Oakham (4), county town of Rutland,
17 m. E. of Leicester, in the centre of a fine wheat country;
has an old church, a grammar-school founded in 1581, and a castle
mostly in ruins; manufactures of boots and hosiery, and carries
Oakland (67), on the E. coast
of the Bay of San Francisco, 4½ m. across from San Francisco
city, is the capital of Alameda County, California, a beautiful
city with tree-lined streets, surrounded by vineyards and orchards;
it has a home of the adult blind of the State, manufactures
of textile and iron goods, and fruit-canning industries, and
is the terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Oaks, The, one of the three
great classic races in England, run at Epsom; established by
the 12th Earl of Derby in 1779 for fillies of 3 years old.
Oakum, name given to fibres of
old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking
the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an
occupation for prisoners in jails.
Oases, fertile spots in a desert
due to the presence of springs or water near at hand underground;
met with in the deserts of North Africa, Arabia, and Gobi.
Oates, Titus, fabricator
of a Popish plot for the overthrow of the Protestant faith in
England, the allegation of which brought to the block several
innocent men; rewarded at first with a pension and safe lodgment
in Westminster Hall, was afterwards convicted of perjury, flogged,
and imprisoned for Life, but at the revolution
was set at liberty and granted a pension of £300 (1650-1705).
Obadiah, a Hebrew prophet who
appears to have lived about 588 B.C., shortly after the destruction
of Jerusalem, at which the Edomites had assisted, and whose
prophecy was written to assure the exiles in Babylon that the
judgment of God had gone forth against Edom, and that with the
execution of it Israel would be restored.
Oban (5), a modern town situated
in the W. of Argyllshire, on a land-locked bay opening off the
Firth of Lorne, is the capital, sometimes called the "Queen,"
of the Western Highlands, and a fashionable tourist resort;
it has excellent railway and steamboat communications, 30 hotels,
and has near it two ruined castles, an ancient cave dwelling,
and much beautiful scenery; Dunstaffnage Castle is 4 m. to the
N. of it, where the early Scottish kings used to be crowned.
Obeid (35), in the Eastern Soudan,
220 m. SW. of Khartoum, is the capital of Kordofan; was the
scene in November 1883 of the annihilation by the forces of
the Mahdi, after three days' fighting, of an Egyptian army under
Hicks Pasha and other English officers; its trade consists of
ivory, gold, feathers, and gum.
Obelisk, a tall four-sided pillar,
generally monolithic, tapering to a pyramidal pointed top, erected
in connection with temples in Egypt, and inscribed all over
with hieroglyphs, and in memorial, as is likely, of some historical
personage or event; they are of ancient date.
Ober-Ammergau, a small
village in Bavaria, 45 m. SW. of Münich; famed for the
Passion Play performed there by the peasants, some 500 in number,
every ten years, which attracts a great many spectators to the
spot; the play was instituted in 1634 in token of gratitude
for the abatement of a plague.
Oberlin, Jean Friedrich,
a benevolent Protestant pastor, born at Strasburg; laboured
all his life at Ban de la Roche, a wild mountain district of
Alsace, and devoted himself with untiring zeal to the spiritual
and material welfare of the people, which they rewarded with
their pious gratitude and warmest affection.
Oberon, the king of the fairies,
and the husband of Titania.
Obi, a river and, with its tributaries,
great water highway of West Siberia, which rises in the Altai
Mountains, and after a course of 2120 m. falls into the Arctic
Objective, a philosophical
term used to denote that which is true universally apart from
all merely private sense or judgment, and finds response in
the universal reason, the reason that is common to all rational
beings; it is opposed to subjective, or agreeable to one's mere
feelings or fancy.
Oblates, the name given to an
organisation of secular priests living in community, founded
by St. Charles Borromeo at the end of the 16th century, and
who are ready to render any services the bishop may require
Oboe, a treble-sounding musical
instrument of the reed class, to which the bassoon is reckoned
Obelus, a small coin worth about
a penny, according to a custom among the Greeks placed in the
mouth of a corpse at burial to pay to Charon to ferry the ghost
of it over the Styx.
O'Brien, William, journalist,
and a Nationalist ex-M.P. for Cork; was twice over imprisoned
for political offences; had to retire in 1895; b. 1852.
O'Brien, William Smith,
Irish patriot; entered Parliament in 1826; sat for Limerick
from 1835 to 1843, when he joined the Repeal Association under
O'Connell, but separated from it; joined the physical force
Young Ireland party, and became the head; attempted an insurrection,
which failed, and involved him in prosecution for treason and
banishment for life; a free pardon was afterwards granted on
promise of abstaining from all further disloyalty; he died at
Bangor, in North Wales (1803-1864).
Obscurantist, name given
to an opponent to modern enlightenment as professed by the devotees
of modern science and philosophy.
