Page:EB1911 - Volume 03.djvu/74

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
59
AVERRUNCATOR—AVIANUS

appeared at Padua (1472); about fifty were published at Venice, the best-known being that by the Juntas (1552-1553) in ten volumes folio.

See E. Renan, Averroès et l'Averroïsme (2nd ed., Paris, 1861); S. Munk, Mélanges, 418-458; G. Stöckl, Phil. d. Mittelalters, ii. 67-124; Averroes (Vater und Sohn), Drei Abhandl. über d. Conjunction d. separaten Intellects mit d. Menschen, trans. into German from the Arabic version of Sam. Ben-Tibbon, by Dr J. Hercz (Berlin, 1869); T. J. de Boer, History of Philosophy in Islam (London, 1903), ch. vi.; A. F. M. Mehren in Muséon, vii. 613-627; viii. 1-20; Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), vol. i. pp. 461 f. See also Arabian Philosophy.

 (W. W.; G. W. T.) 

AVERRUNCATOR, a form of long shears used in arboriculture for “averruncating” or pruning off the higher branches of trees, &c. The word “averruncate” (from Lat. averruncare, to ward off, remove mischief) glided into meaning to “weed the ground,” “prune vines,” &c., by a supposed derivation from the Lat. ab, off, and eruncare, to weed out, and it was spelt “aberuncate” to suit this; but the New English Dictionary regards such a derivation as impossible.

AVERSA, a town and episcopal see of Campania, Italy, in the province of Caserta, 15½ m. S.S.W. by rail from Caserta, and 12½ m. N. by rail from Naples, from which there is also an electric tramway. Pop. (1901) 23,477. Aversa was the first place in which the Normans settled, it being granted to them in 1027 for the help which they had given to Duke Sergius of Naples against Pandulf IV. of Capua. The Benedictine abbey of S. Lorenzo preserves a portal of the 11th century. There is also a large lunatic asylum, founded by Joachim Murat in 1813.

AVESNES, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Nord, on the Helpe, 28 m. S.E. of Valenciennes by rail. Pop. (1906) 5076. The town is the seat of a sub-prefect, and has a tribunal of first instance, a chamber of commerce and a communal college. Its church of St Nicholas (16th century) has a tower 200 ft. high, with a fine chime of bells. The chief industry of the town is wool-spinning, and there is trade in wood. Avesnes was founded in the 11th century, and formed a countship which in the 15th century passed to the house of Burgundy and afterwards to that of Habsburg. In 1477 it was destroyed by Louis XI. By the treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) it came into the possession of the French, and was fortified by Vauban. It was captured by the Prussians in 1815.

