Part 39 out of 53
PERTINAX, HELVIUS, Roman emperor in succession to Commodus; rose
from the ranks by his military services to the imperial dignity, which he
was pressed to accept against his will, and was assassinated by the
Praetorian Guards less than three months after, in consequence of the
reforms he projected in order to restore the ancient discipline of the
PERTURBATIONS, name given to irregularities or slight deviations in
the movement of a heavenly body, due chiefly to the neighbourhood of
another point in its orbit.
PERU (3,000), a country in the W. of South America, twice the size
of Austro-Hungary, lies between Brazil and Bolivia and the Pacific, with
Ecuador on the N. and Chile on the S.; it consists of a seaboard plain,
hot and rainless, but intersected by rich river courses, in which sugar,
cotton, and coffee are grown; the Andes chains, snow-tipped and
presenting every kind of climate and variety of vegetation on their
slopes and in their valleys, rich in minerals and yielding chiefly great
quantities of silver; and the Montana, the eastward slopes of the Andes,
clad with valuable forests where the cinchona is cultivated, and the
upland basins of the Ucayale River and the Upper Amazon, very fertile,
with great coffee and cacao plantations and abundant rain; the chief
articles of export are silver, nitre, guano, sugar, and wool. Lima (200),
the capital, is 8 m. inland from its port Callao (35); has an old
cathedral, and is the chief centre of commerce; its principal merchants
are Germans. The government is republican; the ruling classes are of
Spanish descent, but half of the population are Inca Indians and a
quarter are half-castes. From the 12th to the 16th centuries the Incas
enjoyed a high state of civilisation and an extensive empire administered
on socialistic principles; they attained great skill in the industries
and arts. The Spanish conqueror Pizarro, landing in 1532, overthrew the
empire and established the colony; after three centuries of oppression
Peru threw off the Spanish yoke in 1824. The history of the republic has
been one of continual restlessness, and a war with Chile 1879-84 ended in
complete disaster; recovery is slowly progressing.
PERUGIA (17), Italian walled city on the right bank of the Tiber,
127 m. by rail N. of Rome, with a cathedral of the 15th century, some
noteworthy churches, a Gothic municipal palace, picture gallery,
university, and library; is rich in art treasures and antiquarian
remains; it has silk and woollen industries; it was anciently called
Perusia, and one of the cities of ancient Etruria, and in its day has
experienced very varied fortunes; it was the centre of the Umbrian school
PERUGINO, his proper name VANNUCCI, Italian painter, born near
Perugia, whence his name; studied with Leonardo da Vinci at Florence,
where he chiefly resided; was one of the teachers of Raphael, painted
religious subjects, did frescoes for churches that have nearly all
perished, a "Christ giving the Keys to Peter" being the best extant;
Ruskin contrasts his work with Turner's; "in Turner's distinctive work,"
he says, "colour is scarcely acknowledged unless under influence of
sunshine ... wherever the sun is not, there is melancholy and evil," but
"in Perugino's distinctive work"--to whom he therefore gives "the
captain's place over all"--"there is simply _no_ darkness, _no_ wrong.
Every colour is lovely and every space is light; the world, the universe,
is divine; all sadness is a part of harmony, and all gloom a part of
PESCHIERA, one of the fortresses of the QUADRILATERAL (q. v.),
on an island in the Mincio, 14 m. W. of Verona.
PESHAWAR or PESHAWUR (84), a town on the Indian frontier, and
centre of trade with Afghanistan, is 10 m. from the entrance of the
Khyber Pass, on the Kabul River, and though ill-fortified is a bulwark of
the empire, being provided with a large garrison of infantry and
PESHITO (i. e. simple), a version of the Bible in Syriac, executed
not later than the middle of the 2nd century for Judaic Christians in the
Syrian Church, the version of the Old Testament being executed direct
from the Hebrew and that of the New being the first translation of the
Greek of it into a foreign tongue, and both of value in questions
affecting exegesis and the original text; the New Testament version
contains all the books now included except the Apocalypse, Jude, 2 Peter,
and 2 and 3 John.
PESSIMISM, a name given now to a habit of feeling, now to a system
of opinion; as the former it denotes a tendency to dwell on the dark or
gloomy side of things, culminating in a sense of their vanity and
nothingness, while in the latter it is applied to all systems of opinion
which lay the finger on some black spot in the structure of the life of
the world or of the universe, which so long as it remains is thought to
render it unworthy of existence.
PESTALOZZI, JOHANN HEINRICH, a celebrated educationist, born at
Zurich; founder of a natural system of education, beginning with
childhood, and who, however unsuccessful in the working of it himself
from his want of administrative faculty, persuaded others by his writings
to adopt it, especially in Germany, and to adopt it both enthusiastically
and successfully; his method, which he derived from Rousseau, was based
on the study of human nature as we find it born in the child, and it
aimed at the harmonious development of all its innate capabilities,
beginning with the most rudimentary (1745-1827).
PESTH or BUDAPEST (492), on the left bank of the Danube,
forming one municipality with Buda on the right, is the capital of
Hungary, and 173 m. by rail E. of Vienna; Pesth is built on a plain,
joined to Buda by three bridges, the last on the Danube, and is a
thriving modern city, with picture galleries, parliament house, library,
university, science schools, many baths, and public gardens; it makes
machinery, agricultural implements, cutlery, flour, &c., and does a great
trade in corn, wool, hides, wines, and bacon.
PETALISM, banishment in Sparta similar to ostracism in Athens,
procured by writing the name on an olive leaf.
PETARD, a cone-shaped explosive machine for bursting open gates,
barriers, &c., made of iron and filled with powder and ball.
PETASUS, the winged-cap of the god Mercury.
PETCHORA, the largest river in Northern Russia, rises in the Ural
Mountains and flows N. through Vologda and Archangel, then westward and
N. again, entering the Arctic Ocean by a large, island-studded estuary,
after a course of 1000 m. through sombre forests and wild, sombre
PETER, THE APOSTLE, originally called Simon, was a fisherman on the
Sea of Galilee; one of the first called by Christ to become a disciple;
the first to recognise, as the foundation-stone of the Church, the
divinity in the humanity of His Master, and the first thereafter to
recognise and proclaim that divinity as glorified in the cross, to whom
in recognising which, especially the former, was committed the keys of
the kingdom of heaven, and who accordingly was the first to open the door
of it to the Gentile world. He was the principal figure in the history of
the early Christian Church, but was soon eclipsed by the overpowering
presence and zeal of Paul. Tradition, indeed, has something to tell of
him, but from it little of trustworthy can be gathered except that he
finished his career by martyrdom in the city of Rome. This Apostle is
represented in Christian art as an old man, bald-headed, with a flowing
beard, dressed in a white mantle, and holding a scroll in his hand, his
attributes being the keys, and a sword in symbol of his martyrdom.
PETER, THE FIRST EPISTLE OF, addressed especially to Jewish
Christians in certain churches of Asia Minor, the members of which were
suffering persecution at the hands of their adversaries as evil-doers;
was written to exhort them to rebut the charge by a life of simple
well-doing, and to comfort them under it with the promise of the return
of the Lord.
PETER, THE SECOND EPISTLE OF, addressed to all who anywhere bore the
Christian name; appears to have been written not long before his death to
counteract certain fatal forms of error, at once doctrinal and practical,
that had already begun to creep into the Church, and against which we
meet with the same warnings in the Epistle of Jude, the doctrinal error
being the denial of Christ as Lord, and the practical the denial of Him
as the way, the truth, and the life, to the peril of the forfeiture of
PETER, THE WILD BOY, a savage creature of 13 years of age, found in
1725 in a forest of Hanover, who was accustomed to walk on all fours, and
climb trees like a squirrel, living on wild plants, grass, and moss, and
who could not be weaned from these habits, or taught to speak more than a
syllable or two; he wore a brass collar with his name on it; at length
refused all food, and died in 1786.
PETER MARTYR, 1, a Dominican notorious for his severity as a member
of the Inquisition, murdered by a mob at Como in 1252, became the patron
saint of the Inquisition. 2, A Protestant reformer, born at Florence,
became a monk and abbot at Lucca, from which, on embracing the doctrines
of the Reformation, he was forced to flee, first to Switzerland and then
to England in the reign of Edward VI., but had to retreat from thence
also on the accession of Mary to Strasburg, and at length to Zurich,
where he died (1500-1562). 3, A historian, born at Arona, rose to become
bishop of Jamaica, wrote on the discovery of America, _d_. 1525.
PETER THE GREAT, emperor of Russia, son of the Czar Alexei, born at
Moscow; succeeded his half-brother Feodor in 1682, but was forced for a
time to share the throne with his half-sister Sophia, acting as regent
for her brother Ivan; conscious of his imperfect education, he chose a
Genoese named Lefort as his preceptor, and after some years' careful
training he deposed Sophia, and entered Moscow as sole ruler in 1689;
with the help of Lefort and Patrick Gordon, a Scotsman, he proceeded to
raise and discipline an army on the European model, and determined also
to construct a navy; to reach the sea he made war on the Turks, and
possessed himself of the port of Azov, at the mouth of the Don; hither he
invited skilled artificers from Austria, Venice, Prussia, and Holland,
and a navy was built; from 1697 to 1698 he visited the countries on the
Baltic and England, acquiring vast stores of information, working as a
shipwright in the Dutch yards, and finally taking back with him an army
of mechanics; on his return he vigorously reformed the Russian press,
schools, and church, introduced European manners and literature, and
encouraged foreign trade; desirous now of an opening on the Baltic, he
began in 1700 a long contest with Sweden, marked first by many defeats,
notably that of Narva, then the seizure of Ingria, and founding of the
new capital St. Petersburg 1703, the victory of Pultowa 1712, seizure of
the Baltic provinces and part of Finland 1713, and finally by the Peace
of 1721, which ceded the conquered territories to Russia; in 1711 the
Turks had recovered Azov; in 1722 war with Persia secured him three
Caspian provinces; Peter pursued a vigorous and enlightened policy for
the good of Russia, but his disposition was often cruel; his son Alexei
was put to death for opposing his reforms, and on his own death he was
succeeded by the Empress Catherine I., the daughter of a peasant, who had
been his mistress, and whom he had married in 1712 (1672-1725).
PETER THE HERMIT, a monk, born in Amiens, of good family, who is
credited with having by his preaching kindled the enthusiasm in Europe
which led to the first Crusade; he joined it himself as the leader of an
untrained rabble, but made a poor figure at the siege of Antioch, where
he was with difficulty prevented from deserting the camp; he afterwards
founded a monastery near Liege, where he died (1050-1115).
PETERBOROUGH (25), an English cathedral city, on the Nen, partly in
Huntingdonshire and partly in Northamptonshire, on the edge of the Fen
country, 76 m. N. of London; has an old town-hall, manufactures of farm
implements, trade in malt and coal, and is a great railway centre; the
cathedral is one of the finest in Britain, of very varied architecture,
was restored and reopened afterwards in 1890.