Obsidian, a hard, dark-coloured
rock of a glassy structure found in lava, which breaks with
Occam or Oakham, William of,
an English Scholastic philosopher, born at Oakham, Surrey, surnamed
Doctor Invincibilis; was a monk of the order of St. Francis;
studied under Duns Scotus (q. v.),
and became his rival, and a reviver of
Nominalism (q. v.) in opposition to him, by his insistence
on which he undermined the whole structure of Scholastic dogmatism,
that is, its objective validity, and plunged it in hopeless
ruin, but cleared the way for modern speculation, and its grounding
of the Objective (q. v.) on
a surer basis (1280-1347).
Occasionalism, the doctrine
that the action of the spiritual organisation on the material,
and of the material on the spiritual, or of the inner on the
outer, and the outer on the inner, is due to the divine interposition
taking occasion of the effort of mind, or of the inner, on the
one hand, and the effort of matter, or the outer, on the other,
to work the effect or result; or that the link connecting cause
and effect in both cases, that is, the acion of the outer world
on the inner, and vice versa, is God.
Oceania, an imaginary commonwealth
described by James Harrington (1611-1697) in which the project
of a doctrinaire republic is worked out; also a book of Froude's
on the English colonies.
Oceania, the name given to
the clusters of islands, consisting of Australasia in the S.,
Malaysia in the E. Indian Archipelago, and Polynesia in the
N. and E. of the Pacific.
Oceanides, the nymphs of the
Ocean, all daughters of Oceanus, some 3000 in number.
Oceanus or Okeanos, in
the Greek mythology the great world-stream which surrounds the
whole earth, and is the parent source of all seas and streams,
presided over by a Titan, the husband of Tethys, and the father
of all river-gods and water-nymphs. He is the all-father of
the world, as his wife is the all-mother, and the pair occupy
a palace apart on the extreme verge of the world.
Ochils (i. e. the heights),
a range of hills lying NE. and SW. between the valleys of the
Forth and Tay; reach their highest point in Ben Cleugh (2363
ft.), near Stirling; the range is 24 m. long by 12 broad, and
affords pasture for black-faced sheep; of the peaks of the range
Dunmyat is the most striking, as Ben Cleuch is the highest.
Ochiltree, Edie, a talkative,
kind-hearted gaberlunzie who figures a good deal in Scott's "Antiquary."
an Italian monk, born in Sienna; after 40 years' zeal in the
service of the Church embraced the Reformed doctrine; fled from
the power of the Inquisition to Geneva; took refuge in England;
ministered here and there to Italian refugees, but was hunted
from place to place; died at last of the plague in Moravia (1487-1564).
Ochterlony, Sir David,
British general, born at Boston, U.S., of Scottish descent;
entered the Indian army; distinguished himself in the war against
the Goorkhas; was made a baronet, and received a pension of £1000
for his services; a monument to his memory stands in the Maidan
Park, Calcutta (1758-1825).
Ockley, Simon, Orientalist,
became professor of Arabic; wrote a "History of the Saracens,"
part of it in a debtors' prison; died in indigence (1678-1720).
O'Connell, Daniel, Irish
patriot, known as the "Liberator," born near Cahirciveen,
co. Kerry; educated at St. Omer, Douay, and Lincoln's Inn; was
called to the Irish bar in 1798, and was for twenty-two years
a famous and prosperous practitioner on the Munster circuit;
turning to politics he became leader of the Catholics in 1811,
his object being the removal of the Catholic disabilities; the
Catholic Association of 1823 was organised by him, which he
induced the priesthood to join, and awakened irresistible enthusiasm
throughout the country; the electors now began to vote independently,
and O'Connell was returned for Clare in 1828; the House refused
to admit him; but so strong, and at the same time so orderly,
was the agitation in Ireland, that in 1829 the Catholic disabilities
were removed, and O'Connell, returned again for Clare, took
his seat in the House of Commons; next year he represented Waterford
in the new Parliament, and subsequently Kerry, Dublin, Kilkenny,
and Cork; he now formed a society for promoting the repeal of
the Union, which survived several suppressions, and reappeared
under different names; but in spite of his exertions in the
House and in the country the cause languished, till, in 1843,
as Lord Mayor of Dublin, he carried a resolution in its favour
in the City Council; but now under the pressure of less experienced
agitators, his monster meetings and other proceedings began
to overstep legal limits, and in 1844 he, with six of his supporters,
was indicted for raising sedition; he was sentenced to a year's
imprisonment and a fine of £2000, but the sentence was
set aside in 14 weeks; by this time the Young Ireland party
had broken away from him, the potato famine came, he was conscious
of failure, and his health was broken; he died on his way to
Rome, at Genoa; a man of great physical strength and energy,
and a master of oratory, he gave himself unselfishly to serve
his country, sacrificing a legal practice worth £7000
a year, honestly administering the immense sums contributed,
and spending his private means for his cause; with an undeniable
taint of coarseness, violence, and scurrility in his nature,
he was yet a man of independent and liberal mind, an opponent
of rebellion, loyal to his sovereign, a great and sincere patriot
Octavia, the sister of Augustus,
a woman distinguished for her beauty and her virtue; was married
first to Marcellus, and on his death to Mark Antony, who forsook
her for Cleopatra, but to whom she remained true, even, on his
miserable end, nursing his children by Cleopatra along with
her own; one other grief she had to endure in the death of her
son Marcellus (q. v.) by her
former husband, and the destined successor of Augustus on the
October, the tenth month of
the year so called (i. e. the eighth) by the Romans,
whose year began on March.
