NORFOLK (455), an eastern maritime county of England, lies N. of Suffolk, and presents a long eastern and northern foreshore (90 m.) to the German Ocean; the Wash lies on the NW. border; light fertile soils, and an undulating, well-watered surface favour an extensive and highly developed agriculture, of which fruit-growing and market-gardening are special features; rabbits and game abound in the great woods and sand-dunes; the chief rivers are the Ouse, Bure, and Yare, and these and other streams form in their courses a remarkable series of inland lakes known as the BROADS (q. v.); its antiquities of Roman and Saxon times are many and peculiarly interesting.
NORFOLK ISLAND, a small precipitous island in the Western Pacific, midway between New Caledonia and New Zealand, 400 m. NW. of the latter; its inhabitants, many of whom came from Pitcairn Island, and now less than 1000, govern themselves under the superintendence of New South Wales.
NORMAN, HENRY, journalist and traveller, born at Leicester; travelled extensively in the East; has written on "The Peoples and Politics of the Far East," and "Round the Near East"; has since 1892 been on the staff of the Daily Chronicle.
NORMAN ARCHITECTURE, a massive architecture introduced into England, particularly in the construction of churches, abbeys, &c., by the Normans even before the Conquest, which was in vogue in the country till the end of Henry II.'s reign, and which is characterised by the prevalence of the rounded arch.
NORMANDY, an ancient province of France, fronting the English Channel, NE. of Brittany; received its name from the Northmen who, under Rollo, established themselves there in the 10th century; was for a long time an appanage of the English crown after the Norman Conquest; after being taken and retaken, was finally lost to England in 1450; it became practically a part of France when it was taken by Philip Augustus in 1204; it is now represented by the five departments Seine-Inferieure, Eure, Orne, Calvados, and Manche.
NORNAS, in the Norse mythology the three Fates—the Past, the Present, and the Future; maidens or dames who water the roots of IGGDRASIL (q. v.), the ash-tree of existence, and determine the destinies of both gods and men.
NORRKOePING (36) (north market), a town in Sweden, called the "Scandinavian Manchester," 113 m. SW. of Stockholm, with cotton and woollen factories worked by the water-power of the river Motala, that in falls and rapids rushes through the town.
NORROY KING OF ARMS, a name given to the third king-of-arms, whose province is on the N. side of the Trent, the one on the S. side being called Clarencieux.
NORTH, CHRISTOPHER, a pseudonym of Prof. John Wilson in the "Noctes Ambrosianae" in Blackwood's Magazine.
NORTH, FREDERICK, LORD, English statesman; entered Parliament in 1754, became Tory leader in the House of Commons in 1767, and Prime Minister in 1770; was entirely subservient to the will of the king, George III., and was responsible in that relation for the loss of the American colonies; a coalition was effected in 1783 between him and Fox, to the disgrace of the latter, but it terminated in a few months; he died, Earl of Guildford, blind (1732-1792).
NORTH BERWICK. See BERWICK, NORTH.
NORTH CAPE, the most northerly point in Europe, in the island of Mageroe, in 71 deg. N. latitude.
NORTH CAROLINA. See CAROLINA, NORTH.
NORTH SEA or GERMAN OCEAN, between the E. coast of Britain and the Continent, spreads out into the Arctic Ocean, is shallow, is crossed by many sandbanks, and is subject to frequent violent storms; the Dogger Bank, between England and Denmark, 8 to 16 fathoms deep, is rich in fish, especially cod.
NORTH-EAST and NORTH-WEST PASSAGES, the name given to the sea-routes through the Arctic Ocean, the former by the N. of Europe and Asia and the latter by the N. of North America, which the northern nations were ambitious to open up into the Pacific, the access to which by the Capes in the S. was in possession of the fleets of Spain and Portugal; the attempts to achieve it cost much money and much life, and realised no permanent material advantage.
NORTH-WEST PASSAGE. See NORTH-EAST.
NORTH-WEST PROVINCES (46,905), a province and lieutenant-governorship of British India, embraces the upper portion of the Ganges Valley and Doab, and reaches from Bengal to the Punjab, enclosing Oudh on all sides but the N.; area twice that of England, is the chief wheat province, and also raises opium, cotton, tea, and sugar; was separated from Bengal in 1835, and with it in 1877 was conjoined Oudh; Allahabad is the capital.
NORTHALLERTON (4), a market-town and capital of the North Riding of Yorkshire, 30 m. NW. of York; in the vicinity was fought the famous Battle of the Standard, in which David I. of Scotland was routed by the English, August 22, 1138.
NORTHAMPTON (70), capital of Northamptonshire, on the Nen, 66 m. NW. of London; has two fine old Norman churches, is the centre of the boot and shoe manufacture, and is actively engaged in brewing, lace-making, &c.; in the outskirts is a popular racecourse; was the scene of Henry VI.'s defeat by the Yorkists on July 10, 1460.
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE or NORTHANTS (302), a midland county of England, bordering upon nine others; has an undulating fertile surface, and is distinguished from the surrounding counties by extensive woods and plantations; is chiefly engaged in agriculture and stock-raising; the Nen and the Welland are the principal rivers; among its antiquities are Fotheringay Castle, where Mary Stuart was beheaded, and Burleigh House; the battles of Edgecote (1469) and Naseby (1645) were fought within its borders.
NORTHCOTE, JAMES, English portrait-painter; studied under Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose Life he wrote as well as Titian's; wrote also "Fables" and "Conversations."
NORTHCOTE, SIR STAFFORD HENRY. See IDDESLEIGH, LORD.
NORTHMEN or NORSEMEN, the name given in the Middle Ages to the sea-roving, adventure-loving inhabitants of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark; in their sea-rovings they were little better than pirates, but they had this excuse, their home was narrow and their lands barren, and it was a necessity for them to sally forth and see what they could plunder and carry away in richer lands; they were men of great daring, their early religion definable as the consecration of valour, and they were the terror of the quieter nations whose lands they invaded; at first their invasions were mere raids for plunder, but at length they were satisfied with no less than conquest and the permanent occupancy of the lands they subdued, settling some of them on the shores of England and France, and even in the S. of Italy; these invasions were common and frequent during the whole of the 9th and the early part of the 10th centuries.
NORTHUMBERLAND (506), the most northerly county of England, lies on the border of Scotland, from which it is separated by the Cheviots and the Tweed; its eastern shore, off which lie the Farne Islands, Lindisfarne, and Coquet Isle, N. of Durham, fronts the North Sea; is fifth in size of the English counties; in the N. the Cheviot slopes form excellent pasturage, but the Pennine Range towards the W. presents dreary and less valuable moorland; on the W. are arable lowlands; Tweed, Tyne, Till, Alne, Wansbeck, are the chief rivers. Its great coal-field in the S.E. is the most celebrated in the world, and is the county's greatest source of wealth, and includes upwards of 100 collieries; Newcastle, Alnwick (county town), Hexham, and North Shields are the principal towns. Within its borders were fought the battles of Otterburn, Homildon Hill, and Flodden.
NORTHUMBRIA, one of the ancient English kingdoms; comprised the eastern half of the island from the Humber to the Firth of Forth, and was divided into the Northern Bernicia and the southern Deira; was founded in 547 by Ida the Angle.
NORTHWICH (14), a town in Cheshire, with springs in and around of brine, from which salt has been procured for centuries.
NORTON, CHARLES EDWARD, American litterateur, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; has travelled a good deal in Europe; edited, with Lowell, the North American Review and the early Letters of Carlyle, as well as the "Reminiscences," which had been too carelessly edited by Froude; b. 1827.
NORTON, MRS., English novelist and poet, nee Sheridan, granddaughter of Sheridan, authoress of "Stuart of Dunleath," "Lost and Saved," &c., described by Lockhart as "the Byron of poetesses," figures in Meredith's "Diana of the Crossways" (1808-1877).
NORWAY (2,000), a kingdom of North Europe, comprising the western side of the Scandinavian peninsula, and separated from Sweden on the E. by the Kjoelen Mountains; the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans beat upon its long and serrated western seaboard, forcing a way up the many narrow and sinuous fiords; Sogne Fiord, the longest, runs into the heart of the country 100 m.; off the northern coast lie the Loffodens, while the Skerries skirt the E. The country forms a strip of irregular and mountainous coast-land 1160 m. long, which narrows down at its least breadth to 25 m.; 70 per cent, of the surface is uncultivable, and 24 per cent, is forest; the lakes number 30,000, of which Lake Wenner (2136 sq. m.) is the largest; immense glaciers are found in the great mountain barrier, and innumerable rivers run short and rapid courses to the Atlantic and to the Skager-Rak in the S.; the Glommen, flowing into Christiania Fiord, is the largest (400 m.). The climate of the W. coast districts is tempered by the Gulf Stream; inland there is a great decrease in the rainfall, but much intenser cold is experienced. The wealth of the country lies in its forests and fisheries, mines and shipping; only 2 per cent, of the land-surface is under cultivation, and 2.8 per cent is utilised for grazing; the copper, iron, and silver mines are declining. Christiania (the capital) is the centre of the industrial area; the shipping almost equals that of the United States, and ranks third in the world. The Norwegians are intensely democratic (titles and nobility were abolished in 1821), and although under a king, who also includes Sweden in his dominions, they enjoy democratic home rule, no members of the Storthing (Parliament) being paid. Education is free and compulsory, and the bulk of the people are Lutherans. The monetary unit is the Krone (= 1/11/2). Norway, originally inhabited by Lapps and Gothic tribes, was first unified by Harold Haarfager (A.D. 863-930), and subsequently welded into a Christian kingdom by his descendant St. Olaf (1015). From 1536 it was held as a conquered province by Denmark up to 1814; in that year it was ceded to Sweden, and received national rights and a free constitution.
NORWICH, 1, an ancient cathedral city and capital of Norfolk (101), situated on the Wensum, immediately above its junction with the Yare, 114 m. NE. of London; its beautiful woodland surroundings have won it the name of "the city in an orchard"; chief of its many fine buildings is the cathedral, a handsome Norman structure, founded in 1096; of the old Norman castle only the keep now stands, crowning a central hill; its celebrated triennial musical festivals began in 1824; textile fabrics are still an important manufacture, but have been superseded in importance by mustard, starch, and iron-ware factories; has been a bishopric since 1094. 2, Capital of New London County (16), Connecticut, on the Thames River, 36 m. SE. of Hartford.
