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SCAMILLI IMPARES—SCANDINAVIAN CIVILIZATION

implied challenge. These locks were braided with bright ribbons or ornamented with a feather. After the successful warrior's return the scalp or scalps captured were dried, mounted and consecrated by a solemn dance. Some tribes hung the scalps to their bridles, others to their shields, while sonae ornamented with them the outer seams of their leggings. Scalping was sometimes adopted by the whites in their wars with the Redskins, and bounties have been offered for scalps several times in American history.

SCAMILLI IMPARES (“unequal steps,” Fr. escabeaux inégales; Ger. Schutzstege), in architecture, a term quoted by Vitruvius when referring to the rise given to the stylobate in the centre of the front and sides of a Greek temple. His explanation is not clear; he states (iii. 4) that, if set out level, the stylobate would have the appearance of being sunk in the centre, so that it is necessary that there should be an addition by means of small steps (scamilli impares). In book v. chap. 9, he again refers to the addition on the stylobate. The interpretation of his meaning by Penrose and other authorities is generally assumed to be the addition which it was necessary to leave on the lower frusta of the Doric column, or on the lower portion of the base of the Ionic column, so as to give them a proper bearing on the curved surface of the stylobate; when levelling ground, however, it is sometimes the custom to fix at intervals small bricks or tiles which are piled up until the upper surfaces of all of them are absolutely level. If, as an alternative, these piles were so arranged as to rise towards the centre, instead of a level a slightly curved surface might be obtained, and the term “unequal steps” would apply to them. This was the opinion of M. Bernouf, a French author, who points out that scamillus is a diminutive of scamnum, a small step (Fr. petit banc), which in some parts of France is employed when levelling the surface of areas or courts. According to Penrose the rise of the curved stylobate of the Parthenon had already been obtained in the stereobate carrying it, long before the problem of bedding the columns on the curve had arisen.

SCAMMONY, a plant, Convolvulus scammonia (Gr. σκαμωνία), native to the countries of the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin; it grows in bushy waste places, from Syria in the south to the Crimea in the north, its range extending westward to the Greek islands, but not to northern Africa or Italy. It is a twining perennial, bearing flowers like those of Convolvulus arvensis, and having irregularly arrow-shaped leaves and a thick fleshy root. The dried juice, “virgin scammony,” obtained by incision of the living root, has been used in medicine as scammonium,[1] but the variable quality of the drug has led to the employment of scammoniae resina, which is obtained from the dried root by digestion with alcohol.

The active principle is the glucoside scammonin or jalapin, C34H56O16. The dose of scammonium is 5 to 10 grains, of scammony resin 3 to 8 grains. Like certain other resins, scammony is inert until it has passed from the stomach into the duodenum, where it meets the bile, a chemical reaction occurring between it and the taurocholate and glycocholate of sodium, whereby it is converted into a powerful purgative. Its action is essentially that of a hydragogue, and is exercised upon practically the entire length of the alimentary canal. The drug is not a cholagogue, nor does it markedly affect the muscular coat of the bowel, but it causes a great increase of secretion from the intestinal glands. It acts in about four hours. In large doses it is, of course, a violent gastro-intestinal irritant. In consonance with the statement that scammony acts only after admixture with the bile, is the fact that hypodermic or intravenous injection of the drug produces no purgation, or indeed any other result. The drug frequently kills both the round-worm and the tape-worm, especially the former, and is therefore an anthelmintic. It is not largely used, but is very effective in the treatment of severe constipation, especially in children.

SCAMP, an idle, worthless rascal; in earlier (18th cent.) usage especially applied as a cant term for a highway robber, a foot-pad, later of one who incurs debts and decamps without paying them. The word appears to be derived from a shortened form of “scamper,” to run away, decamp, to move quickly or nimbly; which is generally taken to be a military slang word adapted from Dutch schampen, to escape; O. Fr. escamper; Ital. scampare; Lat. ex, out of, campus, field of battle, hence a vagabond deserter. This word must be distinguished from “scamp,” to do work in a hasty, careless manner, which is apparently a variant of “skimp,” “skimpy,” and is to be referred to the root seen in O. Nor. skammr, short; Eng. “scant.”

