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MARSUPIAL MOLE—MARTEN, H.

Dromotheriidae, and apparently showing decided traces of reptilian affinity. It may be added that a few traces of mammals have been obtained from the English Wealden, among which an incisor tooth foreshadows the rodent type.

Authorities.—The above article is partly based on that by Sir W. H. Flower in the 9th edition of this work. See also O. Thomas, Catalogue of Monotremata and Marsupialia in the British Museum (1888); “On Caenolestes, a Survivor of the Epanorthidae,” Proc. Zool. Soc. London (1895); J. D. Ogilby, Catalogue of Australian Mammals (Sydney, 1895); B. A. Bensley, “A Theory of the Origin and Evolution of the Australian Marsupialia,” American Naturalist (1901); “On the Evolution of the Australian Marsupialia, &c.,” Trans. Linn. Soc. (vol. ix., 1903); L. Dollo, “Arboreal Ancestry of Marsupials,” Miscell. Biologiques (Paris, 1899); B. Spencer, “Mammalia of the Horn Expedition” (1896); “Wynyardia, a Fossil Marsupial from Tasmania,” Proc. Zool. Soc. London (1900); J. P. Hill, “Contributions to the Morphology of the Female Urino-genital Organs in Marsupialia,” Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. Wales, vols. xxiv. and xxv.; “Contributions to the Embryology of the Marsupialia,” Quart. Journ. Micr. Science, vol. xliii.; E. C. Stirling, “On Notoryctes typhlops,” Proc. Zool. Soc. London (1891); “Fossil Remains of Lake Cadibona,” Part I. Diprotodon, Mem. R. Soc. S. Australia (vol. i., 1889); R. Broom, “On the Affinities of Thylacoleo,” Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. Wales (1898); H. F. Osborn, “Mesozoic Mammalia,” Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia (vol. ix., 1888); E. S. Goodrich, “On the Fossil Mammalia from the Stonesfield Slate,” Quart. Journ. Micr. Science (vol. xxxv., 1894). (R. L.*) 


Marsupial Mole (Notoryctes typhlops).

MARSUPIAL MOLE (Noloryctes typhlops), the “Ur-quamata” of the natives, an aberrant polyprotodont from central South Australia, constituting a family (Noloryctidae). This is a small burrowing animal, of a pale golden-yellow colour, with long silky hair, a horny shield on the nose, and a stumpy leathery tail. The feet are five-toed, and the third and fourth toes of the front pair armed with enormous claws adapted for digging. Neither ear-conches nor eyes are visible externally. There are but three pairs of incisor teeth in each jaw, and the upper molars are tricuspid. This animal spends most of its time burrowing in the sand in search of insects and their larvae, but occasionally makes its appearance on the surface.


MARSUS, DOMITIUS, Latin poet, the friend of Virgil and Tibullus, and contemporary of Horace. He survived Tibullus (d. 19 B.C.), but was no longer alive when Ovid wrote (c. A.D. 12) the epistle from Pontus (Ex Ponto, iv. 16) containing a list of poets. He was the author of a collection of epigrams called Cicuta (“hemlock”)[1] from their bitter sarcasm, and of a beautiful epitaph on the death of Tibullus; of elegiac poems, probably of an erotic character; of an epic poem Amazonis; and of a prose work on wit (De urbanitate). Martial often alludes to Marsus as one of his predecessors, but he is never mentioned by Horace, although a passage in the Odes (iv. 4, 19) is supposed to be an indirect allusion to the Amazonis (M. Haupt, Opuscula, iii. 332).

See J. A. Weichert, Poetarum latinorum vitae et reliquiae (1830); R. Unger, De Dom. Marsi cicuta (Friedland, 1861).


