SIWAH

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SIWAH ; one of the oases in the desert of Libya, to the west of Egypt, interesting from the ruins which it contains. It lies in lat. 29° 12' N.; Ion. 26° 6' E.; 120 miles W. from the Nile, and is about six miles long by four or five wide. It is supposed to contain 8000 inhabitants, of whom 2500 are in the town of Siwah. The soil is fertile, yielding dates, pomegranates, figs, olives and grapes. Tepid springs, holding salt in solution, are numerous. This oasis is supposed to be the site of the celebrated temple of Jupiter Amnion, the ruins of which travellers think they have discovered at the distance of a league and a half from the town, covering an area of 360 feet by 300. The ruins are in the Egyptian style of archi tecture, and covered with a profusion of hierogly pineal and other sculptures in relief and painted. Nearly a mile from *Jies" ruin*, in a grove of date palms, is the celebrated Fountain of the Sun, dedicated to Amnion. It is ninety feet in length by sixty, and appears to be warmer by night than by day. Close by this spring are traces of a temple supposed to be the relics of a sanctuary mentioned by Dioclorus Siculus. A mountain in the neighborhood has been converted into catacombs, some of the tombs of which are on a magnificent scale, resembling the celebrated sepulchral chambers of Thebes in decoration, sculpture and ^painting. A succession of lakes and temples stretches into the desert towards the west, and tombs, catacombs and churches, are scattered over the waste. At a short distance from the sacred lake there is a temple of Roman or Greek construction, the architecture of which is of the Doric ordera singular circumstance in a country surrounded by immense deserts, and 400 miles distant fiom the ancient, seats of civilization. (See Browne's Travels in Africa and Syria.) Six NAT'ONs. (See Iroquois.) SIXTUS V, the greatest ruler and statesman among the popes of the three last centuries, was born in 1521, at, Grotta a Mare, not far from the little town.of Montalto, in the mark of Ancona. His proper name was Felix Peretti. He gave early ndications of an aspiring spirit, and was delivered by his uncle, a Franciscan, at Montalto, from the humble labors by which his indigent parents procured their bread. In the schools of this order at Montalto, Pesaro, Fermo, Bologna, &c, Peretti, having joined the Franciscans in 1534, received the usual strict education and instruction of the monasteries. His active spirit soon made him conversant with the scholastic philosophy and theology and Roman literature. In 1544, he gave instruction in the canon law at Rimini, and, in 1546, at Sienna. In 1548, he was made priest, doctor of divinity, and superintendent of the monastic school of Sienna. He made himself famous in Rome, likewise, as an acute logician and preacher, where, in 1551, the favor of some cardinals procured him a permanent residence. Here he gained much reputation, not only by his pulpit performances, but also by his pious works, as the founding of a brotherhood for solemnly carrying the host to the sick, under the name of the society of the holy sacrament, and an asylum for indigent young girls, according to the rule of St. Clara. Hiswork on mystical divinity, and his Golden Register, extracted from the writings of 36* Aristotle and his commentator Avcrroes, were also fruits of this residence at Rome, which, however, was embittered by the vexatious controversies in which his mi quiet spirit, and his aversion to the mo nastic life, involved him. Cardinal Capri, the protector of his order, defended him from the violence of his associates; but he was continually plunged into new difficulties by his own intolerance, and the jealousy of the monks, arising from the reputation which he had acquired as a preacher on his visits to the principal cities of Italy. His situation was not improved by his removal to Venice, where, in 1556, he "was appointed superintendent of the Franciscan school, and, in 1557, inquisitorgeneral. He discharged these offices with great strictness, and not without some danger; for the abhorrence in which the Venetians held the inquisition compelled him several times to flee from the city. In 1560, he gladly returned to Rome, where the pope made him a counsellor of the holy office (the inquisition), and professor in the university; and his order, at the suggestion of Capri, chose him their procuratorgeneral. He attended the papal legate to Spain, in 1565, as the theologian of the embassy. Here he became acquainted with the policy of the Spanish court, and, by his sermons, obtained the esteem of Philip II and his nobles. The cardinal of Alessandria being made pope, in 1566, under the name of Pius V, elevated his old friend Peretti to the rank of vicargeneral of the Franciscans, bishop of St. Agata de' Goti, and father confessor to the pope. Peretti now labored to repress