Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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equal to that of the East Indies, along the southern coast; grapes (350,000 acres), olives
(125,000 acres, with an annual yield in oil of 15.000 tuns), saffron, oranges, lemons, cit-
ron*,, figs, pistachios, dates, castor-oil, mulberry, sumach, tobacco, and
manna. The vine has been cultivated with the greatest care at "Marsala since 1789, when
an English firm, settled there, began to export it. Now, upward of 5,000,000 gallons
are annually exported to England, America, and India. Sicily possesses the best tunny-
fisheries in the .Mediterranean. The fisheries for coral at different places on the coast
are also industriously carried on, and on an average about 2,100 pounds are annually

Manufacturer, Commerce, etc. The manufactures of Sicily are insignificant, and are
nearly altogether conliued to silk, cotton, and leather. The most important articles
of export are sulphur, sumach, fruits, and wine; of import cottons, woolens, silks,
linens, earthenware, hardware. Great Britain, France, and the United States are tho
countries with which the Sicilians chiefly carry on commerce. The statistics of exports
and imports are untrustworthy, but the latter considerably exceed the former-. .Mon*
than 200 miles of railways have recently been constructed.

Rdifjion. E'luc.itl'iii, etc. With the exception of about 58,000 Greeks, and a few
thousand Jews, the inhabitants are all Roman Catholics; but though equally ignorant,
they are not so superstitious as the Neapolitans; at least their superstition has not
destroyed their love of political freedom, as has repeatedly been evinced in their history
most, recently in the ardor with which they responded to the summons of Garibaldi to
liberate themselves from the tyranny of the Bourbons. There are three universities
at Palermo, Catan'a, and Messina; and also a collegio de' Xobile at Palermo.
Pulitii-nl Dirixi-Htn. Sicily is divided into 7 provinces or prefectures viz., Palermo,
Messina, Catania, Xoto or Siracusv, Caltanisetta, Girgenti, and Trapani. Each province
is subdivided into 8 or 4 districts, and these again into numerous commnni, or "town-
ships." Over the province is placed an inteiv.leiite, or, as he is now called, a "prefect;"
over the district a sub-prefect; and over the commune a nindaco ("svndic," or ''mayor").
The prefect presides over every department of the provincial administration, and also
over the provincial council a body composed of from 15 to 20 land-holders, who meet
once a year, and sit for 20 days, examining the accounts of the province, and framing
the provincial budget. The two subordinate divisions have also their " councils;" and
the members of all three are appointed either by the king, or by the prefect. Of course
this insular self-government does not supersede "the necessity of "sending Sicilian deputies
to the national parliament at Rome.

Hixtory. Sicily, was inhabited, in prehistoric times by ft people who bore the name
of Sic alt or S'cnu, and, according to a universally received tradition crossed over
into the island from the southern extremity of the mainland. Their names and every
fact that we can ascertain about them, lead 'to the supposition that they were members
of the great Latino-Italian family that, entering Italy from the n., gradually pushed its
Vay across the Apennines to the peninsula of Bruttium (see article ROME). Beyond
this rational conjecture, however, we cannot proceed, and the actual history or' Sicily
only begins to emerge out of utter darkness with the establishment of Greek and Phe-
nician colonies. The earliest Greek colony, that of Xaxos. was founded 7:35 B.C.; the
latest, that of Agrigentum, 580 B c. During the intervening century and a half, numer-
ous important colonies were established (either directly from Greece or as offshoots from
the older Greek settlements in the island); Syracuse (1fe4 B.C.), Leontini and Catana
(780 B c.). Megara ITybhea (728 B.C.), Gela (690 B.C.), Zancle. later Messana (date of origin
uncertain), A era 1 (064 B.C.), Himera (648 r..c.), Myke (date of origin uncertain), Casmensa
(644 B.C.), Selinus (628 B.C.), Camarina (599 B.C.), Agrigentum (580 B.C.). The earlier
history of these cities is almost unknown. What i< recorded is vague and general. We
read that they attained great commercial prosperity, that they subjugated or wrested
from the Siculi, Elymi, and other "native" tribes, large portions of neighboring terri-
tory; and that their governments (like those of the republics in the mother-country) were

Slckinsen. A.T A.


