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 159 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 159 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

smooth. Only one ppccics is British the COMMON SPARROW-HAWK (A. nvtns, A. or
N. fi-igillarius), a small hawk, only about 12 in. in length, a considerable portion of the
length belonging to the tail. It is found in almost all parts of Britain, and in Asia as
far s. a.s Bengal, and as far e. as Japan. It is not found in America. It very often
makes its nest in the deserted nest of a crow. It is a bold, active bird, very destructive
to poultry and pigeons. The sparrow-hawk has often been trained for the purposes of
falconry, to take land-rails, partridges, and similar game. The sparrow-hawk of Aus-
tralia (.1. torquatu*) is marked by a collar of numerous bars of white. Its habits are
very similar to those of the European sparrow-hawk. The American sparrow-hawk
(fu/co spanerinx), common in most parts of the United States, is similar in size to the
European sparrow-hawk, but is ralher allied to the kestrel.

AC 7 Sparrow.

Spin taca*.

SPARTA, nnciently LACKD^EMON, the capital of Laconia, and the most famous city
of Peloponnesus, occupied partly :i range of low liills on the right bank of the Eurotas,
and partly the intervening plain. Its appearance, even in its palmiest days, was by no
means equal to its renown, for though not destitute of handsome public buildings, the
severe law ascribed to Lycurgus, that "the doors of every (private) house should be
fashioned only with the saw, and the ceiling with the axe," exercised a cramping influ-
ence on the development of architecture and of the fine arts generally. The natural
defenses of the place, or at least of the long valley of Laceda'inon in which Sparta
stood, were so great that it continued Unfortified down to the Macedonian period
nearly a century after its mighty struggle with Athens for the hegemony of Greece;,
and. 'indeed, it was not regularly fortified till the time of the tyrant Nabis (195 B.C.).
Previous to the Dorian conquest .(tie primitive Achaaus of Sparta seem to have dwelt
in four or five scattered hamlets. These hamlets were welded into one city, so to
speak, by the conquerors, and became known as town-districts. The acropolis of Sparta
occupied a hill in the northern part of the city, and was adorned with a temple to Athena
(the tutelary goddess of Sparta), plated with bronze, whence it was called the brazen
house, and the goddess herself Chalciuecus (the dweller in the brazen house). On the
bronze plates were beautifully sculptured various Greek myths. At the eastern base of
the acropolis stood the agora, or market-place, whence streets proceeded to the different
quarters of the city. Here stood the public buildings of the magistrates. The agora
contained many statues. The principal street in feparta, called the Aphetai's, ran s.
from the agora to the southern wall, through the most level part of the city, and was
lined with a, long succession of monumental edifices, chiefly heroa and sanctuaries.
Along the banks of the Eurotas stretched the dromon (race-course), in which were several
gymnn*ia, with temples of the Dioscuri, of the Graces, etc., and numerous statues; and
Ktill furthers, lay a broader level, Platanistas, so called from the plane trees that grew
there. This was the scene of those mock contests in which the Spartan youth learned
to face without, fear the realities of war.