PETERBOROUGH, CHARLES MORDAUNT, EARL OF, saw some active service as
a volunteer in Charles II.'s navy, and on the accession of James II.
threw himself into politics as an opponent of the king; William III.
showed him great favour; he was of the Queen's Council of Regency when
William was in Ireland, but imprudent intriguing brought him a short
confinement in the Tower in 1697; the war of the Spanish Succession was
the opportunity which brought him fame; appointed to the command of the
British and Dutch forces, which fought for Charles of Austria, he reduced
Barcelona 1705, and Valencia 1706; retook Barcelona from the French, and
but for Charles's hindrance would have entered Madrid; differences with
other generals led to his recall in 1707; the rest of his life was spent
in retirement; he was the friend of Pope, and held by him in genuine
esteem; he died in Lisbon (1658-1735).
PETERHEAD (12), a seaport on the E. coast of Aberdeenshire, 30 m.
NE. of Aberdeen; built irregularly of reddish granite; has a free library
and museum, and is the seat of a convict prison; the chief industry is
herring-fishing; there are two harbours, and a third, a great harbour of
refuge, is in course of construction.
PETERHOF (14), a town on the Gulf of Finland, 18 m. W. of St.
Petersburg, with a palace of the Czar built in 1711 by Peter the Great.
PETERLOO, a name, suggested by Waterloo, given to an insurrectionary
gathering in 1819 of workers in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, to demand
Parliamentary reform, and which was dispersed by the military to the
sacrifice of 13 lives and the wounding of 600, a proceeding which excited
wide-spread indignation, and contributed to promote the cause which it
was intended to defeat.
PETER'S, ST., church at Rome, is built, it is alleged, over the tomb
of St. Peter, and on the site of the basilica erected by Constantine and
Helena in 306. The original structure after falling into decay was begun
to be rebuilt in 1450, and finally consecrated by Urban XIII. in 1626. It
is the largest and grandest church in Christendom, covers an area of over
26,000 square yards, the interior of it in length being 206 yards, the
transept 150 yards, the nave 150, and the dome 465. It contains thirty
altars, and is adorned with numerous statues and monuments.
PETER'S PENCE, an annual tribute of a silver penny per household in
England to support the chair of St. Peter at Rome, and which continued
more or less to be levied from the end of the 8th century till the days
of Elizabeth, when it ceased. The payment has been revived since 1848 in
Britain, France, and Belgium in compensation to the Pope for loss of his
PETERWARDEIN (4), a strong Austrian fortress on the right bank of
the Danube, near the Servian frontier, 40 m. NW. of Belgrade; stands
among unhealthy marshes.
PETION DE VILLENEUVE, JEROME, born at Chartres; figured in the
French Revolution as a zealous republican, member of the Tiers Etat, one
of the commission to reconduct the royal family from Varennes; was mayor
of Paris in the year of the September massacres, 1792; was first
President of the Convention, and, though his influence was declining,
member of the first Committee of Defence, 1793; his attack on Robespierre
proving unsuccessful he committed suicide; his body was afterwards found
on the Landes of Bordeaux half devoured by wolves; was surnamed the
"Virtuous," as Robespierre the "Incorruptible"; was of the Girondist
party; had "unalterable beliefs, not hindmost of them," says Carlyle,
"belief in himself" (1783-1793).
PETITE NATURE, a French term applied to pictures containing figures
less than life-size, but with the effect of life-size.
PETITION OF RIGHT, a petition presented to Charles I. by the Commons
in 1628, and that became law by the king's acceptance of it. It sought
for and obtained the abolition of certain grievances which the country
unconstitutionally suffered from, such as taxation or levying of money
without consent of Parliament, imprisonment without cause shown,
billeting of troops, and recourse to martial law in a time of peace. This
petition Charles I. would at first fain have evaded, but the Commons
would be satisfied with nothing less than its acceptance entire.
PETOeFI, SANDOR, celebrated Magyar poet and patriot, born in the
county of Pesth, of poor parents; first announced himself as a poet in
1844; wrote a number of war-songs; fought in the cause of the revolution
of 1848, and fell in the battle of Schaessburg; his poetry inaugurated a
new era in the literature of his country (1823-1849).
PETRA, a ruined city, and once the rock capital of Edom, and
afterwards of Arabia Petraea; was a place of some importance at one time
as a commercial centre; the name Petra signifies rock.
PETRARCH, FRANCESCO, the famous Italian lyric poet, born at Arezzo,
in Tuscany, whither his father had gone when exiled with Dante from
Florence; spent his youth in Avignon; intended for the profession of law,
devoted his time to the study of Cicero and Virgil; met Laura in the
church of St. Clare there in 1327, a lady of surpassing beauty; conceived
a passion for her which she could not return, and wrote sonnets in praise
of her, which immortalised both himself and her; after travel in France
and Germany he retired in 1337 to the valley of Vaucluse, where he
composed the most of his poems, and his reputation reached its height in
1341, when he was crowned laureate in the Capitol of Rome; he was in
Italy when tidings reached him of the death of Laura in 1348, on the
anniversary of the day when he first met her, upon which he gave
expression to his feelings over the event in a touching note of it in his
Virgil; we find him again at Rome in 1350, and after moving from place to
place settled in Arqua in 1370, where he died; his Latin works are
numerous, and include an epic on the Second Punic war, Eclogues, Epistles
in verse, and Letters of value giving the details of his life; his fame
rests on his lyrics; by those alone he still lives, and that more from
the finished art in which they are written than from any glow of feeling
they kindle in the reader's heart (1304-1374).
PETRI, LAURENTIUS, a Swedish Reformer; was a disciple of Luther;
became professor of Theology and first Protestant archbishop of Upsala,
and superintended the translation of the Bible into Swedish (1499-1573).
PETRIE, FLINDERS, Egyptologist, son of an Australian explorer; after
explorations at Stonehenge, surveyed the pyramids and temples of Ghizeh
in 1881-82; excavated for the Egyptian Exploration Fund Nankratis, Am,
and Defenneh; has achieved many other important works of the kind, and
issued a popular work, "Ten Years' Diggings in Egypt"; _b_. 1853.
PETRIE, GEORGE, Irish archaeologist, born in Dublin, of Scottish
parentage; bred to art; executed Irish landscapes, but is best known for
his "Essay on the Round Towers of Ireland," a work of no small interest
PETROLEUM, is the common name of a series of rock oils found in
large quantities in the United States and Canada, near Rangoon, and in
the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea. The oil issues from the rocks, or
is drawn from subterranean reservoirs, where its presence is supposed to
result from natural distillation of vegetable and animal substances, and
after refining, put in the market as benzoline, paraffin, and lubricating
oil. It is extensively used in the industries, and has been applied as
fuel to steamships.
PETROLEUSE, was a name given to certain Parisian women of the
Commune of 1871, who poured petroleum on the Hotel de Ville and other
buildings to burn them.
PETRONIUS, a Roman satirist and accomplished voluptuary at the court
of Nero, and the director-in-chief of the imperial pleasures; accused of
treason, and dreading death at the hands of the emperor his master, he
opened his veins, and by bandaging them bled slowly to death, showing the
while the same frivolity as throughout his life; he left behind him a
work, extant now only in fragments, but enough to expose the abyss of
profligacy in which the Roman world was then sunk at that crisis of its
fate; _d_. 63.
PETTIE, JOHN, painter, born at Edinburgh; his works, chiefly
historical, were numerous, and of a high character (1839-1893).
PETTY, SIR WILLIAM, political economist, born in Hampshire; was a
man of versatile genius, varied attainments, and untiring energy; was
skilled in medicine, in music, in mechanics, and in engineering, as well
as economics, to which especially he contributed by his pen (1623-1687).
PETTY JURY, a jury of 12 elected to try a criminal case after a true
bill against the accused has been found by a Grand Jury.
PETTY OFFICERS, officers in the navy, consisting of four grades, and
corresponding in function and responsibility to non-commissioned officers
in the army.
PETTY SESSIONS, name given to sessions of justices of the peace to
try small cases without a jury.
PEUTINGER, CONRAD, an Augsburg antiquary, left at his death a
13th-century copy of a 3rd-century map of the Roman military roads, now
in the Imperial Library at Vienna, known as the "Tabula Peutingeriana"
PFAeFERS, hot springs near a village of the same name in the Swiss
canton of St. Gall; have been in use for 800 years.
PFAHLBAUTEN, lake dwellings of prehistoric date in Switzerland.
PFALZ, the German name for the Palatinate.
PFEIFFER, IDA, a celebrated traveller, born in Vienna; being
separated from her husband, and having completed the education of her two
sons and settled them in life, commenced her career of travel in 1842, in
which year she visited Palestine, in 1845 visited Scandinavia, in 1846
essayed a voyage round the world by Cape Horn, in 1851 a second by the
Cape of Good Hope, and in 1856 an expedition to Madagascar, returning at
the end of each to Vienna and publishing accounts of them (1797-1858).
PFFLEIDERER, OTTO, a philosophical theologian, born in Wuertemberg,
professor at Jena, and afterwards at Berlin; has written on religion, the
philosophy of it and sundry developments of it, in an able manner, as
well as lectured on it in Edinburgh in connection with the Gifford trust,
on which occasion he was bold enough to overstep the limits respected by
previous lecturers between natural and revealed religion, to the
inclusion of the latter within his range; _b_. 1830.
PFORZHEIM (29), manufacturing town in Baden, in the N. of the Black
Forest; manufactures gold and silver ornaments, and has chemical and
PHAEDRUS, a Latin fabulist, of the age of Augustus, born in
Macedonia, and settled in Rome; originally a slave, was manumitted by
Augustus; his fables, 97 in number, were written in verse, and are mostly
translations from AEsop, the best of them such as keep closely to the
PHAETHON (i. e. the shining one, and so called from his father),
the son of HELIOS (q. v.); persuaded his father to allow him for
one day to drive the chariot of the sun across the heavens, but was too
weak to check the horses, so that they rushed off their wonted track and
nearly set the world on fire, whereupon Zeus transfixed him with a
thunderbolt, metamorphosed his sisters who had yoked the horses for him
into poplars and their tears into amber.
PHALANSTERY, a body of people living together on the Communistic
principle of Fourier; also the building they occupy.
PHALANX, among the Greeks a body of heavy infantry armed with long
spears and short swords, standing in line close behind one another,
generally 8 men deep, the Macedonian being as much as 16; its movements
were too heavy, and it was dashed in pieces before the legions of Rome to
its extinction; it was superseded by the Roman legion.
PHALARIS, a tyrant of Agrigentum, in Sicily, in the 6th century, who
is said, among other cruelties, to have roasted the victims of his
tyranny in a brazen bull which bears his name; the "Letters of Phalaris,"
at one time ascribed to him, have been proved to be spurious.
