a spring of which he knew some way off in the forest. Siegfried readily agreed, and though handicapped by carrying shield, sword and spear, easily reached the goal first, but waited, with his customary courtesy, until the king had arrived and drunk before slaking his own thirst. Then, laying aside his arms, he stooped and drank. Hagen, seizing the spear, thrust it through the spot marked by Kriemhild on Siegfried's surcoat. The hero sprang up and, finding that his sword had been removed, attacked Hagen with his shield. Though to death he was wounded he struck so strong a stroke That from the shattered shield-rim forthwith out there broke Showers of flashing jewels; the shield in fragments lay.” Then reproaching them for their cowardice and treachery, Siegfried fell dying “amid the flowers,” while the knights gathered round lamenting. At this point two stanzas may be quoted as well illustrating the poet's power of dramatic characterization:The king of the Burgundians he too bewailed his death: Then spake the dying hero: “ Nay, now you waste your breath! You weep for an ill fortune that you yourself have wrought: That is a shameful sorrow: it were better you said nought !” Then out spake the # Hagen: “I know not why ye plain: This is for us the ending of sorrow and of pain. Full few are left of foemen that dare withstand us now. Glad am I that the hero was by this hand of mine laid low !" This account of the death of Siegfried, which embodies the ancient German tradition, is far finer than the northern version, according to which Hogni murders the hero in his bed. The whole spirit of this Aventiure, too, is primitive Teutonic rather than medieval. The same is true, indeed, of the whole of the rest of the poem. Siegfried, to be sure, is buried with all the pomp of medieval Catholic rites; but Kriemhild, while praying for his soul like a good Christian, plots horrible vengeance like her pagan prototype. With this significant difference, however: Gudrun revenged upon her husband the death of her brothers; Kriemhild seeks to revenge upon her brothers the death of her husband. The Catholic bond of marriage has become stronger than the primitive Teutonic bond of kinship. Mistress now of the inexhaustible hoard of the Nibelungs, Kriemhild sought to win a following by lavish largesses; but this Hagen frustrated by seizing the treasure, with the consent of the kings, and sinking it in the Rhine, all taking an oath never to reveal its hidingplace, without the consent of the others, so long as they should live (Avent. xix.). At last, however, after thirteen years, Kriemhild's chance came, with a proposal of marriage from Etzel (Attila) king of the Huns, whom she consented to marry on condition that he would help her to vengeance (Avent. xx.). Then more years passed; old feuds seemed to be forgotten; and the Burgundian kings, in spite of Hagen's warnings, thought it safe to accept their sister's invitation to visit her court (Avent. xxiii. xxiv.). The journey of the Burgundians into Hunland is described by the poet at great length (Avent. xxv-xxvii.). The story is full of picturesque detailand stirring incident, full also of interesting problems in folk-lore and mythology; and throughout it is dominated by the figure of the grim Hagen, who, twitted with cowardice and his advice spurned, is determined that there shall be no turning back and that they shall go through with it to the bitter end. With his own hands he ferries the host over the Danube and then, when the last detachment has crossed, destroys the boat, so that there may be no return. At Attila's court (Avent. xxviii.) it is again Hagen who provokes the catastrophe by taunting Kriemhild when she asks him if he has brought with him the hoard of the Nibelungs: “The devil's what I bring you !" Hagen then replied, “What with this heavy harness, and my shield beside, I had enough to carry: this helmet bright I brought; My sword is in my right hand, and that, be sure, I bring you not!" The sword was Siegfried's. It is Hagen, too, who after the
* This last fight with the shield seems to have belonged to the common stock of heroic story. Cf. the account of the death of Hereward “the Wake" given by Geoffrey Gaimar in the Chronicon Anglo-Norm. and adopted by Freeman in his Norman (1871), iv. 486.
