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 50 of 203)
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took up their abodes in the bowels of the earth, in rocks and stones, and in trees and
flowers. Then Odin, with two companions, Hoenir and Lodur, went forth on an excur-
sion to the earth, where, finding two trees, Ask and Ernbla, created a man and a
woman of them, Odin giving them spirit or the breath of life, Ilacmir sense and
motion, and Lodur blood and a fair color, with sight, speech, and hearing; and from
this pair, whose dwelling was in Midgard, the human race has sprung. A bridge of
three colors, Bifrost. known to men as the rainbow, connects Midgard with Asgard,
and over this the gods ride daily on their horses to the sacred fountain of Urd, where
they sit in judgment. This fountain lies at one of the three roots of the ash, Ygg-
drasil, whose branches spread over the whole world and tower above the heavens.
Under one of these roots is the abode of Hel (q.v.), the goddess of the dead, under
another, that of the frost-giants, while under the third is the dwelling of human
beings. Below the tree lies the serpent Nidhogg, who is constantly gnawing the roots,
and striving with his numerous brood of lesser serpents to undermine Yggdrnsil, whose
branches arc as constantly refreshed by water from the well of Urd, which is poured
over them by the Norns. These are three maidens known as Urd, Verdaudi, and
Sknlld (or Past, Present, and Future), who dwell in a fair hall below the ash-tree,
wlicr:- they grave on a shield the destiny which they determine for the children of men.

Besides gods, frost-giants, dwarfs, and men, there were other beings, as the Y:;uir,
who dwelt in the world vanaheim, lying between the abodes of the gods and of men,
and the light elves and dark elves, the former of whom were friendly to mankind,
and of great beauty, while the latter were of evil, demoniacal natures, and blacker than

Now, after the three giant maidens came to Awiborg, dissensions soon broke out
nmontr these different races, and Odin, by casting a spear among mankind, created war
and discord in the world. Then his maidens, the Yalkyriur (or choosers of the doomed),
surrounded by lightnings, rode forth witli bloody corselets and radiant spears, to choose
on every battle field tlipsc who should fall, ancl to lead them into Valhal, where the
chosen heroes, known as einhcriar, daily go forth to fight and slay one another, but
returning at early morn sound and fresh, recruit themsefves for the next night's com
bats by drinking beer with the gods and eating the flesh of the sacred hog. It is,
however, only men of rank, as juris (or carls), who enter Odin's hall after death,
for the base-born, or thralls, belong to Odin's powerful son. Thor (q.v.), who rules over
Thrudheim, and drives through the world in a chariot drawn by he-goats, bearing with


him his magic hammer Mioluir, the iron gloves which he requires to grasp the haft, and
his belt of power.

Among the gods there reigned good-will and happiness even after the rest of the
world had been disturbed by war, until Loki, or the impersonation of evil, who in
infancy had been Odin's foster-brother, was admitted into/Asaborg as their equal. By
his treachery Baldur (q.v.), the purest, most beautiful, and best loved of Odin's sons,
was slain. "The gods, indeed, had power to inflict temporary punishment on Loki, and
to chain him under a hot sulphur spring, where he lay for ages, but at length a time
will come when Loki's evil progeny will prevail over the gods and the world. This
terrible ago of desi ruction, the ragnarok, or twilight of the gods, will be marked by a
three years' winter of hard frost, cutting winds, and sunless air uncheered by summer
or spring-tide, when there will be bloodshed throughout the world, brothers will slay
ono another, parents and children will be at war. The wolf Fenrir will break loose,
the sea will burst its bounds as the serpent Jormundgard, encircling Midgard, writhes
in fierce rase, and struggles to reach the land. The wolf Skoll, will swallow up the
sun, and when the world is plunged in almost total darkness, his brother Hati will
devour the moon, while the stars will vanish from heaven. As Midgard's serpent and
tint wolf Fenrir go forth, scattering venom through air and water, the heavens will be
rent asunder; the ship Naglfar, which is made of dead men's nails, will be flouted on
the waters; the (K-ir will rids forth across the bridge Bifrost, which will break away
behind them; and all the friends of He!, led on by Loki, will offer battle to the gods
on Visrrid's plain. Then Odin, having taken counsel at Mimir's well, will advance
armed with his spear Gungnir against the wolf Feurir, while Thor encounters Midgard's
serpent, and is killed by the venom which it exhales from its mouth. Although Fen-
rir, the wolf, will swallow Odin, and thus cause his death, he will himself be slain by
the god Vidar, while Loki will fall beneath the hand of Heimdal, the watchman of the
g:xls, and Surt, hurling fire from his hand, will burn up the whole world. After the
conflagration of heaven and earth and the whole universe, there will still be dwellings
for the evil and the good, the worst of which is Nastrond. a horrible habitation for per-
jurers and murderers, where serpent-heads pouring forth venom line the walls, while in
Gimli, Odin's best heaven, the good and virtuous will find a happy resting-place.