PHALLUS, a symbol of the generative power of nature, being a
representation of the male organ of generation, and associated with rites
and ceremonies of nature-worship in the early stages of civilised life,
and the worship of which was supposed to have a magic influence in
inducing fertility among the flocks and herds, as well as in the soil of
PHARAMOND, a Knight of the Round Table, and the reputed first king
of the Franks.
PHARAOH, a name, now proper, now common, given in the Old Testament
to the kings of Egypt, identified with that of the sun-god Phra, and
applied to the king as his representative on earth; some 10 of the name
occur in the Bible, and it is matter of difficulty often to distinguish
one from another.
PHARISEES (i. e. Separatists), a sect of the Jews who adopted or
received this name because of the attitude of isolation from the rest of
the nation which they were compelled to assume at the time of their
origin. This was some time between the years 165 and 105 B.C., on their
discovery that the later Maccabaean chiefs were aiming at more than
religious liberty, and in their own interests contemplating the erection
of a worldly kingdom that would be the death of the theocratic, which it
was the purpose of Providence they should establish; this was the
separate ground which they at first assumed alone, but they in the end
carried the great body of the nation along with them. They were
scrupulously exact in their interpretation and observance of the Jewish
law as the rule to regulate the life of the Jewish community in every
department, and were the representatives of that legal tendency which
gave character to the development of Judaism proper during the period
which elapsed between the date of the Captivity and the advent of
Christianity. The law they observed, however, was not the written law as
it stood, but that law as expounded by the oral law of the Scribes, as
the sole key to its interpretation, so that their attitude to the Law of
Moses was pretty much the same as that of the Roman Catholics and the
High Churchmen in relation to the Scriptures generally, and they were
thus at length the representatives of clericalism as well as legalism in
the Jewish Church, and in doing so they took their ground upon a
principle which is the distinctive article of orthodox Judaism in the
matter to the present day. In the days of Christ they stood in marked
opposition to the SADDUCEES (q. v.) both in their dogmatic views
and their political principles. As against them, on the dogmatic side,
they believed in a spiritual world and in an established moral order, and
on the political their rule was to abstain from politics, except in so
far as they might injuriously affect the life and interests of the
nation; but at that time they had degenerated into mere formalists, whose
religion was a conspicuous hypocrisy, and it was on this account and
their pretensions to superior sanctity that they incurred the indignation
and exposed themselves to the condemnation of Christ.
PHAROS, an island of ancient Egypt, near Alexandria, on which the
first lighthouse was erected by Ptolemy Philadelphus in 48 B.C.
PHARSALIA, a district in the N. of Greece, the southern portion of
the modern province of Larissa; was the scene of Caesar's victory over
Pompey, 48 B.C.
PHELPS, ELIZABETH STUART, American authoress, born at Andover; wrote
"Gates Ajar" and other popular stories, is a great advocate, by lecturing
and otherwise, for social reform and the emancipation of women; _b_.
PHELPS, SAMUEL, an English actor, born in Devonport; made his
_debut_ as Shylock in London at the Haymarket in 1837, achieved his
greatest successes in Sadler's Wells by his representation of
Shakespeare's plays and the works of eminent dramatists of the 18th
century; was distinguished in comedy as well as tragedy, in which last he
primarily appeared and established his fame (1804-1878).
PHERECYDES, an ancient Greek philosopher, born in Syros in 6th
century B.C.; distinguished as having had Pythagoras among his pupils,
and believed to have been the author of many of the doctrines promulgated
by his disciple and named Pythagorean.
PHIDIAS, the greatest sculptor and statuary of ancient Greece, born
at Athens; flourished in the time of Pericles, and was appointed by him
to direct the works of art projected to the beautifying of the city, and
expressly commissioned to execute certain of these works himself; the
chief work that he superintended was the erection of the Parthenon, much
of which he himself adorned; and of the statues he executed the most
famous were one of Athena of ivory and gold for the Parthenon, and a
colossal one of Zeus, his masterpiece, also of ivory and gold, for
Olympia; accused of having appropriated some of the gold intended for the
statue of Athena he was acquitted, but was afterwards charged with
impiety for carving his own likeness and that of Pericles on the shield
of the goddess, and was thrown into prison, where he died, 432 B.C.
PHILADELPHIA (1,293), largest city in Pennsylvania, on the Delaware,
100 m. from the sea and 90 m. by rail SW. of New York; is the third city
in the Union in population, manufactures, and commerce, regularly built
with plain substantial dwelling-houses; recently more splendid public
buildings have been erected, the town-hall, of white marble, is the
second highest structure in the world; a masonic temple and Government
offices of granite and the Mint are also fine buildings; there is a
university and colleges of science, medicine, art, and music, many
churches, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and many hospitals and charitable
institutions; the industries include locomotive building, saw-making,
woollen and cotton goods, sugar and oil refining, and chemical works; it
trades largely in coal. Founded by William Penn in 1682, it was the
central point of the War of Independence; the first Congress met here,
and the Declaration of Independence was signed (1776) in a building still
standing; here too the Federal Union was signed (1778) and the
constitution drawn up (1787), and from 1790 to 1800 it was the capital of
the United States.
PHILADOR, FRANCOIS ANDRE, a celebrated composer and chess-player,
born at Dreux; wrote a number of operas; in regard to chess his great
maxim was "Pawns are the soul of chess"; fled at the time of the
Revolution to London, where he died (1726-1795).
PHILAE, an island of syenite stone in the Nile, near Assouan, in
Nubia, 1200 ft. long and 50 ft. broad; is almost covered with ancient
buildings of great beauty, among which is a temple of Isis, with a great
gateway dating from 361 B.C., which was converted into a church in 577.
PHILATORY, a transparent reliquary to contain and exhibit the bones
and relics of saints.
PHILEMON, EPISTLE TO, a short letter by Paul to a member of the
Church at Colossae on behalf of a slave, Onesimus, who had deserted his
service, gone off with some of his property, and taken refuge in Rome,
but had been converted to Christ, and whom he begs not to manumit, but
simply to receive back as a brother for his sake.
PHILEMON AND BAUCIS, in the Greek mythology a pair of poor people
who, in fond attachment to each other, lived in a small cottage in
Phrygia by themselves and gave hospitality to gods in disguise when every
other door was shut against them, and to whom, in the judgment that
descended upon their inhospitable neighbours, the gods were propitious,
and did honour by appointing them to priesthood, when they would rather
have been servants, in a temple metamorphosed out of their cottage. Here
they continued to minister to old age, and had but one prayer for
themselves, that they might in the end die together; when as they sat at
the door of the temple one day, bent with years, they were changed, he
into an oak and she into a linden. This is Ovid's version of the story,
to which he adds as the moral of it, "Those who piously honour the gods
are themselves held in honour."
PHILIP, an Indian chief whose father had been a staunch friend of
the Pilgrim settlers, was himself friendly to the colonists, till in 1671
their encroachments provoked him to retaliation; after six years'
fighting, in which many colonists perished and great massacres of Indians
took place, he was defeated and slain, 1676.
PHILIP OF MACEDON, the father of Alexander the Great, usurped the
kingdom from the infant king Amyntas, his nephew and ward, in 360 B.C.;
having secured his throne, he entered on a series of aggressive wars,
making expeditions into Thrace and Thessaly; the siege of Olynthus
brought him into conflict with Athens, the two cities being allies, and
occasioned some of the most brilliant orations of Demosthenes; the
successive appeals for his aid against their enemies by the Thebans and
the Argives led him into Greece and into the Peloponnesus; in 339 B.C. a
council of Greek cities appointed him commander-in-chief of their leagued
forces in a projected war against the Locrians, but the Athenians and
Thebans opposed his coming; the defeat of their armies at Chaeronea, 338
B.C., placed all Greece at his feet; his next project was an expedition
against Persia, but while preparations were on foot he was assassinated
at AEgae; a man of unbridled lust, he was an astute and unscrupulous
politician, but of incomparable eloquence, energy, and military skill
PHILIP II., Philip-Augustus, king of France, shared the throne with
his father, Louis VII., from 1179, and succeeded him as sole ruler in
1180; marrying Isabella of Hainault, he united the Capet and Carlovingian
houses; his grand aim was to secure to himself some of the English
possessions in France; his alliance with Richard of England in the third
crusade ended in a quarrel; returning to France he broke his oath to
Richard by bargaining with John for portions of the coveted territory; an
exhausting war lasted till 1119; on Richard's death Philip supported
Arthur against John in his claim to Anjou, Maine, and Touraine; after
Arthur's murder, the capture of Chateau Gaillard in 1204 gave him
possession of these three provinces with Normandy and part of Poitou; the
victory of Bouvines 1214 secured his throne, and the rest of his reign
was spent in internal reforms and the beautifying of Paris (1165-1223).
PHILIP IV., the Fair, king of France, succeeded his father Philip
III. in 1285; by his marriage with Joanna of Navarre added Navarre,
Champagne, and Brie to his realm; but the sturdy valour of the Flemish
burghers at Courtrai on the "Day of Spurs" prevented the annexation of
Flanders; his fame rests on his struggle and victory over the papal
power; a tax on the clergy was condemned by Boniface VIII. in 1296;
supported by his nobles and burghers Philip burnt the papal bull,
imprisoned the legate, and his ambassador in Rome imprisoned the Pope
himself; Boniface died soon after, and in 1305 Philip made Clement V.
Pope; kept him at Avignon, and so commenced the seventy years'
"captivity"; he forced Clement to decree the suppression of the Templars,
and became his willing instrument in executing the decree; he died at
Fontainebleau, having proved himself an avaricious and pitiless despot
PHILIP VI., of Valois, king of France, succeeded Charles IV. in
1328; Edward III. of England contested his claim, contending that the
Salic law, though it excluded females, did not exclude their male heirs;
Edward was son of a daughter, Philip son of a brother, of Philip IV.;
thus began the Hundred Years' War between France and England, 1337; the
French fleet was defeated off Sluys in 1340, and the army at Crecy in
1346; a truce was made, when the war was followed by the Black Death; the
worthless king afterwards purchased Majorca (1293-1350).
PHILIP II., king of Spain, only son of the Emperor Charles V.;
married Mary Tudor in 1554, and spent over a year in England; in 1555 he
succeeded his father in the sovereignty of Spain, Sicily, Milan, the
Netherlands, Franche-Comte, Mexico, and Peru; a league between Henry II.
of France and the Pope was overthrown, and on the death of Mary he
married the French princess Isabella, and retired to live in Spain, 1559.
Wedding himself now to the cause of the Church, he encouraged the
Inquisition in Spain, and introduced it to the Netherlands; the latter
revolted, and the Seven United Provinces achieved their independence
after a long struggle in 1579; his great effort to overthrow Protestant
England ended in the disaster of the Armada, 1588; his last years were
embittered by the failure of his intrigues against Navarre, raids of
English seamen on his American provinces, and by loathsome disease; he
was a bigot in religion, a hard, unloved, and unloving man, and a foolish
king; he fatally injured Spain by crushing her chivalrous spirit, by
persecuting the industrious Moors, and by destroying her commerce by
heavy taxation (1527-1598).