first onslaught of the Huns strikes off the head of Ortlieb, the son of Etzel and Kriemhild, and who, amid the smoke and garnage of the burning hall, bids the Burgundians drink blood if they are thirsty. Besides Hagen, during the ride into Hunland and in the final fight, another figure comes to the front, that of Volkèr the Fiddler, so far only mentioned as a hero of the Saxon war in Avent. ii. He rides fiddling at the head of the host; he plays to the weary warriors in the intervals of the battle in the court of Etzel's palace; but he is also expert at performing other music, with “a strong fiddle-bow, mighty and long, like to a sword, exceeding sharp and broad.” He is the type of the medieval knightly minstrel of the age of the Minnesang. But for all their prowess, after a prolonged struggle (Avent. xxix.-xxxvii.), the Burgundians were at last overwhelmed. Most of the chief figures of heroic saga had come up against them: Attila, Hildebrand, the Ostrogoth Theodoric (Dictrich von Bern). To the last-named even Hagen armed with Siegfried's sword had to yield (Avent. xxxviii.). Kriemhild came to him as he lay in bonds and demanded the Nibelung treasure. He refused to reveal its hiding-place so long as Gunther, also a prisoner, should live. Gunther was accordingly slain by the queen's orders and his head was brought to Hagen, who cried out when he saw it that all had been accomplished as he had foretold: “Now none knows where the hoard is save God and I alone: That to thee, devil-woman, shall nevermore be known '" Whereupon Kriemhild slew him with Siegfried's sword. But Kriemhild was not destined, like Gudrun, to set out on further adventures. Hildebrand, horrified at her deed, sprang forward and cut her to pieces with his sword. In sorrow now was ended , the king's high holiday, As ever joy in sorrow ends and must end alway. To some MSS. of the Nibelungenlied is added a supplementary poem called the Klage or Lament, a sequel of 2160 short-line couplets, describing the lament of the survivors—notably Etzelover the slain, the burying of the dead, and the carrying of the news to the countries of the Burgundians and others. At the end it is stated that the story was written down, at the command of Bishop Pilgrim of Passau, by a writer named Konrad (Kuonrát) in Latin, and that it had since been sung (getichlet) often in the German tongue. Sources of the Story.—The origin and nature of the various elements that go to make up the story of the Nibelungenlied have been, and continue to be, the subject of very lively debate. The view at one time most generally accepted was that first propounded by Karl Lachmann in his “Kritik der Sage von den Nibelungen” (Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, Num. 249, 250, 1829, republished in his Zu den Nibelungen . . . Anmerkungen in 1836), namely, that the story was originally a myth of the northern gods, modified into a heroic saga after the introduction of Christianity, and intermingled with historical elements. This view is maintained by Richard von Muth in his Einleitung in das Nibelungenlied (Paderborn, 1877), who thus sums up the result of his critical researches: “The basis of all is an old myth of a beneficent divine being (Siegfried), who conquers daemonic powers (the Nibelungen), but is slain by them (the Burgundians turned Nibelungen); with this myth was connected the destruction of the Burgundian kingdom, ascribed to Attila, between 437 and 453, and later the legend of Attila's murder by his wife; in this form, after Attila and Theodoric had been associated in it, the legend penetrated, between 555 and 583, to the North, where its second part was developed in detail on the analogy of older sagas, while in Germany a complete change of the old motif took place.” To this theory the objection is raised that it is but a theory; that it is unsupported by any convincing evidence; and that the process which it postulates, that, namely, of the transformation of the gods into heroes by the popular imagination, is contrary to all that we know of the fate of dethroned deities, who are apt to live on in fairy stories in very unheroic guise. So early as 1783 Johannes von Müller of Göttingen had called attention to the historical figures appearing in the Nibelungenlied, identifying