Od, name given to a physical force
recently surmised and believed to pervade all nature, and as
manifesting itself chiefly in connection with mesmeric phenomena.
Oddfellows, the name of several
friendly societies. The Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester
Unity, is the largest and most important of the number, its
membership is over 665,000, and its funds amount to £8,000,000.
It has been the pioneer in many important movements of the kind,
several of the provisions now compulsory on all societies it
observed of its own accord, prior to their enactment; the actuarial
tables compiled from its statistics in 1845 by its secretary,
Henry Radcliffe, are still a standard work. The Grand United
Order of Oddfellows has a membership of 241,000, and funds amounting
to £882,000; the National Independent Order of Oddfellows
embraces 58,000 members, and has £242,000.
Oder, an important German river,
rises in Moravia, and crossing the frontier flows NW. through
Silesia, and N. through Brandenburg and Pomerania 550 m. into
the Stettiner Haff and so to the Baltic. On its banks stand
Ratibor, where navigation ends, Breslau, Frankfort, and Stettin;
it receives its chief tributary, the navigable Warthe, on the
right, and has canal communication with the Spree and the Elbe.
Odessa (298), on the Black Sea,
25 m. NE. of the mouth of the Dniester, is the fourth largest
city of Russia, and the chief southern port and emporium of
commerce. It exports large shipments of wheat, sugar, and wool;
imports cotton, groceries, iron, and coal, and manufactures
flour, tobacco, machinery, and leather. It is well fortified,
and though many of the poor live in subterraneous caverns, is
a fine city, with a university, a cathedral, and a public library.
It was a free port from 1817 till 1857. The population includes
many Greeks and Jews.
Odin or Wodin, the chief
god of the ancient Scandinavians, combined in one the powers
of Zeus and Ares among the Greeks, and was attended by two black
ravens—Hugin, mind, and Munin, memory, the bearers of
tidings between him and the people of his subject-world. His
council chamber is in Asgard (q. v.),
and he holds court with his warriors in
Valhalla (q. v.). He is the source of all wisdom
as well as all power, and is supposed by Carlyle to have been
the deification of some one who incarnated in himself all the
characteristic wisdom and valour of the Scandinavian race; Frigga
was his wife, and Balder and Thor his sons. See
Odo, bishop of Bayeux, brother of
William the Conqueror, fought by his side at Hastings; after
blessing the troops, was made Earl of Kent, and appointed governor
of kingdom during William's absence in Normandy; had great influence
in State affairs all along, and set out for the Holy Land, but
died at Palermo (1032-1096).
Odoacer, a Hun, son of one of
Attila's officers, who entered the Imperial Guards, dethroned
Augustulus, and became emperor himself; Zeno, the emperor of
the East, enlisted Theodoric of the Ostrogoths against him,
who made a treaty with him to be joint ruler of the kingdom
of Italy, and assassinated him in 493.
Spanish soldier and politician, born, of Irish descent, at Santa
Cruz, in Teneriffe; entered the army, and attached himself to
the cause of Queen Isabella, on whose emergence from her minority
in 1843 he was made Governor of Cuba; there he enriched himself
by trading in slaves, and returning to Spain threw himself into
politics; he joined Espartero's cabinet in 1854, and two years
later supplanted him as chief minister; he commanded in the
Moorish war of 1858, and was created Duke of
Tetuan after the capture of that city; he was again Prime Minister
till 1866, and died in exile at Bayonne (1809-1867).
Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer
relating the ten years' wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseus) after
the fall of Troy, and his return at the end of them to his native
kingdom of Ithaca. See Ulysses.
one of the leaders of the Reformation, born at Weinsberg, in
Würtemberg; became preacher at Basel, assisted Erasmus
in his edition of the New Testament, entered a convent at Augsburg,
came under Luther's influence and adopted the reformed doctrine,
of which he became a preacher and professor, embraced in particular
the views of Zwingli (1482-1531).
Oedipus, a mythological king
of Thebes, son of Laius and Jocasta, and fated to kill his father
and marry his mother; unwittingly slew his father in a quarrel;
for answering the riddle of the Sphinx
(q. v.) was made king in his stead, and wedded his widow,
by whom he became the father of four children; on discovery
of the incest Jocasta hanged herself, and Oedipus went mad and
put out his eyes.
