Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/940

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

animals among flocks and herds. A sentiment of veneration or superstition has from remote ages and among many races attached to it. The raven is associated with various characters of history, sacred or profane—Noah and Elijah, Odin and Flokki, the last of whom by its means discovered Iceland. It is said to have played its part in the mythology of the Red Indian; and it has often figured in prose and verse, from the time of Shakespeare to that of Poe and Dickens. Superstition has been generally succeeded by persecution, which in many districts has produced extirpation.

The raven breeds very early in the year, in England resorting to its nest, which is usually an ancient if not an ancestral structure, about the middle or towards the end of January. Therein are laid from five to seven eggs of the common Corvine coloration (see Crow), and the young are hatched before the end of February. In more northern countries the breeding season is naturally delayed, but everywhere this species is almost, if not quite, the earliest breeder. The raven measures about 26 in. in length, and has an expanse of wing considerably exceeding a yard. Its bill and feet are black, and the same may be said of its whole plumage, but the feathers of the upper parts as well of the breast are glossy, reflecting a bright purple or steel-blue. The species (Corvus corax) inhabits the whole of Europe, and the northern if not the central parts of Asia; but in the latter continent its southern range is not well determined. In America it is, or used to be, found from the shores of the Polar Sea to Guatemala if not to Honduras, but is said hardly to be found of late years in the eastern part of the United States. In Africa its place is taken by three allied but well-differentiated species, two of which (Corvus umbrinus, readily distinguished by its brown neck, and C. affinis, having its superior nasal bristles upturned vertically) also occur in south-western Asia, while the third (C. leptonyx or C. tingitanus, a smaller species characterized by several slight differences) inhabits Barbary and the Atlantic Islands. Farther to the southward in the Ethiopian region three more species appear whose plumage is varied with white—C. scapulatus, C. albicollis, and C. crassirostris—the first two of small size, but the last rivalling the real raven in that respect. (A. N.)

RAVEN-HILL, LEONARD (1867–    ), English artist and illustrator, was born on the 10th of March 1867. He was educated at Bristol grammar school and the Devon county school, and studied art at Lambeth and then in Paris under MM. Bougereau and Aimé Morot. He began to exhibit at the Salon in 1887, and in the Royal Academy in 1889. In 1893 he founded, with Arnold Golsworthy, the humorous and artistic monthly The Butterfly (1893–94, revived in 1899–1900). He contributed to many illustrated many magazines, and began to work for Punch, with which he was afterwards prominently associated, in 1896. He illustrated Sir Walter Besant's East London (1901) and J. H. Harris's Cornish Saints and Sinners; he published his impressions of his visit to India on the occasion of the tour of the prince and princess of Wales as An Indian Sketch-Book (1903); and his other published sketch-books include Our Battalion (1902) and The Promenaders (1894).

RAVENNA, a city and archiepiscopal see of Emilia, Italy, capital of the province of Ravenna, standing in a marshy plain 13 ft. above sea-level, 6 m. from the sea and 45 m. by rail east of Bologna. Pop. (1906) 35,543 (town), 67,379 (commune)—a considerable increase, as the population of 1881 was only 34,270 (commune). The industries are few, the growing of wine, breeding of silkworms, making of agricultural instruments, printing and the manufacture of laces being the chief. The town is connected with the sea by the Corsini Canal, the two small rivers Ronco and Montone no longer serving as means of communication. Ravenna has railway communication with Bologna (via Castel Bolognese), Ferrara and Rimini, and by steam tram with Forli. At the mouth of the canal is a small harbour.

No other city in the world offers so many and such striking examples of the ecclesiastical architecture of the centuries from the 5th to the 8th The style is commonly called Byzantine; but some of the most striking features of the churches of Ravenna—the colonnades, the mosaics, perhaps the cupolas are not so much Byzantine as representative of early Christian art generally. The following are the most important churches of Ravenna, arranged in the order of the dates generally attributed to them:—

Church. Builder. Date.

1. Metropolitan Church, or Ecclesia Ursiana, and baptistery adjoining
2. S. Giovanni Evangelista
3. S. Agata
4. S. Pier Crysologo (chapel)
5. S. Giovanni Battista
6. SS. Nazario e Celso
7. S. Pier Maggiore (now S. Francesco)
8. S. Teodoro (now Santo Spirito)—A.
9. S. Maria in Cosmodin (Arian baptistery)—A.
10. S. Martino in Coelo Aureo (now S. Apollinare Nuovo)—A.
11. S. Vitale
12. S. Maria Maggiore
13. S. Apollinare in Classe
(The churches marked A were originally erected for the
              Arian worship.)

S. Ursus
Galla Placidia
S. Peter Chrysologus
Galla Placidia
Bishop Neon (?)
Theodoric (?)

Julianus Argentarius
Bishop Ecclesius
Julianus Argentarius

about 430
about 450
about 458
about 530
about 535

Almost the only sacred building previous to the 5th century of which we have any record is unfortunately lost. The cathedral of Ravenna, built by S. Ursus in 370–390, which had a nave and four aisles, was destroyed in 1734–44, only the (inaccessible) crypt and the round campanile remaining from the earlier structure; there are fragments of reliefs from a pulpit erected by Archbishop Agnellus (556–569) in the interior. A rare work on the earlier church (Buonamici, La Metropolitana di Ravenna) gives details of its construction. The present cathedral contains several early Christian marble sarcophagi, a silver cross of the 6th century (that of Agnellus), and the so-called throne of the Archbishop Maximian (546–552), adorned with reliefs in ivory, Which, however, was really brought to Ravenna in 1001 by John the Deacon, who recorded the fact in his Venetian chronicle, as a present from the Doge Pietro Orseolo to the Emperor Otho III.

The period from the transference of the imperial residence to Ravenna to the death of Valentinian III. (404–455) was the first period of great building activity in Ravenna, when the archiepiscopal see of Ravenna attained great importance. It was to it that we owe the erection of the Basilica Petriana at Classe (396–425), which has entirely disappeared, of the churches of S. Giovanni Evangelista (425), of S. Agata (425–432), of the chapel of S. Pier Crisologo (433–449), of the tomb of Galla Placidia (440), the church of S. Pier Maggiore (now S. Francesco) (433–458), the baptistery of Neon (449–458), S. Giovanni Battista and S. Croce.

Rivoira, in the book cited below, shows that many of the characteristic architectural details can be traced back to a classical and in particular a Roman origin, and were not derived from the East, e.g. the use of blind arches as an external decoration, and of brick cornices with the points of the bricks projecting like the teeth of a saw, the use of pulvini (cushions) above the capitals of columns and under the spring of an arch, &c. &c., the use of round arches springing direct from these cushions, spherical pendentives, &c.

Of this group of churches, S. Giovanni Evangelista, erected by Galla Placidia in fulfilment of a vow made on her voyage from Constantinople, has been entirely rebuilt, though the columns are ancient (the Corinthian capitals are probably from a classical building), and the crypt may be original. The Gothic portal is fine, and the church contains a mosaic pavement of 1213 with curious representations and some frescoes by Giotto, painted during a visit to Dante between 1317 and 1320. S. Agata was almost entirely rebuilt in 1476–94. The