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SENNA—SENNACHERIB

France from Clovis to Henry IV., and still represented by ruins dating from the 11th, 13th and 16th centuries. In the neighbourhood of Senlis the foundations of a Roman amphitheatre have also been discovered. The old cathedral of Notre Dame (12th, 13th and 16th centuries) was begun in 1155 on a vast scale; but owing to the limited resources of the diocese progress was slow and the transept was finished only under Francis I. The total length is 312 ft. (outside measurement), but the nave (92 ft. high) is shorter than the choir. At the west front there are three doorways and two bell towers. The right-hand tower (256 ft. high) is very striking: it consists, above the belfry stage, of a very slender octagonal drum with open-work turrets and a spire with eight dormer windows. The left-hand tower, altered in the 16th century, is crowned by a balustrade and a sharp roof. In the side portals, especially in the southern, the flamboyant Gothic is displayed in all its delicacy. Externally the choir is extremely simple. In the interior the sacristy pillars with capitals of the 10th century are noteworthy. The episcopal palace, now an archaeological museum, dates from the 13th century; the old collegiate church of St Frambourg was built in the 12th century in the style which became characteristic of the “ saintes chapelles ” of the 13th and 14th centuries; St Pierre (chiefly of the 15th and 16th centuries) serves as a market. The ecclesiastical college of St Vincent, occupying the old abbey of this name, has an interesting church probably of the 12th century. Its date has, however, been greatly disputed by archaeologists, who sometimes wrongly refer it to Queen Anne of Russia, foundress in the rrth century of the abbey. The town hall (15th century) and several private houses are also of architectural interest.

Senlis has tribunals of first instance and of commerce and a sub-prefecture. The manufacture of bricks and tiles, cardboard, measures and other wares are among the industries. The town is an agricultural market.

Senile can be traced back to the Gallo-Roman township of the Silvanectes, which afterwards became Augustomagus. Christianity was introduced by St Rieul probably about the close of the 3rd century. During the first two dynasties of France Senlis was a royal residence and generally formed part of the royal domain; it obtained a communal charter in 1173. In the middle ages local manufactures, especially that of cloth, were active. The burgesses took part in the lacquerie of the 14th century, then sided with the Burgundians and the English; whom, however, they afterwards expelled. The Leaguers were there beaten in 1589 by Henry I., duke of Longueville, and François de La Noue. The bishopric was suppressed at the Revolution, and this suppression was confirmed by the Concordat. Treaties between Louis XI. and Francis II., duke of Brittany (1475), and between Charles VIII. and Maximilian of Austria (1493) were signed at Senlis.


SENNA (Arab. saná), a popular purgative, consisting of the leaves of two species of Cassia (natural order Leguminosae), viz. C. acutifolia and C. angustifolia. These are small shrubs about 2 ft. high, with numerous lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate leaflets arranged innately dn a main stalk with no terminal leaflet; the yellow flowers are borne in long-stalked racemes in the leaf-axils, and are succeeded by broad flattish pods about 2 in. long. C. acutifolia is a native of many districts of Nubia, e.g. Dongola, Berber, Kordofan and Senaar, but is grown also in Timbuctoo and Sokoto. The leaflets are collected twice a year by the natives, the principal crop being gathered in September after the rainy season and a smaller quantity in April. The leaves are dried in the simplest manner by cutting down the shrubs and exposing them on the rocks to the burning sun until quite dry. The leaflets then readily fall off and are packed in large bags made of palm leaves, and holding about a quintal each. These packages are conveyed by camels to Assouan and Darao and thence to Cairo and Alexandria, or by ship by way of Massowah and Suakim. The leaflets form the Alexandrian senna of commerce. Formerly this variety of senna was much adulterated with the leaves of Solenostemma Argel, which, however, are readily distinguishable by their minutely wrinkled surface. Of late years Alexandrian senna has been shipped of much better quality. Occasionally a few leaves of a similar species with broader obovate leaves, C. obovata, may be found mixed with it. C. angustifolia affords the Bombay, East Indian, Arabian or Mecca senna of commerce. This plant grows wild in the neighbourhood of Yemen and Hadramaut in the south of Arabia, in Somaliland, and in Sind and the Punjab in India. The leaves are chiefly shipped from Mocha, Aden, Jeddah and other Red Sea ports to Bombay and thence to Europe, the average imports into Bombay amounting to about 250 tons annually, of which one-half is re-exported. Bombay senna is very inferior in appearance to the Alexandrian, as it frequently contains many brown and decayed leaflets and is mixed with leaf-stalks, &c. C. angustifolia is also cultivated in the extreme south of India, and there affords larger leaves, which are known in commerce as Tinnevelly senna. This variety is carefully collected, and consists almost exclusively of leaves of a fine green colour, without any admixture of stalks. It is exported from Tuticorin. American senna is Cassia marilandica.