PHILIP V., grandson of Louis XIV., first Bourbon king of Spain;
inherited his throne by the testament of his uncle Charles II. in 1700;
the rival claim of the Archduke Charles of Austria was supported by
England, Austria, Holland, Prussia, Denmark, and Hanover; but the long
War of the Spanish Succession terminated in the peace of Utrecht, and
left Philip his kingdom; after an unsuccessful movement to recover Sicily
and Sardinia for Spain he joined England and France against the Emperor,
and gained the former island for his son Charles III.; he died an
imbecile at Madrid (1683-1746).
PHILIP THE BOLD, Duke of Burgundy, was the fourth son of John the
Good, king of France; taken captive at Poitiers 1356; on his return to
France he received for his bravery the duchies of Touraine and Burgundy;
on his brother's accession to the French throne as Charles V. he
exchanged the former duchy for the hand of Margaret of Flanders, on the
death of whose father he assumed the government of his territories; his
wise administration encouraged arts, industries, and commerce, and won
the respect and esteem of his subjects; he was afterwards Regent of
France when Charles V. became imbecile (1342-1404).
PHILIP THE GOOD, grandson of the above, raised the duchy to its
zenith of prosperity, influence, and fame; he was alternately in alliance
with England, and at peace with his superior, France; ultimately
assisting in driving England out of most of her Continental possessions
PHILIPHAUGH, a battlefield on the Yarrow, 3 m. W. of Selkirk, was
the scene of Leslie's victory over Montrose in 1645.
PHILIPPI, a Macedonian city, was the scene of a victory gained in 42
B.C. by Octavianus and Antony over Brutus and Cassius, and the seat of a
church, the first founded by St. Paul in Europe.
PHILIPPIANS, EPISTLE TO THE, an Epistle of Paul written at Rome
during his imprisonment there to a church at Philippi, in Macedonia, that
had been planted by himself, and the members of which were among the
first-fruits of his ministry in Europe. The occasion of writing it was
the receipt of a gift from them, and to express the joy it gave him as a
token of their affection. It is the least dogmatic of all his Epistles,
and affords an example of the Apostle's statement of Christian truth to
unbiased minds; one exhortation, however, shows he is not blind to the
rise of an evil which has been the bane of the Church of Christ since the
beginning, the spirit of rivalry, and this is evident from the prominence
he gives in chapter ii. 5-8 to the self-sacrificing lowliness of Christ,
and by the counsel he gives them in chapter iv. 8.
PHILIPPIC, the name originally applied to Demosthenes' three great
orations against Philip of Macedon, then to Cicero's speeches against
Mark Antony; now denotes any violent invective written or spoken.
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (8,500), a large and numerous group in the north
of the Malay archipelago, between the China Sea and the Pacific, of which
the largest, Luzon, and the next Mindanao, are both much greater than
Ireland; are mountainous and volcanic, subject to eruptions and
continuous earthquakes. In the N. of the group cyclones too are common.
The climate is moist and warm, but fairly healthy; the soil is very
fertile. Rice, maize, sugar, cotton, coffee, and tobacco are cultivated;
the forests yield dye-woods, hard timber, and medicinal herbs, and the
mines coal and iron, copper, gold, and lead. The chief exports are sugar,
hemp, and tobacco. The aboriginal Negritoes are now few; half-castes are
numerous; the population is chiefly Malayan, Roman Catholic at least
nominally in religion, and speaking the Tagal or the Visayan language.
Discovered by Magellan in 1521, who was killed on the island of Mactan;
they were annexed by Spain in 1569, and held till 1898, when they fell to
the Americans. The capital is Manilla (270), on the W. coast of Luzon;
Laoag (37), San Miguel (35), and Banang (33) among the largest towns.
PHILIPS, AMBROSE, minor poet, born in Leicester, of good family;
friend of Addison and Steele, and a Whig in politics; held several
lucrative posts, chiefly in Ireland; wrote pastorals in vigorous and
elegant verse, and also some short sentimental verses for children, which
earned for him from Henry Carey the nickname of "Namby-Pamby"
PHILIPS, JOHN, litterateur, born in Oxfordshire, author of "The
Splendid Shilling," an admirable burlesque in imitation of Milton, and a
poem, "Cider," an imitation of Virgil (1676-1708).
PHILIPS, KATHERINE, poetess, born in London; was the daughter of a
London merchant and the wife of a Welsh squire, a highly sentimental but
worthy woman; the Society of Friendship, in which the members bore fancy
names--hers, which also served her for a _nom de plume_, was Orinda--had
some fame in its day, and brought her, as the foundress, the honour of a
dedication from Jeremy Taylor; her work was admired by Cowley and Keats;
she was a staunch royalist (1631-1664).
PHILISTINE, the name given by the students in Germany to a
non-university man of the middle-class, or a man without (university)
culture, or of narrow views of things.
PHILISTINES, a people, for long of uncertain origin, but now
generally believed to have been originally emigrants from Crete, who
settled in the plain, some 40 m. long by 15 broad, extending along the
coast of Palestine from Joppa on the N. to the desert on the S., and
whose chief cities were Ashdod, Askelon, Ekron, Gaza, and Gath; they were
a trading and agricultural people, were again and again a thorn in the
side of the Israelites, but gradually tamed into submission, so as to be
virtually extinct in the days of Christ; their chief god was DAGON
PHILLIP, JOHN, painter, born in Aberdeen; his early pictures
illustrate Scottish subjects, his latest and best illustrate life in
Spain, whither he had gone in 1851 for his health (1817-1867).
PHILLIPS, WENDELL, slavery abolitionist and emancipationist
generally, born at Boston, U.S., and bred to the bar; was Garrison's
aide-de-camp in the cause, and chief after his death (1811-1884).
PHILO JUDAEUS (i. e. Philo the Jew), philosopher of the 1st
century, born in Alexandria; studied the Greek philosophy, and found in
it, particularly the teaching of Plato, the rationalist explanation of
the religion of Moses, which he regarded as the revelation to which
philosophy was but the key; he was a man of great learning and great
influence among his people, and was in his old age one of an embassy sent
by the Jews of Alexandria in A.D. 40 to Rome to protest against the
imperial edict requiring the payment of divine honours to the emperor; he
identified the Logos of the Platonists with the Word in the New
PHILOCRETES, a famous archer, who had been the friend and
armour-bearer of Hercules who instructed him in the use of the bow, and
also bequeathed his bow with the poisoned arrows to him after his death;
he accompanied the Greeks to the siege of Troy, but one of the arrows
fell on his foot, causing a wound the stench of which was intolerable, so
that he was left behind at Lemnos, where he remained in misery 10 years,
till an oracle declared that Troy could not be taken without the arrows
of Hercules; he was accordingly sent for, and being healed of his wound
by AEsculapius, assisted at the capture of the city.
PHILOMELA, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, and sister of
Progne; she was the victim of an outrage committed by her brother-in-law
Tereus, who cut out her tongue to prevent her exposing him, and kept her
in close confinement; here she found means of communicating with her
sister, when the two, to avenge the wrong, made away with Itys, Tereus'
son, and served him up to his father at a banquet; the fury of Tereus on
the discovery knew no bounds, but they escaped his vengeance, Philomela
by being changed into a nightingale and Progne into a swallow.
PHILOPOEMON, the head of the Achaecan League, born at Megalopolis,
and the last of the Greek heroes; fought hard to achieve the independence
of Greece, but having to struggle against heavy odds, was overpowered;
rose from a sick-bed to suppress a revolt, was taken prisoner, thrown
into a dungeon, and forced to drink poison (252-183 B.C.).
PHILOSOPHE, name for a philosopher of the school of 18th century
Enlightenment, represented by the ENCYCLOPEDISTS (q. v.) of France; the
class have been characterised by the delight they took in outraging the
religious sentiment. See AUFKLAeRUNG and ILLUMINATION, THE.
PHILOSOPHER'S STONE was, with the Elixir of Life, the object of the
search of the mediaeval alchemists. Their theory regarded gold as the most
perfect metal, all others being removed from it by various stages of
imperfection, and they sought an amalgam of pure sulphur and pure
mercury, which, being more perfect still than gold, would transmute the
baser metals into the nobler.
PHILOSOPHISM, FRENCH, a philosophy such as the philosophers of
France gave instances of, founded on the notion and cultivated in the
belief that scientific knowledge is the sovereign remedy for the ills of
life, summed up in two articles--first, that "a lie cannot be believed";
and second, that "in spiritual supersensual matters no belief is
possible," her boast being that "she had destroyed religion by
extinguishing the abomination" (_l'Infame_).
PHILOSOPHY, the science of sciences or of things in general,
properly an attempt to find the absolute in the contingent, the immutable
in the mutable, the universal in the particular, the eternal in the
temporal, the real in the phenomenal, the ideal in the real, or in other
words, to discover "the single principle that," as Dr. Stirling says,
"possesses within itself the capability of transition into all existent
variety and varieties," which it presupposes can be done not by induction
from the transient, but by deduction from the permanent as that
spiritually reveals itself in the creating mind, so that a _Philosopher_
is a man who has, as Carlyle says, quoting Goethe, "stationed himself in
the middle (between the outer and the inner, the upper and the lower), to
whom the Highest has descended and the Lowest mounted up, who is the
equal and kindly brother of all." "Philosophy dwells aloft in the Temple
of Science, the divinity of the inmost shrine; her dictates descend among
men, but she herself descends not; whoso would behold her must climb with
long and laborious effort; may still linger in the forecourt till
manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission into the interior
solemnities." Indeed philosophy is more than SCIENCE (q. v.); it
is a divine wisdom instilled into and inspiring a thinker's life. See
PHILOXENUS, a Greek poet who lived at the court of Dionysius the
Elder, tyrant of Syracuse; condemned to prison for refusing to praise
some verses of the tyrant, he was led forth to criticise others, but
returned them as worse, begging the officers who handed them to lead him
back, which when the tyrant was told, he laughed and released him.
PHILPOTTS, HENRY, bishop of Exeter, born in Bridgwater, a keen Tory
and uncompromising High-Churchman, the chief actor in the celebrated
GORHAM CASE (q. v.), and noted for his obstinate opposition to
political reform as the opening of the floodgates of democracy, which he
dreaded would subvert everything that was dear to him (1778-1869).
PHILTRE, the name given to certain concoctions of herbs, often
deleterious and poisonous, supposed to secure for the person
administering it the love of the person to whom it was administered;
these love potions were popular in the declining days of Greece and Rome,
throughout mediaeval Europe, and continue to be compounded to this day in
the superstitious East.
PHIZ, the pseudonym of Hablot K. Browne, the illustrator of the
first edition of the "Pickwick Papers" of Dickens.
