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SEMPACH—SEMPILL

of which was celebrated on the 5th of June, there were shown the distaff and spindle of Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, and in the eyes of Roman matrons the embodiment of all wifely virtues. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (iv. 58) states that the treaty concluded between Tarquinius Superbus and the town of Gabii was deposited in the same temple of Sancus, whose name he translates by Ζεύς πίστοις. He could only be invoked under the open sky, as partaking of the nature of a god of light and day; hence a round opening was made in the roof of his temple through which prayers might ascend to heaven. If he was invoked in a private house, those who called upon his name stood beneath the opening in the roof called compluvium. The bronze orbs mentioned by Livy (viii. 20. 8) as having been set up in his temple are also supposed to have some connexion with this, although they may be merely symbols of the eternal power of Rome. There was a second chapel of Semo Sancus on the island in the Tiber with an altar, the inscription on which led Christian writers (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius) to confuse him with Simon Magus, and to infer that the latter was worshipped at Rome as a god. The cult of Semo Sancus never possessed very great importance at Rome; authorities differ as to whether it was of Sabine origin or not. The plural Semones was used of a class of supernatural beings, a kind of tutelary deities of the state.

See Preller, Römische Mythologie; article “ Dius Fidius," by Wissowa, in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie, and his Religion und Kultus der Römer (1902), who rejects the identity of Semo Sancus Dius Fidius with Hercules; W. W. Fowler, The Roman Festivals (1899); E. Jannettaz, Étude sur Semo Sanctus Didius (Paris, 1885), according to whom he was a Sabine fire god.


SEMPACH, a small town in the Swiss canton of Lucerne, built above the eastern shore of the lake of the same name, and about 1½ m. by road north of the Sempach railway station (9 m. N.W. of Lucerne) on the main line between Lucerne and Olten. In 1900 it had 2592 inhabitants, German-speaking and Romanists. It has retained some traces of its medieval appearance, especially the main gateway, beneath a watch tower, and reached by a bridge over the old moat. About half an hour distant to the north-east, on the hillside, is the site of the famous battle of Sempach (9th July 1386), in which the Swiss defeated the Austrians, whose leader, Duke Leopold, lost his life. The legendary deed of Arnold of Winkelried (q.v.) is associated with this victory. The spot is now marked by an ancient and picturesque Battle Chapel (restored in 1886) and by a modern monument to Winkelried. Some miles north of Sempach is the quaint village of Münster or Beromünster (973 inhabitants in 1900), with a collegiate church founded in the 10th century and dating, in parts, from the 11th and 12th centuries (fine 17th-century choir stalls and altar frontals), the chapter of secular canons now consisting of invalided priests of the canton of Lucerne: it was in Beromünster that the first dated book was printed (1470) in Switzerland, by care of the canons, while thence came Gering who introduced printing into France.

See Th. von Liebenau, Die Schlacht bei Sempach (Lucerne, 1886).  (W. A. B. C.) 