the disorders which had arisen among the Franciscans, and to improve by pastoral letters the morals of the clergy of his diocese, which he never visited but once: moreover, he generously pardoned his former enemies. In 1570, he was made a cardinal, and assumed the name of Montalto, because cardinals of low birth are accustomed to exchange their family name for the name of their native place. Well acquainted with the policy of his colleagues, he believed the surest way to gain the triple crownthe great object of his ambition wras to pursue a course of conduct which should not awaken the jealousy of the other cardinals. Till then, violent, am> bitious, active, and strong in body, he seemed to have adopted with the purple, all the opposite qualities. His influence over Pius V he used with moderation, and, after his death, avoided connecting himself with any party in the cone lav;. Under Gregory XIII, he withdrew almost wholly from the court, and took part, as he pretended, very reluctantly in the improveineniofthe calendar, and the important political negotiations with Russia and England, in which his wisdom and experience could not be dispensed with. He treated every one with kindness and affability, and suffered injuries without seeking for revenge. Instead of permitting his poor relations to reap much advantage from his advancement, he expended his income (which was, indeed, rather small) in pious establishments, acts of benevolence, and literary enterprises, erected new monuments to forgotten saints, fed the poor, superintended an edition of the works of St. Ambrose, and presented the appearance of a sick and brokendown old man, who loved, above all things else, tranquillity and devotion. But, in the confessor's chair, where the licentious nobles confided to him their secrets, and by means of the members of his household, he secretly collected a fund of accurate information in regard to the views and characters of the most distinguished Romans; and, under the mask of pious simplicity and feeble old age, prepared himself lor that high destiny for which he was born. He had deceived all about him as to his true character ; and, on the death of Gregory XIII, in 1585, the majority of the cardinals were convinced that a pope like Montalto would be most easily managed. In consequence of this opinion, he was chosen to the popedom almost unanimously, and took the title of Sixtus V. As soon as he was sure of his election, he threw down, in the electoral chapel, the staff on which he had hitherto leaned, and came forward, to the astonishment of all, with a dignity and firmness indicative of that independence of spirit winch he maintained during his five years' administration. At the very beginning of his reign, he showed the Romans, by the speedy execution of several criminals, how he intended to exercise justice, which had slept under his predecessors. Offences against the public peace or safety he punished generally with death, regardless of all intercession. He removed unfaithful judges, freed the States of the Church from robbers, and labored energetically to restore the public tranquillity. But he was a terror only to the wicked; oppressed innocence found in him support; the poor were fed from his storehouses, and thousands of idle hands employed in the erection of edifices, which he constructed will '< sing rapidity, for the ornament of > >nv,. The aqueduct, called aqua fdice, tne lofty obelisk in front of St. Peter's church, and the triumphal pillars of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, which he erected at a great expense, the noble dome of St. Peter's, and the hospital on the Tiber, are monuments of his zeal for the splendor and welfare of his capital. He gained lasting honor by founding the Vatican library, for which he erected a magnificent building, with a printingoffice, for the publication solely of the works of ecclesiastical authors. From this Vatican press proceeded his complete edition of the works of St. Ambrose, and the Vulgate, which he revised. At Fermo, in the States of the Church, he founded a university; at Rome, the college of St. Ronaventura, for young Franciscans ; and at Bologna, the college of Montalto. His chief attention, however was directed to the government of the ecclesiastical states, and the care of its foreign relations. He endeavored to in crease the trade and industry of Rome by abolishing heavy imposts^ and establishing manufactures of silk and of wool for the employment of the poor. He improved the departments of the police and the finances, and accumulated a fund of three millions scudi, which he deposited in the castle of St. Angelo, to serve as a fund for the public wants. This was acquired by the increase and rigid collection of the public taxes, the confiscation of the property of criminals, the profits of new pawnhouses (moriti), by an advance on the price of venal offices, and the sale of many which had