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Neum

(Latin, neuma, pneuma, or neupma, from Greek pneûma, a nod).

A term in medieval music theory. It does not seem to have been used before the eleventh century. From that time it was generally taken in two senses, to denote, first, a kind of melody, second, a notational sign. Guido of Arezzo ("Micrologus", xv) takes it in a third sense, in which he seems to be singular, saying: "As in metrics there are letters and syllables, parts and feet, and verses, so in music there are tones, of which one, two, or three join to make a syllable; of these one or two make a neuma, that is a part of the melody; while one or several parts make a distinction (phrase), that is, a suitable place for breathing."

Applied to a melody, the term means a series of tones sung without words, generally on the last vowel of a text. The older name for such a melody is iubilus . Thus St. Jerome (In Psalm. xxxii, P. L., XXVI, 915) defines: "That is called iubilus which neither in words nor syllables nor letters nor in speech can utter or define how much man ought to praise God ". Similarly St. Augustine says (Psalm xcix, P. L., XXXVII, 1272): "He who sings a iubilus, does not utter words, but the iubilus is a song of joy without words." And again (in Ps. xxxii, P. L., XXXVI, 283): "And for whom is this iubilatio more fitting than for the ineffable God ?" Finally the following passage from St. Augustine's contemporary, Cassian ("De Cœnobiorum Inst.", II, ii, P. L., XLIX, 77) must remove any doubt as to the use of such iubili in the Liturgy. He says of certain monasteries that "they held there should be sung every night twenty or thirty psalms and those, too, prolonged by antiphon melodies, and the joining on of certain modulations."

The usual place of such neums is in responsorial singing (see P LAIN C HANT ), especially at the end of the Alleluia which follows the Gradual of the Mass. In the later Middle Ages , however, from about the twelfth century onwards, the custom grew up of adding neums, definite formulæ, one for each mode, to the office antiphons, there being special rubrics in the liturgical books as to the days on which they should be sung or not sung. The more important use of the term is that in which it means the signs used in the notation of Gregorian Chant. Akin to this use is the one which applies it to the tones or groups of tones designated by the notational signs. Also in this sense the term cannot be traced farther back than the eleventh century. The names of the various signs, too, seem to date from about the same period. Previously the general name for the notation was usus. The names of the single signs varied with time and place. The tables of neums found in several manuscripts not only differ in the number of names, but also give different names for the same sign, or different signs for the same name. In this article we shall use the names as applied in the Preface to the Gradual recently issued from the Vatican printing establishment.

The neumatic notation of Plain Chant is first met with in manuscripts of the ninth century and, with slight modifications, is to be seen in liturgical books issued today. Whether its use goes much farther back, whether, in particular, St. Gregory the Great employed notation in his typical Antiphonarium, cannot be said with certainty. The fact that at the date of our earliest manuscripts the insufficiency of the notation was felt, and various efforts were made to supply the defect, would seem to point to an antecedent development of considerable duration. On the other hand the fact that from the beginning we find several families of notation like those of St. Gall and Metz, which, while agreeing in the main principles, show considerable divergence in matters of detail, would seem to suggest that at the time when these families started, only the fundamental idea had been conceived, while the full development of the whole system took place more or less independently at the various centres. Judging by the consideration mentioned first, we should have no difficulty in believing that St. Gregory used neumatic notation in his Antiphonary. In accordance with the second view, however, we should feel inclined to put the beginning of neumatic writing about the eighth century.

As to the origin of the neums students are now on the whole agreed that they are mainly derived from the accent marks of the grammarians. In that way, of course, they point back to Greece. From the fact, however, that some of the signs in the developed system look like signs in Byzantine notation, and that some of the names are Greek in origin, some investigators have concluded that the whole system was taken over from Greece. Recently J. Thibaut has defended this theory in a rather fanciful book, "Origine Byzantine de la Notation Neumatique de l'Eglise Latine". But the prevailing opinion is that the neumatic system is of Latin growth.

Accordingly the fundamental principle is that the rise and fall of the melody are expressed by the signs of the accentus acutus ( ) and the accentus gravis ( ). The acutus, being drawn upwards, from left to right, indicates a rise in the melody, a higher note; the gravis, being drawn downwards, a fall in the melody, a lower note. From the combination of these two signs there result various group signs: (1) , acutus and gravis, a higher note followed by a lower one, a descending group of two notes (clivis); (2) , gravis and acutus, lower and higher notes (pes or podatus); (3) , acutus, gravis, acutus; a group of three notes of which the second is the lowest (porrectus); (4) , gravis, acutus, gravis; a group of three notes of which the second is the hightest (torculus); and so on. In these combinations the elements generally preserve their original form pretty clearly, except that the angles are often rounded off, as indicated below. When used singly, the acutus, too, retained its shape fairly accurately and from its shape received the name virga (virgula). The gravis, however, was generally converted into a short horizontal line ( ), or a dot ( ), or something similar, and hence received the name of punctum. In this form it is also used in an ascending group of three or more notes ( , scandicus) and in a similar descending group ( , climacus). More complicated combinations were designated as modifications of the simpler groups. The addition of a lower note to a group ending with a higher note was indicated by the adjective flexus, the addition of a higher note to a group ending with a lower note, by resupinus. Thus even the clivis (more correctly clinis) was at an early period called virga flexa, and the torculus could be considered as a pes flexus. The sign would be a porrectus flexus, the a torculus resupinus, etc. Again the placing of several puncta before a sign is expressed by the term præpunctis, their addition after a sign subpunctis. In accordance with that a scandicus is a virga præpunctis; a climacus, a virga subpunctis; , pes subpunctis; , scandicus subpunctis, or, also compunctis, the last-named adjective indicating the addition of punctis before and after.

A special modification of the neum form is that which is called liquescent or semivocal. It consists generally of a shortening, attenuating, or curling of the last stroke. It occurs only at the transition from one syllable to the next and there only in certain circumstances. It is never found when another neum follows on the same syllable. An analysis of all the cases of liquescence occurring in the manuscript Gradual 339 of St. Gall is made in the second volume of the "Paléographie Musicale" (pp. 41 sqq.), where the subject is treated very fully. This analysis shows that by far the largest number of cases (2450 out of 3504) occur when a vowel is followed by two or more consonants the first of which is one of the "liquids" (l, m, n, r) either within a word (like sanctos ) or through the collocation of two words (as in te ). A considerable number is found before an explosive dental at the end of a word followed by another word beginning with one or more consonants (317 before t, 48 before d). Forty-nine times it is found before a final s followed by another consonant (e.g. nobis Domine ) and six times before s in Israhel; seventy-three times before g, thirty-two times before two consonants the second of which is j (e.g. adjutor ), forty-six times before single m, thirty-four times before a single g followed by e or i. One hundred and fifty-nine times on the diphthong au, and two hundred and eighty-eight times before a single j (including one hundred and fifty-three cases on alleluia ).