SEMPER, GOTTFRIED (1803–1879), German architect and writer on art, was born at Altona on the 29th of November 1803. His father intended him for the law, but his impulses towards an artistic career were irresistible. His early mastery of classical literature led him to the study of classic monuments in classic lands, while his equally conspicuous talent for mathematics gave him the laws of form and proportion in architectural design. At the university of Göttingen he fell under the influence of K. O. Müller. His architectural education was carried out successively in Hamburg, where later, upon his return from Greece, he built the Donner Museum, in Berlin, in Dresden, in Paris under Gau and in Munich under Gärtner; afterwards he visited Italy and Greece. While in Greece he made observations which showed that in ancient architecture the use of polychrome was frequent. In the diffusion of this discovery he was much aided by Jacques Ignace Hittorff. In 1834 he was appointed professor of architecture in Dresden, and during fifteen years received many important commissions from the Saxon court. He built the opera-house in Renaissance style, the new museum and picture gallery, and a Byzantine synagogue. In 1848 his turbulent spirit led him to side with the revolution against his royal patron; he furnished the rebels with military plans, and was eventually driven into exile. Semper came to London at the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and Prince Albert found him an able ally in carrying out his plans. He was appointed teacher of the principles of decoration; his lectures in manuscript are preserved in the art library, South Kensington. He was also employed by the prince consort to prepare a design for the Kensington Museum; and he made the drawings for the Wellington funeral car. In 1853 Semper left London for Zurich on his appointment as professor of architecture, and with a commission to build in that town the polytechnic school and the hospital. He also built the observatory and the railway station in that city. Here, too, he made plans for a large theatre in Rio Janeiro. In 1870 he was called to Vienna to assist in the great architectural projects since carried out around the Ring. A year later, after an exile of over twenty years, he received a summons to Dresden, on the rebuilding of the first opera-house, which had been destroyed by fire in 1869; his second design was a modification of the first. The closing years of his life were passed in comparative tranquillity between Venice and Rome, and in the latter cityihe died on the,15th of May 1879. In 1892 a bronze statue of Semper, by Johannes Schelling, was unveiled on the Brühlsche Terrasse in Dresden.

Semper's style was a growth from the classic orders through the Italian Cinque Cento. He forsook the base and rococo forms he found rooted in Germany, and, reverting to the best historic examples, fashioned a purer Renaissance. He stands as a leader in the practice of polychrome, since widely diffused, and by his writings and example did much to reinstate the ancient union between architecture, sculpture and painting. Among his numerous literary works are Über Polychrornie u. ihren Ursprung (1851), Die Anwendung der Farben in der Architektur u. Plastik bei den Alten, Der Stil in den technischen u. tektonischen Künsten (1860–1863). His Notes of Lectures on Practical Art in Metals and Hard Materials: its Technology, History and Style, were left in MS.


SEMPILL, the name of a Scottish family long seated in Renfrewshire. An early member, Sir Thomas Sempill (d. 1488), was killed whilst fighting for James III. at the battle of Sauchieburn, and his son John (d. 1513), who was made a lord of parliament about 1489, fell at Flodden. John's grandson, Robert, 3rd Lord Sempill (c. 1505-1 572), assisted the Scottish regent, Mary of Lorraine, in her struggle with the lords of the congregation, and was afterwards one of the partisans of Mary, queen of Scots; about 1566, however, he deserted the queen, against whom he fought at Carberry Hill and at Langside. His grandson, Robert (d. 1611), became the 4th Lord Sempill, and another grandson was Sir James Sempill of Beltrees (q.v.). The title of Lord Sempill descended to Francis, the 8th lord (d. 1684), who was succeeded by his sister Anne (d. 1695), the wife of Francis Abercromby (d. 1703), who was created a peer for life as Lord, Glassford. Their sons, Francis, John and Hugh, who took the surname of Sempill, succeeded in turn to the title. Hugh, 12th Lord Sempill (d. 1746), fought in Spain and in Flanders, and held a command in the English army at Culloden; in 1747 he was made colonel of the Black Watch. His title descended to Selkirk Sempill, the 15th lord (1788-183 5), who was succeeded by his sister, Maria ]anet (1 '}'QO'-1884). She was succeeded by a cousin, William Forbes (18 36-190 5), a descendant of the 13th lord, who took the name of F orbes-Sempill; in 1905 his son, John Forbes-Sempill (b. 1863), became the 18th lord. A certain Robert Sempill, who served James Edward, the Old Pretender, in France, and is described as a captain in Dillon's famous Irish regiment, was created Lord Sempill by this prince after 1723. This circumstance has given rise to a certain amount of confusion between the different holders of the title.


SEMPILL (or Semple), SIR JAMES, ROBERT AND FRANCIS, three Scottish ballad-writers, known as the Sempills of Beltrees from their place in Renfrewshire.

Sir James Sempill (1566-1626) was the son of John Sempill of Beltrees, and Mary Livingstone, one of the “ four Marys,” companions of Mary, queen of Scots. He was brought up with James VI. under George Buchanan, and later assisted the king