SCANDAL, disgrace, discredit, shame, caused by the report or knowledge of wrongdoing, hence defamation or gossip, especially malicious or idle; or such action as causes public offence or disrepute. (For the law relating to scandal, more generally termed “defamation” see Libel and Slander.) The Greek word σκάνδαλον, stumbling-block, cause of offence or temptation, is used in the Septuagint and the New Testament. Classical Greek had the word σκανδάληθρον.) 0pov only, properly the spring of a baited trap; the origin probably being the root seen in Latin scandere, to climb, get up. While the Latin scandalum has given such direct derivatives as Spanish and Portuguese escandalo, Dutch schandaal, Eng. “scandal,” &c., it is also the source of the synonymous “slander,” Middle Eng. sclaundre, O. Fr. esclandre, escandle.

A particular form of defamation was scandalum magnatum, “slander of great men,” words, that is, spoken defaming a peer spiritual or temporal, judge or dignitary of the realm. Action lay for such defamation under the statutes of 3 Edw. I. c. 34, 2 Rich. II. c. 5, and 12 Rich. II. c. 11 whereby damages could be recovered, even in cases where no action would lie, if the defamation were of an ordinary subject, and that without proof of special damage. These statutes, though long obsolete, were only abolished in 1887 (Statute Law Revision Act).

SCANDERBEG, or Iskender Bey (1403–1467), known also as “the Dragon of Albania,” the national hero of the Albanians, was the son of John (Giovanni) Castriota, lord of Kroia and of the Mirdite country in northern Albania, and of a Servian princess named Vaisava. His actual name was George (Giorgio) Castriota, and the name of Iskender Bey (Prince Alexander) was given to him by the Turks in complimentary reference to Alexander the Great. In 1423, when Murad II. invaded Epirus, George Castriota, with his three brothers, was handed over as a hostage to the Turks and sent to be trained in the service of the seraglio. His brilliant qualities of mind and body at once gained him the favour of the sultan; he became a Mussulman, was promoted to high military command and, though barely nineteen years of age, to the government of a sanjak. He remained in the Ottoman service for twenty years, dissembling his resentment when, on the death of his father, his principality was annexed and his brothers poisoned. In 1443, however, his opportunity came with Janos Hunyadi's victory at Nish. He seized Kroia by stratagem, proclaimed himself a Christian, and gathered the wild Albanian clansmen about him. In the inaccessible fastnesses of Albania he maintained a guerilla warfare against the Turks during nearly twenty-five years, easily routing the armies sent against him, and is said to have slain three thousand Turks with his own hand. In 1461 Murad's successor Mahommed II. acknowledged him by a temporary truce as lord of Albania and Epirus. He died in 1467 at Alessio, and his tomb was long the object of a superstitious veneration on the part of the Turks. Scanderbeg's resistance to the Turkish advance was invaluable to the cause of Christianity, but the union which he had maintained in Albania did not survive him. He was succeeded in Kroia by his son, Giovanni Castriota, who in 1474 sold the principality to the Venetians, by whom four years later it was re-sold to the Turks.

See Georges T. Petrovitch, Scander-beg (Georges Castriota); Essai de bibliographies raisonnée; Ouvrages sur Scander-beg écrit en langues française, anglaise, allemande, latine, italienne, &c. (Paris, 1881); Pisko, Skanderbeg, historische Studie (Vienna, 1895).

SCANDINAVIAN CIVILIZATION. The date of man's first appearance in Scandinavia is still an open question. But for all practical purposes Scandinavian archaeology only begins with the Neolithic or Later Stone Age, since the country must have been covered with ice during the preceding period, the Palaeolithic or Early Stone Age, when parts of Europe were already inhabited. Thus the expressions Earlier and Later Stone

Age in Scandinavian archaeology merely refer to subdivisions

  1. It was formerly called diagrydion, probably from δάκρυ, a tear, in allusion to the manner in which the juice exudes from the incised root.