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surnamed the Great, and one of the most illustrious characters of the

, surnamed the Great, and one of the most illustrious characters of the Portuguese nation, was born at Lisbon in 1452, of a family who traced their origin to the kings of Portugal, and in an age remarkable for the heroism, the discoveries, and the conquests of Portugal. The Portuguese navigators had already subdued the greater part of the west coast of Africa, and were bent on extending their conquests to India. D' Albuquerque was accordingly appointed viceroy of the new settlements in Asia, and the commander of a squadron destined for that quarter, of six ships, which set sail 1503; and the same year three more were sent under his brother, Francis Albuquerque. The latter arrived in India some time before the other, with two ships only, the third having perished by the way. Arriving at the islands of Anchedive, he found some Portuguese officers, from whom he learned the distressed situation of their ally Trimumpar, king of Cochin, and sailed to Vipian, where the king then was. The arrival of the Portuguese so alarmed the garrison who then had possession of Cochin, that they precipitately left it. Here one of the ships that had sailed from Portugal with Alphonso, joined him. Francis restored Trimumpar to his capital, and subdued some islands near it. Having rendered the king such essential service, he desired leave to build a fort as a mutual defence against their enemies: this was granted, and the fort immediately begun. Four days after it began, Alphonso joined him, and with the additional number of hands he brought with him it was soon completed.

surnamed The Great, on account of his learning and piety, was born at

, surnamed The Great, on account of his learning and piety, was born at Caesarea in Cappadocia, in. the year 326. He received the first part of his education under his father. He went afterwards and studied under the famous Libanius at Antiochia and Constantinople, and from thence to Athens, where he met with Gregory Nazianzen, with whom he had a very cordial intimacy. After finishing his studies, he returned to his native country in the year 355, and taught rhetoric. Some time after he travelled into Syria, Egypt, and Libya, to visit the monasteries of these countries; and the monastic life so much suited his disposition, that upon his return home he resolved to follow it, and became the first institutor of it in Pontus and Cappadocia. Eusebius bishop of Csesarea conferred the order of priesthood upon Basil, who soon after retired into his solitude, having had some misunderstanding with his bishop; but he came to a reconciliation with him about three years after, and his reputation was at length so great, that, upon the death of Eusebius, in the year 370, he was chosen his successor. It was with some difficulty that he accepted of this dignity; and no sooner was he raised to it, than the emperor Valens began to persecute him because he refused to embrace the doctrine of the Arians. Valens came twice to Ca?sarea, and finding he was not able to influence Basil, resolved to banish him from that place. He ceased at length, however, to molest Basil, who now began to use his utmost endeavours to bring about a re-union betwixt the eastern and western churches, then much divided about some points of faith, and in regard to Meletius and Paulinus, two bishops of Antioch. The western churches acknowledged Paulinus for the lawful bishop, and would have no communion with Meletius, who was supported by the eastern churches. But all his efforts were ineffectual, this dispute not being terminated till nine months after his death. Basil was likewise engaged in some contests relating to the division the emperor had made of Cappadocia into two provinces. Anthimus, bishop of Tayane, the metropolis of the new province, was desirous to extend his limits, which Basil opposed. They contested chiefly about a little village named Zazime. Basil, in order to preserve it in his jurisdiction, erected a bishopric, and gave it to his friend Gregory of Nazianzen, but Anthimus took possession before him; and Gregory, who loved peace, retired from thence. Basil had also some disputes with Eustathius, and was engaged in most of the controversies of his age. Calumny, malice, and the domineering power of Arianism afflicted him with various trials, in which his patience was unwearied; and as his body became enfeebled by increasing distempers, his mind seems to have collected more vigour. Finding himself rapidly declining, after he had governed the church of Csesarea eight years and some months, he ordained some of his followers, and was then obliged to take to his bed. The people flocked about his house, sensible of the value of such a pastor. For a time he discoursed piously to those about him, and sealed his last breath with the ejaculation, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” He died in the year 379. By studying the works of Origen, he contracted a taste for exposition by no means very perspicuous. It is more to be regretted that a man of such extensive learning and piety should have been so attached to the monastic spirit, the excessive austerities of which impaired his constitution. His doctrines are consequently clouded with superstitious mixtures, although it is evident that he held the essential articles of Christianity in the utmost reverence.