PHLEGETHON, in the Greek mythology a river in the lower world which
flowed in torrents of fire athwart it, and which scorched up everything
PHLOGISTON, a name given by the old chemists to an imaginary
principle of fire, latent in bodies, and which escaped during combustion.
PHOCAS, a common soldier who raised himself by the aid of a faction
to the throne of the East, and for twenty years defied attempts to
dethrone him, but, being deserted by his party, was taken, subjected to
torture, and beheaded in 610. "His reign," says Gibbon, "afflicted Europe
with ignominious peace, and Asia with desolating war."
PHOCION, a distinguished Athenian general and statesman, a disciple
of Plato and Xenocrates; was wise in council as well as brave in war;
opposed to the democracy of Athens, led on by Demosthenes in the frantic
ambition of coping with Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander; and pled
for a pacific arrangement with them; but having opposed war with
Antipater, the successor of the latter, he was accused of treason, and
condemned to drink hemlock; the Athenians afterwards repented of the
crime, raised a bronze statue to his memory, and condemned his accuser to
PHOCIS, a province of ancient Greece, W. of Boeotia, and N. of the
Gulf of Corinth; was traversed by the mountain range of Parnassus, and
contained the oracle of Apollo at Delphi; allied to Athens in the
Peloponnesian War, the Phocians were crushed in the "Sacred War" after
ten years' fighting by Philip of Macedon, 346 B.C.
PHOEBUS (i. e. the radiant one), an epithet originally applied to
Apollo for his beauty, and eventually to him as the sun-god.
PHOENICIA, a country on the E. shore of the Levant, stretching
inland to Mount Lebanon, at first extending only 20 m. N. of Palestine,
but later embracing 200 m. of coast, with the towns of Tyre, Zarephath,
Sidon, Gebal, and Arvad. The country comprised well-wooded hills and
fertile plains, was rich in natural resources, richer still in a people
of remarkable industry and enterprise. Of Semitic stock, they emerge from
history with Sidon as ruling city about 1500 B.C., and reach their
zenith under Tyre 1200-750, thereafter declining, and ultimately merging
in the Roman Empire. During their prosperity their manufactures, purple
dye, glass ware, and metal implements were in demand everywhere; they
were the traders of the world, their nautical skill and geographical
position making their markets the centres of exchange between East and
West; their ships sailed every sea, and carried the merchandise of every
country, and their colonists settled all over the Mediterranean, AEgean,
and Euxine, and even beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in Africa, in
Britain, and the countries on the Baltic. Her greatest colony was
Carthage, the founding of which (823 B.C.) sapped the strength of the
mother-country, and which afterwards usurped her place, and contended
with Rome for the mastery of the world. But Phoenicia's greatest gift to
civilisation was the alphabet, which she herself may have developed from
Egyptian hieroglyphics, and which, with its great merit of simplicity,
has, slightly altered, at length superseded among civilised nations every
PHOENIX, a bird which was fabled at the end of certain cycles of
time to immolate itself in flames, and rise renewed in youth from the
ashes. It has become the appropriate symbol of the death-birth that ever
introduces a new era in the history of the world, and is employed by
Carlyle in "Sartor" as symbol of the crisis through which the present
generation is now passing, the conflagration going on appearing nowise as
a mere conflagration, but the necessary preliminary of a new time, with
the germinating principles of which it is pregnant.
PHOENIX PARK, a magnificent public park of 2000 acres in Dublin; is
much used for military reviews; it was rendered notorious in 1882 through
the murder by the "Invincibles" of Lord Frederick Cavendish, who had just
been appointed Irish Secretary, and his subordinate, Thomas Burke.
PHONOGRAPH, an instrument invented by EDISON (q. v.) in
1877 for recording and reproducing articulate sounds of the voice in
speech or song, and to which the name of phonogram is given.
PHOTIUS, patriarch of Constantinople; was the great promoter of the
schism on the question of the procession of the Holy Ghost, between the
Eastern and the Western divisions of the Church, denying as he did, and
erasing from the creed the _FILIOQUE_ article (q. v.); _d_. 891.
PHOTOGRAVURE, a process of reproducing pictures from the negative of
a photograph on a gelatine surface with the assistance of certain
PHOTOSPHERE, name given to the luminous atmosphere enveloping the
PHOTOTYPE, a block with impressions produced by photography from
which engravings, &c., can be printed.
PHRENOLOGY claims to be a science in which the relation of the
functions of mind to the material of the brain substance is observed. It
asserts that just as speech, taste, touch, &c., have their centres in
certain convolutions of the brain, so have benevolence, firmness,
conscientiousness, &c., and that by studying the configuration of the
brain, as indicated by that of the skull, a man's character may be
approximately discovered. As a science it is usually discredited, and
held to be unsupported by physiology, anatomy, and pathology. It is held
as strongly militating against its claims that it takes no account of the
convolutions of the brain that lie on the base of the skull. Its
originators were Gall, Spurzheim, and Andrew and George Combe.
PHRYGIA, a country originally extending over the western shores of
Asia Minor, but afterwards confined to the western uplands, where are the
sources of the Hermus, Maeander, and Sangarius; was made up of barren
hills where sheep famous for their wool grazed, and fertile valleys where
the vine was cultivated; marble was quarried in the hills, and gold was
found; several great trade roads from Ephesus crossed the country, among
whose towns the names of Colosse and Laodicea are familiar; the Phrygians
were an Armenian people, with a mystic orgiastic religion, and were
successively conquered by Assyrians, Lydians, and Persians, falling under
Rome in 43 B.C.
PHRYGIAN CAP, a cap worn by the Phrygians, and worn in modern times
as the symbol of freedom.
PHRYNE, a Greek courtesan, celebrated for her beauty; was the model
to Praxiteles of his statue of Venus; accused of profaning the Eleusinian
Mysteries, she was brought before the judges, to whom she exposed her
person, but who acquitted her of the charge, to preserve to the artists
the image of divine beauty thus recognised in her.
PHTAH, a god of ancient Egypt, worshipped at Memphis; identified
with Osiris and Socaris, and placed by the Egyptians at the head of the
dynasty of the kings of Memphis.
PHYLACTERIES, strips of vellum inscribed with certain texts of
Scripture, enclosed in small cases of calf-skin, and attached to the
forehead or the left arm; originally connected with acts of worship, they
were eventually turned to superstitious uses, and employed sometimes as
charms and sometimes by way of ostentatious display.
PHYSIOCRATIC SCHOOL, a school of economists founded by Quesney, who
regarded the cultivation of the land as the chief sources of natural
well-being, and argued for legislation in behalf of it.
PIACENZA (35), an old Italian city on the Po, 43 m. by rail SE. of
Milan; has a cathedral, and among other churches the San Sisto, which
contains the Sistine Madonna of Raphael, a theological seminary, and
large library; it manufactures silks, cottons, and hats, and is a
fortress of great strategical importance.
PIA-MATER, a membrane which invests the brain and the spinal cord;
it is of a delicate vascular tissue.
PIARISTS, a purely religious order devoted to the education of the
poor, founded in 1599 by a Spanish priest, and confirmed in 1617 by Paul
V., and again in 1621 by Gregory XV.
PIAZZI, Italian astronomer; discovered in 1801 a planet between Mars
and Jupiter, which he named Ceres, and the first of the planetoids
recognised, as well as afterwards catalogued the stars (1746-1826).
PIBROCH, the Highland bagpipe; also the wild, martial music it
PICADOR, a man mounted on horseback armed with a spear to incite the
bull in a bull-fight.
PICARDY, a province in the N. of France, the capital of which was
Amiens; it now forms the department of Somme, and part of Aisne and
PICCOLOMINI, the name of an illustrious family of science in Italy,
of which AEneas Silvius (Pope Pius II.) was a member; also Octavio I.,
Duke of Amalfi, who distinguished himself, along with Wallenstein, in the
Thirty Years' War at Luetzen in 1632, at Nordlinger in 1634, and at
Thionville in 1639; was one of the most celebrated soldiers that had
command of the imperial troops (1599-1656).
PICHEGRU, CHARLES, French general, born at Arbois, in Jura; served
with distinguished success in the army of the Republic on the Rhine and
in the Netherlands, but sold himself to the Bourbons, and being convicted
of treason, was deported to Cayenne, but escaped to England, where in
course of time he joined the conspiracy of Georges Cadoudal against the
First Consul, and being betrayed, was imprisoned in the Temple, where one
morning after he was found strangled (1761-1804).
PICKWICK, SAMUEL, the hero of Dickens's "Pickwick Papers," a
character distinguished for his general goodness and his honest
PICO, one of the Azores, consisting of a single volcanic mountain,
still in action; produces excellent wine.
PICO DELLA MIRAN`DOLO, a notable Italian champion of the scholastic
dogma, who challenged all the learned of Europe to enter the lists with
him and controvert any one of 900 theses which he undertook to defend, a
challenge which no one, under ban of the Pope, dared accept; he was the
last of the schoolmen as well as a humanist in the bud, and was in his
lifetime, with an astonishing forecast of destiny, named the
PHOENIX (q. v.) (1463-1494).
PICQUART, COLONEL, French military officer; was distinguished as a
student at the military schools; served in Algiers; became a captain in
1880; was appointed to the War Office in 1885; served with distinction in
Tonquin; became professor at the Military School; rejoined the War Office
in 1893, and was made head of the Intelligence Department in 1896; moved
by certain discoveries affecting Esterhazy, began to inquire into the
Dreyfus case, which led to his removal out of the way to Tunis; returned
and exposed the proceedings against Dreyfus, with the result that a
revision was demanded, and the charge confirmed; _b_. 1854.
PICTON, SIR THOMAS, British general, born in Pembroke; served in the
West Indies, and became governor of Trinidad, also in the Walcheren
Expedition, and became governor of Flushing, and in the Peninsula and at
Waterloo, where he fell as he was leading his men to the charge
PICTS, a race of people now believed to be of Celtic origin, that
from 296 to 844 inhabited the NE. of Caledonia from the Forth to the
Pentland Firth, and were divided into northern and southern by the
Grampians, while the W. of the country, or Argyll, was occupied by the
Dalriads or Scots from Ireland, who eventually gained the ascendency over
them, to their amalgamation into one nation.
PICTS' HOUSES, the name popularly given to EARTH-HOUSES (q. v.)
in several parts of Scotland.
PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, the hero of an old German legend, had come to
a German town, offered to clear it of the rats which infested it for a
sum of money, but after executing his task was unrewarded, upon which he
blew a blast on his magic pipe, the sound of which drew the children of
the town into a cave, which he locked when they entered, and shut them up
PIEDMONT, a district of Italy, formerly a principality, ruled by the
house of Savoy, surrounded by the Alps, the Apennines, and the river
Ticino; occupies the W. end of the great fertile valley of the Po, a
hilly region rich in vines and mulberries, and a mountainous tract with
forests and grazing land intersected by lovely valleys, which send
streams down into the Po; the people are industrious; textile
manufactures are extensive, and agriculture is skilful; Turin, the
largest town, was the capital of Italy 1859-1865; in the glens of the
Cottian Alps the Vaudois or Waldenses, after much persecution, still
PIERCE, FRANKLIN, the fourteenth President of the United States,
born in New Hampshire, was the lifelong friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne;
bred to the bar; served in the Mexican War, and was elected President in
1852; his period of office was one of trouble, he supported the States'
rights doctrine, and served with the South in the Civil War (1804-1869).
