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 near it.
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 death.
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 other system.
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 chemical preparations.
PHOTOSPHERE, name given to the luminous atmosphere enveloping the sun.
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 discourses.
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 Pas-de-Calais.
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 simplicity.
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 (1758-1815).
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 for ever.
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 dwell.
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 poetic inspiration.
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 Pilatus."
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 Andes.
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" was imprisoned.
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 (1758-1826).
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, soap, &c.
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 (1206-1278).
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 TRIPITAKA.
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. 14.
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 life (1476-1541).
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 erratic movements.
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 system.
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 (1757-1818).
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 complement.
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 of Charlemagne.
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 neck.
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" (62-115).
PLOTINUS, an Alexandrian philosopher of the Neo-Platonic school, born at Lycopolis, in Egypt; he taught philosophy at Rome, a system in opposition to the reigning scepticism of the time, and which based itself on the intuitions of the soul elevated into a state of mystical union with God, who in His single unity sums up all and whence all emanates, all being regarded as an emanation from Him (207-270).
PLUGSTON OF UNDERSHOT, Carlyle's name in "Past and Present" for a member or "Master-Worker" of the English mammon-worshipping manufacturing class in rivalry with the aristocracy for the ascendency in the land, who pays his workers his wages and thinks he has done his duty with them in so doing, and is secure in the fortune he has made by that cash-payment gospel of his as all the law and the prophets, called of "Undershot," his mill being driven by a wheel, the working power of which is hidden unheeded by him, to break out some day to the damage of both his mill and him.
PLUMPTRE, EDWARD HAYES, distinguished English divine and scholar, born in London; was Dean of Wells; as a divine he wrote commentaries on books of both the Old and New Testaments, and as a scholar executed able translations in verse of Sophocles, AEschylus, and the "Commedia" of Dante, the last perhaps his greatest and most enduring work (1821-1891).
PLUNKET, LORD, Chancellor of Ireland, born in Ireland, bred to the bar; entered the Irish House of Commons; opposed the Union with Great Britain; after the Union practised at the bar, and held legal appointments; was made a peer, and materially aided the Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords in carrying the Catholic Emancipation Bill of 1829 (1764-1854).
PLUTARCH, celebrated Greek biographer and moralist, born at Chaeronea, in Boeotia; studied at Athens; paid frequent visits to Rome, and formed friendships with some of its distinguished citizens; spent his later years at his native place, and held a priesthood; his fame rests on his "Parallel Lives" of 46 distinguished Greeks and Romans, a series of portraitures true to the life, and a work one of the most valuable we possess on the illustrious men of antiquity, and an enduring memorial of them (50-120).
PLUTO, god of the nether world, son of Kronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus and Poseidon, and husband of Persephone; on the dethronement of Kronos the universe was divided among themselves by the three brothers, Zeus assuming the dominion of the upper world and Poseidon that of the ocean, leaving the nether kingdom to him, a domain over which and forth of which he ruled with a greater and more undisputed authority than the other two over heaven, earth, and sea.
PLUTONIC THEORY, the theory that unstratifled rocks were formed by fusion in fire.
PLUTUS, the god of riches, son of Jason and Demeter. Zeus is said to have put out his eyes that he might bestow his gifts without respect to merit, that is, on the evil and the good impartially.
PLYMOUTH (87), the largest town in Devonshire, stands on the N. shore of Plymouth Sound, 250 m. W. of London by rail; adjacent to it are the towns of Stonehouse and Devonport. Among the chief buildings are a Gothic town-hall, a 15th-century church, and a Roman Catholic cathedral. The chief industry is chemical manufactures. There is a large coasting and general trade, and important fisheries. Many sea-going steamship companies make it a place of call. The Sound is an important naval station, and historically famous as the sailing port of the fleet that vanquished the Armada.
