John Seotus Erigena, a scholastic philosopher, born near the beginning of the 9th century, in one of the British isles, probably Ireland. It is probable that he died about 880, but whether in France or England is uncertain. The most learned doctor and extraordinary thinker of his time, his life is best explained by supposing him to have been educated in Ireland, where a colony of philosophers had preserved almost intact, during the tumults of barbaric invasion, the traditions of the Alexandrian school of philosophy, elsewhere completely lost. Several writers agree in declaring that he travelled to Athens and acquired a knowledge of the Greek and oriental languages. Some old annalists identified him with John, abbot of Ethe-ling, assassinated in 895, from which confusion Erigena enjoyed in some localities the honor of saintship. He went to the court of Charles the Bald of France before 847, was placed at the head of the school of the palace, and engaged in the religious discussions of his time concerning grace and the eucharist, and in philosophical speculations. The king imposed upon him the task of translating into Latin the Greek works of the pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite, and of composing a treatise agninst the doctrines of Godesehalcus or Ful-gentius about predestination.

He affirmed the eucharist to be a remembrance or commemoration of the sacrifice upon the cross; and in answering those who annihilated th,e freedom of the will, he elevated the moral nature of man to the exclusion of the efficacy of grace. His views were condemned by the councils of Valencia in 855 and Langres in 859, and Pope Nicholas I. demanded his disgrace of Charles the Bald. From this point information concerning his career is entirely wanting. Many of his works are lost, including the treatises De Corpore et Sanguine Domini, De Visione Dei, excepting an unimportant fragment, and De Egressu et Begressu Animoe ad Deum. His most important work remains, De Divisione Natural, which was first published at Oxford in 1681, and was republished in 1838, with notes by Schluter, at Munster in Germany. An abstract of it is given in Sharon Turner's "History of the Anglo-Saxons." It contains all his philosophy, in the form of a dialogue between master and pupil upon the universe, nature, and what is termed that grand universality of being which embraces at once God and man. The human intelligence, according to him, is inhabited by emanations from the divine intelligence; our ideas are pure theophanies, or manifestations of the Creator in his creature.

He divides nature into four categories : 1, God, who possesses and diffuses life; 2, the first causes or eternal ideas by which he accomplishes his work; 3, the sensible world of the creation, of which man is the summit; 4, God as he shall be at last when the perfected world, its destiny being accomplished, shall return to him. Several of his theological works were refuted by contemporaries; but the pantheistic consequences of his philosophical system were not formally condemned until the council of Paris in the 13th century. After the barbarous ages which followed the northern invasions, Erigena rose suddenly to the heights of metaphysics, undertook to reduce the Christian faith to a scientific system, and founded the philosophy of the middle ages. He was intimate with the ideas of Plotinus, Proclus, and the Greek fathers, and has been ranked as at once the last of the Neo-Platonists and the first of the scholastics. ERIVAN. I. A Transcaucasian government of Russia, bounded by Georgia, Persia, and Turkish Armenia; area, 10,577 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 435,658, of whom about 120,000 are nomadic and gypsy tribes, who are all Mohammedans, while the rest are Armenians. The principal river is the Aras or Araxes. The principal mountain is Mt. Ararat in the south.

The country is rich in salt, gold, silver, and other minerals. II. A fortified city, capital of the government, on the Zenghi, an affluent of the Aras, 35 m. N. by E. of Mt. Ararat, and 116 m. S. by W. of Tiflis; pop. in 1867, 14,342. It is the seat of the Armenian catholicos, the head of the entire Armenian church, who resides in the monastery of Etchmiadzin in the vicinity. It has a beautiful mosque, a large bazaar, a cannon foundery, and manufactories of morocco leather and of cotton fabrics. It is strongly fortified, is a station for caravans from Tiflis and Erzerum, and has considerable trade with Turkey, Persia, and Russia. It is thought to have been founded by an Armenian king in the 1st century of our era, and formerly occupied a site nearly a mile distant from its present one, to which it was transferred in 1635. In the vicinity, on a lofty rock, is an immense oval citadel, and the remnants of ruined cities are found in the surrounding plain. In the 16th century it became the residence of the Persian kings of the Sufi dynasty. Several times besieged and captured by the Turks, it returned under Persian domination about the middle of the 18th century.

The Russians were repulsed from it in 1808, but took it in 182.7, and their general Paske-vitch received the surname of Erivanski. It was confirmed to the Russians by treaty in 1828.