ALEC`TO, one of the three Eumenides or Furies.
ALEMAN`, a Spanish novelist, author of the celebrated romance
_Guzman de Alfarache_, which in 6 years ran through 26 editions, was
translated several times into French; died in Mexico in 1610.
ALEMAN`NI, a confederacy of tribes which appeared on the banks of
the Rhine in the 3rd cent., and for long gave no small trouble to Rome,
but whose incursions were arrested, first by Maximinus, and finally by
Clovis in 496, who made them subject to the Franks, hence the modern
names in French for Germany and the Germans.
ALEMTE`JO (369), a southern province of Portugal; soil fertile to
ALENCON (17), a town in the dep. of Orne, 105 m. W. of Paris, once
famous for its lace.
ALENCON, COUNTS AND DUKES OF, a title borne by several members of
the house of Valois--e. g. CHARLES OF VALOIS, who fell at Crecy
(1346); JEAN IV., who fell at Agincourt (1415).
ALEP`PO (130), a city in Northern Syria, one of the finest in the
East, once one of the greatest trading centres in the world.
ALE`SIA, a strong place in the E. of Gaul, which, as situated on a
hill and garrisoned by 80,000 Gauls, cost Caesar no small trouble to take.
ALESIUS, or ALANE, a noted Reformer, born in Edinburgh,
converted to Protestantism by Patrick Hamilton; was driven first from
Scotland and then from England, till he settled as a theological
professor in Germany, and took an active part in the Reformation there
ALESSANDRIA (78), a strongly fortified and stirring town on the
Tenaro, in Northern Italy, the centre of 8 railways, 55 m. SE. of Turin.
ALESSI, architect, born at Perugia, architect of the monastery and
church of the ESCURIAL, q. v. (1500-1572).
ALETSCH GLACIER, THE, the largest of the glaciers of the Alps, which
descends round the south of the Jungfrau into the valley of the Upper
ALEU`TIAN ISLANDS (2) a chain of volcanic islands, 150 in number,
stretching over the N. Pacific from Alaska in N. America, to Kamchatka,
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, the king of Macedonia, son of Philip by
Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus, king of Epirus; born at Pella,
356 B.C.; had the philosopher Aristotle for tutor, and being instructed
by him in all kinds of serviceable knowledge, ascended the throne on the
death of his father, at the age of 20; after subduing Greece, had himself
proclaimed generalissimo of the Greeks against the Persians, and in 2
years after his accession crossed the Hellespont, followed by 30,000 foot
and 5000 horse; with these conquered the army of Darius the Persian at
Granicus in 334 and at Issus in 333; subdued the principal cities of
Syria, overran Egypt, and crossing the Euphrates and Tigris, routed the
Persians at Arbela; hurrying on farther, he swept everything before him,
till the Macedonians refusing to advance, he returned to Babylon, when he
suddenly fell ill of fever, and in eleven days died at the early age of
32. He is said to have slept every night with his Homer and his sword
under his pillow, and the inspiring idea of his life, all unconsciously
to himself belike, is defined to have been the right of Greek
intelligence to override and rule the merely glittering barbarity of the
ALEXANDER, ST., patriarch of Alexandria from 311 to 326, contributed
to bring about the condemnation of Arius at the Council of Nice;
festival, Feb 26.
ALEXANDER, SOLOMON, first Protestant bishop of Jerusalem, of Jewish
birth, cut off during a journey to Cairo (1799-1845).
ALEXANDER III., pope, successor to Adrian IV., an able man, whose
election Barbarossa at first opposed, but finally assented to; took the
part of Thomas a Becket against Henry II. and canonised him, as also St.
Bernard. Pope from 1159 to 1181.
ALEXANDER VI., called Borgia from his mother, a Spaniard by birth,
obtained the popehood by bribery in 1492 in succession to Innocent VIII.,
lived a licentious life and had several children, among others the
celebrated Lucretia and the infamous Caesar Borgia; _d_. in 1503, after a
career of crime, not without suspicion of poison. In addition to
Alexanders III. and VI., six of the name were popes: Alexander I., pope
from 108 to 117; Alexander II., pope from 1061 to 1073; Alexander IV.,
pope from 1254 to 1261; Alexander V., pope from 1409 to 1410; Alexander
VII., pope from 1653 to 1667, who was forced to kiss his hand to Louis
XIV.; Alexander VIII., pope from 1689 to 1691.
ALEXANDER I., king of Scotland, son of Malcolm Canmore and Margaret,
sister of Edgar Atheling, a vigorous prince, surnamed on that account
_The Fierce_; subdued a rising in the North, and stood stoutly in defence
of the independent rights of both Crown and Church against the claim of
supremacy over both on the part of England; _d_. 1124.
ALEXANDER II., of Scotland, successor of William the Lion, his
father, a just and wise ruler, aided the English barons against John, and
married Joan, the sister of Henry III.; _d_. 1249.
ALEXANDER III., son of the preceding, married a daughter of Henry
III., sided with him against the barons, successfully resisted the
invasion of Haco, king of Norway, and on the conclusion of peace gave his
daughter in marriage to Haco's successor Eric; accidentally killed by
falling over a cliff near Kinghorn when hunting in 1285.
ALEXANDER I., emperor of Russia, son and successor of Paul I., took
part in the European strife against the encroachments of Napoleon, was
present at the battle of Austerlitz, fought the French at Pultusk and
Eylau, was defeated at Friedland, had an interview with Napoleon at
Tilsit in 1813, entered into a coalition with the other Powers against
France, which ended in the capture of Paris and the abdication of
Napoleon in 1814. Under his reign Russia rose into political importance
in Europe (1777-1825).