It is clear from what has been said, that this liquescence must be connected with the proper pronunciation of the consonants. But as to what it should mean in the rendering, authors are not agreed. Thus the preface to the Vatican Gradual says: "ipsa cogente syllabarum natura, vox de una ad alteram limpide transiens tunc 'liquescit'; ita ut in ore compressa 'non finiri videatur', et quasi dimidium suæ, non moræ, sed potestatis amittat". This is not easy to translate, but it would seem that the last tone of the liquescent neum should "lose one half, not of its length, but of its strength". The "Paléographie Musicale" on the other hand, says that in the exact pronunciation of certain combinations of consonants an obscure vowel sound enters between them, so that a word like confundantur would sound con e fun e dan e tur and that it is this after-sound which exerts its influence on the tone preceding the first consonant. It is not easy to see why this obscure vowel sound coming after the first consonant should influence the tone preceding it, nor why the consonants should change the dynamic character of the preceding vowel sound. Possibly the nature of the liquid consonants, l, m, n, r, which evidently have given the name to the liquescent neums, would give a more satisfactory explanation. It is well known that these consonants can be sung, that is be prolonged on a definite and varying pitch. It would seem, then, that when one of these consonants follows a vowel, then sometimes the last note on the vowel sound is smoothly fused into the consonantal sound, part of its time value being given to the singing of the liquid or semivocal consonant. This would conveniently apply to the first class of cases mentioned above, which comprise the large majority of all the cases. Also to the case of single m and j (or i), the latter partaking of the nature of the liquid consonants. It would further apply to the case of gn, if we suppose that combination was pronounced ny, and to the case of final s, if that consonant was voiced, when it also could be sung. In the case of the diphthong au the liquescence would consist in the transition from the first vowel to the second. The remaining cases of double consonants should be explained by analogy, the liquescence consisting simply in the shortening of the vowel sound made for the purpose of distinct pronunciation of the group of consonants without loss of time. This explanation would have the further advantage of being in accordance with the practice of the best choirs that nowadays make a peculiar study of Plain Chant.

Some of the liquescent neums have special names. Thus the liquescent podatus is called epiphonus , the liquescent clivis, cephalicus , the liquescent climacus, ancus .

In addition to the neums which are derived from the accents and which form the groundwork of the neumatic system, there is another class which may be taken as indicating special effects. They have, as Wagner has pointed out, as a common feature, the hook form. In the first place we mention the strophicus, having the shape of a comma ( ). When occurring singly, it is called apostropha, when doubled, distropha; when trebled, tristropha. The apostropha is generally found at the end of another neum, or followed by a distropha at a higher pitch; it is never used as a single note over a syllable. When added to a neum, it is generally represented in the later staff-notation manuscripts at the same pitch as the last note of that neum. But there is reason to believe that originally there was an interval smaller than a semi-tone between those two notes. The distropha and tristropha indicate a quick repetition of the same note, possibly again with a minute difference of pitch between the repeated notes.

Akin to the apostropha is the oriscus, having a shape somewhat like this: . Apostropha and oriscus are sometimes interchanged in different manuscripts. In a few instances the oriscus, however, is found as the single sign over a syllable. The quilisma is generally written as a number of hooks open to the right and joined together ( , ). It occurs invariably as the middle note in an ascending group and seems to indicate a glide of the voice, being accompanied by a sustaining of the note or group of notes preceding it. The salicus is a figure like the scandicus, but with the second note in the shape of a hook opening downwards ( ). It seems to indicate a prologation of the middle note. Sometimes, in staff-notation manuscripts, the first two notes are given at the same pitch. Possibly here again there was a difference of less than a semitone between them. The pressus is a kind of combination of a virga with added oriscus and a punctum ( , pressus minor ; , pressus major). It is generally understood as equivalent to a clivis with the first note prolonged and rendered sforzato . Finally to be mentioned is the trigon, a combination of three puncta, the middle one being higher than the other two ( ). From its shape it would seem to be a kind of torculus, but it is often transcribed with the first two notes at the same pitch, suggesting once more a minute interval not expressible in staff notation.

The illustrations which accompany this article are reproduced by kind permission of the editors, from the "Paléographie Musicale". Illustration I ("Pal. Mus.", III, pl. 179) [see printed Text, vol. X, p. 766] represents the type of the Anglo-Saxon neums of the eleventh century. The piece is a trope for the Introit "In medio". The three portions of the Introit itself are merely indicated by the cues In Med., Et impleb., and Stola . The signs for the single notes are the plain virga and the round punctum, the former on the last syllable of iohannis, the second and third syllables of adimplens, etc., the latter on the second syllable of Gratia, the second syllable of Dei, the first of iohannis, etc. In the podatus the gravis is a short horizontal stroke, the acutus a straight virga joining almost at a right angle; see third syllable of Gratia, third of salutifere, third of dogmata, etc. There is also a second form consisting of a disjointed punctum and virga, see third syllable of Gloria (last line on left page), first syllable of xristus (first line of right page), third syllable of æternum (fourth line). This is considered as indicating a long form of the podatus. The liquescent form (epiphonus) is marked by a rounding of the angle; see second syllable of iohannis, third syllable of fluxerunt . The clivis shows the curved angle, as on second syllable of pectus, second and fourth of salutifere . The liquescent form (cephalicus), somewhat shortened, is seen on the third syllable of iohannem (first line on right page). The torculus is seen on the first syllable of adimplens, first syllable of docente (fourth line), etc. On the first syllable of celsa we have the torculus liquescens, the last gravis being shortened. The porrectus is easily recognizable on the first syllable of Sola . A climacus occurs on the second syllable of docente (fourth line) being followed by an epiphonus; a pes subpunctis, on the last syllable of salutifere . The strophicus (on med ) has here no distinct sign, but is written with the ordinary virga sign. The oriscus, however, is clearly marked. Thus we have a virga with oriscus (also called franculus) on the first syllable of Gratia, and the full pressus (virga, oriscus, and punctum) on the first syllable of pectus, the first of fluxerunt, etc. The quilisma is shown on the second syllable of celsa, where we first have a punctum, serving as the starting-point, then the triple curve of the quilisma itself, to which the virga stroke, representing the highest note, is attached. We have it again on the second syllable of impleb., where a second virga follows, the whole figure representing the notes f g a b .

A less usual sign is found on the first syllable of carus (last line, right page). The quilisma there is followed by a climacus in which the three signs, acutus and two graves are joined together: .

Illustration II ("Paléogr. Mus.", IV, pl. A) [see Text, X, 766] is from a manuscript written in the monastery of Einsiedeln at the end of the tenth or the beginning of the eleventh century. It belongs to the St. Gall school of notation. The affinity of this school to the Anglo-Saxon is evident. There are, however, a number of peculiarities. First we find a greater variety of signs. Thus the virga appears in two forms, one slightly curved to the right and vanishing at the top, the other straighter and with a thickening at the top. This second variety arises, graphically, from its being drawn downwards, the pen spreading itself a little at the start of the stroke. For the rendering it indicates a longer form of the note. We find the first form on the first syllable of Ostende, the fifth of misericordiam, etc., the second on the second syllable of Ostende (first sign), on the first syllable of tuam (second sign), etc. Similarly we have for the punctum, besides the dot form, that of a short horizontal line. This is also sometimes used for one of the puncta of the climacus (first syllable of tuam, third and sixth neums, etc.) and towards the end of the group neuma on nobis (fifth sign from the end) we see a trigon subpuncte, the last dot of the trigon and the added punctum being drawn out. The odatus appears in three forms: first with rounded corner, as on the third syllable of Alleluia (first sign); second with some pen pressure on the initial stroke and a fairly square angle, as on the fourth syllable of Alleluia (third sign); and third, with a more elaborate gravis, as in the final neuma of nobis (second last sign). The first may be considered as the normal form, the second marks a firmer rendering of the first note, and the third a decided leaning on it. The torculus appears in its plain form (second syllable of Ostende, fourth syllable of misericordiam ) and with pen pressure on both graves ( ) marking a prolongation of the whole figure (first syllable of tuum, seventh sign). The two forms of the pressus, minor and major, are found in the final neuma of Alleluia (fourth last and last signs). Of liquescent signs we have a scandicus liquescens on the first syllable of Alleluia, a distropha liquescens of the third, an epiphonus on the last syllable of misericordiam .

