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 147 of 203)
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his attempts at military reform provoked a rebellion of the janizaries, which he saw no
ether means of quelling than by engaging them in a war with Hungary. He gained the

A OX Solvent.


signal victory of Mohacz (15'?6), and continuing his resistless course, took Bnda and
Pesth: hut lie was recalled by the news of a rebellion in llie e.. and retreated down the
Danube lo Constantinople, committing frigliit'ul ravages on the way. In 15:21) lie was
summoned to Hungary in aid of his protege, king John Zapolya. who was contesting
th,' crown with Ferdinand, and accordingly invaded that country with a mighty army,
capturing and destroying as he went, and laid ^iege to Vienna, but after various u::suc-
ces-ful a-saults, he was compelled to retreat. Two years afterward (1531). he again
appeared in Hungary: but his progress this time wa> e'hccked by 1'harles V. in person,
who had come with the imperial army of 250,000, in aid of his brother. In 1535 he con-
cluded with Francis I. the famous treaty which opened the commerce of the Levant to
the French Hag alone. In 1540 the long and desultory contot between the Turks and
Imperialists for Hungary was ended in favor of the former, who took complete posses-
si* ''i of the country. After this, the alliance between the French and the Turks began
to bear fruit; the combined fleets ravaged the Italian coasts, and pillaged Nice (1542);
but pea -( was again restored with Germany in 1547. The Turks were now supreme in
the Mediterranean; Gozzo and Tripoli fell into their hands, and the conquest of the
Banat of Temeswar (1551) assured them a firm hold over Hungary. A second and third
war wiih Persia, which was now in a state of semi-subjugation, the bloodthirsty ambi-
tion of his favorite wife Roxolana. who succeeded in persuading him to put to death the
children of his other wives, a brilliant naval victory (1581) over the knights of Malta and
their allies the Spaniards, an unsuccessful blockade of Valetta in Malta (15u5), and a
fresh expedition to Hungary (156G), were the chief events of the remainder of his reign.
During this last expedition, while besieging the little town of Szigeth or Szegediu,
which resisted all his attacks, he died on Sept. 5, 1566.

SOMA ("the moon-plant." or asdcpias acida) is, in the Vedic hymns, the god who
represents this plant, and one- of the most popular deities of the Vedic religion. The
rca.-on for this popularity must be sought for in the important part which the juice of
the Soma-plant played in the great Vedic sacrifices, and probably also in its alcoholic
and invigorating properties, which the sacrifice! experienced when he drunk of it in the
exercise of his functions. These properties are constantly described or alluded to in the
hymns ;iddi'"s<ed to Soma. Thus, in some hymns, Soina is said to exhilarate Varouu a,
Mitra, Indra, and the other gods who partake of its juice; and in another, the worship-
ers exclaim: "We have drunk the Soma; we have become immortal; we have entered
into light; we have known the gods. What can an enemy now do to us, or what can
the malice of any mortal effect ?" In other passages, the juice of the Soma is said to be
a draught of immortality, medicine for the sick, and a remedy for blindness and lame-
ness. Thus Soma became endowed with supernatural qualities and divine attributes,
and gradually was exalted as one of the most powerful deities. lie is the friend, helper,
and so. il of In Ira; he is the slayer of the cloud-demon Vr'itia, the destroyer of foes,
the di-p !!er of darkness, the creator of the sun, the upholder of the sky, and the sus-
tainer of the earth, the king of gods and men; he is thousand-eyed, the most heroic of
j; he is wise, strong, energetic, etc. See the interesting jiriiele on Soma by John
Muir, in his "Contributions to a Knowledge of the Vedic Theo :o:iy and Mythology,"
in the Jon nml f tin: Ji'inl A*i<tti<' 8oeb '//. new series, vol. i. pp. l:/5, ff. In the classical
period of Hinduism, Soma ceases to be worshiped in the character which he lias at the
Vedic period; he then becomes the god of the moon. This transition from Soma. the
plant and its juice, to Soma, the ^f>on, which is perceptible even as early as in the S'ata-
patha Braiimana of the White \ajurveda (see VEDA), is apparently due to the belief,
that Aiiir'itst, the beverage of immortality, was guarded by the moon, and to the circum-
stance that, in the Vedic hymn-:, Soma is frequently called or described as Aiiu-'itii.
The myths connected with Soma, the moon, are wholly different from those relating to
the Vedic Soma. As moon, Soma was born from the eyes of Atri, a son of Brahman,
the first god of the Trimflrti (q.v.); and became installed by Brahman as the sovereign
of plants. Urahman'as. and planets. But after he had acquired extensive dominion, he
became arrogant and licentious, and carried off TarS (lit., a star), the wife of Vr'ihaspati,
the preceptor of the gods. Vr'ihaspati seeking to recover his bride, and some of the
gods siding with him. and others with Soma. a war broke out, which ended in Tara'a
being restored to her husband. The result, however, of her s.ay with Soma was the
birth of a son named Budha, who became the ancestor of a ilyna.-iy of kings, called the
lunar dynasty. See SIJUYA.

