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ISSERLEIN, ISRAEL (d. 1460), German Talmudist. His fame attracted many students to Neustadt, and his profound learning did much to revive the study of the original Rabbinic authorities. After the publication of the Code of Joseph Qaro (q.v.) the decisions of Isserlein in legal matters were added in notes to that code by Moses Isserles. His chief works were Terumath ha-Deshēn (354 decisions) and Peasqim u-kethaḥim (267 decisions) largely on points of the marriage law.

ISSERLES, MOSES BEN ISRAEL (c. 1520–1572), known as Remā, was born at Cracow and died there in 1572. He wrote commentaries on the Zohar, the “Bible of the Kabbalists,” but is best known as the critic and expander of the Shulḥan Aruch of Joseph Qaro (Caro)(q.v.). His chief halakhic (legal) works were Darke Moshē and Mappāh. Qaro, a Sephardic (Spanish) Jew, in his Code neglected Ashkenazic (German) customs. These deficiencies Isserles supplied, and the notes of Remā are now included in all editions of Qaro’s Code.

ISSOIRE, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Puy-de-Dôme, on the Couze, near its junction with the Allier, 22 m. S.S.E. of Clermont-Ferrand on the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée railway to Nîmes. Pop. (1906) 5274. Issoire is situated in the fertile plain of Limagne. The streets in the older part of the town are narrow and crooked, but in the newer part there are several fine tree-shaded promenades, while a handsome boulevard encircles the town. The church of St Paul or St Austremoine built on the site of an older chapel raised over the tomb of St Austremoine (Stremonius) affords an excellent specimen of the Romanesque architecture of Auvergne. Issoire is the seat of a sub-prefect; its public institutions include tribunals of first instance and commerce and a communal college. Brewing, wool-carding and the manufacture of passementerie, candles, straw hats and woollen goods are carried on. There is trade in lentils and other agricultural products, in fruit and in wine.

Issoire (Iciodurum) is said to have been founded by the Arverni, and in Roman times rose to some reputation for its schools. In the 5th century the Christian community established there by Stremonius in the 3rd century was overthrown by the fury of the Vandals. During the religious wars of the Reformation, Issoire suffered very severely. Merle, the leader of the Protestants, captured the town in 1574, and treated the inhabitants with great cruelty. The Roman Catholics retook it in 1577, and the ferocity of their retaliation may be inferred from the inscription “Ici fut Issoire” carved on a pillar which was raised on the site of the town. In the contest between the Leaguers and Henry IV., Issoire sustained further sieges, and never wholly regained its early prosperity.

ISSOUDUN, a town of central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Indre, on the right bank of the Théols, 17 m. N.E. of Châteauroux by rail. Pop. (1906) 10,566. Among the interesting buildings are the church of St Cyr, combining various architectural styles, with a fine porch and window, and the chapel of the Hôtel Dieu of the early 16th century. Of the fortifications with which the town was formerly surrounded, a town-gate of the 16th century and the White Tower, a lofty cylindrical building of the reign of Philip Augustus, survive. Issoudun is the seat of a sub-prefecture, and has tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a chamber of arts and manufactures and a communal college. The industries, of which the most important is leather-dressing, also include malting and brewing and the manufacture of bristles for brushes and parchment. Trade is in grain, live-stock, leather and wine.

Issoudun, in Latin Exoldunum or Uxellodunum, existed in and before Roman times. In 1195 it was stoutly and successfully defended by the partizans of Richard Cœur-de-Lion against Philip Augustus, king of France. It has suffered severely from fires. A very destructive one in 1651 was the result of an attack on the town in the war of Fronde; Louis XIV. rewarded its fidelity to him during that struggle by the grant of several privileges.