NORWOOD (24), a healthy southern suburban district of London, at one time the locality of a gypsy encampment.
NOSTRADAMUS, a celebrated astrologer, the assumed name of Michel de Notredame, born at St. Remi, Provence; was a medical man by profession, but gave himself to divination, uttered in rhymes in a series of published predictions called "Centuries" (1503-1566).
NOTABLES, THE, name given to certain actual or virtual rulers of the different districts of France, consisting of men of different ranks, summoned together in a time of civic perplexity and trouble to advise the king, and especially the convocation of them summoned at the instance of Controller Colonne, and that assembled at the Chateau of Versailles on 22nd February 1787 to the number of a "round gross," including seven princes of the blood, and who were "organed out" nine weeks after, their debates proving ineffectual, to be recalled on the 6th November the year following, to "vanish ineffectual again on 12th December, and return no more."
NOTARY PUBLIC, a professional person appointed to certify to a formality required by law as observed in his presence.
NOTRE DAME, celebrated metropolitan church of Paris, situated on the "Ile de la Cite"; it was begun to be erected in 1163 on the site of a prior Merovingian cathedral, which itself had superseded a pagan temple on the spot, and completed, at least the general ensemble of it, in 1230.
NOTTINGHAM (214), capital of Nottinghamshire, on the Trent, 126 m. NW. of London; is a spacious and well-built town, with an arboretum, castle (now an art gallery), two theatres, university college, free library, old grammar-school, racecourse, &c.; is the centre of lace-making and hosiery in England, and manufactures cottons, silks, bicycles, cigars, needles, beer, &c.; a fine granite and iron bridge spans the river.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE (446), a north-midland county of England, lies wedged in between Lincoln (E.) and Derby (N.), and touches York on the N.; embraces the broad, level, and fruitful valley of the Trent, Sherwood Forest, and Wolds in the S.; excepting the Vale of Belvoir in the E., part of the Wolds and the Valley of the Trent, the land is not specially productive; coal and iron ore are found. The principal towns, Nottingham, Newark, Mansfield, &c., are busily engaged in the manufacture of all kinds of lace, hosiery, and various woollen goods; iron-founding and cotton mills are also numerous.
NOUMENA, the philosophical name for realities as distinct from phenomena, which are regarded as but the appearances of reality.
NOVA SCOTIA (450), a province of Canada, lies E. of New Brunswick, facing the Atlantic, which, with its extensions, Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence, all but surrounds it; consists of a peninsula (joined to New Brunswick by Chignecto Isthmus) and the island of Cape Breton, separated by the Gut of Canso; area equals two-thirds of Scotland, short rivers and lakes abound; all kinds of cereals (except wheat and root-crops) are grown in abundance, and much attention is given to the valuable crops of apples, pears, plums, and other fruits; gold, coal, iron, &c., are wrought extensively, manufactures are increasing; the fisheries (mackerel, cod, herring, salmon, &c.), and timber forests are the chief sources of wealth; the province is well opened up by railways, education is free, government is in the hands of a lieutenant-governor, an executive council (9), and a legislative assembly (38); HALIFAX (q. v.) is the capital; climate varies in temperature from 20 deg. below zero to 98 deg. in the shade, fogs prevail in the coast-land; was discovered in 1497 by Cabot, formed a portion of French ACADIE, and finally became British in 1713.
NOVA ZEMBLA, a long and narrow island (sometimes classified as two islands) in the Arctic Ocean, between the Kara Sea and Barentz Sea, 600 m. by 60 m.; the Matochkin Shar, a narrow winding strait, cuts the island into two halves; belongs to Russia, but is not permanently inhabited; is visited by seamen and hunters.
NOVALIS, the nom de plume of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a German author, born at Wiederstaedt, near Mansfeld, one of the most prominent representatives of the Romantic school of poets, author of two unfinished romances entitled "Heinrich von Ofterdingen" and "Lehrlinge zu Sais," together with "Geistliche Lieder" and "Hymnen an die Nacht"; was an ardent student of JACOB BOEHME (q. v.), and wrote in a mystical vein, and was at heart a mystic of deep true feeling; pronounced by Carlyle "an anti-mechanist—a deep man, the most perfect of modern spirit seers"; regarded, he says, "religion as a social thing, and as impossible without a church" (1772-1801). See Carlyle's "Miscellanies."
NOVATIAN, a priest of the Church in Rome, a convert from paganism, who in the third century took a severe view of the conduct of those who had lapsed under persecution, particularly the Decian, and insisted that the Church, having no power to absolve them, could not, even on penitence, readmit them, in which protest he was joined by a considerable party named after him Novatians, and who continued to trouble the Church for centuries after his death, assuming the name of Cathari or purists.
NOVEMBER, the eleventh month of the year, so called by the Romans, in whose calendar it was the ninth.
NOVGOROD (21), a noted Russian city, and capital of a government of the same name, is situated on the Volkhof, 110 m. SE. of St. Petersburg; is divided into two parts by the bridged river, contains the cathedral of St. Sophia (11th century); with its foundation in 864 by Rurik, a Scandinavian prince, Russian history begins; was by the 12th century a free State, but in 1471 was put down by the Muscovite Czar Ivan III.; the government of Novgorod (1,290) lies E. of St. Petersburg, embraces the Valdai plateau and hills, is chiefly forest land, and includes some 3000 lakes.
NOX, the Latin for "night," and the name of the "goddess of night." See NYX.
NOYADES, drownages superintended during the Reign of Terror at Nantes by the attorney Carrier, and effected by cramming some 90 priests in a flat-bottomed craft under hatches, and drowning them in mid-stream after scuttling the boat at a signal given, followed by another in which some 138 persons suffered like "sentence of deportation"; of these drownages there are said to have been no fewer first and last than 25.
NUBIA, a large and ill-defined region of North-East Africa, lies between Egypt (N.) and Abyssinia (S.), and stretches from the Red Sea (E.) to the desert (W.); is divided into Lower and Upper Nubia, Dongola being the dividing point; Nubia has in recent times rather fallen under the wider designation of Egyptian Soudan; except by the banks of the Nile the country is bare and arid desert; climate is hot and dry, but quite healthy.
NUMA POMPILIUS, the second king of Rome and the successor of Romulus, its founder, born at Cures, in the Sabine country, and devoted himself to the establishment of religion and laws among his subjects and the training of them in the arts of peace, in which, according to the legend, he was assisted by a nymph EGERIA (q. v.), who lived close by in a grotto, and to whom he had ever and anon recourse for consultation; he was long revered in the Roman memory as the organiser of the State and its civil and sacred institutions, and his reign was long and peaceful.
NUMANTIA, an ancient Spanish town on a steep height on the Douro, celebrated for the heroic defence maintained by its inhabitants against the Romans, till from the thinning of its defenders by starvation and the sword it was taken and destroyed by Scipio Africanus in 134 B.C.
NUMBERS, BOOK OF, the fourth book of the Pentateuch, and so called from the two numberings of the people, one at the beginning and the other at the close of the period it embraces; it embraces a period of 38 years, and continues the narrative from the departure of the camp of Israel out of the wilderness of Sinai to its arrival on the borders of Canaan, and relates an account of the preparations for the march, of the march itself, and of the preparations for the conquest.
NUMIDIA (i. e. land of Nomads), ancient country in North Africa, nearly co-extensive with Algiers, the inhabitants of which were of the Berber race, were brave but treacherous, and excelled in horsemanship; sided at first with the Carthaginians in the PUNIC WARS (q. v.), and finally with Rome, till the country itself was reduced by Caesar to a Roman province.
NUMISMATICS, the name given to the study and science of coins and medals.
NUMITOR, a legendary king of Alba Longa, in Italy, and the grandfather of Romulus and Remus.
NUNEATON (12), a thriving market-town of Warwickshire, on the river Anker and the Coventry Canal, 22 m. E. of Birmingham; has a Gothic church; cotton, woollen, and worsted spinning is the chief industry; was the scene of George Eliot's education.
NUR ED-DIN, MAHMOUD, sultan of Syria, born at Damascus; the extension of his empire over Syria led to the Second Crusade, preached by St. Bernard; compelled the Crusaders to raise the siege of Damascus, which he made his capital; called to interfere in the affairs of Egypt, he conquered it, and made it his own, a sovereignty which SALADIN (q. v.) disputed, and which Nur ed-Din was preparing to reassert when he died (1117-1178).
NUeREMBERG (143), an interesting old Bavarian town on the Pegnitz, 95 m. N. of Muenich, is full of quaint and picturesque mediaeval architecture in fine preservation; has valuable art collections, a fine library, and a museum; is noted for the production of watches, toys, wood, metal, bone carvings, beer, and chemicals, and exports large quantities of hops; was made a free imperial city in 1219, and retained independence up to 1806.
NUTATION, name given to a slight oscillatory movement noticeable in the celestial pole of the earth, due to the latter not being a perfect sphere.
NYANZA, ALBERT. See ALBERT NYANZA.
NYANZA, VICTORIA, a large lake of Central Africa, in the Nile basin, at the sources of the river, and S. of the preceding, equal in extent to the area of Scotland, at an elevation of 3890 ft.; discovered by Captain Speke in 1858, and sailed round by Stanley in 1875.
NYASSA, LAKE, lake in East Africa, feeds the Zambesi; is 350 m. long by 40 broad, at an elevation of 1570 ft., and was discovered by Livingstone in 1859; the waters are sweet, and abound with fish; the regions bordering it on the S. and W. are called Nyassaland.
NYASSALAND, a region in Central Africa under British protection, lying round the shores of Lake Nyassa, the chief town of which is Blantyre; it is known also as the British Central Africa Protectorate, the administration being in the hands of a commissioner acting under the Foreign Office; the Europeans number some 300, and the natives 850,000, while the forces defending it consist of 200 Sikhs and 300 negroes; there are plantations of sugar, coffee, tobacco, &c., and almost the entire trade is with Britain.
NYAYA, the name of one of the six principal systems of Hindu philosophy, and devoted to the dialectics or metaphysics of philosophy.
