Part 37 out of 53
OHM, GEORG SIMON, a German physicist, born at Erlangen; discovered
the mathematical theory of the electric current, known as Ohm's Law, a
law based on experiment, that the strength of the electric current is
equal to the electro-motive force divided by the resistance of the wire
OHNET, GEORGES, French novelist, born in Paris; author of a series
of novels in a social interest, entitled "Les Batailles de la Vie;" _b_.
OIL CITY (11), on the Alleghany River, Pennsylvania, by rail 130 m.
N. of Pittsburg, is the centre of a great oil-trade and oil-refining
industry; there are also engineer and boiler works; it suffered severely
from floods in 1892.
OKA, a river of Central Russia, which rises in Orel and flows N.,
then E., then N. again, joining the Volga at Nijni-Novgorod after a
course of over 700 m., navigable nearly all the way; on its banks are
Orel, Kaluga, and Riazan, while Moscow stands on an affluent.
OKEN, LORENZ, German naturalist; was professor first at Jena, then
at Muenich, and finally at Zurich, his settlement in the latter being due
to the disfavour with which his political opinions, published in a
journal of his called the _Iris_, were received in Germany; much of his
scientific doctrine was deduced from a transcendental standpoint or by _a
priori_ reasonings; is mentioned in "Sartor" as one with whom
Teufelsdroeck in his early speculations had some affinity (1779-1851).
OKHOTSK, SEA OF, an immense sheet of water in Eastern Siberia, lying
between the peninsula of Kamchatka and the mainland, with the Kurile
Islands stretched across its mouth; is scarcely navigable, being infested
OKLAHOMA (62), a United States territory, stretching southward from
Kansas to the Red River, with Texas on the W. and Indian Territory on the
E., is a third larger than Scotland, and presents a prairie surface
crossed by the Arkansas, Cimarron, and Canadian Rivers, and rising to the
Wichita Mountains in the S. There are many brackish streams; the rainfall
is light, hence the soil can be cultivated only in parts. Ceded to the
United States under restrictions by the tribes of the Indian Territory in
1866, there were various attempts by immigrants from neighbouring States
to effect settlements in Oklahoma, which the Government frustrated by
military interference, maintaining the treaty with the Indians till 1889,
when it finally purchased from them their claim. At noon on April 22,
1889, the area was opened for settlement, and by twilight 50,000 had
entered and taken possession of claims. The territory was organised in
1890; embedded in it lies the Cherokee Outlet, still held by the Indians,
but on the extinction of their interests to revert to Oklahoma. The chief
town is Oklahoma (5).
OKUMA, COUNT, a Japanese, rose into office from the part he took in
the Japanese Revolution of 1868, held in succession but resigned the
offices of Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, organised the
Progressive Party in 1881, and entered office again in 1896; organised in
1898 the first government for a time in Japan on a party basis agreeably
to his idea.
OLAF, ST., a Norwegian king; wrested the throne from Eric, and set
himself to propagate Christianity by fire and sword, excited disaffection
among his people, who rebelled and overpowered him with the assistance of
Cnut of Denmark, so that he fled to his brother-in-law, Jaroslav of
Russia; by his help he tried to recover the throne, put was defeated and
slain, his body being buried in Trondhjem; he was canonised in 1164, and
is patron saint of Norway.
OLAUeS, the name of three early kings of Sweden and of five of
Norway, who figured more or less in the history of their respective
OLBERS, HEINRICH, German astronomer, born near Bremen; discovered
five of the comets and the two planetoids Pallas and Vesta (1758-1840).
OLD BAILEY, a Court or Sessions house adjoining NEWGATE (q. v.),
in London, for the trial of offences committed within a certain
radius round the city, and practically presided over by the Recorder and
the Common Serjeant of London, though theoretically by the Lord Mayor,
Lord Chancellor, and others.
OLD CATHOLICS, a section of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany and
Switzerland that first announced itself in Muenich on the declaration in
1870 of the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope, the prime movers in
the formation of the protestation against which were Dr. Doellinger and
Professor Friedrich, backed by 44 professors of the university; the
movement thus begun has not extended itself to any considerable extent.
OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN, a name given to Hassan ben Sabbah, the
founder in the 11th century and his successors of a formidable Mohammedan
dynasty in Syria, whose residence was in the mountain fastnesses of the
country, and whose following was known by the name of ASSASSINS
OLD MAN OF THE SEA, a monster Sindbad the Sailor encountered on his
fifth voyage, who fastened on his back and so clung to him that he could
not shake him off till he made him drunk.
OLD MORTALITY, a character in Scott's novel of the name, the
original of which was one Robert Paterson, who, as related of him, went
about the country visiting the churchyards, and renewing the moss-covered
tombs of the COVENANTERS (q. v.).
OLD NOLL, an epithet applied by his Royalist contemporaries to
OLDBUCK, JONATHAN, the antiquary in Scott's novel of the name,
devoted to the study and collection of old coins, a man with an irritable
temper, due to disappointment in a love affair.
OLDBURY (20), a busy manufacturing town in Worcestershire, 3 m. E.
of Dudley, has chemical, iron, and steel works, and factories of various
OLDCASTLE, SIR JOHN, Lord Cobham, distinguished himself in arms
under Henry IV. in 1411, embraced Lollardism, which he could not be
prevailed on to renounce, though remonstrated with by Henry V.; was tried
for heresies and committed to the Tower, but escaped to Wales; charged
with abetting insurrection on religious grounds, and convicted, his body
was hung in chains as a traitor, and in this attitude, as a heretic,
burned to death in 1417; he was a zealous disciple of Wiclif, and did
much to disseminate his principles.
OLDENBURG (355), a German grand-duchy, embracing these three
territories: 1, Oldenburg proper, the largest, is let into Hanover with
its northern limit on the North Sea; it is a tract of moorland,
sand-down, and fen, watered by the Weser, Hunte and tributaries of the
Ems; here is the capital, Oldenburg (22), on the Hunte, 30 m. NW. of
Bremen, in the midst of meadows, where a famous breed of horses is
raised. 2, Luebeck, lying in Holstein, N. of but not including the city of
Luebeck. 3, Birkenfeldt, lying among the Hundsrueck Mountains, in the S. of
Rhenish Prussia; independent since 1180, Danish 1667-1773, Oldenburg
acquired Luebeck in 1803, and Birkenfeldt in 1815, when it was raised to
the rank of grand-duchy.
OLDHAM (184), on the Medlock, 7 m. NE. of Manchester, is the largest
of the cotton manufacturing towns round that centre; it has 300 cotton
mills, and manufactures besides silks, velvets, hats, and machinery;
there is a lyceum, and a school of science and art.
OLDYS, WILLIAM, bibliographer, was a man of dissolute life, the
illegitimate son of a chancellor of Lincoln; he was librarian to the Earl
of Oxford for 10 years, and afterwards received the appointment of
Norroy king-of-arms; besides many bibliographical and literary articles,
he wrote a "Life of Raleigh" and "The Harleian Miscellany" (1696-1761).
OLERON (17), an island of France, in the Bay of Biscay, at the mouth
of the Charente, 111/2 m. long and from 3 to 7 broad, is separated from the
mainland by a shallow, narrow channel.
OLGA, ST., a Scandinavian pagan prince, converted to Christianity
and baptized as Helena; laboured for the propagation of the Christian
faith among his subjects, was canonised after in 905, and is one of the
saints of the Russian Church. Festival, July 21.
OLIFAUNT, NIGEL, the hero in Scott's "Fortunes of Nigel."
OLIPHANT, LAURENCE, religious enthusiast and mystic, born in
Perthshire; spent his boyhood in Ceylon, where his father was
chief-justice; early conceived a fondness for adventure, accompanied Lord
Elgin to Washington as his secretary, and afterwards to China and Japan;
became M.P. for the Stirling Burghs, mingled much in London society,
contributed to _Blackwood_, and wrote "Piccadilly," pronounced by Mrs.
Oliphant "one of the most brilliant satires on society ever published";
parliamentary people and parliamentary life being nowise to his liking he
soon threw both up for life in a community with Harris at Lake Erie, U.S.,
whence, after two years' probation, he returned to resume life in the
wide world; while in France during the Franco-German War, he married one
Alice l'Estrange, an alliance which grew into one of the most intimate
character; with her he went to Palestine, pitched his tent under the
shadow of Mount Carmel, and wrote two mystical books under her
inspiration, which abode with him after she was dead; after her decease
he married a Miss Owen, that she might help him in his work, but all she
had opportunity to do was to minister to him on his deathbed (1829-1888).
OLIPHANT, MRS. MARGARET (_nee_ Wilson), authoress, born at
Wallyford, near Musselburgh, a lady of varied abilities and
accomplishments, and distinguished in various departments of literature,
began her literary career as a novelist and a contributor to _Blackwood_,
with which she kept up a lifelong connection; her first work which
attracted attention was "Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland,"
and her first success as a novelist was the "Chronicles of Carlingford";
she wrote on history, biography, and criticism, the "Makers of Florence,
of Venice, of Modern Rome," "Lives of Dante, Cervantes, and Edward
Irving," among other works, and was engaged on a narrative of the
publishing-house of Blackwood when she died; she might have distinguished
herself more had she kept within a more limited range; her last days were
days of sorrow under heavy bereavement (1828-1897).
OLIVAREZ, COUNT D', a Spanish statesman, born at Rome, where his
father was ambassador; was the confidant and minister of Philip IV., and
the political adversary of Richelieu; was one of the ablest statesmen
Spain ever had, but was unfortunate in his conduct of foreign affairs
OLIVER, a favourite paladin of Charlemagne's, who, along with
Roland, rode by his side, and whose name, along with Roland's, has passed
into the phrase, a "Roland for an Oliver," meaning one good masterstroke
for another, such as both these knights never failed to deliver.
OLIVES, MOUNT OF, or MOUNT OLIVET, a ridge with three summits,
stretching N. and S., E. of Jerusalem, in height 150 ft. above the city,
400 ft. above the intervening valley of Kedron, and 2682 ft. above the
sea-level; so called as at one time studded with olive-trees; is
celebrated as the scene of some of the most sacred events in the life of
OLLIVIER, EMILE, French statesman, born at Marseilles; bred for the
bar, and eminent at it; became Prime Minister under Louis Napoleon in
1870; precipitated "with a light heart" the country into a war with
Germany, to his own overthrow; retired thereafter to Italy, but returned
in 1872, and devoted himself to literature; died at Geneva (1825-1876).
