Oakham (4), county town of Rutland, 17 m. E. of Leicester, in the centre of a fine wheat country; has an old church, a grammar-school founded in 1581, and a castle mostly in ruins; manufactures of boots and hosiery, and carries on malting.
Oakland (67), on the E. coast of the Bay of San Francisco, 4½ m. across from San Francisco city, is the capital of Alameda County, California, a beautiful city with tree-lined streets, surrounded by vineyards and orchards; it has a home of the adult blind of the State, manufactures of textile and iron goods, and fruit-canning industries, and is the terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Oaks, The, one of the three great classic races in England, run at Epsom; established by the 12th Earl of Derby in 1779 for fillies of 3 years old.
Oakum, name given to fibres of old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an occupation for prisoners in jails.
Oases, fertile spots in a desert due to the presence of springs or water near at hand underground; met with in the deserts of North Africa, Arabia, and Gobi.
Oates, Titus, fabricator of a Popish plot for the overthrow of the Protestant faith in England, the allegation of which brought to the block several innocent men; rewarded at first with a pension and safe lodgment in Westminster Hall, was afterwards convicted of perjury, flogged, and imprisoned for Life, but at the revolution was set at liberty and granted a pension of £300 (1650-1705).
Obadiah, a Hebrew prophet who appears to have lived about 588 B.C., shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, at which the Edomites had assisted, and whose prophecy was written to assure the exiles in Babylon that the judgment of God had gone forth against Edom, and that with the execution of it Israel would be restored.
Oban (5), a modern town situated in the W. of Argyllshire, on a land-locked bay opening off the Firth of Lorne, is the capital, sometimes called the “Queen,” of the Western Highlands, and a fashionable tourist resort; it has excellent railway and steamboat communications, 30 hotels, and has near it two ruined castles, an ancient cave dwelling, and much beautiful scenery; Dunstaffnage Castle is 4 m. to the N. of it, where the early Scottish kings used to be crowned.
Obeid (35), in the Eastern Soudan, 220 m. SW. of Khartoum, is the capital of Kordofan; was the scene in November 1883 of the annihilation by the forces of the Mahdi, after three days' fighting, of an Egyptian army under Hicks Pasha and other English officers; its trade consists of ivory, gold, feathers, and gum.
Obelisk, a tall four-sided pillar, generally monolithic, tapering to a pyramidal pointed top, erected in connection with temples in Egypt, and inscribed all over with hieroglyphs, and in memorial, as is likely, of some historical personage or event; they are of ancient date.
Ober-Ammergau, a small village in Bavaria, 45 m. SW. of Münich; famed for the Passion Play performed there by the peasants, some 500 in number, every ten years, which attracts a great many spectators to the spot; the play was instituted in 1634 in token of gratitude for the abatement of a plague.
Oberlin, Jean Friedrich, a benevolent Protestant pastor, born at Strasburg; laboured all his life at Ban de la Roche, a wild mountain district of Alsace, and devoted himself with untiring zeal to the spiritual and material welfare of the people, which they rewarded with their pious gratitude and warmest affection.
Oberon, the king of the fairies, and the husband of Titania.
Obi, a river and, with its tributaries, great water highway of West Siberia, which rises in the Altai Mountains, and after a course of 2120 m. falls into the Arctic Ocean.
Objective, a philosophical term used to denote that which is true universally apart from all merely private sense or judgment, and finds response in the universal reason, the reason that is common to all rational beings; it is opposed to subjective, or agreeable to one's mere feelings or fancy.
Oblates, the name given to an organisation of secular priests living in community, founded by St. Charles Borromeo at the end of the 16th century, and who are ready to render any services the bishop may require of them.
Oboe, a treble-sounding musical instrument of the reed class, to which the bassoon is reckoned the bass.
Obelus, a small coin worth about a penny, according to a custom among the Greeks placed in the mouth of a corpse at burial to pay to Charon to ferry the ghost of it over the Styx.
O'Brien, William, journalist, and a Nationalist ex-M.P. for Cork; was twice over imprisoned for political offences; had to retire in 1895; b. 1852.
O'Brien, William Smith, Irish patriot; entered Parliament in 1826; sat for Limerick from 1835 to 1843, when he joined the Repeal Association under O'Connell, but separated from it; joined the physical force Young Ireland party, and became the head; attempted an insurrection, which failed, and involved him in prosecution for treason and banishment for life; a free pardon was afterwards granted on promise of abstaining from all further disloyalty; he died at Bangor, in North Wales (1803-1864).
Obscurantist, name given to an opponent to modern enlightenment as professed by the devotees of modern science and philosophy.
Obsidian, a hard, dark-coloured rock of a glassy structure found in lava, which breaks with conchoidal fracture.
Occam or Oakham, William of, an English Scholastic philosopher, born at Oakham, Surrey, surnamed Doctor Invincibilis; was a monk of the order of St. Francis; studied under Duns Scotus (q. v.), and became his rival, and a reviver of Nominalism (q. v.) in opposition to him, by his insistence on which he undermined the whole structure of Scholastic dogmatism, that is, its objective validity, and plunged it in hopeless ruin, but cleared the way for modern speculation, and its grounding of the Objective (q. v.) on a surer basis (1280-1347).
Occasionalism, the doctrine that the action of the spiritual organisation on the material, and of the material on the spiritual, or of the inner on the outer, and the outer on the inner, is due to the divine interposition taking occasion of the effort of mind, or of the inner, on the one hand, and the effort of matter, or the outer, on the other, to work the effect or result; or that the link connecting cause and effect in both cases, that is, the acion of the outer world on the inner, and vice versa, is God.
Oceania, an imaginary commonwealth described by James Harrington (1611-1697) in which the project of a doctrinaire republic is worked out; also a book of Froude's on the English colonies.
Oceania, the name given to the clusters of islands, consisting of Australasia in the S., Malaysia in the E. Indian Archipelago, and Polynesia in the N. and E. of the Pacific.
Oceanides, the nymphs of the Ocean, all daughters of Oceanus, some 3000 in number.
Oceanus or Okeanos, in the Greek mythology the great world-stream which surrounds the whole earth, and is the parent source of all seas and streams, presided over by a Titan, the husband of Tethys, and the father of all river-gods and water-nymphs. He is the all-father of the world, as his wife is the all-mother, and the pair occupy a palace apart on the extreme verge of the world.
Ochils (i. e. the heights), a range of hills lying NE. and SW. between the valleys of the Forth and Tay; reach their highest point in Ben Cleugh (2363 ft.), near Stirling; the range is 24 m. long by 12 broad, and affords pasture for black-faced sheep; of the peaks of the range Dunmyat is the most striking, as Ben Cleuch is the highest.
Ochiltree, Edie, a talkative, kind-hearted gaberlunzie who figures a good deal in Scott's “Antiquary.”
Ochino, Bernardino, an Italian monk, born in Sienna; after 40 years' zeal in the service of the Church embraced the Reformed doctrine; fled from the power of the Inquisition to Geneva; took refuge in England; ministered here and there to Italian refugees, but was hunted from place to place; died at last of the plague in Moravia (1487-1564).
Ochterlony, Sir David, British general, born at Boston, U.S., of Scottish descent; entered the Indian army; distinguished himself in the war against the Goorkhas; was made a baronet, and received a pension of £1000 for his services; a monument to his memory stands in the Maidan Park, Calcutta (1758-1825).
Ockley, Simon, Orientalist, became professor of Arabic; wrote a “History of the Saracens,” part of it in a debtors' prison; died in indigence (1678-1720).
O'Connell, Daniel, Irish patriot, known as the “Liberator,” born near Cahirciveen, co. Kerry; educated at St. Omer, Douay, and Lincoln's Inn; was called to the Irish bar in 1798, and was for twenty-two years a famous and prosperous practitioner on the Munster circuit; turning to politics he became leader of the Catholics in 1811, his object being the removal of the Catholic disabilities; the Catholic Association of 1823 was organised by him, which he induced the priesthood to join, and awakened irresistible enthusiasm throughout the country; the electors now began to vote independently, and O'Connell was returned for Clare in 1828; the House refused to admit him; but so strong, and at the same time so orderly, was the agitation in Ireland, that in 1829 the Catholic disabilities were removed, and O'Connell, returned again for Clare, took his seat in the House of Commons; next year he represented Waterford in the new Parliament, and subsequently Kerry, Dublin, Kilkenny, and Cork; he now formed a society for promoting the repeal of the Union, which survived several suppressions, and reappeared under different names; but in spite of his exertions in the House and in the country the cause languished, till, in 1843, as Lord Mayor of Dublin, he carried a resolution in its favour in the City Council; but now under the pressure of less experienced agitators, his monster meetings and other proceedings began to overstep legal limits, and in 1844 he, with six of his supporters, was indicted for raising sedition; he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and a fine of £2000, but the sentence was set aside in 14 weeks; by this time the Young Ireland party had broken away from him, the potato famine came, he was conscious of failure, and his health was broken; he died on his way to Rome, at Genoa; a man of great physical strength and energy, and a master of oratory, he gave himself unselfishly to serve his country, sacrificing a legal practice worth £7000 a year, honestly administering the immense sums contributed, and spending his private means for his cause; with an undeniable taint of coarseness, violence, and scurrility in his nature, he was yet a man of independent and liberal mind, an opponent of rebellion, loyal to his sovereign, a great and sincere patriot (1775-1847).