The history of Sparta is really the history of Laconia. When the four hamlets, the
Pre-Doriitn, Sparta, originated, we have no knowledge; but it cannot be doubted that
their inhabitants were Aclia>ans. It is during the rule of the Achaean princes that the
events of the famous, but unhistorical, expedition against Troy, forming the subject of
Homer's Iliad, are described as taking place. Jleuelaus, husband of Helen, whose flight
with Paris occasioned the Trojan war, was king at Sparta, and it was during the reign
of his grandson, Tisamcnus (according to the legend), that the Dorians (q.v.) invaded
Peloponnesus. The fuct of a Dorian invasion is universally admitted, but of the details,
scanty even as they are, we may safely be skeptical. We cannot even be certain of the
date of the event, or even of the century in which it occurred. All that is clear is that
the native Achaean population were deprived of political privileges, and appear hence-
forth as periaci (q.v .) and Helots (q.v.) the Dorian conquerors alone forming the his-
torical Spartans. Toward the middle of the 8th c. B.C. the Dorians or Sparta had not
only thoroughly established themselves in their new settlement, but had subjugated the
whole of the fertile and beautiful vale of Lacedaemon, commonly known as Laconia,
and had begun to cherish ambitious views of extending their supremacy over the other
Dorian settlements in Peloponnesus, viz., those of Messenia and Argos. Hence origin-
ated the Messenian wars (see MESSEXIA), which terminated (668 B.C.) in the complete
overthrow of the Dorians of Messenia, who were reduced by the victorious Spartans to
the condition of porioeci. Similar struggles occurred both with the older Achaean inhab-
itants in the center of Peloponnesus and with the Dorians of Argos. etc., in which the
Spartans were generally successful. The development of their warlike and ambitious
character is usually ascribed to the institutions of Lycurgus (q.v.); and whatever we may
think of that more than semi-mythical personage, the institutions that go under his
name were well fitted to make the Spartans exactly what they figure in history a race
of stern, cruel, resolute, rude, nnd narrow-minded warriors, capable of a momentary
self-sacrificing patriotism (as in the story of the 300 heroes who fell at Thermopylae), but
utterly destitute of the capacity for adopang or appreciating a permanently noble and
wise policy. The outbreak of the Peloponnesian war (431 B.C.) brought the rivalry
between Sparta and Athens to a head, and in the mighty struggle that ensued, victorV
declared on the side of the combatant least capable of maintaining the greatness of
Greece. Sparta now attained the hegemony of Greece; but her indolent tyranny in the?
hour of her triumph excited the indignation of those whom she held in virtual subjuga-
tion, and the glorious retaliation of the Thebans under Epaminondas (q.v.) stripped her
of all her splendid acquisitions, and reduced the Laconian state to its primitive boundaries.
Later, the rise of the Macedonian power limited still more the Spartan territory nor did
it ever after attain its earlier dimensions. Finally, after a scries of vicissitudes, Sparta
passed into the hands of the Romans, became a portion of the Roman province of Achaia,
aud shared the fortunes of the great republic.

SPARTACTTS, the leader in the great insurrection of Roman slaves in southern Italy
which look place 73 B.C., and in all probability the first servile captain in point of genius
of whom history preserves a record, was a native of Thrace, and originally followed
the occupation of a shepherd, but afterward became a robber-chief. Having the mig-


fortune to be taken prisoner, he was placed in a training-school for gladiators kept by
one Lentulus Batiatus, at Capua. A conspiracy to escape was formed among the giadhi
tors (200 in all, and mostly Gauls and Thracians), the heads of which wen; Spartrcus,
and two Gauls, Crixus and (Enomaus. The conspiracy was discovered; but -70, among
whom were the leaders, forced their way through the streets of Capua with cleavers
and other such rude weapons as they could seize, defeated a detachment of Roman sol-
diers sent to bring them back, and established themselves on Mt. Vesuvius, where they
received considerable accessions to their number chiefly runaway slaves. Three
thousand R<?mati troops under C. Claudius Pulcher sought to blockade them here and
starve them into surrender. Spartacus was now chosen as their leader, with Crixua
and (Enomaus for his lieutenants. Descending the hill at a place and in a way totally
unexpected, he look his assailants in the rear, and inflicted on tliem a disgraceful defeat.
His original design had been limited to securing his freedom, and making his way hack
to his own country, nor during the two years that the insurrection lasted did he ever fcr-
get this ultimate aim; but in order effectually to carry it out, he recognized the necessity
of a far more serious and extensive warfare than had yet been waged, and proclaiming
freedom lo all slaves, he contrived to raise his trivial mutiny to the dignity of a s<r/vile
war. Circumstances were favorable. A great portion of Italy, especially of central and
southern Italy, had been turned into pasture-laud (see ROME), and instead of villages of
sturdy and independent farmers, who owned the land they tilled, gangs of discontented
slaves wtitched the flocks and herds of great nobles, demoralized by a plethora of ill-
gotten riches. It was to these slaves that Sparlacus appealed, and his summons was not
in vain. Thousands upon thousands rushed to his standard, and victory followed him
wherever he went. The story of his triumphs reads like a romance. No knight of chivalry
was ever more uniformly successful, for a time. After defeating Claudius Ptilcher, he
routed and slew Cossinius, legate of Publius Varinus; then he worsted Varinus himself
in several engagements, capturing his lictors and the very horse on which he rode. All
the southern part of the peninsula now fell into his hands: the country was devastated,
the cities either pillaged or garrisoned. But Spartacus knew too well the enormous
resources of Rome, and the extraordinary energy which she was capable of exhibiting
in the hour of peril, to hope for final success, and he consequently sought to induce his
victorious bands to march northward to the Alps, and disperse to their own homes, the
Gauls to the west, and the Thracians to the east. But the slaves were too deeply intoxi-
cated with their success to see the wisdom of his proposal, and Spartacus had to continue
his career of mere fighting against his better judgment, and embarrassed by the jVal
ousics that are so apt to spring up among undisciplined and servile hordes. What
brilliant gallantry and skill lie showed, is known to all readers of Roman history. After
the defeat and deatli of his lieutenants who had separated from him (72 B.C.), he
marched north through Picenum toward the Po, overthrew first one consular army under
Cn. Cornelius Lentulus and then another under Gellius Poplicola, and at the head of
100,000 men, meditated a march on Rome. Since the days of Hannibal, there had never
been such danger! Fortunately, servile indecision and unwisdom saved the city. Spar-
tacus was forced by his followers to retreat south, and" took up his winter-quarters at
Thurii, where he held a great fair for the sale of the spoils of Roman cities. In 71 B.C.,
Crassus (q.v.) took the field against the terrible slave-leader, but for a while even he
could do nothinsr. Near Mutina, the proconsul, C. Cassius Longinus, and the propraetor,
Cn. Manlius, were defeated; in Picenum, Mummius, a legate of Crassus's, was utterly
routed; at last, however, Crassus suceeded in forcing Spartacus into the narrow penin-
sula of Rhegium, whence he tried to get into Sicily, with the view of rekindling the
servile war that had recently raged in that island, but failed in his attempt, through the
treachery of those with whom he had opened negotiations. Crassus now huilt lines of
circumvnllation to hem him in, and force him to surrender; but one stormy winter-night,
Spartacus broke out of the toils prepared for him, and resumed the offensive, although he
had suffered heavily by loss and desertion, and his forces were still further diminished
by the formation of an independent army of Gallic slaves, which had no sooner got a
leader of its own, than it was annihilated. Near Petelia, he once more defeated his
adversaries; but seeing clearly that with such wretched materials as he had he could not
hold out much longer, he made a dash at Brundusium, hoping to seize the shipping in
the harbors, and set safely across the Adriatic to his native shore, but was baffled by
the presence of Lucullus (q.v.). Pompey, too. had returned from Spain. There was
nothing left for Spartacus but to die as gallantly as he had lived. Drawing up his army
in battle-array, and solemnly slaying his war-horse, he began his last fight in a spirit of
heroic desperation, and after performing prodigies of valor, fell unrecognized among the
heaps of his slain foes. After his death, the slave insurrection was at an end.