OLMUeTZ (20), a strongly fortified city in Moravia, and an important
centre of trade, and the former capital of the country; suffered severely
in the Thirty and the Seven Years' Wars.
OLYMPIA, a plain in a valley in Elis, on the Peloponnesus, traversed
by the river Alpheus, and in which the Olympic Games were celebrated
every fifth year in honour of Zeus, and adorned with temples (one to Zeus
and another to Hera), statues, and public buildings.
OLYMPIAD, a name given to the period of four years between one
celebration of the Olympic Games and another, the first recorded dating
from July 776 B.C.
OLYMPIAS, the wife of Philip II. of Macedonia, and mother of
Alexander the Great; divorced by Philip, who married another, she fled to
Epirus, and instigated the assassination of Philip and the execution of
her rival; returned to Macedonia on the accession of her son, who always
treated her with respect, but allowed her no part in public affairs; on
his death she dethroned his successor, but driven to bay in her defence
afterwards, she was compelled to surrender the power she had assumed, and
was put to death 316 B.C.
OLYMPIC GAMES, were originally open only to competitors of pure
Hellenic descent, and the reward of the victors was but a wreath of wild
olive, though to this their fellow-citizens added more substantial
honours; they consisted of foot and chariot races, and feats of strength
as well as dexterity. See OLYMPIA.
OLYMPUS, a mountain range in Greece, between Thessaly and Macedonia,
the highest peak of which is 9750 ft.; the summit of it was the fabled
abode of the Greek gods; it is clothed with forests of pine and other
OLNEY, a little town in Buckinghamshire, associated with the life of
Cowper, and where he wrote, along with John Newton, the "Olney Hymns."
OM, a mystic word among the Hindus and Buddhists; presumed to be
latent with some magic virtue, and used on solemn occasions as a sort of
spiritual charm efficacious with the upper powers, and potent to draw
down divine assistance in an hour of need.
OMAGH (4), on the Strule, 34 m. S. of Londonderry; is the county
town of Tyrone; though a very ancient town it has been rebuilt since
1743, when it was destroyed by fire; it is the head-quarters of the NW.
OMAHA (102), chief city of Nebraska, on the W. bank of the Missouri,
20 m. above the confluence of the Platte; is connected by a bridge with
Council Bluffs on the opposite shore; it has many fine buildings,
including colleges and schools; its silver-smelting works are the largest
in the world; it ranks third in the pork-packing industry, and has
besides manufactures of linseed oil, boilers, and safes; an important
railway centre, it lies midway between the termini of the Union Pacific
Railroad; near it are the military head-quarters of the Platte
OMAN, a territory of Arabia, lying along the shores of the Persian
Gulf and the Arabian Sea, round the south-eastern nob of the peninsula;
has some stretches of very fertile country where there happens to be
water for irrigation, but the coast is very hot and not healthy. The
region is subject to the Sultan of Muscat, who is in turn a pensioner of
the Anglo-Indian Government.
OMAR, the successor of Abu-Bekr, and the second Caliph from 634 to
644; was at first a persecutor of the Faithful, but underwent in 615 a
sudden conversion like Said, with a like result; was vizier of Abu-Bekr
before he succeeded him; swept and subdued Syria, Persia, and Egypt with
the sword in the name of Allah, but is accused of having burned the rich
library of Alexandria on the plea that it contained books hostile to the
faith of Islam; he was an austere man, and was assassinated by a Persian
slave whose wrongs he refused to redress.
OMAR KHAYYAM, astronomer-poet of Persia, born at Naishapur, in
Khorassan; lived in the later half of the 11th century, and died in the
first quarter of the 12th; wrote a collection of poems which breathe an
Epicurean spirit, and while they occupy themselves with serious problems
of life, do so with careless sportiveness, intent he on the enjoyment of
the sensuous pleasures of life, like an easy-going Epicurean. The great
problems of destiny don't trouble the author, they are no concern of his,
and the burden of his songs assuredly is, as his translator says, "If not
'let us eat, let us drink, for to-morrow we die.'"
OMAR PASHA, general in the Turkish army, was born an Austrian, his
proper name Michael Lattas, and educated at the military school of Thurn;
guilty of a breach of discipline, he ran away to Bosnia, turned
Mohammedan, and henceforth threw in his lot with the Turks; he became
writing-master to the Ottoman heir, Abdul-Medjid, and on the succession
of the latter in 1839 was made a colonel; he was military governor of
Lebanon in 1842, won distinction in suppressing rebellions in Albania,
Bosnia, and Kurdistan, but his chief services were rendered in the
Russian War; he successfully defended Kalafat in 1853, entered Bucharest
in 1854, and defeated 40,000 Russians next year at Eupatoria in the
Crimea; his capture of Cetinje, Montenegro, in 1862 was a difficult feat
O'MEARA, BARRY EDWARD, a surgeon, born in Ireland, who accompanied
Napoleon to St. Helena, and became his physician, having been surgeon on
board the _Bellerophon_ when the emperor surrendered himself; is
remembered as the author of "A Voice from St. Helena; or, Napoleon in
Exile," a book which from its charges against Sir Hudson Lowe created no
small sensation on its appearance (1786-1836).
OMMIADES, an Arab dynasty of 14 caliphs which reigned at Damascus
from 661 to 720; dethroned by the Abassides, they were under Abder-Rahman
I. welcomed in Spain, and they established themselves in Cordova, where
they ruled from 756 to 1031.
OMNIPRESENCE, an attribute of the Divine Being as all-present in
every section of space and moment of time throughout the universe.
OMPHALE, a queen of Lydia, to whom Hercules was sold for three years
for murdering Iphitus, and who so won his affection that he married her,
and was content to spin her wool for her and wear the garments of a woman
while she donned and wore his lion's skin.
OMSK (32), capital of Western Siberia, on the Om, at its confluence
with the Irtish, 1800 m. E. of Moscow; is within the area of Russian
colonisation, and has a military academy, Greek and Roman Catholic
cathedrals, and large cattle trade; a number of its inhabitants are
political exiles from Europe.
ONEGA, LAKE, in the NW. of Russia, next to Ladoga the largest in
Europe, nearly three times the size of Norfolkshire, being 140 m. long
and 59 broad; has an irregular shore, deeply indented in the W., many
inflowing rivers, but is drained only by the Swir; ice-bound for four
months, there is busy traffic the rest of the year; navigation is
promoted by canals, but hindered by many reefs; fish abound in the
ONOMATOPOEIA, formations of words resembling in sound that of the
things denoted by them.
ONTARIO (2,114), third largest, most populous, richest, and most
important province of Canada, lies N. of the great lakes between Quebec
and Manitoba, and is thrice the size of Great Britain; the surface is
mostly undulating; there are many small lakes, the chief rivers flow
eastward to join the Ottawa; agriculture is the chief industry, enormous
crops of wheat, maize, and other cereals are raised; stock-rearing and
dairy-farming are important; the climate is subject to less extremes than
that of Quebec, but the winter is still severe; there are rich mineral
deposits, especially of iron, copper, lead, and silver, petroleum and
salt; manufactures of agricultural implements, hardware, textiles, and
leather are carried on; Toronto (181) is the largest town, Ottawa (44) is
the capital of the Dominion, Hamilton (49) an important railway centre;
the prosperity of the province is largely promoted by the magnificent
waterways, lakes, rivers, and canals with which it is furnished. Founded
by loyalists from the United States after the Declaration of
Independence, the province was constituted in 1791 as Upper Canada,
united to Quebec or Lower Canada in 1840, it received its present name on
the federation of Canada in 1867; education in it is free and well
conducted; there are many colleges and universities; municipal and
provincial government is enlightened and well organised; the prevalent
religious faith is Protestant.
ONTARIO, LAKE, in area almost equal to Wales, is the smallest and
easternmost of the five great lakes of the St. Lawrence Basin, North
America; it lies between the province of Ontario, Canada, and New York
State; receives the Niagara River in the SW., several streams on both
sides, and issues in the St. Lawrence in the NE.; on its shores stand
Hamilton, Toronto, and Kingston on the N., and Oswego on the S.; canals
connect it with Lake Erie and the Hudson River, and it is a busy and
always open highway of commerce.
ONTOLOGY, another name for METAPHYSICS (q. v.) or the
science of pure being, being at its living source in spirit or God, or
Nature viewed as divine, especially as the ground of the spiritual in man
and giving substantive being to him.
ONYX, a variety of agate or chalcedony, in which occur even layers
of white and black or white and brown, sharply defined in good specimens;
they come from India, and are highly valued for cameo-cutting.
OOSTERZEE, JAN JAKOB VAN, a theologian of the Dutch Church, born at
Rotterdam; became professor at Utrecht, wrote several theological and
exegetical works on evangelical lines (1817-1882).
OPAL, a variety of quartz, of which the finest kind, precious opal,
is translucent, with blue or yellow tint, and when polished with a convex
surface shows an admirable play of colours; it is found chiefly at
OPEN SECRET, THE, the secret that lies open to all, but is seen into
and understood by only few, applied especially to the mystery of the
life, the spiritual life, which is the possession of all.
OPEN, SESAME, the magic formula the pronunciation of which opened
the robbers' stronghold in the "Arabian Nights."
OPERA, a drama set to music and acted and sung to the accompaniment
of a full orchestra, of which there are several kinds according as they
are grave, comic, or romantic.
OPERA BOUFFE, an opera in an extravagant burlesque style, with
characters, music, and other accompaniments to match; is the creation of
OFFENBACH (q. v.), his more distinguished successors in the
production of which have been Lecocq, Herve, and Strauss.
OPHELIA, the daughter of Polonius in "Hamlet" and in love with the
lord, but whose heart, from the succession of shocks it receives, is
shattered and broken.
OPHICLEIDE, a keyed brass wind instrument of recent invention, of
great compass and power, and of which there are two kinds in use.
OPHIR, a region in the East of uncertain situation, frequently
referred to in Scripture as a region from which gold and precious stones
OPHITES, a sect of Gnostics who regarded the serpent as a benefactor
of the race in having persuaded Eve to eat of the tree of the _knowledge_
of good and evil in disregard, or rather in defiance, of the warning of
the God of the Jews.
OPIE, JOHN, English artist, born near Truro, Cornwall; began to
learn his father's trade of carpenter, but turning to art went with Dr.
