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

. (page 141 of 203)
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 141 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

dependent on material gratifications; that it robs man of that energy That springs from
ambition; that it uuphilosophieally ignores an individualism and inequality to which
nature herself has given her inviolable sanction; and that, by the abolition of social
rewards and punishments, it neither Irolds out any hope to the industrious, nor^xcitea
iiension among the indolent. On the other hand, we must admit that the
vigorous assertion of socialistic principles has led men to a more liberal and generous vie\v
of humanity as a whole. Moreover, it has forcibly called public attention to numerous;
evils that have sprung up along with the modern development of industry, for which no
remedy not even a name had been provided; to the vital interdependence of all
classes; and to the inadequacy of the individual or "selfish"' system, as it has heen
called, to redress the- wrongs or cure the evils that inevitably spring from its own
Unchecked operation. The recent spread of socialistic opinions in German}-, taken in
connection with the two attempts made on the life of the emperor, has led, in 1878. to
special and stringent legislation designed to cheek the growth of socialism. In 1878 it
was computed ihat there were in Germany 75 socialistic publications, with 135,000
regular subscribers. See COMMUNISM.

SOCIAL SCIE3TCE, a name that has of late years been given to the study of all that re-
lates to the social improvement of the community. A society called "the national
association for the promotion of social science" was first orgnuized at a, meeting which
was held under lord Brougham's auspices in July,' 1857, to consider the best means of
uniting together all those interested in social improvement. The annual meetings have
been held each year at a different place. The association r.s now constituted comprises
five sections 1. nee and amendment of the law (sub-section, repression of
crimi); 2. ^iuca'ion ; ','>. lleahh; 4. Economy and Trade; 5. Art. The association
aims at promoting improvement hi all matters lulling witiiin these di partments by means
of bringing together, i'or free discussion, societies and individuals interested in social

SOCIOLOGY is the somewhat barbarous name that has of late been used to denote the
study of the origin, organization, and development of human society.

SOCIAL "WATIS v;:irs with .-.- r/V or allies. Thcmo:-! important social war was be-
hveen Rome and the Italian peoples, such as the Samnites, Pdigr.i. Marsi, etc., who
desired io be admitted to the lights of citizenship. M. Livius Drusus, who had been
the advocate of the Italian nationalities, was assassinated B.C. 91. The Italian allies of
Rome at once revolted, and tbo three years' war that followed during which over
800,000 men are said to have lost tksir lives though the Romans, under Marius and
Sulla, inflicted terrible loss >s upon the allies, was substantially a victory for the latter,
who eventually were granted the rights demanded. Athens had two socir.l Avars, the
first with the allied cities of Cos, Chios, and Byzantium, whose independence was secured
15. c. 857-55 ; the second between Athens and the ^Eiolian and Achaean leagues r,.c. 220-17.

SOCIETIES are associations of individuals for the promotion or accomplishment of
some particular object. Such objects are numerous, including the promotion and inves-
tigation of almost every well-recognized branch of science, art, and literature; the dif-
fusion of knowledge, religion, and morality; intercourse bet ween 'those of the same pro-
fession or trade; the removal of legal grievances; mutual aid in case of distress; and
an abundance of other aims, which are either beneficial to the general public or to the
members of the society alone. In Great Britain any number of persons may agree to
constitute themselves a society if the object of their union is legal. Those whose ob-
jects are scientific or literary are occasionally called <>'>( >;it< a (q. v.), and under this or
their own special names will be found notices of the chief societies at present existing.
" Secret : ' societies for the accomplishment of some object which involves a subversion
of existing political arrangements, spring up from time to time in France, Ireland,
Italy, etc.

in 1698 in the English church, having for its object Christian education in England tnd
Wales, and the spread of the Bible in the colonies. The originator of it was a clergy-
man, Dr. Thomas Bray. In 1709 this society aided the Danish mission at Tranquebar.
The Tanjore mission in 17CG, and that at Tri'chinopoly in 1763, where Schwartz labored,
were sustained by it. After the organization of other societies for the express purpose
of propagating the gospel in foreign hinds this society confined itself to the circulation
of Bibles, tracts, prayer-books, etc. It has branch societies in various parts of Great