at first oligarchical, and latterly democracies or "tyrannies;" but it is not till the period
of the "despots" that we have" detailed accounts. Then the c.ties of Agrigenium ai.d
Gela acquire prominence the former, under the rule of Phalaris (4. v.), becoming, for a
short time, probably the most powerful state in Sicily; and the latter, under a succes-
sion of able tyrants, Oleander, Hippocrates, and Gelon (q.v ), forcing into subjection
most of the other Greek cities. Gelou, however, transferred his government to Syra-
cuse (one of his conquests), which now became the principal Greek city of Sicily a
dignity it ever after retained. Contemporary with Gelon, and possessed of the same
high capacity for governing, were Theron, "'tyrant" of Agrigenlum, and Anaxilaus,
tyrant of Rhegium, and conqueror of Zanclc, to which he gave the name of Messana.
^Meanwhile, the Carthaginians a people wholly different from the Greeks, in language,
religion, origin, and civilization had obtained possession of the Phenician settlements
iu Sicily. The first appearance of the Carthaginians in the island dates from 530 B.C. ;
but the steady growth of the Greek cities in wealth and power, long confined their rivals
to the north-western part, where their principal colonies were Panormus, Motya, and
Soloeis. The first ope ^ trial of strength took place iu the great battle of Himera, where
the Carthaginian army was utterly routed by Gelon, and its leader, llamiloar, slain. The
jGelouiau dynasty at Syacuse fell 466 B.C., after experiencing various fortunes. During
the next 50 years the fsland had peace. In 410 B.C., however, the war between the Car-
thaginians and Greeks for the possession of the island was renewed. The successes of
the former were great and permanent. Selinus, Himera, Agrigentum, Gela, and Cam:;-
rina, fell into their hands in less than five years; and it was not till Syracuse had got a
new "tyrant," the famous Dionysius (q.v.) the elder, that fortune again began to smile
on the Greeks. Even he, however, could not wrest from the Carthaginians what they
had already won; and after the war of 383 B.C., a peace was concluded, which left
Dionysius in possession of the eastern, and the Carthaginians of the western, half of the
island. The dissensions and tumults that followed the decease of Dionysius, illustrate
forcibly the peculiar dangers to which the Greek republics, either at home or abroad,
were prone; but we can only afford to notice the triumph of the popular party under
Timoleon (843 B.C.), and the splendid victory of the latter over the Carthaginian generals,
Hasdrubal and liamilcar, at the river Crimisus, 340 B.C. Once more Greek influence
was in the ascendant, but the rule of the bold and ambitious tryrant Agathocles (817-289
B.C.) proved in the main disastrous to Greelc rupremacy. After his death Syracuse lost
her hold over many of the Greek cities, which established a weak and perilous inde-
pendence, that only rcncbre 1 the preponderance of the Carthaginians more certain.
Finally, Pyrrhus (q.v.), king of Epirus, v.-as invited over to help his countrymen, and in
278 B.C. he landed in the island. The brilliant adventurer one of the most romantic
figures in classic history for a time swept everything before him. Panormus, Ercte,
and Eryx were captured; and though he failed to make himself master of Lilyba?um, he
might prob.fbly have forced the Carthaginians to surrender it, had he not been thwarted
in his designs by the miserable discords and jealousies of the people whom he came to
save. As it was, Pyrrhus left Sicily in about two years; and in all likelihood the island
would have sunk into a Carthaginian possession, had not a new power appeared on the
stage viz., the Roman. The struggle for supremacy between Rome and Carthage the
most tremendous struggle in ancient history is sketched in the article ROME, and in the
biographies of the leading generals, and, therefore, need not be narrated hero. Suffice
it to say, that in 246 B.C., Carthaginian Sicily, and in 210 B.C., the whole island becarr.e
a Roman "province" the first Rome ever held. Henceforth it shared the fortunes tf
the great state to which it was annexed, and its special history need only be rapidly
glanced at. In 135-132 B.C., and again in 103-100 B.C.,. it was the scene of two formid-
able slave-insurrections, during which it. was frightfully devastated. Its fertility. nd
the wealth of its citizens and landholders, were also powerful temptations to creed y and
unscrupulous governors, of whom we have a specimen in Verres (pre! or 73-70 V,.c.),
" damned to everlasting fame" in the orations of Cicero Augustus visited Sicily after
the close of the civil wars, and established some colonies; but it does not seem to have
prospered under the empire; and in 440 A.D. it was conquered by the Vandals under
Genseric. The Vandals, in their turn, were compelled to cede it (480 A.D.) to Theodnric
king of the Ostrogoths, iu whose hands it remained till 535 A D , when Belisarins con-
quered and annexed it to the Byzantine empire. In this condition it remained till 827,
when the Saracens invaded the island, and after a protracted struggle, lastinc for 114
years, expelled -the Byzantine Greeks, and made themselves masters of Sicily. They
kept possession of it for upward of a century, but after a contest of 30 years, were
driven out by Robert Guiscard (q.v.) and Roger de Hauteville. at the head o'f a body of
Normans, aided by the "native" inhabitants, whom we conjecture to have been nfiieh
the same as they were in the old classic times for the successive waves of barbaric ;;nd
Saracenic invasion that swept over the island, appear to have left little trace of their
action. Even to this day it is highly probable that the people of Sicily are larsrely the
descendants of the early Siculi. The Normans held rule in the island from 1073 to
1194; and the Norman "kingdom of Sicily and Naples," or "kingdom of the two
Sicilies," dates from 1130, when Roger II. obtaining possession of most of the conti-
nental dominions of his uncle, Robert Guiscard. assumed the title of kinir. During the
rule of the Swabian dynasty (see HOHEHBTAUFEK, HOUSE OF), 1194-1258, the political

