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MARIA CONSTANTINOVA [MARIE] BASHKIRTS...

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Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 467 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARIA CONSTANTINOVA [MARIE] BASHKIRTSEFF (186o-1884), Russian artist and writer, was born at Gavrontsi in the government of Pultowa in Russia on the 23rd of November ,86o. When Marie was seven years old, as her father (marshal of the nobility at Pultowa) and her mother were unable through incompatibility to live together, Madame Bashkirtseff with herlittle daughter left Russia to spend the winters at Nice or in Italy, and the summers at German watering-places. Marie acquired an education superior to that given to most girls of her rank. She could read Plato and Virgil in the original, and write four languages with almost equal facility. A gifted musician, she at first hoped to be a singer, and studied seriously in Italy to that end; her voice, however, was not strong enough to stand hard work and failed her. Meanwhile she was also learning to draw. When she lost her voice she devoted herself to painting, and in 1877 settled in Paris, where she worked steadily in Tony Robert-Fleury's studio. In 188o she exhibited in the salon a portrait of a woman; in 1881 she exhibited the "Atelier Julian;"; in 1882 " Jean et Jacques "; in 1884 the " Meeting," and a portrait in pastel of a lady-her cousin—now in the Luxembourg gallery, for which she was awarded a mention honorable. Her health, always delicate, could not endure the labour she imposed on herself in addition to the life of fashion in which she became involved as a result of her success as an artist, and she died of consumption on the 31st of October 1884, leaving a, small series of works of remarkable promise. From her childhood Marie Bashkirtseff kept an autobiographical journal; but the editors of these brilliant confessions (Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff, 189o), aiming apparently at captivating the reader's interest by the girl's precocious gifts and by the names of the various distinguished persons with whom she came in contact, so treated certain portions as to draw down vehement protest. This, to some extent, has brought into question the stamp of truthfulness which constitutes the chief merit of this extra-ordinarily interesting book. A further instalment of Marie Bashkirtseff literature was published in the shape of letters between her and Guy de Maupassant, with whom she started a correspondence under a feigned name and without revealing her identity. See Mathilde Blind, A Study of Marie Bashkirtseff (T. Fisher Unwin, 1892) ; The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff: an Exposure and a Defence, by " S." (showing that there is throughout a mistake of four years in the date of the diary); Black and White, 6th Feb. and 11th April 1891, pp. 17, 304; The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, translated, with an Introduction, by Mathilde Blind (2 vols., London, 189o) ; The Letters of Marie Bashkirtseff (1 vol.). (B. K.) BA$IL,' known as Basta THE GREAT (c. 330-379), bishop of Caesarea, a leading churchman in the 4th century, came of a famous family, which gave a number of distinguished supporters to the Church. His eldest sister, Macrina, was celebrated for her saintly life; his second brother was the famous Gregory of Nyssa; his youngest was Peter, bishop of Sebaste; and his eldest brother was the famous Christian jurist Naucratius. There was in the whole family a tendency to ecstatic emotion and enthusiastic piety, and it is worth noting that Cappadocia had already given to the Church men like Firmilian and Gregory Thaumaturgus. Basil was born about 330 at Caesarea in Cappadocia. While he was still a child, the family removed to Pontus; but he soon returned to Cappadocia to live with his mother's relations, and seems to have been brought up by his grandmother Macrina. Eager to learn, he went to Constantinople and spent four or five years there and at Athens, where he had Gregory (q.v.) of Nazianzus for a fellow-student. Both men were deeply influenced by Origen, and compiled the well-known anthology of his writings, known as Philocalia (edited by J. A. Robinson, Cambridge, 1893). It was at Athens that he seriously began to think of religion, and resolved to seek out the most famous hermit saints in Syria and Arabia, in order to learn from them how to attain to that enthusiastic piety in i The name Basil also belongs to several other distinguished churchmen. (I) Basil, bishop of Ancyra from 336 to 360, a semi-Arian, highly favoured by the emperor Constantine, and a great polemical writer; none of his works are extant. (2) Basil of Seleucia (f1.448—458), a bishop who shifted sides continually in the Eutychian controversy, and who wrote extensively; his works were published in Paris in 1622. (3) Basil of Ancyra, fl. 787; he opposed image-worship at the second council of Nicaea, but afterwards retracted. (4) Basil of Achrida, archbishop of Thessalonica about 1155; he was a stanch upholder of the claims of the Eastern Church against the widening supremacy of the papacy. which he delighted, and how to keep his body under by maceration and other ascetic devices. After this we find him at the head of a' convent near Arnesi in Pontus, in which his mother Emilia, now a widow, his sister Macrina and several other ladies, gave themselves to a pious life of prayer and charitable works. He was not ordained presbyter until 365, and his ordination was probably the result of the. entreaties of his ecclesiastical superiors, who wished to use his talents against the Arians, who were numerous in that part of the country and were favoured by the Arian emperor, Valens, who then reigned in Constantinople. In 370 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, died, and Basil was chosen to succeed him. It was then that his great powers were called into action. Caesarea was an important diocese, and its bishop was, ex officio, exarch of the great diocese of Pontus. Hot-blooded and somewhat imperious, Basil was also generous and sympathetic. "His zeal for orthodoxy did not blind him to what was good in an opponent; and for the sake of peace and charity he was content to waive the use of orthodox terminology when it could be surrendered without a sacrifice of truth." He died in 379. The principal theological writings of Basil are his De Spiritu Sancto, a lucid and edifying appeal to Scripture and early Christian tradition, and his three books against Eunomius, the chief exponent of Anomoian Arianism. He was a famous preacher, and many of his homilies, including a series of lenten lectures on the Hexaemeron, and an exposition of the psalter, have been preserved. His ascetic tendencies are exhibited in the Moralia and Regulae, ethical manuals for use in the world and the cloister respectively. His three hundred letters reveal a rich and observant nature, which, despite the troubles of ill-health and ecclesiastical unrest, remained optimistic, tender and even playful. His principal efforts as a reformer were directed towards the improvement of the liturgy, and the reformation of the monastic orders of the East. (See BASILIAN MONKS.) BIBLIOGRAPHY: Editions of his works appeared at Basel (1532) ; Paris, by J. Garnier and P. Maranus (1721-1730), and by L. de Sinner (1839). Migne's Patrol. ser. graec. 29-32; De Spiritu Sancto, ed. C. F. H. Johnston (Oxford, 1892) ; Liturgia, ed. A. Robertson (London, 1894). See also the patrologies, e.g. that of O. Barden-hewer, and the histories of dogma, e.g. those of A. Harnack and F. Loofs.
End of Article: MARIA CONSTANTINOVA [MARIE] BASHKIRTSEFF (186o-1884)
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