Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/29

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gatory on all establishments of canons and canonesses (see Monasticism, Western), while a new revision of the Rule of St. Benedict was imposed on the monks of that order by the reformer Benedict of Aniane. The synod of 836 was largely attended and devoted itself to the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline that had been gravely affected by the civil wars between Louis the Pious and his sons. From 860 to 862 three councils were occupied with the question of the divorce of King Lothaire I from his wife, Theutberga. In 1166 took place the famous schismatic council, approved by the Antipope Paschal III, in which was decreed the canonization of Charlemagne, that was solemnly celebrated 29 December of that year.

Bock, Karls d. Grossen Pfalzkapelle und ihre Kunstschätze, Kunstgeschichtliche Beschreibung d. Karoling. Octogons zu Aachen, (Köln, 1867); Fromm, Die Literatur über die Thermen von Aachen seit d. Mitte d. 16. Jahrhunderts (Aachen, 1890); Quix, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stadt Aachen und ihrer Umgebungen (Aachen, 1840); Lœrsch, Aachener Rechtsdenkmäler aus d. 13., 14., u. 15. Jahrhundert. (Bonn, 1871); Festschrift d. Generalversammlung d. Gesammtvereins d. deutsche. Geschichts- und Altertumsvereine zu Dusseldorf (Aachen, 1902); Fromm, Zeitschrift d. Aachener Geschichtsvereins (Aachen, 1879); Janssen, History of the German People (St. Louis, 1903); Bryce, Holy Roman Empire (New York, 1904); Bigelow, History of the German Struggle for Liberty (New York, 1903), III; Dawson, Germany and the Germans (London, 1898); Tuttle, History of Prussia (Boston, 1884-96). Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2d. ed., III, IV; Mansi, Coll. Conc. XIII-XV.

Aaron, brother of Moses, and High Priest of the Old Law.

I. Life. — Altogether different views are taken of Aaron's life, according as the Pentateuch, which is the main source on the subject, is regarded as one continuous work, composed by Moses or under his supervision—hence most trustworthy in the narration of contemporary events—or as a compilation of several documents of divers origins and dates, strung together, at a late epoch, into the present form. The former conception, supported by the decisions of the Biblical Commission, is held by Catholics at large; many independent critics adopt the latter. We shall study this part of the subject under this twofold aspect, although dwelling longer, as is meet, on the former.

(a) Traditional Catholic Standpoint.—According to I Paral., vi, 1–3, Aaron (the signification of whose name is unknown) was the great-grandson of Levi, and the second of the children of Amram and Jochabed, Mary being the eldest and Moses the youngest. From Ex., vii, 7, we learn that Aaron was born eighty-three, and Moses eighty years, before the Exodus. It may be admitted, however, that this pedigree is probably incomplete, and the age given perhaps incorrect. We know nothing of Aaron's life prior to his calling. The first mention of his name occurs when Moses, during the vision on Mount Horeb, was endeavouring to decline the perilous mission imposed upon him, on the plea that he was slow of speech and lacking in eloquence. Yahweh answered his objection, saying that Aaron the Levite, who was endowed with eloquence, would be his spokesman. About the same time Aaron also was called from on high. He then went to meet Moses, in order to be instructed by him in the designs of God; then they assembled the ancients of the people, and Aaron, who worked miracles to enforce the words of his divine mission, announced to them the good tidings of the coming freedom (Ex., iv). To deliver God's message to the King was a far more laborious task. Pharao harshly rebuked Moses and Aaron, whose interference proved disastrous to the Israelites (Ex., v). These latter, overburdened with the hard work to which they were subjected, bitterly murmured against their leaders. Moses in turn complained before God, who replied by confirming his mission and that of his brother. Encouraged by this fresh assurance of Yahweh's help, Moses and Aaron again appeared before the King at Tanis (Ps. lxxvii, 12), there to break the stubbornness of Pharao's will by working the wonders known as the ten plagues. In these, according to the sacred narrative, the part taken by Aaron was most prominent. Of the ten plagues, the first three and the sixth were produced at his command; both he and his brother were each time summoned before the King, both likewise received from God the last instructions for the departure of the people, to both was, in later times, attributed Israel's deliverance from the land of bondage; both finally repeatedly became the target for the complaints and reproaches of the impatient and inconsistent Israelites.

When the Hebrews reached the desert of Sin, tired by their long march, fearful at the thought of the coming scarcity of food, and perhaps weakened already by privations, they began to regret the abundance of the days of their sojourn in Egypt, and murmured against Moses and Aaron. But the two leaders were soon sent by God to appease their murmuring by the promise of a double sign of the providence and care of God for His people. Quails came up that same evening, and the next morning the manna, the new heavenly bread with which God was to feed His people in the wilderness, lay for the first time round the camp. Aaron was commanded to keep a gomor of manna and put it in the tabernacle in memory of this wonderful event. This is the first circumstance in which we hear of Aaron in reference to the tabernacle and the sacred functions (Ex., xvi). At Raphidim, the third station after the desert of Sin, Israel met the Amalecites and fought against them. While the men chosen by Moses battled in the plain, Aaron and Hur were with Moses on the top of a neighbouring hill, whither the latter had betaken himself to pray, and when he "lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame. And Moses' hands were heavy: so they took a stone, and put under him and he sat on it: and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands on both sides" until Amalec was put to flight (Ex., xvii). In the valley of Mount Sinai the Hebrews received the Ten Commandments; then Aaron, in company with seventy of the ancients of Israel, went upon the mountain, to be favoured by a vision of the Almighty, "and they saw the God of Israel: and under his feet as it were a work of sapphire stone, and as the heaven when clear." Thereupon Moses, having entrusted to Aaron and Hur the charge of settling the difficulties which might arise, went up to the top of the mountain.

His long delay finally excited in the minds of the Israelites the fear that he had perished. They gathered around Aaron and requested him to make them a visible God that might go before them. Aaron said: "Take the golden earrings from the ears of your wives, and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me." When he had received them, he made of them a molten calf before which he built up an altar, and the children of Israel were convoked to celebrate their new god. What was Aaron's intention in setting up the golden calf? Whether he and the people meant a formal idolatry, or rather wished to raise up a visible image of Yahweh their deliverer, has been the subject of many discussions; the texts, however, seem to favour the latter opinion (cf. Ex., xxxii, 4). Be this as it may, Moses, at God's command, came down from the mountain in the midst of the celebration—at the sight of the apparent idolatry, filled with a holy anger, he broke the Tables of the Law, took hold of the idol, burnt it and beat it to powder, which he strowed into the water. Then, addressing his brother as the real and answerable author of the evil: "What," said he,