ALEXANDER II., emperor of Russia, son and successor of Nicholas I.,
fell heir to the throne while the siege of Sebastopol was going on; on
the conclusion of a peace applied himself to reforms in the state and the
consolidation and extension of the empire. His reign is distinguished by
a ukase decreeing in 1861 the emancipation of the serfs numbering 23
millions, by the extension of the empire in the Caucasus and Central
Asia, and by the war with Turkey in the interest of the Slavs in 1877-78,
which was ended by the peace of San Stephano, revised by the treaty of
Berlin. His later years were clouded with great anxiety, owing to the
spread of Nihilism, and he was killed by a bomb thrown at him by a
ALEXANDER III., emperor of Russia, son of the preceding, followed in
the footsteps of his father, and showed a marked disposition to live on
terms of peace with the other Powers; his reign not distinguished by any
very remarkable event. The present Czar is his son and successor
ALEXANDER I., king of Servia, _b_. 1876.
ALEXANDER NEVSKY, grand-duke of Russia, conquered the Swedes, the
Danes, and the Teutonic Knights on the banks of the Neva, freed Russia
from tribute to the Mongols, is one of the saints of the Russian Church.
ALEXANDER OF HALES, the _Doctor irrefragabilis_ of the Schools, an
English ecclesiastic, a member of the Franciscan order, who in his "Summa
Universae Theologiae" formulated, by severe rigour of Aristotelian logic,
the theological principles and ecclesiastical rites of the Romish Church;
_d_. in 1222.
ALEXANDER OF PARIS, a Norman poet of the 16th century, who wrote a
poem on Alexander the Great in twelve-syllabled lines, called after him
ALEXANDER OF THE NORTH, Charles XII. of Sweden.
ALEXANDER SEVE`RUS, a Roman emperor, a wise, virtuous, and pious
prince, conquered Artaxerxes, king of Persia, in an expedition against
him, but setting out against the Germans, who were causing trouble on the
frontiers of the empire, fell a victim, along with his mother, to an
insurrection among his troops not far from Mainz (205-235).
ALEXAN`DRIA (230), a world-famous city, the chief port of Egypt,
founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., at one time a great centre
of learning, and in possession of the largest library of antique
literature in the world, which was burned by the Caliph Omar in 640; at
one time a place of great commerce, but that has very materially decayed
since the opening of the Suez Canal. Alexandria, from its intimate
connection with both East and West, gave birth in early times to a
speculative philosophy which drew its principles from eastern as well as
western sources, which was at its height on the first encounter of these
ALEXANDRIA (14), a town on the Potomac, 7 m. S. of Washington,
accessible to vessels of the largest size; also a thriving town (7) on
the river Leven, 3 m. N. of Dumbarton.
ALEXANDRIAN CODEX, an MS. on parchment of the Septuagint Scriptures
in Greek in uncial letters, which belonged to the library of the
patriarchs of Alexandra.
ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY, the library burned by the Caliph Omar in 642,
said to have contained 700,000 volumes.
ALEXANDRI`NA LAKE, a lake in Australia into which the river Murray
ALEXANDRINE PHILOSOPHY, a Gnostic philosophy, combining eastern with
western forms of thought.
ALEXANDRINES. See ALEXANDER OF PARIS.
ALEXAN`DROPOL (22), the largest town in the Erivan district of
Russian Armenia, and a fortress of great strength.
ALEXIS, ST., the patron saint of beggars and pilgrims, represented
in art with a staff and in a pilgrim's habit; sometimes lying on a mat,
with a letter in his hand, dying.
ALEXIS MICHAELOVITCH, czar of Russia, the father of Peter the Great,
the first czar who acted on the policy of cultivating friendly relations
with other European states (1630-1677).
ALEXIS PETROVITCH, son of Peter the Great, conspired against his
father as he had broken the heart of his mother, was condemned to death;
after his trial by secret judges he was found dead in prison (1695-1718).
ALEXIUS COMNE`NUS, emperor of the East, began life as a soldier, was
a great favourite with the soldiers, who, in a period of anarchy, raised
him to the throne at the period of the first crusade, when the empire was
infested by Turks on the one hand and Normans on the other, while the
crusaders who passed through his territory proved more troublesome than
either. He managed to hold the empire together in spite of these
troubles, and to stave off the doom that impended all through his reign
of thirty-seven years (1048-1118).
ALFA, an esparto grass valuable for making paper.
AL`FADUR, the All-Father or uncreated supreme in the Norse
ALFARA`BI, an Arabian philosopher of the 10th century, had Avicenna
for a disciple, wrote on various subjects, and was the first to attempt
an encyclopedic work.
ALFIE`RI, an Italian dramatist, spent his youth in dissipation
before he devoted himself to the dramatic art; on the success of his
first drama "Cleopatra," met at Florence with the Countess of Albany, the
wife of Charles Edward Stuart, on whose death he married her; was at
Paris when the Revolution broke out, and returned to Florence, where he
died and was buried. Tragedy was his _forte_ as a dramatist (1749-1803).
ALFONSINE TABLES, astronomical tables drawn up at Toledo by order of
Alfonso X. in 1252 to correct the anomalies in the Ptolemaic tables; they
divided the year into 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, 16 seconds.
