Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 173 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MERGE, the general name (as Island of Meroe) for the region bounded on three sides by the Nile (from Atbara to Khartum), the Atbara, and the Blue Nile; and the special name of an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile, 877 M. from Wadi Haifa by river, and 554 by the route across the desert, near the site of which is a group of villages called Bakarawiya. The site of the city is marked by over two hundred pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruinous condition. After these ruins had been described by several travellers, among whom F. Cailliaud (Voyage a Meroe, Paris, 1826-1828) deserves special mention, some excavations were executed; on a small scale in 1834 by G. Ferlini (Cenno sugli scavi a perati nella Nubia e catalego degli oggetti ritrovati, Bologna, 1837), who discovered (or professed to discover) various antiquities, chiefly in the form of jewelry,- now in the museums of Berlin and Munich. The ruins were examined in 1844 by C. R. Lepsius, who brought but none of them reached more than the age of twenty or twenty-five; this was the age of the " rills faineants." Henceforth the real sovereign was the mayor of the palace. The mayors of the palace belonging to the Carolingian family were able to keep the throne vacant for long periods of time, and finally, in 751 the mayor Pippin, with the consent of the pope Zacharias, sent King Childeric III. to the monastery of St Omer, and shut up his young son Thierry in that of St Wandrille. The Merovingian race thus came to an end in the cloister. Merovingian Legend.—It has long been conceded that the great French national epics of the 1 ith and 12th centuries must have been founded on a great fund of popular poetry, and that many of the episodes of the chansons de geste refer to historical events anterior .to the Carolingian period, Floovant is obviously connected with the GestaDagoberti, and there are traces of the influence of popular songs on the Frankish heroes in Gregory of Tours and other chroniclers. See G. Kurth, Hist. poet. des Merovingiens (Paris, Brussels and Leipzig, 1893) ; A. Darmesteter, De Floovante vetustiore allico poemate (Paris, 1877); Floovant (Paris, 1859); ed. MM. F. uessard and H. Michelant; P. Rajna, , Delle Origin dell' epopea francese (Florence, 1884), with which cf. G. Paris in Romania, xiii. 602 seq. ; F. Settegast, Quellenstudien zur gallo-romanischen Epik (Leipzig, 1904) ; C. Voretzsch, Epische Studien (Halle, 1900); H. Groeber, Grundriss d. roman. Phil. (Bd. II., abt. i. pp. 447 seq.), (C. PF.)
End of Article: MERGE

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