Adam Gottlob, great Danish poet, born at Copenhagen;
his poems first brought him into notice and secured him a travelling
pension, which he made use of to form acquaintanceship with
such men as Goethe and his literary confrères in Germany,
during which time he commenced that series of tragedies on northern
subjects on which his fame chiefly rests, which include "Hakon
Jarl," "Correggio," "Palnatoke," &c.;
his fame, which is greatest in the North, has spread, for he
ranks among the Danes as Goethe among the Germans, and his death
was felt by the whole nation (1779-1850).
Oehler, Gustav, learned
German theologian, professor at Tübingen, eminent for his
studies and writings on the Old Testament (1812-1872).
Oeil-de-boeuf, a large
reception-room in the palace of Versailles, lighted by a window
so called (ox-eye it means), and is the name given in French
history to the French Court, particularly during the Revolution
Oeland (37), an island off the
SE. coast of Sweden, 55 m. long and about 10 m. broad; has good
pasture ground, and yields alum; the fisheries good.
Oenonë, a nymph of Mount
Ida, near Troy, beloved by and married to Paris, but whom he
forsook for Helen; is the subject of one of Tennyson's poems.
Oersted, Hans Christian,
a Danish physicist; was professor of Physics in Copenhagen,
the discoverer of electro-magnetism, of the compressibility
of water, and the metal aluminium; did much to popularise science
in a volume entitled "The Soul in Nature" (1777-1851).
Oesel (51), a marshy, well-wooded
island at the mouth of the Gulf of Riga, in the Baltic, 45 m.
long and 25 m. of average breadth; has some low hills and precipitous
coasts; Arensburg (4), on the SE. shore, is the only town; Danish
from 1559, the island passed to Sweden in 1645 and to Russia
in 1721; the wealthier classes are of German descent.
Offa's Dyke, an entrenchment
and rampart between England and Wales, 100 m. long, extending
from Flintshire as far as the mouth of the Wye; said to have
been thrown up by Offa, king of Mercia, about the year 780,
to confine the marauding Welsh within their own territory.
Offenbach, Jacques, a musical
composer, born at Cologne, of Jewish parents, creator of the
opera bouffe; was the author of "La Belle Hélène," "Orphée
aux Enfers," "La Grande Duchesse," "Madame
Favart," &c. (1810-1880)
Offertory, in the Roman Catholic
Church a portion of the liturgy chanted at the commencement
of the eucharistic service, also in the English the part of
the service read during the collection of the alms at communion.
von, a famous minnesinger
(q. v.) of the 15th century.
Ogham or Ogam, an alphabet
of 20 letters in use among the ancient Irish and Celts, found
carved on monumental stones in Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and
the North of Scotland.
Oglethorpe, James Edward,
English general, born in London; served in the Marlborough wars,
sat in Parliament for several years, conceived the founding
of a colony for debtors in prison, and founded Georgia; returning
to England, fought against the Pretender, and died in Essex
Ogowe`, a West African river,
500 m. long, rises in the Akukuja plateau, and following a semicircular
course northward and westward enters the Atlantic by a delta
at Cape Lopez, its course lying wholly within French Congo territory;
in the dry season its volume is much diminished, and its many
sandbanks prevent its navigation except by small boats.
O'Groat's House, John.
See John o' Groat's House.
Ogyges, a Boeotian autochthon,
the legendary first king of Thebes, which is called at times
Ogygia, in whose reign a flood, called the Ogygian after him,
inundated the land, though some accounts make it occur in Attica.
Ogygia, a mythological island
of Homeric legend, situated far off in the sea, and the home
of the sorceress Calypso (q. v.).
Ohio (3,672), a State of the American
Union, a third larger than Scotland, stretches northward from
the Ohio River to Lake Erie, between Pennsylvania and Indiana.
It consists of level and undulating plains, on which are raised
enormous crops of wheat and maize. Sheep-grazing and cattle-rearing
are very extensive; its wool-clip is the largest in America.
There are valuable deposits of limestone and freestone, and
in output of coal Ohio ranks third of the States. The manufactures
are very important; it ranks first in farm implements, and produces
also wagons, textile fabrics, and liquors. In the N. excellent
fruit is grown. The capital is Columbus (88), the largest city
is Cincinnati (297). Admitted to the Union in 1803, it boasts
among its sons four Presidents—Grant, Hayes, Garfield,
and Benjamin Harrison.
Ohio River, formed by the
confluence of the Alleghany and the Monongahela, pursues a westward
course of 1000 m., separating Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from
West Virginia and Kentucky, and after receiving sundry tributaries
joins the Mississippi, being the largest and, next to the Missouri,
the longest of its affluents; it is navigable for the whole
of its course; on its banks stand Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville,
Ohm, Georg Simon, a German
physicist, born at Erlangen; discovered the mathematical theory
of the electric current, known as Ohm's Law, a law based on
experiment, that the strength of the electric current is equal
to the electro-motive force divided by the resistance of the
Ohnet, Georges, French
novelist, born in Paris; author of a series of novels in a social
interest, entitled "Les Batailles
de la Vie;" b. 1848.