Wolcott to London in 1780; for a year he had phenomenal success as a
portrait-painter; on the wane of his popularity he turned to scriptural
and historical painting and to illustration; after being Associate for a
year he was elected Academician in 1787; besides some lectures on art, he
wrote a Life of Reynolds and other works (1761-1807).
OPINICUS, a fabulous winged creature with the head of a griffin, the
body of a lion, and the tail of a camel; a heraldic symbol.
OPITZ, MARTIN VON, a German poet, born in Silesia; was much
patronised by the princes of Germany; was crowned with laurel, and
ennobled by Ferdinand II.; his poetry was agreeable to classic models,
but at the expense of soul, though, to his credit it must be said, the
German language and German poetry owe him a deep debt (1597-1639).
OPORTO (140), at the mouth of the Douro, 200 m. N. of Lisbon, the
chief manufacturing city of Portugal, and second in commercial
importance; is the head-quarters of the trade in port wine; the
industries include cloth, silk, hat, and porcelain manufacture, tobacco,
metal-casting, and tanning; besides wine it exports cattle, fruit, cork,
and copper. There are many old churches, schools, a library, and two
OPPORTUNIST, name given to a politician whose policy it is to take
advantage of, or be guided by, circumstances.
OPTIMISM, the doctrine or belief that in the system of things all
that happens, the undesirable no less than the desirable, is for the
OPUS OPERATUM (i. e. the work wrought), a Latin phrase used to
denote the spiritual effect in the performance of a religious rite which
accrues from the virtue inherent in it, or by grace imparted to it,
irrespectively of the administrator.
ORAN (74), the busiest port in Algeria, is 260 m. W. of Algiers; it
has a Roman Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a school, a college, and two
castles, and exports esparto grass, iron ore, and cereals.
ORANGE RIVER or GARIEP, chief river of South Africa, rises in
the eastern highlands of Basutoland, and flows 100 m. westward to the
Atlantic, receiving the Vaal and the Caledon as tributaries, and having
Cape Colony on the S. bank and the Orange Free State, Griqualand West,
Bechuanaland, and German Namaqualand on the N.; a bar at the mouth and
the aridity of its lower course make it unfit for navigation.
ORANGE RIVER COLONY, formerly Orange Free State (380), lying between
the Vaal and the Orange Rivers, Griqualand West, and the Drakenberg
Mountains; has an area nearly the size of England, with a healthy,
temperate climate; undulating plains slope northward and southward, from
which rise isolated hills called kopjes. The chief industries are the
rearing of sheep, cattle, horses, and ostriches; coal-mining in the N.
and diamond-seeking in the SW.; the exports comprise wool, hides, and
diamonds. Founded by Dutch Boers from Natal, it was annexed by Britain in
1848, but granted independence in 1854. The capital, Bloemfontein (3), is
connected by a railway with Johannesberg and with the Cape. Having made
common cause with the South African Republic in the Boer War, it was
annexed by Great Britain in 1900. At present (1905) it is under the
supreme authority of the Governor of Orange River and the Transvaal
Colonies, assisted by a Lieutenant-Governor and an Executive Council.
ORANGEMEN, a name given to an association of Protestants in Ireland
instituted to uphold the Protestant succession to the crown, and the
Protestant religion as settled at the Revolution of 1688, and which
derives this name from William, the Prince of Orange, on whose accession
to the throne Protestantism was established; it became dormant for a time
after its institution, but it has shown very decided signs of life at
political crises when Protestantism seemed in danger, such as often to
call for some firm handling.
ORATORIO, a musical composition on a sacred theme, dramatic in form
and associated with orchestral accompaniments, but without scenic
accessories; it derives its name from the oratory of St. Philip Neri at
Rome, in which a composition of the kind was first performed, and was a
musical development of the MIRACLE PLAYS (q. v.).
ORATORY, CONGREGATION OF THE, community of secular priests formed by
St. Philip of Neri (q. v.), and bound by no religious vow, each one of
which is independent of the others; it consists of novices, triennial
fathers, decennial fathers, and a superior, their functions being to
preach and hear confession.
ORCAGNA, a Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect, did several
frescoes; was architect of the cathedral of Orvieto; his masterpiece an
absolutely unique marble tabernacle in the church of Or San Michele,
ORCHARDSON, WILLIAM QUILLER, English genre-painter, born in
Edinburgh; his pictures are numerous, and among the best and most
popular, "The Challenge," "The Queen of the Woods," "On Board the
Bellerophon," "The Mariage de Convenance"; _b_. 1835.
ORCUS (i. e. place of confinement), another name for Hades, or the
"World of the Dead"; also of the god of the nether world.
ORDEAL, a test by fire, water, poison, wager of battle, or the like,
of the innocence or guilt of persons in appeal thereby to the judgment of
God in default of other evidence, on the superstitious belief that by
means of it God would interfere to acquit the innocent and condemn the
guilty, a test very often had recourse to among savage or half-civilised
ORDERICUS VITALIS, a mediaeval chronicler, born near Shrewsbury; was
a monk of the Abbey of St. Evreul, in Normandy; wrote an ecclesiastical
history of Normandy and England--a veracious document, though an
incondite; _d_. 1143.
ORDERS IN COUNCIL are issued by the British Sovereign, with the
advice of the Privy Council, and within limits defined by Parliament. In
cases of emergency these limits have been disregarded, and Parliament
subsequently asked to homologate the action by granting an indemnity to
OREADES in the Greek mythology nymphs of the mountains, with special
names appropriate to the district they severally inhabit.
OREGON (314), one of the United States, on the Pacific seaboard,
with Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California on its inland borders,
nearly twice the size of England, has the Coast Mountains along the W.,
the Cascade range parallel 60 m. E., and 70 farther E. the Blue
Mountains. The centre and E. is hilly, and affords excellent grazing and
dairy-farming ground; the western or Willamette Valley is arable,
producing cereals, potatoes, tobacco, hops, and fruit. Between the Coast
Mountains and the sea excessive rains fall. The State is rich in timber,
coal, iron, gold, and silver; and the rivers (of which the Columbia on
the N. border is the chief) abound in salmon. Owing to the mountain
shelter and the Japanese ocean currents the climate is mild. The capital
is Salem (4), the largest city Portland (46), both on the Willamette
River. The State offers excellent educational facilities; it has 17
libraries, many schools and colleges, and the Blue Mountain University.
The State (constituted in 1859) forms part of the territory long in
dispute between Great Britain and the United States. It was occupied
jointly from 1818 to 1846, when a compromise fixed the present boundary
of British Columbia.
ORELLI, CONRAD VON, theologian, born at Zurich; professor at Basel;
has written commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor
prophets; _b_. 1846.
ORELLI, JOHANN KASPAR VON, a Swiss scholar, born at Zurich, where he
was professor of Classical Philology; edited editions of the classics,
particularly Horace, Tacitus, and Cicero, highly esteemed for the
scholarship they show and the critical judgment (1787-1849).
ORESTES, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and brother of
Electra and Iphigenia, who killed his mother to avenge the murder by her
of his father and went mad afterwards, but was acquitted by the Areopagus
and became king of Argos and Lacedaemon; his friendship for Pylades, who
married his sister Electra, has passed into a proverb; the tragic story
is a favourite theme of the Greek tragedians.
ORFILA, M. J. BONAVENTURE, French chemist and physician, born in
Minorca; mainly distinguished for his works on toxicology (1787-1853).
ORGANISM, a structure instinct with life, and possessed of organs
that discharge functions subordinate and ministrative to the life of the
ORGANON, a term adopted by Bacon to denote a system of rules for the
regulation of scientific inquiry.
ORGIES, festivals among the Greeks and Orientals generally connected
with the worship of nature divinities, in particular DEMETER (q. v.),
DIONYSOS (q. v.), and the Cabiri, celebrated with mystic
rites and much licentious behaviour.
ORIFLAMME (i. e. flame of gold), the ancient banner of the kings
of France, borne before them as they marched to war; it was a red flag
mounted on a gilded staff, was originally the banner of the abbey of St.
Denis, and first assumed as the royal standard by Louis VI. as he marched
at the head of his army against the Emperor Henry V. in 1124, but one
hears no more of it after the battle of Agincourt in 1415, much as it was
at one time regarded as the banner of the very Lord of Hosts.
ORIGEN, one of the most eminent of the Fathers of the Church, born
at Alexandria it is presumed, the son of a Christian who suffered
martyrdom under Severus, whom he honoured and ever reverenced for his
faith in Christ; studied the Greek philosophers that he might familiarise
himself with their standpoint in contrast with that of the Christian;
taught in Alexandria and elsewhere the religion he had inherited from his
father, but was not sufficiently regardful of episcopal authority, and
after being ordained by another bishop than that of his own diocese was
deposed and banished; after this he settled in Caesarea, set up a
celebrated school, and had Gregory Thaumaturgus for a pupil, whence he
made journeys to other parts but under much persecution, and died at
Tyre; he wrote numerous works, apologetical and exegetical as well as
doctrinal, besides a "Hexapla," a great source of textual criticism,
being a work in which the Hebrew Scriptures and five Greek versions of
them are arranged side by side; in his exegesis he had a fancy for
allegorical interpretation, in which he frequently indulged, but in doing
so he was entitled to some license, seeing he was a man who constantly
lived in close communion with the Unseen Author of all truth (185-253).
ORIGINAL SIN, the name given by the theologians to the inherent
tendency to sin on the part of all mankind, due, as alleged, to their
descent from Adam and the imputation of Adam's guilt to them as sinning
ORINOCO RIVER, a great river in the NE. of South America, rises in
the Parime Mountains, and flowing westward bifurcates, the Cassiquiare
channel going southward and joining the Rio Negro, the Orinoco proper
continuing westward, north and east through Venezuela, and reaching the
Atlantic after a course of 1500 m. by an enormous delta; it receives
thousands of tributaries, but cascades half-way up stop navigation.
ORION, in the Greek mythology a handsome giant and hunter, was
struck blind by Dionysos for attempting an outrage on Merope, but
recovered his eyesight on exposing his eyeballs to the arrowy rays of
Aurora, and became afterwards the companion of Artemis on the
hunting-field, but he fell a victim to the jealousy of Apollo, the
brother of Artemis, and was transformed by the latter into a
constellation in the sky, where he figures as a giant wearing a lion's
skin and a girdle or belt and wielding a club.