PLYMOUTH BRETHREN, an anti-clerical body of Christians, one of the earliest communities of which was formed in Plymouth about 1830; they accept, along with Pre-Millenarian views, generally the Calvinistic view of the Christian religion, and exclude all unconverted men from their communion, while all included in the body are of equal standing, and enjoy equal privileges as members of Christ. They appear to regard themselves as the sole representatives in these latter days of the Church of Christ, and as the salt of the earth, for whose sake it exists, and on whose decease it and its works of darkness will be burnt up. They are known also by the name of Darbyites, from the name of one of their founders, a barrister, John Nelson Darby, an able man, and with all his exclusiveness a sincere disciple of Christ (1800-1882).
PNEUMONIA, name given to acute inflammation of the lungs.
PO, the largest river in Italy, rises 6000 ft. above sea-level in the Cottian Alps, and after 20 m. of rocky defiles emerges on the great Lombardy plain, which it crosses from W. to E., receiving the Ticino, Adda, Mincio, and Trebbia, tributaries, and enters the Adriatic by a rapidly growing delta. Its total course is 360 m.; the width and volume of its stream make it difficult to cross and so a protection to all Italy. The chief towns on its banks are Turin, Piacenza, and Cremona.
POCAHONTAS, the daughter of an Indian chief in Virginia, who favoured the English settlers there, saving the life of Captain Smith the coloniser, and afterwards married John Rolfe, one of the settlers; came to England, and was presented at Court; several Virginian families trace their descent to her.
POCKET BOROUGH, a borough in which the influence of some magnate of the place determines the voting at an election time, a thing pretty much of the past.
POCOCK, EDWARD, English Arabic and Hebrew scholar, born at Oxford, and occupied both the chairs of Arabic and Hebrew there, and left works in evidence of his scholarship and learning in both languages, quite remarkable for the time when he lived (1604-1691).
POCOCKE, RICHARD, English prelate, born at Southampton; travelled extensively, particularly in the East; wrote a description of the countries of the East and of others, among them "Tours In Scotland" and a "Tour in Ireland," all deemed of value (1704-1765).
PODESTA, the name given to the chief magistrate of an Italian town, with military as well as municipal authority; he was salaried, and annually elected to the office by the council, and had to give an account of his administration at the end of his term.
PODIEBRAD, GEORGE, king of Bohemia; rose, though a Hussite, and in spite of the Pope, from the ranks of the nobles to that elevation; forced his enemies to come to terms with him, and held his ground against them till the day of his death (1420-1471).
POE, EDGAR ALLAN, an American poet, born in Boston, Massachusetts; a youth of wonderful genius, but of reckless habits, and who came to an unhappy and untimely end; left behind him tales and poems, which, though they were not appreciated when he lived, have received the recognition they deserve since his death; his poetical masterpiece, "The Raven," is well known; died at Baltimore of inflammation of the brain, insensible from which he was picked up in a street one evening (1809-1849).
POERIO, CARLO, Italian patriot; was conspicuous in the revolutionary movement of 1848; was arrested and banished, but escaped to England, where he was received with sympathy by Mr. Gladstone among others; he rose into power on the establishment of the kingdom of Italy (1803-1867).
POET LAUREATE, the English court poet, an office which dates from the reign of Edward IV., the duty of the holder of it being originally to write an ode on the birthday of the monarch.
POETICAL JUSTICE, ideal justice as administered in their writings by the poets.
POETRY, the gift of penetrating into the inner soul or secret of a thing, and bodying it forth rhythmically so as to captivate the imagination and the heart.
POET'S CORNER, a corner in the SW. transept of Westminster Abbey, so called as containing the tombs of Chaucer, Spenser, and other eminent English poets.
POGGENDORF, JOHANN CHRISTIAN, a German physicist and chemist, born at Hamburg; professor of Physics at Berlin; was the editor for more than half a century of the famous Annalen der Physik und Chimie, and the author of numerous papers (1796-1877).