SPARTANBURG, a n.w. co. of South Carolina, bordering on North Carolina,
crossed by the, Spartanbnrg and Union and the Atlantic and Richmond Air-line railroads;
drained by Pacolet and Tiger rivers; 900 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 40,408. The surface is hilly,
and largely covered with t'orests of oak and hickory; the soil is fertile. The main pro-
ductions are wheat, oats, cotton, sweet potatoes, butter, wool, and tobacco. Horses,
mules, asses, cattle, sheep, and swine are raised in great numbers. It has manufacto-
ries of tanned and curried leather, arriages and wagons; also, cotton and flour mills.
Co. seat, Suartanburg Court House.


SPASM (Gr. spasma} consists in an irregular nnd violent contraction of muscular parts
involuntary even when the voluntary muscles are concerned. There are two sorts of
spasm. In one there is an unusually prolonged and strong muscular contraction, not
rapidly alternating as usual with relaxation, the relaxation only taking place slowly and
after some time. This is known as tonic- spasm (Gr. tmws, a bracing up) or crump 1'j.v.).
" When in a more moderate degree affecting the voluntary muscles generally, it consti-
tutes, catalepsy (q.v.). in which, from the muscles remaining contracted, the limbs will
retain whatsoever attitude they are placed in until the spasm is over. But the extreme
example is tetanus (q.v.), in which the spasms are so violent and so enduring that they*
may be said to squeeze the patient to death." Williains's Principles of Medici i<e, 2d eel.
p. 72. In the other form of spasm, the contractions of the affected muscles take place
repeatedly, forcibly, and in quick succession; the relaxations being, of course, equally
sudden and frequent. This is named clom'c xpnmn (Gr. kl<">ii?>x, an agitation, and is popu-
larly known as convihinn*. Chorea (or 8t. Vitas's dance), epilepsy, and convulsive
hysteria ait'orl examples of this kind of spasm.