NYMPHS, in the Greek mythology maiden divinities of inferior rank, inhabiting mountains, groves, seas, fountains, rivers, valleys, grottoes, &c., under the several names of OCEANIDES (q. v.), NEREIDS (q. v.), NAIADS (q. v.), OREADS (q. v.), DRYADS (q. v.), &c.; they are distinguished by their grace and fascinating charms.
NYNEE TAL, a place of resort in the summer season and a sanatorium in the North-West Provinces of India, 22 m. S. of Almora, 6521 ft. above sea-level.
NYX (i. e. Night), in the Greek mythology the goddess of night, the daughter of CHAOS (q. v.), and the sister of EREBOS (q. v.), one of the very first of created beings, the terror of gods, and by Erebos became the mother of AEther, pure light, and Hemera, daylight, as well as other entities of note.
OAKHAM (4), county town of Rutland, 17 m. E. of Leicester, in the centre of a fine wheat country; has an old church, a grammar-school founded in 1581, and a castle mostly in ruins; manufactures of boots and hosiery, and carries on malting.
OAKLAND (67), on the E. coast of the Bay of San Francisco, 41/2 m. across from San Francisco city, is the capital of Alameda County, California, a beautiful city with tree-lined streets, surrounded by vineyards and orchards; it has a home of the adult blind of the State, manufactures of textile and iron goods, and fruit-canning industries, and is the terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
OAKS, THE, one of the three great classic races in England, run at Epsom; established by the 12th Earl of Derby in 1779 for fillies of 3 years old.
OAKUM, name given to fibres of old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an occupation for prisoners in jails.
OASES, fertile spots in a desert due to the presence of springs or water near at hand underground; met with in the deserts of North Africa, Arabia, and Gobi.
OATES, TITUS, fabricator of a Popish plot for the overthrow of the Protestant faith in England, the allegation of which brought to the block several innocent men; rewarded at first with a pension and safe lodgment in Westminster Hall, was afterwards convicted of perjury, flogged, and imprisoned for Life, but at the revolution was set at liberty and granted a pension of L300 (1650-1705).
OBADIAH, a Hebrew prophet who appears to have lived about 588 B.C., shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, at which the Edomites had assisted, and whose prophecy was written to assure the exiles in Babylon that the judgment of God had gone forth against Edom, and that with the execution of it Israel would be restored.
OBAN (5), a modern town situated in the W. of Argyllshire, on a land-locked bay opening off the Firth of Lorne, is the capital, sometimes called the "Queen," of the Western Highlands, and a fashionable tourist resort; it has excellent railway and steamboat communications, 30 hotels, and has near it two ruined castles, an ancient cave dwelling, and much beautiful scenery; Dunstaffnage Castle is 4 m. to the N. of it, where the early Scottish kings used to be crowned.
OBEID (35), in the Eastern Soudan, 220 m. SW. of Khartoum, is the capital of Kordofan; was the scene in November 1883 of the annihilation by the forces of the Mahdi, after three days' fighting, of an Egyptian army under Hicks Pasha and other English officers; its trade consists of ivory, gold, feathers, and gum.
OBELISK, a tall four-sided pillar, generally monolithic, tapering to a pyramidal pointed top, erected in connection with temples in Egypt, and inscribed all over with hieroglyphs, and in memorial, as is likely, of some historical personage or event; they are of ancient date.
OBER-AMMERGAU, a small village in Bavaria, 45 m. SW. of Muenich; famed for the Passion Play performed there by the peasants, some 500 in number, every ten years, which attracts a great many spectators to the spot; the play was instituted in 1634 in token of gratitude for the abatement of a plague.
OBERLIN, JEAN FRIEDRICH, a benevolent Protestant pastor, born at Strasburg; laboured all his life at Ban de la Roche, a wild mountain district of Alsace, and devoted himself with untiring zeal to the spiritual and material welfare of the people, which they rewarded with their pious gratitude and warmest affection.
OBERON, the king of the fairies, and the husband of Titania.
OBI, a river and, with its tributaries, great water highway of West Siberia, which rises in the Altai Mountains, and after a course of 2120 m. falls into the Arctic Ocean.
OBJECTIVE, a philosophical term used to denote that which is true universally apart from all merely private sense or judgment, and finds response in the universal reason, the reason that is common to all rational beings; it is opposed to subjective, or agreeable to one's mere feelings or fancy.
OBLATES, the name given to an organisation of secular priests living in community, founded by St. Charles Borromeo at the end of the 16th century, and who are ready to render any services the bishop may require of them.
OBOE, a treble-sounding musical instrument of the reed class, to which the bassoon is reckoned the bass.
OBELUS, a small coin worth about a penny, according to a custom among the Greeks placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial to pay to Charon to ferry the ghost of it over the Styx.
O'BRIEN, WILLIAM, journalist, and a Nationalist ex-M.P. for Cork; was twice over imprisoned for political offences; had to retire in 1895; b. 1852.
O'BRIEN, WILLIAM SMITH, Irish patriot; entered Parliament in 1826; sat for Limerick from 1835 to 1843, when he joined the Repeal Association under O'Connell, but separated from it; joined the physical force Young Ireland party, and became the head; attempted an insurrection, which failed, and involved him in prosecution for treason and banishment for life; a free pardon was afterwards granted on promise of abstaining from all further disloyalty; he died at Bangor, in North Wales (1803-1864).
OBSCURANTIST, name given to an opponent to modern enlightenment as professed by the devotees of modern science and philosophy.
OBSIDIAN, a hard, dark-coloured rock of a glassy structure found in lava, which breaks with conchoidal fracture.
OCCAM or OAKHAM, WILLIAM OF, an English Scholastic philosopher, born at Oakham, Surrey, surnamed Doctor Invincibilis; was a monk of the order of St. Francis; studied under DUNS SCOTUS (q. v.), and became his rival, and a reviver of NOMINALISM (q. v.) in opposition to him, by his insistence on which he undermined the whole structure of Scholastic dogmatism, that is, its objective validity, and plunged it in hopeless ruin, but cleared the way for modern speculation, and its grounding of the OBJECTIVE (q. v.) on a surer basis (1280-1347).
OCCASIONALISM, the doctrine that the action of the spiritual organisation on the material, and of the material on the spiritual, or of the inner on the outer, and the outer on the inner, is due to the divine interposition taking occasion of the effort of mind, or of the inner, on the one hand, and the effort of matter, or the outer, on the other, to work the effect or result; or that the link connecting cause and effect in both cases, that is, the acion of the outer world on the inner, and vice versa, is God.
OCEANIA, an imaginary commonwealth described by James Harrington (1611-1697) in which the project of a doctrinaire republic is worked out; also a book of Froude's on the English colonies.
OCEANIA, the name given to the clusters of islands, consisting of Australasia in the S., Malaysia in the E. Indian Archipelago, and Polynesia in the N. and E. of the Pacific.
OCEANIDES, the nymphs of the Ocean, all daughters of Oceanus, some 3000 in number.
OCEANUS or OKEANOS, in the Greek mythology the great world-stream which surrounds the whole earth, and is the parent source of all seas and streams, presided over by a Titan, the husband of Tethys, and the father of all river-gods and water-nymphs. He is the all-father of the world, as his wife is the all-mother, and the pair occupy a palace apart on the extreme verge of the world.
OCHILS (i. e. the heights), a range of hills lying NE. and SW. between the valleys of the Forth and Tay; reach their highest point in Ben Cleugh (2363 ft.), near Stirling; the range is 24 m. long by 12 broad, and affords pasture for black-faced sheep; of the peaks of the range Dunmyat is the most striking, as Ben Cleuch is the highest.
OCHILTREE, EDIE, a talkative, kind-hearted gaberlunzie who figures a good deal in Scott's "Antiquary."
OCHINO, BERNARDINO, an Italian monk, born in Sienna; after 40 years' zeal in the service of the Church embraced the Reformed doctrine; fled from the power of the Inquisition to Geneva; took refuge in England; ministered here and there to Italian refugees, but was hunted from place to place; died at last of the plague in Moravia (1487-1564).
OCHTERLONY, SIR DAVID, British general, born at Boston, U.S., of Scottish descent; entered the Indian army; distinguished himself in the war against the Goorkhas; was made a baronet, and received a pension of L1000 for his services; a monument to his memory stands in the Maidan Park, Calcutta (1758-1825).
OCKLEY, SIMON, Orientalist, became professor of Arabic; wrote a "History of the Saracens," part of it in a debtors' prison; died in indigence (1678-1720).
O'CONNELL, DANIEL, Irish patriot, known as the "Liberator," born near Cahirciveen, co. Kerry; educated at St. Omer, Douay, and Lincoln's Inn; was called to the Irish bar in 1798, and was for twenty-two years a famous and prosperous practitioner on the Munster circuit; turning to politics he became leader of the Catholics in 1811, his object being the removal of the Catholic disabilities; the Catholic Association of 1823 was organised by him, which he induced the priesthood to join, and awakened irresistible enthusiasm throughout the country; the electors now began to vote independently, and O'Connell was returned for Clare in 1828; the House refused to admit him; but so strong, and at the same time so orderly, was the agitation in Ireland, that in 1829 the Catholic disabilities were removed, and O'Connell, returned again for Clare, took his seat in the House of Commons; next year he represented Waterford in the new Parliament, and subsequently Kerry, Dublin, Kilkenny, and Cork; he now formed a society for promoting the repeal of the Union, which survived several suppressions, and reappeared under different names; but in spite of his exertions in the House and in the country the cause languished, till, in 1843, as Lord Mayor of Dublin, he carried a resolution in its favour in the City Council; but now under the pressure of less experienced agitators, his monster meetings and other proceedings began to overstep legal limits, and in 1844 he, with six of his supporters, was indicted for raising sedition; he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and a fine of L2000, but the sentence was set aside in 14 weeks; by this time the Young Ireland party had broken away from him, the potato famine came, he was conscious of failure, and his health was broken; he died on his way to Rome, at Genoa; a man of great physical strength and energy, and a master of oratory, he gave himself unselfishly to serve his country, sacrificing a legal practice worth L7000 a year, honestly administering the immense sums contributed, and spending his private means for his cause; with an undeniable taint of coarseness, violence, and scurrility in his nature, he was yet a man of independent and liberal mind, an opponent of rebellion, loyal to his sovereign, a great and sincere patriot (1775-1847).