ALFONSO I., the "Conqueror," founder of the kingdom of Portugal, was
the first king, originally only count, as his father before him; in that
capacity took up arms against the Moors, and defeating them had himself
proclaimed king on the field of battle, a title confirmed to him by the
Pope and made good by his practically subjecting all Portugal to his sway
ALFONSO X., the Wise, or the Astronomer, king of Castile and Leon,
celebrated as an astronomer and a philosopher; after various successes
over the Moors, first one son and then another rose against him and drove
him from the throne; died of chagrin at Seville two years later. His fame
connects itself with the preparation of the Alfonsine Tables, and the
remark that "the universe seemed a crank machine, and it was a pity the
Creator had not taken advice." It was a saying of his, "old wood to burn,
old books to read, old wine to drink, and old friends to converse with"
ALFONSO III., surnamed the Great, king of Asturias, ascended the
throne in 866, fought against and gained numerous victories over the
Moors; the members of his family rose against him and compelled him to
abdicate, but on a fresh incursion of the Moors he came forth from his
retreat and triumphantly beat them back; died in Zamora, 910.
ALFORD, HENRY, vicar of Wymeswold and afterwards Dean of Canterbury;
his works and writings were numerous, and included poems and hymns. His
great work, however, was an edition of the Greek New Testament, with
notes, various readings, and comments (1810-1871).
ALFORD, MICHAEL, a learned English Jesuit, left two great works,
"Britannia Illustrata" and "Annales Ecclesiastici et Civiles
ALFRED, DUKE OF SAXE-COBURG AND GOTHA, son of Prince Albert and
Queen Victoria; _b_. 1844.
ALFRED THE GREAT, king of the West Saxons, and the most celebrated
and greatest of all the Saxon kings. His troubles were with the Danes,
who at the time of his accession infested the whole country north of the
Thames; with these he fought nine battles with varied success, till after
a lull of some years he was surprised by Gunthrum, then king, in 878, and
driven to seek refuge on the island of Athelney. Not long after this he
left his retreat and engaged Gunthrum at Edington, and after defeating
him formed a treaty with him, which he never showed any disposition to
break. After this Alfred devoted himself to legislation, the
administration of government, and the encouragement of learning, being a
man of letters himself. England owes much to him both as a man and a
ruler, and it was he who in the creation of a fleet laid the first
foundation of her greatness as monarch of the deep. His literary works
were translations of the "General History" of Orosius, the
"Ecclesiastical History" of Bede, Boethius's "Consolations of
Philosophy," and the "Cura Pastoralis" of Pope Gregory, all executed for
the edification of his subjects (849-901).
ALGAE, sea-weeds and plants of the same order under fresh water as
well as salt; they are flowerless, stemless, and cellular throughout.
ALGAR`DI, an Italian sculptor of note, born at Bologna; his greatest
work is an alto-relievo, the largest existing, of Pope Leo restraining
Attila from marching on Rome (1602-1654).
ALGARO`TTI, FRANCESCO, a clever Italian author, born at Venice,
whom, for his wit, Frederick the Great was attached to and patronised,
"one of the first _beaux esprits_ of the age," according to Wilhelmina,
Frederick's sister. Except his wit, it does not appear Frederick got much
good out of him, for the want of the due practical faculty, all the
faculty he had having evaporated in talk (1712-1764).
ALGAR`VE (240), the southernmost province of Portugal, hilly, but
traversed with rich valleys, which yield olives, vines, oranges, &c.
ALGEBRA, a universal arithmetic of Arabian origin or Arabian
transmission, in which symbols are employed to denote operations, and
letters to represent number and quantity.
ALGE`RIA, in the N. of Africa, belongs to France, stretches between
Morocco on the W. and Tripoli and Tunis on the E., the country being
divided into the Tell along the sea-coast, which is fertile, the Atlas
Highlands overlooking it on the S., on the southern slopes of which are
marshy lakes called "shotts," on which alfa grows wild, and the Sahara
beyond, rendered habitable here and there by the creation of artesian
wells; its extent nearly equal in area to that of France, and the
population numbers about four millions, of which only a quarter of a
million is French. The country is divided into Departments, of which
Algiers, Oran, and Constantine are the respective capitals. It has been
successively under the sway of the Carthaginians, the Romans, the
Vandals, the Arabs, the Byzantines, and the Berbers, which last were in
the 16th century supplanted by the Turks. At the end of this period it
became a nest of pirates, against whom a succession of expeditions were
sent from several countries of Europe, but it was only with the conquest
of it by the French in 1830 that this state of things was brought to an
ALGESI`RAS (12), a town and port in Spain on the Bay of Gibraltar, 5
m. across the bay; for centuries a stronghold of the Moors, but taken
from them by Alfonso IX. after a siege of twenty months.
ALGIERS` (75), the capital of Algeria, founded by the Arabs in 935,
called the "silver city," from the glistening white of its buildings as
seen sloping up from the sea, presenting a striking appearance, was for
centuries under its Bey the head-quarters of piracy in the Mediterranean,
which only began to cease when Lord Exmouth bombarded the town and
destroyed the fleet in the harbour. Since it fell into the hands of the
French the city has been greatly improved, the fortifications
strengthened, and its neighbourhood has become a frequent resort of
English people in winter.
ALGINE, a viscous gum obtained from certain sea-weeds, used as size
for textile fabrics, and for thickening soups and jellies.