The treatment varies according to the cause of the excessive muscular irritability.
Finn pressure on muscles affected with spasm will promote their relaxation, nnd by
strong steady pressure on the masseter muscles, the lower jaw has been depressed, so as
to open the mouth in cases of lock-jaw. The medicines which are employed to counter-
act irregular or inordinate muscula ractiou are termed antispasmodics; but spasm may
depend upon so many different causes, that the remedies which are found most success-
ful in combating it 'must vary extremely in their nature. There are, however, a few
medicines which appear to exercise a control over spasmodic action generally. These
may be termini p'/rc or true antispasmodics. They are nsat'etida, cotyledon umbilicus
(or common navel-wort), wood-soot, galbanum, musk, rue. sagapenum, sumbul (jata,
mansi or musk-root), and valerian. Among the narcotics often useful in these atfec-
tions we may especially mention belladonna, cannabis indica (or Indian hemp), opium,
and stramonium. Sulphuric ether in draught or inhaled, and inhaled chloroform, are
often of service. In some cases remedies wliich directly depress the vital powers, such
as the prolonged use of the warm bath, or even, in rare cases, the abstraction of blood,
are the most effectual means of subduing spasm.

SPATHE (xpaVt't). in botany, a sheathing bract which incloses one or more flowers, as
in the narcissus. Very frequently the flowers within a spathe are arranged up:m a
x!i:f-!ij; which is a succulent spike, with numerous flowers, and of which a familiar ex-
ample may be seen in urn m ma . The spadix is a characteristic feature of the
ptiiiiH. and in them is compound or branching, and in general is not only provided with.
a common spathe, but with secondary spathes at its divisions.

SPAULDIXG, LKVI, D.D., 1791-1875; b. Xew Hampshire; graduated at Dartmouth
college 1815; at Andover theological seminary, 1818; sailed a - , a missionary of the
American hoard for Ceylon 1819; readied Jaffna, 1820. He lived for a number of
years in Manepv. In 1833 he. with Mrs. Spauiding. removed to Oodooville, and took
charge of the Oodooville central school for girls. For about 40 years, with untiring
patience, sympathy, and care, they watched over the little ones, sometimes- to the num-
ber of 1^0 or 130; receiving them" usually when about eight years of age. and seldom
parting with them until they were married.- Mr. Spaulding was fluent in the use of the
language, and his originality and power of illustration gave him ready access to the
native mind. He preached Christ b} r the roadside, in the field, in the school-room. His
literary work was multitudinous; not, only were school-books, hymn-books, tracts, gos-
pels, continually passing through his hands for revision and proof-reading, but he wrote
and translated some small but valuable books and some excellent hymns, besides prepar-
ing an English and Tamil dictionary, and a Tamil dictionary, and aiding in the revision
of a Tamil version of the Scriptures. He visited America once in the 54 years of his
life among the heathen. The native converts throughout the district loved him as a
father, and many of the heathen mourned his death.

SPAV IN, a disease of horses, occurs under two different forms, both interfering with
soundness. In young, weakly, overworked subjects, the hock-joint is sometimes dis-
tended with dark-colored thickened synovia or joint-oil. This is bog or blood spavin.
Wet bandages, occasional friction, a laxative diet, and rest should for several weeks be
diligently tried; and if such remedies prove unsuccessful, the swelling must be dr.
with strong blistering ointment, or fired. The second variety of spavin is the more
common and serious. Toward the inside of the hock, at the head of the shank-bone,
or between some of the small bones of the hock, a bony enlargement may be seen and
felt. This is bone spavin. At first there is tenderness, heat, swelling, and considerable
lameness; but as the inflammation in the bone and its investing membrane abates, the
lamenss is less perceptible, although the animal continues to drag his leg and go stiffly.
In recent and slight cases, cold water should be applied continuously; but in serious
cases, when the limb is swollen and tender, hot fomentations are best. For several days
they must be perseveringly employed. When the limb is again cool and free from pain,
an iodide of mercury or fly-blister should be applied, and the animal treated to three
months' rest in a small paddock, the end of a barn, or a roomy loose-box. In persistent
cases, firing or setoning usually gives much relief.
U. K. XIII. 44


SPEAKER, the name given to the presiding officer in either house of parliament. In
the house of lords, the lord-chancellor, or lord keeper of the great seal, is e*-officw speaker,
and one or more deputy -speakers are appointed by commission to take his place in his
absence. Since 1851 it has been the practice to appoint but one deputy-speaker, who is
the chairman of the lords' committee, and should he also be absent, the house can choose
a speaker pro tempore. The speaker of the lords may speak or vote on any question, and
has no more authority than any other member of the house.