Octavia, the sister of Augustus, a woman distinguished for her beauty and her virtue; was married first to Marcellus, and on his death to Mark Antony, who forsook her for Cleopatra, but to whom she remained true, even, on his miserable end, nursing his children by Cleopatra along with her own; one other grief she had to endure in the death of her son Marcellus (q. v.) by her former husband, and the destined successor of Augustus on the throne.
October, the tenth month of the year so called (i. e. the eighth) by the Romans, whose year began on March.
Od, name given to a physical force recently surmised and believed to pervade all nature, and as manifesting itself chiefly in connection with mesmeric phenomena.
Oddfellows, the name of several friendly societies. The Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, is the largest and most important of the number, its membership is over 665,000, and its funds amount to £8,000,000. It has been the pioneer in many important movements of the kind, several of the provisions now compulsory on all societies it observed of its own accord, prior to their enactment; the actuarial tables compiled from its statistics in 1845 by its secretary, Henry Radcliffe, are still a standard work. The Grand United Order of Oddfellows has a membership of 241,000, and funds amounting to £882,000; the National Independent Order of Oddfellows embraces 58,000 members, and has £242,000.
Oder, an important German river, rises in Moravia, and crossing the frontier flows NW. through Silesia, and N. through Brandenburg and Pomerania 550 m. into the Stettiner Haff and so to the Baltic. On its banks stand Ratibor, where navigation ends, Breslau, Frankfort, and Stettin; it receives its chief tributary, the navigable Warthe, on the right, and has canal communication with the Spree and the Elbe.
Odessa (298), on the Black Sea, 25 m. NE. of the mouth of the Dniester, is the fourth largest city of Russia, and the chief southern port and emporium of commerce. It exports large shipments of wheat, sugar, and wool; imports cotton, groceries, iron, and coal, and manufactures flour, tobacco, machinery, and leather. It is well fortified, and though many of the poor live in subterraneous caverns, is a fine city, with a university, a cathedral, and a public library. It was a free port from 1817 till 1857. The population includes many Greeks and Jews.
Odin or Wodin, the chief god of the ancient Scandinavians, combined in one the powers of Zeus and Ares among the Greeks, and was attended by two black ravens—Hugin, mind, and Munin, memory, the bearers of tidings between him and the people of his subject-world. His council chamber is in Asgard (q. v.), and he holds court with his warriors in Valhalla (q. v.). He is the source of all wisdom as well as all power, and is supposed by Carlyle to have been the deification of some one who incarnated in himself all the characteristic wisdom and valour of the Scandinavian race; Frigga was his wife, and Balder and Thor his sons. See Carlyle's “Heroes.”
Odo, bishop of Bayeux, brother of William the Conqueror, fought by his side at Hastings; after blessing the troops, was made Earl of Kent, and appointed governor of kingdom during William's absence in Normandy; had great influence in State affairs all along, and set out for the Holy Land, but died at Palermo (1032-1096).
Odoacer, a Hun, son of one of Attila's officers, who entered the Imperial Guards, dethroned Augustulus, and became emperor himself; Zeno, the emperor of the East, enlisted Theodoric of the Ostrogoths against him, who made a treaty with him to be joint ruler of the kingdom of Italy, and assassinated him in 493.
O'Donnell, Leopold, Spanish soldier and politician, born, of Irish descent, at Santa Cruz, in Teneriffe; entered the army, and attached himself to the cause of Queen Isabella, on whose emergence from her minority in 1843 he was made Governor of Cuba; there he enriched himself by trading in slaves, and returning to Spain threw himself into politics; he joined Espartero's cabinet in 1854, and two years later supplanted him as chief minister; he commanded in the Moorish war of 1858, and was created Duke of Tetuan after the capture of that city; he was again Prime Minister till 1866, and died in exile at Bayonne (1809-1867).
Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer relating the ten years' wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseus) after the fall of Troy, and his return at the end of them to his native kingdom of Ithaca. See Ulysses.
Oecolampadius, Joannes, one of the leaders of the Reformation, born at Weinsberg, in Würtemberg; became preacher at Basel, assisted Erasmus in his edition of the New Testament, entered a convent at Augsburg, came under Luther's influence and adopted the reformed doctrine, of which he became a preacher and professor, embraced in particular the views of Zwingli (1482-1531).
Oedipus, a mythological king of Thebes, son of Laius and Jocasta, and fated to kill his father and marry his mother; unwittingly slew his father in a quarrel; for answering the riddle of the Sphinx (q. v.) was made king in his stead, and wedded his widow, by whom he became the father of four children; on discovery of the incest Jocasta hanged herself, and Oedipus went mad and put out his eyes.
Oehlenschläger, Adam Gottlob, great Danish poet, born at Copenhagen; his poems first brought him into notice and secured him a travelling pension, which he made use of to form acquaintanceship with such men as Goethe and his literary confrères in Germany, during which time he commenced that series of tragedies on northern subjects on which his fame chiefly rests, which include “Hakon Jarl,” “Correggio,” “Palnatoke,” &c.; his fame, which is greatest in the North, has spread, for he ranks among the Danes as Goethe among the Germans, and his death was felt by the whole nation (1779-1850).
Oehler, Gustav, learned German theologian, professor at Tübingen, eminent for his studies and writings on the Old Testament (1812-1872).
Oeil-de-boeuf, a large reception-room in the palace of Versailles, lighted by a window so called (ox-eye it means), and is the name given in French history to the French Court, particularly during the Revolution period.
Oeland (37), an island off the SE. coast of Sweden, 55 m. long and about 10 m. broad; has good pasture ground, and yields alum; the fisheries good.
Oenonë, a nymph of Mount Ida, near Troy, beloved by and married to Paris, but whom he forsook for Helen; is the subject of one of Tennyson's poems.
Oersted, Hans Christian, a Danish physicist; was professor of Physics in Copenhagen, the discoverer of electro-magnetism, of the compressibility of water, and the metal aluminium; did much to popularise science in a volume entitled “The Soul in Nature” (1777-1851).
Oesel (51), a marshy, well-wooded island at the mouth of the Gulf of Riga, in the Baltic, 45 m. long and 25 m. of average breadth; has some low hills and precipitous coasts; Arensburg (4), on the SE. shore, is the only town; Danish from 1559, the island passed to Sweden in 1645 and to Russia in 1721; the wealthier classes are of German descent.
Offa's Dyke, an entrenchment and rampart between England and Wales, 100 m. long, extending from Flintshire as far as the mouth of the Wye; said to have been thrown up by Offa, king of Mercia, about the year 780, to confine the marauding Welsh within their own territory.
Offenbach, Jacques, a musical composer, born at Cologne, of Jewish parents, creator of the opera bouffe; was the author of “La Belle Hélène,” “Orphée aux Enfers,” “La Grande Duchesse,” “Madame Favart,” &c. (1810-1880)
Offertory, in the Roman Catholic Church a portion of the liturgy chanted at the commencement of the eucharistic service, also in the English the part of the service read during the collection of the alms at communion.
Ofterdingen, Heinrich von, a famous minnesinger (q. v.) of the 15th century.
Ogham or Ogam, an alphabet of 20 letters in use among the ancient Irish and Celts, found carved on monumental stones in Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the North of Scotland.
Oglethorpe, James Edward, English general, born in London; served in the Marlborough wars, sat in Parliament for several years, conceived the founding of a colony for debtors in prison, and founded Georgia; returning to England, fought against the Pretender, and died in Essex (1696-1785).
Ogowe`, a West African river, 500 m. long, rises in the Akukuja plateau, and following a semicircular course northward and westward enters the Atlantic by a delta at Cape Lopez, its course lying wholly within French Congo territory; in the dry season its volume is much diminished, and its many sandbanks prevent its navigation except by small boats.
O'Groat's House, John. See John o' Groat's House.
Ogyges, a Boeotian autochthon, the legendary first king of Thebes, which is called at times Ogygia, in whose reign a flood, called the Ogygian after him, inundated the land, though some accounts make it occur in Attica.
Ogygia, a mythological island of Homeric legend, situated far off in the sea, and the home of the sorceress Calypso (q. v.).
Ohio (3,672), a State of the American Union, a third larger than Scotland, stretches northward from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, between Pennsylvania and Indiana. It consists of level and undulating plains, on which are raised enormous crops of wheat and maize. Sheep-grazing and cattle-rearing are very extensive; its wool-clip is the largest in America. There are valuable deposits of limestone and freestone, and in output of coal Ohio ranks third of the States. The manufactures are very important; it ranks first in farm implements, and produces also wagons, textile fabrics, and liquors. In the N. excellent fruit is grown. The capital is Columbus (88), the largest city is Cincinnati (297). Admitted to the Union in 1803, it boasts among its sons four Presidents—Grant, Hayes, Garfield, and Benjamin Harrison.