ORISSA (4,047), the name of an ancient Indian kingdom, independent
till 1568, and falling into British possession in 1803, is now restricted
to the most south-easterly province of Bengal. It is larger than Wales,
and comprises a hilly inland tract and an alluvial plain formed by the
deltas of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani Rivers, well irrigated,
and producing great crops of rice, wheat, pulse, and cotton. It has no
railways, and poor roads; transport is by canal and river. Chief towns
Cuttack, Balasor, and Puri.
ORKNEY ISLANDS (30), an archipelago of 90 islands, Pomona the
largest, lying north of the Scottish mainland, from which they are
separated by the Pentland Firth, 7 m. broad. The scenery is tame, the
climate is mild and moist; there are no trees, crops are poor; the chief
industries are fishing and stock-raising; Kirkwall, with a cathedral, and
Stromness are the chief towns. Seized from the Picts by Norse vikings,
they passed to James III. as security for the dowry of Margaret of
Denmark and were never redeemed. The natives show their Scandinavian
ancestry in their features, and the nomenclature is largely Scandinavian.
ORLANDO, a hero who figures in the romantic tales connected with the
adventures of Charlemagne and his paladins, a knight of pure and true
blood; had a magical horn called Olivant, with which he wrought wonders.
ORLEANS (61), on the Loire, 75 m. by rail SW. of Paris, is the
capital of the province of Loiret, a trading rather than an industrial
town, commerce being fostered by excellent railway, canal, and river
communications; the town is of ancient date, and its streets are full of
quaint wooden houses; there is an old cathedral and museum; many historic
associations include the raising of the siege in 1429 by Joan of Arc,
whose house is still shown, and two captures by the Germans, 1870
ORLEANS, DUKES OF, the name of four distinct branches of the royal family
of France, the first commencing with PHILIPPE, fifth son of Philippe of
Valois, in 1344; the second with LOUIS, brother of Charles VI.
(1371-1407); the third with JEAN BAPTISTE GASCON, brother of Louis XIII.,
who took part in the plots against Richelieu, and was appointed
lieutenant-general on the death of his brother (1608-1660); the fourth
with PHILIPPE I., brother of Louis XIV. (1640-1701); PHILIPPE II., son of
the preceding, governed France during the minority of Louis XV.; involved
his finances by his connection with Louis, and did injury to the public
morals by the depravity of his life (1674-1723); LOUIS-PHILIPPE, his
grandson, lieutenant-general and governor of Dauphine (1725-1785);
LOUIS-PHILIPPE JOSEPH, son of preceding, surnamed Philippe-Egalite,
played a conspicuous part in the Revolution, and perished on the scaffold
(1747-1793); and LOUIS-PHILIPPE, his son (q. v.); PRINCE LOUIS ROBERT,
eldest son of Comte de Paris, claimant to the throne, _b_. 1869.
ORLOFF, the name of two brothers, Russians: GREGORY, the
favourite of Catherine II. (1734-1783), and ALEXIS, a man remarkable
for his stature and strength, who murdered Peter III. and was banished by
Paul I. (1737-1809).
ORME, ROBERT, historian, born in Travancore; entered the East India
Company's service, in which he was appointed historiographer; wrote the
history of its military transactions from 1745 to 1763 (1728-1801).
ORMOLU, a name given to bronze or brass of a golden-yellow colour,
and resembling gold.
ORMONDE, JAMES BUTLER, DUKE OF, supporter of the cause of Charles I.
in Ireland during the war between the king and the Parliament, on the
ruin of which he repaired to the Continent to promote the restoration of
the dynasty; was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland after the
Restoration, and escaped from a party of ruffians headed by Colonel
Blood, who dragged him from his carriage with intent to hang him; he was
a brave man, and much esteemed by his friends (1610-1688).
ORMUZ, an island at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, once the
head-quarters of the Persian trade with India.
ORMUZD, the good deity of the Zoroastrian religion, the embodiment
of the principle of good as Ahriman is of the principle of evil, the
creator of light and order as the other of darkness and disorder. See
ORONTES, the principal river of Syria, rises in the western slopes
of Anti-Lebanon, and flows northward through Syria, turning at last SW.
to the Mediterranean; its course of 150 m. is through country in many
parts well cultivated, past the towns of Hems and Hamah, and latterly
through a woody ravine of great beauty.
OROSIUS, PAULUS, Spanish Christian apologist of the 5th century,
born at Terragona, a disciple of Augustine; wrote at his suggestion
against the pagans a history of the world used as a text-book in the
ORPHEUS, in the Greek mythology son of Apollo and the Muse Calliope,
famed for his skill on the lyre, from which the strains were such as not
only calmed and swayed the rude soul of nature, but persuaded even the
inexorable Pluto to relent; for one day when his wife Eurydice was taken
away from him, he descended with his lyre to the lower world and
prevailed on the nether king by the spell he wielded to allow her to
accompany him back, but on the condition that he must not, as she
followed him, turn round and look; this condition he failed to fulfil,
and he lost her again, but this time for ever; whereupon, as the story
goes, he gave himself up to unappeasable lamentings, which attracted
round him a crowd of upbraiding Maenades, who in their indignation took up
stones to stone him and mangled him to death, only his lyre as it floated
down the river seaward kept sounding "Eurydice! Eurydice!" till it was
caught up by Zeus and placed in memorial of him among the stars of the
ORRERY is a mechanical toy which exhibits, by an arrangement of
rods, balls, and toothed wheels, the sun, the planets, and their moons,
all performing their respective motions; so named after the Earl of
Orrery, for whom Charles Boyle made the first one in 1715.
ORSINI, FELICE, Italian conspirator, born of a noble family, but
bred in the atmosphere of revolution and secret plotting; with three
others attempted the life of Louis Napoleon; was defended by Jules Favre,
but condemned to death and guillotined (1819-1858).
ORSOVA, two fortified towns on opposite banks of the Danube, at the
Iron Gates: Old Orsova (3), in Hungary, is a trading and shipping centre;
New Orsova, in Servia, was repeatedly taken and retaken in the wars of
the 18th century.
ORVIETO (7), an Italian city in Perugia, 78 m. by rail N. of Rome,
is noted for its wines; it dates from Roman times, and in the Middle Ages
was a frequent refuge of the Popes.
OSCANS, a primitive people of Italy occupying Campania; were
subjugated in the 5th century B.C. by the Samnites, who amalgamated with
them and were subsequently incorporated with the Romans; the Oscan
tongue, a cruder form of Latin, may have had its own literature, and is
still extant on coins and in inscriptions.
OSCAR I., king of Sweden and Norway, son of Bernadotte, born at
Paris, reigned from 1844 to 1857 (1799-1858); OSCAR II., king of
Sweden and Norway, son of preceding, succeeded his brother Charles XV. in
1872, has distinguished himself in literature by translating Goethe's
"Faust" into Swedish, and by a volume of minor poems under his _nom de
plume_ Oscar Frederick; _b_. 1829.
OSCOTT, a village in Staffordshire, 4 m. N. of Birmingham, the site
of the Roman Catholic College of St. Mary's, which claims to be the
centre of Catholicism in England; founded in 1752, it was housed in
magnificent buildings in 1835, and became exclusively a training-school
for the priesthood in 1889, though it originally had laymen among its
O'SHAUGHNESSY, ARTHUR, poet, born in London; held a post in the
natural history department of the British Museum; wrote, among other
works, three notable volumes of poems, "The Epic of Women," "Lays of
France," and "Music and Moonlight" (1844-1881).
OSIANDER, ANDREAS, a German Reformer, born near Nueremberg, and
attaching himself to Luther, became preacher there, and eventually
professor of Theology at Koenigsberg; involved himself in a bitter
controversy with Chemnitz on justification, ascribing it not to
imputation, but the germination of divine grace in the heart, or the
mystical union of the soul with God, a controversy which was kept up by
his followers after his death (1498-1552).
OSIRIS, one of the principal gods of Egypt, the husband of Isis, who
was his sister and the father of Horus, who avenged the wrongs he
suffered at the hands of the Earth, his mother, in whose womb he was born
and in whose womb he was buried; he was the god of all the earth-born,
and subject to the like fate.
OSMANLIS, name given to the Ottomans, from that of their founder,
Osman or Othman.
OSMOSE. If two liquids be separated from each other only by a skin
or parchment, each will percolate through the membrane and diffuse into
the other; the process is known as osmose, and is constantly illustrated
in the animal and vegetable world.
OSNABRUeCK (35), a town in Hanover, 70 m. W. of Hanover, with a
bishopric founded by Charlemagne, which was held by a brother of George
I., and was secularised in 1803.
OSSA, a mountain in Thessaly, famous in Greek mythology. See
OSSIAN, the heroic poet of the Gaels, the son of Fingal and the king
of Morven, said to have lived in the 3rd century, the theme of whose
verse concerns the exploits of Fingal and his family, the translation of
which he brought home from fairyland, to which he had been transported
when he was a boy, and from which he returned when he was old and blind;
James Macpherson, who was no Gaelic scholar, professed to have translated
the legend, as published by him in 1760-62-63.
OSTADE, ADRIAN and ISAAC, two Dutch painters, brothers, born at
Haarlem; Adrian (1610-1685), and Isaac (1617-1654).
OSTEND (26), a favourite watering-place on the SW. coast of Belgium,
65 m. due W. of Antwerp; attracts 20,000 visitors every summer; it is an
important seaport, having daily mail communication with Dover, and it
manufactures linen and sail-cloth; fishing is the chief industry; it is
famed for oysters, which are brought over from England and fattened for
OSTIA, the seaport of ancient Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber, now
OSTRACISM, banishment (lit. by shell) for a term of years by popular
vote from Athens of any individual whose political influence seemed to
threaten the liberty of the citizens; the vote was given by each citizen
writing the name of the individual on a shell and depositing it in some
place appointed, and it was only when supported by 6000 citizens that it
OSTROGOTHS, or the EASTERN GOTHS, a Teutonic people, who,
having been induced to settle on the banks of the Danube, in the pay of
the Roman emperor, invaded Italy, and founded in the end of the 5th
century a kingdom under Theodoric, which fell before the arms of
Justinian in 532.
OSWALD, ST., king of Northumbria, where by the aid of AIDAN
(q. v.) he established the Christian religion, after his conversion to
it himself in exile among the Scots; he died in battle fighting against
Penda, king of Mercia; _d_.642.