ALGO`A BAY, an inlet at the E. of Cape Colony, 20 m. wide, on which
Port Elizabeth stands, 425 m. E. of the Cape of Good Hope.
AL`GOL, a double star in the constellation Perseus, of changing
ALGONQUINS, one of the three aboriginal races of N. American
Indians, originally occupying nearly the whole region from the Churchill
and Hudson Bay southward to N. Carolina, and from the E. of the Rocky
Mts. to Newfoundland; the language they speak has been divided into five
ALHAM`BRA (Red Castle), an ancient palace and stronghold of the
Moorish kings of Granada, founded by Muhammed II. in 1213, decorated with
gorgeous arabesques by Usuf I. (1345), erected on the crest of a hill
which overlooks Granada; has suffered from neglect, bad usage, and
A`LI, the cousin of Mahomet, and one of his first followers at the
age of sixteen, "a noble-minded creature, full of affection and fiery
daring. Something chivalrous in him; brave as a lion; yet with a grace, a
truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood." Became Caliph in
656, died by assassination in the Mosque at Bagdad; the Sheiks yearly
commemorate his death. See Carlyle's "Heroes."
ALI BABA. See BABA, ALI.
A`LI PASHA, pasha of Janina, a bold and crafty Albanian, able man,
and notorious for his cruelty as well as craft; alternately gained the
favour of the Porte and lost it by the alliances he formed with hostile
powers, until the Sultan sentenced him to deposition, and sent Hassan
Pasha to demand his head; he offered violent resistance but being
overpowered at length surrendered, when his head was severed from his
body and sent to Constantinople (1741-1822).
ALICAN`TE (40), the third seaport-town in Spain, with a spacious
harbour and strongly fortified, in a province of the same name on the
ALIGARH` (61), a town with a fort between Agra and Delhi, the
garrison of which mutinied in 1857.
ALIGHIE`RI, the family name of Dante.
AL`IMA, an affluent on the right bank of the Congo, in French
ALIMENTARY CANAL, a passage 5 or 6 times the length of the body,
lined throughout with mucous membrane, extends from the mouth to the
anus, and includes mouth, fauces, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, and small
and large intestines.
ALISON, ARCHIBALD, an Episcopal clergyman in Edinburgh, of which he
was a native, best known for his "Essay on the Nature and Principles of
ALISON, SIR ARCHIBALD, son of the preceding, a lawyer who held
several prominent legal appointments, and a historian, his great work
being a "Modern History of Europe from the French Revolution to the Fall
of Napoleon," afterwards extended to the "Accession of Louis Napoleon"
ALISON, W. PULTENEY, brother of the preceding, professor of medicine
in Edinburgh University, and a philanthropist (1790-1859).
ALIWAL`, a village in the Punjab, on the Sutlej, where Sir Harry
Smith gained a brilliant victory over the Sikhs, who were provided with
forces in superior numbers, in 1846.
AL`KAHEST, the presumed universal solvent of the alchemists.
ALKALIES, bodies which, combining with acids form salts, are soluble
in water, and properly four in number, viz., potash, soda, lithia, and
ALKALINE EARTHS, earths not soluble in water, viz., lime, magnesia,
strontia, and baryta.
ALKALOIDS, bodies of vegetable origin, similar in their properties,
as well as toxicologically, to alkalies; contain as a rule carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen; many of them are poisonous and invaluable
ALKMAAR` (14), the capital of N. Holland, 25 m. NW. of Amsterdam,
with a large trade in cattle, grain, and cheese.
ALKMER, HENRIK VAN, the reputed author of the first German version
of "Reynard the Fox."
ALL THE TALENTS, ADMINISTRATION OF, a ministry formed by Lord
Grenville on the death of Pitt in 1806.
AL`LAH, the Adorable, the Arab name for God, adopted by the
Mohammedans as the name of the one God.
ALLAHABAD` (175), the City of God, a central city of British India,
on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, 550 m. from Calcutta, and
on the railway between that city and Bombay.
ALLAN, DAVID, a Scottish portrait and historical painter, born at
Alloa; illustrated Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd"; his greatest work is the
"Origin of Painting," now in the National Gallery at Edinburgh
ALLAN, SIR WILLIAM, a distinguished Scottish historical painter,
born at Edinburgh, many of his paintings being on national subjects; he
was a friend of Scott, who patronised his work, and in succession to
Wilkie, president of the Royal Scottish Academy; painted "Circassian
Captives" and "Slave-Market at Constantinople" (1782-1850).
ALLANTOIS, a membrane enveloping the foetus in mammals, birds, and
ALLARD`, a French general, entered the service of Runjeet Singh at
Lahore, trained his troops in European war tactics, and served him
against the Afghans; died at Peshawar (1785-1839).
ALLEGHA`NY (105), a manufacturing city in Pennsylvania, on the Ohio,
opposite Pittsburg, of which it is a kind of suburb.
ALLEGHA`NY MOUNTAINS, a range in the Appalachian system in U.S.,
extending from Pennsylvania to N. Carolina; do not exceed 2400 ft. in
height, run parallel with the Atlantic coast, and form the watershed
between the Atlantic rivers and the Mississippi.
ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION, assigning a higher than a literal
interpretation to the Scripture record of things, in particular the Old
ALLEGORY, a figurative mode of representation, in which a subject of
a higher spiritual order is described in terms of that of a lower which
resembles it in properties and circumstances, the principal subject being
so kept out of view that we are left to construe the drift of it from the
resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject.
