AFFRE, archbishop of Paris, suffered death on the barricades, as,
with a green bough in his hand, he bore a message of peace to the
AFGHAN`ISTAN` (5,000), a country in the centre of Asia, between
India on the east and Persia on the west, its length about 600 m. and its
breadth about 500 m., a plateau of immense mountain masses, and high,
almost inaccessible, valleys, occupying 278,000 sq. m., with extremes of
climate, and a mixed turbulent population, majority Afghans. The country,
though long a bone of contention between England and Russia, is now
wholly under the sphere of British influence.
AF`GHANS, THE, a fine and noble but hot-tempered race of the
Mohammedan faith inhabiting Afghanistan. The Afghans proper are called
PATHANS in India, and call themselves Beni Israel (sons of Israel),
tracing their descent from King Saul.
AFRA`NIUS, a Latin comic poet who flourished 100 B.C.; also a Roman
Consul who played a prominent part in the rivalry between Caesar and
Pompey, 60 B.C.
AFRICA, one of the five great divisions of the globe, three times
larger than Europe, seven-tenths of it within the torrid zone, and
containing over 200,000,000 inhabitants of more or less dark-skinned
races. It was long a _terra incognita_, but it is now being explored in
all directions, and attempts are everywhere made to bring it within the
circuit of civilisation. It is being parcelled out by European nations,
chiefly Britain, France, and Germany, and with more zeal and appliance of
resource by Britain than any other.
AFRICA`NUS, JULIUS, a Christian historian and chronologist of the
AFRIDIS, a treacherous tribe of eight clans, often at war with each
other, in a mountainous region on the North-Western frontier of India W.
AFRIKAN`DER, one born in S. Africa of European parents.
AFRIT`, a powerful evil spirit in the Mohammedan mythology.
AGA`DES, a once important depot of trade in the S. of the Sahara,
AGAG, a king of the Amalekites, conquered by Saul, and hewn in
pieces by order of Samuel.
AGAMEM`NON, a son of Atreus, king of Mycenae and general-in-chief of
the Greeks in the Trojan war, represented as a man of stately presence
and a proud spirit. On the advice of the soothsayer Calchas sacrificed
his daughter IPHIGENIA (q. v.) for the success of the enterprise
he conducted. He was assassinated by AEgisthus and Clytaemnestra, his wife,
on his return from the war. His fate and that of his house is the subject
of AEschylus' trilogy "Oresteia."
AGAMOGENESIS, name given to reproduction without sex, by fission,
AGANIPPE, a fountain in Boeotia, near Helicon, dedicated to the
Muses as a source of poetic inspiration.
AG`APE, love-feasts among the primitive Christians in commemoration
of the Last Supper, and in which they gave each other the kiss of peace
as token of Christian brotherhood.
AGAR-AGAR, a gum extracted from a sea-weed, used in bacteriological
AGA`SIAS, a sculptor of Ephesus, famous for his statue of the
AGASS`IZ, a celebrated Swiss naturalist, in the department
especially of ichthyology, and in connection with the glaciers; settled
as a professor of zoology and geology in the United States in 1846
AG`ATHE, ST., a Sicilian virgin who suffered martyrdom at Palermo
under Decius in 251; represented in art as crowned with a long veil and
bearing a pair of shears, the instruments with which her breast were cut
off. Festival, Feb. 5.
AGA`THIAS, a Byzantine poet and historian (536-582).
AGATH`OCLES, the tyrant of Syracuse, by the massacre of thousands of
the inhabitants, was an enemy of the Carthaginians, and fought against
them; was poisoned in the end (361-289 B.C.).
AG`ATHON, an Athenian tragic poet, a rival of Euripides
AG`ATHON, ST., pope from 676 to 682.
AG`DE (6), a French seaport on the Herault, 3 m. from the
A`GEN (21), a town on the Garonne, 84 m. above Bordeaux.
AGES, in the Greek mythology four--the Golden, self-sufficient; the
Silver, self-indulgent; the Brazen, warlike; and the Iron, violent;
together with the Heroic, nobly aspirant, between the third and fourth.
In archeology, three--the Stone Age, the Bronze, and the Iron. In
history, the Middle and Dark, between the Ancient and the Modern. In
Fichte, five--of Instinct, of Law, of Rebellion, of Rationality, of
Conformity to Reason. In Shakespeare, seven--Infancy, Childhood, Boyhood,
Adolescence, Manhood, Age, Old Age.
AGESAN`DER, a sculptor of Rhodes of the first century, who wrought
at the famous group of the Laocoon.