Ohio River, formed by the confluence of the Alleghany and the Monongahela, pursues a westward course of 1000 m., separating Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from West Virginia and Kentucky, and after receiving sundry tributaries joins the Mississippi, being the largest and, next to the Missouri, the longest of its affluents; it is navigable for the whole of its course; on its banks stand Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Madison.
Ohm, Georg Simon, a German physicist, born at Erlangen; discovered the mathematical theory of the electric current, known as Ohm's Law, a law based on experiment, that the strength of the electric current is equal to the electro-motive force divided by the resistance of the wire (1787-1854).
Ohnet, Georges, French novelist, born in Paris; author of a series of novels in a social interest, entitled “Les Batailles de la Vie;” b. 1848.
Oil City (11), on the Alleghany River, Pennsylvania, by rail 130 m. N. of Pittsburg, is the centre of a great oil-trade and oil-refining industry; there are also engineer and boiler works; it suffered severely from floods in 1892.
Oka, a river of Central Russia, which rises in Orel and flows N., then E., then N. again, joining the Volga at Nijni-Novgorod after a course of over 700 m., navigable nearly all the way; on its banks are Orel, Kaluga, and Riazan, while Moscow stands on an affluent.
Oken, Lorenz, German naturalist; was professor first at Jena, then at Münich, and finally at Zurich, his settlement in the latter being due to the disfavour with which his political opinions, published in a journal of his called the Iris, were received in Germany; much of his scientific doctrine was deduced from a transcendental standpoint or by a priori reasonings; is mentioned in “Sartor” as one with whom Teufelsdröck in his early speculations had some affinity (1779-1851).
Okhotsk, Sea of, an immense sheet of water in Eastern Siberia, lying between the peninsula of Kamchatka and the mainland, with the Kurile Islands stretched across its mouth; is scarcely navigable, being infested by fogs.
Oklahoma (62), a United States territory, stretching southward from Kansas to the Red River, with Texas on the W. and Indian Territory on the E., is a third larger than Scotland, and presents a prairie surface crossed by the Arkansas, Cimarron, and Canadian Rivers, and rising to the Wichita Mountains in the S. There are many brackish streams; the rainfall is light, hence the soil can be cultivated only in parts. Ceded to the United States under restrictions by the tribes of the Indian Territory in 1866, there were various attempts by immigrants from neighbouring States to effect settlements in Oklahoma, which the Government frustrated by military interference, maintaining the treaty with the Indians till 1889, when it finally purchased from them their claim. At noon on April 22, 1889, the area was opened for settlement, and by twilight 50,000 had entered and taken possession of claims. The territory was organised in 1890; embedded in it lies the Cherokee Outlet, still held by the Indians, but on the extinction of their interests to revert to Oklahoma. The chief town is Oklahoma (5).
Okuma, Count, a Japanese, rose into office from the part he took in the Japanese Revolution of 1868, held in succession but resigned the offices of Minister of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, organised the Progressive Party in 1881, and entered office again in 1896; organised in 1898 the first government for a time in Japan on a party basis agreeably to his idea.
Olaf, St., a Norwegian king; wrested the throne from Eric, and set himself to propagate Christianity by fire and sword, excited disaffection among his people, who rebelled and overpowered him with the assistance of Cnut of Denmark, so that he fled to his brother-in-law, Jaroslav of Russia; by his help he tried to recover the throne, put was defeated and slain, his body being buried in Trondhjem; he was canonised in 1164, and is patron saint of Norway.
Olaüs, the name of three early kings of Sweden and of five of Norway, who figured more or less in the history of their respective countries.
Olbers, Heinrich, German astronomer, born near Bremen; discovered five of the comets and the two planetoids Pallas and Vesta (1758-1840).
Old Bailey, a Court or Sessions house adjoining Newgate (q. v.), in London, for the trial of offences committed within a certain radius round the city, and practically presided over by the Recorder and the Common Serjeant of London, though theoretically by the Lord Mayor, Lord Chancellor, and others.
Old Catholics, a section of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany and Switzerland that first announced itself in Münich on the declaration in 1870 of the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope, the prime movers in the formation of the protestation against which were Dr. Döllinger and Professor Friedrich, backed by 44 professors of the university; the movement thus begun has not extended itself to any considerable extent.
Old Man of the Mountain, a name given to Hassan ben Sabbah, the founder in the 11th century and his successors of a formidable Mohammedan dynasty in Syria, whose residence was in the mountain fastnesses of the country, and whose following was known by the name of Assassins (q. v.).
Old Man of the Sea, a monster Sindbad the Sailor encountered on his fifth voyage, who fastened on his back and so clung to him that he could not shake him off till he made him drunk.
Old Mortality, a character in Scott's novel of the name, the original of which was one Robert Paterson, who, as related of him, went about the country visiting the churchyards, and renewing the moss-covered tombs of the Covenanters (q. v.).
Old Noll, an epithet applied by his Royalist contemporaries to Oliver Cromwell.
Oldbuck, Jonathan, the antiquary in Scott's novel of the name, devoted to the study and collection of old coins, a man with an irritable temper, due to disappointment in a love affair.
Oldbury (20), a busy manufacturing town in Worcestershire, 3 m. E. of Dudley, has chemical, iron, and steel works, and factories of various kinds.
Oldcastle, Sir John, Lord Cobham, distinguished himself in arms under Henry IV. in 1411, embraced Lollardism, which he could not be prevailed on to renounce, though remonstrated with by Henry V.; was tried for heresies and committed to the Tower, but escaped to Wales; charged with abetting insurrection on religious grounds, and convicted, his body was hung in chains as a traitor, and in this attitude, as a heretic, burned to death in 1417; he was a zealous disciple of Wiclif, and did much to disseminate his principles.
Oldenburg (355), a German grand-duchy, embracing these three territories: 1, Oldenburg proper, the largest, is let into Hanover with its northern limit on the North Sea; it is a tract of moorland, sand-down, and fen, watered by the Weser, Hunte and tributaries of the Ems; here is the capital, Oldenburg (22), on the Hunte, 30 m. NW. of Bremen, in the midst of meadows, where a famous breed of horses is raised. 2, Lübeck, lying in Holstein, N. of but not including the city of Lübeck. 3, Birkenfeldt, lying among the Hundsrück Mountains, in the S. of Rhenish Prussia; independent since 1180, Danish 1667-1773, Oldenburg acquired Lübeck in 1803, and Birkenfeldt in 1815, when it was raised to the rank of grand-duchy.
Oldham (184), on the Medlock, 7 m. NE. of Manchester, is the largest of the cotton manufacturing towns round that centre; it has 300 cotton mills, and manufactures besides silks, velvets, hats, and machinery; there is a lyceum, and a school of science and art.
Oldys, William, bibliographer, was a man of dissolute life, the illegitimate son of a chancellor of Lincoln; he was librarian to the Earl of Oxford for 10 years, and afterwards received the appointment of Norroy king-of-arms; besides many bibliographical and literary articles, he wrote a “Life of Raleigh” and “The Harleian Miscellany” (1696-1761).
Oléron (17), an island of France, in the Bay of Biscay, at the mouth of the Charente, 11½ m. long and from 3 to 7 broad, is separated from the mainland by a shallow, narrow channel.
Olga, St., a Scandinavian pagan prince, converted to Christianity and baptized as Helena; laboured for the propagation of the Christian faith among his subjects, was canonised after in 905, and is one of the saints of the Russian Church. Festival, July 21.
Olifaunt, Nigel, the hero in Scott's “Fortunes of Nigel.”
Oliphant, Laurence, religious enthusiast and mystic, born in Perthshire; spent his boyhood in Ceylon, where his father was chief-justice; early conceived a fondness for adventure, accompanied Lord Elgin to Washington as his secretary, and afterwards to China and Japan; became M.P. for the Stirling Burghs, mingled much in London society, contributed to Blackwood, and wrote “Piccadilly,” pronounced by Mrs. Oliphant “one of the most brilliant satires on society ever published”; parliamentary people and parliamentary life being nowise to his liking he soon threw both up for life in a community with Harris at Lake Erie, U.S., whence, after two years' probation, he returned to resume life in the wide world; while in France during the Franco-German War, he married one Alice l'Estrange, an alliance which grew into one of the most intimate character; with her he went to Palestine, pitched his tent under the shadow of Mount Carmel, and wrote two mystical books under her inspiration, which abode with him after she was dead; after her decease he married a Miss Owen, that she might help him in his work, but all she had opportunity to do was to minister to him on his deathbed (1829-1888).
