Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
188
M-MABILLON

M The thirteenth letter of the Phoenician and Greek alphabets, the twelfth of the Latin, and the thirteenth of the languages of western Europe. Written originally from right to left, it took the form W which survives in its earliest representations in Greek. The greater length of the first limb of m is characteristic of the earliest forms. From this form, written from left to right, the Latin abbreviation M for the praenomen Manius is supposed to have developed, the apostrophe representing the Hfth stroke of the original letter. In the early Greek alphabets the four-stroke M with legs of equal length represents not m but s; m when written with four strokes, is /V. The five-stroke forms, however, are confined practically to Crete, Melos and Cumae; from the last named the Romans received it along with the rest of their alphabet. The Phoenician name of the symbol was mem, the Greek name m8 is formed on the analogy of the name for n. M represents the bilabial nasal sound, which was generally voiced. It is commonly a stable sound, but, many languages, e.g. Greek, Germanic and Celtic, change it when final into -n, its dental correlative. It appears more frequently as an initial sound in Greek and Latin than in the other languages of the same stock, because in these s before m (as also before Z and n) disappeared at the beginning of words. The sounds m and b are closely related, the only difference being that, in pronouncing m, the nasal passage is not closed, thus allowing the sound'to be prolonged, while b is an instantaneous or explosive sound. In various languages b is inserted between m and a following consonant, as in the Gr. penny/Spia “ mid-day, ” or the English “ number, ” Fr. nombre from Lat. numerus. The sound m can in unaccented syllables form a syllable by itself without any audible vowel, c. g. the Enghlish word fathom comes from an Anglo-Saxonfabm, where the m was so used. (For more details as to this phonetic principle, which has important results in the history of language, see under N.) (P. Gr.)


MAAS, JOSEPH (1847-1886), English tenor singer, was born at Dartford, and became a chorister in Rochester Cathedral. He went to study singing in Milan in 1869; in February 1871 he made his first success by taking Sims Reeves's place at a concert in London. In 1878 he became principal tenor in Carl Rosa's company, his beautiful voice and finished style more than compensating for his poor acting. He died in London on the 16th of January 1886.


MAASIN, a town on the S.W. coast of the island of Leyte, Philippine Islands, at the mouth of the Maasin River. Pop. (1903), 21,638. Maasin is an important port for hemp and copra. The well-built town occupies a narrow coastal plain. The river valleys in the vicinity produce cotton, pepper, tobacco, rice, Indian corn and fruit. Native cloths and pottery are manufactured. Maasin is the only place on the west coast of Leyte where a court of justice is held. The language is Visayan.


MAASSLUIS, a river port of Holland, in the province of South Holland, on the New Waterway, IO m. by rail W. of Rotterdam. Pop. (1903), 8011. It rose into importance as a nshing harbour towards the end of the 16th century, and its prosperity rapidly increased after the opening of the New Waterway (the Maas ship canal) from Rotterdam to the sea. The fort, erected here in 1572 by Philip of Marnix, lord of St Aldegonde, was captured by the Spanish in 1573.


MAASTRICHT, or MAESTRICHT, a frontier town and the capital of the province of Limburg, Holland, on the left bank of the Maas at the influx of the river Geer, 19 m. by rail N.N.E. of Liége in Belgium. Pop. (1904), $6,146. A small portion of the town, known as Wyk, lies on the right bank. A stone bridge connecting the two replaced a wooden structure as early as 1280, and was rebuilt in 1683. Formerly a strong fortress, Maastricht is still a considerable garrison town, but its ramparts were dismantled in 1871-1878. The town-hall, built by Pieter Post and completed in 1683, contains some interesting pictures and tapestry. The old town-hall (Oud Stadhuis), a Gothic building of the 15th century, is now used as a museum of antiquities. The church of St Servatius is said to have been founded by Bishop Monulphus in the 6th century, thus being the oldest church in Holland; according to one account it was rebuilt and enlarged as early as the time of Charlemagne. The cryp't with the tomb of the patron saint dates from the original building. The varied character of its late Romanesque and later Gothic architecture bears evidence of the frequency with which the church has been restored and altered. Over the porch is the fine emperor's hall, and the church has a marble statue of Charlemagne. The church of Our Lady, a late Romanesque building, has two ancient crypts and a 13thcentury choir of exceptional beauty, but the nave suffered severely from a restoration in 1764. The present Gothic building of St Martin (in Wyk) was erected in 1859; the original church is said by tradition to have occupied the site of an old heathen temple. The Protestant St janskerk, a Gothic building of the 13th and 15th centuries, with a ine tower, was formerly the baptistery of the cathedral. The various hospitals, the poor-house, the orphanage and most of the other charitable foundations are Roman Catholic institutions. Maastricht contains the provincial archives, a library and geological collections. Though mainly indebted for its commercial prosperity to its position on the river, the town did not begin to reap the full advantages of its situation till the opening of the railways between 1853 and 1865. At first a trade was carried on in wine, colonial wares, alcoholic liquors and salt; there are now manufactures of earthenware, glass and crystal, arms, paper, woollens, tools, lead, copper and zinc work, as well as breweries, and tobacco and cigar factories, and a trade in corn and butter.

A short distance south of Maastricht are the great sandstone quarries of Pietersberg, which were worked from the time of the Romans to near the end of the 19th century; the result is one of the most extraordinary subterranean labyrinths in the world, estimated to cover an area IS m. by 9 m. In the time of the Spanish wars these underground passages served to hide the peasants and their cattle. B

Maastricht was originally the lrajectus superior (upper ford) of the Romans, and was the seat of a bishop from 382 to 721. Having formed part of the Frankish realm, it was ruled after 1204 jointly by the dukes of Brabant and the prince-bishops of Liége. In 1579 it was besieged by the Spaniards under the duke of Parma, being captured and plundered after a heroic resistance. It was taken by the French in 1673, 1748 and 1794-


MABILLON, JOHN (1632-1707), Benedictine monk of the Congregation of St Maur (see Maurists), was the son of a peasant near Reims. In 1653 he became a monk in the abbey of St Remi at Reims. In 1664 he was placed at St Germain-des-Prés in Paris, the great literary workshop of the Maurists, where he lived and worked for twenty years, at first under d'Achery, with whom he edited the nine folio volumes of Acta of the Benedictine Saints. In Mabillon's Prefaces (reprinted separately) these lives were for the first time made to illustrate the ecclesiastical and civil history of the early middle ages. Mabillon's masterpiece was the De re diplomatic- (1681; and a supplement, 1704) in which were first laid down the principles for determining the authenticity and date of medieval charters and manuscripts. It practically created the science of Latin paleography, and is still the standard work on the subject. In 1685-1686 Mabillon visited the libraries of Italy, to purchase MSS. and books for the King's Library. On his return to Paris he was called upon to defend against de Rancé, the abbot of La Trappe, the legitimacy for monks of the kind of studies to which the Maurists devoted themselves: this called forth Mabillon's Traité des études monastiques and his Réflexions sur la réponse de M Vabbé de la