4.T* SIcklngen.


history of Sicily is the same as Hint of Naples; but in 1282, after the dreadful massacre
of the French, known as the Sicilian Vespers (q.v.), it again became independent, those
for its king Pedro III. of Aragon, who was the sole representative by marria<-o of i!:c
house of llohenstaufen, and remained in the possession of the Aragonese sovereigns till
1505, -when the union of the crowns of Castile and Aragou in other words, the rise cf
the Spanish monarchy in the persons of Ferdinand and Isabella placed it i.udcr tl:a
dominion of Spain. The fortune of war also gave Ferdinand the possession of Naples;
and the Spanish kings retained both countries until the war of the Spanish

exchange the island of Sardinia. From 1720 the two countries continued under the
Bame th n :s-ty, Hie house of Austria, 1720-84; and the Spanish Bourbons, 173-i-18CO (if
we- ace >. p. the brief rule of the French in Naples, 1806-15, when Joseph Bonaparte, and
afterward Joachim Murat, were kings), down to the period of Garibaldi's invasion (see
ITALY, and GAIUBAI.DI), which resulted in the annexation of both to the new Kingdom of
Italy under Victor Emmanuel.

SICKING EX, FKANZ VON, 1481-1523; b. in the duchy of Baden ; became a distin-
guished soldier, and ably supported the cause of the emperors Maximilian and Charlea
V. He was noted as the champion of the oppressed, resisting the despotism <-f princes
and the arrogance of the clergy; supported Lutheram'sm in. the Rhenish provinces, and
as the patron of learning protected Rcuchlin, (Ecolampadius, and Uhich von Ilutlen.
Involved in a feud with Hesse and the Palatinate, Le was mortally wounded whilo
defending his castle.

SICKLES, DANIEL EPJTRATM, b. N. Y., 1822; educated at the university of New
York; studied law and began to practice in 1844. lie soon became a politician, served
in several offices, was secretary to the English legation in 1853, and was member of eon-
grc-s, 1806-02. In 1859 he shot and killed Philip B. Key for alleged intimacy with his
wife, and was tried for murder, but acquitted. In 1861 he raiml and became col. of the
Excelsior (New York) brigade. lie commanded a brigade under Hooker, and at Antietam
and Fredericksburg was at the head of Hooker's old division. At Chancellorsvillc nud
Gettysburg he commanded the 8d corps. In I860 he became minister to Spain, resign-
ing in 1874.

SICULIA'NA, a city of Sicily, province of Girgcnti, and 8 m. w.n.w. of the city of
that name. It stands on the sea", and has a small, badly situated harbor. Pop. 5,764.

SICYOIi, the principal city cf a very small but exceedingly fertile state of ancient
Greece, Sieyonia, situated in the n. of the Peloponnesus, having the Corinthian gulf for
its northern" boundary, with Achaia on the w., Phfius on the s., and Corinth on the east.
The territory was level toward the sea, somewhat mountainous in the interior, and well
watered by the two rivers Asopus and Helisson, between which on a triangular plateau
TVRS situated Sicyon, about 2 in. s. of the Corinthian gulf, and 10 n. w. of Corinth. Round
the three sides of the plateau ran a wall, which combined with the precipitous nature of
the heights that surrounded it rendered the position of Sicyou one of great strength. It
ig supposed that at one time it had, like Athens, a double wall reaching from the city to
the port on the sea of Corinth. Sicyon was anciently celebrated as a chief seat of paint-
ing and statuary (tradition asserting that the former was invented there), it having given
its name to a school of painting which included among its disciples Pamphilus and
Apelles, both natives of Sicyon. It Avas also the native city of Aratus (q.v.), the gen. of
the Ac'joean league. There exist at the present day a few remains of the ancient city, as
well as of the more modern buildings erected by the Roman conquerors of Greece, near
which stands a small modern village named Vasilika.

