squadron under Sir Charles Knowles. They had a naval force under Admiral Regio at Havana. Each side was at once anxious to cover its own trade, and to intercept that of the other. Capture was rendered particularly desirable to the British by the fact that the Spanish homeward-bound convoy would be laden with the bullion sent from the American mines. In the course of the movement of each to protect its trade, the two squadrons met on the 1st of October 1748 in the Bahama Channel. The action was indecisive when compared with the successes of British fleets in later days, but the advantage lay with Sir Charles Knowles. He was prevented from following it up by the speedy receipt of the news that peace had been made in Europe by the powers, who were all in various degrees exhausted. That it was arranged on the terms of a mutual restoration of conquests shows that none of the combatants could claim to have established a final superiority. The conquests of the French in the Bay of Bengal, and their military successes in Flanders, enabled them to treat on equal terms, and nothing had been taken from Spain.
The war was remarkable for the prominence of privateering on both sides. It was carried on by the Spaniards in the West Indies with great success, and actively at home. The French were no less active in all seas. Mahé de la Bourdonnais's attack on Madras partook largely of the nature of a privateering venture. The British retaliated with vigour. The total number of captures by French and Spanish corsairs was in all probability larger than the list of British—partly for the reason given by Voltaire, namely, that more British merchants were taken because there were many more British merchant ships to take, but partly also because the British government had not yet begun to enforce the use of convoy so strictly as it did in later times.
AUTHENTIC (from Gr. αὐθέντης, one who does a thing himself), genuine, as opposed to counterfeit, true or original. In music it is one of the terms used for the ecclesiastical modes. The title of Authentics was also used for Justinian's Novells.
AUTOCEPHALOUS (from Gr. αὐτός, self, and κεφαλή head), of independent headship, a term used of certain ecclesiastical functionaries and organizations.
AUTOCHTHONES (Gr. αὐτός, and χθών, earth, i.e. people sprung from earth itself; Lat. terrigenae; see also under Aborigines), the original inhabitants of a country as opposed to settlers, and those of their descendants who kept themselves free from an admixture of foreign peoples. The practice in ancient Greece of describing legendary heroes and men of ancient lineage as “earthborn” greatly strengthened the doctrine of autochthony; for instance, the Athenians wore golden grasshoppers in their hair in token that they were born from the soil and had always lived in Attica (Thucydides i. 6; Plato, Menexenus, 245). In Thebes, the race of Sparti were believed to have sprung from a field sown with dragons' teeth. The Phrygian Corybantes had been forced out of the hill-side like trees by Rhea, the great mother, and hence were called δενδροφυεῖς. It is clear from Aeschylus (Prometheus, 447) that primitive men were supposed to have at first lived like animals in caves and woods, till by the help of the gods and heroes they were raised to a stage of civilization.
AUTOCLAVE, a strong closed vessel of metal in which liquids can be heated above their boiling points under pressure. Etymologically the word indicates a self-closing vessel (αὐτός, self, and clavis, key, or clavus, nail), in which the tightness of the joints is maintained by the internal pressure, but this characteristic is frequently wanting in the actual apparatus to which the name is applied. The prototype of the autoclave was the digester of Denis Papin, invented in 1681, which is still used in cooking, but the appliance finds a much wider range of employment in chemical industry, where it is utilized in various forms in the manufacture of candles, coal-tar colours, &c. Frequently an agitator, passing through a stuffing-box, is fitted so that the contents may be stirred, and renewable linings are provided in cases where the substances under treatment exert a corrosive action on metal.
AUTOCRACY (Gr. αὐτοκράτεια, absolute power), a term applied to that form of government which is absolute or irresponsible, and vested in one single person. It is a type of government usually found amongst eastern peoples; amongst more civilized nations the only example is that of Russia, where the sovereign assumes as a title “the autocrat of all the Russias.”
AUTO-DA-FÉ, more correctly Auto-de-fé (act of faith), the name of the ceremony during the course of which the sentences of the Spanish inquisition were read and executed. The auto-da-fé was almost identical with the sermo generalis of the medieval inquisition. It never took place on a feast day of the church, but on some famous anniversary: the accession of a Spanish monarch, his marriage, the birth of an infant, &c. It was public: the king, the royal family, the grand councils of the kingdom, the court and the people being present. The ceremony comprised a procession in which the members of the Holy Office, with its familiars and agents, the condemned persons and the penitents took part; a solemn mass; an oath of obedience to the inquisition, taken by the king and all the lay functionaries; a sermon by the Grand Inquisitor; and the reading of the sentences, either of condemnation or acquittal, delivered by the Holy Office. The handing over of impenitent persons, and those who had relapsed, to the secular power, and their punishment, did not usually take place on the occasion of an auto-da-fé, properly so called. Sometimes those who were condemned to the flames were burned on the night following the ceremony. The first great auto-da-fés were celebrated when Thomas de Torquemada, was at the head of the Spanish inquisition (Seville 1482, Toledo 1486, &c.). The last, subsequent to the time of Charles III., were held in secret; moreover, they dealt with only a very small number of sentences, of which hardly any were capital. The isolated cases of the torturing of a revolutionary priest in Mexico in 1816, and of a relapsed Jew and of a Quaker in Spain during 1826, cannot really be considered as auto-da-fés. (P. A.)
AUTOGAMY (from Gr. αὐτός, self, and γαμία, marriage), a botanical term for self-fertilization. (See Angiosperms.)
AUTOGENY, AUTOGENOUS (Gr. αὐτογενής), spontaneous generation, self-produced. Haeckel distinguished autogeny and plasmogeny, applying the former term when the formative fluid in which the first living matter was supposed to arise was inorganic and the latter when it was organic, i.e. contained the requisite fundamental substances dissolved in the form of complicated and fluid combinations of carbon. In “autogenous soldering” two pieces of metal are united by the melting of the opposing surfaces, without the use of a separate fusible alloy or solder as a cementing material.
AUTOGRAPHS. Autograph (Gr. αὐτός, self, γράφειν, to write) is a term applied by common usage either to a document signed by the person from whom it emanates, or to one written entirely by the hand of such person (which, however, is also more technically described as holograph, from ὅλος, entire, γράφειν, to write), or simply to an independent signature.
The existence of autographs must necessarily have been coeval with the invention of letters. Documents in the handwriting of their composers may possibly exist among the early papyri of Egypt and the clay tablets of Babylonia and Assyria, and among the early examples of writing in the East. But the oriental practice of employing professional scribes in writing the body of documents and of using seals for the purpose of “signing” (the “signum” originally meaning the impression of the seal) almost precludes the idea. When we are told (1 Kings xxi. 8) that Jezebel wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, we are, of course, to understand that the letters were written by the professional scribes and that the impression of the king's seal was the authentication, equivalent to the signature of western nations; and again, when King Darius “signed” the writing and the decree (Dan. vi. 9), he did so with his seal. To find documents which we can