A second peculiarity of the St. Gall notation is the occasional addition of a little stroke to the neums, marking a prolongation of the affected note. The "Paléographie Musicale" (IV, pl. 17) has given the name episema to this little addition. Mention has already been made of the thickening of the head of the virga, which often amounts to a distinct stroke. Our illustration gives examples of a similar addition to the last note of the torculus ( instead of ), the last of the porrectus, the first and the second of the clivis. The episematic torculus is seen in the final neuma of nobis (before the first trigon). The first sign in the same neuma is also an episematic torculus followed by another long punctum. On the first syllable of tuum we have an episematic porrectus, followed by two puncta, while the plain porrectus appears on the first syllable of domine (third sign). The clivis with episema to the first note is found on the first syllable of tuam (first sign) and twice towards the end of the neuma on tuum . On the second syllable of nobis, after the torculus subpunctis already mentioned, we have a clivis with the episema attached to the second note, the clivis being preceded by two short puncta and followed by a long one.

Thirdly, we find as a peculiarity of this notation the addition of certain letters. These are often called "Romanian" letters, because a St. Gall writer of the eleventh century attributes their use to a singer named Romanus who, according to him, brought the chant from Rome to St. Gall towards the end of the eighth century (see "Pal. Mus.", IV, pl. 9; Wagner, "Einleitung", II, 114). The litteræ significativæ are of two classes, one referring to rhythm, the other referring to pitch. Of the former class we find in our illustration frequently the c ( celeriter ) and the t ( tenete ). At the beginning of the Offertory (last line of illustration), we find also the m ( mediocriter ) modifying the effect of the preceding c. Of the second class we find the e ( equaliter ) enjoining the same pitch between domine and misericordiam between the second and third syllables of misericordiam and between tuam and et . To give a clearer idea of the meaning of the neums in this illustration we subjoin the notation of the same piece according to the Vatican edition, [see Text, X, 767] pointing out only the few differences in the two readings. On the first syllable of "Alleluia" the Vatican edition omits the liquescence; similarly on the third syllable of that word and on the final syllable of "misericordiam". It may be mentioned in this connexion that a very frequent use of liquescence is characteristic of the St. Gall school. The strophici on Alleluia and tuam are given as ordinary puncta. Similarly the special sign for the pressus has disappeared and is replaced by a doubling of the first note. The first of these two notes of the same pitch is then sometimes combined with the preceding neum. Thus at the end of the Alleluia neuma it joins the virga to form a clivis, and at the end of the neuma on nobis the podatus of the manuscript is changed into a torculus. These things are in accordance with the general practice of the later Middle Ages. Towards the end of the neuma on tuam (where in the manuscript the neums surmount the second syllable) the staff notation substitutes a pes subbipunctis for a virga and climacus–a mere graphic difference. Similarly on do a porrectus and virga are replaced by a clivis and podatus.

Illustration III [see Text, X, 767], taken from a manuscript of the ninth or the beginning of the tenth century in the library of Laon, which is in course of publication in the "Pal. Mus." (p. 28), shows the Metz notation. On the first two syllables of Gaudeamus we have the familiar punctum dot. On the third we recognize easily a podatus followed by a virga. But on the last we meet the most characteristic sign of this school, the punctum consisting of a short slanting line with a little hook added. Of the clivis form peculiar to this school our illustration contains no example; but on the second syllable of festum and the second and fourth of celebrantes we have the porrectus, which in its first two strokes contains the clivis. There are two forms of the torculus, one with sharp angles, on the first syllable of domino, the second of honore (where it is preceded by a punctum), etc.; the other rounded, on the third syllable of honore and the fourth of passione . Of liquescent neums we find the epiphonus on the second syllable of diem and the third of celebrantes, the cephalicus on the first of omnes, a pes subbipunctis liquescens (the first punctum connected with the pes in the manner of a torculus and the second, liquescent, bent back to the left) on the second syllable of collaudant and a porrectus compunctis liquescens on the last syllable of filium . The oriscus is found after the podatus on agatha and the quilisma, consisting of two hooks, on the second syllable of domino, the second of angeli and the first of dei, in each case a porrectus being joined to it.

Another peculiarity of this school is the frequent use of disjoint neums, all of which indicate a prolongation of the notes. Mention was made of a disjoint podatus in connexion with the first illustration. We find it here on in and the first syllable of celebrantes . A torculus of this kind is shown in the second syllable of martyris . The descending figures are indicated by the puncta placed perpendicularly. Thus we have a clivis on the second syllable of omnes, the second (before the quilisma) and the third of domino, the third of angeli (where the lower one got attached to the l), etc.; a climacus on angeli, preceding the quilisma.

We note further the use of literæ significativæ . Thus we have the c used in the same sense as in the St. Gall school, on agathæ . Similarly a t appears at the bottom of the illustration under the word meu . The a on Gaudeamus stands here for augete and is, therefore, synonymous with the t, whereas in St. Gall it stands for alte . The idea of high pitch is expressed by the f occurring twice on domino . The first time it refers evidently to the rise of the melody to c, the second time it probably enjoins a b natural instead of a b flat.

The comparison with the reading of the Vaticana [Text, X, 768] will show a close resemblance. We only notice that on gaudent and angeli the manuscript adds a liquescent note to the podatus and porrectus subbipunctis, and on celebrantes has twice a porrectus for the strophic clivis, which suggests that the apostropha (oriscus) was sung slightly higher than the last note of the clivis, as mentioned above.

Illustration IV [Text, X, 769] is taken from an eleventh-century manuscript of Silos, written in the Mozarabic notation ("Pal. Mus.", I, pl. II) in order to show that even this is based on the same principles. The usual forms of virga, punctum, podatus, clivis, torculus, porrectus will be recognized easily. The other features will be explained with reference to the modern form of the Vatican Gradual [Text, X, 768]. The piece occurs in the Roman Liturgy as Introit of the Saturday after the fourth Sunday of Lent. On the last syllable of Sitientes the manuscript has a pes subbipunctis, with the puncta joined together, representing the same notes as the staff notation without the pressus. On the first syllable of venite the manuscript has a clivis instead of the single note of the Roman version, on the second, the punctum and torculus (placed one over the other) are only graphically different from the pes and clivis. On the first syllable of equas a tristopha takes the place of the trigon. On the second syllable of dicit the manuscript omits the last note of the print. On the second syllable of dominus the disjoint punctum and clivis correspond to the conjoint torculus. The second figure on non is a liquescent torculus. It begins below with the gravis to which the acutus is attached in the usual manner, but the last, liquescent, gravis is represented by a curve to the left of the acutus. The remaining slight differences are like those already explained.