SOCIETY ISLANDS, a small archipelago in the South Pacific ocean, in lat 16 to 18*
s., long. 148 to 155 w., is formed of a number of islands, of which the greater nnmlier
are under French rule. Exclusive of islets, the group is formed of 13 islands Tahati or
Otaheite, Maitia, Eimeo. Maiaoiti, Tetuaroa, Otaha, Mania, Tuba, Lord Howe's island,
Sciliy island, Huahine. Ruiatea, and Borabora. The three last, with their dependencies,
arc not under the French protectorate, but are each an independent state. Area esti-
U. K. XIII. -89

Soclnus. n i /%

Socrates. 1 U

mated at 580 sq.m. ; pop. about 20.000. All the islands closely resemble each other in
appearance. They are mountainous in the interior, with tracts of low-lying and extra-
ordinarily fertile laud occupying the shores all round from the base of the mountains to

usually found in the South Sea islands. The inhabitants belong to the Malay race
are alfuble, ingenious, and hospitable, but volatile and sensual. The practice of
tattooing has almost wholly disappeared, and the native costume now closely resembles
that of civilized nations. There are now no native manufactures, these having 1 been
entirely superseded by imported goods. Cocoa-nut oil, oran-res, lime-juice, kauri shells,
and pearl shells are the principal articles exported; and "cocoa-nuts are the general
article of barter throughout the islands for calicoes, cotton cloth, knives, cordage,
groceries, etc., which are imported chiefly from Tahiti. The exports from Tahiti The
principal island, amounted in 1871 to 110,000, and the imports to 120,000.

Tahki is said to have been visited as early as 1606. Capt. Cook reached it in 1769
and discovered many of the other islands of the archipelago, to which he ave the
nauie Of Society islands in honor of the Royal society of London. In 1707 "the first
inission-ship fitted out by the newly formed London missionary society arrived at
Tahiti. After 19 years of apparently fruitless labor the influence of the missionaries
began to be felt, and soon afterward became so powerful as to be almost paramount. A
quarrel between the Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries, Avho thought it better
to enter upon ground already occupied by Protestants than to take up new ground for

authority were afterward placed under the protection of France, and the Society
islands, though still nominally a protected stale, may be considered as virtually a French
colonial possession. Many of the Protestant missionaries left the island in consequence
of the interference of the French authorities with their labors. Some, however,
remained, and the congregations continued to meet. An application to the British gov-
ernment procured a concession on the part of the French government of some of "the
rights of religious liberty, which had been taken away by the local authorities.

SQCIHUS, the name of two celebrated hcresiarchs, uncle and nephew, who have given
name to a sect of Christians, the Sociniacs. better known, however, as Unitarians (q.v.).
LvSLius Socisus, the elder of the two' was b. at Sienna, in Tuscany, in ir>25, and
belonged to a family that hi;d long been distinguished for its cultivation of literature and
science. His father, Mariamis Socinus, was an able lawyer, and designed his son for
the same profession. But Lrelius soon displayed a strong preference for theological
inquiry, rnd in order to better prosecute his biblical studies he made himself familiar
with Greek, Hebrew. arid Arabic. The only result of his legal training that one can
discern is an obstinate aversion to believe anything '' ur.rca; onable." The principles of
the reformation had slowly found their way into Itah'. and in 1546 a secret society was
formed at Vicenza for the discussion of religious questions. It was composed of 40 per-
sons, distinguished by their rank, their occupations, and their titles. Socinus was
admitted a member. The conclusions at which they arrived were unfavorable to the
dogma of the Trinity, which they held to have been borrowed by the early church from
the speculations of Greek philosophers. The purpose of their meetings together having
been discovered. I he society broke up. Seme of the members were arrested and put to
death, others sought safety in flight. Among the latter was Socinus, who traveled in
France, England, Holland" Germany, and Poland, making the acquaintance, and acquir-
ing the esteem, of many transalpine scholars, and finally settled in Zurich, where he
died in 1562, when only 37 years of age. Laelius Socinus, unlike most heretics, was a
prudent and reticent man. His speech at least never bewrayed him; but in his corre-
spondence with his Italian relatives and friends he showed himself an ardent and elo-
quent disputant, and made not a few proselytes. Once, in a moment of mistaken con-
fidence, he disclosed himself tc Calvin, who' primly warned him to get rid of his "itch
of inquiry," lest he should "draw on himself great torments." In the same year occu: r.'d
the murder of Servetus. See Illgen's Vita I/Klii Socini (Lcip. 1814), and Symbols ad Vitam
et Doctrinam JArlii Socini (Leip. 1826).