POGGIO, BRACCIOLINI, an Italian scholar, born in Florence, was a distinguished humanist, and devoted to the revival of classical learning, collecting MSS. of the classics wherever he could find them that might otherwise have been lost, including Quintilian's "Institutions," great part of Lucretius, and several orations of Cicero, &c.; wrote a "History of Florence," where he died; he was the author of a collection of stories and of jests in Latin at the expense of the monks (1380-1459).
POINT DE GALLE (33), a town on a promontory in the SW. of Ceylon, with a good harbour, and the great port of call for the lines of steamers in the Eastern waters.
POISSON, SIMEON-DENIS, a celebrated French mathematician, born at Pithiviers; was for his eminence in mathematical ability and physical research raised to the peerage; wrote no fewer than 300 memoirs (1781-1840).
POITIERS (34), the capital of the dep. of Vienne, 61 m. SW. of Tours; has a number of interesting buildings, a university and large library; in its neighbourhood Clovis defeated Alaric II. in 507, Charles Martel the Moors in 732, and the Black Prince the troops of King John in 1356.
POITOU, formerly a province in France, lying S. of the Loire, between the Vienne River and the sea; passed to England when its countess, Eleanor, married Henry I., 1152; was taken by Philip Augustus 1205, ceded to England again 1360, and retaken by Charles V. 1369.
POLA (31), the chief naval station of Austria, 73 m. S. of Trieste, in the Adriatic; the harbour is both spacious and deep; was originally a Roman colony, and a flourishing seat of commerce.
POLAND, formerly a kingdom larger than modern Austro-Hungary, with a population of 24 millions, lying between the Baltic and the Carpathians, with Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Silesia on the W., and the Russian provinces of Smolensk, Tchernigoff, Poltava, and Kherson on the E.; the Dwina, the Memel, and the Vistula flowed through its northern plains; the Dnieper traversed the E., the Dniester and the Bug rose in its SE. corner. The country is fertile; great crops of cereals are raised; there are forests of pine and oak, and extensive pasture lands; vast salt-mines are wrought at Cracow; silver, iron, copper, and lead in other parts. Poland took rank among European powers in the 10th century under Mieczyslaw, its first Christian king. During the 12th and 13th centuries it sank to the rank of a duchy. In 1241 the Mongols devastated the country, and thereafter colonies of Germans and Jewish refugees settled among the Slav population. The first Diet met in 1331, and Casimir the Great, 1333-1370, raised the country to a high level of prosperity, fostering the commerce of Danzig and Cracow. The dynasty of the Jagellons united Lithuania to Poland, ended two centuries' contest with the Teutonic knights, and yielded to the nobles such privileges as turned the kingdom into an oligarchy and elective monarchy. At the time of the Reformation Poland was the leading power in Eastern Europe. The new doctrines gained ground there in spite of severe persecution. Warsaw became the capital in 1569. The power and arrogance of the nobles grew; the necessity for unanimity in the votes of the Diet gave them a weapon to stop all progress and all correction of their own malpractices. Sigismund III. made unsuccessful attempts to seize the crowns of Russia and Sweden. In the middle of the 17th century a terrible struggle against Russia, Sweden, Brandenburg and the Cossacks ended in the complete defeat of Poland, from which she never recovered. Wars with the Turks, dissensions among her own nobles, quarrels at the election of every king, the continuance of serfdom, and the persecution of the adherents of the Greek Church and the Protestants, rendered her condition more and more deplorable. Austria, Russia, and Prussia began to interfere in her affairs. She was unfortunate in her choice of kings, and in the second half of the 18th century she was without natural boundaries, and Frederick the Great started the idea of partition. The first seizure of territory by the three interfering powers took place in 1772. A movement for reform reorganised the Diet, improved the condition of the serfs, established religious toleration, and promulgated a new constitution in 1781; but a party of unpatriotic nobles resented it, and laid the country open to a second seizure of territory by Prussia and Russia in 1793. The Poles now made a desperate stand under Kosciusko, but their three powerful neighbours were too strong, and the final partition of Poland between them took place in 1795. The Congress of Vienna rearranged the division in 1815, and reconstituted the Russian portion as a kingdom, with the Czar as king; but discontent broke into rebellion, and led to the final repression of independence in 1832.