Oliphant, Mrs. Margaret (née Wilson), authoress, born at Wallyford, near Musselburgh, a lady of varied abilities and accomplishments, and distinguished in various departments of literature, began her literary career as a novelist and a contributor to Blackwood, with which she kept up a lifelong connection; her first work which attracted attention was “Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland,” and her first success as a novelist was the “Chronicles of Carlingford”; she wrote on history, biography, and criticism, the “Makers of Florence, of Venice, of Modern Rome,” “Lives of Dante, Cervantes, and Edward Irving,” among other works, and was engaged on a narrative of the publishing-house of Blackwood when she died; she might have distinguished herself more had she kept within a more limited range; her last days were days of sorrow under heavy bereavement (1828-1897).
Olivarez, Count d', a Spanish statesman, born at Rome, where his father was ambassador; was the confidant and minister of Philip IV., and the political adversary of Richelieu; was one of the ablest statesmen Spain ever had, but was unfortunate in his conduct of foreign affairs (1587-1645).
Oliver, a favourite paladin of Charlemagne's, who, along with Roland, rode by his side, and whose name, along with Roland's, has passed into the phrase, a “Roland for an Oliver,” meaning one good masterstroke for another, such as both these knights never failed to deliver.
Olives, Mount of, or Mount Olivet, a ridge with three summits, stretching N. and S., E. of Jerusalem, in height 150 ft. above the city, 400 ft. above the intervening valley of Kedron, and 2682 ft. above the sea-level; so called as at one time studded with olive-trees; is celebrated as the scene of some of the most sacred events in the life of Christ.
Ollivier, Émile, French statesman, born at Marseilles; bred for the bar, and eminent at it; became Prime Minister under Louis Napoleon in 1870; precipitated “with a light heart” the country into a war with Germany, to his own overthrow; retired thereafter to Italy, but returned in 1872, and devoted himself to literature; died at Geneva (1825-1876).
Olmütz (20), a strongly fortified city in Moravia, and an important centre of trade, and the former capital of the country; suffered severely in the Thirty and the Seven Years' Wars.
Olympia, a plain in a valley in Elis, on the Peloponnesus, traversed by the river Alpheus, and in which the Olympic Games were celebrated every fifth year in honour of Zeus, and adorned with temples (one to Zeus and another to Hera), statues, and public buildings.
Olympiad, a name given to the period of four years between one celebration of the Olympic Games and another, the first recorded dating from July 776 B.C.
Olympias, the wife of Philip II. of Macedonia, and mother of Alexander the Great; divorced by Philip, who married another, she fled to Epirus, and instigated the assassination of Philip and the execution of her rival; returned to Macedonia on the accession of her son, who always treated her with respect, but allowed her no part in public affairs; on his death she dethroned his successor, but driven to bay in her defence afterwards, she was compelled to surrender the power she had assumed, and was put to death 316 B.C.
Olympic Games, were originally open only to competitors of pure Hellenic descent, and the reward of the victors was but a wreath of wild olive, though to this their fellow-citizens added more substantial honours; they consisted of foot and chariot races, and feats of strength as well as dexterity. See Olympia.
Olympus, a mountain range in Greece, between Thessaly and Macedonia, the highest peak of which is 9750 ft.; the summit of it was the fabled abode of the Greek gods; it is clothed with forests of pine and other trees.
Olney, a little town in Buckinghamshire, associated with the life of Cowper, and where he wrote, along with John Newton, the “Olney Hymns.”
Om, a mystic word among the Hindus and Buddhists; presumed to be latent with some magic virtue, and used on solemn occasions as a sort of spiritual charm efficacious with the upper powers, and potent to draw down divine assistance in an hour of need.
Omagh (4), on the Strule, 34 m. S. of Londonderry; is the county town of Tyrone; though a very ancient town it has been rebuilt since 1743, when it was destroyed by fire; it is the head-quarters of the NW. military district.
Omaha (102), chief city of Nebraska, on the W. bank of the Missouri, 20 m. above the confluence of the Platte; is connected by a bridge with Council Bluffs on the opposite shore; it has many fine buildings, including colleges and schools; its silver-smelting works are the largest in the world; it ranks third in the pork-packing industry, and has besides manufactures of linseed oil, boilers, and safes; an important railway centre, it lies midway between the termini of the Union Pacific Railroad; near it are the military head-quarters of the Platte department.
Oman, a territory of Arabia, lying along the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, round the south-eastern nob of the peninsula; has some stretches of very fertile country where there happens to be water for irrigation, but the coast is very hot and not healthy. The region is subject to the Sultan of Muscat, who is in turn a pensioner of the Anglo-Indian Government.
Omar, the successor of Abu-Bekr, and the second Caliph from 634 to 644; was at first a persecutor of the Faithful, but underwent in 615 a sudden conversion like Said, with a like result; was vizier of Abu-Bekr before he succeeded him; swept and subdued Syria, Persia, and Egypt with the sword in the name of Allah, but is accused of having burned the rich library of Alexandria on the plea that it contained books hostile to the faith of Islam; he was an austere man, and was assassinated by a Persian slave whose wrongs he refused to redress.
Omar Khayyám, astronomer-poet of Persia, born at Naishapur, in Khorassan; lived in the later half of the 11th century, and died in the first quarter of the 12th; wrote a collection of poems which breathe an Epicurean spirit, and while they occupy themselves with serious problems of life, do so with careless sportiveness, intent he on the enjoyment of the sensuous pleasures of life, like an easy-going Epicurean. The great problems of destiny don't trouble the author, they are no concern of his, and the burden of his songs assuredly is, as his translator says, “If not 'let us eat, let us drink, for to-morrow we die.'”
Omar Pasha, general in the Turkish army, was born an Austrian, his proper name Michael Lattas, and educated at the military school of Thurn; guilty of a breach of discipline, he ran away to Bosnia, turned Mohammedan, and henceforth threw in his lot with the Turks; he became writing-master to the Ottoman heir, Abdul-Medjid, and on the succession of the latter in 1839 was made a colonel; he was military governor of Lebanon in 1842, won distinction in suppressing rebellions in Albania, Bosnia, and Kurdistan, but his chief services were rendered in the Russian War; he successfully defended Kalafat in 1853, entered Bucharest in 1854, and defeated 40,000 Russians next year at Eupatoria in the Crimea; his capture of Cetinje, Montenegro, in 1862 was a difficult feat (1806-1871).
O'Meara, Barry Edward, a surgeon, born in Ireland, who accompanied Napoleon to St. Helena, and became his physician, having been surgeon on board the Bellerophon when the emperor surrendered himself; is remembered as the author of “A Voice from St. Helena; or, Napoleon in Exile,” a book which from its charges against Sir Hudson Lowe created no small sensation on its appearance (1786-1836).
Ommiades, an Arab dynasty of 14 caliphs which reigned at Damascus from 661 to 720; dethroned by the Abassides, they were under Abder-Rahman I. welcomed in Spain, and they established themselves in Cordova, where they ruled from 756 to 1031.
Omnipresence, an attribute of the Divine Being as all-present in every section of space and moment of time throughout the universe.
Omphalë, a queen of Lydia, to whom Hercules was sold for three years for murdering Iphitus, and who so won his affection that he married her, and was content to spin her wool for her and wear the garments of a woman while she donned and wore his lion's skin.
Omsk (32), capital of Western Siberia, on the Om, at its confluence with the Irtish, 1800 m. E. of Moscow; is within the area of Russian colonisation, and has a military academy, Greek and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and large cattle trade; a number of its inhabitants are political exiles from Europe.
Onega, Lake, in the NW. of Russia, next to Ladoga the largest in Europe, nearly three times the size of Norfolkshire, being 140 m. long and 59 broad; has an irregular shore, deeply indented in the W., many inflowing rivers, but is drained only by the Swir; ice-bound for four months, there is busy traffic the rest of the year; navigation is promoted by canals, but hindered by many reefs; fish abound in the waters.
Onomatopoeia, formations of words resembling in sound that of the things denoted by them.
Ontario (2,114), third largest, most populous, richest, and most important province of Canada, lies N. of the great lakes between Quebec and Manitoba, and is thrice the size of Great Britain; the surface is mostly undulating; there are many small lakes, the chief rivers flow eastward to join the Ottawa; agriculture is the chief industry, enormous crops of wheat, maize, and other cereals are raised; stock-rearing and dairy-farming are important; the climate is subject to less extremes than that of Quebec, but the winter is still severe; there are rich mineral deposits, especially of iron, copper, lead, and silver, petroleum and salt; manufactures of agricultural implements, hardware, textiles, and leather are carried on; Toronto (181) is the largest town, Ottawa (44) is the capital of the Dominion, Hamilton (49) an important railway centre; the prosperity of the province is largely promoted by the magnificent waterways, lakes, rivers, and canals with which it is furnished. Founded by loyalists from the United States after the Declaration of Independence, the province was constituted in 1791 as Upper Canada, united to Quebec or Lower Canada in 1840, it received its present name on the federation of Canada in 1867; education in it is free and well conducted; there are many colleges and universities; municipal and provincial government is enlightened and well organised; the prevalent religious faith is Protestant.