ALLEGRI, the family name of Correggio; the name of an Italian
composer, born at Rome, the author of a still celebrated _Miserere_
AL`LEINE, JOSEPH, a Puritan writer, author of a book once, and to
some extent still, much in favour among religious people, entitled "Alarm
to the Unconverted" (1632-1674).
ALLEN, BOG OF, a dreary expanse of bogs of peat E. of the Shannon,
in King's Co. and Kildare, Ireland; LOUGH OF, an expansion of the
waters of the Shannon.
ALLEN, ETHAN, one of the early champions of American independence,
taken prisoner in a raid into Canada; wrote a defence of deism and
rational belief (1738-1789).
ALLEN, GRANT, man of letters, born in Kingston, Canada, 1848, and a
prolific writer; an able upholder of the evolution doctrine and an
expounder of Darwinism.
ALLEN, JOHN, an M.D. of Scotch birth, and a contributor to the
_Edinburgh Review_ (1771-1843).
ALLEN, WM., a distinguished chemist and philanthropist, son of a
Spitalfields weaver, a member of the Society of Friends, and a devoted
promoter of its principles (1770-1843).
ALLENTOWN (34), a town on the Lehigh River, 50 m. NW. of
Philadelphia, the great centre of the iron trade in the U.S.
ALLE`RION, in heraldry, an eagle with expanded wings, the points
turned downwards, and without beak or feet.
ALLEYN, EDWARD, a celebrated actor in the reigns of Elizabeth and
James I., the founder of Dulwich College, and was voluntarily along with
his wife one of its first beneficiaries and inmates; was a contemporary
of Shakespeare (1566-1626).
AL`LIA, a stream flowing into the Tiber 11 m. from Rome, where the
Romans were defeated by the Gauls under Brennus, 387 B.C.
ALLIANCE, THE TRIPLE, in 1668, between England, Holland, and Sweden
against Louis XIV.; the QUADRUPLE, in 1718, between France, England,
Holland, and the Empire to maintain the treaty of Utrecht; the HOLY,
in 1815, between Russia, Austria, and Prussia against Liberal ideas; the
TRIPLE, in 1872, between Germany, Austria, and Russia, at the
instigation of Bismarck, from which Russia withdrew in 1886, when Italy
stepped into her place. Under it the signatories in 1887 guarantee the
integrity of their respective territories.
ALLIER, a confluent of the river Loire, in France, near Nevers; also
the department through which it flows.
ALLIES, the name generally given to the confederate Powers who in
1814 and 1815 entered France and restored the Bourbons.
ALLIES, THOMAS WILLIAM, an English clergyman who turned Roman
Catholic, and wrote, in defence of the step, among others, the "See of
St. Peter, the Rock of the Church."
ALLIGATOR, a N. American fresh-water crocodile, numerous in the
Mississippi and the lakes and rivers of Louisiana and Carolina; subsists
on fish, and though timid, is dangerous when attacked; is slow in
turning, however, and its attacks can be easily evaded.
ALLINGHAM, WILLIAM, a poet and journalist, born in Ireland, of
English origin; his most celebrated works are "Day and Night Songs" and
"Lawerence Bloomfield in Ireland"; was for a time editor of _Fraser's
ALLMAN, GEORGE J., M.D., Emeritus Professor of Natural History in
Edinburgh, an eminent naturalist; born in Ireland (1812-1898).
ALLOA (12), a thriving seaport on north bank of the Forth, in
Clackmannan, 6 m. below Stirling, famous for its ale.
ALLOB`ROGES, a Celtic race troublesome to the Romans, who occupied
the country between the Rhone and the Lake of Geneva, corresponding to
Dauphine and Savoy.
ALLOPATHY, in opposition to homoeopathy, the treatment of disease by
producing a condition of the system different from or opposite to the
condition essential to the disease to be cured.
ALLOTROPY, the capability which certain compounds show of assuming
different properties and qualities, although composed of identical
ALLOWAY, the birthplace of Burns, on the Doon, 2 m. from Ayr, the
assumed scene of Tam o' Shanter's adventure.
ALLOWAY KIRK, a ruin S. of Ayr, celebrated as the scene of the
witches' dance in "Tam o' Shanter."
ALL-SAINTS' DAY, the 1st of November, a feast dedicated to all the
ALL-SOULS' DAY, a festival on the 2nd November to pray for the souls
of the faithful deceased, such as may be presumed to be still suffering
ALLSPICE, the berry of the pimento, or Jamaica pepper.
ALLSTON, WASHINGTON, an American painter and poet, whose genius was
much admired by Coleridge (1779-1843).
ALMA, a river in the Crimea, half-way between Eupatoria and
Sebastopol, where the allied English, French, and Turkish armies defeated
the Russians under Prince Menschikoff, Sept. 20, 1854.
ALMACK'S, a suite of assembly rooms, afterwards known as Willis's
Rooms, where select balls used to be given, admission to which was a
certificate of high social standing.
ALMADEN (9), a town on the northern slope of the Sierra Morena, in
Spain, with rich mines of quicksilver.
ALMA`GRO, DIEGO D', a confederate of Pizzaro in the conquest of
Peru, but a quarrel with the brothers of Pizzaro about the division of
the spoil on the capture of Cuzco, the capital of Chile, led to his
imprisonment and death (1475-1538).--DIEGO D', his son, who avenged
his death by killing Pizzaro, but being conquered by Vaca de Castro, was
himself put to death (1520-1542).