POLDERS, low marshy lands in Holland and Belgium, drained and reclaimed from sea or river; they form an important part of the former, and are conspicuous from the verdure they display; they include nearly 150 acres of good land, the largest being that of Haarlem Meer, which is 70 square miles in extent, and was drained by steam.
POLE, the name given to the extremities of the imaginary axis of the earth, round which it is conceived to revolve.
POLE, REGINALD, cardinal, archbishop of Canterbury, born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire, of royal blood; studied at Oxford; took holy orders, and was appointed to various benefices by Henry VIII., who held him in high favour; but he opposed the project of divorcing Catherine, and was driven from the royal presence and deprived of his power; but elected to the cardinalate by the Pope, he tried to return after Henry's death, but was not received back till Mary's accession, when he came as Papal legate, and was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Cranmer, whom he refused to supersede as long as he lived; he was not obsequious enough to the Pope, and his legation was cancelled; the Queen's illness accelerated his own end, and he died the day after her; he has been charged with abetting the Marian persecution, but it is highly questionable how far he was answerable for it (1506-1558).
POLE-STAR or POLARIS, a star in the northern hemisphere, in Ursa Minor, the nearest conspicuous one to the N. pole of the heavens, from which it is at present 11/2 deg. distant; a straight line joining the two "pointers" in Ursa Major passes nearly through it.
POLIGNAC, DUC DE and DUCHESS DE, husband and wife; were chargeable with the extravagances of the court of Louis XVI., and were the first to emigrate at the outbreak of the Revolution, the former dying in 1817 and the latter in 1793.
POLIGNAC, PRINCE DE, French statesman, born at Versailles, of an old noble family, prime minister of Charles X., to whose fall he contributed by his arbitrary measures; in attempting flight at the Revolution was captured and sentenced to death, which was converted into banishment; he was allowed to return at length (1780-1847).
POLITIAN, ANGELO, eminent Italian scholar, born in Tuscany; was patronised by Lorenzo de' Medici, was made professor of Greek and Latin at the university of Florence, his fame in which capacity drew to his class students from all parts of Europe; he did much to forward the Renaissance movement, and was distinguished as a poet no less than as a scholar; he became a priest towards the close of his life (1454-1494).
POLITICAL ECONOMY, the name given to the modern soi-disant science concerned with the production, distribution, and exchange of wealth, against the relevancy of which to the economics of the world Ruskin has, for most part in vain, during the last forty years emitted a scornful protest, affirming that this is "mercantile" and not "political economy at all," which he insists is the "economy of a state or of citizens," consisting "simply in the production and distribution at fittest time and place of useful or pleasurable things ... a science which teaches nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life, and to scorn and destroy those that lead to destruction ... though, properly speaking, it is neither an art nor a science, but a system of conduct and legislature, founded on the sciences, directing the arts, and impossible, except under certain conditions of moral culture," with which last, however, the modern political economists maintain their science has nothing whatever to do.
POLIZIANO. See POLITIAN.
POLK, JAMES KNOX, eleventh President of the United States, of Irish descent; admitted to the bar in 1820, entered Congress in 1825, became President in 1844, his term of office having been signalised by the annexation of Texas and California (1795-1849).
POLLIO, CAIUS ASINIUS, orator, historian, and poet, born at Rome; sided with Caesar against Pompey, and after the death of the former with Antony; was a patron of letters and the friend of Virgil and Horace, both of whom dedicated poems to him; he was the first to establish a public library in Rome (76 B.C. to A.D. 4).
POLLOCK, SIR EDWARD, an eminent English judge, born in London, contemporary of Brougham, a Tory in politics, represented Huntingdon, was twice over Attorney-General, became Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1844, and made a baronet on his retirement from the bench (1783-1870).