OSWEGO (22), principal port on the E. of Lake Ontario, is at the
mouth of the Oswego River, in New York State; it has 4 miles of quays,
and extensive accommodation for grain, and has a large trade, especially
with Canada, in grain and lumber; the falls in the river are utilised for
industrial purposes, the manufacture of starch and cornflour being famed.
OSWESTRY (8), a market-town of Shropshire, 20 m. NW. of Shrewsbury;
has an old church, castle, and school, railway workshops, and some
OTAGO (153), the southernmost province in the South Island, New
Zealand, somewhat less in size than Scotland, is mountainous and
inaccessible in the W., but in the E. consists of good arable plains,
where British crops and fruits grow well; the climate is temperate;
timber abounds; there are gold, coal, iron, and copper mines,
manufactures of woollen goods, iron, and soap, and exports wool, gold,
cereals, and hides; founded in 1848 by the Otago Association of the Free
Church of Scotland, but immigration became general on the discovery of
gold in 1861; education is promoted by the Government in a university and
many colleges and secondary schools; the capital is Dunedin (23), the
chief commercial city of New Zealand, the other principal towns being
Invercargill, Port Chalmers, Oamaru, Milton, and Lawrence.
OTHMAN, the third caliph, who ruled from 614 to 636, was
assassinated by Mohammed, son of Abu-Bekr.
OTHMAN or OSMAN I., surnamed the Conqueror the founder of the
empire of the Ottoman Turks, born in Bithynia (1259-1326).
OTHO, Roman emperor, had been a companion of Nero; was created
emperor by the Pretorian Guards in succession to Galba, but being
defeated by the German legionaries, stabbed himself to death after a
reign of three months (32-69).
OTIS, JAMES, American lawyer, born in Massachusetts, distinguished
as a ringleader in the revolution in the colonies against the
mother-country that led to American independence, for which he had to pay
with his life and the prior loss of his reason (1724-1783).
OTRANTO (2), a decayed seaport and fishing town of SE. Italy, 52 m.
S. of Brindisi; founded by Greek colonists, it was in early times the
chief port of trade with Greece; there is a cathedral and castle.
OTTAWA (44), capital of the Dominion of Canada, is situated 90 m. up
the Ottawa River and its confluence with the St. Lawrence, between the
Chaudiere and Rideau Falls. Here are the Parliament buildings, the
Governor-General's residence, a Roman Catholic cathedral, numerous
colleges and schools, and a great library. There is some flour-milling
and some iron-working, but the chief industry is lumber felling. Half the
people are French Roman Catholics. It became the capital of the Dominion
in 1856, and in ten years after the government was installed in its new
OTTAWA RIVER, the largest tributary of the St. Lawrence, and one of
the largest Canadian rivers, is 700 m. long; rising in the W. of Quebec,
it flows W., then S., then SE., sometimes in a narrow channel, sometimes
broadening even into lakes, receiving many tributaries, and passing down
rapids and falls, and joins the St. Lawrence at Montreal; down its waters
are floated immense quantities of lumber.
OTTERBURN, a Northumberland village, 16 m. S. of the border, famous
as the scene of a struggle on 19th August 1388 between the Douglases and
the Percies, at which the Earl of Douglas lost his life, and Hotspur was
taken prisoner. See CHEVY CHASE.
OTTO or ATTAR OF ROSES, an essential oil obtained by distilling
rose leaves of certain species in water, of very strong odour, pleasant
when diluted; is used for perfumery; it is made in India, Persia, Syria,
and at Kezanlik, in Roumelia.
OTTOMANS, the name given to the Turks from OTHMAN (q. v.).
OTWAY, THOMAS, English dramatist, born in Sussex, intended for the
Church; took to the stage, failed as an actor, and became a playwright,
his chief production in that line being "Alcibiades," "Don Carlos," "The
Orphan," and "Venice Preserved," the latter two especially; he led a life
of dissipation, and died miserably, from choking, it is said, in greedily
swallowing a piece of bread when in a state of starvation (1651-1685).
OUBLIETTE, an underground cell, perfectly dark, in which prisoners
were subjected to perpetual confinement, was so called as being a "place
of forgetfulness," or where one is forgotten; they were often put
secretly to death.
OUDENARDE, a town in Belgium, 15 m. S. of Ghent, scene of
Marlborough's third victory over the French in 1708; it contains a
16th-century hotel de ville, with a fine tower, and some interesting
OUDH (12,551), a province in the Bengal Presidency, occupying the
basin of the Gumti, Gogra, and Rapti Rivers, and stretching from the N.
bank of the Ganges to the lower Himalayas; is a great alluvial plain,
through which these rivers flow between natural embankments, affording
irrigation by their marshes and overflows. The sole industry is
agriculture; the crops are wheat and rice, which are exported by rail and
river. The population is one of the densest in the world, the labouring
classes being very poor. The only large town is Lucknow (273), on the
Gumti. One of the earliest centres of Aryan civilisation, Oudh became
subject to the empire of Delhi in the 12th century, but was an
independent State for a century prior to its annexation by the British in
OUDINOT, DUKE OF REGGIO, marshal of France, born at Bar-le-Duc;
served with distinction under the Revolution and the Empire; led the
retreat from Moscow, and was wounded; joined the Royalists after the fall
of Napoleon, and died Governor of the Hotel des Invalides (1767-1847).
OUIDA, the pseudonym of Louise de la Ramee, English novelist, born
at Bury St. Edmunds; resides chiefly at Florence; has written over a
score of novels, "Under Two Flags" and "Moths" among the best; _b_. 1840.
OUSE, the name of several English rivers, of which the chief are (1)
the Yorkshire Ouse, flowing through the great Vale of York southwards to
the Humber, receiving the Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, and Aire from the W.
and the Derwent from the E., and having in its basin more great towns
than any other river in the country; (2) the Great Ouse, rising in the S.
of Northamptonshire, pursuing a winding course NE. through the plains of
Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Norfolk to the Wash; and
(3) the Sussex Ouse.
OUTRAM, SIR JAMES, British general, surnamed by Napier the "Bayard
of India," born in Derbyshire, began his military career in Bombay,
served in the Afghan War and the war with Persia, played an important
part in the suppression of the Mutiny, marching to the relief of Lucknow,
magnanimously waived his rank in favour of Havelock, and fought under him
OVERBECK, FRIEDRICH, celebrated German painter, born at Luebeck; was
head of the new Romantic or Pre-Raphaelite school of German art; had
devoted himself to religious subjects, abjured Lutheranism, and joined
the Roman Catholic Church; is famed for his frescoes "Christ's Entry into
Jerusalem" and "St. Francis" in particular, still more than his
oil-paintings; spent most of his life in Rome (1789-1869).
OVERBURY, SIR THOMAS, English gentleman, remembered chiefly from the
circumstances of his death, having been poisoned in the Tower at the
instance of Rochester and his wife for dissuading the former from
marrying the latter, for which crime the principals were pardoned and the
instruments suffered death; he was the author of certain works published
after his death, and "The Wife," a poem, his "Characters," and "Crumbs
from King James's Table" (1581-1613).
OVERLAND ROUTE, the route to Australia and the East across the
European continent instead of round the Cape of Good Hope, was
inaugurated by Lieutenant Waghorn in 1845, modified on the opening of the
Suez Canal in 1869, and is now _via_ France, the Mont Cenis tunnel,
Brindisi, the Levant, Suez Canal, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.
OVERREACH, SIR GILES, a character in Massinger's play, "A New Way to
Pay Old Debts."
OVERSTONE, BARON, English financier, represented Hythe; was made a
peer in 1850; wrote on finances; was opposed to limited liability and the
introduction of the decimal system; died immensely rich (1796-1883).
OVID (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet of the Augustan age, born at
Salmo, of equestrian rank, bred for the bar, and serving the State in the
department of law for a time, threw it up for literature and a life of
pleasure; was the author, among other works, of the "Amores," "Fasti,"
and the "Metamorphoses," the friend of Horace and Virgil, and the
favourite of Augustus, but for some unknown reason fell under the
displeasure of the latter, and was banished in his fiftieth year, to end
his days among the swamps of Scythia, near the Black Sea
(B.C. 43-18 A.D.).
OVIEDO (44), capital of the Spanish province of Asturias, near the
river Nalon; is the seat of a university, library, and cathedral; it is
the centre of the chief coal-field of Spain; in the neighbourhood are a
gun-factory and many iron-works.
OWEN, JOHN, Puritan divine, born in Oxfordshire, educated at Oxford;
driven from the Church, became first a Presbyterian then an Independent;
Cromwell made him chaplain for a sermon he preached the day after Charles
I.'s execution, and he was presented in 1651 with the deanery of Christ
Church, Oxford, and next year with the Vice-Chancellorship, but on the
Restoration was deprived of both, after which, from 1657, he spent his
life in retirement; wrote an exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, on
the Holy Spirit, and many other works in exposition of the Puritan
theology, which at one time were held in greater favour than they are now
OWEN, SIR RICHARD, celebrated English naturalist and comparative
anatomist, born in Lancaster; wrote extensively, especially on
comparative anatomy and physiology, in which, as in everything that
occupied him, he was an enthusiastic worker, being a disciple of Cuvier;
did not oppose, but was careful not to commit himself to, Darwin's
evolutionary theories; Carlyle, who had two hours' talk with him once,
found him "a man of real ability who could tell him innumerable things"
OWEN, ROBERT, a Socialist reformer, born in Montgomeryshire; became
manager of a cotton mill at New Lanark, which he managed on Socialist
principles, according to which all the profits in the business above five
per cent, went to the workpeople; in furtherance of his principles he
published his "New Views of Society," the "New Moral World," as well as
pamphlets, lecturing upon them, moreover, both in England and America,
but his schemes issued in practical failures, especially as proving too
exclusively secular, and he in his old age turned his mind to
OWENS COLLEGE, Manchester, a non-sectarian university, founded by
John Owens, a liberal Churchman, in 1846, and supported as well as
extended by subsequent bequests, the medical school of which is one of
the finest in the kingdom; of the students attending it in 1897-98, 639
were arts students, 99 women, and 418 medicals.
OXENFORD, JOHN, English man of letters and critic; translated
Goethe's "Dichtung und Wahrheit," and "Echermann's Conversations with
Goethe"; was dramatic critic for the _Times_, and wrote plays, as well as
an "Illustrated Book of French Songs" (1812-1877).
OXENSTIERN, AXEL, COUNT, Swedish statesman, favourite minister of
Gustavus Adolphus; supported him through the Thirty Years' War, though he
disapproved of his engaging in it, and managed the affairs of the State
with great ability after his death (1583-1654).