AL-MAMOUN, the son of HAROUN-EL-RASCHID, the 7th Abbaside
caliph, a great promoter of science and learning; _b_. 833.
ALMANACH DE GOTHA, a kind of European peerage, published annually by
Perthes at Gotha; of late years extended so as to include statesmen and
military people, as well as statistical information.
ALMANSUR, ABU GIAFAR, the 2nd Abbaside caliph and the first of the
caliphs to patronise learning; founded Bagdad, and made it the seat of
the caliphate; _d_. 775.
ALMANSUR, ABU MOHAMMED, a great Moorish general in the end of the
10th century, had overrun and nearly made himself master of all Spain,
when he was repulsed and totally defeated by the kings of Leon and
Navarre in 948.
AL`MA-TAD`EMA, LAURENCE, a distinguished artist of Dutch descent,
settled in London; famous for his highly-finished treatment of classic
subjects; _b_. 1836.
ALMAVIVA, a character in Beaumarchais' _Marriage de Figaro_,
representative of one of the old noblesse of France, recalling all their
manners and vices, who is duped by his valet Figaro, a personification of
wit, talent, and intrigue.
ALMEIDA, a strong fortress in the province of Beira, on the Spanish
frontier of Portugal.
ALMEIDA, FRANCESCO, the first Portuguese viceroy of India, a firm
and wise governor, superseded by Albuquerque, and killed on his way home
by the Kaffirs at the Cape in 1510.--LORENZO, his son, acting under
him, distinguished himself in the Indian seas, and made Ceylon tributary
ALMERIA (37), a chief town and seaport in the S. of Spain, an
important and flourishing place, next to Granada, under the Moors, and at
one time a nest of pirates more formidable than those of Algiers.
ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, the Almighty whom the Americans are charged with
worshipping, first applied to them, it would seem, by Washington Irving.
ALMOHADES, a Moslem dynasty which ruled in N. Africa and Spain from
1129 to 1273.
ALMO`RA, a high-lying town at the foot of the Himalayas, 85 m. N. of
ALMORAVIDES, a Moslem dynasty which subdued first Fez and Morocco,
and then S. Spain, from 1055 to 1147.
ALNWICK, the county town of Northumberland, on the Aln; at the north
entrance is Alnwick Castle, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, one
of the most magnificent structures of the kind in England, and during the
Border wars a place of great strength.
ALOE, a genus of succulent plants embracing 200 species, the
majority natives of S. Africa, valuable in medicine, in particular a
purgative from the juice of the leaves of several species.
ALOES WOOD, the heart of certain tropical trees, which yields a
fragrant resinous substance and admits of high polish.
ALOST (25), a Belgian town on the Dender, 19 m. NW. from Brussels,
with a cathedral, one of the grandest in Belgium, which contains a famous
painting by Rubens, "St. Roche beseeching Christ to arrest the Plague at
ALOYSIUS, ST., See GONZAGA.
ALOYSIUS, ST., an Italian nobleman, who joined the Society of Jesus;
canonised for his devotion to the sick during the plague in Rome, to
which he himself fell a victim, June 21, 1591.
ALPACA, a gregarious ruminant of the camel family, a native of the
Andes, and particularly the tablelands of Chile and Peru; is covered with
a long soft silky wool, of which textile fabrics are woven; in appearance
resembles a sheep, but is larger in size, and has a long erect neck with
a handsome head.
ALP-ARSLAN (Brave Lion), a sultan of the Seljuk dynasty in Persia,
added Armenia and Georgia to his dominions (1030-1072).
ALPES, three departments in SE. France: the BASSES-A, in NE.
part of Provence, bounded by Hautes-Alpes on the N. and Var on the S.,
sterile in the N., fertile in the S., cap. Digne; HAUTES-A., forming
part of Dauphine, traversed by the Cottian Alps, climate severe, cap.
Gap; A. MARITIMES, E. of the Basses-A., bordering on Italy and the
Mediterranean, made up of the territory of Nice, ceded by Italy, and of
Monaco and Var; cap. Nice.
ALPHE`US, a river in the Peloponnesus, flowing west, with its source
in Arcadia; also the name of the river-god enamoured of the nymph
Arethusa, and who pursued her under the sea as far as Sicily, where he
overtook her and was wedded to her.
ALPINE CLUB, a club of English gentlemen devoted to mountaineering,
first of all in the Alps, members of which have successfully addressed
themselves to attempts of the kind on loftier mountains.
ALPINE PLANTS, plants whose natural habitat approaches the line of
ALPS, THE, the vastest mountain system in Europe; form the boundary
between France, Germany, and Switzerland on the N. and W., and Italy on
the S., their peaks mostly covered with perpetual snow, the highest being
Mont Blanc, within the frontiers of France. According to height, they
have been distributed into _Fore, Middle_, and _High:_ the Fore rising to
the limit of trees; the Middle, to the line of perpetual snow; and the
High, above the snow-line. In respect of range or extent, they have been
distributed into _Western, Middle_, and _Eastern:_ the Western, including
the Maritime, the Cottian, the Dauphine, and the Graian, extend from the
Mediterranean to Mont Blanc; the Middle, including the Pennine and
Bernese, extend from Mont Blanc to the Brenner Pass; and the Eastern,
including the Dolomite, the Julian, and the Dinaric, extend from the
Brenner and Hungarian plain to the Danube. These giant masses occupy an
area of 90,000 sq. m., and extend from the 44th to the 48th parallel of
ALPUJAR`RAS, a rich and lovely valley which stretches S. from the
Sierra Nevada in Spain.