OCTAVIA, the sister of Augustus, a woman distinguished for her beauty and her virtue; was married first to Marcellus, and on his death to Mark Antony, who forsook her for Cleopatra, but to whom she remained true, even, on his miserable end, nursing his children by Cleopatra along with her own; one other grief she had to endure in the death of her son MARCELLUS (q. v.) by her former husband, and the destined successor of Augustus on the throne.
OCTOBER, the tenth month of the year so called (i. e. the eighth) by the Romans, whose year began on March.
OD, name given to a physical force recently surmised and believed to pervade all nature, and as manifesting itself chiefly in connection with mesmeric phenomena.
ODDFELLOWS, the name of several friendly societies. The Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, is the largest and most important of the number, its membership is over 665,000, and its funds amount to L8,000,000. It has been the pioneer in many important movements of the kind, several of the provisions now compulsory on all societies it observed of its own accord, prior to their enactment; the actuarial tables compiled from its statistics in 1845 by its secretary, Henry Radcliffe, are still a standard work. The Grand United Order of Oddfellows has a membership of 241,000, and funds amounting to L882,000; the National Independent Order of Oddfellows embraces 58,000 members, and has L242,000.
ODER, an important German river, rises in Moravia, and crossing the frontier flows NW. through Silesia, and N. through Brandenburg and Pomerania 550 m. into the Stettiner Haff and so to the Baltic. On its banks stand Ratibor, where navigation ends, Breslau, Frankfort, and Stettin; it receives its chief tributary, the navigable Warthe, on the right, and has canal communication with the Spree and the Elbe.
ODESSA (298), on the Black Sea, 25 m. NE. of the mouth of the Dniester, is the fourth largest city of Russia, and the chief southern port and emporium of commerce. It exports large shipments of wheat, sugar, and wool; imports cotton, groceries, iron, and coal, and manufactures flour, tobacco, machinery, and leather. It is well fortified, and though many of the poor live in subterraneous caverns, is a fine city, with a university, a cathedral, and a public library. It was a free port from 1817 till 1857. The population includes many Greeks and Jews.
ODIN or WODIN, the chief god of the ancient Scandinavians, combined in one the powers of Zeus and Ares among the Greeks, and was attended by two black ravens—Hugin, mind, and Munin, memory, the bearers of tidings between him and the people of his subject-world. His council chamber is in ASGARD (q. v.), and he holds court with his warriors in VALHALLA (q. v.). He is the source of all wisdom as well as all power, and is supposed by Carlyle to have been the deification of some one who incarnated in himself all the characteristic wisdom and valour of the Scandinavian race; Frigga was his wife, and Balder and Thor his sons. See CARLYLE'S "HEROES."
ODO, bishop of Bayeux, brother of William the Conqueror, fought by his side at Hastings; after blessing the troops, was made Earl of Kent, and appointed governor of kingdom during William's absence in Normandy; had great influence in State affairs all along, and set out for the Holy Land, but died at Palermo (1032-1096).
ODOACER, a Hun, son of one of Attila's officers, who entered the Imperial Guards, dethroned Augustulus, and became emperor himself; Zeno, the emperor of the East, enlisted Theodoric of the Ostrogoths against him, who made a treaty with him to be joint ruler of the kingdom of Italy, and assassinated him in 493.
O'DONNELL, LEOPOLD, Spanish soldier and politician, born, of Irish descent, at Santa Cruz, in Teneriffe; entered the army, and attached himself to the cause of Queen Isabella, on whose emergence from her minority in 1843 he was made Governor of Cuba; there he enriched himself by trading in slaves, and returning to Spain threw himself into politics; he joined Espartero's cabinet in 1854, and two years later supplanted him as chief minister; he commanded in the Moorish war of 1858, and was created Duke of Tetuan after the capture of that city; he was again Prime Minister till 1866, and died in exile at Bayonne (1809-1867).
ODYSSEY, an epic poem by Homer relating the ten years' wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseus) after the fall of Troy, and his return at the end of them to his native kingdom of Ithaca. See ULYSSES.
OECOLAMPADIUS, JOANNES, one of the leaders of the Reformation, born at Weinsberg, in Wuertemberg; became preacher at Basel, assisted Erasmus in his edition of the New Testament, entered a convent at Augsburg, came under Luther's influence and adopted the reformed doctrine, of which he became a preacher and professor, embraced in particular the views of Zwingli (1482-1531).
OEDIPUS, a mythological king of Thebes, son of Laius and Jocasta, and fated to kill his father and marry his mother; unwittingly slew his father in a quarrel; for answering the riddle of the SPHINX (q. v.) was made king in his stead, and wedded his widow, by whom he became the father of four children; on discovery of the incest Jocasta hanged herself, and Oedipus went mad and put out his eyes.
OEHLENSCHLAeGER, ADAM GOTTLOB, great Danish poet, born at Copenhagen; his poems first brought him into notice and secured him a travelling pension, which he made use of to form acquaintanceship with such men as Goethe and his literary confreres in Germany, during which time he commenced that series of tragedies on northern subjects on which his fame chiefly rests, which include "Hakon Jarl," "Correggio," "Palnatoke," &c.; his fame, which is greatest in the North, has spread, for he ranks among the Danes as Goethe among the Germans, and his death was felt by the whole nation (1779-1850).
OEHLER, GUSTAV, learned German theologian, professor at Tuebingen, eminent for his studies and writings on the Old Testament (1812-1872).
OEIL-DE-BOEUF, a large reception-room in the palace of Versailles, lighted by a window so called (ox-eye it means), and is the name given in French history to the French Court, particularly during the Revolution period.
OELAND (37), an island off the SE. coast of Sweden, 55 m. long and about 10 m. broad; has good pasture ground, and yields alum; the fisheries good.
OENONE, a nymph of Mount Ida, near Troy, beloved by and married to Paris, but whom he forsook for Helen; is the subject of one of Tennyson's poems.
OERSTED, HANS CHRISTIAN, a Danish physicist; was professor of Physics in Copenhagen, the discoverer of electro-magnetism, of the compressibility of water, and the metal aluminium; did much to popularise science in a volume entitled "The Soul in Nature" (1777-1851).
OESEL (51), a marshy, well-wooded island at the mouth of the Gulf of Riga, in the Baltic, 45 m. long and 25 m. of average breadth; has some low hills and precipitous coasts; Arensburg (4), on the SE. shore, is the only town; Danish from 1559, the island passed to Sweden in 1645 and to Russia in 1721; the wealthier classes are of German descent.
OFFA'S DYKE, an entrenchment and rampart between England and Wales, 100 m. long, extending from Flintshire as far as the mouth of the Wye; said to have been thrown up by Offa, king of Mercia, about the year 780, to confine the marauding Welsh within their own territory.
OFFENBACH, JACQUES, a musical composer, born at Cologne, of Jewish parents, creator of the opera bouffe; was the author of "La Belle Helene," "Orphee aux Enfers," "La Grande Duchesse," "Madame Favart," &c. (1810-1880)
OFFERTORY, in the Roman Catholic Church a portion of the liturgy chanted at the commencement of the eucharistic service, also in the English the part of the service read during the collection of the alms at communion.
OFTERDINGEN, HEINRICH VON, a famous MINNESINGER (q. v.) of the 15th century.
OGHAM or OGAM, an alphabet of 20 letters in use among the ancient Irish and Celts, found carved on monumental stones in Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the North of Scotland.
OGLETHORPE, JAMES EDWARD, English general, born in London; served in the Marlborough wars, sat in Parliament for several years, conceived the founding of a colony for debtors in prison, and founded Georgia; returning to England, fought against the Pretender, and died in Essex (1696-1785).
OGOWE', a West African river, 500 m. long, rises in the Akukuja plateau, and following a semicircular course northward and westward enters the Atlantic by a delta at Cape Lopez, its course lying wholly within French Congo territory; in the dry season its volume is much diminished, and its many sandbanks prevent its navigation except by small boats.
O'GROAT'S HOUSE, JOHN. See JOHN O' GROAT'S HOUSE.
OGYGES, a Boeotian autochthon, the legendary first king of Thebes, which is called at times Ogygia, in whose reign a flood, called the Ogygian after him, inundated the land, though some accounts make it occur in Attica.
OGYGIA, a mythological island of Homeric legend, situated far off in the sea, and the home of the sorceress CALYPSO (q. v.).
OHIO (3,672), a State of the American Union, a third larger than Scotland, stretches northward from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, between Pennsylvania and Indiana. It consists of level and undulating plains, on which are raised enormous crops of wheat and maize. Sheep-grazing and cattle-rearing are very extensive; its wool-clip is the largest in America. There are valuable deposits of limestone and freestone, and in output of coal Ohio ranks third of the States. The manufactures are very important; it ranks first in farm implements, and produces also wagons, textile fabrics, and liquors. In the N. excellent fruit is grown. The capital is Columbus (88), the largest city is Cincinnati (297). Admitted to the Union in 1803, it boasts among its sons four Presidents—Grant, Hayes, Garfield, and Benjamin Harrison.
OHIO RIVER, formed by the confluence of the Alleghany and the Monongahela, pursues a westward course of 1000 m., separating Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from West Virginia and Kentucky, and after receiving sundry tributaries joins the Mississippi, being the largest and, next to the Missouri, the longest of its affluents; it is navigable for the whole of its course; on its banks stand Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Madison.
OHM, GEORG SIMON, a German physicist, born at Erlangen; discovered the mathematical theory of the electric current, known as Ohm's Law, a law based on experiment, that the strength of the electric current is equal to the electro-motive force divided by the resistance of the wire (1787-1854).
OHNET, GEORGES, French novelist, born in Paris; author of a series of novels in a social interest, entitled "Les Batailles de la Vie;" b. 1848.
OIL CITY (11), on the Alleghany River, Pennsylvania, by rail 130 m. N. of Pittsburg, is the centre of a great oil-trade and oil-refining industry; there are also engineer and boiler works; it suffered severely from floods in 1892.