As has been sufficiently indicated, the neums merely marked the rise or fall of the melody. They gave, in themselves, no clear information as to the exact amount of rise and fall, in other words, they did not mark the intervals. A podatus, e.g., may indicate a second, a third, a fourth or a fifth without change in its form. This may now be accepted as an established fact. The various efforts made from time to time, most recently by Fleischer in his "Neumenstudien", to find interval signification in the neums, have failed completely. It is clear then, that at no time could the melody be read absolutely from the neumatic notation. Rather this served merely as an aid to memory. Nor did the choir sing from the notation. The manuscript was only for the choir-master, or at most for the solo singer. The whole body of the Plain Chant melodies had to be committed to memory in the rehearsing room, and we know from contemporary writers that it took a singer several years to become acquainted with all the melodies. In the course of time, as oral tradition began to grow less reliable, a desire was felt to have also the amount of rise or fall fixed. Accordingly we find even at the date of our earliest manuscripts the use of letters, added to the neums, to warn the singer here and there as to the intervals, as we have mentioned above. These indications, however, were again merely vague and could not finally satisfy. Various efforts which space forbids us to detail here, were then made to supplement the neumatic notation. All of them, however, were destined to disappear before the introduction of a new principle, which was to distinguish the higher or lower pitch of the tones by the higher or lower position of the notes, grading the distances between the notes in strict accordance with the intervals. Attempts in this direction can be noticed even in the class of manuscripts which have been considered up to this. Our example of Metz notation shows pretty clearly an endeavour on the part of the scribe to place the notes according to pitch. The full, systematic carrying out of this idea is found in the tenth century, first in the Lombardic notation, shortly afterwards in the Aquitanian. Illustration V, [Text, X, 769] taken from an eleventh-century Versiculary and Prosary from St. Martial in Limoges ("Pal. Mus.", II, pl. 86) belongs to the latter class, which is further characterized by the almost complete disjoining of the neums. There being no clef, the semi-tones cannot be found from the notation. But apart from that the intervals can be read without difficulty, it being kept in mind that notes placed perpendicularly should be read downwards, as in the Metz notation. A few remarks will suffice to point out the difference between the manuscript and the reading of the Vaticana [Text, X, 768] given above. On palma the manuscript gives a liquescent note, on the first syllable of adnunciandum it has a podatus (a c, or d f, as this notation should be read a fifth lower) instead of a single note; in the last, a podatus instead of an epiphonus. The first group on mane is the same as in the Vaticana, the lowest mark being a mere blot. In the third group the manuscript has a fourth (c g, or f c) instead of a third (b g). After the fifth group there is an omission of the whole passage which in our staff notation example is placed between the two little bars at the end of the second line. Such omissions are not uncommon, it being supposed that the singer knew frequently-occurring long neumata by heart. The omission is indicated in the manuscript by the little perpendicular line. On the first syllable of misericordiam, the first two notes of the Vaticana are omitted. At the end of the line we observe the custos, indicating the pitch of the first note of the second line. On tuam there is again an omission of a whole group indicated as above. On veritatem the fourth dot is an accidental blot. At the end of the second tuam the manuscripts has a third (f d) instead of a fourth (c g). The final neuma is left incomplete.

This procedure solved in principle the problem of diastematic (interval) notation. For greater convenience, however, scribes soon began to draw horizontal lines which helped to facilitate the correct placing and reading of the notes. It was the work of the Benedictine monk Guido of Arezzo (about 1000) to fix the use of these lines finally in such a way that adjacent lines mark the interval of a third, the intervening note being placed between the two lines. Letters were also affixed to the beginning of the staff to give the alphabetical name of one or several places on the staff and thus to indicate the position of the semitones. Soon c and f were used for this purpose by preference and out of them by a graphic transformation, our present C and F (bass) clefs evolved. Later the letter g was employed, which through the addition of an ornamental flourish developed into the modern violin clef. In the beginning, however, the f and c lines were run over with various colours, or if f fell into space, a coloured line was drawn between the e and g lines.

In the staff thus perfected the neums were written according to the forms that had been previously in use in the various localities, such modifications being introduced as were necessary to mark the exact position of the notes, notably the thickening of the head of the acutus. Illustration VI, [Text, X, 770] taken from a twelfth-century Gradual of St. Evroult ("Pal. Mus.", III, pl. 194), shows the process clearly. It has four dry lines drawn on the parchment, of which the one for f was coloured red, that for c green. The other two lines have the clef letters a and e.

From the thirteenth century the notes began to be written larger, so that they might be read by a number of singers at the same time. The thickening of the strokes at the exact place the notes occupy also became more pronounced. Thus gradually in the Latin countries the type shown in the foregoing illustration evolved which is practically the one adopted in our modern chant books.

Illustration VII ("Pal. Mus.", III, pl. 207 B) [Text, X, 771] is taken from a fourteenth-century plenary Missal belonging to Notre Dame in Paris. In the first line on the right-hand column the group a c b g has been written twice by mistake. Of interest is the disappearance of the quilisma at the end of the final neuma, also the substitution of c for b on florebit at the end of the group on per (which word is written a little too far to the left).

Illustration VIII ("Pal. Mus.", III, pl. 146) [Text, X, 771] shows the peculiar type of notation which developed in Germany and is called Hufnagelschrift (horseshoenail writing). The illustration is from a Gradual writtten at Trier in 1435. There are five black lines, but the f line was coloured red. The illustration shows clearly that a second line was drawn over the first. In the third staff we find the g clef and the red f line drawn in the space between e and g. Melodically the frequent substitutes of c for b is remarkable on justus, twice on florebit, on cedrus, etc. This is a peculiarity of the German tradition.

For the rhythmic signification of the neums see the article on P LAIN C HANT .

More Volume: N 287

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1

Nélaton, Auguste

Famous French surgeon; born in Paris, 17 June, 1807, d. there 21 Sept., 1873. He made his ...

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1

Nève, Felix-Jean-Baptiste-Joseph

Orientalist and philologist, born at Ath, Belgium, 13 June, 1816; died at Louvain, 23 May, ...

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1

Nîmes

(NEMAUSENSIS) Diocese ; suffragan of Avignon, comprises the civil Department of Gard. By the ...

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Na 60

Nabo

( Septuagint, Nabau ). A town mentioned in several passages of the Old Testament, v.g., ...

Nabor and Felix, Saints

Martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian (303). The relics of these holy witnesses to the ...

Nabuchodonosor

The Babylonian form of the name is Nabu-kudurri-usur, the second part of which is variously ...

Nacchiante, Giacomo

(Naclantus). Dominican theologian, born at Florence ; died at Chioggia, 6 May, 1569; he ...

Nacolia

(Nacoleia). A titular metropolitan see in Phrygia Salutaris. This town, which took its name ...

Nagasaki

(Nagasakiensis). Nagasaki, capital of the prefecture ( ken ) of the same name, is situated ...

Nagpur

(Nagpurensis) Diocese in India, suffragan to Madras. Formerly the north-western portion of ...

Nahanes

"People of the Setting Sun", a tribe of the great Dene family of American Indians, whose habitat ...

Nahum

One of the Prophets of the Old Testament, the seventh in the traditional list of the twelve ...

Nails, Holy

The question has long been debated whether Christ was crucified with three or with four nails. ...

Naim

(NAIN). The city where Christ raised to life the widow's son ( Luke 7:11-17 ). The Midrash ...

Name of Jesus, Religious Communities of the

(1) Knights of the Name of Jesus, also known as Seraphim, founded in 1334 by the Queens of Norway ...

Name of Mary, Feast of the Holy

We venerate the name of Mary because it belongs to her who is the Mother of God, the holiest of ...

Names of Jesus and Mary, Sisters of the Holy

A religious congregation founded at Longueuil, Quebec, 8 December, 1844, under the patronage of ...

Names, Christian

" Christian names", says the Elizabethan antiquary, Camden, "were imposed for the distinction of ...

Names, Hebrew

To the philosopher a name is an artificial sign consisting in a certain combination of ...

Namur

Diocese of Namur (Namurcensis), constituted by the Bull of 12 May, 1559, from territory ...

Nancy

DIOCESE OF NANCY (NANCEIENISIS ET TULLENSIS). Comprises the Departments of Meurthe and Moselle, ...