Oil City (11), on the Alleghany
River, Pennsylvania, by rail 130 m. N. of Pittsburg, is the
centre of a great oil-trade and oil-refining industry; there
are also engineer and boiler works; it suffered severely from
floods in 1892.
Oka, a river of Central Russia,
which rises in Orel and flows N., then E., then N. again, joining
the Volga at Nijni-Novgorod after a course of over 700 m., navigable
nearly all the way; on its banks are Orel, Kaluga, and Riazan,
while Moscow stands on an affluent.
Oken, Lorenz, German naturalist;
was professor first at Jena, then at Münich, and finally
at Zurich, his settlement in the latter being due to the disfavour
with which his political opinions, published in a journal of
his called the Iris, were received in Germany; much of
his scientific doctrine was deduced from a transcendental standpoint
or by a priori reasonings; is mentioned in "Sartor"
as one with whom Teufelsdröck in his early speculations
had some affinity (1779-1851).
Okhotsk, Sea of, an immense
sheet of water in Eastern Siberia, lying between the peninsula
of Kamchatka and the mainland, with the Kurile Islands stretched
across its mouth; is scarcely navigable, being infested by fogs.
Oklahoma (62), a United States
territory, stretching southward from Kansas to the Red River,
with Texas on the W. and Indian Territory on the E., is a third
larger than Scotland, and presents a prairie surface crossed
by the Arkansas, Cimarron, and Canadian Rivers, and rising to
the Wichita Mountains in the S. There are many brackish streams;
the rainfall is light, hence the soil can be cultivated only
in parts. Ceded to the United States under restrictions by the
tribes of the Indian Territory in 1866, there were various attempts
by immigrants from neighbouring States to effect settlements
in Oklahoma, which the Government frustrated by military interference,
maintaining the treaty with the Indians till 1889, when it finally
purchased from them their claim. At noon on April 22, 1889,
the area was opened for settlement, and by twilight 50,000 had
entered and taken possession of claims. The territory was organised
in 1890; embedded in it lies the Cherokee Outlet, still held
by the Indians, but on the extinction of their interests to
revert to Oklahoma. The chief town is Oklahoma (5).
Okuma, Count, a Japanese,
rose into office from the part he took in the Japanese Revolution
of 1868, held in succession but resigned the offices of Minister
of Finance and of Foreign Affairs, organised the Progressive
Party in 1881, and entered office again in 1896; organised in
1898 the first government for a time in Japan on a party basis
agreeably to his idea.
Olaf, St., a Norwegian king;
wrested the throne from Eric, and set himself to propagate Christianity
by fire and sword, excited disaffection among his people, who
rebelled and overpowered him with the assistance of Cnut of
Denmark, so that he fled to his brother-in-law, Jaroslav of
Russia; by his help he tried to recover the throne, put was
defeated and slain, his body being buried in Trondhjem; he was
canonised in 1164, and is patron saint of Norway.
Olaüs, the name of three
early kings of Sweden and of five of Norway, who figured more
or less in the history of their respective countries.
Olbers, Heinrich, German
astronomer, born near Bremen; discovered five of the comets
and the two planetoids Pallas and Vesta (1758-1840).
Old Bailey, a Court or Sessions
house adjoining Newgate (q. v.),
in London, for the trial of offences committed within a certain
radius round the city, and practically presided over by the
Recorder and the Common Serjeant of London, though theoretically
by the Lord Mayor, Lord Chancellor, and others.
Old Catholics, a section
of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany and Switzerland that
first announced itself in Münich on the declaration in
1870 of the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope, the prime
movers in the formation of the protestation against which were
Dr. Döllinger and Professor Friedrich, backed by 44 professors
of the university; the movement thus begun has not extended
itself to any considerable extent.
Old Man of the Mountain,
a name given to Hassan ben Sabbah, the founder in the 11th century
and his successors of a formidable Mohammedan dynasty in Syria,
whose residence was in the mountain fastnesses of the country,
and whose following was known by the name of
Assassins (q. v.).
Old Man of the Sea, a
monster Sindbad the Sailor encountered on his fifth voyage,
who fastened on his back and so clung to him that he could not
shake him off till he made him drunk.
Old Mortality, a character
in Scott's novel of the name, the original of which was one
Robert Paterson, who, as related of him, went about the country
visiting the churchyards, and renewing the moss-covered tombs
of the Covenanters (q. v.).
Old Noll, an epithet applied
by his Royalist contemporaries to Oliver Cromwell.
Oldbuck, Jonathan, the
antiquary in Scott's novel of the name, devoted to the study
and collection of old coins, a man with an irritable temper,
due to disappointment in a love affair.
Oldbury (20), a busy manufacturing
town in Worcestershire, 3 m. E. of Dudley, has chemical, iron,
and steel works, and factories of various kinds.
