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278
SBEITLA—SCAEVOLA

the Mahornmedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh, and raised funds for the buildings of which Lord Lytton laid the foundation stone. He stimulated asimilar movement elsewhere, and among other cities Karachi, Bombay and Hyderabad caught the infection of his spirit. Thus he effected a revolution in the attitude of Mahommedans towards modern education. He was made K.C.S.I., and became a member of the legislative councils of India and Allahabad, and of the education commission. He died at Aligarh on the 2nd of March 1898.

See Lieut.-Colonel G. F. I. Graham, The Life and Work of Sir Saiyad Ahmed Khan (1885).  (W. L.-W.) 


SBEITLA (anc. Sufetula), a ruined city of Tunisia, 66 m. S.W. of Kairawan. Long buried beneath the sand, this is the most beautiful and extensive of the Roman cities in the regency. It stands at the foot of a hill by a river, here perennial, but at a short distance beyond lost in the sands. The chief ruin is a rectangular walled enclosure, 238 ft. by 198 ft., known as the Hieron, having three small and one large entrance. The great gateway is a fine monumental arch in fair preservation, with an inscription to Antoninus Pius. Facing the arch, within the Hieron, their rear walls forming one side of the enclosure, are three temples, connected with one another by arches, and forming one design. The length of the entire facade is 118 ft. The principal chamber of the central temple, which is of the Composite order, is 44 ft. long; those of the side temples, in the Corinthian style, are smaller. The walls of the middle temple are ornamented with engaged columns; those of the other buildings with pilasters. The porticos have fallen, and their broken monolithic columns, with fragments of cornices and other masonry, lie piled within the enclosure, which is still partly paved. (In 1901 a violent storm further damaged the temples and forced the gateway out of the perpendicular.) The other ruins include a triumphal arch of Constantine, a still serviceable bridge and a square keep or tower of late date.

The early history of Sufetula is preserved only in certain inscriptions. Under Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius it appears to have been a flourish in city, the district, now desolate, being then very fertile and covered with forests of olives. It was partly rebuilt during the Byzantine occupation and became a centre of Christianity. At the time of the Arab invasion it was the Capital of the exarch Gregorius, and outside its walls the battle was fought in which he was slain; his daughter, who is said by the Arab historians to have fought by the side of her father, became the wife of one of the Arab leaders. The invaders besieged, captured and sacked Sufetula, and it is not afterwards mentioned in history. It was not until the close of the 19th century that the ruins were thoroughly examined by French savants.

See A. Graham, Roman Africa (London, 1902); Sir R. L. Playfair, Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce (London, 1877).


SCABBARD, the sheath of a sword. The early forms of the word given in the Promptorium parvularum are scauberk, scaubert or scauberd. The termination is certainly from the Teutonic bergen, to protect, as seen in “hauberk,” “hawberk” (i.e. halsberg), literally a protection for the neck and shoulders, hence the “long tunic of mail” of the 12th century (see Arms and Armour). The first part is doubtful; Skeat takes it as representing the O. Fr. escale, mod. écaille, shell, Ger. Schale; the word would therefore mean an outer sheath or shell that covers or protects.


SCABBLING, or Scappling, in building, the process of reducing a stone to a rough square by the axe or hammer; in Kent the rag-stone masons call this knobbling (see Masonry).


SCABIES, or Itch, a skin disease due to an animal parasite, the Sarcoptes scabei (see Mite), which burrows under the epidermis at any part of the body, but hardly ever in the face or scalp of adults; it usually begins at the clefts of the fingers, where its presence may be inferred from several scattered pimples, which will probably have been torn at their summits by the scratching of the patient, or have been otherwise converted into vesicles or pustules. The remedy is soap and water, and sulphur ointment.


SCAEVOLA, the name of a famous family of ancient Rome, the most important members of which were:—

1. Gaius Scaevola, a legendary hero, who volunteered to assassinate Lars Porsena when he was besieging Rome. Making his way through the enemy's lines to the royal tent, but not knowing Porsena by sight, he slew his secretary by mistake. Before the royal tribunal Mucius declared that he was one of goo noble youths who had sworn to take the king's life, and that he had been chosen by lot to make the attempt first. Threatened with death or torture, Mucius thrust his right hand into the fire blazing upon an altar, and held it there until it was consumed. The king, deeply impressed and dreading a further attempt upon his life, ordered Mucius to be liberated, made peace with the Romans and withdrew his forces. Mucius was rewarded with a grant of land beyond the Tiber, known as the “ Mucia Prata ” in the time of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and received the name of Scaevola (“ left-handed ”). Dionysius says nothing of the incident of the tire, and attributes Porsena's alarm partly to the loss of a band of marauders in an ambuscade. The story is presumably an attempt to explain the name Scaevola, coloured by national and family vanity (Livy ii. 12; Dion. Halic. v. 27-30). The Mucius of the legend is described as a patrician; the following were undoubtedly plebeians.

2. Publius Mucius Scaevola, Roman orator and jurist, consul 133 b.c. during the time of the Gracchan disturbances. He was not opposed to moderate reforms, and refused to use violence against Tiberius Gracchus, although called upon in the senate “to protect the state and put down the tyrant.” After the murder of Gracchus, however, he expressed his approval of the act. He was an opponent of the younger Scipio Africanus, for which he was attacked by the satirist Lucilius (Persius i. II 5; Tuvenal i. 154). In 130 he succeeded his brother Mucianus as pontifex maximus. During his tenure of office he published a digest in 8o books of the official annals kept by himself and his predecessors, which were afterwards discontinued as unnecessary, their place being taken by the works of private annalists. He was chiefly distinguished for his knowledge of law, which he held to be indispensable to a successful pontifex. Cicero frequently mentions him as a lawyer of repute, and he is cited several times by the jurists whose works were used in the compilation of the Digest. He was also a famous player at ball and the game called Duodecim Scripta; after he had lost a game, he was able to recall the moves and throws in their order.[1]

See A. H. J. Greenidge, History of Rome.

3. Quintus Mucius Scaevola, son of (2), usually called “Pontifex Maximus,” to distinguish him from (4), consu1 in 95 b.c. with his friend L. Licinius Crassus the orator. He and his colleague brought forward the lex Licinia Mucia de civibus regundis, whereby any non-burgess who was convicted of having usurped the rights of citizenship was to be expelled from Rome, and any non-burgess was forbidden under pain of a heavy penalty to apply for the citizenship. Its object was undoubtedly to purify the elections and to prevent the undue influence of the Italians in the comitia. The indignation aroused by it was one of the chief causes of the Social War (see Mommsen's Hist. of Rome). After his consulship Scaevola was governor of the province of Asia, in which capacity he distinguished himself by his just dealing and his severe measures against the unscrupulous farmers of taxes (publican). The latter, finding themselves unable to touch Mucius, attacked him in the person of his legate, Publius Rutilius Rufus (q.'v.). In honour of his memory the Greeks of Asia set aside a day for the celebration of festivities and games called Mucia. He was subsequently appointed Pontifex Maximus, and, in accordance with a custom that had prevailed since the first plebeian appointment to that office (about 150 years before), was always ready to give gratuitous legal advice. His antechamber was thronged, and even the chief men of the state and such distinguished orators as Servius Sulpicius consulted him. He kept a firm hand over the priestly colleges and insisted upon the strict observance of definite regulations, although he was by no means bigoted in his views. He held that there were two kinds of religion, philosophical and traditional. The second was to be preferred for the sake of the unreasoning multitude, who ought to be taught to set a higher

  1. Some authorities hold that Quintilian (Inst. Orat. xi. 2, 38) refers to Scaevola (3).