Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

designate to his brother Amin, during whose reign he was to be governor of the eastern part of the empire. On Harun's death (809) Amin succeeded and Mamun acquiesced. Irritated, however, by the treatment he received from Amin, and supported by a portion of the army, Mamun speedily rebelled. A five years' struggle between the two brothers ended in the death of Amin and the proclamation of Mamun as caliph at Bagdad (Sept. 813). Various factions and revolts, which disturbed the first years of his reign, were readily quelled by his prudent and energetic measures. But a much more serious rebellion, stirred up by his countenancing the heretical sect of Ali and adopting their colours, soon after threatened his throne. His crown was actually on the head of his uncle Ibrahim b. Mahdi (surnamed Mobarek) for a short time (Barbier de Meynard, in Journal Asiatique, March-April 1869). This inaugurated a period of tranquillity, which Mamun employed in fostering literature and science. He had already, while governor of Khorasan, founded a college there, and attracted to it the most eminent men of the day, and Bagdad became the seat of academical instruction. At his own expense he caused to be translated into Arabic many valuable books from the Greek, Persian, Chaldean and Coptic languages; and he was himself an ardent student of mathematics and astronomy. The first Arabic translation of Euclid was dedicated to him in 813. Mamun founded observatories at Bagdad and Kassiun (near Damascus), and succeeded in determining the inclination of the ecliptic. He also caused a degree of the meridian to be measured on the plain of Shinar; and he constructed astronomical tables, which are said to be wonderfully accurate.

In 827 he was converted to the heterodox faith of the Moʿtazilites, who asserted the free-will of man and denied the eternity of the Koran. The later years (829830) of his reign were distracted by hostilities with the Greek emperor Theophilus, while a series of revolts in different parts of the Arabian empire betokened the decline of the military glory of the caliphs. Spain and part of Africa had already asserted their independence, and Egypt and Syria were now inclined to follow. In 833, after quelling Egypt, at least nominally, Mamun marched into Cilicia to prosecute the war with the Greeks, but died near Tarsus, leaving his crown to a younger brother, Motasim. The death of Mamun ended an important epoch in the history of science and letters and the period of Arabian prosperity which his father's reign had begun.

See further under Caliphate, sect. C., §§ 5, 6, 7.

'MAMUND, a Pathan tribe and valley on the Peshawar border of the North-West Frontier Province of India. The Mamunds live partly in Bajour and partly in Afghan territory, due north of the Mohmands, a much larger tribe, with whom they must not be confounded. They are one of the clans of the Tarkanis (q.v.), and number 6000 fighting men; they gave much trouble during the Chitral Campaign in 1895, and again during the Mohmand Expedition in 1897 they inflicted severe losses upon General Jeffrey's brigade. (See MOHMAND.)

MAN, the word common to Teutonic languages for a single person of the human race, of either sex, the Lat. homo, and Gr. 6.v0pw-rros; also for the human race collectively, and for a full grown adult, male human being. Teutonic languages, other than English, have usually adopted a derivative in the first sense, e.g. German Mensch. Philologists are not in agreement as to whether the Sanskrit manu is the direct source, or whether both are to be traced to a common root. Doubt also is thrown on the theory that the word is to be referred to the Indo-Germanic root, men, meaning “ to think, ” seen in “ mind, ” man being essentially the thinking or intelligent animal. (See ANTHROPOLOGY.)

MAN, ISLE OF (anc. Mona), a dominion of the crown of England, in the Irish Sea. (For map, see ENGLAND, section I.) It is about 33 m. long by about 1 2 broad in the broadest part. Its general form resembles that of an heraldic lozenge, though its outline is very irregular, being indented with numerous bays and narrow creeks. Its chief physical characteristic is the close juxtaposition of mountain, glen and sea, whichhas produced a variety and beauty of scenery unsurpassed in any area of equal size elsewhere.