AGESILA`US, a Spartan king, victorious over the Persians in Asia and
over the allied Thebans and Athenians at Coronea, but defeated by
Epaminondas at Mantinea after a campaign in Egypt; _d_. 360 B.C., aged
AGGAS, RALPH, a surveyor and engraver of the 16th century, who first
drew a plan of London as well as of Oxford and Cambridge.
AGGLUTINATE LANGUAGES, languages composed of parts which are words
glued together, so to speak, as cowherd.
AGINCOURT`, a small village in Pas-de-Calais, where Henry V. in a
bloody battle defeated the French, Oct. 25, 1415.
A`GIS, the name of several Spartan kings, of whom the most famous
were Agis III. and IV., the former famous for his resistance to the
Macedonian domination, _d_. 330 B.C.; and the latter for his attempts to
carry a law for the equal division of land, _d_. 240 B.C.
AGLAIA. See GRACES.
AG`NADEL, a Lombard village, near which Louis XII. defeated the
Venetians in 1509, and Vendome, Prince Eugene in 1705.
AGNA`NO, LAKE OF, a lake near Naples, now drained; occupied the
crater of an extinct volcano, its waters in a state of constant
AGNELLO, COL D', passage by the S. of Monte Viso between France and
AGNES, an unsophisticated maiden in Moliere's _L'Ecole des Femmes_,
so unsophisticated that she does not know what love means.
AGNES, ST., a virgin who suffered martyrdom, was beheaded because
the flames would not touch her body, under Diocletian in 303; represented
in art as holding a palm-branch in her hand and a lamb at her feet or in
her arms. Festival, Jan. 21.
AGNES DE MERANIE, the second wife of Philip Augustus by a marriage
in 1193, declared null by the Church, who, being dismissed in
consequence, died broken-hearted in 1201.
AGNES SOREL, surnamed _Dame de beaute_, mistress of Charles VII. of
AGNE`SI, MARIA GAETANA, a native of Milan, a woman of extraordinary
ability and attainments, prelected for her father in mathematics in the
University of Bologna under sanction of the Pope; died a nun at her
AG`NI, the god of fire in the Vedic mythology, begets the gods,
organises the world, produces and preserves universal life, and
throughout never ceases to be fire. One of the three terms of the Vedic
trinity, Soma and Indra being the other two.
AGNOLO, a Florentine artist, friend of Michael Angelo and Raphael,
distinguished for his carvings in wood (1460-1543).
AGNOSTICISM, the doctrine which disclaims all knowledge of the
supersensuous, or denies that we know or can know the absolute, the
infinite, or God.
AGNUS DEI, the figure of a lamb bearing a cross as a symbol of
Christ, or a medal with this device; also a prayer in the Mass beginning
with the words, "Lamb of God."
AGONIC LINE, line along which the needle points due north and south.
AGORA, the forum of a Grecian town.
AGOS`TA, a city on east coast of Sicily.
AGOULT, COUNTESS OF, a French authoress under the pseudonym of
Daniel Stern (1805-1876).
AGOUST, CAPT. DE, a "cast-iron" captain of the Swiss Guards, who on
May 4, 1788, by order of the Court of Versailles, marched the Parliament
of Paris out of the Palais de Justice and carried off the key. See
CARLYLE'S "FRENCH REVOLUTION," BK. I. CHAP. VIII.
AGOU`TI, a rodent, native of Brazil, Paraguay, and Guiana; very
destructive to roots and sugar-canes.
A`GRA (168), a handsome city on the Jumna, in NW. Province of India,
famous for, among other monuments, the Taj Mahal, a magnificent mausoleum
erected near it by the Emperor Shah Jehan for himself and his favourite
wife; it is a centre of trade, and seat of manufactures of Indian wares.
AG`RAM, (37), a Hungarian town, the capital of Croatia, with a fine
Gothic cathedral and a university; is subject to earthquakes.
AGRARIAN LAWS, laws among the Romans regulating the division of
AGRIC`OLA, a Roman general, father-in-law of Tacitus, who conquered
Great Britain in 80, recalled by the Emperor Domitian in 87, and retired
into private life (37-93).
AGRICOLA, JOHANN, a follower and friend of Luther, who became his
antagonist in the matter of the binding obligation of the law on
AGRICOLA, RUDOLPHUS, a learned and accomplished Dutchman, much
esteemed by Erasmus, and much in advance of his time; his most important
work, "Dialectics," being an attack on the scholastic system (1442-1485).
AGRIGEN`TUM, an ancient considerable city, now Girgenti, on the S.
of Sicily, of various fortune, and still showing traces of its ancient
AGRIPPA, H. CORNELIUS, a native of Cologne, of noble birth, for some
time in the service of Maximilian, but devoted mainly to the study of the
occult sciences, which exposed him to various persecutions through life
AGRIPPA, HEROD. See HEROD.