never before been subjects of traffic, but principally by rigid economy. The expenses of his court he limited as much as possible. Although he was generous to his former patrons, he was moderate in his benefactions to his relatives. For the administration of the affairs of church and state, he instituted fifteen congregations, composed of cardinals and other officers. The most remarkable are the congregations for the navy, which consisted of ten galleys, for the protection of the coast, for the complaints of the people, for the continuation of the catalogue of prohibited books, for carrying into effect, and explaining, the decrees of the council of Trent, for sacred rites and ceremonies, and for the administration of justice. (See Curia.) Resides the establishment of several festivals in honor of saints, the reign of Sixtus V was marked by the limitation of the 'lumber of cardinals to seventy, and the obligation imposed on all Catholic bishops to visit Rome once in every three, five, or ten years, according to the distance of their sees, on pam of losing their officesan ordinance which, though never strictly enforced, was calculated to confirm the old papal claims, and to bind the bishops more firmly to the head of the church. In theological controversies, Sixtus maintained a wise neutrality, and enjoined silence on the Jesuits, whom he never loved, when they contended with the university of Louvain. But in the political events of his time, he took a more active share. The project of restoring Germany to its former dependence on the papal see failed; but Sixtus excited the emperor Rodolph II to a violent persecution of heretics. Two Protestant sovereigns, Henry of Navarre, and Elizabeth, queen of England, he excommunicated, though it would seem only for the sake of appearances, since he sincerely esteemed them both for their intellectual vigor, and would never seriously support Spain against Henry, because he deemed the views of Philip II dangerous. He, however, aided this monarch with funds to equip the armada against England, but at the same time gave the British envoys an opportunity to see that he would not disapprove of a more energetic participation in the war for the independence of the Netherlands, in order to curtail the Spanish power. After the assassination of the Guises, he excommunicated Henry III, yet without giving direct support to the league. But while Sixtus V conducted with moderation towards all the princes of his time, he weakened one by means of another, and made them all dependent on himself. His mind was occupied with extensive plans for the enlargement of his temporal and spiritual power. He always called Naples his kingdom, and made the Spanish viceroy feel his importance on all occasions. It was his design to subject Russia to his dominion through Stephen Bathori, king of Poland, and Egypt through the grandduke of Tuscany ; but the death of these two princes frustrated his bold projects. By his numerous spies, not only his special informers, who were royally paid, but also the father confessors of the Roman Catholic church, he gained a knowledge of every thing that was passing. Hence lie was always prepared for emergencies, and consulted with the cardinals only for the sake of appearance. His thorough knowledge of business, and the superior ity of his bold, able and lofly mind, filled every one that approached him with respect and admiration. He was famous for humorous remarks and pithy repartees, by which he often overcame opposition and effected his objects. Plain in his exterior, and free from anxiety about a nice etiquette, he maintained his princely dignity by a majestic demeanor and strict consistency. The sternness of his deportment was rarely interrupted by displays of good nature, though this sometimes happened, as in his marks of favor to his old acquaintances of the time of his humble condition. He was reserved towards those around him, and firm even to obstinacy in all that he undertook. Though politics occupied the greatest share of his attention, yet he was wanting in nothing which became the head of the church. In no case did he abuse his power to gratify personal feelings of revenge. Though never beloved, he was universally feared. After his death, which happened August 24, 1590, the populace, irritated by the pressure of taxes, overturned the statues which the senate had erected to him in the capitol. The conjecture that his death was hastened by poison, at the instigation of the Spanish court, which he had offended by his coldness towards the league, and by the manifestation of favor towards Henry IV, is not supported by sufficient evidence. All that could be effected in so few years, by commanding talents and force of character, with the feeble means wbich were left to the papal see by the reformation, Sixtus accomplished ; and he was the last head of the Roman Catholic church, whom kings have had reason to fear.