Oldcastle, Sir John,
Lord Cobham, distinguished himself in arms under Henry IV. in
1411, embraced Lollardism, which he could not be prevailed on
to renounce, though remonstrated with by Henry V.; was tried
for heresies and committed to the Tower, but escaped to Wales;
charged with abetting insurrection on religious grounds, and
convicted, his body was hung in chains as a traitor, and in
this attitude, as a heretic, burned to death in 1417; he was
a zealous disciple of Wiclif, and did much to disseminate his
Oldenburg (355), a German
grand-duchy, embracing these three territories: 1, Oldenburg
proper, the largest, is let into Hanover with its northern limit
on the North Sea; it is a tract of moorland, sand-down, and
fen, watered by the Weser, Hunte and tributaries of the Ems;
here is the capital, Oldenburg (22), on the Hunte, 30 m. NW.
of Bremen, in the midst of meadows, where a famous breed of
horses is raised. 2, Lübeck, lying in Holstein, N. of but
not including the city of Lübeck. 3, Birkenfeldt, lying
among the Hundsrück Mountains, in the S. of Rhenish Prussia;
independent since 1180, Danish 1667-1773, Oldenburg acquired
Lübeck in 1803, and Birkenfeldt in 1815, when it was raised
to the rank of grand-duchy.
Oldham (184), on the Medlock,
7 m. NE. of Manchester, is the largest of the cotton manufacturing
towns round that centre; it has 300 cotton mills, and manufactures
besides silks, velvets, hats, and machinery; there is a lyceum,
and a school of science and art.
Oldys, William, bibliographer,
was a man of dissolute life, the illegitimate son of a chancellor
of Lincoln; he was librarian to the Earl of Oxford
for 10 years, and afterwards received
the appointment of Norroy king-of-arms; besides many bibliographical
and literary articles, he wrote a "Life of Raleigh"
and "The Harleian Miscellany" (1696-1761).
Oléron (17), an island
of France, in the Bay of Biscay, at the mouth of the Charente,
11½ m. long and from 3 to 7 broad, is separated from
the mainland by a shallow, narrow channel.
Olga, St., a Scandinavian pagan
prince, converted to Christianity and baptized as Helena; laboured
for the propagation of the Christian faith among his subjects,
was canonised after in 905, and is one of the saints of the
Russian Church. Festival, July 21.
Olifaunt, Nigel, the hero
in Scott's "Fortunes of Nigel."
religious enthusiast and mystic, born in Perthshire; spent his
boyhood in Ceylon, where his father was chief-justice; early
conceived a fondness for adventure, accompanied Lord Elgin to
Washington as his secretary, and afterwards to China and Japan;
became M.P. for the Stirling Burghs, mingled much in London
society, contributed to Blackwood, and wrote "Piccadilly,"
pronounced by Mrs. Oliphant "one of the most brilliant
satires on society ever published"; parliamentary people
and parliamentary life being nowise to his liking he soon threw
both up for life in a community with Harris at Lake Erie, U.S.,
whence, after two years' probation, he returned to resume life
in the wide world; while in France during the Franco-German
War, he married one Alice l'Estrange, an alliance which grew
into one of the most intimate character; with her he went to
Palestine, pitched his tent under the shadow of Mount Carmel,
and wrote two mystical books under her inspiration, which abode
with him after she was dead; after her decease he married a
Miss Owen, that she might help him in his work, but all she
had opportunity to do was to minister to him on his deathbed
Oliphant, Mrs. Margaret
(née Wilson), authoress, born at Wallyford, near
Musselburgh, a lady of varied abilities and accomplishments,
and distinguished in various departments of literature, began
her literary career as a novelist and a contributor to Blackwood,
with which she kept up a lifelong connection; her first work
which attracted attention was "Passages in the Life of
Mrs. Margaret Maitland," and her first success as a novelist
was the "Chronicles of Carlingford"; she wrote on
history, biography, and criticism, the "Makers of Florence,
of Venice, of Modern Rome," "Lives of Dante, Cervantes,
and Edward Irving," among other works, and was engaged
on a narrative of the publishing-house of Blackwood when she
died; she might have distinguished herself more had she kept
within a more limited range; her last days were days of sorrow
under heavy bereavement (1828-1897).
Olivarez, Count d', a
Spanish statesman, born at Rome, where his father was ambassador;
was the confidant and minister of Philip IV., and the political
adversary of Richelieu; was one of the ablest statesmen Spain
ever had, but was unfortunate in his conduct of foreign affairs
Oliver, a favourite paladin of
Charlemagne's, who, along with Roland, rode by his side, and
whose name, along with Roland's, has passed into the phrase,
a "Roland for an Oliver," meaning one good masterstroke
for another, such as both these knights never failed to deliver.
Olives, Mount of, or
Mount Olivet, a ridge with three summits, stretching
N. and S., E. of Jerusalem, in height 150 ft. above the city,
400 ft. above the intervening valley of Kedron, and 2682 ft.
above the sea-level; so called as at one time studded with olive-trees;
is celebrated as the scene of some of the most sacred events
in the life of Christ.