ALRUNA-WIFE, the household goddess of a German family.
ALSACE-LORRAINE` (1,640), a territory originally of the German
empire, ceded to Louis XIV. by the peace of Westphalia in 1648, but
restored to Germany after the Franco-German war in 1870-71, by the peace
of Frankfort; is under a governor general bearing the title of
"Statthalter"; is a great wine-producing country, yields cereals and
tobacco, its cotton manufacture the most important in Germany.
ALSA`TIA, Whitefriars, London, which at one time enjoyed the
privilege of a debtors' sanctuary, and had, till abolished in 1697,
become a haunt of all kinds of nefarious characters.
ALSEN (25), a Danish island adjacent to Sleswig, one of the finest
in the Baltic, now ceded to Germany.
AL-SIRAT, the hair-narrow hell-bridge of the Moslem, which every
Mohammedan must pass to enter Paradise.
ALSTEN, an island off the coast of Northland, Norway, with seven
snow-capped hills, called the Seven Sisters.
ALTAI` MOUNTAINS, in Central Asia, stretching W. from the Desert of
Gobi, and forming the S. boundary of Asiatic Russia, abounding, to the
profit of Russia, in silver and copper, as well as other metals.
ALTDOR`FER, ALBRECHT, a German painter and engraver, a distinguished
pupil of Albert Duerer, and as a painter, inspired with his spirit; his
"Battle of Arbela" adorns the Muenich Picture Gallery (1488-1538).
AL`TEN, KARL AUGUST, a distinguished officer, native of Hanover, who
entered the British service, bore arms under Sir John Moore, was chief of
a division, under Wellington, in the Peninsular war, and closed his
military career at the battle of Waterloo (1763-1840).
AL`TENBURG (33), capital of Saxe-Altenburg, and 4 m. S. of Leipsic;
its castle is the scene of the famous "PRINZENRAUB" (q. v.),
related by Carlyle in his "Miscellanies."
ALTHEN, a Persian refugee, who introduced into France the
cultivation of madder, which became one of the most important products of
the S. of France.
ALTON LOCKE, a novel, by Charles Kingsley, written in sympathy with
the Chartist movement, in which Carlyle is introduced as one of the
ALTO`NA (148), a town and seaport of Sleswig-Holstein, now belonging
to Germany, close to Hamburg, on the right bank of the Elbe, and
healthier, and as good as forming one city with it.
ALTO-RELIEVO, figures carved out of a tablet so as to project at
least one half from its surface.
AL`TORF, an old town in the canton Uri, at the S. end of the Lake of
Lucerne; associated with the story of William Tell; a place of transit
ALTRUISM, a Comtist doctrine which inculcates sacrifice of self for
the good of others as the rule of human action.
ALUMBRA`DO, a member of a Spanish sect that laid claim to perfect
ALURED OF BEVERLEY, an English chronicler of the 12th century; his
annals comprise the history of the Britons, Saxons, and Normans up to his
own time; _d_. 1129.
ALVA, DUKE OF, a general of the armies of Charles V. and Philip of
Spain; his career as a general was uniformly successful, but as a
governor his cruelty was merciless, especially as the viceroy of Philip
in the Low Countries, "very busy cutting off high heads in Brabant, and
stirring up the Dutch to such fury as was needful for exploding Spain and
ALVARA`DO, PEDRO DE, one of the Spanish conquerors of Mexico, and
comrade of Cortez; was appointed Governor of Guatemala by Charles V. as a
reward for his valiant services in the interest of Spain; was a generous
man as well as a brave.
ALVAREZ, FRANCESCO, a Portuguese who, in the 15th century, visited
Abyssinia and wrote an account of it.
ALVAREZ, DON JOSE, the most distinguished of Spanish sculptors, born
near Cordova, and patronised by Napoleon, who presented him with a gold
medal, but to whom, for his treatment of his country, he conceived so
great an aversion, that he would never model a bust of him (1768-1827).
ALVIANO, an eminent Venetian general, distinguished himself in the
defence of the republic against the Emperor Maximilian (1455-1515).
AMADEUS, LAKE, a lake in the centre of Australia, subject to an
almost total drying-up at times.
AMADE`US V., count of Savoy, surnamed the Great from his wisdom and
success as a ruler (1249-1323).
AMADEUS VIII., 1st duke of Savoy, increased his dominions, and
retired into a monastery on the death of his wife; he was elected Pope as
Felix V., but was not acknowledged by the Church (1383-1451).
AMADEUS I., of Spain, 2nd son of Victor Emmanuel of Italy, elected
king of Spain in 1870, but abdicated in 1873 (1845-1890).
AM`ADIS DE GAUL, a celebrated romance in prose, written partly in
Spanish and partly in French by different romancers of the 15th century;
the first four books were regarded by Cervantes as a masterpiece. The
hero of the book, Amadis, surnamed the Knight of the Lion, stands for a
type of a constant and deferential lover, as well as a model
knight-errant, of whom Don Quixote is the caricature.
AMADOU, a spongy substance, consisting of slices of certain fungi
beaten together, used as a styptic, and, after being steeped in
saltpetre, used as tinder.
AMAIMON, a devil who could he restrained from working evil from the
third hour till noon and from the ninth till evening.