 surnamed the Great, the third king of Prussia, son of Frederic William

surnamed the Great, the third king of Prussia, son of Frederic William I. was born Jan. 24, 1712, and educated in some measure in adversity; for when he began to grow up, and discovered talents for poetry, music, and the fine arts in general, his father, fearing lest this taste should seduce him from studies more necessary to him as a king, opposed his inclinations, and treated him with considerable harshness. In 1730, when the prince was eighteen, this disagreement broke out; he endeavoured to escape, was discovered, and thrown into prison, and Kat, a young officer who was to have attended his flight, was executed before his eyes. His marriage in 1733, with the princess of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, restored at least apparent harmony in the family. But in his forced retirement, young Frederic had eagerly cultivated his favourite sciences, which continued to divert his cares in the most stormy and anxious periods of his life. He ascended the throne in May 1740, and almost immediately displayed his ambitious and military dispositions, by demanding Silesia from Maria Theresa, heiress of the emperor Charles VI. in his Austrian and Hungarian dominions, and pursuing his claim by force of arms. The emperor died October 20, 1740, and Lower Silesia had submitted to Frederic in November 1741. France stepped forward to support his pretensions; but in June 1742, he had signed a treaty at Breslaw, with the queen of Hungary, which left him in possession of Silesia and the county of Glatz. In the spring of 1744, either suspecting that the treaty of Breslaw would be broken, or moved again by ambition, betook arms under pretence of supporting the election of the emperor Charles VII. and declared war against Maria Theresa, who refused to acknowledge that prince. The war was continued with various success, but on the whole very gloriously for Frederic, till the latter end of 1745. It was concluded by a treaty signed at Dresden on Christmas day, by which the court of Vienna left him in possession of Upper and Lower Silesia (excepting some districts, and the whole county of Glatz) on condition that he should acknowledge Francis I. of Lorraine as emperor.

surnamed the Great, was born of a patrician family, equally conspicuous

, surnamed the Great, was born of a patrician family, equally conspicuous for its virtue and nobility at Rome, where his father Gordian was a senator, and extremely rich; and, marrying a lady of distinction, called Sylvia, had by her this son, about the year 544. From his earliest years he discovered genius and judgment; and, applying himself particularly to the apophthegms of th ancients, he fixed every thing worth notice in his memory, where it was faithfully preserved as in a store-house; he also improved himself by the conversation of old men, in which he took great delight. By these methods he made a great progress in the sciences, and there was not a man. in Rome, who surpassed him in grammar, logic, and rhetoric; nor can it be doubted but he had early instructions in the civil law, in which his letters prove him to have been well versed: he was nevertheless entirely ignorant of the Greek language. These accomplishments in a young nobleman procured him senatorial dignities, which he filled with great reputation and he was afterwards appointed praefect of the city by the emperor Justin the Younger but, being much inclined to a monastic life, he quitted that post, and retired to the monastery of St. Andrew, which he himself had founded at Rome in his father’s house, and put it under the government of an abbot, called Valentius. Besides this, he founded six other convents in Sicily; and, selling all the rest of his possessions, he gave the purchase-money to the poor.