POLLOCK, SIR GEORGE, field-marshal, born at Westminster, brother of the preceding; distinguished himself in Nepal and the Afghan War, in the latter forced the Kyber Pass, defeated Akbar Khan, and relieved Sir Robert Sale, who was shut up in Jelallabad (1786-1872).
POLLOK, ROBERT, Scottish poet, born in Renfrewshire; bred for the Secession Church, wrote one poem, "The Course of Time," in 10 books, on the spiritual life and human destiny, which was published when he was dying of consumption, a complaint accelerated, it is believed, by his studious habits (1799-1827).
POLLUX, the twin brother of Castor (q. v.).
POLO, a game similar to hockey, played on horseback with mallets, and devised by British officers in India in place of football.
POLO, MARCO, a celebrated traveller, born in Venice of a noble family in 1271; accompanied his father and uncle while a mere youth to the court of the Great Khan, the Tartar emperor of China, by whom he was received with favour and employed on several embassies; unwilling to part with him the emperor allowed him along with his father and uncle to escort a young princess who was going to be married to a Persian prince on the promise that they would return, but the prince having died before their arrival, and deeming themselves absolved from their promise by his death, they moved straight home for Venice, where they arrived in 1295, laden with rich presents which had been given them; having fallen into the hands of the Genoese in a hostile expedition, Marco was put in prison, where he wrote the story of his adventures, originally in French it would seem, which proved to be the first account that opened up to wondering Europe the magnificence of the Eastern world (1255-1323).
POLYANDRY, the name given to a form of polygamy met with among certain rude races, under which a woman is united and lives in marriage to several husbands.
POLYBIUS, a Greek historian, born at Megalopolis, in Arcadia; sent to Rome as a hostage, he formed an intimate friendship with Scipio AEmilianus, who aided him in his historical researches, and whom he accompanied to Africa on the expedition which issued in the destruction of Carthage, after which he returned to Greece and began his literary labours, the fruit of which was a history of Greece and Rome from 220 to 146 B.C. in 40 books, of which 5 have come down to us complete, a work characterised by accurate statement of facts and sound judgment of their import, written with a purpose to instruct in practical wisdom; he has been called "the first pragmatical historian" (204-122 B.C.).
POLYCARP, bishop of Smyrna, one of the early Fathers of the Church, a disciple of the Apostles and in particular of St. John; was for nearly 70 years bishop, and suffered martyrdom for refusing to renounce Christ, "after having served Him," as he said, "for 86 years"; of his writings the only one extant is an "Epistle to the Philippians," the genuineness of which, at one time questioned, is now established, and is of value chiefly in questions affecting the canon of Scripture and the origin of the Church.
POLYCRATES, the tyrant of Samos, and friend of Anacreon and art and literature generally; formed an alliance with Amasis, king of Egypt, who, struck with his prosperity, ascribed it to the envy of the gods, insinuating that they intended his ruin thereby, and advised him, in order to avert his impending doom, to throw the most valuable of his possessions into the sea, upon which he threw a signet ring of great price and beauty, to find it again in the mouth of a fish a fisherman had sold him; still, though upon this Amasis broke alliance with him, his prosperity clung to him, till one day he was allured by a Persian satrap, his enemy, away from Samos, and by him crucified to death, 521 B.C.
POLYGNOTUS, an early Greek painter, born in Thasos, and settled in Athens 463 B.C.; is considered the founder of historical painting, and is praised especially by Aristotle, who pays a high tribute to him; was the first to attempt portrait-painting and exhibit character by his art.
POLYHYMNIA, one of the nine MUSES (q. v.); she is represented as in a pensive mood, with her forefinger on her mouth; she was the inventress of the lyre and the mother of Orpheus.