Nantes

Diocese of Nantes (Nanceiensis). This diocese, which comprises the entire department of Loire ...

Nanteuil, Robert

French engraver and crayonist, b. Reims, 1623 (1626, or 1630) d. at Paris, 1678. Little is ...

Naples

The capital of a province in Campania, southern Italy, and formerly capital of the Kingdom of the ...

Napoleon I (Bonaparte)

Emperor of the French, second son of Charles Marie Bonaparte and Maria Lætitia Ramolino, b. ...

Napoleon III

(Charles-Louis-Napoléon). Originally known as Louis-Napoléon-Bonaparte, Emperor ...

Napper, Venerable George

(Or Napier). English martyr, born at Holywell manor, Oxford, 1550; executed at Oxford 9 ...

Nardò

(NERITONENSIS) Diocese in southern Italy. Nardò was already an episcopal see, when, ...

Nardi, Jacopo

Italian historian; born at Florence, 1476; died at Venice, 11 March, 1563. His father, Salvestro ...

Narni and Terni

UNITED DIOCESES OF NARNI AND TERNI (NARNIENSIS ET INTERAMNENSIS) Located in Central Italy. ...

Narthex

In early Christian architecture a portion of the church at the west end, separated from the nave ...

Nashville

The Diocese of Nashville comprises the entire territory of the State of Tennessee. From its inland ...

Nasoræans

Sometimes called M ANDÆANS, S ABIANS, or C HRISTIANS OF S T. J OHN. ...

Natal

(Vicariate Apostolic of Natal) The history of the Catholic Church in South Africa goes back ...

Natal Day

Both the form natalis (sc. Dies ) and natalicium were used by the Romans to denote what we ...

Natalis, Alexander

(Or NOEL ALEXANDRE). A French historian and theologian, of the Order of St. Dominic, b. at ...

Natchez

DIOCESE OF NATCHEZ (NATCHESIENSIS) Established 28 July, 1837; comprises the State of ...

Natchitoches

Diocese of Natchitoches Former title of the present Diocese of Alexandria (Alexandrinensis), ...

Nathan

Nathan (God-given), the name of several Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament. (1) Nathan, ...

Nathanael

One of the first disciples of Jesus, to Whom he was brought by his friend Philip ( John ...

Nathinites

Or N ATHINEANS ( hnthynym , the given ones; Septuagint generally o‘i dedoménoi ...

National Union, Catholic Young Men's

This association was organized on 22 February, 1875, at a meeting held in Newark, New Jersey, at ...

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feast of the

The earliest document commemorating this feast comes from the sixth century. St.Romanus, the ...

Natural Law

I. ITS ESSENCE In English this term is frequently employed as equivalent to the laws of nature, ...

Naturalism

Naturalism is not so much a special system as a point of view or tendency common to a number of ...

Nature

Etymologically (Latin natura from nasci , to be born, like the corresponding Greek physis ...

Naturism

Naturism is the term proposed by Réville to designate the worship of nature. It differs ...

Nausea, Frederic

(Latinized from the German Grau .) Bishop of Vienna, born c. 1480 at Waischenfeld ( ...

Navajo Indians

Navajo Indians, numbering about 20,000, constitute the largest group of Indians belonging to the ...

Navarre

The territory formerly known as Navarre now belongs to two nations, Spain and France, according ...

Navarrete, Domingo Fernández

Dominican missionary and archbishop, born c. 1610 at Peñafiel in Old Castile ; died ...

Navarrete, Juan Fernández

Spanish painter, b. at Logrono, 1526 and died at Segovia, 1579 (at Toledo, February, 1579 or 28 ...

Navarrete, Martín Fernández

Spanish navigator and writer, b. at Avalos (Logrono), 8 November, 1765; d. at Madrid, 8 October, ...

Nave

Architecturally the central, open space of a church, west of the choir or chancel, and separated ...

Nazarene

( Nazarenos, Nazarenus ). As a name applied to Christ, the word Nazarene occurs only ...

Nazareth

The town of Galilee where the Blessed Virgin dwelt when the Archangel announced to her the ...

Nazareth, Sisters of Charity of

Founded Dec., 1812, by the Rev. B.J.M. David (see D IOCESE OF L OUISVILLE ). Father David, ...

Nazarite

(Hebrew, " consecrated to God "). The name given by the Hebrews to a person set apart and ...

Nazarius and Celsus, Saints

The only historical information which we possess regarding these two martyrs is the discovery of ...

Nazarius and Companions, Saint

In the Roman Martyrology and that of Bede for 12 June mention is made of four Roman martyrs, ...

Nazarius, John Paul

Dominican theologian, b. in 1556 at Cremonia; d. in 1645 at Bologna. He entered the order at an ...

Nazarius, Saint

Fourteenth abbot of the monastery of Lérins, probably sometime during the reign of the ...

Nazianzus

A titular metropolitan see of Cappadocia Tertia. Nazianzus was a small town the history which is ...

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Ne 66

Neale, Leonard

Second Archbishop of Baltimore, b. near Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, 15 Oct., 1746; ...

Nebo

( Septuagint, Nabau ). A town mentioned in several passages of the Old Testament, v.g., ...

Nebo, Mount

( Septuagint : Nabau ). A mountain of the Abarim range east of Jordan and the Dead Sea, ...

Nebraska

Nebraska, meaning in English, "shallow water", occupies geographically a central location among ...

Necessity

Necessity, in a general way, denotes a strict connection between different beings, or the ...

Neckam, Alexander of

( Or Necham.) English scholar, born in Hertfordshire, 1157; died at Kempsey, Worcestershire, ...

Necrologies

Necrologies, or, as they are more frequently called in France, obituaires , are the registers ...

Necromancy

( nekros , "dead", and manteia , "divination") Necromancy is a special mode of divination ...

Nectarius

( Nechtarios ), Patriarch of Constantinople, (381-397), died 27 Sept, 397, eleventh bishop of ...

Negligence

( Latin nec , not, and legere , to pick out). The condition of not heeding. More ...

Nehemiah, Book of

Also called the second Book of Esdras (Ezra), is reckoned both in the Talmud and in the early ...

Neher, Stephan Jakob

Church historian ; b. at Ebnat, 24 July, 1829; d. at Nordhausen, 7 Oct., 1902. His family were ...

Nemore, Jordanus (Jordanis) de

The name given in manuscripts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to a mathematician who ...

Nemrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...

Neo-Platonism

General survey A system of idealistic, spiritualistic philosophy, tending towards mysticism, ...

Neo-Pythagorean Philosophy

The ethico-religious society founded by Pythagoras, which flourished especially in Magna ...

Neo-Scholasticism

Neo-Scholasticism is the development of the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages during the latter ...

Neocæsarea

A titular see, suffragan of Hierapolis in the Patriarchate of Antioch sometimes called ...

Neocæsarea

A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus, at first called Cabira, one of the favourite residences ...

Neophyte

Neophyte ( neophytoi , the newly planted, i.e. incorporated with the mystic Body of Christ), a ...

Nephtali

(A.V., N APHTALI ) Sixth son of Jacob and Bala ( Genesis 30:8 ). The name is explained ...

Nepi and Sutri

Nepi and Sutri (Nepsin et Sutrin), united sees of the province of Rome, central Italy, in the ...

Nepveu, Francis

Writer on ascetical subjects, b. at St. Malo, 29 April, 1639; entered the novitiate of the ...

Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius, Saints

The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and ...

Neri, Antonio

Florentine chemist, born in Florence ln the sixteenth century; died 1614, place unknown. We have ...

