Hilary of Poitiers

Hilary of Poitiers (Latin: Hilarius; c. 310 – c. 367)[2] was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" (Latin: Malleus Arianorum) and the "Athanasius of the West."[3] His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. His optional memorial in the General Roman Calendar is 13 January. In the past, when this date was occupied by the Octave Day of the Epiphany, his feast day was moved to 14 January.[4]

Saint Hilary
Hilaryofpoitiers
The Ordination of Saint Hilary. From a 14th-century manuscript.
"Malleus Arianorum" and the "Athanasius of the West;" Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church
Bornc. 310 AD
Pictavium, Gaul (modern-day Poitiers, France)
Diedc. 367
Poitiers
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Lutheran Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
CanonizedPre-Congregation
Feast13 January
14 January (Byzantine Christianity; some local calendars and pre-1970 General Roman Calendar)
Attributesepiscopal vestments, a mitre and crozier, and a beard, usually white and often long[1]

Early life

Hilary was born at Poitiers either at the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century A.D.[5] His parents were pagans of distinction. He received a good pagan education,[6] which included a high level of Greek.[7] He studied, later on, the Old and New Testament writings, with the result that he abandoned his Neo-Platonism for Christianity, and with his wife and his daughter (traditionally named Saint Abra), was baptized and received into the Church.[3]

The Christians of Poitiers so respected Hilary that about 350 or 353,[8] they unanimously elected him their bishop. At that time Arianism threatened to overrun the Western Church; Hilary undertook to repel the disruption. One of his first steps was to secure the excommunication, by those of the Gallican hierarchy who still remained orthodox Christians, of Saturninus, the Arian Bishop of Arles, and of Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursa, two of his prominent supporters.[3]

About the same time, Hilary wrote to Emperor Constantius II a remonstrance against the persecutions by which the Arians had sought to crush their opponents (Ad Constantium Augustum liber primus, of which the most probable date is 355).[9] Other Historians refer to this first book to Constantius as "Book Against Valens," of which only fragments are extant.[10] His efforts did not succeed at first, for at the synod of Biterrae (Béziers), summoned by the emperor in 356 with the professed purpose of settling the longstanding dispute, an imperial rescript banished the new bishop, along with Rhodanus of Toulouse, to Phrygia.[11][12]

Hilary spent nearly four years in exile, although the reasons for this banishment remain obscure. The traditional explanation is that Hilary was exiled for refusing to subscribe to the condemnation of Athanasius and the Nicene faith. More recently several scholars have suggested that political opposition to Constantius and support of the usurper Silvanus may have led to Hilary's exile.[5]

In exile

While in Phrygia, however, he continued to govern his diocese, as well as writing two of the most important of his contributions to dogmatic and polemical theology: the De synodis or De fide Orientalium, an epistle addressed in 358 to the Semi-Arian bishops in Gaul, Germania and Britain, analyzing the views of the Eastern bishops on the Nicene controversy.[13] In reviewing the professions of faith of the Oriental bishops in the Councils of Ancyra, Antioch, and Sirmium, he sought to show that sometimes the difference between certain doctrines and orthodox beliefs was rather in the words than in the ideas, which led to his counseling the bishops of the West to be more reserved in their condemnation.[14]

The De trinitate libri XII, composed in 359 and 360, was the first successful expression in Latin of that Council's theological subtleties originally elaborated in Greek. Although some members of Hilary's own party thought the first had shown too great a forbearance towards the Arians, Hilary replied to their criticisms in the Apologetica ad reprehensores libri de synodis responsa.[13] Hilary was a firm guardian of the Trinity as taught by the Western church, and therefore saw the foreseen Antichrist in those who repudiated the divinity of the Son and thought Him to be but a created Being. "Hence also they who deny that Christ is the Son of God must have Antichrist for their Christ,"[15] was the way he stated it.[16]

In his classic introduction to the works of Hilary, Watson summarizes Hilary’s points:

“They were the forerunners of Antichrist. . . . They bear themselves not as bishops of Christ but as priests of Antichrist. This is not random abuse, but sober recognition of the fact, stated by St. John, that there are many Antichrists. For these men assume the cloak of piety, and pretend to preach the Gospel, with the one object of inducing others to deny Christ. It was the misery and folly of the day that men endeavoured to promote the cause of God by human means and the favour of the world. Hilary asks bishops, who believe in their office, whether the Apostles had secular support when by their preaching they converted the greater part of mankind. . . .
“The Church seeks for secular support, and in so doing insults Christ by the implication that His support is insufficient. She in her turn holds out the threat of exile and prison. It was her endurance of these that drew men to her; now she imposes her faith by violence. She craves for favours at the hand of her communicants; once it was her consecration that she braved the threatenings of persecutors. Bishops in exile spread the Faith; now it is she that exiles bishops. She boasts that the world loves her; the world's hatred was the evidence that she was Christ's. . . . The time of Antichrist, disguised as an angel of light, has come. The true Christ is hidden from almost every mind and heart. Antichrist is now obscuring the truth that he may assert falsehood hereafter."[17]
Constantius II - solidus - antioch RIC viii 025
Constantius II coin.

Hilary also attended several synods during his time in exile, including the council at Seleucia (359) which saw the triumph of the homoion party and the forbidding of all discussion of the divine substance.[13] In 360, Hilary tried unsuccessfully to secure a personal audience with Constantius, as well as to address the council which met at Constantinople in 360. When this council ratified the decisions of Ariminum and Seleucia, Hilary responded with the bitter In Constantium, which attacked the Emperor Constantius as Antichrist and persecutor of orthodox Christians.[5] Hilary's urgent and repeated requests for public debates with his opponents, especially with Ursacius and Valens, proved at last so inconvenient that he was sent back to his diocese, which he appears to have reached about 361, within a very short time of the accession of Emperor Julian.[13]

Later life

On returning to his diocese in 361, Hilary spent most of the first two or three years trying to persuade the local clergy that the homoion confession was merely a cover for traditional Arian subordinationism. Thus, a number of synods in Gaul condemned the creed promulgated at Council of Ariminium (359).[18][19]

In about 360 or 361, with Hilary's encouragement, Martin, the future bishop of Tours, founded a monastery at Ligugé in his diocese.

In 364, Hilary extended his efforts once more beyond Gaul. He impeached Auxentius, bishop of Milan, a man high in the imperial favour, as heterodox. Emperor Valentinian I accordingly summoned Hilary to Milan to there maintain his charges. However, the supposed heretic gave satisfactory answers to all the questions proposed. Hilary denounced Auxentius as a hypocrite as he himself was ignominiously expelled from Milan. Upon returning home, Hilary in 365, published the Contra Arianos vel Auxentium Mediolanensem liber, describing his unsuccessful efforts against Auxentius. He also (but perhaps at a somewhat earlier date) published the Contra Constantium Augustum liber, accusing the lately deceased emperor as having been the Antichrist, a rebel against God, "a tyrant whose sole object had been to make a gift to the devil of that world for which Christ had suffered."[13]

According to Jerome, Hilary died in Poitiers in 367.[20]

Writings

Divi Hilarii Pictavorum episcopi De Trinitate
Opera omnia (1523)

Recent research has distinguished between Hilary's thought before his period of exile in Phrygia under Constantius and the quality of his later major works. While Hilary closely followed the two great Alexandrians, Origen and Athanasius, in exegesis and Christology respectively, his work shows many traces of vigorous independent thought.[13]

Exegetical

Among Hilary's earliest writings, completed some time before his exile in 356, is his Commentarius in Evangelium Matthaei, an allegorical exegesis of the first Gospel. This is the first Latin commentary on Matthew to have survived in its entirety. Hilary's commentary was strongly influenced by Tertullian and Cyprian, and made use of several classical writers, including Cicero, Quintilian, Pliny and the Roman historians.[19]

Hilary's expositions of the Psalms, Tractatus super Psalmos, largely follow Origen, and were composed some time after Hilary returned from exile in 360.[13] Since Jerome found the work incomplete,[21] no one knows whether Hilary originally commented on the whole Psalter. Now extant are the commentaries on Psalms 1, 2, 9, 13, 14, 51-69, 91, and 118-150.[19]

The third surviving exegetical writing by Hilary is the Tractatus mysteriorum, preserved in a single manuscript first published in 1887.[19]

Because Augustine cites part of the commentary on Romans as by "Sanctus Hilarius" it has been ascribed by various critics at different times to almost every known Hilary.