Ontario, Lake, in area almost equal to Wales, is the smallest and easternmost of the five great lakes of the St. Lawrence Basin, North America; it lies between the province of Ontario, Canada, and New York State; receives the Niagara River in the SW., several streams on both sides, and issues in the St. Lawrence in the NE.; on its shores stand Hamilton, Toronto, and Kingston on the N., and Oswego on the S.; canals connect it with Lake Erie and the Hudson River, and it is a busy and always open highway of commerce.
Ontology, another name for metaphysics (q. v.) or the science of pure being, being at its living source in spirit or God, or Nature viewed as divine, especially as the ground of the spiritual in man and giving substantive being to him.
Onyx, a variety of agate or chalcedony, in which occur even layers of white and black or white and brown, sharply defined in good specimens; they come from India, and are highly valued for cameo-cutting.
Oosterzee, Jan Jakob van, a theologian of the Dutch Church, born at Rotterdam; became professor at Utrecht, wrote several theological and exegetical works on evangelical lines (1817-1882).
Opal, a variety of quartz, of which the finest kind, precious opal, is translucent, with blue or yellow tint, and when polished with a convex surface shows an admirable play of colours; it is found chiefly at Cerwenitza, Austria.
Open Secret, The, the secret that lies open to all, but is seen into and understood by only few, applied especially to the mystery of the life, the spiritual life, which is the possession of all.
Open, Sesamë, the magic formula the pronunciation of which opened the robbers' stronghold in the “Arabian Nights.”
Opera, a drama set to music and acted and sung to the accompaniment of a full orchestra, of which there are several kinds according as they are grave, comic, or romantic.
Opera Bouffe, an opera in an extravagant burlesque style, with characters, music, and other accompaniments to match; is the creation of Offenbach (q. v.), his more distinguished successors in the production of which have been Lecocq, Hervé, and Strauss.
Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius in “Hamlet” and in love with the lord, but whose heart, from the succession of shocks it receives, is shattered and broken.
Ophicleide, a keyed brass wind instrument of recent invention, of great compass and power, and of which there are two kinds in use.
Ophir, a region in the East of uncertain situation, frequently referred to in Scripture as a region from which gold and precious stones were imported.
Ophites, a sect of Gnostics who regarded the serpent as a benefactor of the race in having persuaded Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in disregard, or rather in defiance, of the warning of the God of the Jews.
Opie, John, English artist, born near Truro, Cornwall; began to learn his father's trade of carpenter, but turning to art went with Dr. Wolcott to London in 1780; for a year he had phenomenal success as a portrait-painter; on the wane of his popularity he turned to scriptural and historical painting and to illustration; after being Associate for a year he was elected Academician in 1787; besides some lectures on art, he wrote a Life of Reynolds and other works (1761-1807).
Opinicus, a fabulous winged creature with the head of a griffin, the body of a lion, and the tail of a camel; a heraldic symbol.
Opitz, Martin von, a German poet, born in Silesia; was much patronised by the princes of Germany; was crowned with laurel, and ennobled by Ferdinand II.; his poetry was agreeable to classic models, but at the expense of soul, though, to his credit it must be said, the German language and German poetry owe him a deep debt (1597-1639).
Oporto (140), at the mouth of the Douro, 200 m. N. of Lisbon, the chief manufacturing city of Portugal, and second in commercial importance; is the head-quarters of the trade in port wine; the industries include cloth, silk, hat, and porcelain manufacture, tobacco, metal-casting, and tanning; besides wine it exports cattle, fruit, cork, and copper. There are many old churches, schools, a library, and two picture-galleries.
Opportunist, name given to a politician whose policy it is to take advantage of, or be guided by, circumstances.
Optimism, the doctrine or belief that in the system of things all that happens, the undesirable no less than the desirable, is for the best.
Opus Operatum (i. e. the work wrought), a Latin phrase used to denote the spiritual effect in the performance of a religious rite which accrues from the virtue inherent in it, or by grace imparted to it, irrespectively of the administrator.
Oran (74), the busiest port in Algeria, is 260 m. W. of Algiers; it has a Roman Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a school, a college, and two castles, and exports esparto grass, iron ore, and cereals.
Orange River or Gariep, chief river of South Africa, rises in the eastern highlands of Basutoland, and flows 100 m. westward to the Atlantic, receiving the Vaal and the Caledon as tributaries, and having Cape Colony on the S. bank and the Orange Free State, Griqualand West, Bechuanaland, and German Namaqualand on the N.; a bar at the mouth and the aridity of its lower course make it unfit for navigation.
Orange River Colony, formerly Orange Free State (380), lying between the Vaal and the Orange Rivers, Griqualand West, and the Drakenberg Mountains; has an area nearly the size of England, with a healthy, temperate climate; undulating plains slope northward and southward, from which rise isolated hills called kopjes. The chief industries are the rearing of sheep, cattle, horses, and ostriches; coal-mining in the N. and diamond-seeking in the SW.; the exports comprise wool, hides, and diamonds. Founded by Dutch Boers from Natal, it was annexed by Britain in 1848, but granted independence in 1854. The capital, Bloemfontein (3), is connected by a railway with Johannesberg and with the Cape. Having made common cause with the South African Republic in the Boer War, it was annexed by Great Britain in 1900. At present (1905) it is under the supreme authority of the Governor of Orange River and the Transvaal Colonies, assisted by a Lieutenant-Governor and an Executive Council.
Orangemen, a name given to an association of Protestants in Ireland instituted to uphold the Protestant succession to the crown, and the Protestant religion as settled at the Revolution of 1688, and which derives this name from William, the Prince of Orange, on whose accession to the throne Protestantism was established; it became dormant for a time after its institution, but it has shown very decided signs of life at political crises when Protestantism seemed in danger, such as often to call for some firm handling.
Oratorio, a musical composition on a sacred theme, dramatic in form and associated with orchestral accompaniments, but without scenic accessories; it derives its name from the oratory of St. Philip Neri at Rome, in which a composition of the kind was first performed, and was a musical development of the miracle plays (q. v.).
Oratory, Congregation of the, community of secular priests formed by St. Philip of Neri (q. v.), and bound by no religious vow, each one of which is independent of the others; it consists of novices, triennial fathers, decennial fathers, and a superior, their functions being to preach and hear confession.
Orcagna, a Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect, did several frescoes; was architect of the cathedral of Orviëto; his masterpiece an absolutely unique marble tabernacle in the church of Or San Michele, Florence (1329-1389).
Orchardson, William Quiller, English genre-painter, born in Edinburgh; his pictures are numerous, and among the best and most popular, “The Challenge,” “The Queen of the Woods,” “On Board the Bellerophon,” “The Mariage de Convenance”; b. 1835.
Orcus (i. e. place of confinement), another name for Hades, or the “World of the Dead”; also of the god of the nether world.
Ordeal, a test by fire, water, poison, wager of battle, or the like, of the innocence or guilt of persons in appeal thereby to the judgment of God in default of other evidence, on the superstitious belief that by means of it God would interfere to acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty, a test very often had recourse to among savage or half-civilised nations.
Ordericus Vitalis, a mediæval chronicler, born near Shrewsbury; was a monk of the Abbey of St. Evreul, in Normandy; wrote an ecclesiastical history of Normandy and England—a veracious document, though an incondite; d. 1143.
Orders in Council are issued by the British Sovereign, with the advice of the Privy Council, and within limits defined by Parliament. In cases of emergency these limits have been disregarded, and Parliament subsequently asked to homologate the action by granting an indemnity to those concerned.
Oreades in the Greek mythology nymphs of the mountains, with special names appropriate to the district they severally inhabit.
Oregon (314), one of the United States, on the Pacific seaboard, with Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California on its inland borders, nearly twice the size of England, has the Coast Mountains along the W., the Cascade range parallel 60 m. E., and 70 farther E. the Blue Mountains. The centre and E. is hilly, and affords excellent grazing and dairy-farming ground; the western or Willamette Valley is arable, producing cereals, potatoes, tobacco, hops, and fruit. Between the Coast Mountains and the sea excessive rains fall. The State is rich in timber, coal, iron, gold, and silver; and the rivers (of which the Columbia on the N. border is the chief) abound in salmon. Owing to the mountain shelter and the Japanese ocean currents the climate is mild. The capital is Salem (4), the largest city Portland (46), both on the Willamette River. The State offers excellent educational facilities; it has 17 libraries, many schools and colleges, and the Blue Mountain University. The State (constituted in 1859) forms part of the territory long in dispute between Great Britain and the United States. It was occupied jointly from 1818 to 1846, when a compromise fixed the present boundary of British Columbia.
Orelli, Conrad von, theologian, born at Zurich; professor at Basel; has written commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor prophets; b. 1846.
Orelli, Johann Kaspar von, a Swiss scholar, born at Zurich, where he was professor of Classical Philology; edited editions of the classics, particularly Horace, Tacitus, and Cicero, highly esteemed for the scholarship they show and the critical judgment (1787-1849).
Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and brother of Electra and Iphigenia, who killed his mother to avenge the murder by her of his father and went mad afterwards, but was acquitted by the Areopagus and became king of Argos and Lacedæmon; his friendship for Pylades, who married his sister Electra, has passed into a proverb; the tragic story is a favourite theme of the Greek tragedians.
Orfila, M. J. Bonaventure, French chemist and physician, born in Minorca; mainly distinguished for his works on toxicology (1787-1853).
Organism, a structure instinct with life, and possessed of organs that discharge functions subordinate and ministrative to the life of the whole.
Organon, a term adopted by Bacon to denote a system of rules for the regulation of scientific inquiry.
Orgies, festivals among the Greeks and Orientals generally connected with the worship of nature divinities, in particular Demeter (q. v.), Dionysos (q. v.), and the Cabiri, celebrated with mystic rites and much licentious behaviour.
Oriflamme (i. e. flame of gold), the ancient banner of the kings of France, borne before them as they marched to war; it was a red flag mounted on a gilded staff, was originally the banner of the abbey of St. Denis, and first assumed as the royal standard by Louis VI. as he marched at the head of his army against the Emperor Henry V. in 1124, but one hears no more of it after the battle of Agincourt in 1415, much as it was at one time regarded as the banner of the very Lord of Hosts.
Origen, one of the most eminent of the Fathers of the Church, born at Alexandria it is presumed, the son of a Christian who suffered martyrdom under Severus, whom he honoured and ever reverenced for his faith in Christ; studied the Greek philosophers that he might familiarise himself with their standpoint in contrast with that of the Christian; taught in Alexandria and elsewhere the religion he had inherited from his father, but was not sufficiently regardful of episcopal authority, and after being ordained by another bishop than that of his own diocese was deposed and banished; after this he settled in Cæsarea, set up a celebrated school, and had Gregory Thaumaturgus for a pupil, whence he made journeys to other parts but under much persecution, and died at Tyre; he wrote numerous works, apologetical and exegetical as well as doctrinal, besides a “Hexapla,” a great source of textual criticism, being a work in which the Hebrew Scriptures and five Greek versions of them are arranged side by side; in his exegesis he had a fancy for allegorical interpretation, in which he frequently indulged, but in doing so he was entitled to some license, seeing he was a man who constantly lived in close communion with the Unseen Author of all truth (185-253).
Original Sin, the name given by the theologians to the inherent tendency to sin on the part of all mankind, due, as alleged, to their descent from Adam and the imputation of Adam's guilt to them as sinning in him.
Orinoco River, a great river in the NE. of South America, rises in the Parimé Mountains, and flowing westward bifurcates, the Cassiquiare channel going southward and joining the Rio Negro, the Orinoco proper continuing westward, north and east through Venezuela, and reaching the Atlantic after a course of 1500 m. by an enormous delta; it receives thousands of tributaries, but cascades half-way up stop navigation.
Orion, in the Greek mythology a handsome giant and hunter, was struck blind by Dionysos for attempting an outrage on Merope, but recovered his eyesight on exposing his eyeballs to the arrowy rays of Aurora, and became afterwards the companion of Artemis on the hunting-field, but he fell a victim to the jealousy of Apollo, the brother of Artemis, and was transformed by the latter into a constellation in the sky, where he figures as a giant wearing a lion's skin and a girdle or belt and wielding a club.
Orissa (4,047), the name of an ancient Indian kingdom, independent till 1568, and falling into British possession in 1803, is now restricted to the most south-easterly province of Bengal. It is larger than Wales, and comprises a hilly inland tract and an alluvial plain formed by the deltas of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani Rivers, well irrigated, and producing great crops of rice, wheat, pulse, and cotton. It has no railways, and poor roads; transport is by canal and river. Chief towns Cuttack, Balasor, and Puri.
Orkney Islands (30), an archipelago of 90 islands, Pomona the largest, lying north of the Scottish mainland, from which they are separated by the Pentland Firth, 7 m. broad. The scenery is tame, the climate is mild and moist; there are no trees, crops are poor; the chief industries are fishing and stock-raising; Kirkwall, with a cathedral, and Stromness are the chief towns. Seized from the Picts by Norse vikings, they passed to James III. as security for the dowry of Margaret of Denmark and were never redeemed. The natives show their Scandinavian ancestry in their features, and the nomenclature is largely Scandinavian.
Orlando, a hero who figures in the romantic tales connected with the adventures of Charlemagne and his paladins, a knight of pure and true blood; had a magical horn called Olivant, with which he wrought wonders.
Orleans (61), on the Loire, 75 m. by rail SW. of Paris, is the capital of the province of Loiret, a trading rather than an industrial town, commerce being fostered by excellent railway, canal, and river communications; the town is of ancient date, and its streets are full of quaint wooden houses; there is an old cathedral and museum; many historic associations include the raising of the siege in 1429 by Joan of Arc, whose house is still shown, and two captures by the Germans, 1870
Orleans, Dukes of, the name of four distinct branches of the royal family of France, the first commencing with Philippe, fifth son of Philippe of Valois, in 1344; the second with Louis, brother of Charles VI. (1371-1407); the third with Jean Baptiste Gascon, brother of Louis XIII., who took part in the plots against Richelieu, and was appointed lieutenant-general on the death of his brother (1608-1660); the fourth with Philippe I., brother of Louis XIV. (1640-1701); Philippe II., son of the preceding, governed France during the minority of Louis XV.; involved his finances by his connection with Louis, and did injury to the public morals by the depravity of his life (1674-1723); Louis-Philippe, his grandson, lieutenant-general and governor of Dauphiné (1725-1785); Louis-Philippe Joseph, son of preceding, surnamed Philippe-Egalité, played a conspicuous part in the Revolution, and perished on the scaffold (1747-1793); and Louis-Philippe, his son (q. v.); Prince Louis Robert, eldest son of Comte de Paris, claimant to the throne, b. 1869.
Orloff, the name of two brothers, Russians: Gregory, the favourite of Catherine II. (1734-1783), and Alexis, a man remarkable for his stature and strength, who murdered Peter III. and was banished by Paul I. (1737-1809).
Orme, Robert, historian, born in Travancore; entered the East India Company's service, in which he was appointed historiographer; wrote the history of its military transactions from 1745 to 1763 (1728-1801).
Ormolu, a name given to bronze or brass of a golden-yellow colour, and resembling gold.
Ormonde, James Butler, Duke of, supporter of the cause of Charles I. in Ireland during the war between the king and the Parliament, on the ruin of which he repaired to the Continent to promote the restoration of the dynasty; was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland after the Restoration, and escaped from a party of ruffians headed by Colonel Blood, who dragged him from his carriage with intent to hang him; he was a brave man, and much esteemed by his friends (1610-1688).
Ormuz, an island at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, once the head-quarters of the Persian trade with India.
Ormuzd, the good deity of the Zoroastrian religion, the embodiment of the principle of good as Ahriman is of the principle of evil, the creator of light and order as the other of darkness and disorder. See Dualism.
Orontes, the principal river of Syria, rises in the western slopes of Anti-Lebanon, and flows northward through Syria, turning at last SW. to the Mediterranean; its course of 150 m. is through country in many parts well cultivated, past the towns of Hems and Hamah, and latterly through a woody ravine of great beauty.
Orosius, Paulus, Spanish Christian apologist of the 5th century, born at Terragona, a disciple of Augustine; wrote at his suggestion against the pagans a history of the world used as a text-book in the Middle Ages.
Orpheus, in the Greek mythology son of Apollo and the Muse Calliopë, famed for his skill on the lyre, from which the strains were such as not only calmed and swayed the rude soul of nature, but persuaded even the inexorable Pluto to relent; for one day when his wife Eurydice was taken away from him, he descended with his lyre to the lower world and prevailed on the nether king by the spell he wielded to allow her to accompany him back, but on the condition that he must not, as she followed him, turn round and look; this condition he failed to fulfil, and he lost her again, but this time for ever; whereupon, as the story goes, he gave himself up to unappeasable lamentings, which attracted round him a crowd of upbraiding Mænades, who in their indignation took up stones to stone him and mangled him to death, only his lyre as it floated down the river seaward kept sounding “Eurydice! Eurydice!” till it was caught up by Zeus and placed in memorial of him among the stars of the sky.
Orrery is a mechanical toy which exhibits, by an arrangement of rods, balls, and toothed wheels, the sun, the planets, and their moons, all performing their respective motions; so named after the Earl of Orrery, for whom Charles Boyle made the first one in 1715.
Orsini, Felice, Italian conspirator, born of a noble family, but bred in the atmosphere of revolution and secret plotting; with three others attempted the life of Louis Napoleon; was defended by Jules Favre, but condemned to death and guillotined (1819-1858).
Orsova, two fortified towns on opposite banks of the Danube, at the Iron Gates: Old Orsova (3), in Hungary, is a trading and shipping centre; New Orsova, in Servia, was repeatedly taken and retaken in the wars of the 18th century.
