Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/436

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392

AMBROSIAN 392 AMBROSIAN No - stro sus pec The melody to the Ambrosian hymn "Hie est dies verus Dei" is of added interest because it is the one to which the Pentecostal hymn "Veni Creator Spiri- tus" has always been sung. As the Easter hymn is older by several centuries than the "Veni Creator Spiritus", the melody was adapted to the latter; (a) is the form it has in the Psalterium and the hymnary of the Bibliotheca Trivulziana; (b) gives us the Nevers adaptation of the melody to the "Veni Creator Spiritus"; (c) is Dreves's restoration of the original form. Sane - to se - re - nus lu - ml - ne, Quo di - lu - It san-guis sa - cer ^^^1^ Pro - bro - sa mun - di cri - mi Dreves, Aurelius Amhrosianus, Der Voter dea Kirchen- gesangea; Gevaert, La melopee antiqitf dans U chant de I'egliae laiine; Julian, Diet, of Hymnology; Kiemann, liandbuch der Muaikgeachichte; Houdahd, La CantUhte Romaine. La Pateographie MuaicaU of the Benedictines of Solesmes, V and VI also offers instructive material. Joseph Otten. Ambrosian Hymn, The. See Te Deum. Ambrosian Hymnography. — The names of St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367), who is mentioned by St. Isidore of Seville as the first to compose Latin hymns, and St. Ambrose, styled by Dreves " the Father of Church-song ", are linked together as those of pioneers of Western hymnody. The first actually to compose hymns was St. Hilary, who had spent in Asia Minor some years of exile from his see, and had thus be- come acquainted with the Syrian and Greek hymns of the Eastern Church. His "Liber Hyninorum" has unfortunately perished. Daniel, in his "Thesau- rus Hymnologicus ", mistakenly attributed seven liymiis to Hilary, two of which ("Lucis largitor splendide" and " Beata nobis gaudia") were, down to the present day, considered by hymnologists gen- erally to have had good reason for the ascription, until Blume (Analecta Hymnica, Leipzig, 1897, XXVH, 48-52; cf. also the review of Merrill's "Latin Hj-mns" in the "Berliner Philologische Wochenschrift", 24th March, 1906) showed the error underlying the ascription of Daniel and of those who followed his mistake. The two hymns are mentioned here, since they have the metric and strophic cast peculiar to the authenticated hymns of St. Ambrose and to the wellnigh innimierable hymns which were afterwards composed on the model, and often with the inspira- tion, of those of the Saint. It may be trily said, then, that St. Ambrose, writing hymns in a stj-le severely elegant, chaste, perspicuous, clothing Chris- tian ideas in classical phraseology, and yet appealing to popular tastes, and succeeding in the appeal, had indeed found a new form and created a new school of hymnody. Like St. Hilary, St. Ambrose was also a "Hammer of the Arians", for the combatting of whose errors it was his special distinction to have composed hymns. Answering their complaints on this head, he says: "Assuredly I do not deny it. . . . All strive to confess their faith and know how to declare in verse the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost." And St. Augustine (Confessions, IX, vii, 15) speaks of the occasion when the hymns were introduced by Ambrose to be simg "according to the fashion of the East". St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636) testifies to the spread of the custom from Milan throughout the whole of the West, and refers to the hymns as "Ambrosian" (P. L., LXXXIII, col. 743). In uncritical ages, hymns, whether metrical or merely accentual, following the material form of those of St. Ambrose, were generally ascribed to him and were called "Ambrosiani". As now used, the term implies no attribution of authorship, but rather a poetical form or a liturgical use. On the other hand, the term will still doubtless be used without implying necessarily a negation of authorship, in the belief that some may be really the compositions of the Saint, despite the calculations of the most recent scholarship, which gives fourteen hjTiins certainly, three very probably, and one probably, to him. The rule of St. Benedict employed the term; and Walafridus Strabo (P. L., CXIV, coll. 954, 955) notes that, while St. Benedict styled the hymns to be used in the canonical hours .1 mhro.'^ianon, the term is to be understood as referring to hymns composed either by St. Ambrose or by others who followed his form; and, remarking further tliat many hymns were wrongly supposed to be his, thinks it incredible that he should have composed "some of them, which have no logical coherence and exhibit an awkwardness alien to the style of Ambrose". Daniel gives no less than ninety-two Ambrosiani, under the heading.