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948
CHARNWOOD FOREST—CHARRON

in the southern hemisphere; but they also, or rocks very similar to them, occur in Norway, France, Germany, Scotland and North America, though in these countries they have been mostly described as pyroxene granulites, pyroxene gneisses, anorthosites, &c. They are usually regarded as being of Archean age (pre-Cambrian), and in most cases this can be definitely proved, though not in all. It is astonishing to find that in spite of their great age their minerals are often in excellent preservation. In India they form the Nilgiri Hills, the Shevaroys and part of the Western Ghats, extending southward to Cape Comorin and reappearing in Ceylon. Although they are certainly for the most part igneous gneisses (or orthogneisses), rocks occur along with them, such as marbles, scapolite limestones, and corundum rocks, which were probably of sedimentary origin.  (J. S. F.) 


CHARNWOOD FOREST, an upland tract in the N.-W. of Leicestershire, England. It is undulating, rocky, picturesque, and in great part barren, though there are some extensive tracts of woodland; its elevation is generally 600 ft. and upwards, the area exceeding this height being about 6100 acres. The loftiest point, Bardon Hill, is 912 ft. On its western flank lies a coalfield, with Coalville and other mining towns, and granite and hone-stones are worked.


CHAROLLES, a town of east-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Saône-et-Loire, situated at the confluence of the Semence and the Arconce, 39 m. W.N.W. of Mâcon on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906) 3228. It has a sub-prefecture, tribunals of primary instance and commerce, and a communal college. There are stone quarries in the vicinity; the town manufactures pottery, and is the centre for trade in the famous breed of Charolais cattle and in agricultural products. The ruins of the castle of the counts of Charolais occupy the summit of a hill in the immediate vicinity of the town. Charolles was the capital of Charolais, an old division of France, which from the early 14th century gave the title of count to its possessors. In 1327 the countship passed by marriage to the house of Armagnac, and in 1390 it was sold to Philip of Burgundy. After the death of Charles the Bold, who in his youth had borne the title of count of Charolais, it was seized by Louis XI. of France, but in 1493 it was ceded by Charles VIII. to Maximilian of Austria, the representative of the Burgundian family. Ultimately passing to the Spanish kings, it became for a considerable period an object of dispute between France and Spain, until at length in 1684 it was assigned to the great Condé, a creditor of the king of Spain. It was united to the French crown in 1771.


CHARON, in Greek mythology, the son of Erebus and Nyx (Night). It was his duty to ferry over the Styx (or Acheron) those souls of the deceased who had duly received the rites of burial, in payment for which service he received an obol, which was placed in the mouth of the corpse. It was only exceptionally that he carried living passengers (Aeneid, vi. 295 ff). As ferryman of the dead he is not mentioned in Homer or Hesiod, and in this character is probably of Egyptian origin. He is represented as a morose and grisly old man in a black sailor’s cape. By the Etruscans he was also supposed to be a kind of executioner of the powers of the nether world, who, armed with an enormous hammer, was associated with Mars in the slaughter of battle. Finally he came to be regarded as the image of death and the world below. As such he survives in the Charos or Charontas of the modern Greeks—a black bird which darts down upon its prey, or a winged horseman who fastens his victims to the saddle and bears them away to the realms of the dead.

See J. A. Ambrosch, De Charonte Etrusco (1837), a learned and exhaustive monograph; B. Schmidt, Volksleben der Neugriechen (1871), i. 222-251; O. Waser, Charon, Charun, Charos, mythologisch-archaologische Monographie (1898); S. Rocco, “Sull’ origine del Mito di Caronte,” in Rivista di storia antica, ii. (1897), who considers Charon to be an old name for the sun-god Helios embarking during the night for the East.


