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MARA—MARAGHA

See the Journal of the Earl of Mar (1716); R. Patten, History of Qhe la? Rebellion (1717); and A. Lang, History of Scotland, vol. iv. 1907 .


MARA, GERTRUD ELISABETH (1749-1833), German singer, was born at Cassel, the daughter of a poor musician named Schmeling. From him she learnt the violin, and while still a child her playing at the fair at Frankfort was so remarkable that money was collected to provide for her. She was helped by influential friends, and studied under Hillel at Leipzig for five years, proving to be endowed with a wonderful soprano voice. She began to sing in public in 1771, and was soon recognized as the greatest singer that Germany had produced. She was permanently engaged for the Prussian Court, but her marriage to a debauched violinist named Mara created difficulties, and in 1780 she was released. After singing at Vienna, Munich and elsewhere, she appeared in Paris in 1782, where her rivalry with the singer Todi developed into a regular faction. In 1784 she went to London, and continued to appear there with great success, with visits at intervals to Italy and to Paris till 1802, when for some years she retired to Russia. She visited England again in 1819, but then abandoned the stage. She went to Livonia, and died on the 20th of January 1833 at Revel.


MARABOUT (the French form of the Arab. murabll, “ one who pickets his horse on a hostile frontier ”;cf. Portug. marabute; Span. morabilo), in Mahommedan religion a hermit or devotee. The word is derived from rfibal, a fortified frontier station. To such stations pious men betook them to win religious merit in war against the infidel; their leisure was spent in devotion, and the habits of the convent superseded those of the camp (see M'G. De Slane in ]our. As., 1842, i. 168; Dozy, Suppl. i. 502). Thus ribal came to mean a religious house or hospice (zziwiya). The great sphere of the mar abouts is North Africa. There it was that the community formed by Yahya b. Ibrahim and the doctor Abdullah developed into the conquering empire of the Murabits, or, as Christian writers call them, the ALMORAVIDES (q.v.), and there still, among the Berbers, the mar abouts enjoy extraordinary influence, being esteemed as living saints and mediators. They are liberally supported by alms, direct all popular assemblies, and have a decisive voice in inter tribal quarrels and all matters of consequence. On their death their sanctity is transferred to their tombs (also called mar abouts), where Chapels are erected and gifts and prayers offered. The mar abouts took a prominent part in the resistance offered to the French by the Algerian Moslems; and they have been similarly active in politico-religious movements in Tunisia and Tripoli. See L. Rinn, Marabouls et Khouam (Algiers, 1834); and the article DERv1sH.


MARACAIBO; a large lake of western Venezuela, extending southward from the Gulf of Venezuela, into which it opens through a long neck, or strait, obstructed at its mouth by islands and bars, and having a large drainage basin bounded on the W. by the Eastern Cordillera, on the S.E. by the Cordillera de Merida, and on the E. by a low range of mountains extending N. by W. from Trujillo to the coast. The lake is roughly quadrangular in shape, and extends from the 9th to the 11th parallel of S. lat. and from the 71st to the 72nd meridian. It opens into the Gulf through 13 channels, the depth on the bar in the main channel ranging from 7 ft. at low water to 12 ft. at high water. Inside the bar the depth is about 30 ft., and the lake is navigable for vessels of large size. It receives the waters of many rivers, principally on its west and south sides, the largest of which are the Catatumbo and Zulia, Escalante, Chanudo, Ceniza, Sant' Ana, Negro, Apan and Palmar. The first three have navigable channels for river steamers. There are a number of small lakes near Lake Maracaibo's southern and western margins, the largest of which is the Laguna de Zulia. The heavy rainfall on the eastern slopes of the Eastern Cordillera, which is said to exceed 86 in. per annum, is responsible for the great volume of water discharged into the lake. The average annual precipitation over the whole basin is said to be 70 in. In the upper half of the lake the water is sweet, but below that, where the tidal influence is stronger, it becomes brackish. The only port of consequence on the lake is Maracaibo, but there are small ports at its upper end which are in direct communication with the inland cities of Trujillo, Merida and San Cristobal. The Catatumbo River, which enters from the west near the north end of the lake, and its principal tributary, the Zulia, are navigable as far as Villamizar, in Colombia, and afford an excellent transportation route for the coffee and other products of Santander.