Etzel as Attila, Dietrich of Bern as Theodoric of Verona, and the Burgundian kings Gunther, Giselhér and Gérnot as the Gundaharius, Gislaharius and Godomar of the Lex Burgundiorum; in 1820 Julius Leichtlen (Neuaufgefundenes Bruchstuck des Nibelungenliedes, Freiburg-im-Breisgau) roundly declared that “the Nibelungenlied rests entirely on a historical foundation, and that any other attempt to explain it must fail.” This view was, however, overborne by the great authority of Lachmann, whose theory, in complete harmony with the principles popularized by the brothers Grimm, was accepted and elaborated by a long series of critics. It is only of late years that criticism has tended to revert to the standpoint of Müller and Leichtlen and to recognize in the story of the Nibelungen as a whole a misty and confused tradition of real events and people. Mythical elements it certainly contains; and to those figures which— like Siegfried, Brunhild, Hagen and the “good margrave” Ruedeger of Bechlären—cannot be traced definitively to historical originals, a mythical origin is still provisionally ascribed. But criticism is still busy attempting to trace these also to historical originals, and Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied, 1907) makes out a very plausible case for identifying Siegfried with Segeric, son of the Burgundian king Sigimund, Brunhild with the historical Brunichildis, and Hagen with a certain Hagnericus, who, according to the Life of St Columban, guided the saint (the chaplain of the Nibclungenlied), who had incurred the enmity of Brunichildis, safe to the court of her grandson Theuderich, king of the West Franks. Herr Abeling's theory of the sources of the Nibelungen story is one among many; but, as it is one of the latest and not the least ingenious, it deserves mention. That the Icelandic Eddas contain the oldest versions of the legend, though divided and incomplete, is universally admitted. It is equally well established, however, that Iceland could not have been its original home This Herr Abeling locates among the Franks of what is now southern France, whence the stories spread, from the 6th century onwards, on the one hand across the Rhine into Franconia, on the other hand westwards and northwards, by way of Ireland— at that time in close intercourse with continental Europe—and the northern islands, to Iceland. Hence the two traditions, the German and the Icelandic, of which the latter alone is preserved in something of its primitive form, though primitive elements survive in the Nibelungenlied. The basis of the story is then, according to this view, historical, not mythical: a medley of Franco-Burgundian historical traditions, overlaid with mythical fancies.” The historical nucleus is the overthrow of the Burgundian kingdom of Gundahar by the Huns in 436; and round this there gathered an accretion of other episodes, equally historical in their origin, however distorted, with a naive disregard of chronological possibility: the murder of Segeric (c. 525), the murder of Sigimund by the sons of Chrothildis, wife of Clovis (identified by Abeling with Kriemhild), the murder of Attila by his Burgundian wife Ildico (see KRIEMHILD). In the Eddas the identity of the original Franco-Burgundian sagas is fairly preserved. In the Nibelungenlied, on the other hand, the influence of other wholly unconnected stories is felt: thus Hildebrand appears during the final fight at Etzel's court, and Theodoric the Great (Dietrich von Bern; see THEopoRIC), for no better reason than that the Dietrich legend had sent him into exile there, and that he must have been there when the Burgundians arrived. Origin of the Poem.—The controversy as to the underlying elements of the Nibelung legend extends to the question of the authorship and construction of the poem itself. Was it from the first—whatever additions and interpolations may have
"The Eddas were first written down, as is commonly assumed, by Bishop Saemund £ (1056–1133)
*The process of this overlaying is easy to realize if we remember how usual it was to transfer characteristics and episodes drawn from immemorial folk-lore to successive historical personages. A good example is the “Swan-maiden." ": connected with the house of Bouillon, (see Lohen GRIN). See also other interesting cases cited in the chapter on the “Geste of John de Courci" in Mr J. H. Round's Peerage and Pedigree (London, 1910).