SOMA LI LAND, or SOMAUM, an extensive maritime country in the e. of Africa, is
triangular in shape, and is bounded on the n. by the gnlf of Aden, on the s.e. by the
Indian ocean, and on the s.w. by the Jub river. From ths middle course of the jiib to
cape Qinrdai'ui. which forms the apex of the triangle, the distance is nearly nine him-
dred miles. The area of the country is estimated at :!:;i).00<> sq.m.; but as great part
of its interior still remains unexplored, the number of its inhabitants bus not !< -\\ ascer
ta'uied. The land is elevated and mountainous in tlie n. and >lopcs in terraces toward
the south. The Jub, which forms the s.w. boundary, isa large fertilizing stream, drawing
its waters from the mountains of southern Abyssinia, and flowing 8.6. between theterri-
tories of the Gallas on the w. and those of the Somali on the e., to its mouth on the
northern frontier of Zanzibar.

Souiatology. AQA


The present Somali race were originally Arabs, who landed on the African shore
s. of the gulf of Aden early in the 15th century. Driving back the earlier inhabitants
of the country, who wf re Christians, the Moslem made themselves masters of the country.
The inhabitants are extremely violent and quarrelsome in their disposition, are notorious
for cheating- and lying, and for the most part pursue a wandering, pastoral life. The
chief trading place is Berber*, on the n. coast; and the products of the country are sheep,
cows, ghee, grass-made mats, ostrich feathers, and hides. These are exchanged at the
ports for cloth, dates, rice, beads, and iron. What Led to the Discovery of tlie Nile, by
tapt. Speke (Edin. 1864).


SOMBEERE'TE, a t. of Mexico, in the state of Zacatecas, and 90 m. n.w. from Zaca-
tecas, in a mountainous district celebrated for its rich silver mines from which Souu
brerete derives all its importance. Pop. 14,000.

SOMERS, JOHN, Lord, 1651-1716 ; b. Worcester, England; graduated at Trinity
college. Oxford; became a lawyer, 1676, pursuing at Oxford classical, historical, and
judicial studies; commenced practice at London, 1682, and became a leader of the whigs;
of counsel for the seven bishops, 1688; member of " Convention Parliament, "and soli-
citor-general. 1689; attorney-general, 1692; keeper of the great seal, 1693; a lord justice,
1695; lord chancellor and raised to the peerage, 1697; removed from chancellorship, 1700,
and arraigned for trial before the house of lords, but prosecution having been withdrawn,
recovered his influence at court, and was chosen president of the Royal society, 1702;
president of the council, 1708-10; and spent the remainder of his life in comparative

SOMERSET, a co. in w. Maine, adjoining Canada; drained by the "Waloostock,
Penobscot, and Kennebec rivers; traversed by the Somerset and the Maine Central rail-
roads; about 3, 800 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 32,329 31,065 of American birth. The surface is in
part hilly, and there are extensive forests from which much lumber is taken for
export. Co. seat, Skowhegan.

SOMERSET, a co. in s.e. Maryland, bounded on the the Wicomico river, on the
s.e. by the Pocomoke river, and on the w. by Chesapeake bay; crossed by the Eastern
Shore railroad; about 375 sq.m.; pop. '80 21,688-8,637 colored. The surface, is level
'd heavily tisibered. The soil is snndy. The principal productions are corn and
Cits. Co. seat, Princess Anne.

SOMERSET, a co. in central New Jersey, bordered by thePnssaiconthe n.e. , and on
the w. by L:\mington river; crossed by tliQ New York and Philadelphia, the Central New
Jersey, and Lehigh Valley railroads, and by the Delaware and Rarilan canal; drained
by the Passaic and Millstone rivers, and by" branches of the Raritan; 275 sq.m.; pop. '80,
27,161. The surface is partly hilly and the soil fertile; the principal products are wheat,
corn, potatoes, oats, wool, flax, butter, and cattle. It has good water-power and con-
tains manufactories of agricultural implements, castings, and pig-iron; also tanneries,
distilleries, flour and saw mills. Co. seat, Somerville.