But from the great destruction of the universe, another earth, verdant and fresh, will
ariss from the deep waters of the ocean, the unsown fields will bear fruils, and all evil
will cease; Baldur and other gods will then return to Ida's plain, where Asgard once
stood, and taking counsel together, will find the golden tablets which their race had pos-
sessed at the beginning of time, and remembering their deeds of old, will await the com-
ing of the mighty All-father, the ruler of all things, who will pronounce judgments, and
establish peace that shall endure to the end of time.

The above brieC epitome of the Odin cosmogony serves as a framework for the numer-
ous beautiful prose and poetic myths which make up the substance of northern mytho-
logy; and are contained in a rich mass of sagas, not all complete in themselves, but each
capable of throwing -some light on the others.

Many theories have been advanced to explain the origin and the fundamental ideas
on which the northern myths have been based; and while some expositors have seen in
them a mere re-clothing of Bible narratives, and a perversion of Christian truths, and
have referred their composition to monks living in the middle ages, others, feeling that
their title to antiquity could not be set aside, have gone to the other extreme, and tried
to prove that they reflected the truths of Christianity, and represented under active and
tangible forms the mysteries of revelation; and that thus, for instance, in the narrative
of Thor crushing the serpent w T e have a figurative delineation of Christ. Other inter-
preters, again, have attached very different meanings to these myths, regarding them as
historic, psychical, physical, or even chemical; but against each of these assumed modes
of explanation, taken in their full integrity, conclusive arguments might be adduced;
and all that can be safely ascepted is, that they are partly historical and partly an imper-
sonation of the active forces of nature. Like the northern languages, their original seat
Wits in the south and east, where kindred mythologies existed among the ancient tribes
of India and Persia; and it is probable that the more practical and energetic spirit of
the northern myths, and the more warlike character of the gods of the north, when com-
pared with the reflective and contemplative nature of their oriental prototypes, may be
due to the gradual effect on the minds of a people who had passed from the soft, enerv-
ating influences of a southern climate to the stern rigors of the north, where man lived
in constant warfare with the elements and with his fellow-men. According to Snorri
Sturlesson (q.v.), whose opinion seems to a certain extent to have been a mere re-echo
of the traditional belief of his forefathers, Odin and his sons and companions were
earthly kings and priests of a sacerdotal caste, who had migrated from Asia perhaps,
as some conjectured, from Troy and who conquered and ruled over various parts of
Scandinavia and northern Germany, where, after their death, they were regarded by the
people as deities. In conjunction with this mode of representation, the mythic tales of
the warfare of the gods with giants, their intercourse with dwarfs, and spirits of the air
and water, and their wanderings on earth, are interpreted as memorials of rea! war with
pre-existing races, and of the spread of Odin's religion from its chief seat in Sweden

Scansores. 01 A

Scarborough. -L U

over the neighboring countries. This theory explains only a few of the myths; while
some, as we ha Ye already observed, may be referred to traces of ail older faith, which
lingered amo:m- the Finns ;ind Lapps after the advance of the more civilized conquering
races had driven those tribes from the southern districts of Scandinavia, which they
originally occupied, to the barren recesses of the north.