OKA, a river of Central Russia, which rises in Orel and flows N., then E., then N. again, joining the Volga at Nijni-Novgorod after a course of over 700 m., navigable nearly all the way; on its banks are Orel, Kaluga, and Riazan, while Moscow stands on an affluent.
OKEN, LORENZ, German naturalist; was professor first at Jena, then at Muenich, and finally at Zurich, his settlement in the latter being due to the disfavour with which his political opinions, published in a journal of his called the Iris, were received in Germany; much of his scientific doctrine was deduced from a transcendental standpoint or by a priori reasonings; is mentioned in "Sartor" as one with whom Teufelsdroeck in his early speculations had some affinity (1779-1851).
OKHOTSK, SEA OF, an immense sheet of water in Eastern Siberia, lying between the peninsula of Kamchatka and the mainland, with the Kurile Islands stretched across its mouth; is scarcely navigable, being infested by fogs.
OKLAHOMA (62), a United States territory, stretching southward from Kansas to the Red River, with Texas on the W. and Indian Territory on the E., is a third larger than Scotland, and presents a prairie surface crossed by the Arkansas, Cimarron, and Canadian Rivers, and rising to the Wichita Mountains in the S. There are many brackish streams; the rainfall is light, hence the soil can be cultivated only in parts. Ceded to the United States under restrictions by the tribes of the Indian Territory in 1866, there were various attempts by immigrants from neighbouring States to effect settlements in Oklahoma, which the Government frustrated by military interference, maintaining the treaty with the Indians till 1889, when it finally purchased from them their claim. At noon on April 22, 1889, the area was opened for settlement, and by twilight 50,000 had entered and taken possession of claims. The territory was organised in 1890; embedded in it lies the Cherokee Outlet, still held by the Indians, but on the extinction of their interests to revert to Oklahoma. The chief town is Oklahoma (5).
OKUMA, COUNT, a Japanese, rose into office from the part he took in the Japanese Revolution of 1868, held in succession but resigned the offices of Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, organised the Progressive Party in 1881, and entered office again in 1896; organised in 1898 the first government for a time in Japan on a party basis agreeably to his idea.
OLAF, ST., a Norwegian king; wrested the throne from Eric, and set himself to propagate Christianity by fire and sword, excited disaffection among his people, who rebelled and overpowered him with the assistance of Cnut of Denmark, so that he fled to his brother-in-law, Jaroslav of Russia; by his help he tried to recover the throne, put was defeated and slain, his body being buried in Trondhjem; he was canonised in 1164, and is patron saint of Norway.
OLAUeS, the name of three early kings of Sweden and of five of Norway, who figured more or less in the history of their respective countries.
OLBERS, HEINRICH, German astronomer, born near Bremen; discovered five of the comets and the two planetoids Pallas and Vesta (1758-1840).
OLD BAILEY, a Court or Sessions house adjoining NEWGATE (q. v.), in London, for the trial of offences committed within a certain radius round the city, and practically presided over by the Recorder and the Common Serjeant of London, though theoretically by the Lord Mayor, Lord Chancellor, and others.
OLD CATHOLICS, a section of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany and Switzerland that first announced itself in Muenich on the declaration in 1870 of the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope, the prime movers in the formation of the protestation against which were Dr. Doellinger and Professor Friedrich, backed by 44 professors of the university; the movement thus begun has not extended itself to any considerable extent.
OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN, a name given to Hassan ben Sabbah, the founder in the 11th century and his successors of a formidable Mohammedan dynasty in Syria, whose residence was in the mountain fastnesses of the country, and whose following was known by the name of ASSASSINS (q. v.).
OLD MAN OF THE SEA, a monster Sindbad the Sailor encountered on his fifth voyage, who fastened on his back and so clung to him that he could not shake him off till he made him drunk.
OLD MORTALITY, a character in Scott's novel of the name, the original of which was one Robert Paterson, who, as related of him, went about the country visiting the churchyards, and renewing the moss-covered tombs of the COVENANTERS (q. v.).
OLD NOLL, an epithet applied by his Royalist contemporaries to Oliver Cromwell.
OLDBUCK, JONATHAN, the antiquary in Scott's novel of the name, devoted to the study and collection of old coins, a man with an irritable temper, due to disappointment in a love affair.
OLDBURY (20), a busy manufacturing town in Worcestershire, 3 m. E. of Dudley, has chemical, iron, and steel works, and factories of various kinds.
OLDCASTLE, SIR JOHN, Lord Cobham, distinguished himself in arms under Henry IV. in 1411, embraced Lollardism, which he could not be prevailed on to renounce, though remonstrated with by Henry V.; was tried for heresies and committed to the Tower, but escaped to Wales; charged with abetting insurrection on religious grounds, and convicted, his body was hung in chains as a traitor, and in this attitude, as a heretic, burned to death in 1417; he was a zealous disciple of Wiclif, and did much to disseminate his principles.
OLDENBURG (355), a German grand-duchy, embracing these three territories: 1, Oldenburg proper, the largest, is let into Hanover with its northern limit on the North Sea; it is a tract of moorland, sand-down, and fen, watered by the Weser, Hunte and tributaries of the Ems; here is the capital, Oldenburg (22), on the Hunte, 30 m. NW. of Bremen, in the midst of meadows, where a famous breed of horses is raised. 2, Luebeck, lying in Holstein, N. of but not including the city of Luebeck. 3, Birkenfeldt, lying among the Hundsrueck Mountains, in the S. of Rhenish Prussia; independent since 1180, Danish 1667-1773, Oldenburg acquired Luebeck in 1803, and Birkenfeldt in 1815, when it was raised to the rank of grand-duchy.
OLDHAM (184), on the Medlock, 7 m. NE. of Manchester, is the largest of the cotton manufacturing towns round that centre; it has 300 cotton mills, and manufactures besides silks, velvets, hats, and machinery; there is a lyceum, and a school of science and art.
OLDYS, WILLIAM, bibliographer, was a man of dissolute life, the illegitimate son of a chancellor of Lincoln; he was librarian to the Earl of Oxford for 10 years, and afterwards received the appointment of Norroy king-of-arms; besides many bibliographical and literary articles, he wrote a "Life of Raleigh" and "The Harleian Miscellany" (1696-1761).
OLERON (17), an island of France, in the Bay of Biscay, at the mouth of the Charente, 111/2 m. long and from 3 to 7 broad, is separated from the mainland by a shallow, narrow channel.
OLGA, ST., a Scandinavian pagan prince, converted to Christianity and baptized as Helena; laboured for the propagation of the Christian faith among his subjects, was canonised after in 905, and is one of the saints of the Russian Church. Festival, July 21.
OLIFAUNT, NIGEL, the hero in Scott's "Fortunes of Nigel."
OLIPHANT, LAURENCE, religious enthusiast and mystic, born in Perthshire; spent his boyhood in Ceylon, where his father was chief-justice; early conceived a fondness for adventure, accompanied Lord Elgin to Washington as his secretary, and afterwards to China and Japan; became M.P. for the Stirling Burghs, mingled much in London society, contributed to Blackwood, and wrote "Piccadilly," pronounced by Mrs. Oliphant "one of the most brilliant satires on society ever published"; parliamentary people and parliamentary life being nowise to his liking he soon threw both up for life in a community with Harris at Lake Erie, U.S., whence, after two years' probation, he returned to resume life in the wide world; while in France during the Franco-German War, he married one Alice l'Estrange, an alliance which grew into one of the most intimate character; with her he went to Palestine, pitched his tent under the shadow of Mount Carmel, and wrote two mystical books under her inspiration, which abode with him after she was dead; after her decease he married a Miss Owen, that she might help him in his work, but all she had opportunity to do was to minister to him on his deathbed (1829-1888).
OLIPHANT, MRS. MARGARET (nee Wilson), authoress, born at Wallyford, near Musselburgh, a lady of varied abilities and accomplishments, and distinguished in various departments of literature, began her literary career as a novelist and a contributor to Blackwood, with which she kept up a lifelong connection; her first work which attracted attention was "Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland," and her first success as a novelist was the "Chronicles of Carlingford"; she wrote on history, biography, and criticism, the "Makers of Florence, of Venice, of Modern Rome," "Lives of Dante, Cervantes, and Edward Irving," among other works, and was engaged on a narrative of the publishing-house of Blackwood when she died; she might have distinguished herself more had she kept within a more limited range; her last days were days of sorrow under heavy bereavement (1828-1897).
OLIVAREZ, COUNT D', a Spanish statesman, born at Rome, where his father was ambassador; was the confidant and minister of Philip IV., and the political adversary of Richelieu; was one of the ablest statesmen Spain ever had, but was unfortunate in his conduct of foreign affairs (1587-1645).
OLIVER, a favourite paladin of Charlemagne's, who, along with Roland, rode by his side, and whose name, along with Roland's, has passed into the phrase, a "Roland for an Oliver," meaning one good masterstroke for another, such as both these knights never failed to deliver.
OLIVES, MOUNT OF, or MOUNT OLIVET, a ridge with three summits, stretching N. and S., E. of Jerusalem, in height 150 ft. above the city, 400 ft. above the intervening valley of Kedron, and 2682 ft. above the sea-level; so called as at one time studded with olive-trees; is celebrated as the scene of some of the most sacred events in the life of Christ.
OLLIVIER, EMILE, French statesman, born at Marseilles; bred for the bar, and eminent at it; became Prime Minister under Louis Napoleon in 1870; precipitated "with a light heart" the country into a war with Germany, to his own overthrow; retired thereafter to Italy, but returned in 1872, and devoted himself to literature; died at Geneva (1825-1876).
OLMUeTZ (20), a strongly fortified city in Moravia, and an important centre of trade, and the former capital of the country; suffered severely in the Thirty and the Seven Years' Wars.
OLYMPIA, a plain in a valley in Elis, on the Peloponnesus, traversed by the river Alpheus, and in which the Olympic Games were celebrated every fifth year in honour of Zeus, and adorned with temples (one to Zeus and another to Hera), statues, and public buildings.
OLYMPIAD, a name given to the period of four years between one celebration of the Olympic Games and another, the first recorded dating from July 776 B.C.