AGRIP`PA, M. VIPSANIUS, a Roman general, the son-in-law and
favourite of Augustus, who distinguished himself at the battle of Actium,
and built the Pantheon of Rome (63-12 B.C.).
AGRIPPI`NA, the daughter of Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia, and thus
the granddaughter of Augustus; married Germanicus, accompanied him in his
campaigns, and brought his ashes to Rome on his death, but was banished
from Rome by Tiberius, and _d_. in 33.
AGRIPPINA, the daughter of Germanicus and the former, born at
Cologne, and the mother of Nero. Her third husband was her uncle, the
Emperor Claudian, whom she got to adopt her son, and then poisoned him,
in order to place her son on the throne; but the latter, resenting her
intolerable ascendancy, had her put to death in 59.
AGTELEK, a village NE. of Pesth, in Hungary with vast stalactite
caverns, some of them of great height.
AGUA`DO, A. M., an enormously wealthy banker of Spanish-Jewish
descent, born in Seville, and naturalised in France (1784-1842).
AGUAS CALIENTES (31), a high-lying inland trading town in Mexico.
AGUE-CHEEK, SIR ANDREW, a silly squire in "Twelfth Night."
AGUESSEAU`, D', a French magistrate under Louis XIV. and Louis XV.,
of unimpeachable integrity and unselfish devotion, a learned jurist and
law reformer, and held high posts in the administration of justice
AGUILAR, GRACE, a Jewess, born at Hackney; authoress of "Magic
Wreath," "Home Influence," "Vale of Cedars"; of a delicate constitution,
died young (1816-1847).
A`GULHAS, CAPE (i. e. the Needles), the most southerly point of
Africa, 100 m. ESE. of the Cape, and along with the bank of the whole
south coast, dangerous to shipping.
A`HAB, a king of Israel fond of splendour, and partial to the
worship of Baal (918-896 B.C.).
AHASUE`RUS, a traditionary figure known as the Wandering Jew; also
the name of several kings of Persia.
AHAZ, a king of Judah who first brought Judea under tribute to
AHLDEN, CASTLE OF, a castle in Lueneburg Heath, the nearly lifelong
prison-house of the wife of George I. and the mother of George II. and of
Sophie Dorothea of Prussia.
AHMADABAD (148), a chief town of Guzerat, in the Bombay Presidency,
a populous city and of great splendour in the last century, of which
gorgeous relics remain.
AHMED, a prince in the "Arabian Nights," noted for a magic tent
which would expand so as to shelter an army, and contract so that it
could go into one's pocket.
AH`MED SHAH, the founder of the Afghan dynasty and the Afghan power
AHMEDNUG`AR (41), a considerable Hindu town 122 m. E. of Bombay.
AHOLIBAH, prostitution personified. See EZEK. XXIII.
AHOLIBAMAH, a grand daughter of Cain, beloved by a seraph, who at
the Flood bore her away to another planet.
AH`RIMAN, the Zoroastrian impersonation of the evil principle, to
whom all the evils of the world are ascribed.
AIDAN, ST., the archbishop of Lindisfarne, founder of the monastery,
and the apostle of Northumbria, sent thither from Iona on the invitation
of King Oswald in 635.
AIGNAN, St., the bishop of Orleans, defended it against Attila and
his Huns in 451.
AIGUILLON, DUKE D', corrupt minister of France, previously under
trial for official plunder of money, which was quashed, at the corrupt
court of Louis XV., and the tool of Mme. Du Barry, with whom he rose and
AIKIN, DR. JOHN, a popular writer, and author, with Mrs. Barbauld,
his sister, of "Evenings at Home" (1747-1822).
AIKMAN, W., an eminent Scotch portrait-painter (1682-1731).
AILLY, PIERRE D', a cardinal of the Romish Church, and eminent as a
theologian, presided at the council of Constance which condemned Huss
AILSA CRAIG, a rocky islet of Ayrshire, 10 m. NW. of Girvan, 2 m. in
circumference, which rises abruptly out of the sea at the mouth of the
Firth of Clyde to a height of 1114 ft.
AIMARD, GUSTAVE, a French novelist, born in Paris; died insane
AIME, ST., archbishop of Sens, in France; _d_. 690; festival, 13th
AIN, a French river, has its source in the Jura Mts., and falls into
the Rhone; also a department of France between the Rhone and Savoy.
AINMILLER, a native of Muenich, the reviver of glass-painting in
AI`NOS, a primitive thick-set, hairy race, now confined to Yezo and
the islands N. of Japan, aboriginal to that quarter of the globe, and
fast dying out.
AINSWORTH, R., an English Latin lexicographer (1660-1743).