AMALARIC, king of the Visigoths, married a daughter of Clovis; _d_.
AMALEKITES, a warlike race of the Sinaitic peninsula, which gave
much trouble to the Israelites in the wilderness; were as good as
annihilated by King David.
AMAL`FI, a port on the N. of the Gulf of Salerno, 24 m. SE. of
Naples; of great importance in the Middle Ages, and governed by Doges of
AMALFIAN LAWS, a code of maritime law compiled at Amalfi.
AMA`LIA, ANNA, the Duchess of Weimar, the mother of the grand-duke;
collected about her court the most illustrious literary men of the time,
headed by Goethe, who was much attached to her (1739-1807).
AMALRIC, one of the leaders in the crusade against the Albigenses,
who, when his followers asked him how they were to distinguish heretics
from Catholics, answered, "Kill them all; God will know His own;" _d_.
AMALTHE`A, the goat that suckled Zeus, one of whose horns became the
cornucopia--horn of plenty.
AMA`RA SINHA, a Hindu Buddhist, left a valuable thesaurus of
AMA`RI, MICHELE, an Italian patriot, born at Palermo, devoted a
great part of his life to the history of Sicily, and took part in its
emancipation; was an Orientalist as well; he is famous for throwing light
on the true character of the Sicilian Vespers (1806-1889).
AMARYL`LIS, a shepherdess in one of Virgil's pastorals; any young
AMA`SIA (25), a town in Asia Minor, once the capital of the kings of
AMA`SIS, king of Egypt, originally a simple soldier, took part in an
insurrection, dethroned the reigning monarch and assumed the crown,
proved an able ruler, and cultivated alliances with Greece; reigned from
570 to 546 B.C.
AMA`TI, a celebrated family of violin-makers; Andrea and Niccolo,
brothers, at Cremona, in the 16th and 17th centuries.
AMATITLAN (10), a town in Guatemala, the inhabitants of which are
mainly engaged in the preparation of cochineal.
AMAUROSIS, a weakness or loss of vision, the cause of which was at
one time unknown.
AMAZON, a river in S. America and the largest on the globe, its
basin nearly equal in extent to the whole of Europe; traverses the
continent at its greatest breadth, rises in the Andes about 50 m. from
the Pacific, and after a course of 4000 m. falls by a delta into the
Atlantic, its waters increased by an immense number of tributaries, 20 of
which are above 1000 m. in length, one 2000 m., its mouth 200 m. wide;
its current affects the ocean 150 m. out; is navigable 3000 m. up, and by
steamers as far as the foot of the Andes.
AMAZONS, a fabulous race of female warriors, who had a queen of
their own, and excluded all men from their community; to perpetuate the
race, they cohabited with men of the neighbouring nations; slew all the
male children they gave birth to, or sent them to their fathers; burnt
off the right breasts of the females, that they might be able to wield
the bow in war.
AMBASSADOR, "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the commonwealth"
AMBER, a fossil resin, generally yellow and semi-transparent,
derived, it is presumed, from certain extinct coniferous trees; becomes
electric by friction, and gives name to electricity, the Greek word for
it being _electron_; has been fished up for centuries in the Baltic, and
is now used in varnishes and for tobacco pipes.
AMBERGER, a painter of Nuernberg in the 16th century, a disciple of
Holbein, his principal work being the history of Joseph in twelve
AMBERGRIS, an ashy-coloured odorous substance used in perfumery,
presumed to be a morbid fragment of the intestines of the spermaceti
whale, being often found floating on the ocean which it frequents.
AMBERLEY, LORD, son of Lord John Russell, wrote an "Analysis of
Religious Belief," which, as merely sceptical, his father took steps to
secure the suppression of, without success.
AMBLESIDE, a small market-town near the head of Lake Windermere, in
the Wordsworth or so-called Lake District.
AMBLYOPSIS, a small fish without eyes, found in the Mammoth
AMBOISE (5), a town on the Loire, 14 m. E. of Tours, with a castle,
once the residence of the French kings. The Conspiracy of A., the
conspiracy of Conde and the Huguenots in 1560 against Francis II.,
Catharine de Medici, and the Guises. The Edict of A. (1563) conceded the
free exercise of their worship to the Protestants.
AMBOISE, GEORGE DE, CARDINAL, the popular Prime Minister of Louis
XII., who, as such, reduced the Public burdens, and as the Pope's legate
in France effected a great reform among the religious orders; is said to
have died immensely rich (1460-1510).
AMBOYNA (238), with a chief city of the name, the most important of
the Moluccas, in the Malay Archipelago, and rich before all in spices; it
belongs to the Dutch, who have diligently fostered its capabilities.
AM`BROSE, ST., bishop of Milan, born at Treves, one of the Fathers
of the Latin Church, and a zealous opponent of the Arian heresy; as a
stern puritan refused to allow Theodosius to enter his church, covered as
his hands were with the blood of an infamous massacre, and only admitted
him to Church privilege after a severe penance of eight months; he
improved the Church service, wrote several hymns, which are reckoned his
most valuable legacy to the Church; his writings fill two vols. folio. He
is the Patron saint of Milan; his attributes are a _scourge_, from his
severity; and a _beehive_, from the tradition that a swarm of bees
settled on his mouth when an Infant without hurting him (340-397).
Festival, Dec. 7.
AMBRO`SIA, the fragrant food of the gods of Olympus, fabled to
preserve in them and confer on others immortal youth and beauty.