surnamed The Great, a doctor of the church, and one of the most eminent

, surnamed The Great, a doctor of the church, and one of the most eminent popes who have filled the Roman see, was born in Tuscany, or rather at Rome. He made himself very useful to the church under pope St. Celestine, and Sixtus III. and was concerned in all important affairs while but a deacon. The Roman clergy recalled him from Gaul, whither he was gone to reconcile Albums and Ætius, generals of the army, and raised him to the papal chair Sept. 1, 440. He condemned the Manicheans, in a council held at Rome in the year 444, and completely extirpated the remains of the Pelagian heresy in Italy: “Let those Pelagians,” said he, “who return to the church, declare by a clear and public profession, that they condemn the authors of their heresy, that they detest that part of their doctrine which the universal church has beheld with horror, and that they receive all such decrees of the councils as have been passed for exterminating the Pelagian heresy, and are confirmed by the authority of the apostolical see, acknowledging by a clear and full declaration, signed by their hand, that they admit these decrees, and approve them in every thing,” Leo also condemned the Priscillianists, and annulled all the proceedings in the council of Ephesus, which was called “the band of Ephesian robbers,” in the year 449. He presided by his legates at the general council of Chalcedon, in the year 451, but opposed the canon made there in favour of the church of Constantinople, which gave it the second rank, to the prejudice of that at Alexandria. The letter which Leo had written to Flavian us on the mystery of the Incarnation, was received with acclamations in this council, and the errors of Eutyches and Dioscorus condemned. The following year he went to meet Attila, king of the Huns, who was advancing to Rome, and addressed him with so much eloquence that he was prevailed upon to return home. Genseric having taken Rome, in the year 455, Leo obtained from that barbarous prince, that his soldiers should not set fire to the city, and saved the three grand churches (which Constantine had enriched with magnificent gifts) from being plundered. He was a strict observer of ecclesiastical discipline. He died November 3, in the year 461, at Rome. Never has the Romish church appeared with more true grandeur, or less pomp, than in this pontiff’s time; no pope was ever more honoured, esteemed, and respected; no pope ever displayed more humility, wisdom, mildness, and charity. Leo left ninety-six: “Sermons,” on the principal festivals throughout the year, and one hundred and forty-one Letters, which may be found in the library of the fathers. The best edition of his works is that by Pere Quesnel, Lyons, 1700, fol. They have been printed at Rome, by father Cacciaci, 3 vols. fol. and at Venice, by Messrs. Ballarimi, 3 vols. fol. but these editions have not sunk the credit of Quesnel’s. P. Maimbourg has written a history of his pontificate, 4to, or 2 vols. 12mo.

Procopius Rasus, or The Shaven, surnamed the Great, from his valour and military exploits, was a Bohemian

Procopius Rasus, or The Shaven, surnamed the Great, from his valour and military exploits, was a Bohemian gentleman, who, after travelling into France, Italy, Spain, and the Holy Land, was shaven, and even ordained priest, as is said, against his will, from whence he had the above epithet added to his name. He afterwards quitted the ecclesiastical habit, and attached himself to Zisca, chief of the Hussites, who esteemed him highly, and placed a particular confidence in him. Procopius succeeding Zisca in 1424, committed great ravages in Moravia, Austria, Brandenburg, Silesia, and Saxony, and made himself master of several towns, and great part of Bohemia. He had an interview with Sigismond, but not obtaining any of his demands from that prince, he continued the war. Upon hearing that the council of Basil was summoned in 1431, he wrote a long circular letter in Latin, to all the states in his own name, and that of the Hussites, in the close of which he declared that he and his party were ready to fight in defence of the four following articles: that the public irregularities of the priests should be prevented secondly, that the clergy should return to the state of poverty, in which our Lord’s disciples lived; thirdly, that all who exercise the ministerial office, should be at liberty to preach in what manner, at what time, and on what subjects they chose; fourthly, that the Eucharist should be administered according to Christ’s institution, i. e. in both kinds. Procopius also wrote a letter to the emperor Sigismond, May 22, 1432, requesting him to be present with the Hussites at the council of Basil. He was there himself with his party in 1433 they defended the above-mentioned articles very warmly, but finding that their demands were not granted, withdrew, and continued their incursions and ravages. Procopius died of the wounds he received in a battle in 1434. The Letters before spoken of, and the proposal which he made in the name of the Taborites, may be found in the last volume of the large collection by Fathers Martenne and Durand. He must be distinguished from Procopius, surnamed the Little, head of part of the Hussite army, who accompanied Procopius the Great, and was killed in the same action in which the latter received his mortal wound.