The worship of the gods was celebrated either in spacious temples, of which there
were many in different parts of Scandinavia, or on stone heaps or altars, known as horg.
These altars were always near some well, and close to a sacred grove, or a solitary tree,
(ii which the votive offerings were suspended, after they had been washed at the neigh-
/ oring spring by the attendant priestesses, known as horgabrudar. Human sacrifices,
aiihoiigh never resorted toon ordinary occasions, were not uncommon in times of public
calamity, arising from war, failure of crops, disease* etc. : and the horse, whose flesh
was highly esteemed, was a frequent victim, while the fruits of the earth and spoils of
war were "the usual offerings. Three great festivals were held every year, the first of
which was celebrated at the new year in the Yule month, when Thorablot, or the sacri-
fice of Thorri, an ancient god of the Finns and Lapps, was offered. On these occasions,
offerings were made to Odin for success in war, and to Frey for a fruitful year, the chief
victim being a hog, which was sacred to the latter god, on the assumption that swine
first taught mankind to plow the earth. Feastiugs and Yule games occupied the
whole of the mouth, whence it was also called the merry month. The second festival
was in mid-winter, and the third in spring, when Odin was chiefly invoked for prosper-
ity and victory on the Vikings, or sea-roving expeditious which were then entered upon.
On the introduction of Christianity, the people were the more ready to conform to the
great church festivals of Christmas and caster, from the fact of their corresponding with
the ancient national sacrificial feasts; and so deep-rooted was the adhesion to the faith
of Odin in the north, that the early Christian teachers, unable to eradicate the old ideas,
were driven to the expedient of trying to give them a coloring of Christianity. Thus
the black elves, giants, evil subterranean sprites, and dwarfs, with which the ^Northmen
peopled earth, air. and water, were declared by them to be fallen angels or devils, and
under their latter character suffered to retain their old denominations. BeJief in these
imaginary beings survived the spread of the Reformation, and can scarcely be said to
have died out in Scandinavian lands among the superstitious and ignorant, while among
the more enlightened the myths connected with them are still related, and serve to give
i poetic interest to special localities.

Our own association with the Scandinavian mythology is perpetuated in numerous
superstitions and usages still lingering among us, and in "the names of the days of the
week. See WEEK.

The best northern authorities on Scandinavian mythology are N. M. Petersen,
Danmark* Historic i Hedtnold (1837); Rask, in his edition of Scemund's Edda; Jakob
Grimm; Deutsche Mytholoyie; Faye, Nomuke-Folke-Sang; Thorpe, Northern Mythology
(Lond. 1851).


SCANTLING, the sectional breadth and thickness of timbers for roofs, floors, etc. The
term is also applied to quarteriugs or pieces of timber of about 5 in. in thickness and

SCAPHOID BONE (Gr. skaphe, a boat), a term applied to two somewhat boat-like
bones, of which one occurs in the carpus or wrist (see HAND), and the other in the tarsus
of the foot (q.v.).

SCAPPLE, a kind of work applied to masonry. To scapple a stone is to work the
surface even without making it smooth.

SCAP'TJLA, THE, or SHOULDER BLADE, is a flat triangular bone, which, when the arm
hangs loosely down, extends posteriorly and laterally from the first to about the seventh
rib. It presents for examination an outer convex and an inner, smooth, and concave
surface, three borders (a superior, an inferior or axillary, and a posterior), three angles,
and certain outstanding processes.

It is divided into two unequal parts, the supra-spinous fossa, and the infra-spinous
fossa, by the spine, a crest of bone commencing at a smooth triangular surface on the
posterior border, and running across toward the upper part of the Heck of the scapula
fter which it alters its direction, and projects forward so as to form a lofty arch, known
as the ncromion process, which overhangs the glenoid cavity, or receptacle for the head
of the humerus or main bone of the arm. this ncromion (so called from the Greek
words acroa {>mos, the summit of tlte shoulder) obviously serves to protect the shoulder
joint, as well as to give great leverage to the deltoid muscle which raises the arm It is
this process which gives to the shoulder its natural roundness. From the upper part of
the neck there proceeds a remarkable curved projection, termed the coracoid process
from its supposed resemblance to the beak of a raven (Gr. Mmx). It is about 2 in long'
and gives attachments to several muscles. The upper border of the scapul-i presents a
rery remarkable notch, which in the recent state is bridged over with a liirament and
gives passage to the supra-scapular nerve. This bone articulates with the clavicle and

91 y Scan sores.

~ 4 ' Scarborough.

humerus, and gives attachment to no less than 16 muscles, many of which, as the biceps,

triceps, deltoid, serratus magnus, are very powerful and important.

The uses of ihis bone may he stated as follows: 1. It connects the upper extremity to
the trunk, and participates in and is subservient to many of the movements enjoyed by
the arm; 2. By its extended ilat surface il furnishes u lateral protection to the chest; and
3. It affords attachments to various muscles which modify the size of the thoracic
cavity, and is thus concerned in the process of respiration.