Neri, Saint Philip Romolo

THE APOSTLE OF ROME. Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip's ...

Nerinckx, Charles

Missionary priest in Kentucky, founder of the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, born ...

Nero

Nero, the last Roman emperor (reigned 54-68) of the Julian-Claudian line, was the son of Domitius ...

Nerses I-IV

Armenian patriarchs. Nerses I Surnamed "the Great". Died 373. Born of the royal stock, he ...

Nerses of Lambron

Born 1153 at Lambron, Cilicia; died 1198; son of Oschin II, prince of Lambron and nephew of the ...

Nestorius and Nestorianism

I. THE HERESIARCH Nestorius, who gave his name to the Nestorian heresy, was born at Germanicia, ...

Netherlands, The

( German Niederlande ; French Pays Bas ). The Netherlands, or Low Countries, as organized by ...

Netter, Thomas

Theologian and controversialist, b. at Saffron Waldon, Essex, England, about 1375; d. at Rouen, ...

Neugart, Trudpert

Benedictine historian, born at Villingen, Baden, 23 February, 1742; died at St Paul's ...

Neum

(Latin, neuma, pneuma, or neupma, from Greek pneûma, a nod). A term in medieval ...

Neumann, Johann Balthasar

Born 1687 at Eger; died 1753 at Würzburg, master of the rococo style and one of the ...

Neumayr, Franz

Preacher, writer on theological, controversial and ascetical subjects, and author of many ...

Neusohl

Diocese of Neusohl (Hung. Beszterczebànya; Lat. Neosoliensis), founded in 1776 by Maria ...

Neutra

(Nitria; Nyitha) -- Diocese of Neutra (Nitriensis). Diocese in Western Hungary, a suffragan of ...

Nevada

A Western state of the United States , bounded on the North by Oregon and Idaho, on the East ...

Neve

Titular see of Arabia, suffragan of Bostra. Two of its bishops are known: Petronius, who ...

Nevers

(Nivernum) Diocese ; includes the Department of Nièvre, in France. Suppressed by the ...

Neville

(1) Edmund Neville ( alias Sales), a Jesuit, born at Hopcut, Lancashire, 1605; died in ...

New Abbey

The Abbey of Sweetheart, named New Abbey Pow, or New Abbey, in order to distinguish it, from ...

New Caledonia

VICARIATE APOSTOLIC New Caledonia, one of the largest islands of Oceania, lies about 900 miles ...

New Guinea

The second largest island and one of the least known countries of the world, lies immediately ...

New Hampshire

The most northerly of the thirteen original states of the United States, lying between 70°37' ...

New Jersey

One of the original thirteen states of the American Union. It ratified the Federal Constitution ...

New Mexico

A territory of the United States now (Jan., 1911) awaiting only the completion of its ...

New Norcia

A Benedictine abbey in Western Australia, founded on 1 March, 1846, by a Spanish Benedictine, ...

New Orleans

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS (NOVÆ AURELIÆ). Erected 25 April, 1793, as the Diocese of ...

New Pomerania

New Pomerania, the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago, is separated from New Guinea by ...

New Testament

I. Name ; II. Description ; III. Origin ; IV. Transmission of the Text ; V. Contents, History, ...

New Testament, Canon of the

The Catholic New Testament, as defined by the Council of Trent, does not differ, as regards the ...

New Year's Day

The word year is etymologically the same as hour (Skeat), and signifies a going, movement ...

New York (Archdiocese)

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK (NEO-EBORACENSIS). See erected 8 April, 1808; made archiepiscopal 19 ...

New York (State)

One of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain, which on 4 July, 1776, adopted the Declaration of ...

New Zealand

New Zealand—formerly described as a colony—has, since September, 1907, by royal ...

Newark

(NOVARCENSIS) Diocese created in 1853, suffragan of New York and comprising Hudson, Passaic, ...

Newbattle

( Neubotle , i.e. new dwelling). Newbattle, in the ancient Diocese of St. Andrews, about ...

Newdigate, Blessed Sebastian

Executed at Tyburn, 19 June, 1535. A younger son of John Newdigate of Harefield Place, Middlesex, ...

Newfoundland

A British colony of North America (area 42,734 square miles), bounded on the north by the Strait ...

Newhouse, Abbey of

The Abbey of Newhouse, near Brockelsby, Lincoln, the first Premonstratensian abbey in England, ...

Newman, John Henry

(1801-1890) Cardinal-Deacon of St. George in Velabro, divine, philosopher, man of letters, ...

Newport (England)

(NEOPORTENSIS) This diocese takes its name from Newport, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants, ...

Newton, John

A soldier and engineer, born at Norfolk, Virginia, 24 August, 1823; died in New York City, 1 May, ...

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Ni 70

Niagara University

Niagara University, situated near Niagara Falls, New York, is conducted by the Vincentians. It ...

Nicéron, Jean-Pierre

A French lexicographer, born in Paris, 11 March, 1685, died there, 8 July, 1738. After his ...

Nicaea

Titular see of Bithynia Secunda, situated on Lake Ascanius, in a fertile plain, but very ...

Nicaea, First Council of

First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of ...

Nicaea, Second Council of

Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 787. (For an account of the ...

Nicaragua

(REPUBLIC AND DIOCESE OF NICARAGUA; DE NICARAGUA) The diocese, suffragan of Guatemala, is ...

Nicastro

(NEOCASTRENSIS). A city of the Province of Catanzaro, in Calabria, southern Italy, situated ...

Niccola Pisano

Architect and sculptor, b. at Pisa about 1205-07; d. there, 1278. He was the father of modern ...

Nice

(NICIENSIS) Nice comprises the Department of Alpes-Maritimes. It was re-established by the ...

Nicene Creed

As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the ...

Nicephorus, Saint

Patriarch of Constantinople, 806-815, b. about 758; d. 2 June, 829. This champion of the orthodox ...

Nicetas

(NICETA) A Bishop of Remesiana (Romatiana) in what is now Servia, born about 335; died ...

Nicetius, Saint

A Bishop of Trier, born in the latter part of the fifth century, exact date unknown; died in ...

Niche

A recess for the reception of a statue, so designed as to give it emphasis, frame it effectively, ...

Nicholas Garlick, Venerable

Priest and martyr, born at Dinting, Derbyshire, c. 1555; died at Derby, 24 July, 1588. He ...

Nicholas I, Saint, Pope

Born at Rome, date unknown; died 13 November, 867. One of the great popes of the Middle ...

Nicholas II, Pope

(GERHARD OF BURGUNDY) Nicholas was born at Chevron, in what is now Savoy ; elected at Siena, ...

Nicholas III, Pope

(GIOVANNI GAETANI ORSINI) Born at Rome, c. 1216; elected at Viterbo, 25 November, 1277; died ...

Nicholas IV, Pope

(GIROLAMO MASCI) Born at Ascoli in the Rome, 4 April, 1292. He was of humble extraction, ...

Nicholas Justiniani

Date of birth unknown, became monk in the Benedictine monastery of San Niccoló del Lido ...

Nicholas of Cusa

German cardinal, philosopher, and administrator, b. at Cues on the Moselle, in the Archdiocese ...

Nicholas of Flüe, Blessed

(D E R UPE ). Born 21 March, 1417, on the Flüeli, a fertile plateau near Sachseln, ...

Nicholas of Gorran

(Or GORRAIN) Medieval preacher, and scriptural commentator; b. in 1232 at Gorron, France ; ...

