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geographical description of Russia and the adjacent countries; an account of the Sclavonian nations, their manners, their emigrations from the banks of the Danube, their dispersion, and settlement in several countries, in which their descendants are now established. He then enters upon a chronological series of the Russian annals, from the year 858 to about 1113. His style is simple and unadorped, such as suits a mere recorder of facts; but his chronological exactness, though it renders his narrative dry and tedious, contributes to ascertain the æra and authenticity of the events which he relates. It is remarkable, that an author of such importance, whose name frequently occurs in the early Russian books, should have remained in obscurity above 600 years; and been scarcely known to his modern countrymen, the origin and actions of whose ancestors he records with such circumstantial exactness. A copy of his “ Chronicle” was given, in 1668, by prince Radzivil, to the library of Konigsburgh, where it lay unnoticed until Peter the Great, in his passage through that town, ordered a transcript of it to be sent to Petersburg. But it still was not known as the performance of Nestor; for, when Muller, in 1732, published the first part of a German translation, he mentioned it as the work of the abbot Theodosius of Kiof; an error, which arose from the following circumstance: the ingenious editor, not being at that time sufficiently acquainted with the Sclavonian tongue, employed an interpreter, who, by mistaking a letter in the title, supposed it to have been written by a person whose name was Theodosius. This ridiculous blunder was soon circulated, and copied by many foreign writers, even long after it had been candidly acknowledged and corrected by Muller.
Nestor was successively followed by three annalists; the first was Sylvester, abbot of the convent of $t. Michael at Kiof, and bishop of Perislaf, who died in 1123; he commences his “ Chronicle" from 1115, only two years posterior to that of Nestor, and continues it to 1123; from which period a monk, whose name has not been delivered down to posterity, carries the history to 1157; and another, equally unknown, to 1203. With respect to these per. formances, Mr. Muller informs us, “the labours of Nestor, and his three continuators, have produced a connected series of the Russian history so complete, that no nation can boast a similar treasure for so long and unbroken a
period." We may add, likewise, from the same authority, that these annals record much fewer prodigies and monkish legends than others which have issued from the cloister in times so unenlightened.' « NESTOR (DIONYSIUS), one of the contributors to the restoration of classical learning, was a native of Novara, a tawyer, and of the Minorite order. He flourished in the fifteenth century, but no particulars of his life are upon record. He dedicated his lexicon, or vocabulary of the Latin tongue, in a copy of verses addressed to the duke Ludovicus Sforza, which are printed by Mr. Roscoe in the Appendix, No. XX. to bis Life of Leo X. This work was first printed under the title of “ Onomasticon,” at Milan, in 1483, fol. an edition of great rarity and price; but such was its importance to the study of the Latin language in that age, that it was reprinted four times, iní 1488, 1496, 1502, and 1507. This last, printed at Strasburgh, contains some pieces by the author, “ de octo partibus orationis," " de compositione eleganti,” and “ de syllabarum quantitate." He quotes as authorities a great many of his learned contemporaries and predecessors.
NESTORIUS, from whom the sect of the Nestoriang derive their name, was born in Germanica, a city of Syria, in the fifth century. He was educated and baptized at Antioch, and soon after the latter ceremony withdrew himself to a monastery in the suburbs of that city. When he had received the order of priesthood, and began to preach, he acquired so much 'celebrity by his eloquence and unspotted life, that in the year 429 the emperor Theodosius appointed him to the bishopric of Constantinople, at that time the second see in the Christian church. He had not been long in this office before he began to manifest an extraordinary zeal for the extirpation of heretics, and not above five days after his consecration, attempted to demolish the church in which the Arians secretly held their assemblies. In this attempt he succeeded so far, that the Arians, grown desperate, set fire to the church themselves, and with it burnt some adjoining houses. This fire excited great commotions in the city, and Nestorius was ever afterwards called an incendiary. From the Arians he turned against the Novatians, but was interrupted in this , Coxe's Travels through Russia, vol. II. p. 185.-Schloeter, Russ. Ann. p. 32 • Fabric. Bibl. Mediæ et Inf, Latin.-Roscoe's Leo X.
