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BANANA—BANAT

emperor or king himself, but as the Empire became more German, and its administration less personal, it was entrusted to the imperial aulic council (Reichshofrat), and to the imperial court of justice or imperial chamber (Reichskammergericht). These courts were deprived of this power in 1711, retaining only the right of suggesting its use. The imperial ban had, however, been used for the last time in 1706, when Maximilian Emanuel, elector of Bavaria, was placed under it.

There are many other uses of the word in the sense of a prohibition. In earlier French law the ban of wine or bannum vini, was the exclusive right of a lord to sell wine during a stated number of days, and the ban of March and April forbade the pasturing of cattle in certain fields during these months. There were also other similar uses dating from feudal times. In modern French law the phrase rupture de ban described, previous to 1885, the departure without notice of any released criminal living under the special surveillance of the police. The French government still retains the rights of appointing an obligatory place of residence for any criminal, and any escape from this place is a rupture de ban. A Scandinavian use of the word gives it the sense of a curse. This usage mingling with the use which spiritual lords shared with temporal lords of issuing the ban over their dependents, has become in a special sense ecclesiastical, and the sentence of excommunication is frequently referred to as "under the papal ban." The word is also used in this way by Shakespeare and Milton. The modern English use of the phrase "under the ban" refers to any line of conduct condemned by custom or public opinion. In its earlier and general sense as a proclamation, the ban may be said to have been suspended by the writ. The word, however, survives in the sense of a proclamation in the "banns of marriage" (q.v.).

The Persian word ban, meaning lord or master, was brought into Europe by the Avars. It was long used in many parts of south-eastern Europe, especially in southern Hungary, to denote the governors of military districts called banats, and is almost equivalent to the German margrave. After enjoying very extensive powers the bans were gradually reduced, both in numbers and importance. Since 1868, however, the governor of Croatia and Slavonia has been known as the ban of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, but his duties are civil and not military. He is appointed by the emperor of Austria, as king of Hungary, and has a seat in the upper house of the Hungarian parliament.

See Du Cange, Glossarium, tome i. (Niort, 1883); H. Brunner, Grundzüge der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte (Leipzig, 1901); E. P. Boutaric, Institutions militaires de la France (Paris, 1863); Père G. Daniel, Histoire de la milice française (Paris, 1721).

BANANA, a gigantic herbaceous plant belonging to the genus Musa (nat. ord. Musaceae). It is perennial, sending up from an underground root-stock an apparent stem 15 or 20 ft. high, consisting of the closely-enveloped leaf-sheaths, the corresponding blades, each sometimes 10 ft. in length, forming a spreading crown. A true stem develops at the flowering period; it grows up through the hollow tube formed by the sheaths, emerges above and bears a large number of inconspicuous tubular flowers closely crowded in the axils of large, often brightly-coloured, protecting bracts. The fruits form dense clusters.

Banana 1.png
Banana (Musa sapientum).

The genus Musa contains about 40 species, widely distributed throughout the tropics of the Old World, and in some cases introduced into the New World. In many parts of the tropics they are as important to the inhabitants as are the grain plants to those living in cooler regions. They are most successfully cultivated in a hot, damp, tropical climate. The northern limit of their cultivation (usually Musa Cavendishii) is reached in Florida, south of 29° lat., the Canary Islands, Egypt and south Japan, the southern limit in Natal and south Brazil. There has been considerable discussion as to whether the banana was growing in America before the discovery of the New World. It has been suggested that it may have been carried by ocean currents or in some earlier intercourse between the Old and New Worlds. The evidence, however, of its existence in America at the time of the discovery of the new continent is not very definite. The unripe fruit is rich in starch, which in ripening changes into sugar. The most generally used fruits are derived from Musa paradisiaca, of which an enormous number of varieties and forms exist in cultivation. The sub-species sapientum (formerly regarded as a distinct species M. sapientum) is the source of the fruits generally known in England as bananas, and eaten raw, while the name plantain is given to forms of the species itself M. paradisiaca, which require cooking. The species is probably a native of India and southern Asia. Other species which are used as fruits are M. acuminata in the Malay Archipelago, M. Fehi in Tahiti, and M. Cavendishii, the so-called Chinese banana, in cooler countries; the fruit of the last-named has a thinner rind and a delicate, fragrant flesh. The species, the fruits of which require cooking, are of much greater importance as an article of food. These often reach a considerable size; forms are known in East Africa which attain nearly 2 ft. in length with the thickness of a man's arm. A form of M. corniculata, from Cochin China and the Malay Archipelago, produces only a single fruit, which, however, affords an adequate meal for three men. The hardly-ripe fruit is stewed whole or cut in slices and roasted or baked.

Banana-meal is an important food-stuff; the fruit is peeled and cut in strips, which are then dried and pounded in a mortar. In East Africa and elsewhere, an intoxicating drink is prepared from the fruit. The root-stock which bears the leaves is, just before the flowering period, soft and full of starch, and is sometimes used as food, as in the case of the Abyssinian species, M. Ensete.

The leaves cut in strips are plaited to form mats and bags; they are also largely used for packing and the finer ones for cigarette papers. Several species yield a valuable fibre, the best of which is "Manila hemp" (q.v.) from M. textilis.

The following is the composition of the flour, according to Hutchison: water, 13%; proteid, 4%; fat, 0.5%; carbohydrates, 80%; salts, 2.5%. It would require about eighty bananas of average size to yield the amount of energy required daily, and about double that number to yield the necessary amount of proteid. Hence the undue abdominal development of those who live mainly on this article of diet (Hutchison). In recent years the cultivation of the banana in Jamaica for the American and also for the English market has been greatly developed.

BANAS, or Bunas, the name of three rivers of India. (1) A river of Rajputana, which rises in the Aravalli range in Udaipur, drains the Udaipur valley, and after a course of 300 m. flows into the Chambal. (2) A river of the Shahabad district of Bengal, which forms the drainage channel between the Arrah canal and the Sone canals system, and finally falls into the Gangi nadi. (3) A river of Chota Nagpur in Bengal, which rises in the state of Chang Bhakar and falls into the Sone near Rampur.

BANAT (Hungarian Bánság), a district in the south-east of Hungary, consisting of the counties of Torontál, Temes and Krasso-Szörény. The term, in Hungarian, means generally a frontier province governed by a ban and is equivalent to the German term Mark. There were in Hungary several banats, which disappeared during the Turkish wars, as the banat of Dalmatia, of Slavonia, of Bosnia and of Croatia. But when the word is used without any other qualification, it indicates the Temesvár banat, which strangely acquired this title after the peace of Passarowitz (1718), though it was never governed by a ban. The Banat is bounded E. by the Transylvanian Alps, S. by the Danube, W. by the Theiss and N. by the Maros, and has an