followed—conceived as a single, coherent story, or is it based on a number of separate stories, popular ballads akin to the Eddas, which the original author of the Nibelungenlied merely collected and strung together? The answer to these questions has been sought by a succession of scholars in a critical comparison of the medieval MSS. of the poem still surviving. Of these 33 are now known, of which 10 are complete, the rest being more or less fragmentary. The most important are those first discovered, viz. the MSS. lettered C (Hohenems, 1755), B (Schloss Werdenberg, 1769), A (Hohenems, 1779); and round these the others more or less group themselves. They exhibit many differences: put briefly, C is the most perfectly finished in language and rhythm; A is rough, in places barbarous; B stands half-way between the two. Which is nearest to the original? Karl Lachmann (Zu den Nibelungen und zur Klage, Anmerkungen, 1836) decided in favour of A. He applied to the Nibelungenlied the method which Friedrich August Wolf had used to resolve the Iliad and Odyssey into their elements. The poem, according to Lachmann, was based on some twenty popular ballads, originally handed down orally, but written down about 1190 or 12oo. This original is lost, and A-as its roughness of form shows—is nearest to it; all other MSS., including B and C, are expansions of A. The great authority of Lachmann made this opinion the prevalent one, and it still has its champions. It was first seriously assailed by Adolf Holtzmann (Untersuchungen über das Nib., Stuttgart, 1854), who argued that the original could not have been strophic in form—the fourth lines of the strophes are certainly often of the nature of “padding”—that it was written by Konrad (Kuonråt of the Klage), writer to Bishop Pilgrim of Passau about 970-984, and that of existing MSS. C is nearest to this original, B the copy of a MS. closely akin to C, and A an abbreviated, corrupt copy of B. This view was adopted by Friedrich Zarncke, who made C the basis of his edition of the Nibelungenlied (Leipzig, 1856). A new hypothesis was developed by Karl Bartsch in his Untersuchungen ilber das Nibelungenlied (Leipzig, 1865). According to this the original was an assonance poem of the 12th century, which was changed between 1190 and 12oo by two separate poets into two versions, in which pure rhymes were substituted for the earlier assonances: the originals of the Nibelungenlied and Der Nibelunge Nôt respectively. Bartsch's subsequent edition of the Nibelunge Nót (1st ed., Leipzig, 1870) was founded on B, as the nearest to the original. To this view Zarncke was so far converted that in the 1887 edition of his Nibelungenlied he admitted that C shows signs of recension and that the B group is purer in certain details. As a result of all this critical study Hefr Abeling comes to the following conclusions. The poem was first written down by a wandering minstrel about 971 to 991, was remodelled about 1140 by Konrad, who introduced interpolations in the spirit of chivalry and was perhaps responsible for the metre; during the wars and miseries of the next fifty years manners and taste became barbarized and the fine traditions of the old popular poetry were obscured, and it was under this influence that, about 1190, a jongleur (Spielmann) revised the poem, this recension being represented by group B. After 1190, during the Golden Age of the art poetry (Kunstdichtung) of the Minnesingers (q.v.), a professional poet (Rudolf von Ems?) again remodelled the poem, introducing further interpolations, and changing the title from Der Nibelunge Nôt into Das Nibelungenliet, this version being the basis of the group C. The MS.A, as proved by its partial excellence, is based directly on Konrad's work, with additions borrowed from B.
Theodor Abeling (Das Nibelungenlied und seine Literatur (Leipzig, 1907) gives a full bibliography, embracing 1272 references from 1756 to 1905. There are English translations of the poem by A. G. Foster£ (1887), Margaret Armour (prose, 1897) and Alice Horton (1898). (W. A. P.) NICAEA, or NICE (mod. Isnik, i.e. els Nuxalavl an ancient town of Asia Minor, in Bithynia, on the Lake Ascania. Antigonus built the city (316 B.C.?) on an old deserted site, and soon afterwards Lysimachus changed its name from Antigonia to Nicaea, calling it after his wife. Under the Roman empire Nicaea and Nicomedia disputed the title of metropolis of Bithynia. Strabo describes the ancient Nicaea as built regularly, in the form of a square, with a gate in the middle of each side. From a monument in the centre of the city all the four gates were visible at the extremities of great cross-streets. After Constantinople became the capital of the empire Nicaea grew in importance, and after the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders became the temporary seat of the Byzantine emperor; the double line of walls with the Roman gates is still well preserved. The possession of the city was long disputed between the Greeks and the Turks. It remained an important city for some time after its final incorporation in the Ottoman empire; but became subsequently an insignificant village. NICAEA, COUNCIL OF. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) is an event of the highest importance in the history of Christianity. Its convocation and its course illustrate the radical revolution which the position of this religion, within the confines of the Roman empire, had undergone in consequence of the Edict of Milan. Further, it was the first oecumenical council, and this fact invested it with a peculiar halo in the eyes of subsequent ages; while among its resolutions may be found a series of decisions which acquired a lasting significance for the Christian Church. This applies more especially to the reception of the doctrine of the Trinity; for though, immediately after the close of the synod, it was exposed to a powerful opposition, it gained the day, and, in the form which it received at Nicaea and at the council of Constantinople (381), still enjoys official validity in the principal churches of Christendom. Finally, the council marks an epoch in the history of the conception of the Christian religion, in that it was the first attempt to fix the criteria of Christian orthodoxy by means of definitely formulated pronouncements on the content of Christian belief—the acceptance of these criteria being made a sine qua non of membership of the Church. Moreover, it admitted the principle that the state might employ the secular arm to bring the Christian subjects of the Roman world-empire under the newly codified faith. Thus the Nicene Council is an important stage in the development of the state-church, though the completion of that edifice was delayed till the reign of Theodosius the Great. The relation of the emperor Constantine to the assembly was in itself a step in the direction of that independent treatment of ecclesiastical affairs, which, in the following centuries, created the peculiar type of the Byzantine state-church. From his accession Constantine had shown himself the friend of the Christians; and, when his victory over Licinius (A.D. 323) gave him undisputed possession of the crown, he adhered to this religious policy, distinguishing and fortifying the Christian cause by gratuities and grants of privilege. This propitiatory attitude originated in the fact that he recognized Christianitywhich had successfully braved so many persecutions—as the most vital and vigorous of religions, and as the power of the future. Consequently he directed his energies toward the establishment of a positive relationship between it and the Roman state. But the Church could only maintain its great value for the politician by remaining the same compact organism which it had proved itself to be under the stormy reign of Diocletian. Scarcely, however, did it find itself in the enjoyment of external peace, when violent feuds broke out in its midst, whose extent, und the virulence with which they were waged, threatened to dismember the whole religious body. Donatism in the West was followed by the Arian struggle in the East. The former movement had been successfully arrested, though it survived in North Africa till the 5th century. The conflict kindled by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (q.v.) assumed greater dimensions and a more formidable character. Constantine at first attempted to restore quiet in Alexandria by transmission of an epistle by Bishop Hosius of Cordova, but his admonitions were fruitless. Accordingly, since other debatable points were at issue, he had recourse to an institution previously evolved by the Christian Church-the convocation of a synod to pronounce on burning questions-qualifying it, however, to correspond with the altered circumstances. He convened a council, designed to represent the whole Church of the empire, at Nicaea in Bithynia, 4 town situated no great way from the imperial summer-residence of Nicomedia and within easy reach by sea of the Oriental bishops. Among the various estimates of the number of delegates, the statement of Athanasius, who speaks of 318 members, has dominated the tradition. In consequence of the vast distances, the West was but weakly represented. From Spain, Hosius—the above-mentioned bishop of Cordova-made his appearance; from Gaul, Nicasius of Dijon; from Dalmatia, Domnus of Stridon; from Italy, Marcus of Calabria with two presbyters as deputies of the Roman bishop Silvester; and from North Africa, Caecilian of Carthage. Thus an immense majority of the synod hailed from the East. The bishops of the three most important metropolises were present-Alexander of Alexandria. Eustathius of Antioch and Macarius of Jerusalemwhile a prominent rôle was also played by Eusebius, bishop of the imperial city Nicomedia, and his erudite namesake, Eusebius of Caesarea. Of the other prelates not a few had distinguished themselves as confessors in the later persecution, and still bore the honourable traces of their sufferings. Since the bishops were accompanied by priests, Nicaea witnessed an array of clerics such as had never before been mustered in a single place. Among the attendant clergy, the still youthful deacon Athanasius, destined to succeed Alexander in the see of Alexandria, was prominent as the most powerful antagonist of Arianism (see ATHANASIUs). The synod met in the imperial palace from the 20th of May to the 25th of July. What order of procedure obtained, and in whom the presidency was vested, are problems which admit of no certain solution: the one indisputable fact is that Constantine-who, at his appearance, was accorded a ceremonious reception, and himself delivered an address on the occasion—exercised a