Dionysus Exiguus (the Little, so named from his small stature), a Roman monk of the 6th century. He was a native of Scythia, but became abbot of a monastery in Koine, where he died about 550, during the reign of Justinian, He gave to the western church the first regular collection of ecclesiastical laws, comprising the canons of the apostles and of several councils, and the decrees of some of the popes. But his chronological labors have given him greater celebrity. He is reputed the founder of the era which for more than ten centuries has been observed by Christian nations. Before him the Christian era had been calculated from the death of Christ; he first fixed the year of the incarnation in the 754th year of Rome, and this, at least after the 8th century, was universally adopted as the commencement of the era. (See Chronology.)
See Castor and Pollux.
Dirazzo (anc. Epidamnus or Dyrrhachi-um; Turkish, Dratch; Slav. Durtz), a town of Albania, Turkey, on the E. coast of the Adriatic, 50 m. S. by W. of Scutari; pop. about 10,000. It is strongly fortified, has a safe and commodious harbor, and carries on a considerable trade in corn, tobacco, oil, wood, and British manufactured goods, which are imported from Trieste. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop. (See Dyrrhachium.)
Dirk And Woater Crabeth, two brothers, natives of Gouda, Holland, masters of painting on glass, lived in the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. They painted the windows of St. John's church at Gouda, which are considered the most finished productions ever executed in that branch of art, and also the windows of other churches in Belgium and Paris, and probably also in Spain. The two brothers were excessively jealous of each other, Wouter being superior in correctness, and Dirk in brilliancy of coloring, with a more vigorous style and execution.
Dirk Rafelsk Camphuysen, a Dutch painter, theologian, and poet, born at Gorkum in 1586, died at Dokkum, July 9, 1627. At an early age he distinguished himself by his landscapes, which were generally of small size, but animated with huts, cattle, and human figures, and executed with a skill and delicacy to which no former Dutch painter had attained. His paintings are now very rare, for at 18 years of age he abandoned the art to devote himself to theology. He embraced the doctrines of Arminius, and shared in the persecutions under which Arminianism then suffered. He was expelled from the curacy of Vleuten, and became a fugitive from village to village, until at last he found a resting place at Dokkum. His poems, which are mostly short, evince much originality and depth of feeling. They have been often reprinted in the original language, and have been translated into German. He translated into Dutch the Psalms of David.
Dirschau, a town of Prussia, in the province of West Prussia, situated on the Vistula, 19 m. S. S. E. of Dantzic, on the railway from Berlin to Dantzic; pop. in 1871, 7,761. The Vistula is crossed here by a magnificent railway bridge about 2,700 ft. long. The town is walled, and contains a Catholic and a Protestant church. The manufactures are principally of leather. Five annual fairs are held here.