PIERIA, a district in Macedonia E. of Olympus, inhabited by
Thracians, and famous as the seat of the worship of the Muses and their
birthplace, giving rise to the phrase Pierian Spring, as the source of
PIERIDES, the name given to the Muses from their fountain
PIERIA (q. v.).
PIERS PLOWMAN, VISION OF, a celebrated satirical poem of the 14th
century ascribed to Robert Langland.
PIETA (i. e. piety), the name given to a picture, the subject of
which is the dead Christ in the embrace of his sorrowing mother,
accompanied by sorrowing women and angels; that sculptured by Michael
Angelo, in St. Peter's at Rome, representing the Virgin at the foot of
the cross, and the dead Christ in her lap.
PIETERMARITZBURG (16), capital of Natal, 73 m. by rail N. of Durban;
well situated on the Umgeni River, with fine streets, an ample
water-supply, and a fine climate; has railroad connection with
Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Charlestown. A third of the population
consists of Kaffirs and coolies.
PIETISTS, the name given to a religious party that arose in Germany
at the end of the 17th century, but without forming a separate sect; laid
more stress on religious feeling than dogmatic belief, and who at length,
as all who ground religion on mere feeling are apt to do, distinguished
themselves more by a weak sentimentality than by a sturdy living faith.
PIETRA DURA, a name given to the purest kind of Florentine mosaic
work, consists of hard stones characterised by brilliancy of colour.
PIGEON ENGLISH, a jargon used in commercial dealings with the
Chinese, being a mixture of English, Portuguese, and Chinese.
PIG-PHILOSOPHY, the name given by Carlyle in his "Latter-Day
Pamphlets," in the one on Jesuitism, to the wide-spread philosophy of the
time, which regarded the human being as a mere creature of appetite
instead of a creature of God endowed with a soul, as having no nobler
idea of well-being than the gratification of desire--that his only
Heaven, and the reverse of it his Hell.
PIGWIGGIN, an elf in love with Queen Mab, who fights the jealous
Oberon in furious combat.
PILATE, PONTIUS, Roman procurator of Judea and Samaria in the days
of Christ, from A.D. 26 to 36; persuaded of the innocence of Christ when
arraigned before his tribunal, would fain have saved Him, but yielded to
the clamour of His enemies, who crucified Him; he protested before they
led Him away by washing his hands in their presence that he was guiltless
of His blood.
PILATUS, MOUNT, an isolated mountain at the W. end of Lake Lucerne,
opposite the Rigi; is ascended by a mountain railway, and has hotels on
two peaks. A lake below the summit is said to be the last receptacle of
the body of Pontius Pilate, hence the adoption of the name of "Mons
PILCOMAYO, a tributary of the Rio Paraguay, in South America, which
it joins after a course of 1700 miles from its source in the Bolivian
PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE, a rising in the northern counties of England in
1536 against the policy of Cromwell, Henry VIII.'s Chancellor, in regard
to the temporalities of the Church, which, though concessions were made
to it that led to its dispersion, broke out afresh with renewed violence,
and had to be ruthlessly suppressed.
PILGRIM FATHERS, the name given to the Puritans, some 100 in all,
who sailed from Plymouth in the _Mayflower_ in 1620 and settled in
Massachusetts, carrying with them "the life-spark of the largest nation
on our earth."
PILLAR-SAINTS, a class of recluses, called Stylites, who, in early
Christian times, retired from the world to the Syrian Desert, and,
perched on pillars, used to spend days and nights in fasting and praying,
in the frantic belief that by mortification of their bodies they would
ensure the salvation of their souls; their founder was Simon, surnamed
Stylites; the practice, which was never allowed in the West, continued
down to the 12th century.
PILLARS OF HERCULES. See HERCULES, PILLARS OF.
PILLORY, an obsolete instrument of punishment for centuries in use
all over Europe, consisted of a platform, an upright pole, and at a
convenient height cross-boards with holes, in which the culprit's neck
and wrists were placed and fastened; so fixed he was exposed in some
public place to the insults and noxious missiles of the mob. Formerly in
England the penalty of forgery, perjury, &c., it became after the
Commonwealth a favourite punishment for seditious libellers. It was last
inflicted in London in 1830, and was abolished by law in 1837.
PILOTY, KARL VON, a modern German painter of the new Muenich school,
and professor of Painting at the Muenich Academy; did portraits, but his
masterpieces are on historical subjects, such as "Nero on the ruins of
Rome," "Galileo in Prison," "The Death of Caesar," &c.; he was no less
eminent as a teacher of art than as an artist (1826-1886).
PILSEN (50), a town in Bohemia, 67 m. SW. of Prague; has numerous
industries, and rich coal and iron mines, and produces an excellent beer,
which it exports in large quantities. It was an important place during
the Thirty Years' War.
PINDAR, the greatest lyric poet of Greece, and for virgin purity of
imagination ranked by Ruskin along with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Scott;
born near Thebes, in Boeotia, of a musical family, and began his musical
education by practice on the flute, while he was assisted in his art by
the example of his countrywoman Corinna, who competed with and defeated
him more than once at the public festivals; he was a welcome visitor at
the courts of all the Greek princes of the period, and not the less
honoured that he condescended to no flattery and attuned his lyre to no
sentiment but what would find an echo in every noble heart; he excelled
in every department of lyric poetry, hymns to the gods, the praises of
heroes, paeans of victory, choral songs, festal songs and dirges, but of
these only a few remain, his Epinikia, a collection of triumphal odes in
celebration of the successes achieved at the great national games of
Greece; he was not only esteemed the greatest of lyric poets by his
countrymen, but is without a rival still; when Alexander destroyed Thebes
he spared the house of Pindar (522-442 B.C.).
PINDAR, PETER. See WOLCOTT, JOHN.
PINDAREES or PINDARIS, a set of freebooters who at the
beginning of the present century ravaged Central India and were the
terror of the districts, but who under the governor-generalship of
Hastings were driven to bay and crushed in 1817.
PINDUS, MOUNT, is the range of mountains rising between Thessaly and
Epirus, which forms the watershed of the country.
PINEAL GLAND, a small cone-shaped body of yellowish matter in the
brain, the size of a pea, and situated in the front of the cerebellum,
notable as considered by Descartes to be the seat of the soul, but is now
surmised to be a rudimentary remnant of some organ, of vision it would
seem, now extinct.
PINEL, PHILIPPE, a French physician, distinguished for the
reformation he effected, against no small opposition, in the treatment of
the insane, leading to the abandonment everywhere of the cruel, inhuman
methods till then in vogue (1745-1826).
PINERO, ARTHUR WING, dramatic author, born in London; bred to law,
took to the stage and the writing of plays, of which he has produced a
goodly number; collaborated with Sir Arthur Sullivan and Mr. Comyns Carr
in a romantic musical drama entitled "The Beauty Stone"; _b_. 1855.
PINEROLO (12), a town 23 m. SW. of Turin, now a fortress in an
important military position, and in which the "Man with the Iron Mask"
PINKERTON, JOHN, a Scottish antiquary and historian, born in
Edinburgh; was an original in his way, went to London, attracted the
notice of Horace Walpole and Gibbon; died in Paris, poor and neglected
PINKIE, a Scottish battlefield, near Musselburgh, Midlothian, where
the Protector Somerset, in his expedition to secure the hand of Mary
Stuart for Edward VI., defeated and slaughtered a Scottish army 1547.
PINTO, MENDEZ, a Portuguese traveller; wrote in his "Peregrinicam"
an account of his marvellous adventures in Arabia, Persia, China, and
Japan, extending over a period of 21 years (1527-1548), of which, amid
much exaggeration, the general veracity is admitted (1510-1583).
PINTURICCHIO, Italian painter, born at Perugia; was assistant to
Perugino (q. v.) when at work in the Sistine Chapel, Rome, did frescoes
and panel paintings, one of the "Christ bearing the Cross" (1454-1513).
PINZEN, the name of two brothers, companions of Christopher
Columbus, and one of whom, Vicente Yanez, discovered Brazil in 1500.
PIOZZI, HESTER, a female friend of Johnson under the name of Mrs.
Thrale, after her first husband, a brewer in Southwark, whose home for
her sake was the rendezvous of all the literary celebrities of the
period; married afterwards, to Johnson's disgust, an Italian
music-master, lived with him at Florence, and returned at his death to
Clifton, where she died; left "Anecdotes of Johnson" and "Letters"; was
authoress of "The Three Warnings" (1741-1821).
PIPE OF PEACE, a pipe offered by an American Indian to one whom he
wishes to be on good terms with.
PIRAEUS (36), the port of Athens 5 m. SW. of the city, planned by
Themistocles, built in the time of Pericles, and afterwards connected
with the city for safety by strong walls, which was destroyed by the
Spartans at the end of the Peloponnesian War, but restored, to fall
afterwards into neglect and ruins.
PIRANO (9), a seaport of Austria, on the Adriatic, 12 m. SW. of
Trieste; has salt-works in the neighbourhood, and manufactures glass,
PIRITHOUS, king of the Lapithae and friend of Theseus, on the
occasion of whose marriage an intoxicated Centaur ran off with his bride
Hippodamia, which gave rise to the famous fight between the Centaurs and
the Lapithae, in which Theseus assisted, and the former were defeated; on
the death of Hippodamia, Pirithous ran off with Persephone and Theseus
with Helen, for which both had to answer in the lower world before Pluto;
Hercules delivered the latter, but Pluto would not release the former.
PIRKE ABOTH (i. e. sayings of the Fathers), the name given to a
collection of aphorisms in the manner of Jesus the Son of Sirach by 60
doctors learned in the Jewish law, representative of their teaching, and
giving the gist of it; they inculcate the importance of familiarity with
the words of the Law.
PIRNA (11), a town in Saxony, on the Elbe, 11 m. SE. of Dresden; has
sandstone quarries in the neighbourhood which employ 8000 quarrymen.
PISA (38), on the Arno, 49 m. by rail W. of Florence, is one of the
oldest cities in Italy; formerly a port, the river has built up the land
at its mouth so that the sea is now 4 m. off, and the ancient trade of
Pisa has been transferred to Leghorn. There are a magnificent cathedral,
rich in art treasures, a peculiar campanile of white marble which
deviates 14 ft. from the perpendicular, known as the leaning tower of
Pisa, several old and beautiful churches, a university, school of art,
and library. Silks and ribbons are woven, and coral ornaments cut. In the
11th century Pisa was at the zenith of its prosperity as a republic, with
a great mercantile fleet, and commercial relations with all the world.