Orviëto (7), an Italian city in Perugia, 78 m. by rail N. of Rome, is noted for its wines; it dates from Roman times, and in the Middle Ages was a frequent refuge of the Popes.
Oscans, a primitive people of Italy occupying Campania; were subjugated in the 5th century B.C. by the Samnites, who amalgamated with them and were subsequently incorporated with the Romans; the Oscan tongue, a cruder form of Latin, may have had its own literature, and is still extant on coins and in inscriptions.
Oscar I., king of Sweden and Norway, son of Bernadotte, born at Paris, reigned from 1844 to 1857 (1799-1858); Oscar II., king of Sweden and Norway, son of preceding, succeeded his brother Charles XV. in 1872, has distinguished himself in literature by translating Goethe's “Faust” into Swedish, and by a volume of minor poems under his nom de plume Oscar Frederick; b. 1829.
Oscott, a village in Staffordshire, 4 m. N. of Birmingham, the site of the Roman Catholic College of St. Mary's, which claims to be the centre of Catholicism in England; founded in 1752, it was housed in magnificent buildings in 1835, and became exclusively a training-school for the priesthood in 1889, though it originally had laymen among its students.
O'Shaughnessy, Arthur, poet, born in London; held a post in the natural history department of the British Museum; wrote, among other works, three notable volumes of poems, “The Epic of Women,” “Lays of France,” and “Music and Moonlight” (1844-1881).
Osiander, Andreas, a German Reformer, born near Nüremberg, and attaching himself to Luther, became preacher there, and eventually professor of Theology at Königsberg; involved himself in a bitter controversy with Chemnitz on justification, ascribing it not to imputation, but the germination of divine grace in the heart, or the mystical union of the soul with God, a controversy which was kept up by his followers after his death (1498-1552).
Osiris, one of the principal gods of Egypt, the husband of Isis, who was his sister and the father of Horus, who avenged the wrongs he suffered at the hands of the Earth, his mother, in whose womb he was born and in whose womb he was buried; he was the god of all the earth-born, and subject to the like fate.
Osmanlis, name given to the Ottomans, from that of their founder, Osman or Othman.
Osmose. If two liquids be separated from each other only by a skin or parchment, each will percolate through the membrane and diffuse into the other; the process is known as osmose, and is constantly illustrated in the animal and vegetable world.
Osnabrück (35), a town in Hanover, 70 m. W. of Hanover, with a bishopric founded by Charlemagne, which was held by a brother of George I., and was secularised in 1803.
Ossa, a mountain in Thessaly, famous in Greek mythology. See Pelion.
Ossian, the heroic poet of the Gaels, the son of Fingal and the king of Morven, said to have lived in the 3rd century, the theme of whose verse concerns the exploits of Fingal and his family, the translation of which he brought home from fairyland, to which he had been transported when he was a boy, and from which he returned when he was old and blind; James Macpherson, who was no Gaelic scholar, professed to have translated the legend, as published by him in 1760-62-63.
Ostade, Adrian and Isaac, two Dutch painters, brothers, born at Haarlem; Adrian (1610-1685), and Isaac (1617-1654).
Ostend (26), a favourite watering-place on the SW. coast of Belgium, 65 m. due W. of Antwerp; attracts 20,000 visitors every summer; it is an important seaport, having daily mail communication with Dover, and it manufactures linen and sail-cloth; fishing is the chief industry; it is famed for oysters, which are brought over from England and fattened for export.
Ostia, the seaport of ancient Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber, now in ruins.
Ostracism, banishment (lit. by shell) for a term of years by popular vote from Athens of any individual whose political influence seemed to threaten the liberty of the citizens; the vote was given by each citizen writing the name of the individual on a shell and depositing it in some place appointed, and it was only when supported by 6000 citizens that it took effect.
Ostrogoths, or the Eastern Goths, a Teutonic people, who, having been induced to settle on the banks of the Danube, in the pay of the Roman emperor, invaded Italy, and founded in the end of the 5th century a kingdom under Theodoric, which fell before the arms of Justinian in 532.
Oswald, St., king of Northumbria, where by the aid of Aidan (q. v.) he established the Christian religion, after his conversion to it himself in exile among the Scots; he died in battle fighting against Penda, king of Mercia; d.642.
Oswego (22), principal port on the E. of Lake Ontario, is at the mouth of the Oswego River, in New York State; it has 4 miles of quays, and extensive accommodation for grain, and has a large trade, especially with Canada, in grain and lumber; the falls in the river are utilised for industrial purposes, the manufacture of starch and cornflour being famed.
Oswestry (8), a market-town of Shropshire, 20 m. NW. of Shrewsbury; has an old church, castle, and school, railway workshops, and some woollen mills.
Otago (153), the southernmost province in the South Island, New Zealand, somewhat less in size than Scotland, is mountainous and inaccessible in the W., but in the E. consists of good arable plains, where British crops and fruits grow well; the climate is temperate; timber abounds; there are gold, coal, iron, and copper mines, manufactures of woollen goods, iron, and soap, and exports wool, gold, cereals, and hides; founded in 1848 by the Otago Association of the Free Church of Scotland, but immigration became general on the discovery of gold in 1861; education is promoted by the Government in a university and many colleges and secondary schools; the capital is Dunedin (23), the chief commercial city of New Zealand, the other principal towns being Invercargill, Port Chalmers, Oamaru, Milton, and Lawrence.
Othman, the third caliph, who ruled from 614 to 636, was assassinated by Mohammed, son of Abu-Bekr.
Othman or Osman I., surnamed the Conqueror the founder of the empire of the Ottoman Turks, born in Bithynia (1259-1326).
Otho, Roman emperor, had been a companion of Nero; was created emperor by the Pretorian Guards in succession to Galba, but being defeated by the German legionaries, stabbed himself to death after a reign of three months (32-69).
Otis, James, American lawyer, born in Massachusetts, distinguished as a ringleader in the revolution in the colonies against the mother-country that led to American independence, for which he had to pay with his life and the prior loss of his reason (1724-1783).
Otranto (2), a decayed seaport and fishing town of SE. Italy, 52 m. S. of Brindisi; founded by Greek colonists, it was in early times the chief port of trade with Greece; there is a cathedral and castle.
Ottawa (44), capital of the Dominion of Canada, is situated 90 m. up the Ottawa River and its confluence with the St. Lawrence, between the Chaudière and Rideau Falls. Here are the Parliament buildings, the Governor-General's residence, a Roman Catholic cathedral, numerous colleges and schools, and a great library. There is some flour-milling and some iron-working, but the chief industry is lumber felling. Half the people are French Roman Catholics. It became the capital of the Dominion in 1856, and in ten years after the government was installed in its new buildings.
Ottawa River, the largest tributary of the St. Lawrence, and one of the largest Canadian rivers, is 700 m. long; rising in the W. of Quebec, it flows W., then S., then SE., sometimes in a narrow channel, sometimes broadening even into lakes, receiving many tributaries, and passing down rapids and falls, and joins the St. Lawrence at Montreal; down its waters are floated immense quantities of lumber.
Otterburn, a Northumberland village, 16 m. S. of the border, famous as the scene of a struggle on 19th August 1388 between the Douglases and the Percies, at which the Earl of Douglas lost his life, and Hotspur was taken prisoner. See Chevy Chase.
Otto or Attar of Roses, an essential oil obtained by distilling rose leaves of certain species in water, of very strong odour, pleasant when diluted; is used for perfumery; it is made in India, Persia, Syria, and at Kezanlik, in Roumelia.
Ottomans, the name given to the Turks from Othman (q. v.).
Otway, Thomas, English dramatist, born in Sussex, intended for the Church; took to the stage, failed as an actor, and became a playwright, his chief production in that line being “Alcibiades,” “Don Carlos,” “The Orphan,” and “Venice Preserved,” the latter two especially; he led a life of dissipation, and died miserably, from choking, it is said, in greedily swallowing a piece of bread when in a state of starvation (1651-1685).
Oubliette, an underground cell, perfectly dark, in which prisoners were subjected to perpetual confinement, was so called as being a “place of forgetfulness,” or where one is forgotten; they were often put secretly to death.
Oudenarde, a town in Belgium, 15 m. S. of Ghent, scene of Marlborough's third victory over the French in 1708; it contains a 16th-century hôtel de ville, with a fine tower, and some interesting churches.
Oudh (12,551), a province in the Bengal Presidency, occupying the basin of the Gumti, Gogra, and Rapti Rivers, and stretching from the N. bank of the Ganges to the lower Himalayas; is a great alluvial plain, through which these rivers flow between natural embankments, affording irrigation by their marshes and overflows. The sole industry is agriculture; the crops are wheat and rice, which are exported by rail and river. The population is one of the densest in the world, the labouring classes being very poor. The only large town is Lucknow (273), on the Gumti. One of the earliest centres of Aryan civilisation, Oudh became subject to the empire of Delhi in the 12th century, but was an independent State for a century prior to its annexation by the British in 1856.