AVEYRON, a department of southern France, bounded N. by Cantal, E. by Lozère and Card, S.W. by Tarn and W. by Tarn-et-Garonne and Lot. Area, 3386 sq. m. Pop. (1906) 377,299. It corresponds nearly to the old district of Rouergue, which gave its name to a countship established early in the 9th century, and united with that of Toulouse towards the end of the 11th century. The earliest known natives of this region were the Celtic Rutheni, to whom the numerous megalithic monuments found in the department are attributed. Aveyron lies on the southern border of the central plateau of France. Its chief rivers are the Lot in the north, the Aveyron in the centre and the Tarn in the south, all tributaries of the Garonne. They flow from east to west, following the general slope of the department, and divide it into four zones. In the north-east, between the Lot and its tributary the Truyère, lies the lonely pastoral plateau of the Viadène, dominated by the volcanic mountains of Aubrac, which form the north-eastern limit of the department and include its highest summit (4760 ft.). Entraygues, at the confluence of the Lot and the Truyère, is one of the many picturesque towns of the department. Between the Lot and the Aveyron is a belt of causses or monotonous limestone table-lands, broken here and there by profound and beautiful gorges—a type of scenery characteristic of Aveyron. This zone is also watered by the Dourdou du Nord, a tributary of the Lot. The salient feature of the region between the Tarn and the Aveyron is the plateau of the Ségala, bordered on the east by the heights of Lévezou and Palanges and traversed from east to west by the deep valley of the Viaur, a tributary of the Aveyron. The country south of the Tarn is occupied in great part by the huge plateau of Larzac, which lies between the Causse Noir and the Causse St Affrique, the three forming the south-western termination of the Cévennes. On the Causse Noir is found the fantastic chaos of rocks and precipices known as Montpellier-le-Vieux, resembling the ruins of a huge city. The climate of Aveyron varies from extreme rigour in the mountains to mildness in the sheltered valleys; the south wind is sometimes of great violence. Wheat, rye and oats are the chief cereals cultivated, the soil of Aveyron being naturally poor. Other crops are potatoes, colza, hemp and flax. The mainstay of the agriculture of the department is the raising of live-stock, especially of cattle of the Aubrac breed, for which Laguiole is an important market. The wines of Entraygues, St Georges, Bouillac and Najac have some reputation; in the Ségala chestnuts form an important element in the food of the peasants, and the walnut, cider-apple, mulberry (for the silk-worm industry), and plum are among the fruit trees grown. The production of Roquefort cheeses is prominent among the agricultural industries. They are made from the milk of the large flocks of the plateau of Larzac, and the choicest are ripened in the even temperature of the caves in the cliff which overhangs Roquefort. The minerals found in the department include the coal of the basins of Aubin and Rodez as well as iron, zinc and lead. Quarries of various kinds of stone are also worked. The chief industrial centres are Decazeville, which has metallurgical works, and Millau, where leather-dressing and the manufacture of gloves have attained considerable importance. Wool-weaving and the manufacture of woollen goods, machinery, chemicals and bricks are among the other industries.

There are five arrondissements, of which the chief towns are Rodez, capital of the department, Espalion, Millau, St Affrique and Villefranche, with 43 cantons and 304 communes. Rodez is the seat of a bishopric, the diocese of which comprises the department. Aveyron belongs to the 16th military region, and to the académie or educational circumscription of Toulouse. Its court of appeal is at Montpellier. The department is traversed by the lines both of the Orléans and Southern railways. The more important towns are Rodez, Millau, St Affrique, Villefranche-de-Rouergue and Decazeville. The following are also of interest:—Sauveterre, founded in 1281, a striking example of the bastide (q.v.) of that period; Conques, which has a remarkable abbey-church of the 11th century like St Sernin of Toulouse in plan and possessing a rich treasury of reliquaries, &c.; Espalion, where amongst other old buildings there are the remains of a feudal stronghold and a church of the Romanesque period; Najac, which has the ruins of a magnificent château of the 13th century; and Sylvanès, with a church of the 12th century, once attached to a Cistercian abbey.

AVEZZANO, a town of the Abruzzi, Italy, in the province of Aquila, 67 m. E. of Rome by rail and 38 m. S. of Aquila by road. Pop. (1901) 9442. It has a fine and well-preserved castle, built in 1490 by Gentile Virginio Orsini; it is square, with round towers at the angles. Avezzano is on the main line from Rome to Castellammare Adriatico; a branch railway diverges to Roccasecca, on the line from Naples to Rome. The Lago Fucino lies 1½ m. to the east.

AVIANUS, a Latin writer of fables, placed by some critics in the age of the Antonines, by others as late as the 6th century A.D. He appears to have lived at Rome and to have been a heathen. The 42 fables which bear his name are dedicated to a certain Theodosius, whose learning is spoken of in most flattering terms. He may possibly be Macrobius Theodosius, the author of the Saturnalia; some think he may be the emperor of that name. Nearly all the fables are to be found in Babrius, who was probably Avianus's source of inspiration, but as Babrius wrote in Greek, and Avianus speaks of having made an elegiac version from a rough Latin copy, probably a prose paraphrase, he was not indebted to the original. The language and metre are on the whole correct, in spite of deviations from classical usage, chiefly in the management of the pentameter. The fables soon became popular as a school-book. Promythia and epimythia (introductions and morals) and paraphrases, and imitations were frequent, such as the Novus Avianus of Alexander Neckam (12th century).

Editions.—Cannegieter (1731), Lachmann (1845), Fröhner (1862),