SOCINUS, FAUSTUS, nephew of the preceding, was the son of Alessandro Socinus, and
was also born at Sienn, Dec. 5, 1539. By the mother's side he was very highly con-
nected, but having lost his parents while still young, his education was carelessly con-
ducted; and lie himself, at a later period, lamented the imperfection of his scholastic cul-
ture. His want of learning, however, only induced him to speculate the more freely,
and thus it happened, partly from native bias, and partly from his uncle's cpistolarj^
arguments, that Faustus was a heretic and anti-Trinitarian before he was out of his teens.
In 1559, when only 20 years of age, he found it advisable to seek an asylum in France,
and was living at Lyon when he got news of his uncle's death. He immediately pro-
ceeded to Zurich, and possessed himself of his relative's MSS., after which he returned
to Italy. He entered the service of the grand duke of Tuscany, aud during twelve years

-| 1 Socinus.


Beemed to forget, amid the cares of offlce and the dissipations of a court, the thorny
questions of theology. But at the expiry of that period, he was seized with a stronger
desire than ever to investigate the truths of religion, and in spite of all remonstrances,
proceeded to Germany the center of theological activity. In 1574 he retired to Basel,
to prosecute his studies more closely; but, a disputation which he had with a certain Fr.
Pucci (157H), oHiged him to leave Switzerland. At the request of George Blaudrata, he
visited Transylvania, where anti-Trinitarians were numerous, especially among the
nobles, and eagerly sought (not without success) to make converts to his opinions. In
157!) he went to Poland. Anti-Trinitarianism was even stronger there than in Transyl-
vania, and Sociims soon obtained a great influence. He preached, and disputed, and
wrote with a zeal that Socinianism has seldom displayed since. His position in rela-
tion to the reformers was, that Luther and Calvin had rendered great services to the
Cause of religion, but that they had not gone far enough, that the only solid basis on
which Protestantism could rest was hum-in " reason," that everything that contradicted
it should be rejected as false and incredible, and that dogmas that, were absurd should
not be allowed to shelter themselves from criticism because their defenders chose to call
them "mysteries." The Protestants were alarmed, and the ablest among them under-
took pubik'ly to confute Socinus. A disputation was held in the college of Posna, which
ended in Socinus reducing all his opponents to silence; but they retaliated (after the
unscrupulous fashion of the times) by trumping up against their vanquisher a charge of
sedition, which, although ridiculously groundless, made it necessary for Socinus to with-
draw from Cracow. \Vhile living in retirement on the estate of a Polish noble, Chris-
topher Morsztyn, he married the daughter of his protector. She seems to have been a
tender and affectionate wife; and when Socinus lost her in 1587, he almost broke his
heart through grief. About this period his property in Italy was confiscated ; but he had
powerful and wealthy friends in Poland, who proved generous to him in his needs. In
1538 he took part in the synod of Brest (on the borders of Lithuania), and combated all
the principal dogmas of the church the divinity of Christ, propitiatory sacrifice, original
sin, hum-in depravity, the servitude of the will, and justification by faith. In 1598, on
the publication of his De Jesu Cfiristo Ssrcatnre, his enemies stirred up the populace of
Cracow against him; and Socinus was pulled fro:n a sick-bed, and nearly murdered.
So >n after, he left the city, and found a refuge with one of his friends in tha village of
Luclavie, where he died. Mar. 3, 1(504. Soeinus's works are no longer read ; but hi;: opin-
ions have never wanted advocates in any Protestant country. He and his uncle may 1)3
regarded as precursors of that spirit of rationalism which has rooted itself so deeply in
the thought of the modern world. See Przipcow's Life of Socinus, prefixed to a collec-
tion of his works in the Bib. Wmt. Po',onoruin (Amst. 1656); B-tyle's article in the Diction-
naire; and Toulmin's Memoirs of the Life, Character, eta. of F. S. (Load. 1777).

SOCLE, a plain plinth, forming a pedestal for the support of a statue, column, etc.