French statesman, born at Marseilles; bred for the bar, and
eminent at it; became Prime Minister under Louis Napoleon in
1870; precipitated "with a light heart" the country
into a war with Germany, to his own overthrow; retired thereafter
to Italy, but returned in 1872, and devoted himself to literature;
died at Geneva (1825-1876).
Olmütz (20), a strongly
fortified city in Moravia, and an important centre of trade,
and the former capital of the country; suffered severely in
the Thirty and the Seven Years' Wars.
Olympia, a plain in a valley
in Elis, on the Peloponnesus, traversed by the river Alpheus,
and in which the Olympic Games were celebrated every fifth year
in honour of Zeus, and adorned with temples (one to Zeus and
another to Hera), statues, and public buildings.
Olympiad, a name given to the
period of four years between one celebration of the Olympic
Games and another, the first recorded dating from July 776 B.C.
Olympias, the wife of Philip
II. of Macedonia, and mother of Alexander the Great; divorced
by Philip, who married another, she fled to Epirus, and instigated
the assassination of Philip and the execution of her rival;
returned to Macedonia on the accession of her son, who always
treated her with respect, but allowed her no part in public
affairs; on his death she dethroned his successor, but driven
to bay in her defence afterwards, she was compelled to surrender
the power she had assumed, and was put to death 316 B.C.
Olympic Games, were originally
open only to competitors of pure Hellenic descent, and the reward
of the victors was but a wreath of wild olive, though to this
their fellow-citizens added more substantial honours; they consisted
of foot and chariot races, and feats of strength as well as
dexterity. See Olympia.
Olympus, a mountain range in
Greece, between Thessaly and Macedonia, the highest peak of
which is 9750 ft.; the summit of it was the fabled abode of
the Greek gods; it is clothed with forests of pine and other
Olney, a little town in Buckinghamshire,
associated with the life of Cowper, and where he wrote, along
with John Newton, the "Olney Hymns."
Om, a mystic word among the Hindus
and Buddhists; presumed to be latent with some magic virtue,
and used on solemn occasions as a sort of spiritual charm efficacious
with the upper powers, and potent to draw down divine assistance
in an hour of need.
Omagh (4), on the Strule, 34 m.
S. of Londonderry; is the county town of Tyrone; though a very
ancient town it has been rebuilt since 1743, when it was destroyed
by fire; it is the head-quarters of the NW. military district.
Omaha (102), chief city of Nebraska,
on the W. bank of the Missouri, 20 m. above the confluence of
the Platte; is connected by a bridge with Council Bluffs on
the opposite shore; it has many fine buildings, including colleges
and schools; its silver-smelting works are the largest in the
world; it ranks third in the pork-packing industry, and has
besides manufactures of linseed oil, boilers, and safes; an
important railway centre, it lies midway between the termini
of the Union Pacific Railroad; near it
are the military head-quarters of the Platte department.
Oman, a territory of Arabia, lying
along the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, round
the south-eastern nob of the peninsula; has some stretches of
very fertile country where there happens to be water for irrigation,
but the coast is very hot and not healthy. The region is subject
to the Sultan of Muscat, who is in turn a pensioner of the Anglo-Indian
Omar, the successor of Abu-Bekr,
and the second Caliph from 634 to 644; was at first a persecutor
of the Faithful, but underwent in 615 a sudden conversion like
Said, with a like result; was vizier of Abu-Bekr before he succeeded
him; swept and subdued Syria, Persia, and Egypt with the sword
in the name of Allah, but is accused of having burned the rich
library of Alexandria on the plea that it contained books hostile
to the faith of Islam; he was an austere man, and was assassinated
by a Persian slave whose wrongs he refused to redress.
Omar Khayyám, astronomer-poet
of Persia, born at Naishapur, in Khorassan; lived in the later
half of the 11th century, and died in the first quarter of the
12th; wrote a collection of poems which breathe an Epicurean
spirit, and while they occupy themselves with serious problems
of life, do so with careless sportiveness, intent he on the
enjoyment of the sensuous pleasures of life, like an easy-going
Epicurean. The great problems of destiny don't trouble the author,
they are no concern of his, and the burden of his songs assuredly
is, as his translator says, "If not 'let us eat, let us
drink, for to-morrow we die.'"
Omar Pasha, general in the
Turkish army, was born an Austrian, his proper name Michael
Lattas, and educated at the military school of Thurn; guilty
of a breach of discipline, he ran away to Bosnia, turned Mohammedan,
and henceforth threw in his lot with the Turks; he became writing-master
to the Ottoman heir, Abdul-Medjid, and on the succession of
the latter in 1839 was made a colonel; he was military governor
of Lebanon in 1842, won distinction in suppressing rebellions
in Albania, Bosnia, and Kurdistan, but his chief services were
rendered in the Russian War; he successfully defended Kalafat
in 1853, entered Bucharest in 1854, and defeated 40,000 Russians
next year at Eupatoria in the Crimea; his capture of Cetinje,
Montenegro, in 1862 was a difficult feat (1806-1871).