Theological

Hilary's major theological work was the twelve books now known as De Trinitate. This was composed largely during his exile, though perhaps not completed until his return to Gaul in 360.[22]

Another important work is De synodis, written early in 359 in preparation for the councils of Ariminium and Seleucia.[22]

Historical works and hymns

Various writings comprise Hilary's 'historical' works. These include the Liber II ad Constantium imperatorem, the Liber in Constantium inperatorem, Contra Arianos vel Auxentium Mediolanensem liber, and the various documents relating to the Arian controversy in Fragmenta historica.[22]

Some consider Hilary as the first Latin Christian hymn writer, because Jerome said Hilary produced a liber hymnorum.[21] Three hymns are attributed to him, though none are indisputable.

Reputation and veneration

Hilary is the pre-eminent Latin writer of the 4th century (before Ambrose). Augustine of Hippo called him "the illustrious doctor of the churches", and his works continued to be highly influential in later centuries. Venantius Fortunatus wrote a vita of Hilary by 550, but few now consider it reliable. More trustworthy are the notices in Saint Jerome (De vir. illus. 100), Sulpicius Severus (Chron. ii. 39-45) and in Hilary's own writings.[13] Pope Pius IX formally recognized him as Universae Ecclesiae Doctor in 1851.

In the Roman calendar of saints, Hilary's feast day is on 13 January, 14 January in the pre-1970 form of the calendar. The spring terms of the English and Irish Law Courts and Oxford and Dublin Universities are called the Hilary term since they begin on approximately this date.[23] Some consider Saint Hilary of Poitiers the patron saint of lawyers.[24]

Iconography

From his writing St. Hilary's symbol came to be three books and a quill pen.[25]

Dedications

Sulpicius Severus' Vita Sancti Martini led to a cult of Saint Hilary as well as of St. Martin of Tours which spread early to western Britain. The villages of St Hilary in Cornwall and Glamorgan and that of Llanilar in Ceredigion bear his name.

In France most dedications to Saint Hilary are styled "Saint-Hilaire" and lie west (and north) of the Massif Central; the cult in this region eventually extended to Canada.

In northwest Italy the church of Sant’Ilario at Casale Monferrato was dedicated to St. Hilary as early as 380.

See also

References

  1. ^ Stracke, Richard (20 October 2015). "Saint Hilary: The Iconography". Christian Iconography.
  2. ^ General Audience Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  3. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, p. 458.
  4. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 85
  5. ^ a b c Hunter 2010, p. 302.
  6. ^ Bettenson, Henry. The Later Christian Fathers OUP (1970), p.4
  7. ^ Watson E.W. "Introduction to the Life and writings of St Hilary of Poitiers" in Library of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers - Series II N° IX Eerdmans reprint 1983, p. ii
  8. ^ Hunter (2010, p. 302) names the date as 350.
  9. ^ [https://catholicsaints.info/lives-of-the-saints-saint-hilary-of-poitiers/ Butler, Alban. “Saint Hilary of Poitiers”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 May 2016. Web.
  10. ^ "Early Christian Greek and Latin Literature, A Literary History" O'Connell, Mathew, Peabody Mass, 2002, p.252-253
  11. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 458-459.
  12. ^ Clavis Patrum Latinorun, E. Dekkers, Claudio Moreschin, Enrico Norello, Vienna, 1995
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Chisholm 1911, p. 459.
  14. ^ Clugnet, Léon. "St. Hilary of Poitiers." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 14 Aug. 2014
  15. ^ Hilary, De Trinitate, book 6, chap. 46, in NPNF, 2d series, vol. 9, p. 115
  16. ^ Froom 1950, pp. 408-409.
  17. ^ E. W. Watson, Introduction to Hilary of Poitiers, in NPNF, 2d series, vol. 9, pp. lii, liii.
  18. ^ Sulpicius Severus, Chronicum 2.45
  19. ^ a b c d Hunter 2010, p. 303.
  20. ^ Jerome, Vir Ill 100; Hunter 2010, p. 203
  21. ^ a b Vir Ill 100
  22. ^ a b c Hunter 2010, p. 304.
  23. ^ Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Hilary of Poitiers, St.". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. OUP.
  24. ^ Farmer, David Hugh (1997). The Oxford dictionary of saints (4. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-280058-2.
  25. ^ ""Saint Hilary of Poitiers", St. Hilary's Episcopal Church; Hisperia, California". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.

