Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/136

This page has been validated.

126 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which the ancient learning was embraced, and, "had it not been for the efforts of Jewish translators, it is quite likely that the darkness of the middle ages would have enveloped us a good while longer." They were also active in the arts and trades, and carried on commerce. These statements are not bare assertions, but are sustained by abundant citations and references to authorities, which really constitute the bulk of the volume.

Lake Agassiz: A Chapter in Glacial Geology. By Warren Upham. Winona, Minn.: Jones & Kroeger, Printers. Pp. 24.

Lake Agassiz is the name given to a body of water which is supposed to have been formed in the basin of the Red River of the North and of Lake Winnipeg, during the final melting and recession of the ice sheet. Measured by the shore-line it was 175 miles, in a direct line 142 miles, from north to south. At its greatest height its outlet was about 1,055 feet above the sea, and was then through the valley of the Minnesota River, the flow to the north which the rivers of the valley now take having been restrained at that time by the thickness of the continental ice-sheet. The elucidating of these hypotheses is accompanied by a study in detail of the geological features of the district supposed to have been occupied by the lake.

The Iroquois Book of Rites. Edited by Horatio Hale, M. A. Philadelphia: D. G. Brinton. Pp. 222. Price, $3.

This is the second volume of the "Library of Aboriginal American Literature" of which Dr. Brinton has undertaken the publication. The book itself is an aboriginal composition, partly in the Mohawk and partly in the Onondaga languages, and comprises the speeches, songs, and other ceremonies which composed the proceedings of the council when a deceased chief was lamented and his successor was installed in office. The ritual, which had been preserved by tradition for a period of unknown duration, was reduced to writing at about the middle of the last century, when many of the members of the tribes having learned to write in the orthography devised by the missionaries, the chiefs of the great council directed its composition in that form for permanent preservation. Copies of one part of the work were obtained by Mr. Hale from John Smoke Johnson, Speaker of the Great Council, and a descendant of Sir William Johnson, and Chief John Buck, Record Keeper; and of the other part, from the interpreter Daniel La Fort, of Onondaga Castle. Besides the ritual-books in their originals and English translations, with glossaries and notes, the volume contains a history of the Iroquois nation and league, an exposition of its policy, an account of the origin and composition of the books, a review of the historical traditions of the nation, and an analysis of the Iroquois language. The book is one of great ethnological value, in the light it casts on the political and social life, as well as the character and capacity, of the people with whom it originated.

"The Homœopathic Leader." Edited by Walter Williams Cowl, M. D., and Associates. Monthly: July, 1883. Pp. 78. Price, per year, $4.

This is the first number of a new magazine, the intended character of which is indicated by its name. It contains, besides a poetical salutatory, nine contributed articles on subjects of disease and treatment, editorial articles, notes, and proceedings of homœopathic societies. The editor reports upon a kind of election he has taken among the practitioners called homœopathic, for the purpose of determining to what extent they adhere to the original principles of the school, in which they have been accused of indulging a growing laxity. So far as the "returns" have come in, the majority still appear to "continue to believe in infinitesimals and dynamization, they still believe in the law of similars, and continue to honor the man who declared the fact and proved its truth."

A Practical Arithmetic. By G. A. Wentworth, A. M., and Rev. Thomas Hill, D. D., LL. D. Boston: Ginn, Heath & Co. Pp. 351. Price, $1.10.

There is much that is new in this book as compared with the arithmetics of ten years ago, notably in the arrangement. After five pages on "Numbers," "Decimal Fractions" are at once introduced, and are explained by means of the divisions of United States