hitherto preserved their independence. Since the beginning of the 19th century they have been bigoted Wahhabis, though previously regarded by their neighbours as very lax Mahommedans; during Mehemet Ali’s occupation of Nejd their constant raids on the Egyptian communications compelled him to send several punitive expeditions into the district, which, however, met with little success. Since the reconquest of Yemen by the Turks, they have made repeated attempts to subjugate Asir, but beyond occupying Kanfuda, and holding one or two isolated points in the interior, of which Ibha and Manadir are the principal, they have effected nothing.
The chief sources of information regarding Asir are the notes made by J. L. Burckhardt at Taif in 1814 and those of the French officers with the Egyptian expeditions into the country from 1814 to 1837. No part of Arabia would better repay exploration.
ASISIUM (mod. Assisi), an ancient town of Umbria, in a lofty situation about 15 m. E.S.E. of Perusia. As an independent community it had already begun to use Latin as well as Umbrian in its inscriptions (for one of these recording the chief magistrates—marones—see C.I.L. xi. 5390). It became a municipium in 90 B.C., but, though numerous inscriptions (C.I.L. xi. 5371-5606) testify to its importance in the Imperial period, it is hardly mentioned by our classical authorities. Scanty traces of the ancient city walls may be seen; within the town the best-preserved building is the so-called temple of Minerva, with six Corinthian columns of travertine, now converted into a church, erected by Gaius and Titus Caesius in the Augustan era. It fronted on to the ancient forum, part of the pavement of which, with a base for the equestrian statues of Castor and Pollux (as the inscription upon it records) has been laid bare beneath the present Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. The remains of the amphitheatre, in opus reticulatum, may be seen in the north-east corner of the town; and other ancient buildings have been discovered. Asisium was probably the birthplace of Propertius. (T. As.)
ASKABAD, or Askhabad, a town of Russian central Asia, capital of the Transcaspian province, 345 m. by rail S.E. of Krasnovodsk and 594 from Samarkand, situated in a small oasis at the N. foot of the Kopet-dagh range. It has a public library and a technical railway school; also cotton-cleaning works, tanneries, brick-works, and a mineral-water factory. The trade is valued at £250,000 a year. The population, 2500 in 1881, when the Russians seized it, was 19,428 in 1897, one-third Persians, many of them belonging to the Babi sect.
ASKAULES (Gr. ἀσκαύλης [?] from ἀσκός, bag, αὐλός, pipe), probably the Greek word for bag-piper, although there is no documentary authority for its use. Neither it nor ἄσκαυλος (which would naturally mean the bag-pipe) has been found in Greek classical authors, though J. J. Reiske—in a note on Dio Chrysostom, Orat. lxxi. ad fin., where an unmistakable description of the bag-pipe occurs (“and they say that he is skilled to write, to work as an artist, and to play the pipe with his mouth, on the bag placed under his arm-pits”)—says that ἀσκαύλης was the Greek word for bag-piper. The only actual corroboration of this is the use of ascaules for the pure Latin utricularius in Martial x. 3. 8. Dio Chrysostom flourished about A.D. 100; it is therefore only an assumption that the bag-pipe was known to the classical Greeks by the name of ἄσκαυλος. It need not, however, be a matter of surprise that among the highly cultured Greeks such an instrument as the bag-pipe should exist without finding a place in literature. It is significant that it is not mentioned by Pollux (Onomast. iv. 74) and Athenaeus (Deipnos. iv. 76) in their lists of the various kinds of pipes.
ASKE, ROBERT (d. 1537), English rebel, was a country gentleman who belonged to an ancient family long settled in Yorkshire, his mother being a daughter of John, Lord Clifford. When in 1536 the insurrection called the “Pilgrimage of Grace” broke out in Yorkshire, Aske was made leader; and marching with the banner of St Cuthbert and with the badge of the “five wounds,” he occupied York on the 16th of October and on the 20th captured Pontefract Castle, with Lord Darcy and the archbishop of York, who took the oath of the rebels. He caused the monks and nuns to be reinstated, and refused to allow the king’s herald to read the royal proclamation, announcing his intention of marching to London to declare the grievances of the commons to the sovereign himself, secure the expulsion of counsellors of low birth, and obtain restitution for the church. The whole country was soon in the hands of the rebels, a military organization with posts from Newcastle to Hull was established, and Hull was provided with cannon. Subsequently Aske, followed by 30,000 or 40,000 men, proceeded towards Doncaster, where lay the duke of Norfolk with the royal forces, which, inferior in numbers, would probably have been overwhelmed had not Aske persuaded his followers to accept the king’s pardon, and the promise of a parliament at York and to disband. Soon afterwards he received a letter from the king desiring him to come secretly to London to inform him of the causes of the rebellion. Aske went under the guarantee of a safe-conduct and was well received by Henry. He put in writing a full account of the rising and of his own share in it; and, fully persuaded of the king’s good intentions, returned home on the 8th of January 1537, bringing with him promises of a visit from the king to Yorkshire, of the holding of a parliament at York, and of free elections. Shortly afterwards he wrote to the king warning him of the still unquiet state not only of the north but of the midlands, and stating his fear that more bloodshed was impending. The same month he received the king’s thanks for his action in pacifying Sir Francis Bigod’s rising. But his position was now a difficult and a perilous one, and a few weeks later the attitude of the government towards him was suddenly changed. The new rising had given the court an excuse for breaking off the treaty and sending another army under Norfolk into Yorkshire. Possibly in these fresh circumstances Aske may have given cause for further suspicions of his loyalty, and in his last confession he acknowledged that communications to obtain aid had been opened with the imperial ambassador and were contemplated with Flanders. But it is more probable that the government had from the first treacherously affected to treat him with confidence to secure the secrets of the rebels and to effect his destruction. In March Norfolk congratulated Cromwell on the successful accomplishment of his task, having persuaded Aske to go to London on false assurances of security. He was arrested in April, tried before a commission at Westminster, and sentenced to death for high treason on the 17th of May; and on the 28th of June he was taken back to Yorkshire, being paraded in the towns and country through which he passed. He was hanged at York in July, expressing repentance for breaking the king’s laws, but declaring that he had promise of pardon both from Cromwell and from Henry. It is related that his servant, Robert Wall, died of grief at the thought of his master’s approaching execution. Aske was a real leader, who gained the affection and confidence of his followers; and his sudden rise to greatness and his choice by the people point to abilities that have not been recorded.
ASKEW, or Ascue, ANNE (1521?–1546), English Protestant martyr, born at Stallingborough about 1521, was the second daughter of Sir William Askew (d. 1540) of South Kelsey, Lincoln, by his first wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wrottesley. Her elder sister, Martha, was betrothed by her parents to Thomas Kyme, a Lincolnshire justice of the peace, but she died before marriage, and Anne was induced or compelled to take her place. She is said to have had two children by Kyme, but religious differences and incompatibility of temperament soon estranged the couple. Kyme was apparently an unimaginative man of the world, while Anne took to Bible-reading with zeal, became convinced of the falsity of the doctrine