SOMERSET, a co. in s. w. Pennsylvania.adjoining Maryland ; drained by the Youghio-
gheny and Castleman's rivers; traversed by the Pittslmrg, Washington and Baltimore
railroad; about 1000 sq.m.; pop. '80, 33,146 31,706^ American birth. The surface is
hilly, but very fertile; flax, wheat, rye, potatoes, corn, butter, and maple sugar are sta-
ples; sheep grazing is extensively carried on. Iron ore, bituminous and canuel coal are
found. Co. seat, Somerset.


SOMERSET HOUSE, in the Strand, London, stands on the site of a palace built by the
protector Somerset about 1549, which fell to the crown on Somerset's execution. The
original Somerset House was pulled down and rebuilt in 1776. after designs by sir Will-
iam Chambers, in the Palladiau style for public offices. Various offices connected with
the navy and other public departments were removed there in 1788; and in 1813 the east
wing was completed to form King's college.

SOMERSETSHIRE, a maritime co. in the s.w. of England, is bounded on the n.w. by
the Bristol channel, and in other directions by Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Wilts, and
Gloucestershire. Area, 1,019,815 arres. Pop '71, 463.483. Its form is oblong, its
length being about 80 m., and breadth about 36. The surface is extremely diversified,
there being every variation, from lofty hills and barren moors to rich vales and marshy
"levels," mr.ny thousands of acres of the latter being below high-water mark, and
lie-pending for security on sea banks and sluices. The hills are divided into several
rang's running from e. to west. One ran ire. known as the Mendips (q.v.), runs from
near the city of Wells to the coast at Bre-in-down. South of these hills is avast marshy
plain, on which the Pohh.-n hills stand out abruptly like an island. Another conspicu-
ous group, called the Qnantooks, rise near Tannton and attain a maximum elevation of
1270 feet. And finally, in the extreme w., is the wild district of Exmoor forest, com>
posed almost entirely of barren hills, the highest of which, Dunkcry beacon, is 1668 ft.
above the sea level. The rivers of the county rise chiellj' in these high grounds, aud


are none of them of any magnitude except the Bristol Avon, -which rises in Wiltshire,
and for some miles divides Somersetshire from Gloucestershire. The Paret drains the
middle districts and is a tidal stream up to Bridgwater, presenting at spring-tides the
peculiar phenomenon called the " bore." The soil is mostly fertile, and the pasture-lands
are almost unrivaled for their luxuriance. The wheat and barley grown around Bridg-
water are famous; but grazing and daily farming form the great objects of husbandry,
and the cheese of Cheddar has a great reputation. Cider is also produced in enormous
quantities, but owing to the prevalence of small farms agriculture is in a backward
gtate. The hilly districts are rich in minerals, especially iron, with some lead ar.d
calamine; and the Radstock and Bedminster coal-fields supply the northern district!
with excellent fuel. Oolite is largely developed in the neighborhood of Bath, where a
beautiful building-stone is extensively produced. The principal manufactures are
woolen clolh, coarse linens, lace, silk, and gloves; but these industries are not pro
gressive, and the population of Somersetshire is diminishing largely in the rural dis-
tricts. The medicinal springs are an important feature of the count}', having been the
means of bringing into celebrity and sustaining the splendor of Bath (q.v.). Weston-
snper-Mare, containing at the beginning of the century a few hovels, is now one of the
finest watering-places on the western coast. Somersetshire is divided into three districts
for electoral purposes, and returns six members to the house of commons. The parlia-
mentary boroughs are Bath, Tannton, and Frome Bridgwater having been recently
disfranchised for corrupt practices. In ancient times this part of the kingdom was
inhabited by the Belgce, and the Mendips appear to have formed so strong a barrier
against the Roman and Saxon that even to this day philologers can trace the strong
Celtic element that held its ground here. British camps are very numerous on the hills,
and extensive remains of stone circles are visible at Stanton Drew, near Bristol. In
Saxon times Somersetshire was one of the earliest counties to embrace Christianity; and
while a church was founded at Wells in 704, on the site now occupied by the fine cathe-
dral, a monastery was founded at Glastonbury, which eventually became one of the
wealthiest in the kingdom. Somersetshire was the principal arena of the rebellion of
the duke of Monmouth in 1685.


SOMERYILLE, a co. in n.e. central Texas, drained by the Brazos river; 300 sq.m. ;
pop. '80, 2,649 2,629 of American birth, 28 colored. This county was set off from
Hood co. in 1875. The surface is a rolling prairie; cotton, corn, and wheat are raised.
Co. seat. Glen Rose.

