Compitalia, Or Ludi Compitalitii, a festival among the ancient Romans, instituted in honor of the lares compitales, or the deities who presided over the places where two or more roads met. The festival was of very ancient origin, and is said to have been restored after it had fallen into disuse by Tarquin the Proud, who caused boys to be sacrificed at it; but this was soon discontinued, and garlic and poppy heads were substituted for human sacrifices.
Compline, Or Complin (Fr. complies; Lat. completorium, from complere, to complete, and in some liturgical books complini), in the Roman Catholic breviary, the complement of vespers or evening office, and the conclusion or last of the "daily" canonical hours, as distinguished from the "nocturnal" hours. According to Sozomen (Hist. Eccl., iii. 13) and Cassian (Inst, iii. 2), the psalms now recited at compline formed originally part of the vesper office. This is plainly indicated by St. Basil (In Beg. Fus. Disp., interr. 18), who says that "when the shades of evening begin to fall " we should sing the 90th psalm, Qui habitat in adjutorio altissimi, which is now the principal psalm of compline, while the hymn begins Te lucis ante terminum.
Composite Order, one of the five orders of architecture, a combination made by the Romans of the Ionic and Corinthian styles, and hence also called the Roman order. It differs from the Corinthian chiefly in having upon the capital the volutes of the Ionic order; and its frieze and other of its members admit of a richer decoration. Among the principal examples of this order at Rome are the temple of Bacchus, the arches of Septimius Severus and of Titus, and the arch in the baths of Diocletian. (See Architectture).
Compton, a S. W. county of the province of Quebec, Canada, bordering on Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and intersected by the Grand Trunk and St. Lawrence and Atlantic railroads; area, 1,380 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 13,665, of whom 4,257 were of English origin or descent, 3,785 French, 3,282 Scottish, and 1,885 Irish. Its surface is diversified by several lakes, and a mountain range extends along its S. and S. E. border. The soil, drained by the head waters of St. Francis and Chaudiere rivers, is moderately fertile. Capital, Compton.
Compurgators, in Saxon law, persons who appeared to join to the oath of an accused party their own oaths to their belief in his innocence. Compurgators were to be twelve in number, from the neighborhood of the accused; and to this practice of purgation has been referred the origin of jury trial. The process was also admitted in case of simple contract debts. The like practice of purgation in the case of clerks-convict continued in England until abolished by statute 18 Elizabeth, c. 7.
Comtat-Venaissin, an ancient territory of S. France, surrounded, with the Comtat d'Avignon, by Dauphiny, Provence, and Languedoc, from which it was separated by the Rhone. It passed from the Romans to the Burgun-dians and the Franks, in the 11th century to the counts of Aries, and in the 12th to the counts of Toulouse. The latter were dispossessed for a short time by the crusaders in the following century, but were reinstated under Count Raymond VII., whose daughter Jeanne married Prince Alphonse, a brother of Louis IX. After his death Philip III of France gave it to Pope Gregory X. (1273). Its name was derived from Venasque, the ancient capital, which was supplanted by Carpentras. It remained in the hands of the popes almost uninterruptedly till 1791, when it was annexed to France, together with Avignon, as part of the department of Vaucluse.