to the Indus. Abbas distinguished himself, not only by his
successes in arms, and by the magnificence of his court and
of the buildings which he erected, but also by his reforms in
the administration of his kingdom. He encouraged commerce,
and, by constructing highways and building bridges, did much
to facilitate it. To foreigners, especially Christians, he
showed a spirit of tolerance; two Englishmen, Sir Anthony
and Sir Robert Shirley, or Sherley, were admitted to his
confidence. His fame is tarnished, however, by numerous deeds
of tyranny and cruelty. His own family, especially, suffered
from his fits of jealousy; his eldest son was slain, and
the eyes of his other children were put out, by his orders.
See The Three Brothers, or Travels of Sir Anthony, Sir
Robert Sherley, &c. (London, 1823); Sir C. R. Markham,
General Sketch of the History of Persia (London, 1874).
ABBASIDS, the name generally given to the caliphs of Bagdad,
the second of the two great dynasties of the Mahommedan
empire. The Abbasid caliphs officially based their claim
to the throne on their descent from Abbas (A.D. 566-652),
the eldest uncle of Mahomet, in virtue of which descent they
regarded themselves as the rightful heirs of the Prophet as
opposed to the Omayyads, the descendants of Omayya. Throughout
the second period of the Omayyads, representatives of this
family were among their most dangerous opponents, partly by
the skill with which they undermined the reputation of the
reigning princes by accusations against their orthodoxy,
their moral character and their administration in general,
and partly by their cunning manipulation of internecine
jealousies among the Arabic and non-Arabic subjects of the
empire. In the reign of Merwan II. this opposition culminated
in the rebellion of Ibrahim the Imam, the fourth in descent
from Abbas, who, supported hy the province of Khorasan, achieved
considerable successes, but was captured (A.D. 747) and died
in prison (as some hold, assassinated). The quarrel was taken
up by his brother Abdallah, known by the name of Abu'l-Abbas
as-Saffah, who after a decisive victory on the Greater Zab
(750) finally crushed the Omayyads and was proclaimed caliph.
The history of the new dynasty is marked by perpetual
strife and the development of luxury and the liberal arts,
in place of the old-fashioned austerity of thought and
manners. Mansur, the second of the house, who transferred
the seat of government to Bagdad, fought successfully against
the peoples of Asia Minor, and the reigns of Harun al-Rashid
(786--809) and Mamun (813-833) were periods of extraordinary
splendour. But the empire as a whole stagnated and then decayed
rapidly. Independent monarchs established themselves in
Africa and Khorasan (Spain had remained Omayyad throughout),
and in the north-west the Greeks successfully encroached.
The ruin of the dynasty came, however, from those Turkish
slaves who were constituted as a royal bodyguard by Moqtasim
(833-842). Their power steadily grew until Radi (934-941) was
constrained to hand over most of the royal functions to Mahommed
b. Raik. Province after province renounced the authority
of the caliphs, who were merely lay figures, and finally
Hulagu, the Mongol chief, burned Bagdad (Feb. 28th, 1258).
The Abbasids still maintained a feeble show of authority,
confined to religious matters, in Egypt under the Mamelukes,
but the dynasty finally disappeared with Motawakkil III., who
was carried away as a prisoner to Constantinople by Selim I.
See CALIPHATE (Sections B, 14 and C), where a
detailed account of the dynasty will be found.
ABBAS MIRZA (c. 1783-1833), prince of Persia, was a
younger son of the shah, Feth Ali, but on account of his
mother's royal birth was destined by his father to succeed
him. Entrusted with the government of a part of Persia, he
sought to rule it in European fashion, and employed officers
to reorganize his army. He was soon at war with Russia, and
his aid was eagerly solicited by both England and Napoleon,
anxious to checkmate one another in the East. Preferring
the friendship of France, Abbas continued the war against
Russia, but his new ally could give him very little assistance,
and in 1814 Persia was compelled to make a disadvantageous
peace. He gained some successes during a war between Turkey
and Persia which broke out in 1821, but cholera attacked his
army, and a treaty was signed in 1823. His second war with
Russia, which began in 1825, was attended with the same want of
success as the former one, and Persia was forced to cede some
territory. When peace was made in 1828 Abbas then sought
to restore order in the province of Khorasan, which was
nominally under Persian supremacy, and while engaged in the
task died at Meshed in 1833. In 1834 his eldest son, Mahommed
Mirza, succeeded Feth Ali as shah. Abbas was an intelligent
prince, possessed some literary taste, and it noteworthy
on account of the comparative simplicity of his life.
ABBAS-TUMAN, a spa in Russian Transcaucasia, government of
Tiflis, 50 m. S.W. of the Borzhom railway station and 65
m. E. of Batum, very picturesquely situated in a cauldron-shaped
valley. It has hot sulphur baths (93 1/2 deg. -118 1/2 deg.
Fahr.) and an astronomical observatory (4240 ft.).
ABBAZIA, a popular summer and winter resort of Austria, in
Istria, 56 m. S.E. of Trieste by rail. Pop. (1900) 2343. It
is situated on the Gulf of Quarnero in a sheltered position at
the foot of the Monte Maggiore (4580 ft.), and is surrounded
by beautiiul woods of laurel. The average temperature is 50 deg.