SOCORRO, a co. in central New Mexico, having the state line of Arizona for its w.
boundary, and that of Texas for its eastern; 11,500 sq.m. ; pop. '70, 6,60:.? 6,384 of
American birth. It is drained by the Rio Grande del Norte, the Picos, and tb.3 head-
waters of the Gila. The surface is mountainous, crossed by a range of the Zuni moun-
tains, the: Sierra Blanco, and other spurs. A large proportion is unproductive, but the
river banks and localities improved by irrigation produce wheat and corn. Much atten-
tion is paid to vine-culture and sheep-raising. Its mineral products are gold and iron.
Co. seat, Socorro.

SO COTRA, an island near the entrance to ths gulf of Aden, 80 in. long and 30 broad.
Area upward of 1000 sq. miles. Pop. 5,000, of various races. The surface consists
for the most part of a table-laud of from 700 to' 800 ft. high, and low plains skirt the
northern and southern shores. All the streams of the island, with the exception of a few
rivulets, are dry at a certain season; but rain-water is collected in reservoirs, and in most
parts water can be obtained by digging a few feet below the surface. Owing to the
somewhat unfertile character of the soil, most of the districts are more adapted for pas-
ture than for agriculture; but grain, fruits, and vegetables are grown in the eastern dis-
tricts. The aloe plant and the dragon's-blood tree are the chief commercial product's.
Socotra belongs to the sultan of Iveshin, who in 1876 concluded a treaty by which in
respect of Socotra, he becomes a. feudatory of Great Britain.

SOCRATES, the celebrated Greek philosopher, was b at Athens in the year 4fi9
B.C. His father, Sophroniskos, was a sculptor; and he followed the same profession in
the early part of his life. His mother, Pha?narete. was a midwife, to which avocation
lie was wont to compare his own peculiar method of conversational teaching. IFi.s
family was respectable in descent, but humble in point of means. His physical 'consti-
tution was robust to an extraordinary degree, enabling him to endure the hardest mili-
tary service, and to live his own chosen life of superiority to all wants above the barest
necessaries of life. While his ordinary diet w!>s simple and abstemious, he could, on
religious festivals or social occasions, drink more wine than any one else without being
intoxicated. He had the usual education of sin Athenian citizen, winch included not
only a knowledge of the mother-tongue, and readings in the Greek poets, but also the
elements of arithmetic, geometry and astronomy, as then known. As a young man, he
frequented tke society of the physical philosopher, Archelaus (a disciple of Anaxagoras);



but the philosophers that did most to determine his own special turn of mind must hare
been Parmenides and "the double-tongued and all-objecting Zeno."

Excepting in connection with his philosophical career, few circumstances of his life
are known. He served as a hoplite, or heavy-armed foot soldier, at the siege of Potida>a,
at the battle of Delium, and at Amphipolis, and his bravery and endurance were greatly
extolled by his friends. On two memorable occasions, he stood forward in political life.
After the battle of Arginusse, in 406, the ten generals in command were publicly arraigned
for neglecting to obtain the bodies of the killed to receive the rites of interment. The
clamor for their cpndemuatiou was so great, that the court wished to proceed in viola-
tion of the legal forms; but Socrates, as the presiding judge, firmly refused to put the
question. The other occasion was during the tyranny of the Thirty, who took up the
policy of compelling a number of influential citizens to take a part in their illegal
murders and confiscations; but Socrates withstood them at the peril of his own life.

Somewhere about the middle period of his life, he relinquished his profession as a
statuary, and gave himself up to the career that made him famous. Deservedly styled
a philosopher, he neither secluded himself for study, nor opened a school for the regular
instruction of pupils. He disclaimed the appellation of teacher; his practice was to talk
or converse, "to prattle without end," as his enemies said. "Early in the morning, he
frequented the public walks, the gymnasia for bodily training, and the schools where
youths were receiving instruction ; he was to be seen in the market-place at the hour when
it was most crowded, among the booths and tables where goods were exposed for sale.
His whole day was usually spent in this public manner. He talked with any one, young
or old, rich or poor, that sought to address him, and in the hearing of all who chose to
stand by. He visited alt persons of interest in the city, male or female; his friendship
with Aspasia is well known; and one of the most interesting chapters of Xenophon's
Memorabilia recounts his visit to and dialogue with Theodote 1 a beautiful hetarn, or
female companion. Nothing could be more public, perpetual, and indiscriminate as
to persons than his conversation ; and as it was engaging, curious, and instructive to
hear, certain persons made it their habit to attend him in public as companions nnd
listeners. These men, a fluctuating body, were commonly known as his disciples or
scholars, though neither he nor his personal friends ever employed the terms teacher,
and diKc ' ;'<; to describe the relation between them." Grote's Greece, chap. Ixviii.