SIDA. a genus of plants of the natural order malracca, containing a large number of
species, annual and perennial herbaceous plants and shrubs, mostly natives of warm
climates and widely diffused. They generally abound in mucilage, and some of them
are used in medicine in India, as the mallow "nnd marsh-mallow are in Europe. They
hav" also strong pliable fibers, which are employed for cordage and for textile purposes.
ti ii'Mifolia. an annual, has long been cultivated in China, where it is called kitifj-ma,
for the sake of its fiber, which is used like that of hemp. It is too tender for the climate
of Britain, but its cultivation has been introduced into Italy and France.

SIDDONS. Mr*. SAUAII, was the daughter of Mr. Roger Kemble, a provincial actor,
and was born at Brecon, in South Wales, on July 5, 1755. As a mere child she was
brought on the stage on the occasion of a benefit of her father's, and from that time up
to her 15th year she continued to act as a regular member of his company. An attach-
ment having sprung up between her and a young Mr. Siddons. an actor, with the some-
what reluctant consent of her parents, she was married to him at Trinity church,
Coventry, on Nov. 26. 1773. and in company with her husband went to ret at the Cl.el-
tenbam theater. Here she speedily drew great attention; and Garrick, hearing her
praises in London, sent to Cheltenham a trusty emissary to report upon her. Thj
result was nn engagement offered her at the London Drury Lane theater, where. Dec.
29, 1775, she made her first appearance, acting Portia in The HercJiant <//' Venice to th


Shylock of Mr. Garrick. Her beauty and fine person pleased the audience, but as an
actress she made no great impression, and at the close of the season slie f.-iiled to secure
a re-engagement. It was considered that this was to some extent due to her having
vexed the irritable vanity of Garrick by an unintentional error in stage business, which
made him ac u with his back to the public in one of his pet passages, a mortification
which the great man was little enough to remember and resent.

Leaving London thus iu failure in 1776, in 1782 she returned to it to run a career of
triumph as indisputably the greatest actress of her time. The intervening years she
had passed in the exercise of her art on the stages successively of Birmingham, Man-
chester, York, and Bath, till the growth of her provincial reputation determined her
recall to the metropolis. In 1784 her popularity was temporarily obscured by a calumny
industriously circulated, which charged her with ungenerous and illiberal conduct
toward certain of her fellow-performers; but with this trivial exception, till on June 29,
1812, in her great character of Lady Macbeth, she took her leave of the public, her
course was one long series of successes. Subsequently she occasionally consented to
reappear on the stage for charitable ends, or to promote a stage " benefit" in which she
had a kindly interest. Her death took place in London on June 8, 1831.

As a tragic actress Mrs. Siddons has probably never been equaled iu Great Britain;
as a woman she was of unblemished reputation, and enjoyed the respect of all who
knew her. She was the ornament of every society into which she went, and such was
tlic estimation in which she was held, that she had access at will to almost any. Her
genius is said to have been strictly a stage genius; elsewhere she seems to have been a
woman of no extraordinary parts. But she had a certain way of making her mediocri-
ties imposing. She carried her tragedy manners with her to the drawir.g-room or the
dinner-table: Scott has recorded the" amusement with which at Abbotsford he heard her
stately blank verse to the domestic:

" I asked for water, boy! you've brought me beer;"

and Sidney Smith used to say it was never without a certain awe that he saw her " stab
the potatoes."

SIDE-BONES are enlargements situated above a horse's heels, resulting from the con-
version into hone of the elastic lateral cartilages. They occur mostly in heavy draught
horses with upright pasterns, causing much stiffness, but, uulers when of rapid growth,
little lameness. They are treated at first by cold applied continually, until heat and
tenderness are removed, when blistering or firing must be resorted to.

SIDEREAL CLOCK, a clock so regulated as to indicate sidereal time. See DAY. The
sidereal clock is a most important aid to the practical astronomer, and is one of the
indispensable in.-truments of an observatory.

SIDEROGRAPHY (Gr. sideros, iron). The name applied by the inventor, Mr. Dyer, to
a proce-s of printing with compound iron (or rather steel plates, for they are case-hard-
ened afler engraving) plates, instead of plain plates of copper or steel.' It. is the plan
now usually employed in printing bank-notes in which more than one color is given.
The colored parts of the design are cut out of the main plates, and movable; pieces are
exactly fitted in. so that they can be retracted or pushed forward at will. They are
withdrawn while the main plate is receiving its ink, and they are pushed forward
beyond while receiving their supply of ink. This being done they are brought to one
plane, and form a complete plate for printing from.