decided influence on the discussions. The deliberations on the Arian question passed through several distinct stages before the final condemnation of Arius and his doctrines was reached. A clearly defined standpoint with regard to this problem—the relationship of Christ to God—was held only by the attenuated group of Arians and a far from numerous section of delegates, who adhered with unshaken conviction to the Alexandrian view. The bulk of the members occupied a position between these two extremes. They rejected the formulae of Arius, and declined to accept those of his opponents; that is to say, they were merely competent to establish negations, but lacked the capacity, as yet, to give their attitude of compromise a positive expression, In the main they perpetuated the line of Origen. That the majority of the council should have adopted this neutral tendency is easily intelligible when we consider the state of theology at that period. True, at Nicaea this majority eventually acquiesced in the ruling of the Alexandrians; yet this result was due, not to internal conviction, but partly to indifference, partly to the pressure of the imperial will—a fact which is mainly demonstrated by the subsequent history of the Arian conflicts. For if the Nicaean synod had arrived at its final decision by the conscientious agreement of all non-Arians, then the confession of faith there formulated might indeed have evoked the continued antagonism of the Arians, but must necessarily have been championed by all else. This, however, was not the case; in fact, the creed was assailed by those very bodies which had composed the laissez-faire centre at Nicaea; and we are compelled to the conclusion that, in this point, the voting was no criterion of the inward convictions of the council. In the synod, an Arian confession of faith was first brought forward and read; but it aroused such a storm of indignation
that obviously, in the interests of a restoration of ecclesiastical peace, there could be no question of its acceptance. On this, Eusebius of Caesarea submitted the baptismal creed of his community; and this met with the imperial approval. Since the creed dated from a period anterior to the outbreak of the Arian struggle, its reception would have been equivalent to a declaration on the part of the council that it declined to define its position with reference to the controversy of the hour. That the greater number of delegates were not disinclined to adopt this subterfuge, so congenial to their standpoint, and to shelve the actual solution of the whole problems by recognition of this or some similar neutral formula, is extremely probable. But the emperor manifestly saw that, if the difficulties were eluded in any such mode, it was inevitable from the very nature of the case, that they should rise again in an accentuated form, and that consequently no pacification could be expected from this policy. Since the Eastern Church subscribed to the Alexandrian solution of the question, he drew the natural deduction and concluded that he had here a genuine presentment of the feeling of the Church, which, if it received official sanction, might be justly expected to restore peace to the Christian community. But, in pronouncing for this view, he was careful to dissociate himself from the formulation of a new confession: for it was imperative to avoid even an apparent innovation in the articles of faith. Accordingly he proposed that the Caesarean creed should be modified by the insertion of the Alexandrian passwords-as if for the purpose of more accurate definitionand by the deletion of certain portions. That he appreciated the import of these alterations, or realized that this revision was virtually the proclamation of a new doctrine, is scarcely probable. The creed thus evolved-the expression Öuoovatos is of Western origin-was finally signed by all the deputies with the exception of the bishops Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais: even the Arians had submitted. The two recalcitrant prelates, with the presbyter Arius, were banished to Illyria; Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea were also driven into exile, and at the same time the works of Arius were condemned to be burned under pain of death. But this artificial unity was no ratification of peace: in fact, it paved the way for a struggle which convulsed the whole empire. For it was the proclamation of the Nicene Creed that first opened the eyes of many bishops to the significance of the problem there treated; and its explanation led the Church to force herself, by the arduous path of theological work, into compliance with those principles, enunciated at Nicaea, to which, in the year 325, she had pledged herself without genuine assent. In addition to the Arian impasse, there was the schism of Bishop Meletius of Lycopolis in the Thebaid, whose settlement Constantine had added to the programme of the council. He and Peter, bishop of Alexandria, had come into conflict over the treatment of the “backsliders” (lapsi) in the Diocletian persecution; and their strife acquired additional bitterness from the fact that it was extended to cover the prerogatives of the Alexandrian bishopric. Peter had composed a treatise advocating moderate principles and censuring the courtship of martyrdom for its own sake, then gone so far as to save