Another peculiarit} 7 of Socrates was his persuasion of a special religious mission. He
had been accustomed all his life to hear what he considered a divine voice, or preter-
natural sign, which came to him solely as a prohibition or warning, and never as an
instigation to act. In deference to it, he had kept back from entering public life, and
it caused him to refrain from premeditating the defense that he made on his trial. Nor
was this all; relying, like his countrymen, on divine intimations by dreams and oracles,
he believed that his mission had been signified to him by these. One oracular iniimatiou
in particular he described in his defense as the turning-point of his lU'e. An admirer
and friend of his, Clnercphon, about the time when he began to have some repute as a
wise man, consulted the oracle at Delphi as to whether any man was wiser than Socrates.
The priestess replied: "None." The answer, he said, perplexed him very much; for
he was conscious to himself that he possessed no wisdom on any subject, great or small.
At length, he resolved to put the matter to the test by taking measure of the wisdom ol
other persons as compared with his own. Selecting a leading politician, accounted wise
by himself and \>i r others, he put a series of questions to him, and found his supposed
wisdom was no wisdom at all. He next tried to demonstrate to the politician himself
how much he was deficient; but found him impracticable on this head, refusing to be
convinced. He then saw a meaning in the oracle, to the effect that his superiority to
others lay not in his wisdom, but in his being fully conscious of his ignorance. He tried
the same experiment on other politicians and rhetors, then on poets, and lastly on artists
and artisans, and with the same result. Thereupon, he considered it as a duty imposed
upon him by the Delphian god to cross-question men of all degrees as to their knowl-
edge, to make them conscious of their ignorance, and thereby put them in the wy of
becoming wise. We shall see presently wherein this low view of the human intelligence
differed from the contemptuous tone of a mere satirist.

The intellectual characteristics of Socrates, through which he influenced the whole
subsequent course of human thought, may be stated under three heads: 1. Subject,
2. Method, and 8. Doctrine.

1. As to subject. Here he effected a signal revolution, metaphorically expressed by
the saying of Cicero, that "Socrates brought down philosophy from the heavens to the
earth." The previous philosophies consisted of vast and vague speculations on nature
as a whole, blending together cosmogony, astronomy, geometry, physics, metaphysics,
etc. Socrates had studied these systems, and they left on his mind a feeling of empti-
ness and unsuitability for any human purpose. It seemed to him that men's endeavors
after knowledge would be better directed to the human relationships, as involving men's
practical concerns. He could not go to any public assemblage without hearing ques-
tions agitated respecting the just and unjust, the honorable and base, the expedient and
hurtful; moreover, he found that the opposing disputants were, without knowing it,
very confused in their ideas as to the meanings of those large words in which the
weightiest interests centered. Accordingly, he was the first to proclaim that " the proper



stud}- of mankind is man;" human nature, human duties, and human happiness made
up a field of really urgent and profitable inquiry. In astronomy he saw a certain utility
for navigation, and for the reckoning of time, to which extent lie would have it known
by pilots and watchmen; geometry was useful in its literal sense of land-measuring;
arithmetic he allowed in like manner so far as practically useful; but general physics,
or the speculations of philosophers, from Thales downward, as to the origin of all things
out of water, tire, air, etc., he wholly repudiated. "Do these inquirers," he asked,
think that they already know human affairs well enough, that they thus begin to meddle
with divine? Do they think that they shall be able to excite or calm the winds at
pleasure, or have they no other view than to gratify an idle curiosity?" He considered
it not only unprofitable but impious to attempt to comprehend that department. The
gods, he thought, managed all those things after their own fashion, and refused to sub-
mit them to invariable laws of sequence, such as men might discover by dint of study;
the only means of knowledge permitted was religious sacrifice and prayer, and the con-
sultation of the oracles. While this was the appointed way in reference to divine
things, it was equally appointed that human things should be learned by diligence in

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 141 of 203)