POLYNESIA is the collective name of all the islands of the Pacific of coral or volcanic origin. These South Sea islands are scattered, isolated, or more usually in groups over a stretch of ocean 7000 m. from N. to S. and 6000 from E. to W.; with the exception of the two chief members of the New Zealand archipelago they are mostly small, and exhibit wonderful uniformity of climate; the temperature is moderate, and where there are any hills to intercept the moisture-laden trade-winds the rainfall is high; they are extremely rich in flora; characteristic of their vegetation are palms, bread fruit trees, and edible roots like yams and sweet potatoes, forests of tree-ferns, myrtles, and ebony, with endless varieties of beautiful flowering plants; their fauna is wonderfully poor, varieties of rats and bats, a few snakes, frogs, spiders, and centipedes, with the crocodile, being the chief indigenous animals; the three divisions of Polynesia are Micronesia, comprising five small archipelagoes in the NW., N. of the equator, of which the chief are the Mariana and Caroline groups; Melanesia, comprising eleven archipelagoes in the W., S. of the equator, of which the largest are the Solomon, Bismarck, Fiji, New Caledonia, and New Hebrides groups; and Eastern Polynesia, E. of these on both sides of the equator, including New Zealand, Hawaii, and Samoa, ten other archipelagoes, and numerous sporadic islands; the first of these divisions is occupied by a mixed population embracing many distinct elements, the second by the black, low-type Melanesians, the third by the light brown, tall Polynesians; traces of extinct civilisation are found in Easter Island and the Carolines; most of the islands are now in the possession of European powers, and are more or less Christianised; New Zealand is one of the most enterprising and flourishing colonies of Great Britain; everywhere the native races are dying out before the immigration of Europeans.
POLYPHEMUS, in Homeric legend a son of Neptune, the most celebrated of the Cyclops, a huge monster with one eye, who dwelt in Sicily in a cave near AEtna, and whose eye, after making him drunk, Ulysses burnt out, lest he should circumvent him and devour him, as he had done some of his companions.
POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL, an institution for teaching the practical arts and the related sciences, especially such as depend on mathematics.
POLYTHEISM, a belief in a plurality of gods each with a sphere of his own, and each in general a personification of some elemental power concerned in the government of the world.
POMBAL, MARQUIS DE, a great Portuguese statesman, born in Coimbra; was Prime Minister of Joseph I.; partial to the philosophic opinions of the 18th century, he set himself to fortify the royal power, to check that of the aristocracy, and to enlighten the people; he was the pronounced enemy of the Jesuits, reformed the University of Coimbra, purified the administration, encouraged commerce and industry, whereby he earned for himself at the hands of the people the name of the Great Marquis; on the accession of Maria, Joseph's daughter and successor, he was, under Jesuit influence, dispossessed of power, to die in poverty (1699-1782).
POMERANIA (1,521), a Prussian province lying between the Baltic and Brandenburg, with West Prussia on the E. and Mecklenburg on the W., is a flat and in some parts sandy country, with no hills, many lakes, and a large lagoon, the Stettiner Haff, into which the chief river, the Oder, falls; the islands of Wallin, Usedom, and Ruegen belong to the province; the main industry is agriculture, principal products rye and potatoes; poultry-rearing and fishing are extensively carried on; there are shipbuilding, machine-works, sugar and chemical factories; Stettin, the capital, and Stralsund are important trading centres; a university is at Greifswald; the Slavic population embraced Christianity in the 12th century; shortly afterwards the duke joined the German Empire; after the Thirty Years' War much of the province fell to Sweden, and the whole was not finally ceded to Prussia till 1815.
POMONA, or MAINLAND, the largest island in the Orkneys, has a low treeless surface, many lakes, and extensive pasture-land; agriculture has of late improved, and, with stock-raising and fishing, is the chief industry; the only towns are Kirkwall and Stromness.
POMONA, in the Roman mythology is the goddess of fruits, who presided over their ripening and in-gathering, and was generally represented bearing fruits in her lap or in a basket.