OLYMPIAS, the wife of Philip II. of Macedonia, and mother of Alexander the Great; divorced by Philip, who married another, she fled to Epirus, and instigated the assassination of Philip and the execution of her rival; returned to Macedonia on the accession of her son, who always treated her with respect, but allowed her no part in public affairs; on his death she dethroned his successor, but driven to bay in her defence afterwards, she was compelled to surrender the power she had assumed, and was put to death 316 B.C.
OLYMPIC GAMES, were originally open only to competitors of pure Hellenic descent, and the reward of the victors was but a wreath of wild olive, though to this their fellow-citizens added more substantial honours; they consisted of foot and chariot races, and feats of strength as well as dexterity. See OLYMPIA.
OLYMPUS, a mountain range in Greece, between Thessaly and Macedonia, the highest peak of which is 9750 ft.; the summit of it was the fabled abode of the Greek gods; it is clothed with forests of pine and other trees.
OLNEY, a little town in Buckinghamshire, associated with the life of Cowper, and where he wrote, along with John Newton, the "Olney Hymns."
OM, a mystic word among the Hindus and Buddhists; presumed to be latent with some magic virtue, and used on solemn occasions as a sort of spiritual charm efficacious with the upper powers, and potent to draw down divine assistance in an hour of need.
OMAGH (4), on the Strule, 34 m. S. of Londonderry; is the county town of Tyrone; though a very ancient town it has been rebuilt since 1743, when it was destroyed by fire; it is the head-quarters of the NW. military district.
OMAHA (102), chief city of Nebraska, on the W. bank of the Missouri, 20 m. above the confluence of the Platte; is connected by a bridge with Council Bluffs on the opposite shore; it has many fine buildings, including colleges and schools; its silver-smelting works are the largest in the world; it ranks third in the pork-packing industry, and has besides manufactures of linseed oil, boilers, and safes; an important railway centre, it lies midway between the termini of the Union Pacific Railroad; near it are the military head-quarters of the Platte department.
OMAN, a territory of Arabia, lying along the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, round the south-eastern nob of the peninsula; has some stretches of very fertile country where there happens to be water for irrigation, but the coast is very hot and not healthy. The region is subject to the Sultan of Muscat, who is in turn a pensioner of the Anglo-Indian Government.
OMAR, the successor of Abu-Bekr, and the second Caliph from 634 to 644; was at first a persecutor of the Faithful, but underwent in 615 a sudden conversion like Said, with a like result; was vizier of Abu-Bekr before he succeeded him; swept and subdued Syria, Persia, and Egypt with the sword in the name of Allah, but is accused of having burned the rich library of Alexandria on the plea that it contained books hostile to the faith of Islam; he was an austere man, and was assassinated by a Persian slave whose wrongs he refused to redress.
OMAR KHAYYAM, astronomer-poet of Persia, born at Naishapur, in Khorassan; lived in the later half of the 11th century, and died in the first quarter of the 12th; wrote a collection of poems which breathe an Epicurean spirit, and while they occupy themselves with serious problems of life, do so with careless sportiveness, intent he on the enjoyment of the sensuous pleasures of life, like an easy-going Epicurean. The great problems of destiny don't trouble the author, they are no concern of his, and the burden of his songs assuredly is, as his translator says, "If not 'let us eat, let us drink, for to-morrow we die.'"
OMAR PASHA, general in the Turkish army, was born an Austrian, his proper name Michael Lattas, and educated at the military school of Thurn; guilty of a breach of discipline, he ran away to Bosnia, turned Mohammedan, and henceforth threw in his lot with the Turks; he became writing-master to the Ottoman heir, Abdul-Medjid, and on the succession of the latter in 1839 was made a colonel; he was military governor of Lebanon in 1842, won distinction in suppressing rebellions in Albania, Bosnia, and Kurdistan, but his chief services were rendered in the Russian War; he successfully defended Kalafat in 1853, entered Bucharest in 1854, and defeated 40,000 Russians next year at Eupatoria in the Crimea; his capture of Cetinje, Montenegro, in 1862 was a difficult feat (1806-1871).
O'MEARA, BARRY EDWARD, a surgeon, born in Ireland, who accompanied Napoleon to St. Helena, and became his physician, having been surgeon on board the Bellerophon when the emperor surrendered himself; is remembered as the author of "A Voice from St. Helena; or, Napoleon in Exile," a book which from its charges against Sir Hudson Lowe created no small sensation on its appearance (1786-1836).
OMMIADES, an Arab dynasty of 14 caliphs which reigned at Damascus from 661 to 720; dethroned by the Abassides, they were under Abder-Rahman I. welcomed in Spain, and they established themselves in Cordova, where they ruled from 756 to 1031.
OMNIPRESENCE, an attribute of the Divine Being as all-present in every section of space and moment of time throughout the universe.
OMPHALE, a queen of Lydia, to whom Hercules was sold for three years for murdering Iphitus, and who so won his affection that he married her, and was content to spin her wool for her and wear the garments of a woman while she donned and wore his lion's skin.
OMSK (32), capital of Western Siberia, on the Om, at its confluence with the Irtish, 1800 m. E. of Moscow; is within the area of Russian colonisation, and has a military academy, Greek and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and large cattle trade; a number of its inhabitants are political exiles from Europe.
ONEGA, LAKE, in the NW. of Russia, next to Ladoga the largest in Europe, nearly three times the size of Norfolkshire, being 140 m. long and 59 broad; has an irregular shore, deeply indented in the W., many inflowing rivers, but is drained only by the Swir; ice-bound for four months, there is busy traffic the rest of the year; navigation is promoted by canals, but hindered by many reefs; fish abound in the waters.
ONOMATOPOEIA, formations of words resembling in sound that of the things denoted by them.
ONTARIO (2,114), third largest, most populous, richest, and most important province of Canada, lies N. of the great lakes between Quebec and Manitoba, and is thrice the size of Great Britain; the surface is mostly undulating; there are many small lakes, the chief rivers flow eastward to join the Ottawa; agriculture is the chief industry, enormous crops of wheat, maize, and other cereals are raised; stock-rearing and dairy-farming are important; the climate is subject to less extremes than that of Quebec, but the winter is still severe; there are rich mineral deposits, especially of iron, copper, lead, and silver, petroleum and salt; manufactures of agricultural implements, hardware, textiles, and leather are carried on; Toronto (181) is the largest town, Ottawa (44) is the capital of the Dominion, Hamilton (49) an important railway centre; the prosperity of the province is largely promoted by the magnificent waterways, lakes, rivers, and canals with which it is furnished. Founded by loyalists from the United States after the Declaration of Independence, the province was constituted in 1791 as Upper Canada, united to Quebec or Lower Canada in 1840, it received its present name on the federation of Canada in 1867; education in it is free and well conducted; there are many colleges and universities; municipal and provincial government is enlightened and well organised; the prevalent religious faith is Protestant.
ONTARIO, LAKE, in area almost equal to Wales, is the smallest and easternmost of the five great lakes of the St. Lawrence Basin, North America; it lies between the province of Ontario, Canada, and New York State; receives the Niagara River in the SW., several streams on both sides, and issues in the St. Lawrence in the NE.; on its shores stand Hamilton, Toronto, and Kingston on the N., and Oswego on the S.; canals connect it with Lake Erie and the Hudson River, and it is a busy and always open highway of commerce.
ONTOLOGY, another name for METAPHYSICS (q. v.) or the science of pure being, being at its living source in spirit or God, or Nature viewed as divine, especially as the ground of the spiritual in man and giving substantive being to him.
ONYX, a variety of agate or chalcedony, in which occur even layers of white and black or white and brown, sharply defined in good specimens; they come from India, and are highly valued for cameo-cutting.
OOSTERZEE, JAN JAKOB VAN, a theologian of the Dutch Church, born at Rotterdam; became professor at Utrecht, wrote several theological and exegetical works on evangelical lines (1817-1882).
OPAL, a variety of quartz, of which the finest kind, precious opal, is translucent, with blue or yellow tint, and when polished with a convex surface shows an admirable play of colours; it is found chiefly at Cerwenitza, Austria.
OPEN SECRET, THE, the secret that lies open to all, but is seen into and understood by only few, applied especially to the mystery of the life, the spiritual life, which is the possession of all.
OPEN, SESAME, the magic formula the pronunciation of which opened the robbers' stronghold in the "Arabian Nights."
OPERA, a drama set to music and acted and sung to the accompaniment of a full orchestra, of which there are several kinds according as they are grave, comic, or romantic.
OPERA BOUFFE, an opera in an extravagant burlesque style, with characters, music, and other accompaniments to match; is the creation of OFFENBACH (q. v.), his more distinguished successors in the production of which have been Lecocq, Herve, and Strauss.
OPHELIA, the daughter of Polonius in "Hamlet" and in love with the lord, but whose heart, from the succession of shocks it receives, is shattered and broken.
OPHICLEIDE, a keyed brass wind instrument of recent invention, of great compass and power, and of which there are two kinds in use.
OPHIR, a region in the East of uncertain situation, frequently referred to in Scripture as a region from which gold and precious stones were imported.
OPHITES, a sect of Gnostics who regarded the serpent as a benefactor of the race in having persuaded Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in disregard, or rather in defiance, of the warning of the God of the Jews.
OPIE, JOHN, English artist, born near Truro, Cornwall; began to learn his father's trade of carpenter, but turning to art went with Dr. Wolcott to London in 1780; for a year he had phenomenal success as a portrait-painter; on the wane of his popularity he turned to scriptural and historical painting and to illustration; after being Associate for a year he was elected Academician in 1787; besides some lectures on art, he wrote a Life of Reynolds and other works (1761-1807).
OPINICUS, a fabulous winged creature with the head of a griffin, the body of a lion, and the tail of a camel; a heraldic symbol.
OPITZ, MARTIN VON, a German poet, born in Silesia; was much patronised by the princes of Germany; was crowned with laurel, and ennobled by Ferdinand II.; his poetry was agreeable to classic models, but at the expense of soul, though, to his credit it must be said, the German language and German poetry owe him a deep debt (1597-1639).
OPORTO (140), at the mouth of the Douro, 200 m. N. of Lisbon, the chief manufacturing city of Portugal, and second in commercial importance; is the head-quarters of the trade in port wine; the industries include cloth, silk, hat, and porcelain manufacture, tobacco, metal-casting, and tanning; besides wine it exports cattle, fruit, cork, and copper. There are many old churches, schools, a library, and two picture-galleries.
