Pius IX. its independence and became an autonomous congregation. Arnold Pannartz and Conrad Schweinheim, two German ecclesiastics, set up here the first printing press in Italy, issuing an edition of Donatus (1465), followed by one of Cicero (1465) and of Lactantius (1465). Copies of the Lactantius, of the Augustine of 1467, which was probably printed not here but in Rome, whither the printers migrated in that year, and of other rare incunabula are still preserved here. Still more interesting is the monastery of the Sacro Speco, higher up the hill, dating, it would seem, from the 9th century, though little earlier than the 13th remains. The Grotta dei Pastori contains some frescoes of the 9th century, while the Sacro Speco, or cave of St Benedict, contains frescoes of the 13th, and so does the lower church, the latter having been decorated in the first twenty years of the 13th century, and in part repainted in the latter half of the same century by an otherwise unknown master Conxolus. The upper church contains scenes from the life of Christ by an unknown Sienese master of the end of the 14th century, to whom is also attributable a remarkable fresco of the triumph of death, on the stairs from the tower church to the Cappella dei Pastori, and some 15th-century work, and in the chapel of S. Gregory a remarkable portrait of St Francis of Assisi (who was perhaps here in 1218), probably painted before 1228, as it lacks the halo and the stigmata. The whole group of buildings is constructed against the rocky sides of the gorge, part of it on massive substructions. The town contains various buildings constructed by Pius VI., who as cardinal was commendatory abbot of Subiaco. It is crowned by a medieval castle constructed originally by Gregory VII.
See P. Egidi, G. Giovannoni, F. Hermanin, V. Federici, I Monasteri di Subiaco (Rome, 1904); A. Colasanti, L’Aniene (Bergamo, 1906). (T. As.)
SUBINFEUDATION, in English law, the practice by which tenants, holding land under the king or other superior lord, carved out in their turn by subletting or alienating a part of their lands new and distinct tenures. The tenants were termed “mesne-lords,” with regard to those holding from them, the immediate tenant being tenant in capite. The lowest tenant of all was the freeholder, or, as he was sometimes termed tenant paravail. The Crown, who in theory owned all lands, was lord paramount. The great lords looked with dissatisfaction on the increase of such subtenures. Accordingly in 1290 a statute was passed, Quia emptores, which allowed the tenant to alienate whenever he pleased, but the alienee or person to whom he granted was to hold the land not of the alienor but of the same immediate lord, and by the same services as the alienor held it before. (See further, Manor.)
SUBJECTIVISM, a philosophical term, applied in general to all theories which lay stress on the purely mental sides of experience opposed to objectivism. In the narrowest sense subjectivism goes to the logical extreme of denying that mind can know objects at all (cf. Solipsism). The doctrine originates in the fact that the most elementary psychic phenomena presuppose in addition to the data of the senses (which as such are momentary) a combining action of the mind. (See Idealism.)
SUBLEYRAS, PIERRE (1699–1749), French painter, was born at Uzès (Gard) in 1699. He left France for Italy in 1728, having carried off the grand prix. He there painted for the Canons of Asti “Christ’s Visit to the House of Simon the Pharisee” (Louvre, engraved by Subleyras himself), a large work, which made his reputation and procured his admission into the Academy of St Luke. Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga next obtained for him the order for “Saint Basil and the Emperor Valens” (small study in Louvre), which was executed in mosaic for St Peter’s. Benedict XIV. and all the princes of Rome sat to him, and the pope himself commanded two great paintings—the “Marriage of St Catherine” and the “Ecstasy of St Camilla”—which he placed in his private apartments. Subleyras shows greater individuality in his curious genre pictures, which he produced in considerable number (Louvre). In his illustrations of La Fontaine and Boccaccio his true relation to the modern era comes out; and his drawings from nature are often admirable (see one of a man draped in a heavy cloak in the British Museum). Exhausted by overwork, Subleyras tried a change to Naples, but returned to Rome at the end of a few months to die (May 28, 1749). His wife, the celebrated miniature painter, Maria Felice Tibaldi, was sister to the wife of Trémollière.
SUBLIME (Lat. sublimis, exalted), in aesthetics, a term applied to the quality of transcendant greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual or artistic. It is specially used for a greatness with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation or measurement. Psychologically the effect of the perception of the sublime is a feeling of awe or helplessness. The first study of the value of the sublime is the treatise ascribed to Longinus (q.v.), On the Sublime (strictly Περὶ ὕψους). Burke and Kant both investigated the subject (cf. Burke’s Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, 1756) and both distinguished the sublime from the beautiful. Later writers tend to include the sublime in the beautiful (see Aesthetics).
SUBLIMINAL SELF. The phrase subliminal self, which is one that has figured largely of recent years in discussions of the problems of Psychical Research, owes its wide currency to the writings of F. W. H. Myers, especially to his posthumous work Human Personality and its survival of Bodily Death. It is used in a wider, looser sense and a narrower, stricter sense, which two senses are often confused in a way very detrimental to clear thinking. In the stricter usage the phrase implies the peculiar conception of human personality expounded at great length and with a wealth of learning and eloquence by Myers; it stands for an hypothesis which seemed to its author to bring almost all the strange facts he and his associates observed, as well as many alleged facts whose reality still remains in dispute, under one scheme of explanation and to bring them also into intelligible relation with the body of generally accepted scientific principles. But the phrase Subliminal Self is now often used by those who do not fully accept Myers’s hypothesis, as a convenient heading to which to refer all the facts of many different kinds that seem to imply subconscious or unconscious mental operations. This article is only concerned to expound the meaning of the phrase as it was employed by Myers, and it is much to be wished that it should only be used in this stricter sense.
In the speculations of Schopenhauer and of Eduard Von Hartmann, the “Unconscious” played a great part as a metaphysical principle explanatory of the phenomena of the life and mind of both men and animals. But with these exceptions, the philosophers and psychologists of the 19th century showed themselves in the main reluctant to admit the propriety of any conception of unconscious or subconscious mental states or operations. The predominant tendency was to regard as the issue of “automatic” nervous action or of “unconscious cerebration” whatever bodily movements seemed to take place independently of the consciousness and volition of the subject, even if those movements seemed to be of an intelligent and purposeful character. This attitude towards the subconscious is still maintained by some of the more strictly orthodox scientists; but it is now very widely accepted that we must recognize in some sense the reality of subconsciousness or of subliminal psychical process. The conception of a limen (threshold) of consciousness, separating subconscious or subliminal psychical process from supraliminal or conscious psychical process, figured prominently in the works of G. T. Fechner, the father of psycho-physics, and by him was made widely familiar. Fechner sought to prove that a sensory stimulus too feeble to affect consciousness produces nevertheless a psychical effect which remains below the threshold of consciousness, and he tried to show ground for believing in the existence of a vast realm of such subliminal psychical processes. But his arguments, founded though they were on epoch-making experiments, have failed to carry conviction; and it is in the main on other grounds than those adduced by Fechner that the reality of modes of mental operation which may properly be called subconscious or
- Paramount and paravail are derived from the Latin ad montem and ad vallem, signifying the highest and lowest, respectively.