SOMERYILLE, a city in Middlesex co., Mass., on Mystic river, and on the Boston
and Albany, the Boston and Maine, and the Eastern and Fitchburg railroads; 3 m. from
Boston; pop. '80, 24,985. It was separated from Charlestown in is42, and incorporated
as a city in 1872. It is divided into 4 wards, and governed by a mayor, aldermen, and
councilman. It has 3 lines of street railroads, an electric fire alarm, a paid fire depart-
ment; is furnished with water from the Mystic river, and lighted with gas. The city
has numerous hills, of which Central, Spring, and Winter are the highest; also a public
park of about 16 acres in the n.e. portion. It is principally a place of residence for
Boston merchants. It contains numerous public schools, a free public library, the
McLean insane asylum; and manufactories of steam-boilers, carriages, glass, ami earth-
enware, brass and copper tubing, an iron-foundry, dye-works, brick yards, a bleachery,
and an establishment for currying leather.

SOMEKVILLE, Mrs. MARY, a lady famed for her mastery of mathematics and physi-
cal science, was the daughter of admiral sir William Fairfax. She was b. at Jedburgh
on Dec. 26. 1780, and brought up at Burntisland, amid somewhat narrow family circum-
stances. Her mother taught her to read ; but besides this, she had no education till she
was nine years old. At ten, she went for a year to a school sit Musselbuvgh : and on her
return, took more delight in reading whatever came in her way than in se\\ing, to the
great discomfort of her relatives. After she was thirteen, she twice had, dining a sojourn
in Edinburgh, an opportunity of attending classes, studying music, dra\\ ing, and a little
Latin, and of mixing with Edinburgh society. It is somewhat singular that it was in an
algebraic sum in a magazine of fashions that Mrs. Somerv'ille fr>\ made her acquaint-
ance with the subject that most engrossed her attention later in life. In 1804 she mar-
ried Mr. Grei;r. a commissioner in the Russian navy, and removed In London. Although
Mr. Greirr did not prevent her from continuing her studies, he himself had no interest in
science, and h-ul the usual prejudices against learned women. It was not till her return
north as a widow, after three 'years of married life, that she was free to buy the books
she wanted, and to study the subject that most interested her. She was now ,53 years
old, with two children. In 1812 she married her cousin. Dr. William Somerville. who
entered warmly into all her ideas. Her husband and she removed to London in 1816,
where Mrs. Somervillc went much into society, and became known as possessed of sci-
entific interests and gifts. In 1823 Mrs. Somerville was invited by lord Brougham to try
to popularize, for the English public, Laplace's great work, the Mecanw?u O'teste. This
she was persuaded to undertake, and published it as the O<V.v/VW JAr//</;-/.vj of the
Jletivcns, in 1830. The work was received with the greatest admiration. Mrs. Somer-
ville was awarded a royal pension in 1835 The Connection oftJie Physical IScienccs was


published in 1833, and has passed through nine editions. Her next work was Physical
Geography (1848), of which there have been six English editions. Molecular and Mtrro-
i&ipic Scie-nw appeared in 1866. Mrs. Somerville, who for many years resided in Italy,
died at Naples, Nov. 29, 1872, having maintained till the end the perfect use of her fac-
ulties. An autobiography, edited and supplemented by a daughter of Mrs. Somerville,
was published in 1873.

SOMERVILLE, WILLIAM, 1692-1742, b. Warwickshire, England, of good family;
educated at Oxford university. He afterward resided on his ancestral estate as a coun-
try squire and wrote The Chase and Field Sports, both poems, and also fables and tales
of some merit.

SOMMA. a t. of southern Italy, at the northern base of mount Vesuvius. Pop. 7,400.

SOMME (anc. 8-, a river of northern France, rises near Font-Somme, in the
department of Aisne, and falls irrto the English channel midway between Boulogne and
Dieppe. Its entire length is about 120 m., of which one-half is navigable.

SOMME. a maritime department in the north of France, s. of Pas-de-Calais, and n.e.
of Seine-Inferieure. It has an area of 2,377 sq.rn., and a pop. '76, of 556,641. Somme
is for the most part quite level, and in some parts marshy. The department produces
abundance of corn and garden-fruits; also beet-root, oil-yielding plants, and splendid
carrots. The rearing of cattle is carried on to a great extent. The chief manufactures
are velvets, woolens, cottons, linens, silk, leather, and tapestries.

