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(Avenio), an episcopal see of France, on the Rhone, capital of the department of Vaucluse, 20 miles N.E. of Nismes. In 1348 it passed into the possession of Pope Clement VI and his successors, and was the see of the pontiffs from Clement X to Gregory XI, i.e. for sixty years. Baluze's Vies des Papes d' Avignon (1693, 2 vols. 4to) is an admirable refutation of the ultramontane pretensions. It maintains that the holy see is not necessarily fixed at Rome. By the Concordat of 1801 Avignon ceased to be a metropolis, but by that of 1821 it was re-established. (See Papacy).

Several COUNCILS were held in Avignon. The most important were.

1, in 1209, in which 29 canons were adopted, some concerning discipline, and the others I against heretics; the inhabitants of Toulouse were ex- communicated for not having expulsed the Albigenses;

2, in 1327, against the antipope Pierre de Corbiere. Landon, Manual Of Councils; Smith, Tables of Church Hist.