AINSWORTH, W. H., a popular English novelist, the author of
"Rookwood" and "Jack Sheppard," as well as novels of an antiquarian and
historical character (1805-1882).
AIN-TAB (20), a Syrian garrison town 60 m. NE. of Aleppo; trade in
hides, leather, and cotton.
AIRD, THOMAS, a Scottish poet, author of the "Devil's Dream," the
"Old Bachelor," and the "Old Scotch Village"; for nearly 30 years editor
of the _Dumfries Herald_ (1802-1876).
AIRDRIE (19), a town in Lanarkshire, 11 m. E. of Glasgow, in a
district rich in iron and coal; is of rapid growth; has cotton-mills,
AIRDS MOSS, a moor in Ayrshire, between the rivers Ayr and Lugar.
AIRE, a Yorkshire river which flows into the Ouse; also a French
river, affluent of the Aisne.
AIRY, SIR G. B., an eminent English astronomer, mathematician, and
man of science, astronomer-royal from 1836 to 1881, retired on a pension;
was the first to enunciate the complete theory of the rainbow.
AISNE, a French river which, after a course of 150 m., falls into
the Oise near Compiegne; also a department in the N. of France.
AISSE, MLLE., a Circassienne brought to France about 1700; left
letters on French society in the eighteenth century, sparkling with wit
and full of interest.
AITON, WM., a botanist, born in Lanarkshire, the first director of
the Royal Gardens at Kew (1731-1793).
AITZEMA, LEO, historian of Friesland (1600-1669).
AIX (22), a town, the ancient capital of Provence, 20 m. N. of
Marseilles, the seat of an archbishop and a university; founded by the
Romans 123 B.C.; near it Marius defeated the Teutons.
AIX, ISLE OF, island in the Atlantic, at the mouth of the Charente.
AIX-LA-CHAPELLE` (103), in Rhenish Prussia, one of the oldest cities
in Germany, made capital of the German empire by Charlemagne; derives its
name from its mineral springs; is a centre of manufacturing industries
and an important trade; is celebrated for its octagonal cathedral (in the
middle of which is a stone marking the burial-place of Charlemagne), for
treaties of peace in 1668 and 1748, and for a European congress in 1818.
AIX-LES-BAINS`, a small town near Chambery, in the dep. of Savoy,
and much frequented by invalids for its waters and baths.
AJAC`CIO (18), the capital of Corsica, the birthplace of the
Bonaparte family, of Cardinal Fesch, and Bacciochi.
AJALON, VALLEY OF, in Palestine, scene of a battle between Joshua
and five Canaanitish kings, during which the sun and moon stood still at
the prayer of Joshua, to enable him to finish his victory.
A`JAN COAST, a district on the E. coast of Africa, from Cape
Guardafui to the mouth of the Juba, under the protectorate of Germany.
A`JAX the name of two Greek heroes in the Trojan war, and the
synonym of a fiery and impetuous warrior: AJAX, the son of Telamon
of Sparta, one of the bravest of the Greeks, who, on the death of
Achilles, contended with Ulysses for his arms, but was defeated, in
consequence of which he lost his reason and put an end to his life; and
AJAX, the son of Oileus, swift of foot, like Achilles, who suffered
shipwreck on his homeward voyage, as a judgment for an outrage he
perpetrated on the person of Cassandra in the temple of Athena in Troy.
AJMERE` (68), a city in a small territory in the heart of Rajputana,
under the rule of the Viceroy; well built, and contains some famous
AJODHYA, an ancient city of Oudh, 77 m. E. of Lucknow, once, on
religious grounds, one of the largest and most magnificent cities of
India, now in ruins; the modern town is an insignificant place, but has
an annual fair, attended by often 600,000 pilgrims.
AK`ABA, a gulf forming the NE. inlet of the Red Sea.
AKAKIA, DOCTOR, a satire of a very biting nature by Voltaire,
directed against pretentious pedants of science in the person of
Maupertuis, the President of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin,
which so excited the anger of Frederick the Great, the patron of the
Academy, that he ordered it to be burnt by the common hangman, after
30,000 copies of it had been sold in Paris!
AKAKIA, MARTIN, physician of Francis I., born at Chalons-sur-Marne,
his real name being Sans-Malice; _d_. 1551.
AK`BAR, the great Mogul emperor of India, who, after a minority of a
few years, assumed the reins of government at the age of eighteen, and in
ten or twelve years, such was his power of conquest, had the whole of
India north of the Vindhya Mts. subject to his rule. He was wise in
government as well as powerful in war, and one of the most large-minded
and largest-hearted rulers recorded in history. He reigned half a century
AKENSIDE, MARK, an English physician, who wrote, among other
productions and pieces, the "Hymn to the Naiads," especially a poem
entitled the "Pleasures of Imagination," much quoted from at one time,
and suggested by the study of Addison on the Imagination in the
AKERS, B. P., an able American sculptor (1825-1861).