Bibliography

  • Carl Beckwith, Hilary of Poitiers on the Trinity: From De Fide to De Trinitate (New York and Oxford, 2009).
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hilarius, St" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 458–459.
  • J. Doignon, Hilaire de Poitiers avant l'exil. Recherches sur la naissance, l'enseignementet l'épreuve d'une foi épiscopale en Gaule au milieu du IVé siècle, EAA, Paris 1971.
  • Froom, LeRoy (1950). The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers. 1.
  • Hunter, David G. "Fourth-century Latin writers", in Frances Young, Lewis Ayres and Andrew Young, eds, The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, (2010)
  • Rondeau, Marie Josèphe (1962). "Remarques sur l'anthropologie de saint Hilaire". Studia Patristica. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. 6 (Papers presented to the Third International Conference on Patristic Studies held at Christ Church, Oxford, 1959, Part IV Theologica, Augustiniana, ed. F. L. Cross): 197–210.
  • P.T. Wild, The divinization of man according to Saint Hilary of Poitiers, Mundelein, Illinois 1955.
  • Weedman, Mark (2007). The Trinitarian Theology of Hilary of Poitiers. Leiden-Boston: Brill.

External links

367

Year 367 (CCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lupicinus and Iovanus (or, less frequently, year 1120 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 367 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Abra of Poitiers

Saint Abra (c. 343 – c. 360) was the daughter of Hilary of Poitiers. Saint Abra herself has been recognized as a saint.She was born before her father converted to Christianity and was made a bishop. At her father's advice, she took the vow of virginity and became a nun. During her father's exile from Poitiers, she and her mother remained there. She died shortly after his return in 360.

She is remembered for her work among the poor and spreading of Christianity in the area around Poitiers, France.She is said to have died at the age of seventeen or eighteen years old

and is remembered in the Pont de Abra bridge, France.Her feast day is celebrated on 12 December in Poitiers.

Athleta Christi

"Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ") was a class of Early Christian soldier martyrs, of whom the most familiar example is one such "military saint," Saint Sebastian.

Auxentius of Milan

Auxentius of Milan or of Cappadocia (fl. c. 355 – 374), was an Arian theologian and bishop of Milan. Because of his Arian faith, Auxentius is considered by the Catholic Church as an intruder and he is not included in the Catholic lists of the bishops of Milan such as that engraved in the Cathedral of Milan.

Auxentius came to be regarded as the great opponent of the Nicene creed in the West. His theological doctrines were attacked by Hilary of Poitiers, whose Liber contra Auxentium remains the chief source of information about him.

Church Fathers

The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list. The era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity largely ended by AD 700 (John of Damascus died in 749 AD, Byzantine Iconoclasm began in 726 AD).In the past, the Church Fathers were regarded as authoritative and more restrictive definitions were used which sought to limit the list to authors treated as such. However, the definition has widened as scholars of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, have expanded their scope.

Dalua of Tibradden

Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.

Great martyr

Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek: μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.

Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).

Hilary term

Hilary term is the second academic term of the University of Oxford and the University of Dublin. It runs from January to March and is so named because the feast day of St Hilary of Poitiers, 14 January, falls during this term. All terms are dated from this day in the following way:

Michaelmas term — 13 Sundays before to 5 Sundays before the feast day of St Hilary

Hilary term — 1 Sunday to 9 Sundays after the feast day of St Hilary

Trinity term — 15 Sundays to 21 Sundays after the feast day of St HilaryThe term originated in the legal system. The courts of England and Wales and the Courts of Ireland divide the legal year into four terms: Hilary, Easter, Trinity and Michaelmas.

At the University of Oxford, following the resolution made by Council on 8 May 2002, Hilary Term begins on and includes 7 January and ends on and includes 25 March or the Saturday before Palm Sunday, whichever is the earlier. In Hilary Term, as in Michaelmas Term and in Trinity Term, there is a period of eight weeks known as Full Term, beginning on a Sunday, within which lectures and other instruction prescribed by statute or regulation are given. The dates on which each Full Term will begin and end in the next academic year but one are published by the Registrar in the University Gazette during Hilary Term.

Ilar

Ilar (the Welsh, and Croatian, form of the masculine given name Hilary) may refer to:

Saint Ilar, a 6th century Welsh saint

Hilary of Poitiers (4th century), bishop of Poitiers in France, in Welsh sources

Saint Hilarion (4th century), an Egyptian monk, in Croatian sources

Ilar (hundred), a hundred of Cardiganshire named for Llanilar

Llanilar ("St Ilar's")

International League of Associations of Rheumatology (ILAR)

Judas Barsabbas

Judas Barsabbas was a New Testament prophet and one of the 'leading men' in the early Christian community in Jerusalem at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in around 50 A.D.