himself by flight. Meletius, on the other hand, represented the most rigorous school, and allowed himself high-handed infringements of the law. When this had resulted in his deposition by a synod, a faction still adhered to him, and the Meletians became a schismatic community; and such they remained even after the death of Peter (311), who demonstrated by his martyrdom that his counsels of moderation were not prompted by cowardice. This Meletian schism made for disorder in the ecclesiastical life of Egypt all the more because its followers sided with Arius. The Nicene Council broke the strength of the movement by great concessions to the Meletian bishops, and, at the same time, expressly recognized the supreme rights of the Alexandrian see over Egypt, Libya and the Pentapolis. Since, in the resolution dealing with this point (canon vi.), reference was made to the analogous and undisputed suzerainty of the Roman sce-over the ten suburbican provinces, attached to the diocese of Rome and including middle and lower Italy, with the islands of Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia-this decision enshrines an important piece of evidence for the history of the papacy. On this opportunity, his ancient privileges were restored to the bishop of Jerusalem, who, in consequence of the political history of the Holy Land, had been subordinated to the metropolitan of Caesarea (canon vii.). The path was smoothed for the readmittance of the Novatians (Cathari) into the church, by recognizing, in this case, their clergy, with the bare stipulation that the laying-on of hands should follow their written promise to be faithful to the doctrine of the Catholic Church (canon viii.). With regard to the much-debated question as to the termination of the Easter festival, the synod committed itself so far as to pronounce in favour of the Alexandrian cycle—a settlement which entailed such important results in practical life that it was communicated to the Christian churches by Constantine in a circular letter. The problem, whether a baptism, performed by heretics in the name of Christ or the Trinity, should rank as a baptism or not, had given rise to an animated controversy between the Roman bishop Stephen, who answered in the affirmative, and Cyprian of Carthage, who gave an equally decided negative. The council followed the Roman practice, merely declaring the nullity of baptisms imparted by the adherents of Paul of Samosata (canon xix.). An important provision, in point of ecclesiastical law, was that the chirotony of a bishop required the presence of at least three other bishops of his province, while the confirmation of the choice remained at the disposal of the metropolitan (canon iv.). A further regulation was that two provincial synods should be held annually (canon v.); but a law enacting the celibacy of the clergy was rejected at Nicaea, since Paphnutius, an aged bishop of Egypt who had been tested in persecution, warned his colleagues against the danger of imposing too arduous a yoke upon the priesthood, and defended the sanctity of marriage. . As Constantine had convened the synod, so he determined its conclusion. A brilliant banquet in the imperial palace—of which Eusebius of Caesarea gives an enthusiastic accountmarked its close, after which the bishops were granted their return. The admonitions to peace with which he dismissed them proved unavailing for the reasons indicated above: but the reputation of the first oecumenical council suffered no abatement in consequence, See F. v. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, i. (ed. 2, Freiburg, 1873), p. 282-443. A catalogue of the special literature will be found in fs's article 'Arianismus' in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie # rotestantische Theologie, i. (ed. 3, Leipzig, 1897); also Bernoulli, 'Nicaenisches Konzil," ib., vol. xiv. (1904), pp. 9 sqG. (C.M.) NICANDER (2nd cent. B.C.), Greek poet, physician and grammarian, was born at Claros, hear Colophon, where his family held the hereditary priesthood of Apollo. He flourished under Attalus III. of Pergamum. He wrote a number of works both in prose and verse, of which two are preserved. The longest, Theriaca, is an hexameter poem (958 lines) on the nature of venomous animals and the wounds which they inflict. The other, Alexipharmaca, consists of 630 hexameters treating of poisons and their antidotes. In his facts Nicander followed the physician Apollodorus. Among his lost works may be mentioned: Aetolica, a prose history of Aetolia; Heteroeumena, a mythological epic, used by Ovid in the Metamorphoses and epitomized by Antoninus Liberalis; Georgica and Melissourgica, of which considerable fragments are preserved, said to have been imitated by Virgil (Quintilian x. 1. 56). The works of Nicander were praised by Cicero (De oratore, i. 16), imitated by Ovid, and frequently quoted by Pliny and other writers. His reputation does not seem justified; his works, as Plutarch says (De audiendis poetis, 16), have nothing poetical about them except the metre, and the style is bombastic and obscure; but they contain some interesting information as to ancient belief on the subjects treated, Editions.—J. G. Schneider (1792, 1816); O. Schneider (1856) (with the Scholia); H. Klauser, “De Dicendi Genere . . . Nicandri" (Dissertationes Philologicae Windobonenses, vi. 1898).
