CASIS, CAXIS, CACIZ, &c., s. This Spanish and Portuguese word, though Dozy gives it only as prêtre chrétien, is frequently employed by old travellers, and writers on Eastern subjects, to denote Mahommedan divines (mullas and the like). It may be suspected to have arisen from a confusion of two Arabic terms —Kadi (see CAZEE) and kashish or kasis, ‘a Christian Presbyter’ (from a Syriac root signifying senuit). Indeed we sometimes find the precise word kashish (Caxix) used by Christian writers as if it were the special title of a Mahommedan theologian, instead of being, as it really is, the special and technical title of a Christian priest (a fact which gives Mount Athos its common Turkish name of Kashish Dagh). In the first of the following quotations the word appears to be applied by the Mussulman historian to pagan priests, and the word for churches to pagan temples. In the others, except that from Major Millingen, it is applied by Christian writers to Mahommedan divines, which is indeed its recognised signification in Spanish and Portuguese. In Jarric’s Thesaurus (Jesuit Missions, 1606) the word Cacizius is constantly used in this sense.

c. 1310.—“There are 700 churches (kalisia) resembling fortresses, and every one of them overflowing with presbyters (kashishan) without faith, and monks without religion.” —Description of the Chinese City of Khanzai (Hangchau) in Wasaf’s History (see also Marco Polo, ii. 196).

1404.—“The town was inhabited by Moorish hermits called Caxixes ; and many people came to them on pilgrimage, and they healed many diseases.”—Markham’s Clavijo, 79.

1514.—“And so, from one to another, the message passed through four or five hands, till it came to a Gazizi, whom we should call a bishop or prelate, who stood at the King’s feet.…”—Letter of Giov. de Empoli, in Archiv. Stor. Ital. Append. p. 56.

1538.—“Just as the Cryer was offering to deliver me unto whomsoever would buy me, in comes that very Cacis Moulana, whom they held for a Saint, with 10 or 11 other Cacis his Inferiors, all Priests like himself of their wicked sect.”—F. M. Pinto (tr. by H. C.), p. 8.

1552.—Caciz in the same sense used by Barros, II. ii. 1.

[1553.—See quotation from Barros under LAR.

[1554.—“Who was a Caciz of the Moors, which means in Portuguese an ecclesiastic.” —Castaneda, Bk. I. ch. 7.]

1561.—“The King sent off the Moor, and with him his Casis, an old man of much authority, who was the principal priest of his Mosque.”—Correa, by Ld. Stanley, 113.

1567.—“…The Holy Synod declares it necessary to remove from the territories of His Highness all the infidels whose office it is to maintain their false religion, such as are the cacizes of the Moors, and the preachers of the Gentoos, jogues, sorcerers, (feiticeiros), jousis, grous (i.e. joshis or astrologers, and gurus), and whatsoever others make a business of religion among the infidels, and so also the bramans and paibus (? prabhus, see PURVOE).”—Decree 6 of the Sacred Council of Goa, in Arch. Port. Or. fasc. 4.

1580.—“…e foi sepultado no campo per Cacises.”—Primor e Honra, &c., f. 13v.

1582.—“And for pledge of the same, he would give him his sonne, and one of his chief chaplaines, the which they call Cacis.” —Castañeda, by N. L.

1603.—“And now those initiated priests of theirs called Cashishes (Casciscis) were endeavouring to lay violent hands upon his property.”—Benedict Goës, in Cathay, &c., ii. 568.

1648.—“Here is to be seen an admirably wrought tomb in which a certain Casis lies buried, who was the Pedagogue or Tutor of a King of Guzuratte.” — Van Twist, 15.

1672.—“They call the common priests Casis, or by another name Schierifi (see SHEREEF), who like their bishops are in no way distinguished in dress from simple laymen, except by a bigger turban…and a longer mantle.…”—P. Vincenzo Maria, 55.

1688.—“While they were thus disputing, a Caciz, or doctor of the law, joined company with them.”—Dryden, L. of Xavier, Works, ed. 1821, xvi. 68.

1870.—“A hierarchical body of priests, known to the people (Nestorians) under the names of Kieshishes and Abunas, is at the head of the tribes and villages, entrusted with both spiritual and temporal powers.” — Millingen, Wild Life among the Koords, 270.

CASSANAR, CATTANAR, s. A priest of the Syrian Church of Malabar ; Malayal. kattanar, meaning originally ‘a chief,’ and formed eventually from the Skt. kartri.

1606.—“The Christians of St. Thomas call their priests Caçanares.” — Gouvéa, f. 28b. This author gives Catatiara and Caçaneira as feminine forms, ‘a Cassanar’s wife.’ The former is Malayal. kattatti, the latter a Port. formation.

1612.—“A few years ago there arose a dispute between a Brahman and a certain Cassanar on a matter of jurisdiction.”— P. Vincenzo Maria, 152.

[1887.—“Mgr. Joseph…consecrated as a bishop…a Catenar.”— Logan, Man. of Malabar, i. 211.]

  By PanEris using Melati.

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