MARACAIBO (sometimes Maracaybo), a city and seaport of Venezuela and capital of the state of Zulia (formerly Maracaibo), on the west shore of the broad channel or neck which connects Lake Maracaibo with the Gulf of Venezuela, or Maracaibo, about 2 5 m. from the mouth of the channel opening into the latter. Pop. (1889), 34,284; (1905), 49,817; there is a considerable German element in the vicinity. The best residential suburb, Haticos, extends along the lake shore toward the south. The city is provided with tramways, telephone service and electric lighting, but the water supply and drainage are inferior. The most important buildings are the executive's residence. the legislative chambers, the municipal hall, the Baralt theatre, the prison, the market, a hospital and six churches. The city also has a school of arts, a public library, and a public garden. In colonial times Maracaibo had a famous Jesuits' college (now gone) and was one of the educational centres of Spanish America; the city now has a national college and a nautical school. The industries include shipbuilding, and the manufacture of saddlery and other leather products, bricks and tile, rum, beer, chocolate and coco-nut oil. Maracaibo is chiefly known, however, as one of the principal commercial centres and shipping ports on the northern coast of South America. The bar at the entrance to Maracaibo channel does not admit vessels drawing more than 12 ft., but there is a depth of 30 ft. inside and near the city. Steam communication is maintained on the Catatumbo and Zulia rivers to Villamizar, and on the Escalante to Santa Cruz. The principal exports from Maracaibo are coffee, hides and skins, cabinet and dye-woods, cocoa, and mangrove bark, to which may be added dividivi, sugar, copaiba, gamela and hemp straw for paper-making, and fruits. In 1906, 26% of the coffee exports was of Colombian origin.

Maracaibo was founded in 1571 by Alonso Pacheco, who gave it the name Nueva Zamora. Up to 1668 the entrepot for the inland settlements was a station named Gibraltar at the head of the lake, but the destruction of that station by pirates in that year transferred this valuable trade to Maracaibo. The city did not figure actively in the War of Independence until 1821 (Jan. 28), when the province declared its independence and sought an alliance with Colombia. This brought to an end the armistice between Bolivar and Morillo, and thenceforward the city experienced all the changing fortunes of war until its final capture by the revolutionists in 1823.


MARAGHA, a town of Persia in the province of Azerbaijan, on the Saii River, in 37° 23' N., 46° 16' E., 80 m. from Tabriz. Pop. about 16,000. It is pleasantly situated in a narrow valley running nearly north and south at the eastern extremity of a well-cultivated plain opening towards Lake Urmia, which lies 18 m. to the west. The town is encompassed by a high wall ruined in many places, and has four gates. Two stone bridges in good condition, said to have been constructed during the reign of Hulaku Khan (1256-1265), and since then several times repaired, lead over the Safi River on the western side of the town. The place is surrounded by extensive vineyards and orchards, all well watered by canals led from the river, and producing great quantities of fruit for exportation to Russia. On a hill west of the town are the remains of a famous observatory (rasad) constructed under the direction of the great astronomer Nasr-uddin of Tus. The hills west of the town consist of horizontal strata of sandstone covered with irregular pieces of basalt and the top of the hill on which the observatory stood was made level by taking away the basalt. The building, which no doubt served as a citadel as well, enclosed a space of 380 yds. by 1 50, and the foundations of the walls were 4% to 5 ft. in thickness. The marble, which is known throughout Persia as Maragha marble, is a t raver tine obtained at the village of Dashkesen (Turkish for