The greater part of its surface is hilly. The hills, which reach their culminating point in Snaefell (2034 ft.), have a definite tendency to trend in the direction of the longer axis, but throw out many radiating spurs, which frequently extend to' the coast-line. They are, for the most part, smooth and rounded in outline, the rocks being such as do not favour the formation of crags, though, owing to the rapidity of their descent, streams have frequently rent steep-walled craggy gulleys in their sides. The strength of the prevalent westerly winds has caused them to be treeless, except in some of the lower slopes, but they are clad with verdure to their summits. Rising almost directly from the sea, they appear higher than they' really are, and therefore present a much more imposing appearance than many hills of greater altitude. On the south-west, where they descend precipitously into the sea, they unite with the cliffs to the north and south of them to produce the most striking part of the coast scenery for which the isle is remarkable. But, indeed, the whole coast from Peel round by the Calf, past Castletown and Douglas to Maughold Head, near Ramsey, is distinguished by rugged grandeur. From Ramsey round by the Point of Ayre to within a few miles of Peel extend low sandy cliffs, bordered by flat sandy shores, which surround the northern plain. This plain is relieved only by a low range of hills, the highest of which attains an elevation of 270 ft. The drainage of the island radiates from the neighbourhood of Snaefell, from which mountain and its spurs streams have on all sides found their way to the sea. The most important of these are the Sulby, falling into the sea at Ramsey; the Awin-glass (bright river) and the Awindhoo (dark river), which unite their waters near Douglas; the Neb, at the mouth of which Peel is situated; and the Awin-argid (silver river, now called the Silverburn), which joins the sea at Castletown. There are no lakes. The narrow, winding glens thus formed, which are studded with clumps of fir, sycamore and mountain ash, interspersed with patches of gorse, heather and fern, afford a striking and beautiful contrast to the bare mountain tops. Traces of an older system of drainage than that which now exists are noticeable in many places, the most remarkable being the central depression between Douglas and Peel. The chief bays are, on the east coast, Ramsey, with an excellent anchorage, Laxey, Douglas, Derbyhaven, Castletown and Port St Mary; and, on the west coast, Port Erin and Peel. Geolo y.—The predominant feature in the stratigraphy of the Isle of lVlan is, -in the words of G. W. Lamplough# “the central ridge of slate and greywacke, which seems to have constituted an insulated tract at as early a date as the beginning of the Carboniferous period. This prototype of the present island appears afterwards to have been enfolded and obliterated by the sediments of later times; but with the progress of denudation the old ridge has once more emerged from beneath this mantle.” This mass of ancient rocks, the Manx Slate Series, has been divided 'locally into the Barrule slates, the Agneesh and other grit beds; and the onan and Niarbyl Flags. The whole series strikes N.E.-S.W., while structurally the strata form part of a synclinorium, the higher beds being on the N .W. and S.E. sides of the islands, the lower beds in the interior; although the subordinate dips appear to indicate an anticlinal structure. These rocks have been greatly crumpled; and in laces, notably in Sully Glen, thrusting has developed a wellmarkecl)crush-breccia. So much has this fo ding and compression

toughened the soft argillaceous rocks that the Barrule Slate, for example, is almost everywhere found occupying the highest points, while the hard but more joined grits and fiags occupy the lower ground on the mountain flanks. The lVlan'x Series is penetrated and altered by large masses of granite at Dhoon, Foxdale and one or two other spots; and dykes, more or less directly associated with these masses, are numerous. No satisfactory fossils have yet been obtained from these rocks, but they are regarded, provisionally, as of Upper Cambrian age. Carboniferous rocks, including a basal conglomerate, white limestone with abundant fossils, and the black “ Posidonom a Beds " (some of which are polished as a black marble) occur about Castletown, Poolvash Bay and Langness; and the basement beds appear again on the west coast at Peel. The cliffs and foreshore at Scarlet Point exhibit contemporaneous Carboniferous tuffs, agglomerates 'and basalts, as well as later dolerite dykes, in a most striking manner. Here too may be seen some curious effects

1 G. W. Lamplough, The Geology of the Isle of Man, Mem, Geol. Survey (1903). A