SOMNAMBULISM (Lat. sleep-walking). Walking in sleep is the most palpable, but
not the most marvelous characteristic of this condition. The person affected walks,
rides, climbs, with the eyes shut or insensible; his movements are precise, cautious, lead-
ing him into positions of difficulty and peril, which, if perfectly alive to their real nature,
or it' acting under the influence of ordinary motives, he would avoid; and yet there
appears to be a partial consciousness of surrounding objects, and an adaptation to circum-
stances. Individuals have, while in this state, performed long journeys on foot or horse-
back, paying tolls, avoiding obstacles; they have successfully descended into coal-mines;
they have ascended in safety to the roofs of houses, have climbed rocky cliffs; and suc-
cessfully robbed eagles' nests, during the night; millers, saddlers, grooms, seamstresses,
have all performed their customary work with perfect exactitude, but without any
recollection of their exertions or industry. Notwithstanding the accuracy w 7 ith which
many acts are performed, that particular senses may be dormant is proved by insensibil-
ity to loud noises, and by a cook eating cabbage which had been substituted for a salad
which he had carefully and artistically prepared. The senses, in relation to the idea or
train of ideas present to the mind, appear to be awake, and preternaturally acute. This
fact has suggested the Hypothesis, that certain faculties arc wakeful, open to impressions,
and actuated by volition; while others, and the mind in general, are plunged in profound
eleep and unconsciousness. This may be true, and is in harmony with the opinion, that
the phenomena are an acted dream or delusion, and that what is seen, heard, or done, is
the mere embodiment, or repetition of former impressions or impulses, at the time before
the mind. This may be illustrated by the case of the student narrated by the archbishop
of Bordeaux, who composed a sermon and wrote out music while asleep; read them
over, made corrections, scratched out lines, substituted others, put in its place a word
that had been omitted, and continued to do all this, although a sheet of pasteboard was
interposed between the writing and his face; showing that he was copying mental
images, and not with the eye.

Somnambulism occurs in the sensitive and excitable, often in conjunction with other
nervous affections, and is hereditary; so that it may be regarded as on, if not within, the
boundary of disease. Herbert Mayo, M.D. , On, the Truths contained in Popular Super-
stition*; Macnish, P.\i'r>sophy of Sleep; Bin ns on S'eep.


SOMNAUTH', or SOMNATII-PUTTEN, a t. of Guzerat. in Hindustan, is situated on the
s.w. coast of the peninsula of Kattywar (q.v.), about 33 m. from its southern extremity,
and has at present a pop. of 5,000 most of whom are Mohammedans. The town is fortified
by a strong stone wall 9 ft. thick, strengthened by 38 towers; it contains many mosques,
and the ruins of the celebrated Hindu temple of the idol Somnauth. The ruins of the
temple are in a state of fair preservation, and give the idea of its having been a gloomy,
massive temple in the form of an oblong hall 06 ft. by 68 ft. crowned by a magnificent
dome, and covered on the inside and outside with elaborate sculpture and carving illus-
trative of mythological subjects. The splendor of this temple has doubtless been much
exaggerated by various travelers; but a thousnnd years ago it was so famous as a place
of pilgrimage for pious Hindus, as well as for its immense wealth the accumula-
tions of centuries of presents that it attracted the zealous idol destroyer, Mahmud
of Glmni, after he had accomplished his self-imposed mission of conquest, spolia-
tion, and conversion in the rest of northern India. In 1024 he appeared before
Somnauth drove its defenders who at first had been buoyed up with sanguine hopes
that their favorite god had drawn the Mohammendnns hither that he might blast
them with his wrath to take refuge in the temple, where they defended them-
elves with such valor that Mahmud's army was forced to retreat; but the sub-

>QO Somervillft.

OOJ Song.

sequent rout of two ITinclu nrniiea which had advanced to the aid of the sacred city, so
dispirited the (k-f'-mi'Ts that Somnauth was immediately surrendered, the idol destroyed,
and the enormous wealth of the temple, consisting chiefly of precious jewels, carried off
along with t'ue gates of the temple. These gates* which are said to have heen made of
Bandal-wood, wen- brought hack from the entrance toMahmud's tomb in Afghanistan by
the British in 1*42, and their recovery announced in a magnificent proclamation, which
called upon the cliici's of Sirhiiid, Rajputana, Mahva, Guzerat, to transmit them "with
all honor" to the place whence, eight centuries ago, they had been violently removed.
They were, however, never restored to Somnauth, as the home authorities disapproved
of the tenor of the proclamation, fearing that it might religious Animosity
between the two great religious bodies of Hindustan. There was also reasonable ground
of doubt as to whether tiie gates were really the original gates of Somnanth and even
whet tier (since the FcrMtta does not mention the circumstance) Mahmud had taken
away any gates. The repute of Somuauth as a place of religious pilgrimage, and its
wealth, revived some time after its spoliation by sultan Mahmud, to such an extent as
frequently to attract the various Mohammedan robber-princes of we>tern India: and it is

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 147 of 203)