AKERMAN` (55), a fortified town in Bessarabia, at the mouth of the
AKIBA, BEN JOSEPH, a famous Jewish rabbi of the 2nd century, a great
authority in the matter of Jewish tradition, flayed alive by the Romans
for being concerned in a revolt in 135.
AKKAS, a wandering race of negro dwarfs in Central Africa, with
large heads and slender necks, who live by hunting.
AKRON (27), a town in Ohio, U.S., seat of manufactures and centre
AKSAKOF`, a Russian litterateur and advocate of Panslavism
AKSU (20), a trading town in E. Turkestan, 250 m. NE. of Yarkand.
AK`YAB (37), the capital of Aracan, in British Burmah, 90 m. SE. of
AL RAKIM, the dog that guarded the SEVEN SLEEPERS (q. v.),
and that stood by them all through their long sleep.
ALABA`MA (1,513), one of the United States of N. America, traversed
by a river of the name, a little larger than England, highly fertile and
a great cotton-growing country, and abounding in iron, coal, and marble,
bounded on the W. by the Mississippi, on the N. by Tennessee, and the E.
ALABAMA, THE, a vessel built in Birkenhead for the Confederates in
the late American Civil War, for the devastation done by which, according
to the decision of a court of arbitration, the English Government had to
pay heavy damages of three millions of money.
ALACOQUE, MARIE, a French nun of a mystic tendency, the founder of
the devotion of the Sacred Heart (1647-1690).
ALAD`DIN, one of the chiefs of the Assassins in the 13th century,
better known by the name of the Old Man of the Mountain.
ALADDIN, a character in the "Arabian Nights," who became possessed
of a wonderful lamp and a wonderful ring, by rubbing which together he
could call two evil genii to do his bidding.
ALADINISTS, free-thinkers among the Mohammedans.
ALAGO`AS (397), a maritime province of Brazil, N. of Pernambuco,
with tropical products as well as fine timber and dye-woods.
ALAIN DE L'ISLE, a professor of theology in the University of Paris,
surnamed the _Doctor universel_ (1114-1203).
ALAINS. See ALANS.
ALAIS` (18), a town at the foot of the Cevennes, in the centre of a
mining district; once the stronghold of French Protestantism.
ALAMAN`NI, LUIGI, an Italian poet and diplomatist, born at Florence
ALAND ISLES, a group of 300 small islands in the Gulf of Bothnia, of
which 80 are inhabited; fortified by Russia.
ALANS, a barbarous horde from the East, who invaded W. Europe in the
4th and 5th centuries, but were partly exterminated and partly ousted by
ALAR`CON Y MENDO`ZA, JUAN RUIZ DE, a Spanish dramatist born in
Mexico, who, though depreciated by his contemporaries, ranks after 200
years of neglect among the foremost dramatic geniuses of Spain, next even
to Cervantes and Lope de Vega; he was a humpback, had an offensive air of
conceit, and was very unpopular; he wrote at least twenty dramas, some of
which have been translated into French; _d_. in 1639.
AL`ARIC I., the king of the Visigoths, a man of noble birth, who, at
the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century, ravaged Greece,
invaded Italy, and took and pillaged Rome; died at Cosenza, in Calabria,
in 412, at the early age of thirty-four.
ALARIC II., king of the Visigoths, whose dominions included all Gaul
and most of Spain; defeated by the Franks at Poitiers, and killed by the
hand of Clovis, their king, in 567.
ALARIC COTIN, Voltaire's nickname for Frederick the Great, the
former in recognition of him as a warrior, the latter as a would-be
litterateur, after an indifferent French poet of the name of Cotin.
ALAS`CO, JOHN, the uncle of Sigismund, king of Poland, and a zealous
promoter in Poland of the Reformation, the friend of Erasmus and
ALAS`KA (32), an immense territory belonging to the U.S. by
purchase from Russia, extending from British N. America to Behring
Strait; it is poor in resources, and the inhabitants, who are chiefly
Indians and Eskimos, live by hunting and fishing, and by the export of
salmon; seal fishery valuable, however.
ALASNAM, a hero related of in the "Arabian Nights" as having erected
eight statues of gold, and in quest of a statue for a ninth unoccupied
pedestal, finding what he wanted in the person of a beautiful woman for a
ALAS`TOR, an avenging spirit, given to torment families whose
history has been stained by some crime.