CHARONDAS, a celebrated lawgiver of Catina in Sicily. His date is uncertain. Some make him a pupil of Pythagoras (c. 580–504 B.C.); but all that can be said is that he was earlier than Anaxilaus of Rhegium (494–476), since his laws were in use amongst the Rhegians until they were abolished by that tyrant. His laws, originally written in verse, were adopted by the other Chalcidic colonies in Sicily and Italy. According to Aristotle there was nothing special about these laws, except that Charondas introduced actions for perjury; but he speaks highly of the precision with which they were drawn up (Politics, ii. 12). The story that Charondas killed himself because he entered the public assembly wearing a sword, which was a violation of his own law, is also told of Diocles and Zaleucus (Diod. Sic. xii. 11-19). The fragments of laws attributed to him by Stobaeus and Diodorus are of late (neo-Pythagorean) origin.

See Bentley, On Phalaris, which (according to B. Niese s.v. in Pauly, Realencyclopadie) contains what is even now the best account of Charondas; A. Holm, Geschichte Siciliens, i.; F. D. Gerlach, Zaleukos, Charondas, und Pythagoras (1858); also art. Greek Law.


CHARPENTIER, FRANÇOIS (1620–1702), French archaeologist and man of letters, was born in Paris on the 15th of February 1620. He was intended for the bar, but was employed by Colbert, who had determined on the foundation of a French East India Company, to draw up an explanatory account of the project for Louis XIV. Charpentier regarded as absurd the use of Latin in monumental inscriptions, and to him was entrusted the task of supplying the paintings of Lebrun in the Versailles Gallery with appropriate legends. His verses were so indifferent that they had to be replaced by others, the work of Racine and Boileau, both enemies of his. Charpentier in his Excellence de la langue française (1683) had anticipated Perrault in the famous academical dispute concerning the relative merit of the ancients and moderns. He is credited with a share in the production of the magnificent series of medals that commemorate the principal events of the age of Louis XIV. Charpentier, who was long in receipt of a pension of 1200 livres from Colbert, was erudite and ingenious, but he was always heavy and commonplace. His other works include a Vie de Socrate (1650), a translation of the Cyropaedia of Xenophon (1658), and the Traité de la peinture parlante (1684).


CHAHRIÈRE, AGNES ISABELLE EMILIE DE (1740–1805), Swiss author, was Dutch by birth, her maiden name being van Tuyll van Seeroskerken van Zuylen. She married in 1771 her brother’s tutor, M. de Charrière, and settled with him at Colombier, near Lausanne. She made her name by the publication of her Lettres neuchâteloises (Amsterdam, 1784), offering a simple and attractive picture of French manners. This, with Caliste, ou lettres écrites de Lausanne (2 vols. Geneva, 1785–1788), was analysed and highly praised by Sainte-Beuve in his Portraits de femmes and in vol. in of his Portraits littéraires. She wrote a number of other novels, and some political tracts; but is perhaps best remembered by her liaison with Benjamin Constant between 1787 and 1796.

Her letters to Constant were printed in the Revue suisse (April 1844), her Lettres-Mémoires by E. H. Gaullieur in the same review in 1857, and all the available material is utilized in a monograph on her and her work by P. Godet, Madame de Charrière et ses amis (2 vols., Geneva, 1906).


CHARRON, PIERRE (1541–1603), French philosopher, born in Paris, was one of the twenty-five children of a bookseller. After studying law he practised at Paris as an advocate, but, having met with no great success, entered the church, and soon gained the highest popularity as a preacher, rising to the dignity of canon, and being appointed preacher in ordinary to Marguerite, wife of Henry IV. of Navarre. About 1588, he determined to fulfil a vow which he had once made to enter a cloister; but being rejected by the Carthusians and the Celestines, he held himself absolved, and continued to follow his old profession. He delivered a course of sermons at Angers, and in the next year passed to Bordeaux, where he formed a famous friendship with Montaigne. At the death of Montaigne, in 1592, Charron was requested in his will to bear the Montaigne arms.

In 1594 Charron published (at first anonymously, afterwards under the name of “Benoit Vaillant, Advocate of the Holy Faith,” and also, in 1594, in his own name) Les Trois Verités, in which by methodical and orthodox arguments, he seeks to prove that there is a God and a true religion, that the true religion is the Christian, and that the true church is the Roman Catholic.