OXFORD (46), the county town of Oxfordshire, seat of one of the
great English universities and of a bishopric; is on the left bank of the
Thames, 52 m. W. of London; it is a city of great beauty, its many
collegiate buildings and chapels and other institutions making it the
richest of English cities in architectural interest; naturally historical
associations abound; here the Mad Parliament met and adopted the
Provisions of Oxford in 1258; Latimer and Ridley in 1555, and Cranmer in
1556, were burned in Broad Street; Charles I. made it his head-quarters
after the first year of the Civil War; it was the refuge of Parliament
during the plague of 1665.
OXFORD SCHOOL, the name given to the leaders of the Tractarian
Movement, which originated at Oxford in 1833.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY, Oxford is spoken of as a seat of learning as
early as the 11th century. Cloistral schools existed before that. Schools
of divinity, law, and topography were founded in the 12th century. In the
13th Dominican and Franciscan scholars raised it to a level only second
to Paris, and by the end of the 14th century there were thousands of
students in attendance. Oxford responded quickly to the Renaissance, and
by the time of the Reformation 13 colleges were founded. Her
Protestantism stood firm through Mary's reaction, sank into passive
obedience under the Stuarts, but woke up to resist James II.'s Catholic
propaganda. Thereafter followed a serious lapse in efficiency, but this
century has seen a complete revival. Oxford has now 21 colleges, among
which are Balliol, Christ Church, Magdalen, Oriel, Trinity, and
University College; 64 professors and teachers, and 3000 students. It is
rich in museums and libraries; the Bodleian Library is of great value,
the Taylor Library is devoted to modern literature. The Oxford or
Tractarian Movement, one of the most remarkable religious impulses of
modern times, had its centre in the University between 1834 and 1845.
Among distinguished Oxford alumni were Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, Wesley,
Newman; Hobbes, Locke, Adam Smith; Johnson, Gibbon, Freeman, Green;
Chatham, Gladstone; Ruskin; Shelley, Keble, Arnold, and Clough. Of the
colleges of which the University consists, the University was founded in
1249, Balliol in 1269, Merton in 1264, Exeter in 1314, Oriel in 1326,
Queen's in 1340, New in 1379, Lincoln in 1427, All Souls' in 1437,
Magdalen in 1468, Brasenose in 1509, Corpus in 1516, Christ Church in
1546, Trinity in 1554, St. John's in 1555, Jesus in 1571, Wadham in 1612,
Pembroke in 1624, Worcester in 1714, Keble in 1870, and Hertford in 1874.
OXFORDSHIRE (186), a S. midland county of England, stretching on the
N. bank of the Thames between Gloucester and Buckingham; is an
agricultural district; bleak in the N. and W., it is hilly, well wooded
and picturesque in the S., where are the Chiltern Hills; iron-stone is
mined near Banbury, blankets made at Witney, and paper at Shiplake and
Henley; natives of the county were Edward the Confessor, Leland, Warren
Hastings, Maria Edgeworth, and J. R. Green.
OXUS or AMU-DARIA, a great river of Central Asia, rises in the
Pamirs, and flows W. between Turkestan and Afghanistan, then N. through
Turkestan to the Sea of Aral; it is believed at one time to have flowed
into the Caspian, and there is record of two changes of course; half its
waters are absorbed in irrigating the plains of Khiva.
OXYGEN, a colourless, inodorous gas which constitutes one-fifth in
volume of the atmosphere, and which, in combination with hydrogen, forms
water. It is the most widely diffused of all the elementary bodies, and
an essential support to everything possessed of life.
OYER AND TERMINER, an English Court Commission to hear and determine
OZONE, is an allotropic form of oxygen, from which it can be
developed by electricity, and into which it can be resolved by heat,
present in small quantities in the atmosphere, and possessing strong
PACHE, JEAN, Swiss adventurer, who became Mayor of Paris, and even
Minister of War during the French Revolution, "the sleek Tartuffe that he
was," is credited with the authorship of the famous revolutionary motto,
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, or Death (1746-1823).
PACHOMIUS, ST., an Egyptian hermit, the founder of conventual
monachism, who established the first institution of the kind at Tabenna,
an island in the Nile; he also established the first nunnery under his
sister (292-348). Festival, May 14.
PACHYDERMATA, hoofed animals with thick skins and non-ruminant, such
as the elephant and the hog.
PACIFIC OCEAN, the largest sheet of water on the globe, occupies a
third of its whole surface, as much as all the land put together. It is a
wide oval in shape, lying between Australia and Asia on the W., and North
and South America on the E. Except from Asia it receives no large
rivers. On its American shores the Gulf of California is the only
considerable indentation; the Okhotsk, Japanese, Yellow, and Chinese
Seas, on the Asiatic coast, are rather wide bays shut in by islands than
inland seas. Its innumerable islands are the chief feature of the Pacific
Ocean. The continental islands include the Aleutian, Kurile, Japan, and
Philippine Islands, and the archipelago between the Malay Peninsula and
Australia; the Oceanic Islands include countless groups, volcanic and
coral, chiefly in the southern hemisphere, between the Sandwich Islands
and New Zealand. Commerce on the Pacific Ocean is only beginning, but
will increase vastly with the extension of the United States westward,
the colonisation of Australia, and the opening of Chinese and Japanese
ports. San Francisco and Valparaiso on the E., Hong-Kong and Sydney on
the W., are just now the chief centres of trade.
PACKHARD, distinguished American entymologist and naturalist, born
in Maine; his classification of insects is accepted; _b_. 1839.
PACTOLUS, a small river of Lydia, famous for the gold contained in
its sand, due, it was alleged, to Midas washing the gold off him in its
waters, and the alleged source of the wealth of Croesus; its modern name
is Sarabat. See MIDAS.
PACUVIUS, an old Latin dramatist, nephew of ENNIUS (q. v.);
wrote dramas after the Greek models (220-130 B.C.).
PADANG (15), a town and free port on the W. coast of Sumatra, the
largest town on the island, and the Dutch official capital.
PADEREWSKI, IGNACE JAN, a celebrated pianist, born at Podolia, in
Russian Poland; master of his art by incessant practice from early
childhood, made his _debut_ in 1887 with instant success; his first
appearance created quite a _furore_ in Paris and London; has twice
visited the United States; is a brilliant composer as well as performer,
and has composed numerous pieces both for the voice and the piano; _b_.
PADILLA, JUAN LOPEZ DE, a celebrated Castilian noble, who headed a
rebellion against Charles V., which he heroically maintained till his
defeat at Villalos in 1521, and which his wife, Donna Maria, no less
heroically maintained against a strong besieging force after his capture
PADISHAH, from two Persian words meaning "protector prince," is a
title given to the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, and at one
time applied, among others, to the Emperors of Austria and Russia.
PADUA (79), a walled city of Venetia, 23 m. by rail W. of Venice,
has some manufactures of leather and musical-instrument strings, but is
chiefly interesting for its artistic treasures; these include the
municipal buildings, cathedral, and nearly fifty churches, innumerable
pictures and frescoes, and Donatello's famous equestrian statue of
Gattamelata; there is also a renowned university, library, museum, and
the oldest botanical garden in Europe; after very varied fortunes it was
held by Venice 1405-1797, then by Austria till its incorporation in Italy
1866. Livy was a native, as also Andrea Mantegna.
PAESTUM, an ancient Greek city of Lucania, in South Italy, with
remains of Greek architecture second only to those of Athens.
PAGAN, ISABEL, Scotch poetess, authoress of the plaintive song "Ca'
the Yowes to the Knowes" (1740-1821).
PAGANINI, NICOLO, a celebrated Italian violinist, born at Genoa of
humble origin; widely famous for his astonishing feats on a
single-stringed instrument; was a composer of musical pieces for both
violin and guitar; died rich (1784-1840).
PAGANISM, HEATHENISM (q. v.), so called as lingering among
the "pagani" or country people, after Christianity had taken root in the
PAGODA, an Indian or Chinese temple, associated chiefly with
Buddhism, of a more or less pyramidal form and of several storeys, the
most imposing being the Greek Pagoda of Tanjore; the name is applied also
to a gold coin worth 7s. 6d. stamped with a pagoda.
PAHLEVI, name given to a translation of the ZENDAVESTA (q. v.) in the
Zend dialect for the use of the priesthood.
PAINE, THOMAS, a notorious free-thinker and democrat, born in
Thetford; emigrated to America, contributed, as he boasted, by his
pamphlet "Common Sense," to "free America," by rousing it to emancipate
itself from the mother-country; wrote the "Rights of Man" against Burke's
"Reflections"; had to emigrate to France; took part in the Revolution to
aid in its emancipation also, offended Robespierre, and was put in
prison, where he wrote the first part of his "Age of Reason," a book
which offended the Christian world and procured him ignominy and even
execration in many quarters; died in New York, but his bones were
conveyed to England by Cobbett in 1819 (1737-1809).
PAINTER, WILLIAM, author of "Palace of Pleasure," a collection of
tales chiefly from Italian sources, which proved suggestive in furnishing
the dramatists with interesting subjects for representation (1540-1594).
PAISIELLO, GIOVANNI, an Italian composer, born at Taranto; his great
work, the opera "Il Barbiere di Seviglia"; composed besides other operas,
cantatas, requiems, &c.
PAISLEY (66), a Renfrewshire town, 7 m. W. of Glasgow, on the White
Cart. It is the chief centre of manufacture of cotton thread in the
world, and its other industries include dyeing, bleaching, woollen goods,
and engineering. There are several fine buildings, a Baptist Church is
said to be the finest modern ecclesiastical building in Scotland. The
ornithologist Wilson, Professor Wilson ( Christopher North), and
Tannahill were born here.
PALACKY, FRANCIS, distinguished Bohemian historian and politician,
born in Moravia, author of a "History of Bohemia," in 5 vols., his chief
work and a notable (1798-1876).
PALADIN, the name given to the peers of Charlemagne, such as Roland,
and also to knights-errant generally.
PALAEOGRAPHY, the name given to the study and the deciphering of
PALAEOLOGUS, the name of a Byzantine family, several members of which
attained imperial dignity, the last of the dynasty dying in 1453; they
came into prominence in the 11th century.
PALAEONTOLOGY, the name given to the study of fossil remains, a
branch of geology.