SIDEROX YLON, a genus of trees of the natural order xnpolacfw, having evergreen
leaves an I axillary clusters of flowers, natives of warm climates, and very widely dis-
tributed. They are remarkable for the hardness of their wood, which is sometimes
called iron-wood, and is at least in some species so heavy as to sink in water. The wood
of 8. inenne, called melkhoitt at the cape of Good Hope" is there much used for making
boats, bridges, agricultural implements, etc.

61 DI-B2L-AB BES, a t. of Algeria, in the province of Oran, and 50 m. s. of the town
of that name. It is fortified, and contains barracks, telegraph and post olfices. . Mar-
kets take place here every week. The soil in the vicinity is fertile; grain, tobacco, and
fruit are the chief products. Pop. of commune, 6,458.

SID'I MOHAMMED, 1803-73; b. Morocco; son of Abderrahman. whom he suc-
ceeded in 1859 as emperor of Morocco. He was soon involved in a war with Spain,
caused by the robberies of the Rif pirates, was defeated by the Spanish under Prim and
ODonnell. and obliged to pay Spain an indemnity of 20000.000 piaslers. M\ f intro-
duction of reforms and the commercial concessions which he granted to foreigners
caused several insurrections, in quelling one of which he lost his life.


SIDMOUTH. a market t, and waterin-r place on the s. coast of Devonshire, at the
mouth of the little river Sid. Sidmouth was u borousrh and market-town, governed by
a port-reeve, as early a* t he 13th century. It was anciently a place of some importance as
a fishing-town and seaport, but the fishery has declined, and the harbor is in great
measure filled up with sand and shingle, so that it is now accessible to small boats only.
The town has for many years past been a favorite watering-place, remarkable for tka

A^h Side.


mildness and salubrity of its climate. The hills on each side of the valley of the Sid
rise to a considerable height, ami, where they terminate ou the sea coast, form bold and
lofty clii'ts. e. and w. of the town, known respectively as iSalcombe hill aiui High peak,
about 5uO ft. above the sea. Owing to the narrowness of the valley, the town presents
no large frontage toward the sea; but the esplanade, protected by a sea wall 1700 ft. in
length, built in 1838 to stop the encroachment of the sea, forms an excellent promenade.
\'illas and detached houses extend for some distance inland up the valley of the Sid on
both sides of the stream. The town is neatly though irregularly built, lighted with gas,
and paved, and contains baths, public rooms, etc. Pop. '71, 3,300. Some Roman,
remains have been found here. Sidmouth gives the title of viscount to the Addingtou

SIDNEY, ALGERNON, grand-nephew of the famous sir Philip Sidney, was b. in the

E2ar 1622. lie received a careful education, and accompanied his lather, the earl of
eicester, to Denmark and France, whither the latter had been sent on embassies. In
1641 he served with some distinction against the rebels in Ireland, of which country his
father was then lord-licut. for the king. Subsequently, in 1643, along with his elder
brother, the viscount Lisle, he crossed to England, ostensibly to take service under the
king, then at war with his parliament. The two brothers, however, on their arrival,
joined the parliamentary forces. At the battle of Long Marston Moor, in which he was
sharp!}' wounded, Algernon's courage and capacity were conspicuous; and in evidence
of the estimation in which he came to be held by his party, we find him, in 1646, lieut.
gen. of the horse in Ireland, and governor of Dublin; and, subsequently, in 1647 after
receiving the thanks of the house of commons for his services, appointed governor of
Dover. The year before, he had been returned to parliament as member for Cardiff.
In 1648 he was one of the judges at the king's trial, and though, for some reason not
explained, he neither was present at the passing of sentence, nor signed the warrant of
execution, his general approval of the proceedings is not doubted. He is reported to
have afterward spoken of the execution as "the justest and bravest action that ever
was done in England or anywhere else." In principle a severe republican, he resented
the ursupation of power by Cromwell, and during the protectorate lived in retirement
at the family seat of Penshurst, in Kent. In 1659, on the meeting of the restored parlia-
ment, Sidney was again in his place. He was nominated one of the council of state,
and shortly "after dispatched to Denmark on a political mission. After the restoration,
he lived precariously on the continent, flitting about from place to place, but in 1677,

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 110 of 203)