A`LAVA (97), the southernmost of the three Basque provinces of
Spain, largest, but least populous; rich in minerals, and fertile in
ALAVA, RICARDO DE, a Spanish general, born in Vittoria, joined the
national party, and was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, and
became eventually ambassador to London and Paris (1771-1843).
ALBA LONGA, a city of Latium older than Rome.
ALBACETE (229), a province in Spain, with a capital (30) of same
name, 173 m. SE. of Madrid.
ALBAN LAKE, near Alban Mount, 6 m. in circuit, occupying the basin
of an extinct volcano, its surface 961 ft. above the sea-level.
ALBAN MOUNT, a small mountain overlooking Alba Longa.
ALBAN, ST., the first martyr in Britain to the Christian faith in
303; represented in art as carrying his head between his hands, having
ALBA`NI, an Italian painter, a disciple of Caracci, born at Bologna;
surnamed the Anacreon of painting; his pictures more distinguished for
grace than vigour.
ALBA`NI, an illustrious Roman family, members of which attained the
highest dignities in the Church, one, Clement XI., having been Pope.
ALBANI, MME., _nee_ Emma la Jeunesse, a well-known and highly
popular operatic singer of French-Canadian descent; _b_. 1847.
ALBA`NIA, a region in Balkan peninsula, on the Adriatic, extending
from Servia to Greece.
ALBANO, LAKE OF, a small crater-like lake 15 m. SE. of Rome, near
which rises the Castel Gandolfo, where the Pope has a villa.
ALBANY, the old Celtic name for the Scottish highlands.
ALBANY, a town in W. Australia, on King George Sound, 261 m. SE. of
Perth, a port of call for Australian liners; also the capital (94) of the
State of New York, on the Hudson River, a well-appointed city; seat of
justice for the State, with a large trade and numerous manufactures.
ALBANY, COUNTESS OF, wife of English pretender, Prince Charles
Stuart, a dissolute woman (1753-1824).
ALBANY, THE DUKE OF, a title formerly given to a member of the royal
family, and revived in the present reign.
ALBANY, DUCHESS OF, daughter of Prince Waldeck Pyrmont and widow of
Prince Leopold of England; _b_. 1861, widow since 1884.
ALBATEGNI, a distinguished Arabian astronomer, born in Mesopotamia
in the 9th or 10th century of our era; his observations extended over 50
years; he so improved the methods and instruments of observation as to
earn the title of the Ptolemy of the Arabs.
ALBATROSS, the largest and strongest of sea-birds, that ranges over
the southern seas, often seen far from land; it is a superstition among
sailors that it is disastrous to shoot one.
ALBERO`NI, an Italian of humble birth, became a Cardinal of the
Church and Prime Minister to Philip V. of Spain, wrought hard to restore
Spain to its ancient grandeur, was defeated in his project by the
quadruple alliance of England, France, Austria, and Holland, and obliged
to retire (1664-1752).
ALBERT, archbishop of Mainz, a dignity granted him by Pope Leo X. at
the ransom of L15,000, which he was unable to pay, and which, as the
Pope needed it for building St. Peter's, he borrowed, the Pope granting
him the power to sell indulgences in order to repay the loan, in which
traffic Tetzel was his chief salesman, a trade which roused the wrath of
Luther, and provoked the German Reformation (1450-1545).
ALBERT, the last Grandmaster of the Teutonic knights, who being
"religious in an eminent degree and shaken in his belief" took zealously
to Protestantism and came under the influence of Luther, who advised him
to declare himself Duke of Prussia, under the wing of Sigismund of
Poland, in defiance of the Teutonic order as no longer worthy of bed and
board on the earth, and so doing, became founder of the Prussian State
ALBERT, markgrave of Brandenburg, defined by Carlyle "a failure of a
Fritz," with "features" of a Frederick the Great in him, "but who burnt
away his splendid qualities as a mere temporary shine for the able
editors, and never came to anything, full of fire, too much of it
wildfire, not in the least like an Alcibiades except in the change of
fortune he underwent" (1522-1557).
ALBERT, PRINCE, second son of Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
born Aug. 26, 1819, an accomplished man with a handsome presence, who
became the consort of Queen Victoria in 1840, and from his prudence and
tact was held in the highest honour by the whole community, but died at
Windsor of typhoid fever, Dec. 14, 1861, to the unspeakable sorrow of
both Queen and country.
ALBERT, ST., bishop of Liege, was assassinated by the emissaries of
the Emperor Henry VI. in 1195. Festival, Nov. 21.
ALBERT EDWARD. See WALES, PRINCE OF.
ALBERT I., emperor of Germany from 1298 to 1308, eldest son of
Rudolf of Hapsburg, "a most clutching, strong-fisted, dreadfully hungry,
tough, and unbeautiful man, whom his nephew at last had to assassinate,
and did assassinate, as he crossed the river Reuss with him in a boat,
May 1, 1308."