MARSYAS, in Greek mythology, a Phrygian god or Silenus, son of Hyagnis. He was originally the god of the small river of the same name near Celaenae, an old Phrygian town. He represents the art of playing the flute as opposed to the lyre—the one the accompaniment of the worship of Cybele, the other that of the worship of Apollo. According to the legend, Athena, who had invented the flute, threw it away in disgust, because it distorted the features. Marsyas found it, and having acquired great skill in playing it, challenged Apollo to a contest with his lyre. Midas, king of Phrygia, who had been appointed judge, declared in favour of Marsyas, and Apollo punished Midas by changing his ears into ass’s ears. In another version, the Muses were judges and awarded the victory to Apollo, who tied Marsyas to a tree and flayed him alive. Marsyas, as well as Midas and Silenus, are associated in legend with Dionysus and belong to the cycle of legends of Cybele. A statue of Marsyas was set up in the Roman forum and colonies as a symbol of liberty. The contest and punishment of Marsyas were favourite subjects in Greek art, both painting and sculpture. In Florence there are several statues of Marsyas hanging on the tree as he is going to be flayed (see Greek Art, fig. 54, Pl. II.); Apollo and the executioner complete the group. In the Lateran museum at Rome there is a statue representing Marsyas in the act of picking up the flute, a copy of a masterpiece by Myron (Hyginus, Fab. 167, 191; Apollodorus i. 4, 2; Ovid, Metam. vi. 382–400, xi. 145–193), for which see Greek Art, fig. 64 (Pl. III.).


MARTABAN, a town in the Thaton district of Lower Burma, on the right bank of the Salween, opposite Moulmein. It is said to have been founded in A.D. 573, by the first king of Pegu, and was once the capital of a powerful Talaing kingdom; but it is now little more than a village. Martaban is frequently mentioned by European voyagers of the 16th century; and it has given the name of “Martavans” to a class of large vessels of glazed pottery, also known in India as “Pegu jars.” It was twice captured by the British, in 1824 and 1852. The Bay of Martaban receives the rivers Irrawaddy and Salween.


MARTELLO TOWER, a kind of tower formerly used in English coast defence. The name is a corruption of Mortella. The Martello tower was introduced in consequence of an incident of the French revolutionary wars. In September 1793 a British squadron of three ships of the line and two frigates was ordered to support the Corsican insurgents. It was determined in the first place to take a tower on Cape Mortella which commanded the only secure anchorage in the Gulf of San Fiorenzo. This tower, according to James, was named “after its inventor”; but the real derivation appears to be the name of a wild myrtle which grew thickly around. The tower, which mounted one 24–pounder and two 18-pounders on its top, was bombarded for a short time by the frigates, was then deserted by its little garrison, and occupied by a landing party. The tower was afterwards retaken by the French from the Corsicans. So far it had done nothing to justify its subsequent reputation. In 1794, however, a fresh attempt was made to support the insurgents. On the 7th of February 1400 troops were landed, and the tower was attacked by land and sea on the 8th. The “Fortitude” and “Juno” kept up a cannonade for 2½ hours and then hauled off, the former being on fire and having sixty-two men killed and wounded. The fire from the batteries on shore produced no impression until a hot shot set fire to the “bass junk with which, to the depth of 5 ft., the immensely thick parapet was lined.” The garrison of thirty-three men then surrendered. The armament was found to consist only of two 18-pounders and one 6-pounder. The strong resistance offered by these three guns seems to have led to the conclusion that towers of this description were specially formidable, and Martello towers were built in large numbers, and at heavy expense, along the shores of England, especially on the southern and eastern coasts, which in certain parts are lined with these towers at short intervals. They are structures of solid masonry, containing vaulted rooms for the garrison, and providing a platform at the top for two or three guns, which fire over a low masonry parapet. Access is provided by a ladder, communicating with a door about 20 ft. above the ground. In some cases a deep ditch is provided around the base. The chief defect of the tower was its weakness against vertical fire; its masonry was further liable to be cut through by breaching batteries. The French tours modèles were somewhat similar to the Martello towers; their chief use was to serve as keeps to unrevetted works. While the Martello tower owes its reputation and its widespread adoption in Great Britain to a single incident of modern warfare, the round masonry structure entered by a door raised high above the base is to be found in many lands, and is one of the earliest types of masonry fortification.


MARTEN, HENRY (1602–1680), English regicide, was the elder son of Sir Henry Marten, and was educated at University College, Oxford. As a public man he first became prominent in 1639 when he refused to contribute to a general loan, and in 1640 he entered parliament as one of the members for

  1. According to others, a reed-pipe made of the stalks of hemlock; the reading scutica (“whip”) has also been proposed.