PALAFOX, DON JOSEPH, a Spanish soldier, born of a noble Aragonese
family, who immortalised himself by his heroic defence of Saragossa
against the French in 1808-9; on the fall of the place was taken to
France and imprisoned till 1813; on his release was created Duke of
Saragossa and promoted to other high honours at home (1780-1847).
PALAIS ROYAL, a pile of buildings in Paris, of which the nucleus was
a palace built in 1629 by Lemercier for Richelieu, and known afterwards
as the Palais Cardinal, and which at length by gift of Louis XIV. became
the town residence of the Orleans family; these buildings suffered much
damage in 1848 and in 1871, but have been restored since 1873.
PALAMEDES, one of the chiefs of the Greeks at the siege of Troy, a
man of inventive genius; discovered the assumed madness of Ulysses, but
incurred his resentment in consequence, which procured his death.
PALANQUIN, in India and China a covered conveyance for one person
borne on the shoulders of men.
PALATINATE, the name of two States, originally one, of the old
German empire, one called the Lower Palatinate or the Palatinate of the
Rhine, partitioned in 1815 among the States of Baden, Bavaria, Prussia,
and Hesse-Darmstadt, and the other called the Upper Palatinate, now
nearly all included in Bavaria; the former has for principal towns Spires
and Landau, and the latter Ratisbon.
PALATINE, one of the seven hills of ancient Rome, and, according to
tradition, the first to be occupied, and forming the nucleus of the city;
it became one of the most aristocratic quarters of the city, and was
chosen by the first emperors for their imperial residence.
PALATINE COUNT, a judicial functionary of high rank under the early
Frankish kings over what was called a palatinate.
PALATINE COUNTIES, certain frontier counties in England, such as
Chester, Durham, and Lancaster, which possess royal privileges and
PALE, THE, that part of Ireland in which after the invasion of 1172
the supremacy of English rule and law was acknowledged, the limits of
which differed at different times, but which generally included all the
eastern counties extending 40 or 50 m. inland.
PALENQUE, a town in the State of Chiapas, Mexico, discovered in
1760, buried under a dense forest with extensive structures in ruins.
PALERMO (273), capital of Sicily, picturesquely situated in the
midst of a beautiful and fertile valley called the Golden Shell; is a
handsome town, with many public buildings and nearly 300 churches in
Moorish and Byzantine architecture, a university, art school, museum, and
libraries; industries are unimportant, but a busy trade is done with
Britain, France, and the United States, exporting fruits, wine, sulphur,
&c., and importing textiles, coals, machinery, and grain.
PALES, in Roman mythology the tutelary deity of shepherds and their
flocks, the worship of whom was attended with numerous observances, as in
the case of the nature divinities generally.
PALESTINE, or the HOLY LAND, a small territory on the SE.
corner of the Mediterranean, about the size of Wales, being 140 m. from
N. to S., and an average of 70 m. from E. to W., is bounded on the N. by
Lebanon, on the E. by the Jordan Valley, on the S. by the Sinaitic
Desert, and on the W. by the sea; there is great diversity of climate
throughout its extent owing to the great diversity of level, and its
flora and fauna are of corresponding range; it suffered much during the
wars between the Eastern monarchies and Egypt, and in the wars between
the Crescent and the Cross, and is now by a strange fate in the hands of
the Turk; it has in recent times been the theatre of extensive exploring
operations in the interest of its early history.
PALESTRINA, an Italian town, 22 m. SE. of Rome, on a slope of the
Apennines, 2546 ft. above sea-level, on the site of the ancient Praeneste,
with the remains of Cyclopean walls, with a palace of the
BARBERINI (q. v.).
PALESTRINA, GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DE, celebrated composer of sacred
music, surnamed the Prince of Music, born at Palestrina; resided chiefly
at Rome, where he wrought a revolution in church music, produced a number
of masses which at once raised him to the foremost rank among composers;
was the author of a well-known _Stabat Mater_ (1524-1594).
PALEY, FREDERICK ALTHORP, classical scholar, grandson of the
succeeding, born near York; became a Roman Catholic, contributed to
classical literature by his editions of the classics of both Greece and
Rome, remarkable alike for their scholarship and the critical acumen they
PALEY, WILLIAM, "one of the most masculine and truly English of
thinkers and writers," born at Peterborough; studied at Christ's College,
Cambridge, where he was Senior Wrangler, and obtained a Fellowship, held
afterwards various Church preferments, and died archdeacon of Carlisle;
was a clear writer and cogent reasoner on common-sense lines, and was
long famous, if less so now, as the author of "Horae Paulinae," "Evidences
of Christianity," and "Natural Theology," as well as "Moral and Political
Philosophy"; they are genuine products of the time they were written in,
but are out of date now (1743-1806).
PALGRAVE, SIR FRANCIS, historian, born in London, of Jewish parents
of the name of Cohen; was called to the bar in 1827, and became
Deputy-Keeper of Her Majesty's Records in 1838; was the author of a
history of the "Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth" and of a
"History of England," tracing it back chiefly to the Anglo-Norman period,
among other works (1788-1861).
PALGRAVE, FRANCIS TURNER, poet, son of preceding, born in London,
professor of Poetry at Oxford, editor of "Golden Treasury of Songs and
Lyrics," as well as author of lyrics, rhymes, &c.; _b_. 1824.
PALGRAVE, WILLIAM GIFFORD, Arabic scholar, born at Westminster,
brother of preceding; after a brief term of service in the army joined
the Society of Jesus, and served as a member of the order in India, Rome,
and in Syria, where he acquired an intimate knowledge of Arabic, by means
of which he contributed to our knowledge of both the Arabic language and
the Arab race; wrote a narrative of a year's journey through Arabia
PALI, the sacred language of the Buddhists, once a living language,
but, like Sanskrit, no longer spoken.
PALIMPSEST, the name given to a parchment manuscript written on the
top of another that has been erased, yet often not so thoroughly that it
cannot be in a measure restored.
PALINGENESIA, name equivalent to "new birth," and applied both to
regeneration and restoration, of which baptism in the former case is the
symbol; in the Stoic philosophy it is preceded by dissolution, as in the
rejuvenescence process of MEDEA (q. v.).
PALINURUS, the pilot of one of the ships of AEneas, who, sleeping at
his post, fell into the sea, and was drowned.
PALISSY, BERNARD, the great French potter and inventor of a new
process in the potter's art, born in Perigord, of humble parentage;
celebrated for his fine earthenware vases ornamented with figures
artistically modelled, but above all for his untiring zeal and patience
in the study of his art and mastery in it, making fuel of his very
furniture and the beams of his house in the conduct of his experiments;
he was a Huguenot, but was specially exempted, by order of Catherine de'
Medici, from the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1672, although he was in
1585, as a Huguenot, imprisoned in the Bastille, where he died
PALK'S STRAIT, the channel which separates Ceylon from the mainland
of India, 100 m. long and 40 m. wide, generally shallow. See ADAM'S
PALLADIO, ANDREA, an Italian architect, born at Vicenza, of poor
parents; was precursor of the modern Italian style of architecture, and
author of a treatise on architecture that has borne fruit; his works,
which are masterpieces of the Renaissance, consist principally of palaces
and churches, and the finest specimens are to be met with in Venice and
in his native place (1518-1580).
PALLADIUM, a statue of Pallas in Troy, on the preservation of which
depended the safety of the city, and from the date of the abstraction of
which by Ulysses and Diomedes the fate of it was doomed; it was fabled to
have fallen from heaven upon the plain of Troy, and to have after its
abstraction been transferred to Athens and Argos; it is now applied to
any safeguard of the liberty of a State.
PALLADIUS, ST., is called the "chief apostle of the Scottish
nation," but his connection with Scotland during his lifetime is
doubtful; he was sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine in A.D. 430, whence,
after his death, his remains were brought by St. Ternan to Fordoun,
PALLAS, one of the names of ATHENA (q. v.) considered as
the goddess of war; a name of uncertain derivation.
PALLAS, PETER SIMON, a German traveller and naturalist, born in
Berlin, professor of Natural History in St. Petersburg; explored Siberia,
and contributed to the geographical knowledge of the Russian empire
PALLAVICINO, FERRANTE, Italian patriot, who gave offence by his
pasquinades to the Papal Court and the Barberini; was betrayed and
PALLAVICINO, SFORZA, cardinal and historian, born at Rome; was of
the Jesuit order, and wrote a "History of the Council of Trent," in
correction of the work of Paul Sarpi (1607-1667).
PALLICE, LA, port of La Rochelle, from which it is 3 m. distant,
with harbourage for ocean-going steamers.
PALM, JOHANN PHILIPP, a Nuernberg bookseller, tried by court-martial
at the instance of Napoleon, and shot, for the publication of a pamphlet
reflecting on Napoleon and his troops, an act, from the injustice of it,
that aroused the indignation of the whole German people against him;
"better," thinks Carlyle, "had he lost his best park of artillery, or his
best regiment drowned in the sea, than shot that poor German bookseller"
PALM SUNDAY, the Sunday before Easter, is so called from its being
commemorative of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem; it is observed
by the Greek and Roman Churches; in the latter palm branches are blessed
by the priest before mass, carried in procession, distributed to the
congregation, carried home by them, and kept throughout the year.
PALMA, 1, capital of the Balearic Islands (61), on the Bay of Palma,
SW. coast of Majorca; has a Gothic cathedral, a Moorish palace, and a
collection of pictures in the old Town Hall; manufactures silks,
woollens, and jewellery, and does a busy trade. 2, One of the Canary
Islands (39), 67 m. NW. of Teneriffe; grows sugar, and exports honey,
wax, and silk manufactures.
PALMA, JACOPO, or The Old, a celebrated painter of the Venetian
school, was a pupil of Titian; painted sacred subjects and portraits, all
much esteemed (1480-1548).
PALMA, JACOPO, The Young, nephew of the preceding, also a painter,
but of inferior merit, though he aimed to be the rival of Tintoretto and
Paul Veronese (1544-1628).
PALMER, the name given to a pilgrim to the Holy Land who had
performed his vow, in sign of which he usually bore a palm branch in his
hand, which he offered on the altar on his return home.
