MAJOLICA, a name properly applied to a species of Italian ware in which the body is coated with a tin-enamel, on which is laid and fired a painted decoration. It is also applied to similar wares made in imitation of the Italian ware in other countries. The word in Italian is maiolica. Du Cange (Gloss. s.v. “Majorica”) quotes from a chronicle of Verona of 1368, in which the form majolica occurs for the more usual Latin form majorica. It has usually been supposed that this type of pottery was first made in the island of Majorca, but it is more probable that the name was given by the Italians to the lustred Spanish ware imported by ships hailing from the Balearic Islands. (See CERAMICS: Medieval and Later Italian.)
MAJOR (or Mair), JOHN (1470-1550), Scottish theological and historical writer, was born at the village of Gleghornie, near North Berwick, Scotland, in the year 1470. He was educated at the school of Haddington, where John Knox was later a pupil. After a short period spent at Cambridge (at God's House, afterwards Christ's College) he entered the university of Paris in 1493, studying successively at the colleges of St Barbe, Montaigu and Navarre, and graduating as master of arts in 1496. Promoted to the doctorate in 1505, he lectured, on philosophy at Montaigu College and on theology at Navarre. He visited Scotland in 1515 and returned in 1518, when he was appointed principal regent in the university of Glasgow, John Knox being among the number of those who attended his lectures there. In 1522 he removed to St Andrew's University, where in 1525 George Buchanan was one of his pupils. He returned to the college of Montaigu in 1525, but was once more at St Andrew's in 1531, where he was head of St Salvator's College from 1534 until his death.
Major's voluminous writings may be'grouped under (a) logic and philosophy, (b) Scripture commentary, and (c) history. All are in Latin, all appeared between 1503 and 15 30, and all were printed at Paris. The first group includes his Exponabilia (1503), his commentary on Petrus Hispanus (1505-1506), his I nclitarum artium libri (1506, &c.), his commentary on.] oannes Dorp (1504, &c.), his Insalubilia (1516, &c.), his introduction to Aristotle's logic (1521, &c.), his commentary on the ethics (1530), and, chief of all, his commentary on Peter Lombard's Sentences (1509, &c.); the second consists of a commentary on Matthew (1518) and another on the Four Gospels (1529); the last is represented by his famous Historia M ajoris Britanniae tam Angliae quam Scotiae per J. M. (1521)., In political philosophy he maintained the Scotist position, that civil authority was derived from the popular will, but in theology he was a scholastic conservative, though he never failed to show his approbation of Gallicanism and its plea for the reform of ecclesiastical abuses. He has left on record that it was his aim and hope to reconcile realism and nominal ism in the interests of theological peace. He had a world-wide reputation as a teacher and writer. Buchanan's severe epigram, perhaps the only unfriendly words in the flood of contemporary praise, may be explained as a protest against the compromise which Major appeared to offer rather than as a personal attack on his teacher. Major takes a more independent attitude in his History, which is a remarkable example of historical accuracy and insight. He claims that the historian's chief duty is to write truthfully, and he is careful to show that a theologian may fulfil this condition. The History, on which his fame now rests, was reprinted by Freebairn (Edinburgh, 1740), and was translated in 1892 by Archibald Const able for the Scottish History Society. The latter volume contains a full account of the author by Aeneas ]. G. Mackay and a bibliography by Thomas Graves Law.,
MAJOR (Lat. for “ greater ”), a word used, both as a substantive and adjective, for that which is greater than another in size, quality, degree, importance, &c., often opposed correlatively to that to which “ minor ” is applied in the same connotation. In the categorical syllogism in logic, the major term is the term which forms the predicate of the conclusion, the major premise is that which contains the major term. (For the distinction between major and minor intervals, and other applications in music, see MUSIC and HARMONY.)
The use of Major as part of an official title in Med. Lat. has given the Span. mayor, Fr. maire, and Eng. “ mayor” (q.'v.). In English the unadapted form “major” is the title of a military officer now ranking between a captain and a lieutenant colonel. Originally the word was used adjectivally in the title “ sergeant-major, ” an officer of high rank (third in command of an army) who performed the same duties of administration, drill and encampments on the staff of the chief commander as the sergeant in a company performs as assistant to the Captain. This wasvin the latter half of the 16th century, and very»soon afterwards the “ sergeant»major ” became known as the “ sergeant major-general ”-hence the modern title of major-general. By the time of the English Civil War “ majors ” had been introduced in each regiment of foot., who-corresponded in a lesser sphere to the “ major-general ” of the whole army. The major's sphere of duties, precedence and title have since varied but little, though he has, in the British service, taken the place of the lieutenant-colonel as second in command-the latter officer exercising the command of the cavalry regiment, infantry battalion or artillery brigade, and the colonel being, save for certain administrative functions, little more than the titular chief of his regiment. junior majors command companies of infantry; squadrons of cavalry and batteries of artillery are also commanded by majors. In most European armies, however, and of late years in the army of the United States also, the major has become a battalion commander under the orders of a regimental commander (colonel or lieutenant-colonel) . The word appears also in. the British service in “ brigade-major ” (the adjutant or staff officer of a brigade). “ Town-majors " (garrison staff officers) are now no longer appointed. In the French service up to 1871 the “ major-general” was the chief of the general staff of a field army, and thus preserved the tradition of the former “ sergeant-major ” or “ sergeant-major general.” .
MAJORCA (Mallorca), the largest of 'the group of Spanish islands in the Mediterranean Sea known as the Balearic Islands (q.'v.). Pop. (1900), 248,191; area, 430 sq. m. Majorca has the shape of a trapezoid, with the angles directed to the cardinal points; and its diagonal, from Cape Grozer in the west to Cape Pera in the east, is about 60 rn. On the north-west the coast is precipitous, but on the other sides it is low and sloping. On the north-east there are several considerable bays, of which thechief are those of Alcudia and Pollensa; while on the south-west is the still more important bay of Palma. No fewer than twelve, ports or harbours are enumerated round the island, of which may be mentioned Andraitx and Séller. In the north-west Majorca is traversed by a chain of mountains running parallel with the coast, and attaining its highest elevation in Silla de Torrellas (51 S4 ft.). Towards the south and east the surface is comparatively level, though broken by isolated peaks of considerable height. The northern mountains afford great protec tion to the rest of the island from the violent gales to which it would otherwise be exposed, and render the climate remarkably mild and pleasant. The scenery of Majorca has all the picturesqueness of outline that usually belongs to a limestone formation. Some of the valleys, such as those of Valdemosa and Séller, with their luxuriant vegetation, are delightful resorts. There are quarries of marble of various grains and colours-those near Santafiy, in the district of Manacor, being especially celebrated; while lead, iron and cinnabar have also been obtained. Coal of a jet-like character is found at Benisalem, where itpwas first worked in 1836; at Selva, where it has been mined since 1851; near Santa Maria and elsewhere. It is used in the industrial establishments of Palma, and in the manufacture of lime, plaster and bricks near the mines. A considerable quantity is also exported to Barcelona.
The inhabitants are principally devoted to agriculture, and most of the arable land is cultivated. The mountains are terraced; and the old pine woods have in many places given way to the olive, the vine and the almond tree, to fields of wheat and flax, or to orchards of figs and oranges. For the last-mentioned fruits the valley of S6ller is one of the most important districts,