In the house of commons, the speaker is a member elected to that office at the desira
of the crown, and confirmed by the royal approbation given in the house of lords. A
similar office seems to have exfsted as early as the reign of Henry III., when Peter de
Montfort signed and sealed an answer of the parliament to pope Alexander, vice totiu; but the title speaker was first given to sir T. Hungerford in the reign of
Edward III. The speaker of the house of commons presides over the deliberations of
the house, and enforces the rules for preserving order: he puts the question and declares
the determination of the house. As the representative of the house, he communicates
its resolutions to others, and conveys its thanks or its censures. He is thus the mouth-
piece of the house, whence his title' seems to be derived. He issues warrants in execu-
tion of the orders of the house for the commitment of offenders, for the issue of writs,
the attendance of witnesses, the bringing up prisoners in custody, etc. The mace is
borne before him by the sergeant-at-arms when he enters or leaves the house; ^hen he is
in the chair it is left on the table, and it accompanies him on all slate occasions. He
cannot speak or vote on any question, but on an equality of voices he has a casting vote.
Both by ancient custom and legislative declaration, he is entitled to take precedence of
all commoners.

Down to the year 1853 no provision existed for supplying the place of the speaker of
the house of commons when he was unavoidably absent; but in that year the house,
with consent of the crown, resolved that in his absence the chairman of the committee
of ways and means should take the chair, and as deputy-speaker he was in 1855 invested,
both by resolution of the house and by act of parliament, with the same authority pro
tempore as the speaker.

SPEAKER (ante). The speaker of the U. S. house of representatives is a member of
tlK house, chosen from among themselves for the office, and during the time of his
holding it receives double the salary ($5,000) of a member. He presides over the sessions
of the house: makes the appointments of members of committees; signs all its bills,
resolutions, and acts of authority; certifies to the mileage, etc., of members; and appoints
thre'i of the regents of the Smithsonian institution. He can be removed from his position
by aa act of the house.


SPEAEING-TRTJMPET, an instrument for giving concentration rather than dispersion
to the waves of sound originated by the articulation of the human voice, and thereby
enabling the sound to be conveyed to a greater distance. It is of the utmost use on
shipboard in enabling the officers to convey orders during windy weather from one part
of the deck to another, or to the rigging. The invention is ascribed to sir Samuel Mor-
land, in 1670, though Athanasius Kircher laid claim to it. Morland's trumpet was of
the same form as that now in use, viz., a truncated cone, with an outward curve or lip
at the opening.

The theory of the action of this instrument has never been thoroughly explained; buc
it is supposed that the sides of the tube throw the sound back and back in various reflec-
tions, until ultimately the waves quit the instrument in parallel lines. It does not seem
to depend on vibration of the instrument.

SPEAR, a pointed weapon with a shaft of greater or less length for thrusting, throw-
ing, or receiving an assault. See JAVELIN. LANCE, PIKE.

The xpcar-foot of a horse is his far foot behind.

SPEAR, SAMCEL P., 1815-75; b. Boston, Mass. ; enlisted in the army, 1833; served in
the Florida and Mexican wars under gen. Scot't; was wounded at Cerro Gordo. -He was
assigned to duty on the frontier, 1848-61, and engaged in the operations in Utah under
gen. A. S. Johnston. In the war of the rebellion he recruited and commanded the
11 th Penn. cavalry, was wovmded twice at Five Forks, promoted to brig. gen. and
brevetted maj.gen. for gallant service. He died from disease contracted in the army.

SPEAR, SAMUEL THAYEH, D.D., b. N. Y., 1812; graduated at the college of physi-
cians and surgeons, New York. 1833; studied theology with Dr. Beman of Troy; was
ordaiaed and settled pastor of the Presbyterian church, Lansingburg, N. Y., 1835, and
of the South Presbyterian church, Brooklyn, 1848; became one of the editors of the
Independent, 1870. His publications are The Family Power: Eighteen Sermons on the
Rebellion: The Legal-Tender Acts considered in Relation to their Constitutionality and Politi-
cal Emnomy; Religion and tJw State, or the Bible and the Public ScJiools. He is an earnest
advocate of the secularization of the government.


SPE CIAL CASE is the name given in the law of England to a statement of facts sub-
mitted to a court for its opinion us to the proper application of the law, or proper legal


inference to be drawn from such facts. It is drawn up by mutual agreement cf Hie

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 159 of 203)