attack by the emperor. He then began to persecute those Christians of Asia, Lydia, and Caria, who celebrated the feast of Easter upon the 14th day of the moon; and for this unimportant deviation from the catbolic practice, many of these people were murdered by his agents at Miletum and at Sardis. The time, however, was now come when he was to suffer by a similar spirit, for holding the opinion that " the virgin Mary cannot with propriety be called the mother of God.” The people being accustomed to hear this expression, were much inflamed against their bishop, as if his meaning had been that Jesus was a mere man. For this be was condemned in the council of Ephesus, deprived of his see, banished to Tarsus in the year 435, whence he led a wandering life, until death, in the year 439, released him from farther persecution. He appears to have been unjustly condemned, as he maintained in express .terms, that the Word was united to the human nature in Jesus Christ in the most strict and intimate sense possible; that these two natures, in this state of union, make but one Christ, and one person ; that the properties of the Divine and human natures may both be attributed to this person; and that Jesus Christ may be said to have been born of a virgin, to have suffered and died : but he never would admit that God could be said to have been born, to have suffered, or to have died. He was not, however, heard in his own defence, nor allowed to explain bis doctrine. The zealous Cyril of Alexandria (see CYRIL) was one of his greatest enemies, and Barsumas, bishop of Nisibis, one of the chief promoters of his doctrines, and the co-founder of the sect. In the tenth century the Nestorians in Chaldæa, whence they are sometimes called Chaldæans, extended their spiritual conquest beyond mount. Imaus, and introduced the Christian religion into Tartary, properly so called, and especially into that country :called Karit, and bordering on the northern part of China. The prince of that country, whom the Nestorians converted to the Christian faith, assumed, according to the vulgar tradition, the name of John, after his baptism, to which he added the surname of Presbyter, from a principle of modesty; whence it is said, his successors were each of them called Prester John, until the time of Jenghis Khan. But Mosheim observes, that the famous Prester John did not begin to reign in that part of Asia before the conclusion of the eleventh century. The Nestorians formed so considerable
that pope, whosen the mountainous, lihe name of $
a body of Christians, that the missionaries of Rome were industrious in their endeavours to reduce them under the papal yoke. Innocent IV. in 1246, and Nicolas IV. in 1278, used their utmost efforts for this purpose, but with out success. Till the time of pope Julius III. the Nestorians acknowledged but one patriarch, who resided first at Bagdat, and afterwards at Mousul; but a division arising among them in 1551, the patriarchate became divided, at least for a time, and a new patriarch was consecrated by that pope, whose successors fixed their residence in the city of Ormus, in the mountainous part of Persia, where they still continue distinguished by the name of Simeon ; and so far down as the seventeenth century, these patriarchs persevered in their communion with the church of Rome, but seem at present to have withdrawn themselves from it. The great Nestorian pontiffs, who form the opposite party, and look with a hostile eye on this little patriarch, have, since 1559, been distinguished by the general denomination of Elias, and reside constantly in the city of Mousul. Their spiritual dominion is very extensive, takes in a great part of Asia, and comprehends also within its circuit the Arabian Nestorians, and also the Christians of St. Thomas, who dwell along the coast of Malabar. It is observed, to the honour of the Nestorians, that of all the Christian societies, established in the East, they have been the most careful and successful in avoiding a multitude of superstitious opinions and practices that have infected the Greek and Latin churches. About the middle of the seventeenth century the Romish missionaries gained over to their communion a small number of Nestorians, whom they formed into a congregation or church, the patriarchs or bishops of which reside in the city of Amida, or Diarbekir, and all assume the denomination of Joseph. Nevertheless, the Nestorians in general persevere, to our own times, in their refusal to enter into the communion of the Romish church, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and alluring offers that have been made by the pope's legate to conquer their inflexible constancy,
NETSCHER (GASPARD), an eminent painter, was born in 1639, at Prague in Bohemia. His father dying in the Polish service, in which he was an engineer, his mother was constrained, on account of the catholic religion, which
i Cave, vol. I.-Mosheim.--Encycl. Brit.Dupin.
she professed, to depart suddenly from Prague with her three sons, of whom Gaspard was the youngest. At some leagues from the town she stopped at a castle, which was afterwards besieged; and Gaspard's two brothers were famished to death. The mother, apprehensive of the same fate, found means to escape in the night-time out of the castle, and with her son in her arms reached Arnheim, in Guelderland, where she met with some relief to support herself and breed up her son. A physician, named Tul. kens, a man of wealth and humanity, became the patron of Netscher, and put him to school, with the view of educating him to his own profession, but Netscher's decided turn for the art he afterwards practised, induced his patron to place him with a glazier to learn to draw, this being the only person at Arnheim who could give him any instructions. As soon as he had learned all this man could teach, he went to Deventer, to a painter, whose name was Gerhard Terburg, an able artist, and burgomaster of the town, under whom he acquired a great command of his pencil; and, going to Holland, worked there a long time for the picture-merchants, who, abusing his easiness, paid him very little for his pieces, which they sold at a good price.
The subjects he chose, wben, his talents were matured, were generally conversation-pieces, with figures selected from among the better ranks of his countrymen. These, while he touched and finished them with great neatness, he treated with a breadth unknown till then among the Flemish painters. He finished all the parts of his pictures with great perfection, and the most characteristic imitation of nature. The rich silk and sattin dresses of his figures, the gold and silver utensils, carpets, &c. &c. which he introduced in his compositions, are exquisitely wrought, and with uncommon brilliancy and lustre. He painted many portraits of a small size, but they exhibit too much of the restraint which belongs to portrait painting. He was invited to England by sir William Temple, and recommended to the king, Charles II. but did not stay long here. Vertue mentions five of his pictures ; one, a lady and dog, with his name to it: another of a lady, her hands joined, oval, on copper; the third, lord Berkeley of Stratton, his lady, and a servant, in one piece, dated 1676. The others, Jord Orford says, were small ovals, on copper, of king William and queen Mary, painted just before the Revo