POMPADOUR, MARQUISE DE, a famous mistress of Louis XV., born in Paris; celebrated for her beauty and wit; throwing herself, though a married woman, in the king's way, she took his fancy, and was installed at Versailles; for 20 years exercised an influence both over him and the affairs of the kingdom, to the corruption and ruin of both, and the exasperation of the nation; she was preceded as mistress of Louis by La Chateroux, and succeeded by Du Barri (1721-1764).
POMPEII, an ancient Italian seaport on the Bay of Naples, fell into the possession of Rome about 80 B.C., and was converted into a watering-place and "the pleasure haunt of paganism"; the Romans erected many handsome public buildings, and their villas and theatres and baths were models of classic architecture and the scenes of unbounded luxury; the streets were narrow, provided with side-walks, the walls often decorated with painting or scribbled over by idle gamins; the number of shops witnesses to the fashion and gaiety of the town, the remains of painted notices to its municipal life; a terrible earthquake ruined it and drove out the inhabitants in A.D. 63; they returned and rebuilt it, however, in a tawdry and decadent style, and luxury and pleasure reigned as before till in A.D. 79 an eruption of Vesuvius buried everything in lava and ashes; the ruins were forgotten till accidentally discovered in 1748; since 1860 the city has been disinterred under the auspices of the Italian Government, and is now a favourite resort of tourists and archaeologists.
POMPEY, CNEIUS, surnamed the Great, Roman general and statesman; entered into public life after the death of Marius; associated himself with Sulla; distinguished himself in Africa and in the Mithridatic War; was raised to the consulate with Crassus in 71 B.C.; cleared the Mediterranean Sea of pirates in 67-66; formed against the Senate, along with Caesar and Crassus, the first triumvirate, and in 54 entered into rivalry with Caesar; after a desperate struggle he was defeated at Pharsalia, and escaping to Egypt, was assassinated there by orders of Ptolemy XII. (106-48 B.C.).
POMPEY'S PILLAR, a block of red granite near Alexandria, forming a pillar 98 ft. 3 in. high; erected in honour of the Emperor Diocletian, who conquered Alexandria in 296. The name is an invention of some mistaken early traveller.
PONCE DE LEON, Spanish navigator; conquered Porto Rico in 1510, and discovered Florida in 1512. Also the name of a Spanish poet; was a professor of Theology at Salamanca; was translator of the Song of Solomon, and wrote a commentary on it in Latin.
PONCHO, a kind of cloak or shawl, of woollen or alpaca cloth, oblong in shape, with a slit in the centre, through which the wearer passes his head, allowing the folds to cover his shoulders and arms to the elbows, and to fall down before and behind; worn by the native men in Chili and Argentina. Ponchos of waterproof are used by the United States cavalry.
PONDICHERRY (173), a small French colony on the E. coast of India, 53 m. S. of Madras; was first occupied in 1674. It was captured by the Dutch in 1693, and by the English successively in 1761, 1778, and 1793, but on each occasion restored. The capital, Pondicherry (41), is the capital of the French possessions in India; has handsome tree-lined streets, government buildings, college, lighthouse, cotton mills, and dye-works. The harbour is an open roadstead; trade is small, the chief export oil seeds.
PONDOS, a branch of Zulu-Kaffirs, 200,000 in number, occupying territory called Pondo Land, annexed to Cape Colony, in South Africa.
PONIATOWSKI, PRINCE JOSEPH, Polish general, born in Warsaw; commanded the Polish contingent that accompanied Napoleon in his expedition into Russia in 1812; was created Marshal of France on the field of Leipzig; covered the retreat of the French army, and was drowned crossing the Elster; his chivalrous bravery earned him the honourable appellation of the Polish Bayard; he was buried at Cracow, and his remains placed beside those of Sobieski and Kosciusko (1762-1813).
PONS ASINORUM (i. e. Bridge of Asses), the fifth proposition in the 1st book of Euclid, so called for the difficulty many a tyro has in mastering it.
