Meun (or MErNc), Jean Ci.opin-ei, de, French port, b. c. 1260 in tho little city of Mrunp-sur- Loire; il. ut Paris between ISO") ami \:V20. Ho took the name of his native city, but received from his contemporaries the nickname C'lopinel (clopincr, to limii) he<'aiise he was lame. 8uch nicknames were very coinmoii in the Middle Ages and were used in lieu of patronymics, the custom of whicli was not yet established. Jean de Ah'un's social condition has been a much debated ciuestion. It seems certain to-day that he was born of well-to-do parents, received a very good education, and, about KiOO, was a wealthy burgess of Paris, a steady and pious man who enjoyed the esteem of his fellow citizens and the friendship of many a noble lord. He translated the "De re niilitari" of Vegetius, the "De consolatione philo-sophia-" of Boethius and com- posed in French verses a Testament in which he re- proves women and the friars. His fame rests on a work of his earlier years, the completion of the "Ro- man de la Rose, which had been left unfinished by Guillamne de Lorris. As it stood, the latter's work wa-s a sort of didactic poem in which he used allegori- cal characters to describe the forms, the phases, and the progress of love. His aim seemed to have been to compose a treatise on the art of loving for the use of the noble lords and ladies of the thirteenth century. "To the 4669 verses of his predecessor, Jean de Meun added more than 18,000 and made the poem a sort of cyclopedia of all the knowledge of the time. He quoted, translated, and imitated all the writers then known: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Augus- tine, Juvenal, Li\'>', Abelard, Roger Bacon. Of the 18,000 verses which he has written, it has been possi- ble to assign 12,000 to their authors. All the charac- ters became so many pedants who discoursed on all sorts of topics, however remote they might be from the subject: the origin of the state, the origin of the royal power, instinct, justice, the nature of evil, marriage, property, the conflict between the regular and the secu- lar clergy, between the friars and the university, etc. The book is full of attacks on all classes and duties of society: the magistrates, the soldiers, the nobles, the monks, tithes, feuflal rights, property. De Meun's talent is vigorous, but his style is often cynical and re- minds the reader of the worst pages of Rabelais.
Paris. Jean de Meun in Hist. liUrraire de la France. XXVIII (Paris, 1888), .•)91^29; Qoicherat, Jean de Meun el sa Maison a Paris in Bihl. de I'erole des chartes (Paris, 1860); Langlois, Oriffinea et sources du Roman de la Rose (Paris, 1890).
Mexico. — Geography. — The Republic of Mexico is sitiiated at the extreme point of the North American continent, bounded on the north by the United States, on the east by the fiulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, British Honduras, and Guatemala, and on the south and west by the I'acific Ocean. It comprises an area of 767,00.5 square miles, with a population of 13,- 604,000, of whom 2,062,000 are whites or Creoles, 7,380,000 half-breeds or mestizos, 4,082,000 Indians, and about 80,000 negroes. Among the whites there are approximately 60,000 foreigners, the greater num- ber being North Americans, Central Americans, Spaniards, French, Italians, etc. The form of govern- ment is republican; its head is a president, who is elected every si.x years; the legislature consists of two bodies, .senate and chamber of deputies; and there is a supreme court. The republic is composed of twenty- seven .states, three territories, and a federal district. The territory of Quintana Roo, created in 1902, was a part of the State of Yucatan. The names of the states, with |)opulation, area in square miles, capitals and numberofj)eople, are given in the accompanying table.
The C'ordillera of the Andes which crosses the nar- row i.sthmus that unites the Americas, branches out into two ranges when it reaches the peak of Zempoal- tepec over (10,000 feet), in (he State of Oaxaca; the eastern branch terminates at the Rio Bravo (or Rio
Grande), in the State of Coahuila, and the western branch extends through the States of Chihuahua and Sonora iuid merges into the Rocky Mountain system in the United ."states. In the Mexican territory the two ranges are so closely vmited as to form almost a
S. Luis Potosi
San Luis Potosi
San Juan Bautista
Ter. of Tepic
Santa Cruz de
compact whole, occupying nearly all the region from ocean to ocean, forming the vast tablelands that ex- tend from Oaxaca to Chihuahua and Coahuila, and leaving but a narrow strip of land along the coast line. On the eastern coast the land slopes almost impercepti- bly to the Gulf, whereas on the western the descent is sharp and abrupt. This accounts for the few good ports on the Gulf side, and the abundance of harbours and sheltered bays on the Pacific shore. The highest peaks of these vast moimtain ranges are: Popocatepetl (17,800 feet), Citlaltepetl, or Peak of Orizaba (17,000 feet), Ixtacihuatl ( Ifi.lOO feet). To this physical con- figuration of the land, the absence in Mexico of any wat^r systems of importance, is to be attributed. The principal rivers, none of which carries a great volume of water, are the Bravo, Panuco, and Grijal va, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mexcala, Santiago, Mayo, and Yaqui, emptying into the Pacific. Very few islands are to be found on the eastern coast of Mexico, quite unlike the Pacific shore, which along the coast of the peninsula of Lower California is dotted with small islands. The four seasons of the year, common to most countries, are unknown in Mexico, owing to the entirely different climatic conditions. Common usage has divided the year into two distinct seasons, the rainy and the dry season, the former extending from May to October. During this entire time there are daily showers, which not infrequently are heavy downpours. The other six months are dry, not a drop of rain falling, at least on the tablelands. The climate of the coast regions is always very warm, while that of the tablelands is temperate. The phenom- enon of frost in December and January on the table- lands of Mexico, Puebla, and Toluca, situated at an altitude of more than 6000 feet above the sea level, is due not so much to extremes of climate as to the rarity of the air causing a rapid condensation of the vapours. Many of the native races which inhabited Mexico at the time of the Conquest are still in existence ; the principal ones are: the Mexicana, Aztaca, or Nahoa, in the .States of Mexico, Morelos, Jalisco; the Tarasca, or Michoacana, in the State of Michoacan; the Otoml in San Luis Potosf, in Guanajuato and Queretaro; the Opata-Pima, in Sonora, Chihauhua, and Durango; the