Nicholas of Lyra

( Doctor planus et utilis ) Exegete, b. at Lyra in Normandy, 1270; d. at Paris, 1340. The ...

Nicholas of Myra, Saint

( Also called NICHOLAS OF BARI). Bishop of Myra in Lycia; died 6 December, 345 or 352. ...

Nicholas of Osimo

(AUXIMANUS). A celebrated preacher and author, b. at Osimo, Italy, in the second half of the ...

Nicholas of Strasburg

Mystic ; flourished early in the fourteenth century. Educated at Paris, he was later on lector ...

Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint

Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the Hermits of St. Augustine -- a star above him or on his ...

Nicholas Owen, Saint

A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date ...

Nicholas Pieck, Saint

(Also spelled PICK). Friar Minor and martyr, b. at Gorkum, Holland, 29 August, 1534; d. at ...

Nicholas V, Pope

(TOMMASO PARENTUCELLI) A name never to be mentioned without reverence by every lover of ...

Nichols, Venerable George

(Or NICOLLS). English martyr, born at Oxford about 1550; executed at Oxford, 19 October, ...

Nicholson, Francis

A controversial writer; b. at Manchester, 1650 ( baptized 27 Oct.); d. at Lisbon, 13 Aug., 1731. ...

Nicodemus

A prominent Jew of the time of Christ, mentioned only in the Fourth Gospel . The name is of ...

Nicodemus, Gospel of

(Or the Gospel of Nicodemus.) This work does not assume to have written by Pilate, but to have ...

Nicolò de' Tudeschi

("abbas modernus" or "recentior", "abbas Panormitanus" or "Siculus") A Benedictine canonist, ...

Nicolaï, Jean

Celebrated Dominican theologian and controversialist, b. in 1594 at Mouzay in the Diocese of ...

Nicolaites

(Also called Nicolaitans), a sect mentioned in the Apocalypse (ii,6,15) as existing in ...

Nicolas, Armella

Popularly known as "La bonne Armelle", a saintly French serving-maid held in high veneration among ...

Nicolas, Auguste

French apologist, b. at Bordeaux, 6 Jan., 1807; d. at Versailles 18 Jan., 1888. He first studied ...

Nicolaus Germanus

(Often called "Donis" from a misapprehension of the title "Donnus" or "Donus" an abbreviated form ...

Nicole, Pierre

Theologian and controversialist, b. 19 October, 1625, at Chartres, d. 16 November, 1695, at ...

Nicolet

(NICOLETANA) Diocese in the Province of Quebec, Canada, suffragan of Quebec. It comprises the ...

Nicomedes, Saint

Martyr of unknown era, whose feast is observed 15 September. The Roman Martyrologium and the ...

Nicomedia

Titular see of Bithynia Prima, founded by King Zipoetes. About 264 B.C. his son Nicodemes I ...

Nicopolis

A titular see, suffragan of Sebasteia, in Armenia Prima. Founded by Pompey after his decisive ...

Nicopolis

(NICOPOLITANA) Diocese in Bulgaria. The city of Nicopolis (Thrace or Moesia), situated at the ...

Nicopolis

A titular see and metropolis in ancient Epirus. Augustus founded the city (B.C. 31) on a ...

Nicosia

A city of the Province of Catania, in Sicily situated at a height of about 2800 feet above the ...

Nicosia

Titular archdiocese in the Province of Cyprus. It is now agreed (Oberhummer' "Aus Cypern" in ...

Nicotera and Tropea

(NICOTERENSIS ET TROPEIENSIS) Suffragan diocese of Reggio di Calabria. Nicotera, the ancient ...

Nider, John

Theologian, b. 1380 in Swabia; d. 13 August, 1438, at Colmar. He entered the Order of Preachers ...

Nieremberg y Otin, Juan Eusebio

Noted theologian and polygraphist, b. of German parents at Madrid, 1595; d. there, 1658. ...

Niessenberger, Hans

An architect of the latter part of the Middle Ages, whose name is mentioned with comparative ...

Niger, Peter George

(NIGRI, German SCHWARTZ) Dominican theologian, preacher and controversialist, b. 1434 at ...

Nigeria

A colony of British East Africa extending from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad (from 4° 30' ...

Nihilism

The term was first used by Turgeniev in his novel, "Fathers and Sons" (in "Russkij Vestnik", Feb., ...

Nihus, Barthold

Convert and controversialist, b. at Holtorf in Hanover, 7 February, 1590 (according to other ...

Nikolaus von Dinkelsbühl

Theologian, b. c. 1360, at Dinkelsbühl; d. 17 March, 1433, at Mariazell in Styria. He ...

Nikon

Patriarch of Moscow (1652-1658; d. 1681). He was of peasant origin, born in the district of ...

Nilles, Nikolaus

Born 21 June, 1828, of a wealthy peasant family of Rippweiler, Luxemburg ; died 31 January, ...

Nilopolis

A titular see and a suffragan of Oxyrynchos, in Egypt. According to Ptolemy (IV, v, 26) the ...

Nilus the Younger

Of Rossano, in Calabria; born in 910, died 27 December, 1005. For a time he was married (or ...

Nilus, Saint

( Neilos ) Nilus the elder, of Sinai (died c. 430), was one of the many disciples and ...

Nimbus

(Latin, related to Nebula, nephele , properly vapour, cloud), in art and archaeology signifies ...

Nimrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...

Ninian, Saint

(NINIAS, NINUS, DINAN, RINGAN, RINGEN) Bishop and confessor ; date of birth unknown; died ...

Nirschl, Joseph

Theologian and writer, b. at Durchfurth, Lower Bavaria, 24 February, 1823; d. at ...

Nisibis

A titular Archdiocese of Mesopotamia, situated on the Mygdonius at the foot of Mt. Masius. It is ...

Nithard

Frankish historian, son of Angilbert and Bertha, daughter of Charlemagne ; died about 843 or ...

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No 65

Noah

[Hebrew Nôah , "rest"; Greek Noah ; Latin Noah ]. The ninth patriarch of the ...

Noah's Ark

The Hebrew name to designate Noah's Ark, the one which occurs again in the history of Moses' ...

Noailles, Louis-Antoine de

Cardinal and bishop, b. at the Château of Teyssiére in Auvergne, France, 27 May, ...

Nobili, Robert de'

Born at Montepulciano, Tuscany, September, 1577; died at Mylapore, India, in 1656. He entered the ...

Noble, Daniel

Physician, b. 14 Jan., 1810; d. at Manchester, 12 Jan, 1885. He was the son of Mary Dewhurst and ...

Nocera

DIOCESE OF NOCERA (NUCERINENSIS) Diocese in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, near the sources of the ...

Nocera dei Pagani

(NUCERIN PAGANORUM; dei Pagani ="of the Pagans") Diocese in Salermo, Italy, at the foot of ...

Nocturns

( Nocturni or Nocturna ). A very old term applied to night Offices. Tertullian speaks of ...

Nogaret, Guillaume de

Born about the middle of the thirteenth century at St. Felix-en-Lauragais; died 1314; he was one ...

Nola

(NOLANA) Diocese ; suffragan of Naples. The city of Nola in the Italian Province of Caserta, ...

Nola, Giovanni Marliano da

Sculptor and architect, b., it is said, of a leather merchant named Giuseppe, at Nola, near ...

Nolasco, Saint Peter

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at ...

Nollet, Jean-Antoine

Physicist, b. at Pimpré, Oise, France, 19 November, 1700; d. at Paris, 25 April, 1770. His ...

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

These terms are used to designate the theories that have been proposed as solutions of one of the ...