ISSYK-KUL, also called Tuz-Kul, and by the Mongols Temurtu-nor, a lake of Central Asia, lying in a deep basin (5400 ft. above sea-level), between the Kunghei Ala-tau and the Terskei Ala-tau, westward continuations of the Tian-shan mountains, and extending from 76° 10′ to 78° 20′ E. The length from W.S.W. to E.N.E. is 115 m. and the breadth 38 m., the area being estimated at 2230 sq. m. The name is Kirghiz for “warm lake,” and, like the Chinese synonym She-hai, has reference to the fact that the lake is never entirely frozen over. On the south the Terskei Ala-tau do not come down so close to the shore as the mountains on the north, but leave a strip 5 to 13 m. broad. The margins of the lake are overgrown with reeds. The water is brackish. Fish are remarkably abundant, the principal species being carp.

It was by the route beside this lake that the tribes (e.g. Yue-chi) driven from China by the Huns found their way into the Aralo-Caspian basin in the end of the 2nd century. The Ussuns or Uzuns settled on the lake and built the town of Chi-gu, which still existed in the 5th century. It is to Hsüan-tsang, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, that we are indebted for the first account of Issyk-kul based on personal observation. In the beginning of the 14th century Nestorian Christians reached the lake and founded a monastery on the northern shore, indicated on the Catalan map of 1374. It was not till 1856 that the Russians made acquaintance with the district.

ISTAHBANÁT, a town and district of Persia in the province of Fars. The district, which is very fertile, extends for nearly 50 m. east and west along the southern shore of the Bakhtegán lake and produces much grain, cotton, good tobacco and excellent fruit, particularly pomegranates and grapes, walnuts and figs. The town is situated in the midst of a plain 12 m. from the eastern corner of the lake and about 100 m. S.E. of Shiraz, and has a population of about 10,000. It occupies the site of the ancient city of Ij, the capital of the old province of Shabánkáreh, which was captured and partly destroyed by Mubariz ed-din, the founder of the Muzaffarid dynasty, in 1355. When rebuilt it became known by its present name. Of the old period a ruined mosque and two colleges remain; other mosques and colleges are of recent construction. At the entrance of the town stands a noble chinar (oriental plane), measuring 45 ft. in circumference at 2 ft. from the ground.

ISTHMUS (Gr. ἰσθμός, neck), a narrow neck of land connecting two larger portions of land that are otherwise separated by the sea.

ISTRIA (Ger. Istrien), a margraviate and crownland of Austria, bounded N. by the Triestine territory, Görz and Gradisca, and Carniola, E. by Croatia and S. and W. by the Adriatic; area 1908 sq. m. It comprises the peninsula of the same name (area 1545 sq. m.), which stretches into the Adriatic Sea between the Gulf of Trieste and the Gulf of Quarnero, and the islands of Veglia, Cherso, Lussino and others. The coast line of Istria extends for 267 m., including Trieste, and presents many good bays and harbours. Besides the great Gulf of Trieste, the coast is indented on the W. by the bays of Muggia, Capodistria, Pirano, Porto Quieto and Pola, and on the E. by those of Medolino, Arsa, Fianona and Volosca. A great portion of Istria belongs to the Karst region, and is occupied by the so-called Istrian plateau, flanked on the north and east by high mountains, which attain in the Monte Maggiore an altitude of 4573 ft. In the south and west the surface gradually slopes down in undulating terraces towards the Adriatic. The Quieto in the west and the Arsa in the east, neither navigable, are the principal streams. The climate of Istria, although it varies with the varieties of surface, is on the whole warm and dry. The coasts are exposed to the prevailing winds, namely the Sirocco from the south-south-east, and the Bora from the north-east. Of the total area 33.21% is occupied by forests, 32.09% by pastures, 11.2% by arable land, 9.5% by vineyards, 7.21% by meadows and 3.26% by gardens. The principal agricultural products are wheat, maize, rye, oats and fruit, namely olives, figs and melons. Viticulture is well developed, and the best sorts of wine are produced near Capodistria, Muggia, Isola, Parenzo and Dignano, while well-known red wines are made near Refosco and Terrano. The oil of Istria was already famous in Roman times. Cattle-breeding