ALBERT II., a successor, "who got three crowns--Hungary, Bohemia,
and the Imperial--in one year, and we hope a fourth," says the old
historian, "which was a heavenly and eternal one," for he died the next
ALBERT III., elector of Brandenburg. See ACHILLES OF GERMANY.
ALBERT MEDAL, a medal of gold and of bronze, instituted in 1866,
awarded to civilians for acts of heroism by sea or land.
ALBERT THE BEAR, markgrave of Brandenburg, called the Bear, "not
from his looks or qualities, for he was a tall handsome man, but from the
cognisance on his shield, an able man, had a quick eye as well as a
strong hand, and could pick what way was straightest among crooked
things, was the shining figure and the great man of the North in his day,
got much in the North and kept it, got Brandenburg for one there, a
conspicuous country ever since," says Carlyle, "and which grows more so
in our late times" (1100-1175).
ALBERT NYAN`ZA, a lake in Equatorial Africa, in the Nile basin,
discovered by Sir Samuel Baker in 1864, 150 m. long by 40 broad, and 2500
feet above sea-level.
ALBER`TA (26), a fertile region with large forests in British
America, on the E. slope of the Rocky Mountains, the south abounding in
cattle ranches, and the mountainous districts in minerals.
ALBERTI, an illustrious Florentine family, rivals of the Medicis and
ALBER`TUS MAGNUS, one of the greatest of the scholastic philosophers
and theologians of the Middle Ages, teacher of Thomas Aquinas, supreme in
knowledge of the arts and sciences of the time, and regarded by his
contemporaries in consequence as a sorcerer (1190-1280).
ALBI, a town of some antiquity and note in S. of France, 22 m. NE.
ALBIGEN`SES, a religious sect, odious, as heretical, to the Church,
which sprung up about Albi, in the S. of France, in the 12th century,
against which Pope Innocent III. proclaimed a crusade, which was carried
on by Simon de Montfort in the 13th century, and by the Inquisition
afterwards, to their utter annihilation.
ALBINOS, persons or animals with preternaturally pale skin and fair
hair, also with pupils of a red or pink colour, and eyes too weak to bear
ALBINUS, an able professor of anatomy and therapeutics at Leyden
ALBION, a white cliff, the ancient name of Great Britain.
ALBOIN, king of the Lombards in the 6th century, from 561 to 573;
invaded Italy as far as the Tiber, and set up his capital in Pavia;
incurred the resentment of his wife, who had him assassinated for forcing
her to drink wine out of the skull of her father.
ALBORAK, a wonderful horse of Mahomet, an impersonation of the
lightning as his steed.
ALBOR`NOZ, a Spanish statesman, archbishop of Toledo, a bold
defender of the faith against the Moor and a plain-spoken man in the
interest of Christianity (1310-1367).
ALBRECHT. See ALBERT.
ALBRIZZI, a powerful Florentine family, rivals of the Medicis and
ALBUE`RA, a Spanish village 12 m. SE. of Badajoz, scene of a victory
(May 16, 1811) of General Beresford over Marshal Soult.
ALBUFE`RA, a lake on the coast of Spain, 7 m. S. of Valencia, near
which Marshal Suchet gained a victory over the English in 1811.
AL`BULA, Swiss mountain pass in the canton of Grisons, 7595 ft.
ALBUMEN, a glairy substance a constituent of plants and animals, and
found nearly pure in the white of an egg or in the serum of the blood.
ALBUQUERQUE`, ALFONSO D', a celebrated Portuguese patriot and
navigator, the founder of the Portuguese power in India, who, after
securing a footing in India for Portugal that he sought for, settled in
Goa, where his recall at the instance of jealous rivals at home gave him
such a shock that he died of a broken heart just as he was leaving. The
Indians long remembered his benign rule, and used to visit his tomb to
pray him to deliver them from the oppression of his successors
ALBYN, ancient Celtic name of Scotland.
ALCAE`US OF MITYLENE, a Greek lyric poet, an aristocrat by birth, a
contemporary and an alleged lover of Sappho, and much admired by Horace;
flourished about 600 B.C.
ALCA`LA DE HENA`RES (14), a town in Spain, the birthplace of
Cervantes, 21 m. E. of Madrid, long the seat of a famous university
founded by Cardinal Ximenes.
ALCAN`TARA, a town of Spain, on the Tagus, near Portugal, with a
bridge of six arches, 670 ft. long and 210 ft. high, built in honour of
Trajan in 104. The Order of Alcantara, a religious and military order,
was established in 1176 here, for defence against the Moors, and was
suppressed in 1835.