PALMER, EDWARD HENRY, Oriental scholar, born at Cambridge; had an
aptitude for languages, and was especially proficient in those of the
East; by his knowledge of Arabic contributed to the success of exploring
expeditions to S. Palestine and Sinai; was appointed professor of Arabic
at Cambridge in 1871; produced a Persian-English Dictionary, an Arabic
Grammar, and a translation of the Koran, and in 1882 undertook two
missions to Egypt, in the latter of which he and his party were betrayed
and murdered; he was a man of varied gifts and accomplishments, and the
loss in scholarship to his country by his fate is incalculable
PALMER, SAMUEL, English landscape-painter, chiefly in water-colours
PALMERSTON, HENRY JOHN TEMPLE, VISCOUNT, English statesman, born, of
an Irish family, at Broadlands, Hants; was educated at the universities
of Edinburgh and Cambridge; succeeded to his father's title, an Irish
peerage, in 1802, and entered Parliament in 1807 as member for Newport,
Isle of Wight; during his long career he subsequently represented
Cambridge University (1811-1831), Bletchingly, South Hampshire, and
Tiverton; from 1809 to 1828 under five Premiers he was Junior Lord of the
Admiralty and Secretary at War; and separating himself finally from the
Tory party, he joined Earl Grey's Cabinet as Foreign Secretary in 1830;
contrary to all expectation he kept the country out of war, and during
the next 11 years he associated England's influence with that of France
in Continental affairs; returning to office in 1846, he remained at his
old post till 1851, steering England skilfully through the Spanish
troubles and the revolutionary reaction of 1848; a vote of censure on his
policy was carried in the Lords in 1850, but, after a five hours' speech
from him, the Commons recorded their approval; he resigned owing to
differences with the Premier, Lord John Russell; in 1852 joined Lord
Aberdeen's coalition ministry, and on its fall became himself Prime
Minister in 1855; he prosecuted the Crimean War and the Chinese War of
1857, and suppressed the Great Mutiny in India; defeated in 1858, he
returned to office next year with a cabinet of Whigs and Peelites; his
second administration furthered the cause of free trade, but made the
mistake of allowing the _Alabama_ to leave Birkenhead; he was Prime
Minister when he died; a brusque, high-spirited, cheery man, sensible and
practical, unpretending as an orator, but a skilful debater, he was a
great favourite with the country, whose prosperity and prestige it was
his chief desire to promote (1784-1865).
PALMISTRY, the art of reading character from the lines and marks on
the palm of the hand, according to which some pretend to read fortunes as
PALMY`RA, a ruined city of Asia Minor, 150 m. NE. of Damascus, once
situated in an oasis near the Arabian desert; a place of importance, and
said to have been founded by Solomon for commercial purposes; of imposing
magnificence as it ruins testify, as notably under Zenobia; it was taken
by the Romans in 272, and destroyed by Aurelian, after which it gradually
fell into utter decay; its ruins were discovered in 1678; it contains
the ruins of a temple to Baal, 60 of the 300 columns of which were still
PALO ALTO, 33 m. SE. of San Francisco; is the seat of a remarkable
university founded by Senator Stanford, and opened in 1891, to provide
instruction, from the Kindergarten stage to the most advanced and varied,
to students and pupils boarded on the premises; of these there were 1000
PALUDAN-MUeLLER, FREDERICK, distinguished Danish poet, born in Fuenen;
his greatest poem, "Adam Homo," a didactico-humorous composition; was an
earnest man and a finished literary artist (1809-1876).
PAMELA, a novel of Richardson's, from the name of the heroine, a
girl of low degree, who resists temptation and reclaims her would-be
PAMIRS, THE, or the "Roof of the World," a plateau traversed by
mountain ridges and valleys, of the average height of 13,000 ft., NW. of
the plateau of Thibet, connecting the mountain system of the Himalayas,
Tian-Shan, and the Hindu Kush, and inhabited chiefly by nomad Kirghiz
bands; territorial apportionments have for some time past been in the
hands of Russian and British diplomatists.
PAMPAS, vast grassy, treeless, nearly level plains in South America,
in the Argentine State; they stretch from the lower Parana to the S. of
Buenos Ayres; afford rich pasture for large herds of wild horses and
cattle, and are now in certain parts being brought under tillage.
PAMPELUNA or PAMPLONA (31), a fortified city of Northern Spain,
is 80 m. due SE. of Bilbao. It has a Gothic cathedral and a surgical
college, with manufactures of pottery and leather, and a trade in wine.
Formerly capital of Navarre, it has suffered much in war; has this
century several times resisted the Carlists.
PAN, in the Greek mythology a goat-man, a personification of rude
nature, and the protector of flocks and herds; originally an Arcadian
deity, is represented as playing on a flute of reeds joined together of
different lengths, called Pan's pipes; and dancing on his cloven hoofs
over glades and mountains escorted by a bevy of nymphs side by side, and
playing on his pipes. There is a remarkable tradition, that on the night
of the Nativity at Bethlehem an astonished voyager heard a voice
exclaiming as he passed the promontory of Tarentum, "The great Pan is
dead." The modern devil is invested with some of his attributes, such as
cloven hoofs, &c.
PANAMA (15), a free port in the State of Colombia, on the Pacific
coast of the isthmus of the same name, and an oppressively hot and humid
place, is the terminus of the Panama railroad and the seat of a great
transit trade. It has a Spanish cathedral. The population, of Indian and
negro descent chiefly, is only half what it was when the canal works were
in full operation.
PANAMA CANAL Geographers were familiar with the idea of connecting
the two oceans by a canal through Central America as early as the
beginning of the 16th century, and Dutch plans are said to exist dating
from the 17th century. The first practical steps were taken by Ferdinand
de Lesseps in 1879; two years later work was begun; the cost was
estimated at L24,000,000, but on January 1, 1889, the company was forced
into liquidation after spending over L70,000,000, and accomplishing but a
fifth of the work. Extravagance and incapacity were alleged among the
causes of failure; but the apparently insurmountable difficulties were
marshes, quicksands, and the overflow of the Chagres River, the
prevalence of earthquakes, the length of the rainy season, the cost of
labour and living, and the extreme unhealthiness of the climate.
PANATHENAEA, a festival, or rather two festivals, the Lesser and the
Greater, anciently celebrated at Athens in honour of Athena, the
patron-goddess of the city.
PANCHATANTRA, an old collection of fables and stories originally in
Sanskrit, and versions of which have passed into all the languages of
India, have appeared in different forms, and been associated with
PANCRAS, ST., a boy martyr of 16, who suffered under the Diocletian
persecution about 304, and is variously represented in mediaeval legend as
bearing a stone and sword, or a palm branch, and trampling a Saracen
under foot, in allusion to his hatred of heathenism.
PANDECTS, the digest of civil law executed at the instance of the
Emperor Justinian between the years 530 and 533.
PANDORA (i. e. the All-Gifted) in the Greek mythology a woman of
surpassing beauty, fashioned by Hephaestos, and endowed with every gift
and all graces by Athena, sent by Zeus to EPIMETHEUS (q. v.) to
avenge the wrong done to the gods by his brother Prometheus, bearing with
her a box full of all forms of evil, which Epimetheus, though cautioned
by his brother, pried into when she left, to the escape of the contents
all over the earth in winged flight, Hope alone remaining behind in the
PANDOURS, a name given to a body of light-infantry at one time in
the Austrian service, levied among the Slavs on the Turkish frontier, and
now incorporated as a division of the regular army.
PANDULF, CARDINAL, was the Pope's legate to King John of England,
and to whom, on his submission, John paid homage at Dover; _d_. 1226.
PANGE LINGUA, a hymn in the Roman Breviary, service of Corpus
Christi, part of which is incorporated in every Eucharistic service; was
written in rhymed Latin by Thomas Aquinas.
PANINI, a celebrated Sanskrit grammarian, whose work is of standard
authority among Hindu scholars, and who lived some time between 600 and
PANIPAT (29), a town in the Punjab, 53 m. N. of Delhi; was the scene
of two decisive battles, one in 1526 to the establishment of the Mogul
dynasty at Delhi, and another in 1701 to the extinction of the Mahratta
supremacy in North-West India.
PANIZZI, ANTONIO, principal librarian of the British Museum from
1850 to 1866, born at Modena; took refuge in England in 1821 as
implicated in a Piedmontese revolutionary movement that year; procured
the favour of Lord Brougham and a post in the Museum, in which he rose to
be one of the chiefs (1797-1879).
PANNONIA, a province of the Roman empire, conquered between 35 B.C.
and A.D. 8; occupied a square with the Danube on the N. and E. and the
Save almost on the S. border; it passed to the Eastern Empire in the 5th
century, fell under Charlemagne's sway, and was conquered by the modern
Hungarians shortly before A.D. 1000.
PANOPTICON, a prison so arranged that the warder can see every
prisoner in charge without being seen by them.
PANSLAVISM, the name given to a movement for union of all the
Slavonic races in one nationality, a project which lags heavily owing to
the jealousy on the part of one section or another.
PANTAGRUEL, the principal character of one of the two great works of
Rabelais, and named after him; he and his father Gargantua figured as
two enormous giants, being personifications of royalty with its
insatiable lust of territory and power.
PANTHEISM, the doctrine or creed which affirms the immanency of God
in nature, or that God is within nature, but ignores or denies His
transcendency, or that He is above nature; distinguished from deism,
which denies the former but affirms the latter, from theism, which
affirms both, and from atheism, which denies both.
PANTHEON, a temple in Rome, first erected by Agrippa, son-in-law of
Augustus, circular in form, 150 ft. in height, with niches all round for
statues of the gods, to whom in general it was dedicated; it is now a
church, and affords sepulture to illustrious men. Also a building in
Paris, originally intended to be a church in honour of the patron saint
of Paris, but at the time of the Revolution converted into a receptacle
for the ashes of the illustrious dead, Mirabeau being its first occupant,
and bearing this inscription, _Aux grands hommes la patrie
reconnaissant_; it was subsequently appropriated to other uses, but under
the third republic it became again a resting-place for the ashes of
PANTOGRAPH, the name given to a contrivance for copying a drawing or
a design on an enlarged or a reduced scale.
PANURGE, one of the principal characters in the "Pantagruel" of
Rabelais, an exceedingly crafty knave, a libertine, and a coward.
PANZA, SANCHO, Don Quixote's squire, a squat, paunchy peasant
endowed with rude common-sense, but incapable of imagination.
PAOLI, PASQUALE DE, a Corsican patriot; sought to achieve the
independence of his country, but was defeated by the Genoese, aided by
France, in 1769; took refuge in England, where he was well received and
granted a pension; returned to Corsica and became lieutenant-general
under the French republic, raised a fresh insurrection, had George III.