Its Ghibelline sympathies involved it in terrible struggles, in which it
gradually sank till its fortunes were merged in those of Tuscany about
1550. The council of Pisa, 1409, held to determine the long-standing
rival claims of Gregory XII. and Benedict XII. to the Papal chair, ended
by adding a third claimant, Alexander V. Pisa was one of the twelve
cities of ancient Etruria.
PISANO, NICOLA, Italian sculptor and architect of Pisa; his most
famous works are the pulpit in the Baptistery at Pisa, and that for the
Duomo at Siena, the last being the fountain in the piazza of Perugia
PISGAH, a mountain range E. of the Lower Jordan, one of the summits
of which is Mount Nebo, from which Moses beheld the Promised Land, and
where he died and was buried.
PISHIN (60), a district of South Afghanistan, N. of Quetta, occupied
by the British since 1878 as strategically of importance.
PISIDIA, a division of ancient Asia Minor, N. of Pamphilia, and
traversed by the Taurus chain.
PISISTRATUS, tyrant of Athens, was the friend of Solon and a
relative; an able but an ambitious man; being in favour with the citizens
presented himself one day in the Agora, and displaying some wounds he had
received in their defence, persuaded them to give him a bodyguard of 50
men, which grew into a larger force, by means of which in 560 B.C. he
took possession of the citadel and seized the sovereign power, from which
he was shortly after driven forth; after six years he was brought back,
but compelled to retire a second time; after 10 years he returned and
made good his ascendency, reigning thereafter peacefully for 14 years,
and leaving his power in the hands of his sons Hippias and Hipparchus; he
was a good and wise ruler, and encouraged the liberal arts, and it is to
him we owe the first written collection or complete edition of the poems
of Homer (600-527 B.C.).
PISTOIA (20), a town of N. Italy, at the foot of the Apennines, 21
m. NW. of Florence, with palaces and churches rich in works of art;
manufactures iron and steel wares.
PISTOL, ANCIENT, a swaggering bully and follower of Falstaff in the
"Merry Wives of Windsor."
PISTOLE, an obsolete gold coin of Europe, originally of Spain, worth
some 16s. 2d.
PIT`AKA` (lit. a basket), the name given to the sacred books of
the Buddhists, and constituting collectively the Buddhistic code. See
PITAVAL, a French advocate, compiler of a famous collection of
_causes celebres_ (1673-1743).
PITCAIRN ISLAND, a small volcanic island 21/2 m. long and 1 broad,
solitary, in the Pacific, 5000 m. E. of Brisbane, where, in 1790, nine
men of H.M.S. _Bounty_ who had mutinied landed with six Tahitians and a
dozen Tahitian women; from these have sprung an interesting community of
islanders, virtuous, upright, and contented, of Christian faith, who,
having sent a colony to Norfolk Island, numbered in 1890 still 128.
PITCAIRNE, ARCHIBALD, Scottish physician and satirist, born at
Edinburgh; studied theology and law, and afterwards at Paris, medicine;
he practised in Edinburgh, and became professor at Leyden; returning, he
acquired great fame in his native city; in medicine he published a
treatise on Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood; being an
Episcopalian and Jacobite, he wrote severe satires on all things
Presbyterian, e. g. "Babel, or the Assembly, a Poem," 1692 (1652-1713).
PITHOM, a town of Rameses, one of the treasure-cities built by the
children of Israel in Lower Egypt, now, as discovered by M. Naville,
reduced to a small village between Ismailia and Tel-el-Kebir.
PITMAN, SIR ISAAC, inventor of the shorthand system which bears his
name, born at Trowbridge, Wiltshire; his first publication was
"Stenographic Sound-Hand" in 1837, and in 1842 he started the _Phonetic
Journal_, and lectured extensively as well as published in connection
with his system (1813-1897).
PITRE, GIUSEPPE, eminent Italian folk-lorist, born at Palermo, after
serving as a volunteer in 1860 under Garibaldi, and graduating in
medicine in 1866, threw himself into the study of literature, and soon
made the folk-lore of Italy, the special study of his life, and to which
he has devoted himself with unsparing assiduity, the fruits from time to
time appearing principally in two series of his works, one in 19 vols.
and another in 10 vols.; _b_. 1841.
PITRIS (i. e. Fathers), in the Hindu mythology an order of divine
beings, and equal to the greatest of the gods, who, by their sacrifice,
delivered the world from chaos, gave birth to the sun and kindled the
stars, and in whose company the dead, who have like them lived
self-sacrificingly, enter when they lay aside mortality. See Rev. vii.
PITACOTTIE, ROBERT LINDSAY OF, proprietor in the 16th century of the
Fifeshire estate name of which he bore, was the author of "The Chronicles
of Scotland," to which Sir Walter Scott owed so much; his work is quaint,
graphic, and, on the whole, trustworthy.
PITT, WILLIAM. See CHATHAM, EARL OF.
PITT, WILLIAM, English statesman, second son of Lord Chatham, born
near Bromley, Kent, grew up a delicate child in a highly-charged
political atmosphere, and studied with such diligence under the direction
of his father and a tutor that he entered Cambridge at 14; called to the
bar in 1780, he speedily threw himself into politics, and contested
Cambridge University in the election of 1781; though defeated, he took
his seat for the pocket burgh of Appleby, joined the Shelburne Tories in
opposition to North's ministry, and was soon a leader in the House; he
supported, but refused to join, the Rockingham Ministry of 1782,
contracted his long friendship with Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville,
and became an advocate of parliamentary reform; his first office was
Chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Shelburne; his reputation steadily
rose, but on Shelburne's resignation he refused the Premiership, and went
into opposition against the Portland, Fox, and North coalition; that
minority being defeated (1783) on their Indian policy by the direct and
unconstitutional interference of the king, he courageously formed a
government with a majority of 100 against him; refusing to yield to
adverse votes, he gradually won over the House and the country, and the
dissolution of 1784 gave a majority of 120 in his favour, and put him in
office, one of England's strongest ministers; during his long
administration, broken only for one month in 20 years, he greatly raised
the importance of the Commons, stamped out direct corruption in the
House, and abolished many sinecures; he revised taxation, improved the
collection of revenue and the issue of loans, and set the finances in a
flourishing condition; he reorganised the government of India, and aimed
strenuously to keep England at peace; but his abandonment of
parliamentary reform and the abolition of the slave-trade suggests that
he loved power rather than principles; his Poor-Law schemes and Sinking
Fund were unsound; he failed to appreciate the problems presented by the
growth of the factory system, or to manage Ireland with any success; on
the outbreak of the French Revolution he failed to understand its
significance, did not anticipate a long war, and made bad preparations
and bad schemes; his vacillation in Irish policy induced the rebellion of
1798; by corrupt measures he carried the legislative union of 1801, but
the king refused to allow the Catholic emancipation he promised as a
condition; Viscount Melville was driven from the Admiralty on a charge of
malversation, his own health broke down, and the victory of Trafalgar
scarcely served to brighten his closing days; given to deep drinking, and
culpably careless of his private moneys, he yet lived a pure, simple,
amiable life; with an overcharged dignity, he was yet an attractive man
and a warm friend; England has had few statesmen equal to him in the
handling of financial and commercial problems, and few orators more
fluent and persuasive than the great peace minister.
PITT DIAMOND, a diamond brought from Golconda by the grandfather of
the elder Pitt, who sold it to the king of France; it figured at length
in the hilt of the State sword of Napoleon, and was carried off by the
Prussians at Waterloo.
PITTACUS, one of the seven sages of Greece, born at Mitylene, in
Lesbos, in the 7th century B.C.; celebrated as a warrior, a statesman, a
philosopher, and a poet; expelled the tyrants from Mitylene, and held the
supreme power for 10 years after by popular vote, and resigned on the
establishment of social order; two proverbs are connected with his name:
"It is difficult to be good," "Know the fit time."
PITTSBURG (321), second city of Pennsylvania, is 350 m. by rail W.
of Philadelphia, where the junction of the Alleghany and the Monongahela
Rivers forms the Ohio; the city extends for 10 miles along the rivers'
banks, and climbs up the surrounding hills; there are handsome public
buildings and churches, efficient schools, a Roman Catholic college, and
a Carnegie library; domestic lighting and heating and much manufacture is
done by natural gas, which issues at high pressure from shallow borings
in isolated districts 20 m. from the city; standing in the centre of an
extraordinary coal-field--the edges of the horizontal seams protrude on
the hillsides--it is the largest coal-market in the States; manufactures
include all iron goods, steel and copper, glassware, and earthenware; its
position at the eastern limit of the Mississippi basin, its facilities of
transport by river and rail--six trunk railroads meet here--give it
enormous trade advantages; its transcontinental business is second in
volume only to Chicago; in early times the British colonists had many
struggles with the French for this vantage point; a fort built by the
British Government in 1759, and called after the elder Pitt, was the
nucleus of the city.
PITYRIASIS, a skin eruption attended with branlike desquamation.
PIUS, the name of nine Popes, of which only six call for particular
mention: P. II., Pope from 1458 to 1464, was of the family of the
Piccolomini, and is known to history as AEneas Sylvius, and under which
name he did diplomatic work in Britain and Germany; as Pope he succeeded
Callistus III.; he was a wily potentate, and is distinguished for
organising a crusade against the Turks as well as his scholarship; the
works which survive him are of a historical character, and his letters
are of great value. P. IV., from 1559 to 1563, was of humble birth;
during his popehood the deliberations of the Council of Trent were
brought to a close, and the Tridentine Creed was named after him. P.
V., Pope 1566 to 1572, also of humble birth, was severe in his civil
and ecclesiastical capacity, both in his internal administration and
foreign relationships, and thought to browbeat the world back into the
bosom of Mother Church; issued a bull releasing Queen Elizabeth's
subjects from their allegiance; but the great event of his reign, and to
which he contributed, was the naval victory over the Turks at Lepanto in
1571. P. VI., Pope from 1775 to 1799; the commencement of his
popehood was signalised by beneficent measures for the benefit of the
Roman city, but he was soon in trouble in consequence of encroachments on
Church privileges in Austria and the confiscation of all Church property
in France, which ended, on his resisting, to still further outrages, in
his capture by the French under Bonaparte and his expatriation from Rome.
P. VII., Pope from 1800 to 1823, concluded a concordat with France,
crowned Napoleon emperor at Paris, who thereafter annexed the papal
territories to the French empire, which were in part restored to him only
after Napoleon's fall; he was a meek-spirited man, and was much tossed
about in his day. P. IX., or Pio Nono, from 1846 to 1878, was a
"reforming" Pope, and by his concessions awoke in 1848 a spirit of
revolution, under the force of which he was compelled to flee from Rome,
to return again under the protection of French bayonets against his own
subjects, to devote himself to purely ecclesiastical affairs; in 1854 he
promulgated the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and in 1869 the
Infallibility of the Pope; upon the outbreak of the Franco-German War in
1871 the French troops were withdrawn and Victor Emmanuel's troops
entered the city; Pius retired into the Vatican, where he lived in
seclusion till his death.
