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COLURE—COMA

ten diameters in height. Except in rare cases, the columns of the Romanesque and Gothic styles were of equal diameter at top and bottom, and had no definite dimensions as regards diameter and height. They were also grouped together round piers which are known as clustered piers. When of exceptional size, as in Gloucester and Durham cathedrals, Waltham Abbey and Tewkesbury, they are generally called “pillars,” which was apparently the medieval term for column. The word columna, employed by Vitruvius, was introduced into England by the Italian writers of the Revival.

In the Renaissance period columns were frequently banded, the bands being concentric with the column as in France, and occasionally richly carved as in Philibert De L’Orme’s work at the Tuileries. In England Inigo Jones introduced similar features, but with square blocks sometimes rusticated, a custom lately revived in England, but of which there are few examples either in Italy or Spain.

The word “column” is used, by analogy with architecture, for any upright body or mass, in chemistry, anatomy, typography, &c.  (R. P. S.) 


COLURE (from Gr. κόλος, shortened, and οὐρά, tail), in astronomy, either of the two principal meridians of the celestial sphere, one of which passes through the poles and the two solstices, the other through the poles and the two equinoxes; hence designated as solstitial colure and equinoxial colure, respectively.


COLUTHUS, or Colluthus, of Lycopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid, Greek epic poet, flourished during the reign of Anastasius I. (491–518). According to Suidas, he was the author of Calydoniaca (probably an account of the Calydonian boar hunt), Persica (an account of the Persian wars), and Encomia (laudatory poems). These are all lost, but his poem in some 400 hexameters on The Rape of Helen (Άρπαγὴ Έλένης) is still extant, having been discovered by Cardinal Bessarion in Calabria. The poem is dull and tasteless, devoid of imagination, a poor imitation of Homer, and has little to recommend it except its harmonious versification, based upon the technical rules of Nonnus. It related the history of Paris and Helen from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis down to the elopement and arrival at Troy.

The best editions are by Van Lennep (1747), G. F. Schäfer (1825), E. Abel (1880).


COLVILLE, JOHN (c. 1540–1605), Scottish divine and author, was the son of Robert Colville of Cleish, in the county of Kinross. Educated at St Andrews University, he became a Presbyterian minister, but occupied himself chiefly with political intrigue, sending secret information to the English government concerning Scottish affairs. He joined the party of the earl of Gowrie, and took part in the Raid of Ruthven in 1582. In 1587 he for a short time occupied a seat on the judicial bench, and was commissioner for Stirling in the Scottish parliament. In December 1591 he was implicated in the earl of Bothwell’s attack on Holyrood Palace, and was outlawed with the earl. He retired abroad, and is said to have joined the Roman Church. He died in Paris in 1605. Colville was the author of several works, including an Oratio Funebris on Queen Elizabeth, and some political and religious controversial essays. He is said to be the author also of The Historie and Life of King James the Sext (edited by T. Thompson for the Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1825).

Colville’s Original Letters, 1582–1603, published by the Bannatyne Club in 1858, contains a biographical memoir by the editor, David Laing.


COLVIN, JOHN RUSSELL (1807–1857), lieutenant-governor of the North-West Provinces of India during the mutiny of 1857, belonged to an Anglo-Indian family of Scottish descent, and was born in Calcutta on the 29th of May 1807. Passing through Haileybury he entered the service of the East India Company in 1826. In 1836 he became private secretary to Lord Auckland, and his influence over the viceroy has been held partly responsible for the first Afghan war of 1837; but it has since been shown that Lord Auckland’s policy was dictated by the secret committee of the company at home. In 1853 Mr Colvin was appointed lieutenant-governor of the North-West Provinces by Lord Dalhousie. On the outbreak of the mutiny in 1857 he had with him at Agra only a weak British regiment and a native battery, too small a force to make head against the mutineers; and a proclamation which he issued to the natives was censured at the time for its clemency, but it followed the same lines as those adopted by Sir Henry Lawrence and subsequently followed by Lord Canning. Exhausted by anxiety and misrepresentation he died on the 9th of September, his death shortly preceding the fall of Delhi.

His son, Sir Auckland Colvin (1838–1908), followed him in a distinguished career in the same service, from 1858 to 1879. He was comptroller-general in Egypt (1880 to 1882), and financial adviser to the khedive (1883 to 1887), and from 1883 till 1892 was back again in India, first as financial member of council, and then, from 1887, as lieutenant-governor of the North-West Provinces and Oudh. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1881, and K.C.S.I. in 1892, when he retired. He published The Making of Modern Egypt in 1906, and a biography of his father, in the “Rulers of India” series, in 1895. He died at Surbiton on the 24th of March 1908.


COLVIN, SIDNEY (1845–), English literary and art critic, was born at Norwood, London, on the 18th of June 1845. A scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, he became a fellow of his college in 1868. In 1873 he was Slade professor of fine art, and was appointed in the next year to the directorship of the Fitzwilliam Museum. In 1884 he removed to London on his appointment as keeper of prints and drawings in the British Museum. His chief publications are lives of Landor (1881) and Keats (1887), in the English Men of Letters series; the Edinburgh edition of R. L. Stevenson’s works (1894–1897); editions of the letters of Keats (1887), and of the Vailima Letters (1899), which R. L. Stevenson chiefly addressed to him; A Florentine Picture-Chronicle (1898), and Early History of Engraving in England (1905). But in the field both of art and of literature, Mr Colvin’s fine taste, wide knowledge and high ideals made his authority and influence extend far beyond his published work.


COLWYN BAY, a watering-place of Denbighshire, N. Wales, on the Irish Sea, 40½ m. from Chester by the London & North-Western railway. Pop. of urban district of Colwyn Bay and Colwyn (1901) 8689. Colwyn Bay has become a favourite bathing-place, being near to, and cheaper than, the fashionable Llandudno, and being a centre for picturesque excursions. Near it is Llaneilian village, famous for its “cursing well” (St Eilian’s, perhaps Aelianus’). The stream Colwyn joins the Gwynnant. The name Colwyn is that of lords of Ardudwy; a Lord Colwyn of Ardudwy, in the 10th century, is believed to have repaired Harlech castle, and is considered the founder of one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales. Nant Colwyn is on the road from Carnarvon to Beddgelert, beyond Llyn y gader (gadair), “chair pool,” and what tourists have fancifully called Pitt’s head, a roadside rock resembling, or thought to resemble, the great statesman’s profile. Near this is Llyn y dywarchen (sod pool), with a floating island.


COLZA OIL, a non-drying oil obtained from the seeds of Brassica campestris, var. oleifera, a variety of the plant which produces Swedish turnips. Colza is extensively cultivated in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany; and, especially in the first-named country, the expression of the oil is an important industry. In commerce colza is classed with rape oil, to which both in source and properties it is very closely allied. It is a comparatively inodorous oil of a yellow colour, having a specific gravity varying from 0.912 to 0.920. The cake left after expression of the oil is a valuable feeding substance for cattle. Colza oil is extensively used as a lubricant for machinery, and for burning in lamps.


COMA (Gr. κῶμα, from κοιμᾶν, to put to sleep), a deep sleep; the term is, however, used in medicine to imply something more than its Greek origin denotes, namely, a complete and prolonged loss of consciousness from which a patient cannot be roused. There are various degrees of coma: in the slighter