OPPORTUNIST, name given to a politician whose policy it is to take advantage of, or be guided by, circumstances.
OPTIMISM, the doctrine or belief that in the system of things all that happens, the undesirable no less than the desirable, is for the best.
OPUS OPERATUM (i. e. the work wrought), a Latin phrase used to denote the spiritual effect in the performance of a religious rite which accrues from the virtue inherent in it, or by grace imparted to it, irrespectively of the administrator.
ORAN (74), the busiest port in Algeria, is 260 m. W. of Algiers; it has a Roman Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a school, a college, and two castles, and exports esparto grass, iron ore, and cereals.
ORANGE RIVER or GARIEP, chief river of South Africa, rises in the eastern highlands of Basutoland, and flows 100 m. westward to the Atlantic, receiving the Vaal and the Caledon as tributaries, and having Cape Colony on the S. bank and the Orange Free State, Griqualand West, Bechuanaland, and German Namaqualand on the N.; a bar at the mouth and the aridity of its lower course make it unfit for navigation.
ORANGE RIVER COLONY, formerly Orange Free State (380), lying between the Vaal and the Orange Rivers, Griqualand West, and the Drakenberg Mountains; has an area nearly the size of England, with a healthy, temperate climate; undulating plains slope northward and southward, from which rise isolated hills called kopjes. The chief industries are the rearing of sheep, cattle, horses, and ostriches; coal-mining in the N. and diamond-seeking in the SW.; the exports comprise wool, hides, and diamonds. Founded by Dutch Boers from Natal, it was annexed by Britain in 1848, but granted independence in 1854. The capital, Bloemfontein (3), is connected by a railway with Johannesberg and with the Cape. Having made common cause with the South African Republic in the Boer War, it was annexed by Great Britain in 1900. At present (1905) it is under the supreme authority of the Governor of Orange River and the Transvaal Colonies, assisted by a Lieutenant-Governor and an Executive Council.
ORANGEMEN, a name given to an association of Protestants in Ireland instituted to uphold the Protestant succession to the crown, and the Protestant religion as settled at the Revolution of 1688, and which derives this name from William, the Prince of Orange, on whose accession to the throne Protestantism was established; it became dormant for a time after its institution, but it has shown very decided signs of life at political crises when Protestantism seemed in danger, such as often to call for some firm handling.
ORATORIO, a musical composition on a sacred theme, dramatic in form and associated with orchestral accompaniments, but without scenic accessories; it derives its name from the oratory of St. Philip Neri at Rome, in which a composition of the kind was first performed, and was a musical development of the MIRACLE PLAYS (q. v.).
ORATORY, CONGREGATION OF THE, community of secular priests formed by St. Philip of Neri (q. v.), and bound by no religious vow, each one of which is independent of the others; it consists of novices, triennial fathers, decennial fathers, and a superior, their functions being to preach and hear confession.
ORCAGNA, a Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect, did several frescoes; was architect of the cathedral of Orvieto; his masterpiece an absolutely unique marble tabernacle in the church of Or San Michele, Florence (1329-1389).
ORCHARDSON, WILLIAM QUILLER, English genre-painter, born in Edinburgh; his pictures are numerous, and among the best and most popular, "The Challenge," "The Queen of the Woods," "On Board the Bellerophon," "The Mariage de Convenance"; b. 1835.
ORCUS (i. e. place of confinement), another name for Hades, or the "World of the Dead"; also of the god of the nether world.
ORDEAL, a test by fire, water, poison, wager of battle, or the like, of the innocence or guilt of persons in appeal thereby to the judgment of God in default of other evidence, on the superstitious belief that by means of it God would interfere to acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty, a test very often had recourse to among savage or half-civilised nations.
ORDERICUS VITALIS, a mediaeval chronicler, born near Shrewsbury; was a monk of the Abbey of St. Evreul, in Normandy; wrote an ecclesiastical history of Normandy and England—a veracious document, though an incondite; d. 1143.
ORDERS IN COUNCIL are issued by the British Sovereign, with the advice of the Privy Council, and within limits defined by Parliament. In cases of emergency these limits have been disregarded, and Parliament subsequently asked to homologate the action by granting an indemnity to those concerned.
OREADES in the Greek mythology nymphs of the mountains, with special names appropriate to the district they severally inhabit.
OREGON (314), one of the United States, on the Pacific seaboard, with Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California on its inland borders, nearly twice the size of England, has the Coast Mountains along the W., the Cascade range parallel 60 m. E., and 70 farther E. the Blue Mountains. The centre and E. is hilly, and affords excellent grazing and dairy-farming ground; the western or Willamette Valley is arable, producing cereals, potatoes, tobacco, hops, and fruit. Between the Coast Mountains and the sea excessive rains fall. The State is rich in timber, coal, iron, gold, and silver; and the rivers (of which the Columbia on the N. border is the chief) abound in salmon. Owing to the mountain shelter and the Japanese ocean currents the climate is mild. The capital is Salem (4), the largest city Portland (46), both on the Willamette River. The State offers excellent educational facilities; it has 17 libraries, many schools and colleges, and the Blue Mountain University. The State (constituted in 1859) forms part of the territory long in dispute between Great Britain and the United States. It was occupied jointly from 1818 to 1846, when a compromise fixed the present boundary of British Columbia.
ORELLI, CONRAD VON, theologian, born at Zurich; professor at Basel; has written commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor prophets; b. 1846.
ORELLI, JOHANN KASPAR VON, a Swiss scholar, born at Zurich, where he was professor of Classical Philology; edited editions of the classics, particularly Horace, Tacitus, and Cicero, highly esteemed for the scholarship they show and the critical judgment (1787-1849).
ORESTES, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and brother of Electra and Iphigenia, who killed his mother to avenge the murder by her of his father and went mad afterwards, but was acquitted by the Areopagus and became king of Argos and Lacedaemon; his friendship for Pylades, who married his sister Electra, has passed into a proverb; the tragic story is a favourite theme of the Greek tragedians.
ORFILA, M. J. BONAVENTURE, French chemist and physician, born in Minorca; mainly distinguished for his works on toxicology (1787-1853).
ORGANISM, a structure instinct with life, and possessed of organs that discharge functions subordinate and ministrative to the life of the whole.
ORGANON, a term adopted by Bacon to denote a system of rules for the regulation of scientific inquiry.
ORGIES, festivals among the Greeks and Orientals generally connected with the worship of nature divinities, in particular DEMETER (q. v.), DIONYSOS (q. v.), and the Cabiri, celebrated with mystic rites and much licentious behaviour.
ORIFLAMME (i. e. flame of gold), the ancient banner of the kings of France, borne before them as they marched to war; it was a red flag mounted on a gilded staff, was originally the banner of the abbey of St. Denis, and first assumed as the royal standard by Louis VI. as he marched at the head of his army against the Emperor Henry V. in 1124, but one hears no more of it after the battle of Agincourt in 1415, much as it was at one time regarded as the banner of the very Lord of Hosts.
ORIGEN, one of the most eminent of the Fathers of the Church, born at Alexandria it is presumed, the son of a Christian who suffered martyrdom under Severus, whom he honoured and ever reverenced for his faith in Christ; studied the Greek philosophers that he might familiarise himself with their standpoint in contrast with that of the Christian; taught in Alexandria and elsewhere the religion he had inherited from his father, but was not sufficiently regardful of episcopal authority, and after being ordained by another bishop than that of his own diocese was deposed and banished; after this he settled in Caesarea, set up a celebrated school, and had Gregory Thaumaturgus for a pupil, whence he made journeys to other parts but under much persecution, and died at Tyre; he wrote numerous works, apologetical and exegetical as well as doctrinal, besides a "Hexapla," a great source of textual criticism, being a work in which the Hebrew Scriptures and five Greek versions of them are arranged side by side; in his exegesis he had a fancy for allegorical interpretation, in which he frequently indulged, but in doing so he was entitled to some license, seeing he was a man who constantly lived in close communion with the Unseen Author of all truth (185-253).
ORIGINAL SIN, the name given by the theologians to the inherent tendency to sin on the part of all mankind, due, as alleged, to their descent from Adam and the imputation of Adam's guilt to them as sinning in him.
ORINOCO RIVER, a great river in the NE. of South America, rises in the Parime Mountains, and flowing westward bifurcates, the Cassiquiare channel going southward and joining the Rio Negro, the Orinoco proper continuing westward, north and east through Venezuela, and reaching the Atlantic after a course of 1500 m. by an enormous delta; it receives thousands of tributaries, but cascades half-way up stop navigation.
ORION, in the Greek mythology a handsome giant and hunter, was struck blind by Dionysos for attempting an outrage on Merope, but recovered his eyesight on exposing his eyeballs to the arrowy rays of Aurora, and became afterwards the companion of Artemis on the hunting-field, but he fell a victim to the jealousy of Apollo, the brother of Artemis, and was transformed by the latter into a constellation in the sky, where he figures as a giant wearing a lion's skin and a girdle or belt and wielding a club.
ORISSA (4,047), the name of an ancient Indian kingdom, independent till 1568, and falling into British possession in 1803, is now restricted to the most south-easterly province of Bengal. It is larger than Wales, and comprises a hilly inland tract and an alluvial plain formed by the deltas of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani Rivers, well irrigated, and producing great crops of rice, wheat, pulse, and cotton. It has no railways, and poor roads; transport is by canal and river. Chief towns Cuttack, Balasor, and Puri.
ORKNEY ISLANDS (30), an archipelago of 90 islands, Pomona the largest, lying north of the Scottish mainland, from which they are separated by the Pentland Firth, 7 m. broad. The scenery is tame, the climate is mild and moist; there are no trees, crops are poor; the chief industries are fishing and stock-raising; Kirkwall, with a cathedral, and Stromness are the chief towns. Seized from the Picts by Norse vikings, they passed to James III. as security for the dowry of Margaret of Denmark and were never redeemed. The natives show their Scandinavian ancestry in their features, and the nomenclature is largely Scandinavian.
