upon its construction, and, on the other, upon the energy supplied to it; and to speak of “vitality” as anything but the name of a series of operations is as if one should talk of the “horologity” of a clock.
Living matter, or protoplasm and the products of its metamorphosis, Classification of the phenomena of life. may be regarded under four aspects:—
1. It has a certain external and internal form, the latter being more usually called structure;
2. It occupies a certain position in space and in time;
3. It is the subject of the operation of certain forces in virtue of which it undergoes internal changes, modifies external objects, and is modified by them; and
4. Its form, place and powers are the effects of certain causes.
In correspondence with these four aspects of its subject, biology is logically divisible into four chief subdivisions—I. Morphology; II. Distribution; III. Physiology; IV. Aetiology.
Various accidental circumstances, however, have brought it about that the actual distribution of scientific work does not correspond with the logical subdivisions of biology. The difference in technical methods and the historical evolution of teaching posts (for in all civilized countries the progress of biological knowledge has been very closely associated with the existence of institutions for the diffusion of knowledge and for professional education) have been the chief contributory causes to this practical confusion. Details of the morphology of plants will be found in the articles relating to the chief groups of plants, those of animals in the corresponding articles on groups of animals, while the classification of animals adopted in this work will be found in the article Zoology. Distribution is treated of under Zoological Distribution, Plankton, Palaeontology and Plants: Distribution. Physiology and its allied articles deal with the subject generally and in relation to man, while the special physiology of plants is dealt with in a section of the article Plants. Aetiology is treated of under the heading Evolution. But practical necessity has given rise to the existence of many other divisions; see Cytology, for the structure of cells; Embryology, for the development of individual organisms; Heredity and Reproduction, for the relations between parents and offspring. (T. H. H.; P. C. M.)
BION, Greek bucolic poet, was born at Phlossa near Smyrna, and flourished about 100 B.C. The account formerly given of him, that he was the contemporary and imitator of Theocritus, the friend and tutor of Moschus, and lived about 280 B.C., is now generally regarded as incorrect. W. Stein (De Moschi et Bionis aetate, Tübingen, 1893) puts Bion, chiefly on metrical grounds, in the first half of the 1st century B.C. Nothing is known of him except that he lived in Sicily. The story that he died of poison, administered to him by some jealous rivals, who afterwards suffered the penalty of their crime, is probably only an invention of the author of the Ἐπιτάφιος Βίωνος (see Moschus). Although his poems are included in the general class of bucolic poetry, the remains show little of the vigour and truthfulness to nature characteristic of Theocritus. They breathe an exaggerated sentimentality, and show traces of the overstrained reflection frequently observable in later developments of pastoral poetry. The longest and best of them is the Lament for Adonis (Ἐπιτάφιος Ἀδώνιδος). It refers to the first day of the festival of Adonis (q.v.), on which the death of the favourite of Aphrodite was lamented, thus forming an introduction to the Adoniazusae of Theocritus, the subject of which is the second day, when the reunion of Adonis and Aphrodite was celebrated. Fragments of his other pieces are preserved in Stobaeus; the epithalamium of Achilles and Deidameia is not his.
Bion and Moschus have been edited separately by G. Hermann (1849) and C. Ziegler (Tübingen, 1869), the Epitaphios Adonidos by H. L. Ahrens (1854) and E. Hiller in Beiträge zur Textegeschichte der griechischen Bukoliker (1888). Bion’s poems are generally included in the editions of Theocritus. There are English translations by J. Banks (1853) in Bohn’s Classical Library, and by Andrew Long (1889), with Theocritus and Moschus; there is an edition of the text by U. Wilamowitz-Möllendorff in the Oxford Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca (1905). On the date of Bion see F. Bücheler in Rheinisches Museum, xxx. (1875), pp. 33-41; also G. Knaack in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, s.v.; and F. Susemihl, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur in der Alexandrinerzeit, i. (1891), p. 233.
BION, of Borysthenes (Olbia), in Sarmatia, Greek moralist and philosopher, flourished in the first half of the 3rd century B.C. He was of low origin, his mother being a courtesan and his father a dealer in salt fish, with which he combined the occupation of smuggling. Bion, when a young man, was sold as a slave to a rhetorician, who gave him his freedom and made him his heir. After the death of his patron, Bion went to Athens to study philosophy. Here he attached himself in succession to the Academy, the Cynics, the Cyrenaics and the Peripatetics. One of his teachers was the Cyrenaic Theodorus, called “the atheist,” whose influence is clearly shown in Bion’s attitude towards the gods. After the manner of the sophists of the period, Bion travelled through Greece and Macedonia, and was admitted to the literary circle at the court of Antigonus Gonatas. He subsequently taught philosophy at Rhodes and died at Chalcis in Euboea. His life was written by Diogenes Laertius. Bion was essentially a popular writer, and in his Diatribae he satirized the follies of mankind in a manner calculated to appeal to the sympathies of a low-class audience. While eulogizing poverty and philosophy, he attacked the gods, musicians, geometricians, astrologers, and the wealthy, and denied the efficacy of prayer. His influence is distinctly traceable in succeeding writers, e.g. in the satires of Menippus. Horace (Epistles, ii. 2. 60) alludes to his satires and caustic wit (sal nigrum). An idea of his writings can be gathered from the fragments of Teles, a cynic philosopher who lived towards the end of the 3rd century, and who made great use of them. Specimens of his apophthegms may be found in Diogenes Laertius and the florilegium of Stobaeus, while there are traces of his influence in Seneca.
See Hoogvliet, De Vita, Doctrina, et Scriptis Bionis (1821); Rossignol, Fragmenta Bionis Borysthenitae (1830); Heinze, De Horatio Bionis Imitatore (1889).
BIOT, JEAN BAPTISTE (1774–1862), French physicist, was born at Paris on the 21st of April 1774. After serving for a short time in the artillery, he was appointed in 1797 professor of mathematics at Beauvais, and in 1800 he became professor of physics at the Collège de France, through the influence of Laplace, from whom he had sought and obtained the favour of reading the proof sheets of the Mécanique céleste. Three years later, at an unusually early age, he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences, and in 1804 he accompanied Gay Lussac on the first balloon ascent undertaken for scientific purposes. In 1806 he was associated with F. J. D. Arago, with whom he had already carried out investigations on the refractive properties of different gases, in the measurement of an arc of the meridian in Spain, and in subsequent years he was engaged in various other geodetic determinations. In 1814 he was made chevalier and in 1849 commander, of the Legion of Honour. He failed in his ambition of becoming perpetual secretary of the Academy of Sciences, but was somewhat consoled by his election as a member of the French Academy in 1856. He died in Paris on the 3rd of February 1862. His researches extended to almost every branch of physical science, but his most important work was of an optical character. He was especially interested in questions relating to the polarization of light, and his observations in this field, which gained him the Rumford medal of the Royal Society in 1840, laid the foundations of the polarimetric analysis of sugar.
Biot was an extremely prolific writer, and besides a great number of scientific memoirs, biographies, &c., his published works include: Analyse de la mécanique céleste de M. Laplace (1801); Traité analytique des courbes et des surfaces du second degré (1802); Recherches sur l’intégration des équations différentielles partielles et sur les vibrations des surfaces (1803); Traité de physique (1816); Recueil d’observations géodésiques, astronomiques et physiques exécutées en Espagne et Écosse, with Arago (1821); Mémoire sur la vraie constitution de l’atmosphère terrestre (1841); Traité élementaire d’astronomie physique (1805); Recherches sur