Fahr. in winter, and 77 deg. Fahr. in summer. The old abbey,
San Giacomo della Priluca, from which the place derives its
name, has been converted into a villa. Abbazia is frequented
annually by about 16,000 visitors. The whole sea-coast to
the north and south of Abbazia is rocky and picturesque,
and contains several smaller winter-resorts. The largest
of them is Lovrana (pop. 513), situated 5 m. to the south.
ABBESS (Lat. abbatissa, fem. form of abbas, abbot),
the female superior of an abbey or convent of nuns. The
mode of election, position, rights and authority of an abbess
correspond generally with those of an abbot (q.v.). The
office is elective, the choice being by the secret votes of the
sisters from their own body. The abbess is solemnly admitted
to her office by episcopal benediction, together with the
conferring of a staff and pectoral cross, and holds for life,
though liable to be deprived for misconduct. The council of
Trent fixed the qualifying age at forty, with eight years of
profession. Abbesses have a right to demand absolute obedience
of their nuns, over whom they exercise discipline, extending
even to the power of expulsion, subject, however, to the
bishop. As a female an abbess is incapable of performing the
spiritual functions of the priesthood belonging to an abbot.
She cannot ordain, confer the veil, nor excommunicate. In
England abbesses attended ecclesiastical councils, e.g. that
of Becanfield in 694, where they signed before the presbyters.
By Celtic usage abbesses presided over joint-houses of monks and
nuns. This custom accompanied Celtic monastic missions to France
and Spain, and even to Rome itself. At a later period, A.D.
1115, Robert, the founder of Fontevraud, committed the government
of the whole order, men as well as women, to a female superior.
In the German Evangelical church the title of abbess (Aebtissin)
has in some cases--e.g. Itzehoe--survived to designate the
heads of abbeys which since the Reformation have continued as
Stifte, i.e. collegiate foundations, which provide a home
and an income for unmarried ladies, generally of noble birth,
called canonesses (Kanonissinen) or more usually Stiftsdamen.
This office of abbess is of considerable social dignity, and
is sometimes filled by princesses of the reigning houses.
ABBEVILLE, a town of northern France, capital of an
arrondissement in the department of Somme, on the Somme, 12
m. from its mouth in the English Channel, and 28 m. N,W. of
Amiens on the Northern railway. Pop. (1901) 18,519; (1906)
18,971. It lies in a pleasant and fertile valley, and is
built partly on an island and partly on both sides of the
river, which is canalized from this point to the estuary. The
streets are narrow, and the houses are mostly picturesque old
structures, built of wood, with many quaint gables and dark
archways. The most remarkable building is the church of St
Vulfran, erected in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The
original design was not completed. The nave has only two bays
and the choir is insignificant. The facade is a magnificent
specimen of the flamboyant Gothic style, flanked by two Gothic
towers. Abbeville has several other old churches and an
hotel-de-ville, with a belfry of the 13th century. Among
the numerous old houses, that known as the Maison de Francois
Ie, which is the most remarkable, dates from the 16th century.
There is a statue of Admiral Courbet (d. 1885) in the chief
square. The public institutions include tribunals of first instance
and of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, and a communal
college. Abbeville is an important industrial centre; in addition
to its old-established manufacture of cloth, hemp-spinning,
sugar-making, ship-building and locksmiths' work are carried on;
there is active commerce in grain, but the port has little trade.
Abbeville, the chief town of the district of Ponthieu, first
appears in history during the 9th century. At that time
belonging to the abbey of St Riquier, it was afterwards
governed by the counts of Ponthieu. Together with that county,
it came into the possession of the Alencon and other French
families, and afterwards into that of the house of Castillo,
from whom by marriage it fell in 1272 to Edward I., king of
England. French and English were its masters by turns till
1435 when, by the treaty of Arras, it was ceded to the duke of
Burgundy. In 1477 it was annexed by Louis XI., king of France,
and was held by two illegitimate branches of the royal family in
the 16th and 17th centuries, being in 1696 reunited to the crown.
ABBEY, EDWIN AUSTIN (1852- ), American painter, was born at
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 1st of April 1852. He left
the schools of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the
age of nineteen to enter the art department of the publishing
house of Harper & Brothers in New York, where, in company
with such men as Howard Pyle, Charles Stanley Reinhart, Joseph
Pennell and Alfred Parsons, he became very successful as an
illustrator. In 1878 he was sent by the Harpers to England
to gather material for illustrations of the poems of Robert
Herrick. These, published in 1882, attracted much attention,
and were followed by illustrations for Goldsmith's She
Stoops to Conquer (1887), for a volume of Old Songs
(1889), and for the comedies (and a few of the tragedies) of
Shakespeare. His water-colours and pastels were no less
successful than the earlier illustrations in pen and ink.
Abbey now became closely identified with the art life of
England, and was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters
in Water-Colours in 1883. Among his water-colours are ``The
Evil Eye'' (1877); ``The Rose in October'' (1879); ``An Old
Song'' (1886); ``The Visitors'' (1890), and ``The Jongleur''
(1892). Possibly his best known pastels are ``Beatrice,''
``Phyllis,'' and ``Two Noble Kinsmen.'' In 1890 he made his
first appearance with an oil painting, ``A May Day Morn,'' at
the Royal Academy in London. He exhibited ``Richard duke of