ALCESTE, the chief character in Moliere's _Misanthrope_.
ALCES`TIS, the wife of Admetus, who gave herself up to death to save
her husband. Hercules descended to the lower world and brought her back.
She is the subject of one of the tragedies of Euripides.
ALCHEMY, the early analysis of substances which has in modern times
developed into chemistry, and which aimed chiefly at the discovery of the
philosopher's stone, of a universal solvent, and of the elixir of life;
it has been defined to be "an art without art, which has its beginning in
falsehood, its middle in toil, and its end in poverty."
ALCIBI`ADES, an Athenian of high birth, and related to Pericles,
possessed of a handsome person, brilliant abilities, and great wealth,
but was of a wayward temper and depraved, whom Socrates tried hard to win
over to virtue, but failed. He involved his country in a rash expedition
against Sicily, served and betrayed it by turns in the Peloponnesian war,
and died by assassination in exile (450-404 B.C.).
ALCI`DES, the grandson of Alcaeus, a patronymic of Hercules.
ALCIN`OUS, a king of the Phaeacians, the father of Nausicaa, who
figures in the Odyssey as the host of Ulysses, who had been shipwrecked
on his shore.
ALCI`RA (18), a walled town in Spain, on an island 22 m. SW. of
ALCMAN, an early Greek lyric poet, born at Sardis.
ALCME`NE, the wife of Amphitryon and the mother of Hercules.
ALCMEONIDAE, a powerful Athenian family, of which Pericles and
Alcibiades were members, who professed to be descended from Alcmaeon, the
grandson of Nestor.
ALCOCK, JOHN, an eminent ecclesiastic of the reign of Edward IV.,
distinguished for his love of learning and learned men; _d_. 1500.
ALCOHOL, pure or highly rectified spirit obtained from fermented
saccharine solutions by distillation, and the intoxicating principle of
all spirituous liquors.
ALCOHOLISM, the results, acute or chronic, of the deleterious action
of alcohol on the human system.
ALCORAN`. See KORAN.
ALCOTT, LOUISA MARY, a popular American authoress, who acted as a
nurse to the wounded during the Civil War; her works mostly addressed to
the young (1832-1888).
ALCOY (30), a town in Spain, N. of Alicanti; staple manufacture,
AL`CUIN, a learned Englishman, a disciple of Bede; invited by
Charlemagne to introduce scholarly culture into the empire and establish
libraries and schools of learning; was one of those men whose work lies
more in what they influence others to do than in what they do themselves
ALCY`ONE, daughter of AEolus, who threw herself into the sea after
her husband, who had perished in shipwreck, and was changed into the
ALDE`BARAN, the bull's-eye, a star of the first magnitude in the eye
of the constellation Taurus; it is the sun in the Arabian mythology.
ALDEHYDE, a limpid, very volatile liquid, of a suffocating odour,
obtained from the oxidation of alcohol.
AL`DERNEY (2), one of the Channel Islands, 3 or 4 m. long by 2
broad, celebrated for its breed of cows; separated from Cape de la Hogue
by the dangerous Race of Alderney.
AL`DERSHOT, a permanent camp, established in 1855, for instruction
in military manoeuvres, on a moorland 35 m. SW. of London.
ALDINE EDITIONS, editions, chiefly of the classics, issued from the
press of Aldus Manutius in Venice in the 16th century, and remarkable for
the correctness of the text and the beauty and clearness of the printing.
ALDINGAR, SIR, legendary character, the steward of Eleanor, wife of
Henry II., who accused her of infidelity, and offered to substantiate the
charge by combat, when an angel in the form of a child appeared and
certified her innocence.
ALDOBRANDINI, a Florentine jurisconsult (1500-1558).
AL`DRED, bishop of Worcester in the reign of Edward the Confessor,
made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, became archbishop of York, and crowned
the last of the Saxon and the first of the Norman kings of England; _d_.
AL`DRICH, dean of Oxford, an accomplished ecclesiastic; was a
skilful musician, and composed many services for the Church; wrote a
system of logic, long in use in Oxford University (1647-1710).
ALDROVAN`DI, ULYSSES, a famous Italian naturalist of Bologna, who
collected an immense body of interesting facts in natural history,
published partly in his lifetime and partly after his death (1522-1607).
ALDUS MANUTIUS, or ALDO MANUZIO, an Italian printer, born at
Bassano, established a printing-office in Venice in 1488, issued the
celebrated Aldine Editions of the classics, and invented the italic type,
for the exclusive use of which for many years he obtained a patent,
though the honour of the invention is more probably due to his
typefounder, Franciso de Bologna, than to him (1447-1515).