The British Pharmacopoeia recognizes both Senna Alexandrina and Senna Indira. The composition of the leaves is the same in either case. The chief ingredient is cathartic acid, a sulphur containing glucoside of complex formula. It occurs combined with calcium and magnesium to form soluble salts. That this is the active principle of senna is shown by the fact that the cat hart ate of ammonia, when given separately, acts in precisely the same manner as senna itself. Cathartic acid can easily be decomposed into glucose and cathartogenic acid. The leaves contain at least two other glucosides, sennapicrin and sennacrol, but as these are insoluble in water, they are not contained in most of the preparations of senna. Senna also contains a little chrysophanic acid.

Of the numerous pharmacopoeia preparations three must be mentioned. The confectio sennae, an admirable laxative for children, contains senna, coriander fruit, figs, tamarind, cassia, pulp, prunes, extract of liquorice, sugar and water. When coated with chocolate it is known as Tamar Indien. The pulvis glycerhizae compositus contains two parts of senna in twelve, the other ingredients being unimportant. A third preparation, rarely employed nowadays, is the nauseous “ black draught,” once in high favour. It is known as the mistura sennae composita, and contains sulphate of magnesium, liquorice, cardamoms, aromatic spirit of ammonia and infusion of senna. All the preparations are made indifferently from either kind of leaflet.

When taken internally, senna stimulates the muscular coat of the bowel in its entire length, the colon being more particularly affected. As some congestion of the rectum is thereby produced, senna is contra-indicated whenever haemorrhoids are present. The secretions of the bowel are not markedly stimulated, and the flow of bile is only slightly accelerated. The drug has the advantage, for most cases, of not producing subsequent constipation. The chief purgative ingredients are the cathartates already described. Partial absorption occurs, so that the colour of the urine may be darkened, and as the drug is also excreted by the active mamma it may cause purgation in a baby to whose mother it has been given.

Senna should not be used alone, as its taste and the pain induced by its muscular stimulation are both objectionable. There are many ways of using it. A few of the leaflets may be put into a dish of prunes, when a convenient aperient for children is desired. It is especially valuable in cases of atony of the colon, and the compound liquorice powder is safe and useful in the treatment of the constipation of pregnancy.


SENNACHERIB (Ass. Sin-akhi-erba, “ the Moon-god has increased the brethren ”), the son and successor of Sargon, mounted the throne on the 12th of Ab 705 b.c. His first campaign was against Babylonia, where Merodach-baladan had reappeared. The Chaldaean usurper was compelled to fly, and Bel-ibni was appointed king of Babylon in his place. Then Sennacherib marched against the Kassi in the northern mountains of Elam and ravaged the kingdom of Ellip where Ecbatana afterwards stood. In 701 b.c. came a great campaign in the west, which had revolted from Assyrian rule. Sidon and other Phoenician cities were captured, but Tyre held out, while its king Lulia (Elulaeus) fied to Cyprus. Ashdod, Ammon, Moab and Edom now submitted, but Hezekiah of Judah with the dependent

Philistine princes of Ashkelon and Ekron dened the Assyrian