PONSONBY, SIR FREDERICK CAVENDISH, military officer; served in the Peninsular War; distinguished himself at Waterloo; lay wounded all night after the engagement; was conveyed next day in a cart to the village with seven wounds in his body; was a great favourite with the army (1783-1837).
PONTEFRACT (16), an ancient market-town of Yorkshire, 13 m. SE. of Leeds; has a castle in which Richard II. died, and which suffered four sieges in the Civil War, a market hall, grammar school, and large market-gardens, where liquorice for the manufacture of Pomfret cakes is grown.
PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, the chief of the college of priests in ancient Rome, the officiating priests being called Flamens.
PONTIFICAL, a service-book of the Romish Church, containing prayers and rites for a performance of public worship by the Pope or bishop; also in the plural the name of the full dress of an officiating priest.
PONTINE MARSHES, a district, 26 m. by 17, in the S. of the Campagna of Rome, one of the three malarial districts of Italy, and the most unhealthy of the three, extending about 30 m. in length and 10 or 11 in varying breadth, is grazing ground for herds of cattle, horses, and buffaloes. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to drain these marshes.
PONTUS, the classical name of a country on the SE. shores of the Black Sea, stretching from the river Halys to the borders of Armenia; is represented by the modern Turkish provinces of Trebizond and Sivas. Originally a Persian province, it became independent shortly after 400 B.C., and remained so till part was annexed to Bithynia in 65 B.C., and the rest constituted a Roman province in A.D. 63.
POOLE (15), a seaport of Dorsetshire, 5 m. W. of Bournemouth; has a trade in potters' and pipe-clay, with considerable shipping.
POOLE, MATTHEW, English controversialist and commentator, born at York, educated at Cambridge; became rector of St. Michael le Querne in London, but was expelled from his living by the Act of Uniformity 1662; retiring to Holland he died at Amsterdam; besides polemics against Rome he compiled a "Synopsis Criticorum Biblicorum," containing the opinions of 150 Biblical critics (1624-1679).
POONA (160), 119 m. by rail SE. of Bombay, is the chief military station in the Deccan, and in the hot season the centre of government in the Bombay Presidency; with narrow streets and poor houses, it is surrounded by gardens; here are the Deccan College, College of Science, and other schools; the English quarters are in the cantonments; silk, cotton, and jewellery are manufactured; it was the capital of the Mahrattas, and was annexed by Britain in 1818.
POOR RICHARD, the name assumed by FRANKLIN (q. v.) in his almanacs.
POPE (i. e. Papa), a title originally given to all bishops of the Church, and eventually appropriated by Leo the Great, the bishop of Rome, as the supreme pontiff in 449, a claim which in 1054 created the Great Schism, and which asserted itself territorially as well as spiritually, till now at length the Pope has been compelled to resign all territorial power. The present Pope, Pius X., is the successor of 258 who occupied before him the Chair of St. Peter.
POPE, ALEXANDER, eminent English poet, born in London, of Roman Catholic parents; was a sickly child, and marred by deformity, and imperfectly educated; began to write verse at 12 in which he afterwards became such a master; his "Pastorals" appeared in 1709, "Essay on Criticism" in 1711, and "Rape of the Lock" in 1712, in the production of which he was brought into relationship with the leading literary men of the time, and in particular Swift, between whom and him a lifelong friendship was formed; in 1715-20 appeared his translation of the "Iliad," and in 1723-25 that of the "Odyssey," for which two works, it is believed, he received some L9000; afterwards, in 1728, appeared the "Dunciad," a scathing satire of all the small fry of poets and critics that had annoyed him, and in 1732 appeared the first part of the famous "Essay on Man"; he was a vain man, far from amiable, and sometimes vindictive to a degree, though he was capable of warm attachments, and many of his faults were due to a not unnatural sensitiveness as a deformed man; but as a poet he is entitled to the homage which Professor Saintsbury pays when he characterises him as "one of the greatest masters of poetic form that the world has ever seen" (1688-1744).