The Scholia (from the Göttingen MS.) have been edited by G. ' in Abhandlungen der k. t der Wiss. zu Göttingen, £ #2). See also W. Vollgraff, Nikander und Ovid (Groningen, 1909 toll.). NICANOR, Greek grammarian, son of Hermeias of Alexandria (or Hierapolis), lived during the reign of Hadrian. He chiefly devoted himself to the study of punctuation and the difference of meaning caused by it. Hence he was nicknamed “the Punctuator” (5 orvyuarias). He is known to have written on the punctuation of Homer and Callimachus. He was possibly the author of a work IIepl Merovouaouav (On the Change of Names of Places), of which some fragments are preserved in C. W. Müller, Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, iii. 632. Edition of the Iliad and Odyssey fragments by L. Friedländer (1850) and O. Carnuth (1875) respectively. NICARAGUA, a republic of Central America, bounded on the N. by Honduras, E. by the Caribbean Sea, S. by Costa Rica, and W. by the Pacific Ocean (for map, see CENTRAL AMERICA). Pop. (1905), about 550,000; area, 49,200 sq. m. Nicaragua forms an irregular equilateral triangle with its base stretching for 280 m. along the Caribbean Sea from Cape Gracias à Dios southwards to the San Juan delta, and its apex at the Coseguina volcano, on the Bay of Fonseca, which separates Nicaragua on the Pacific side from Salvador. The frontier which separates the republic from Honduras extends across the continent from east-north-east to west-south-west. It is defined by the river Segovia for about one-third of the distance, or from Cape Gracias à Dios to 86° W.; it then deflects across the watershed on the east and south of the Hondurian river Choluteca, crosses the main Nicaraguan cordillera (mountain chain), and follows the river Negro to the Bay of Fonseca. In accordance with the treaty of 1858, which was confirmed in 1888 by the United States president, acting as arbitrator, and more fully defined in 1896, the boundary towards Costa Rica is drawn 2 m. S. of the San Juan river and Lake Nicaragua, as far as a point parallel to the centre of the western shore of the lake. It is then continued south-westward for the short distance which intervenes between this point and the northernmost headland of Salinas Bay, on the Pacific. Physical Features.—The coasts of Nicaragua are strikingly different in configuration. The low, swampy and monotonous shore of the Caribbean, with its numerous lagoons and estuaries, and its fringe of reefs and islets, contains only three harbours: Gracias à Dios, Bluefields or Blewfields, and Greytown (San Juan del Norte). Its length, from Cape Gracias à Dios to the San Juan delta, is nearly 300 m. The Pacific coast, measuring some 200 m. from the Bay of Fonseca to Salinas Bay, is bold, rocky and unbroken by any great indentation; here, however, are the best harbours of the republic—the southern arm of the Bay of Fonseca (q.v.), Corinto, Brito and San Juan del Sur. The surface of the country is naturally divided into five clearly distinct zones: (1) the series of volcanic peaks which extend parallel to the Pacific at a little distance inland; (2) the plains and : of the great depression which lies to the east of these mountains and stretches from sea to sea, between the Bay, of Fonseca and the mouths of the San Juan; (3) the main cordillera, which skirts the depression on the east, and trends north-west from Monkey Point or Punta Mico on the Caribbean Sea, until it is merged in the ramifications of the Hondurian and Salvadorian highlands; (4) the plateaus which slope gradually : from the main cordillera towards the Caribbean; (5) the east or Mosquito coast, with its low-lying hinterland. The last-named region has to a great extent had a separate history; and it was only in 1894 that the uito Reserve, a central enclave which includes more than half of the littoral and hinterland was incorporated in the republic and renamed the department of Zelaya. £: Mosquito CoAst. £ situated almost on the western edge of the country, and greatly inferior, both in continuity and in mean altitude, to the main cordillera, the chain of volcanic cones constitutes a watershed quite equal in importance to the cordillera itself. It consists for the most rt of isolated igneous peaks, sometimes connected by low intervening ridges. It terminates in the extreme north-west with Coseguina (2831 ft.), and in the extreme south-east with the low wooded archilagos of Solentiname and Chichicaste near the head of the San # river. Between these two extremes the chief cones, proceedi southwards, are: the Maribios chain, comprising El Viejo (5840 # Santa Clara, Telica, Orota, Las Pilas, Axosco, Momotombo #' * all crowded close together between the Bay of Fonesca and Lake