Oudinot, Duke of Reggio, marshal of France, born at Bar-le-Duc; served with distinction under the Revolution and the Empire; led the retreat from Moscow, and was wounded; joined the Royalists after the fall of Napoleon, and died Governor of the Hôtel des Invalides (1767-1847).
Ouida, the pseudonym of Louise de la Ramée, English novelist, born at Bury St. Edmunds; resides chiefly at Florence; has written over a score of novels, “Under Two Flags” and “Moths” among the best; b. 1840.
Ouse, the name of several English rivers, of which the chief are (1) the Yorkshire Ouse, flowing through the great Vale of York southwards to the Humber, receiving the Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, and Aire from the W. and the Derwent from the E., and having in its basin more great towns than any other river in the country; (2) the Great Ouse, rising in the S. of Northamptonshire, pursuing a winding course NE. through the plains of Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Norfolk to the Wash; and (3) the Sussex Ouse.
Outram, Sir James, British general, surnamed by Napier the “Bayard of India,” born in Derbyshire, began his military career in Bombay, served in the Afghan War and the war with Persia, played an important part in the suppression of the Mutiny, marching to the relief of Lucknow, magnanimously waived his rank in favour of Havelock, and fought under him (1803-1863).
Overbeck, Friedrich, celebrated German painter, born at Lübeck; was head of the new Romantic or Pre-Raphaelite school of German art; had devoted himself to religious subjects, abjured Lutheranism, and joined the Roman Catholic Church; is famed for his frescoes “Christ's Entry into Jerusalem” and “St. Francis” in particular, still more than his oil-paintings; spent most of his life in Rome (1789-1869).
Overbury, Sir Thomas, English gentleman, remembered chiefly from the circumstances of his death, having been poisoned in the Tower at the instance of Rochester and his wife for dissuading the former from marrying the latter, for which crime the principals were pardoned and the instruments suffered death; he was the author of certain works published after his death, and “The Wife,” a poem, his “Characters,” and “Crumbs from King James's Table” (1581-1613).
Overland Route, the route to Australia and the East across the European continent instead of round the Cape of Good Hope, was inaugurated by Lieutenant Waghorn in 1845, modified on the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, and is now viâ France, the Mont Cenis tunnel, Brindisi, the Levant, Suez Canal, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.
Overreach, Sir Giles, a character in Massinger's play, “A New Way to Pay Old Debts.”
Overstone, Baron, English financier, represented Hythe; was made a peer in 1850; wrote on finances; was opposed to limited liability and the introduction of the decimal system; died immensely rich (1796-1883).
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet of the Augustan age, born at Salmo, of equestrian rank, bred for the bar, and serving the State in the department of law for a time, threw it up for literature and a life of pleasure; was the author, among other works, of the “Amores,” “Fasti,” and the “Metamorphoses,” the friend of Horace and Virgil, and the favourite of Augustus, but for some unknown reason fell under the displeasure of the latter, and was banished in his fiftieth year, to end his days among the swamps of Scythia, near the Black Sea (B.C. 43-18 A.D.).
Oviedo (44), capital of the Spanish province of Asturias, near the river Nalon; is the seat of a university, library, and cathedral; it is the centre of the chief coal-field of Spain; in the neighbourhood are a gun-factory and many iron-works.
Owen, John, Puritan divine, born in Oxfordshire, educated at Oxford; driven from the Church, became first a Presbyterian then an Independent; Cromwell made him chaplain for a sermon he preached the day after Charles I.'s execution, and he was presented in 1651 with the deanery of Christ Church, Oxford, and next year with the Vice-Chancellorship, but on the Restoration was deprived of both, after which, from 1657, he spent his life in retirement; wrote an exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, on the Holy Spirit, and many other works in exposition of the Puritan theology, which at one time were held in greater favour than they are now (1616-1683).
Owen, Sir Richard, celebrated English naturalist and comparative anatomist, born in Lancaster; wrote extensively, especially on comparative anatomy and physiology, in which, as in everything that occupied him, he was an enthusiastic worker, being a disciple of Cuvier; did not oppose, but was careful not to commit himself to, Darwin's evolutionary theories; Carlyle, who had two hours' talk with him once, found him “a man of real ability who could tell him innumerable things” (1804-1892).
Owen, Robert, a Socialist reformer, born in Montgomeryshire; became manager of a cotton mill at New Lanark, which he managed on Socialist principles, according to which all the profits in the business above five per cent, went to the workpeople; in furtherance of his principles he published his “New Views of Society,” the “New Moral World,” as well as pamphlets, lecturing upon them, moreover, both in England and America, but his schemes issued in practical failures, especially as proving too exclusively secular, and he in his old age turned his mind to spiritualism (1771-1858).
Owens College, Manchester, a non-sectarian university, founded by John Owens, a liberal Churchman, in 1846, and supported as well as extended by subsequent bequests, the medical school of which is one of the finest in the kingdom; of the students attending it in 1897-98, 639 were arts students, 99 women, and 418 medicals.
Oxenford, John, English man of letters and critic; translated Goethe's “Dichtung und Wahrheit,” and “Echermann's Conversations with Goethe”; was dramatic critic for the Times, and wrote plays, as well as an “Illustrated Book of French Songs” (1812-1877).
Oxenstiern, Axel, Count, Swedish statesman, favourite minister of Gustavus Adolphus; supported him through the Thirty Years' War, though he disapproved of his engaging in it, and managed the affairs of the State with great ability after his death (1583-1654).
Oxford (46), the county town of Oxfordshire, seat of one of the great English universities and of a bishopric; is on the left bank of the Thames, 52 m. W. of London; it is a city of great beauty, its many collegiate buildings and chapels and other institutions making it the richest of English cities in architectural interest; naturally historical associations abound; here the Mad Parliament met and adopted the Provisions of Oxford in 1258; Latimer and Ridley in 1555, and Cranmer in 1556, were burned in Broad Street; Charles I. made it his head-quarters after the first year of the Civil War; it was the refuge of Parliament during the plague of 1665.
Oxford School, the name given to the leaders of the Tractarian Movement, which originated at Oxford in 1833.
Oxford University, Oxford is spoken of as a seat of learning as early as the 11th century. Cloistral schools existed before that. Schools of divinity, law, and topography were founded in the 12th century. In the 13th Dominican and Franciscan scholars raised it to a level only second to Paris, and by the end of the 14th century there were thousands of students in attendance. Oxford responded quickly to the Renaissance, and by the time of the Reformation 13 colleges were founded. Her Protestantism stood firm through Mary's reaction, sank into passive obedience under the Stuarts, but woke up to resist James II.'s Catholic propaganda. Thereafter followed a serious lapse in efficiency, but this century has seen a complete revival. Oxford has now 21 colleges, among which are Balliol, Christ Church, Magdalen, Oriel, Trinity, and University College; 64 professors and teachers, and 3000 students. It is rich in museums and libraries; the Bodleian Library is of great value, the Taylor Library is devoted to modern literature. The Oxford or Tractarian Movement, one of the most remarkable religious impulses of modern times, had its centre in the University between 1834 and 1845. Among distinguished Oxford alumni were Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, Wesley, Newman; Hobbes, Locke, Adam Smith; Johnson, Gibbon, Freeman, Green; Chatham, Gladstone; Ruskin; Shelley, Keble, Arnold, and Clough. Of the colleges of which the University consists, the University was founded in 1249, Balliol in 1269, Merton in 1264, Exeter in 1314, Oriel in 1326, Queen's in 1340, New in 1379, Lincoln in 1427, All Souls' in 1437, Magdalen in 1468, Brasenose in 1509, Corpus in 1516, Christ Church in 1546, Trinity in 1554, St. John's in 1555, Jesus in 1571, Wadham in 1612, Pembroke in 1624, Worcester in 1714, Keble in 1870, and Hertford in 1874.
Oxfordshire (186), a S. midland county of England, stretching on the N. bank of the Thames between Gloucester and Buckingham; is an agricultural district; bleak in the N. and W., it is hilly, well wooded and picturesque in the S., where are the Chiltern Hills; iron-stone is mined near Banbury, blankets made at Witney, and paper at Shiplake and Henley; natives of the county were Edward the Confessor, Leland, Warren Hastings, Maria Edgeworth, and J. R. Green.
Oxus or Amu-daria, a great river of Central Asia, rises in the Pamirs, and flows W. between Turkestan and Afghanistan, then N. through Turkestan to the Sea of Aral; it is believed at one time to have flowed into the Caspian, and there is record of two changes of course; half its waters are absorbed in irrigating the plains of Khiva.
Oxygen, a colourless, inodorous gas which constitutes one-fifth in volume of the atmosphere, and which, in combination with hydrogen, forms water. It is the most widely diffused of all the elementary bodies, and an essential support to everything possessed of life.
Oyer and Terminer, an English Court Commission to hear and determine special causes.
Ozone, is an allotropic form of oxygen, from which it can be developed by electricity, and into which it can be resolved by heat, present in small quantities in the atmosphere, and possessing strong oxidising properties.