ORLANDO, a hero who figures in the romantic tales connected with the adventures of Charlemagne and his paladins, a knight of pure and true blood; had a magical horn called Olivant, with which he wrought wonders.
ORLEANS (61), on the Loire, 75 m. by rail SW. of Paris, is the capital of the province of Loiret, a trading rather than an industrial town, commerce being fostered by excellent railway, canal, and river communications; the town is of ancient date, and its streets are full of quaint wooden houses; there is an old cathedral and museum; many historic associations include the raising of the siege in 1429 by Joan of Arc, whose house is still shown, and two captures by the Germans, 1870
ORLEANS, DUKES OF, the name of four distinct branches of the royal family of France, the first commencing with PHILIPPE, fifth son of Philippe of Valois, in 1344; the second with LOUIS, brother of Charles VI. (1371-1407); the third with JEAN BAPTISTE GASCON, brother of Louis XIII., who took part in the plots against Richelieu, and was appointed lieutenant-general on the death of his brother (1608-1660); the fourth with PHILIPPE I., brother of Louis XIV. (1640-1701); PHILIPPE II., son of the preceding, governed France during the minority of Louis XV.; involved his finances by his connection with Louis, and did injury to the public morals by the depravity of his life (1674-1723); LOUIS-PHILIPPE, his grandson, lieutenant-general and governor of Dauphine (1725-1785); LOUIS-PHILIPPE JOSEPH, son of preceding, surnamed Philippe-Egalite, played a conspicuous part in the Revolution, and perished on the scaffold (1747-1793); and LOUIS-PHILIPPE, his son (q. v.); PRINCE LOUIS ROBERT, eldest son of Comte de Paris, claimant to the throne, b. 1869.
ORLOFF, the name of two brothers, Russians: GREGORY, the favourite of Catherine II. (1734-1783), and ALEXIS, a man remarkable for his stature and strength, who murdered Peter III. and was banished by Paul I. (1737-1809).
ORME, ROBERT, historian, born in Travancore; entered the East India Company's service, in which he was appointed historiographer; wrote the history of its military transactions from 1745 to 1763 (1728-1801).
ORMOLU, a name given to bronze or brass of a golden-yellow colour, and resembling gold.
ORMONDE, JAMES BUTLER, DUKE OF, supporter of the cause of Charles I. in Ireland during the war between the king and the Parliament, on the ruin of which he repaired to the Continent to promote the restoration of the dynasty; was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland after the Restoration, and escaped from a party of ruffians headed by Colonel Blood, who dragged him from his carriage with intent to hang him; he was a brave man, and much esteemed by his friends (1610-1688).
ORMUZ, an island at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, once the head-quarters of the Persian trade with India.
ORMUZD, the good deity of the Zoroastrian religion, the embodiment of the principle of good as Ahriman is of the principle of evil, the creator of light and order as the other of darkness and disorder. See DUALISM.
ORONTES, the principal river of Syria, rises in the western slopes of Anti-Lebanon, and flows northward through Syria, turning at last SW. to the Mediterranean; its course of 150 m. is through country in many parts well cultivated, past the towns of Hems and Hamah, and latterly through a woody ravine of great beauty.
OROSIUS, PAULUS, Spanish Christian apologist of the 5th century, born at Terragona, a disciple of Augustine; wrote at his suggestion against the pagans a history of the world used as a text-book in the Middle Ages.
ORPHEUS, in the Greek mythology son of Apollo and the Muse Calliope, famed for his skill on the lyre, from which the strains were such as not only calmed and swayed the rude soul of nature, but persuaded even the inexorable Pluto to relent; for one day when his wife Eurydice was taken away from him, he descended with his lyre to the lower world and prevailed on the nether king by the spell he wielded to allow her to accompany him back, but on the condition that he must not, as she followed him, turn round and look; this condition he failed to fulfil, and he lost her again, but this time for ever; whereupon, as the story goes, he gave himself up to unappeasable lamentings, which attracted round him a crowd of upbraiding Maenades, who in their indignation took up stones to stone him and mangled him to death, only his lyre as it floated down the river seaward kept sounding "Eurydice! Eurydice!" till it was caught up by Zeus and placed in memorial of him among the stars of the sky.
ORRERY is a mechanical toy which exhibits, by an arrangement of rods, balls, and toothed wheels, the sun, the planets, and their moons, all performing their respective motions; so named after the Earl of Orrery, for whom Charles Boyle made the first one in 1715.
ORSINI, FELICE, Italian conspirator, born of a noble family, but bred in the atmosphere of revolution and secret plotting; with three others attempted the life of Louis Napoleon; was defended by Jules Favre, but condemned to death and guillotined (1819-1858).
ORSOVA, two fortified towns on opposite banks of the Danube, at the Iron Gates: Old Orsova (3), in Hungary, is a trading and shipping centre; New Orsova, in Servia, was repeatedly taken and retaken in the wars of the 18th century.
ORVIETO (7), an Italian city in Perugia, 78 m. by rail N. of Rome, is noted for its wines; it dates from Roman times, and in the Middle Ages was a frequent refuge of the Popes.
OSCANS, a primitive people of Italy occupying Campania; were subjugated in the 5th century B.C. by the Samnites, who amalgamated with them and were subsequently incorporated with the Romans; the Oscan tongue, a cruder form of Latin, may have had its own literature, and is still extant on coins and in inscriptions.
OSCAR I., king of Sweden and Norway, son of Bernadotte, born at Paris, reigned from 1844 to 1857 (1799-1858); OSCAR II., king of Sweden and Norway, son of preceding, succeeded his brother Charles XV. in 1872, has distinguished himself in literature by translating Goethe's "Faust" into Swedish, and by a volume of minor poems under his nom de plume Oscar Frederick; b. 1829.
OSCOTT, a village in Staffordshire, 4 m. N. of Birmingham, the site of the Roman Catholic College of St. Mary's, which claims to be the centre of Catholicism in England; founded in 1752, it was housed in magnificent buildings in 1835, and became exclusively a training-school for the priesthood in 1889, though it originally had laymen among its students.
O'SHAUGHNESSY, ARTHUR, poet, born in London; held a post in the natural history department of the British Museum; wrote, among other works, three notable volumes of poems, "The Epic of Women," "Lays of France," and "Music and Moonlight" (1844-1881).
OSIANDER, ANDREAS, a German Reformer, born near Nueremberg, and attaching himself to Luther, became preacher there, and eventually professor of Theology at Koenigsberg; involved himself in a bitter controversy with Chemnitz on justification, ascribing it not to imputation, but the germination of divine grace in the heart, or the mystical union of the soul with God, a controversy which was kept up by his followers after his death (1498-1552).
OSIRIS, one of the principal gods of Egypt, the husband of Isis, who was his sister and the father of Horus, who avenged the wrongs he suffered at the hands of the Earth, his mother, in whose womb he was born and in whose womb he was buried; he was the god of all the earth-born, and subject to the like fate.
OSMANLIS, name given to the Ottomans, from that of their founder, Osman or Othman.
OSMOSE. If two liquids be separated from each other only by a skin or parchment, each will percolate through the membrane and diffuse into the other; the process is known as osmose, and is constantly illustrated in the animal and vegetable world.
OSNABRUeCK (35), a town in Hanover, 70 m. W. of Hanover, with a bishopric founded by Charlemagne, which was held by a brother of George I., and was secularised in 1803.
OSSA, a mountain in Thessaly, famous in Greek mythology. See PELION.
OSSIAN, the heroic poet of the Gaels, the son of Fingal and the king of Morven, said to have lived in the 3rd century, the theme of whose verse concerns the exploits of Fingal and his family, the translation of which he brought home from fairyland, to which he had been transported when he was a boy, and from which he returned when he was old and blind; James Macpherson, who was no Gaelic scholar, professed to have translated the legend, as published by him in 1760-62-63.
OSTADE, ADRIAN and ISAAC, two Dutch painters, brothers, born at Haarlem; Adrian (1610-1685), and Isaac (1617-1654).
OSTEND (26), a favourite watering-place on the SW. coast of Belgium, 65 m. due W. of Antwerp; attracts 20,000 visitors every summer; it is an important seaport, having daily mail communication with Dover, and it manufactures linen and sail-cloth; fishing is the chief industry; it is famed for oysters, which are brought over from England and fattened for export.
OSTIA, the seaport of ancient Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber, now in ruins.
OSTRACISM, banishment (lit. by shell) for a term of years by popular vote from Athens of any individual whose political influence seemed to threaten the liberty of the citizens; the vote was given by each citizen writing the name of the individual on a shell and depositing it in some place appointed, and it was only when supported by 6000 citizens that it took effect.
OSTROGOTHS, or the EASTERN GOTHS, a Teutonic people, who, having been induced to settle on the banks of the Danube, in the pay of the Roman emperor, invaded Italy, and founded in the end of the 5th century a kingdom under Theodoric, which fell before the arms of Justinian in 532.
OSWALD, ST., king of Northumbria, where by the aid of AIDAN (q. v.) he established the Christian religion, after his conversion to it himself in exile among the Scots; he died in battle fighting against Penda, king of Mercia; d.642.
OSWEGO (22), principal port on the E. of Lake Ontario, is at the mouth of the Oswego River, in New York State; it has 4 miles of quays, and extensive accommodation for grain, and has a large trade, especially with Canada, in grain and lumber; the falls in the river are utilised for industrial purposes, the manufacture of starch and cornflour being famed.
OSWESTRY (8), a market-town of Shropshire, 20 m. NW. of Shrewsbury; has an old church, castle, and school, railway workshops, and some woollen mills.
OTAGO (153), the southernmost province in the South Island, New Zealand, somewhat less in size than Scotland, is mountainous and inaccessible in the W., but in the E. consists of good arable plains, where British crops and fruits grow well; the climate is temperate; timber abounds; there are gold, coal, iron, and copper mines, manufactures of woollen goods, iron, and soap, and exports wool, gold, cereals, and hides; founded in 1848 by the Otago Association of the Free Church of Scotland, but immigration became general on the discovery of gold in 1861; education is promoted by the Government in a university and many colleges and secondary schools; the capital is Dunedin (23), the chief commercial city of New Zealand, the other principal towns being Invercargill, Port Chalmers, Oamaru, Milton, and Lawrence.