SCAPULAR, or SCVPI-I,AKY (Lat. scapula, the shoulder), a portion of the monastic
habit, so called from its being worn upon the shoulders. It consists of a long stripe of
serge or stulf, the center of which passes over the head, one Hap hanging down in front,
the other upon the back. The scapular of the professed monks in most orders reaches
to the feet, that of the lay brothers only to the knees. The color differs for different
religious orders or congregations. Besides the scapular worn by the members of relig-
ious orders strictly so called, there exists also in the Koinan Catholic church a religions
association or confraternity, the members of which, while living in the world and mixing
in ordinary life, wear, although not conspicuously, a small religious emblem called a
scapular. The chief duties of this confraternity consist in the recitation of certain
prayers, or the observance cf -x'rtain religious or ascetical exercises through devotion to
the Blessed Virgin. The members may or may not bind themselves by a vow of chas-
tity. This pious association was founded in the middle of the 13th c. Iry an English
Carmelite friar named Simon Stock, and is said to have originated in a vision, which has
been the subject of much controversy, as well with Protestants as uuiong Catholics them-

SC ARABLE IDJE, a very numerous tribe of lamellicorn coleopterous insects (see LAMEL,
LTCOKXI;S), of which more than 3,UOO species are known, the greater number inhabitants
of tropical countries, although species are found in almost all parts of the world. Some
of the tropical species are among the largest of beetles; those found in colder regions,
as in Britain, are of comparatively small size. The tribe is divided into six sections:
c<>i)i-oi>ht/i (dung-eaters), arciiicoli (dwellers in sand), xylopliili (delighting in wood), phyl-
luplKi'ji (ieaf-eater-), aidlwUi (living on flowers), and meUtophili (delighting in honey),
named according to prevalent and characteristic habits of the species belonging to them,
although the names do hot accurately denote the habits of all the species of each section.
The sections are distinguished by differences in the organs of the mouth and the
To the section cr&tophagi belong the greater number of the dung beetles (q.v.). or scav
cnger beetles, so useful in warm countries in removing offensive matter; amongst which
is the sacred rrnrnbceus of the ancient Egyptians (sairabcnis, or ulnickus sneer). Some of
the, j'ijli,liiU, as the great Hercules beetle (q.v.), have remarkable projections from the
head or the thorax of the males. The cockchafer (q.v.) is an example of the phyllvfhagi;
the Goliath beetle (q.v.) is one of the mditophili, to which section the rose beetle, com-
mon in Britain, also belongs. None of the antluMi are British.

SCARABS US, the name of a beetle held sacred by the Egyptians, commonly known
in entomology as the acarabaus or ateucltns sacer. It was called lielwcaiitharus or ean-
ihanis, by the Greeks, and scarabams by the Latins. Scaraban were employed for rings,
necklaces, and other purposes by the Egyptians, Phenicians, and Etruscans (see GEMS).
These are principally distinguished by "the absence or presence of striated elytra and
other marks. Entomologists have recognized four distinct species of the nteitc/in
on the Egyptian monuments, viz., A. semipunctatm, A. laticollix, A. r morbilhvs, A.
jin iK'iicollis. Several mystical ideas were attributed to the scaraba?us: the number of its
toes, 30, symbolized the days of the month; the time it deposited its ball in which its
eggs were deposited, was supposed to refer to the lunar month; the movement of the
clay-ball referred to the action of the sun on the earth, and personified that luminary.
The scaraba/us was supposed to be only of the male sex, hence it 'signified the self-
existent, self-begotten generation or metamorphosis, and the male or paternal principle
of nature. In this sense it appears on the head of the pygmean deity, Ptnh-Socharis
Osiris, the demiurgos, and in astronomical scenes and sepulchral formulas. In the
hieroglyphs it is used for the syllable khepru, and expresses the verb "to be, exist." In
connection with Egyptian notions, the Gnostics and some of the fathers called Christ
the scaraluvus. The insect, during its life, was worshiped, and after death, embalmed.
Jl.'n />"!/>', i. c. 10; ^Elian. DC ^'nt. A /rim. x. 15; Pettigrew, History of Mummies, p.
221; Wilkinson, Mnn. and Oust. v. p. 255.

SCAR AMOUCH (Ital. scnramncrin. skirmish), a character in the old Italian comedy,
originally derived from Spain, representing a military poltroon and braggadocio. l\Q
was dressed in a sort, of Hispano-Xeapolitan costume, including a black 'm/m j and
mantle, and a mask open on the forehead, checks, and chin, ami always received an
inglorious drubbing at the hands of harlequin.