Nomination

The various methods of designating persons for ecclesiastical benefices or offices have been ...

Nomocanon

(From the Greek nomos , law, and kanon , a rule) A collection of ecclesiastical law, the ...

Non Expedit

("It is not expedient"). Words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the ...

Non-Jurors

The name given to the Anglican Churchmen who in 1689 refused to take the oath of allegiance to ...

Nonantola

A former Benedictine monastery and prelature nullius , six miles north-east of Modena ...

Nonconformists

A name which, in its most general acceptation, denotes those refusing to conform with the ...

None

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Origin of None; II. None from the ...

Nonnotte, Claude-Adrien

Controversialist; b. in Besançon, 29 July, 1711; d. there, 3 September, 1793. At nineteen ...

Nonnus

Nonnus, of Panopolis in Upper Egypt (c. 400), the reputed author of two poems in hexameters; ...

Norbert, Saint

Born at Kanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, c. 1080; died at Magdeburg, 6 June, ...

Norbertines

(C ANONICI R EGULARES P RÆMONSTRATENSES ). Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert at ...

Norcia

(NORSIN). A diocese and city in Perugia, Italy, often mentioned in Roman history. In the ...

Norfolk, Catholic Dukes of

(Since the Reformation) Under this title are accounts only of the prominent Catholic Dukes of ...

Noris, Henry

Cardinal, b. at Verona, 29 August, 1631, of English ancestry; d. at Rome, 23 Feb., 1704. He ...

Normandy

An ancient French province, from which five "departments" were formed in 1790: ...

Norris, Sylvester

( Alias SMITH, NEWTON). Controversial writer and English missionary priest ; b. 1570 or ...

Norsemen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

North Carolina

One of the original thirteen States of the United States, is situated between 33° 53' and ...

North Dakota

One of the United States of America , originally included in the Louisiana Purchase. Little was ...

Northampton

(NORTANTONIENSIS) Diocese in England, comprises the Counties of Northampton, Bedford, ...

Northcote, James Spencer

Born at Feniton Court, Devonshire, 26 May, 1821; d. at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, 3 March, ...

Northern Territory

(Prefecture Apostolic) The Northern Territory, formerly Alexander Land, is that part of ...

Northmen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

Norton, Christopher

Martyr ; executed at Tyburn, 27 May, 1570. His father was Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, ...

Norway

Norway, comprising the smaller division of the Scandinavian peninsula, is bounded on the east by ...

Norwich, Ancient Diocese of

(NORDOVICUM; NORVICUM). Though this see took its present name only in the eleventh century, ...

Notaries

( Latin notarius ). Persons appointed by competent authority to draw up official or authentic ...

Notburga

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notburga, Saint

Patroness of servants and peasants, b. c. 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn; d. c. 16 September, 1313. ...

Nothomb, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notitia Dignitatum

(Register of Offices). The official handbook of the civil and military officials in the later ...

Notitia Provinciarum et Civitatum Africae

(List of the Provinces and Cities of Africa). A list of the bishops and their sees in the ...

Notitiae Episcopatuum

The name given to official documents that furnish for Eastern countries the list and hierarchical ...

Notker

Among the various monks of St. Gall who bore this name, the following are the most important: ...

Noto

(NETEN). Noto, the ancient Netum and after the Saracen conquest the capital of one of the ...

Notoriety, Notorious

( Latin Notorietas, notorium , from notus , known). Notoriety is the quality or the ...

Notre Dame de Montreal, Congregation of

Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress, was born at Troyes, France, 17 April, 1620. She was the ...

Notre Dame, School Sisters of

A religious community devoted to education. In the United Sates they have conducted parish ...

Notre Dame, Sisters of (of Cleveland, Ohio)

A branch of the congregation founded by Blessed Julie Billiart. In 1850, Father Elting of ...

Notre Dame, University of

(Full name is the University of Notre Dame du Lac ). Notre Dame is located in Northern ...

Notre-Dame de Namur, Institute of

Founded in 1803 at Amiens, France, by Bl. Julie Billiart (b. 1751 d. 1816) and ...

Notre-Dame de Sion, Congregation of

Religious institute of women, founded at Paris in May 1843, by Marie-Théodore and ...

Nottingham

(NOTTINGHAMIEN) One of the original twelve English dioceses created at the time of the ...

Nourrisson, Jean-Felix

Philosopher, b. at Thiers, Department of Puy-de-Dôme, 18 July, 1825; d. at Paris, 13 June, ...

Nova Scotia

I. GEOGRAPHY Nova Scotia is one of the maritime provinces of Canada. It forms part of what was ...

Novara

(NOVARIENSIS). A diocese and the capital of the province of Novara, Piedmont, Italy, noted ...

Novatianism

Novatian was a schismatic of the third century, and founder of the sect of the Novatians; he ...

Novatus, Saint

St. Novatus, who is mentioned on 20 June with his brother, the martyr Timotheus, was the son of ...

Novello, Blessed Agostino

(Matteo Di Termini), born in the first half of the thirteenth century, at Termini, a village of ...

Novena

(From novem , nine.) A nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to ...

Novice

I. DEFINITION AND REQUIREMENTS The word novice , which among the Romans meant a newly acquired ...

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Nubia

Located in North-eastern Africa, extending from Sennar south to beyond Khartoum and including the ...

Nueva Cáceres

(NOVA CACERES) Diocese created in 1595 by Clement VIII ; it is one of the four suffragan ...

Nueva Pamplona

(NEO-PAMPILONENSIS). Diocese in Colombia, South America, founded in 1549 and a see erected by ...

Nueva Segovia

(NOVAE SEGOBIAE) Diocese in the Philippines, so called from Segovia, a town in Spain. The town ...

Nugent, Francis

Priest of the Franciscan Capuchin Order, founder of the Irish and the Rhenish Provinces of said ...

Nugent, James

Philanthropist, temperance advocate and social reformer b. 3 March, 1822 at Liverpool ; d. 27 ...

Numbers, Use of, in the Church

No attentive reader of the Old Testament can fail to notice that a certain sacredness seems to ...

Numismatics

(From the Greek nomisma , "legal currency") Numismatics is the science of coins and of ...

Nun of Kent

Born probably in 1506; executed at Tyburn, 20 April, 1534; called the "Nun of Kent." The career of ...

Nunc Dimittis

(The Canticle of Simeon). Found in St. Luke's Gospel (2:29-32) , is the last in historical ...

Nuncio

An ordinary and permanent representative of the pope, vested with both political and ...

Nunez, Pedro

(Pedro Nonius). Mathematician and astronomer, b. at Alcacer-do-Sol, 1492; d. at Coimbra, ...

Nuns

I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The institution of nuns and sisters, who devote themselves in various ...

Nuptial Mass

"Missa pro sponso et sponsa", the last among the votive Masses in the Missal. It is composed of ...

Nuremberg

(NÜRNBERG) The second largest city in Bavaria, situated in a plain on both sides of the ...

Nusco

(N USCANA ) Diocese in the province of Avellino, Italy, suffragan of Salerno ; dates from ...

Nussbaum, Johannn Nepomuk von

German surgeon, b. at Munich 2 Sept., 1829; d. there 31 Oct., 1890. He made his studies in the ...

Nutter, Robert, Ven.

English martyr ; b. at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He ...

Nuyens, Wilhelmus

Historian, b. 18 August, 1823, at Avenhorn in Holland ; d. 10 December, 1894, at Westwoud near ...

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Nyassa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

Nympha, Tryphon, and Respicius

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have ...

Nyssa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

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