Lectio Sacra

In Christianity, Lectio Sacra is a Latin term meaning sacred reading which refer to the reading of Scripture.

Church Fathers such as St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Hilary of Poitiers had used the term to refer to the reading of Scripture. It was also used along with the term Lectio Divina which included a more meditative aspect and was used by St. Benedict in his Rule.By the time of the Protestant Reformation the term Lectio Sacra was used to refer to the public reading and lectures on the scriptures - often directed against the "heretics." These Lectio Sacra lectures were often delivered in Latin in the churches of larger towns, at times twice a week.

Michael of Synnada

Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.

On the Trinity

On the Trinity (Latin: De Trinitate) is a Latin book written by Augustine of Hippo to discuss the Trinity in context of the logos. Although not as well known as some of his other works, it is arguably his masterpiece and of more doctrinal importance than the Confessions or City of God.It is placed by him in his Retractationes among the works written (meaning begun) in AD 400. In letters of 410 and 414 and at the end of 415, it is referred to as still unfinished and unpublished. But a letter of 412 states that friends were at that time asking to complete and publish it, and the letter to Aurelius, which was sent with the treatise itself when actually completed, states that a portion of it, while still unrevised and incomplete, was in fact surreptitiously made public. It was still in hand in 416: in Book XIII, a quotation occurs from the 12th Book of the De Civitate Dei; and another quotation in Book XV, from the 90th lecture on Saint John.

The Retractations, which refer to it, are usually dated not later than 428. The letter to Bishop Aurelius also states that the work was many years in progress and was begun in Saint Augustine's early manhood. It was finished in his old age. Arthur West Haddan inferred from this evidence that it was written between 400, when he was forty-six years old and had been Bishop of Hippo about four years, and 428 at the latest; but it probably had been published ten or twelve years earlier, in around 417.It is also the title of works written by at least two other luminaries of the early church: Hilary of Poitiers (the Hammer of the Arians) and Richard of St. Victor.

Pierre Coustant

Pierre Coustant (born at Compiègne, France, 30 April 1654; died at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near Paris, 18 October 1721) was a French Benedictine scholar, of the Congregation of Saint-Maur.

Psalm 14

Psalm 14 is the 14th psalm from the Book of Psalms. Attributed to David, it is a prophetical reference to the destruction of the First Temple. With minor differences, it is nearly identical in content with Psalm 53. It or Psalm 53 is quoted in the Epistle to the Romans.Hermann Gunkel dates the psalm to the exile period. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 13 in a slightly different numbering system.

Saint-Hilaire-de-Dorset, Quebec

Saint-Hilaire-de-Dorset is a parish municipality in the Beauce-Sartigan Regional County Municipality in the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec, Canada.

The municipality is named after Hilary of Poitiers and the county of Dorset in England.

St Hilary's Church, St Hilary (Cornwall)

The Church of St Hilary is an Early English–style church in the village of St Hilary, Cornwall, United Kingdom. It features a 13th-century tower; following a fire in 1853, the remainder of the church was rebuilt two years later by William White. The church is dedicated to Saint Hilary of Poitiers and is a Grade I listed building. The architecture is described in Pevsner's Buildings of England: Cornwall.

St Hilary, Cornwall

St Hilary is a civil parish and village in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately five miles (8 km) east of Penzance and four miles (6.5 km) south of Hayle.Chynoweth is an area immediately north of St Hilary churchtown. The land of the parish is high enough to provide views of bays on both coasts, St Ives Bay five miles north and Mount's Bay two miles south.For the purposes of local government St Hilary has a parish council and elects councillors every four years. The principal local authority in the area is Cornwall Council. During the height of mining activity the population was three times that in the 1930s.The parish church is dedicated to Saint Hilary of Poitiers and is in the Early English style but had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1853. It has a 13th-century tower and is a Grade I listed building. A children's home existed in St Hilary in the 1920s and 1930s, accommodated in a former pub, the Jolly Tinners.

Église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand

The Église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand is a church in Poitiers, France. It was named after Hilary of Poitiers (Hilaire in French).

The church dates back to the 11th century, and was consecrated in 1049. It was damaged during the French Revolution and was restored in the second half of the 19th century. The church received a new portal, and the nave was partly reconstructed. The church was listed as Monument historique in 1840. It was also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998 as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

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