SCARBOROUGH (i.e., fortitied rock), a seaport and municipal and parliamentary
borough in Yorkshire, in the North Riding, 42 in. n.e. of York, and about 20 m. n.w.
of Flamborough head. It is built around a charming bay open to the s. and s w.. and
protected on the n.e. by a promontory ending in a castle-crowned height, which looks
out on the North scu. From the sands the town has gradually climbed the rising ground

Scarborough. 218


behind in successive terraces and crescents. The chief buildings are churches chapels,
and benevolent and other institutions, with which the town is well furnisbect A
cast-iron brid-e 75 ft. high, and stretching over a chasm 4UU ft. wide, connects the old
and new towns, and leads to the spa, and a bridge was erected in 1865 ovter a picttl
csQue ravine to connect the western part of the town with its large ami faslaonaoJe
southern -ulnirb. The springs, which are saline and chalybeate are on tne margin of
the sea ami are surrounded by walks and ornamental grounds. Fhe harbor, composed
of 'three piers and furnished With a light-house, is the most important in this part ot tho
t co-ust Every accommodation is offered to visitors for sea-bathing, and bcarborou!
i^ r. puled the most fashionable watering-place on the n.e coast The season li
from June to the middle of October. In 1872, 284 vessels, of 18,699 tons entered and
cleared the port. Pop. '71, 24.259. The castle was erected about the year 1136.
held ao-ainst the barons by Piers Gaveston, who, however, surrendered, and was atter-
ward beheaded. It was twice besieged by the parliamentary forces. At present it
serves as a barrack, and is fortified by batteries.


burg; elected bishop of the diocese of New Jersey, 1874.

SCARCEMENT, a plain set-off or projection in a wall ; foundations have generally one
or more scarcemeuts.

SCARF, in heraldry, a small ecclesiastical banner suspended from the top of a crosier.

SCARFING, the junction of two pieces of timber made to overlap, and united so as to
appear as one piece.

SOAR'HXiE, a family of teleost fishes erected out of the genus sc-arus, belonging to
Cuvier's family labridee<fi v.). See also PARROT FISH (scarus), ante.

SCARLATINA, or SCARLET FEVER, is one of the group of diseases called exanthe-
mata (q.v.). In addition to the characters common to the group, scarlatina is almost
always attended '
commonly , t, and ends in desqiiii
on medicine make three varieties of this disease viz., scarlatina simplex, in which there
are the fever and the rash, but scarcely any throat-affection; scarlatina aiiyinoxa, in which,
in addition to the fever and the rash, the throat-affection is the most prominent symp-
tom; and scarlatina maligna, a name which is applied to certain cases of extreme vio-
lence, in which the system is at once overwhelmed by the force of the disease, or in
which the symptoms evince an extraordinary degree of weakness and want of vital

The disease begins with shivering, lassitude, headache, a frequent pulse, a hot dry
skin, a flushed face, thirst, loss of appetite, and a furred tongue. Shortly after the
appearance of the febrile symptoms, the throat begins to feel irritable, and, on examina-
tion, is found to be red, and often more or less swollen. This redness becomes diffused
over the interior of the mouth and the tongue. The rash begins in the form of minute
red points, which soon become so numerous that the surface appears of an almost uni-
form red. It first appears on the neck, face, and breast, whence it gradually spreads over
the trunk and extremities. The reddened surface is smooth to the touch, and the color
temporarily disappears on pressure of the finger. Along with the true rash, minute
vehicles, known as xudamina (q.v.), sometimes occur. The. eruption, in ordinary cases,
is persistent for three or four days, after which it gradually disappears, and is usually
' gone by the end of the seventh day. The cuticle then begins to scale off in small bran-
like scurf, or in flakes of various sizes. Specimens of an almost entire epidermic cover-
ing of the hand or foot, forming a natural glove or slipper, are of common occurrence
in our pathological museums; but it is comparatively seldom that such perfect molting
takes place. The desquamative process is usually completed in a fortnight, or rather
more, from the commencement of the disease. The fever does not abate on the appear-
ance of the rash, but continues in a more or less decided degree through the progress of
the case; it often presents exacerbations toward the evening, and is occasionally attended
with delirium, or even with comatose symptoms. If the urine be examined, both chemi-
cally and microscopically, a few days after desquamation has set in, it will be found to
contain albumen, and to exhibit a large amount of epithelium from the uriniferous ducts
of the kidneys, (q.v.).

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 50 of 203)