PIX, the name of a little chest in which the consecrated host is
kept in the Roman Catholic Church. See PYX.
PIXIES, Devonshire Robin Goodfellows, said to be the spirits of
infants who died unbaptized.
PIZARRO, FRANCISCO, the conqueror of Peru, born at Truxillo, in
Spain, the son of a soldier of distinction; received no education, but
was of an adventurous spirit, and entered the army; embarked with other
adventurers to America, and having distinguished himself in Panama, set
out by way of the Pacific on a voyage of discovery along with another
soldier named Almagra; landed on the island of Gallo, on the coast of
Peru, and afterwards returned with his companion to Spain for authority
to conquer the country; when in 1529 he obtained the royal sanction he
set sail from Spain with three ships in 1531, and on his arrival at Peru
found a civil war raging between the two sons of the emperor, who had
just died; Pizarro saw his opportunity; approached Atahualpa, the
victorious one, now become the reigning Inca, with overtures of peace,
was admitted into the interior of the country; invited him to a banquet,
had him imprisoned, and commenced a wholesale butchery of his subjects,
upon which he forced Atahualpa to disclose his treasures, and then put
him perfidiously to death; his power, by virtue of the mere terror he
inspired, was now established, and he might have continued to maintain
it, but a contest having arisen between him and his old comrade Almagro,
whom after defeating he put to death, the sons and friends of the latter
rose against him, seized him in his palace at Lima, and took away his
PLAGUE, THE, is a very malignant kind of highly contagious fever,
marked by swellings of the lymphatic glands. From the development of
purple patches due to subcutaneous haemorrhages the European epidemic of
1348-50 was called the Black Death. A quarter of the European population
perished on that occasion. Other visitations devastated London in 1665,
Northern Europe 1707-14, Marseilles and Provence 1720-22, and South-East
Russia 1878-79. The home of the Plague was formerly Lower Egypt, Turkey,
and the shores of the Levant. From these it has been absent since 1844.
Its home since then has been in India, where it has assumed epidemic form
1836-38 and 1896-99.
PLAIN, THE, the name given to the Girondists or Moderate party in
the French National Convention, in contrast with THE MOUNTAIN
(q. v.) or JACOBIN PARTY.
PLANCHE, JAMES ROBINSON, antiquary and dramatist, born in London, of
French descent; author of a number of burlesques; an authority on
heraldry and costumes; he produced over 200 pieces for the stage, and
held office in the Heralds' Court (1796-1880).
PLANETOIDS, the name given to a number of very small planets
revolving between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, originally called
Asteroids, all of recent discovery, and the list, amounting to some 400,
as yet made of them understood to be incomplete. They are very difficult
of discovery, many of them from the smallness of their size and their
PLANETS, bodies resembling the earth and of different sizes, which
revolve in elliptical orbits round the sun, and at different distances,
the chief of them eight in number, two of them, viz., Mercury and Venus,
revolving in orbits _interior_ to that of the earth, and five of them,
viz., Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, _exterior_, the whole
with the PLANETOIDS (q. v.) and comets constituting the solar
PLANTAGENETS, the name attached to a dynasty of kings of England,
who reigned from the extinction of the Norman line to the accession of
the Tudor, that is, from the beginning of Henry II.'s reign in 1154 to
the end of Richard III.'s on Bosworth Field in 1458. The name was adopted
by Geoffrey of Anjou, the husband of Matilda, the daughter of Henry I.,
whose badge was a sprig of broom (which the name denotes), and which he
wore in his bonnet as descended from the Earl of Anjou, who was by way of
penance scourged with twigs of it at Jerusalem.
PLANTIN, CHRISTOPHE, a printer of Antwerp, born near Tours, in
France; celebrated for the beauty and accuracy of the work that issued
from his press, the most notable being the "Antwerp Polyglot"; he had
printing establishments in Leyden and Paris, as well as Antwerp, all
these conducted by sons-in-law (1514-1589).
PLASSEY, a great battlefield in Bengal, now swept away by changes in
the course of the river, scarcely 100 m. N. of Calcutta; was the scene of
Clive's victory in 1757 with 800 Europeans and 2200 unreliable native
troops over Suraj-ud-Dowlah, the ruler of Bengal, which laid that
province at the feet of Britain, and led to the foundation of the British
Empire in India.
PLASTER OF PARIS, a compound of lime, sand, and water used for
coating walls, taking casts, and forming moulds.
PLATAEA, a city of ancient Greece, in western Boeotia, neighbour and
ally of Athens, suffered greatly in the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars.
It was destroyed by the Persians 480 B.C., by the Peloponnesian forces
429 B.C., and again by the Thebans 387 B.C. Philip of Macedon restored
the exiles to their homes in 338 B.C.
PLATO, the great philosopher, born in Athens, of noble birth, the
year Pericles died, and the second of the Peloponnesian War; at 20 became
a disciple of Socrates, and passed eight years in his society; at 30,
after the death of Socrates, quitted Athens, and took up his abode at
Megara; from Megara he travelled to Cyrene, Egypt, Magna Graecia, and
Sicily, prolonging his stay in Magna Graecia, and studying under
Pythagoras, whose philosophy was then at its prime, and which exercised a
profound influence over him; after ten years' wandering in this way he,
at the age of 40, returned to Athens, and founded his Academy, a
gymnasium outside the city with a garden, which belonged to his father,
and where he gathered around him a body of disciples, and had Aristotle
for one of his pupils, lecturing there with undiminished mental power
till he reached the advanced age of 81; of his philosophy one can give no
account here, or indeed anywhere, it was so unsectarian; he was by
pre-eminence the world-thinker, and though he was never married and left
no son, he has all the thinking men and schools of philosophy in the
world as his offspring; enough to say that his philosophy was philosophy,
as it took up in its embrace both the ideal and the real, at once the
sensible and the super-sensible world (429-347 B.C.).
PLATOFF, MATVEI IVANOVICH, COUNT, hetman of Cossacks, and Russian
commander in the Napoleonic wars; took part in the campaigns of 1805-7,
and scourged the French during their retreat from Moscow in 1812, and
again after their defeat at Leipzig 1813; he commanded at the victory of
Altenburg 1813, and for his services obtained the title of count
PLATONIC LOVE, love between persons of different sexes, in which as
being love of soul for soul no sexual passion intermingles; is so named
agreeably to the doctrine of Plato, that a man finds his highest
happiness when he falls in with another who is his soul's counterpart or
PLATONIC YEAR, a period of 26,000 years, denoting the time of a
complete revolution of the equinox.
PLATT-DEUTSCH or LOW GERMAN, a dialect spoken by the peasantry
in North Germany from the Rhine to Pomerania, and derived from Old Saxon.
PLATTE, the largest affluent of the Missouri, which joins it at
Plattsmouth after an easterly course of 900 m.
PLATTEN-SEE. See BALATON, LAKE.
PLAUEN (46), a town in Saxony, on the Elster, 78 m. S. of Leipzig,
with extensive textile and other manufactures.
PLAUTUS, a Latin comic poet, born in Umbria; came when young to
Rome, as is evident from his mastery of the Latin language and his
knowledge of Greek; began to write plays for the stage at 30, shortly
before the outbreak of the second Punic War, and continued to do so for
40 years; he wrote about 130 comedies, but only 20 have survived, the
plots mostly borrowed from Greek models; they were much esteemed by his
contemporaries; they have supplied material for dramatic treatment in
modern times (227-184 B.C.).
PLAYFAIR, JOHN, Scotch mathematician, born at Benvie; bred for the
Church, became professor first of Mathematics and then of Natural
Philosophy at Edinburgh University; wrote on geometry and geology, in the
latter supported the Huttonian theory of the earth (1748-1819).
PLEIADES, in the Greek mythology seven sisters, daughters of Atlas,
transformed into stars, six of them visible and one invisible, and
forming the group on the shoulders of Taurus in the zodiac; in the last
week of May they rise and set with the sun till August, after which they
follow the sun and are seen more or less at night till their conjunction
with it again in May.
PLEIADES, THE, the name given to the promoters of a movement in the
middle of the 16th century that aimed at the reform of the French
language and literature on classical models, and led on by a group of
seven men, Ronsard, Du Bellay, Belleau, Baif, Daurat, Jodelle, and Pontus
de Tyard. The name "Pleiad" was originally applied to seven contemporary
poets in ancient Greece, and afterwards to seven learned men in the time
PLENIST, name given to one who holds the doctrine that all space is
filled with matter.
PLESIOSAURUS, an extinct marine animal with a small head and a long
PLEURA, the serous membrane that lines the interior of the thorax
and invests the lungs.
PLEURA-PNEUMONIA, an inflammation of the lungs and pleura, Pleurisy
being the inflammation of the pleura alone.
PLEVNA (14), a fortified town in Bulgaria, in which Osman Pasha
entrenched himself in 1877, and where he was compelled to capitulate and
surrender to the Russians with his force of 42,000 men.
PLEYDELL, MR. PAULUS, a shrewd lawyer in Scott's "Guy Mannering."
PLIMSOLL, SAMUEL, "the sailor's friend," born at Bristol; after
experience in a Sheffield brewery entered business in London as a
coal-dealer; interesting himself in the condition of the sailor's life in
the mercantile marine, he directed public attention to many scandalous
abuses practised by unscrupulous owners, the overloading, under-manning,
and insufficient equipment of ships and sending unseaworthy vessels out
to founder for the sake of insurance money; entering Parliament for Derby
in 1868, he secured the passing of the Merchant Shipping Act in 1876
levelled against these abuses; his name has been given to the circle with
horizontal line through the centre, now placed by the Board of Trade on
the side of every vessel to indicate to what depth she may be loaded in
salt water (1824-1898).
PLINLIMMON (i. e. five rivers), a mountain 2469 ft. high, with
three summits, on the confines of Montgomery and Cardigan, so called as
source of five different streams.
PLINY, THE ELDER, naturalist, born at Como, educated at Rome, and
served in the army; was for a space procurator in Spain, spent much of
his time afterwards studying at Borne; being near the Bay of Naples
during an eruption of Vesuvius, he landed to witness the phenomenon, but
was suffocated by the fumes; his "Natural History" is a repertory of the
studies of the ancients in that department, being a record, more or less
faithful, from extensive reading, of the observation of others rather
than his own; _d_. A.D. 79.
PLINY, THE YOUNGER, nephew of the preceding, the friend of Trajan;
filled various offices in the State; his fame rests on his "Letters," of
special interest to us for the account they give of the treatment of the
early Christians and their manner of worship, as also of the misjudgment
on the part of the Roman world at the time of their religion, as in their
eyes, according to him, "a perverse and extravagant superstition"