O'Meara, Barry Edward,
a surgeon, born in Ireland, who accompanied Napoleon to St.
Helena, and became his physician, having been surgeon on board
the Bellerophon when the emperor surrendered himself;
is remembered as the author of "A Voice from St. Helena;
or, Napoleon in Exile," a book which from its charges against
Sir Hudson Lowe created no small sensation on its appearance
Ommiades, an Arab dynasty of
14 caliphs which reigned at Damascus from 661 to 720; dethroned
by the Abassides, they were under Abder-Rahman I. welcomed in
Spain, and they established themselves in Cordova, where they
ruled from 756 to 1031.
Omnipresence, an attribute
of the Divine Being as all-present in every section of space
and moment of time throughout the universe.
Omphalë, a queen of Lydia,
to whom Hercules was sold for three years for murdering Iphitus,
and who so won his affection that he married her, and was content
to spin her wool for her and wear the garments of a woman while
she donned and wore his lion's skin.
Omsk (32), capital of Western Siberia,
on the Om, at its confluence with the Irtish, 1800 m. E. of
Moscow; is within the area of Russian colonisation, and has
a military academy, Greek and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and
large cattle trade; a number of its inhabitants are political
exiles from Europe.
Onega, Lake, in the NW. of
Russia, next to Ladoga the largest in Europe, nearly three times
the size of Norfolkshire, being 140 m. long and 59 broad; has
an irregular shore, deeply indented in the W., many inflowing
rivers, but is drained only by the Swir; ice-bound for four
months, there is busy traffic the rest of the year; navigation
is promoted by canals, but hindered by many reefs; fish abound
in the waters.
of words resembling in sound that of the things denoted by them.
Ontario (2,114), third largest,
most populous, richest, and most important province of Canada,
lies N. of the great lakes between Quebec and Manitoba, and
is thrice the size of Great Britain; the surface is mostly undulating;
there are many small lakes, the chief rivers flow eastward to
join the Ottawa; agriculture is the chief industry, enormous
crops of wheat, maize, and other cereals are raised; stock-rearing
and dairy-farming are important; the climate is subject to less
extremes than that of Quebec, but the winter is still severe;
there are rich mineral deposits, especially of iron, copper,
lead, and silver, petroleum and salt; manufactures of agricultural
implements, hardware, textiles, and leather are carried on;
Toronto (181) is the largest town, Ottawa (44) is the capital
of the Dominion, Hamilton (49) an important railway centre;
the prosperity of the province is largely promoted by the magnificent
waterways, lakes, rivers, and canals with which it is furnished.
Founded by loyalists from the United States after the Declaration
of Independence, the province was constituted in 1791 as Upper
Canada, united to Quebec or Lower Canada in 1840, it received
its present name on the federation of Canada in 1867; education
in it is free and well conducted; there are many colleges and
universities; municipal and provincial government is enlightened
and well organised; the prevalent religious faith is Protestant.
Ontario, Lake, in area almost
equal to Wales, is the smallest and easternmost of the five
great lakes of the St. Lawrence Basin, North America; it lies
between the province of Ontario, Canada, and New York State;
receives the Niagara River in the SW., several streams on both
sides, and issues in the St. Lawrence in the NE.; on its shores
stand Hamilton, Toronto, and Kingston on the N., and Oswego
on the S.; canals connect it with Lake Erie and the Hudson River,
and it is a busy and always open highway of commerce.
Ontology, another name for
metaphysics (q. v.) or the
science of pure being, being at its living source in spirit
or God, or Nature viewed as divine, especially as the ground
of the spiritual in man and giving substantive being to him.
Onyx, a variety of agate or chalcedony,
in which occur even layers of white and black or white and brown,
sharply defined in good specimens; they come from India, and
are highly valued for cameo-cutting.
Oosterzee, Jan Jakob van,
a theologian of the Dutch Church, born at Rotterdam; became
professor at Utrecht, wrote several theological and exegetical
works on evangelical lines (1817-1882).
Opal, a variety of quartz, of which
the finest kind, precious opal, is translucent, with blue or
yellow tint, and when polished with a convex surface
shows an admirable play of colours; it is found chiefly at Cerwenitza,
Open Secret, The, the
secret that lies open to all, but is seen into and understood
by only few, applied especially to the mystery of the life,
the spiritual life, which is the possession of all.
Open, Sesamë, the magic
formula the pronunciation of which opened the robbers' stronghold
in the "Arabian Nights."
Opera, a drama set to music and
acted and sung to the accompaniment of a full orchestra, of
which there are several kinds according as they are grave, comic,
Opera Bouffe, an opera in
an extravagant burlesque style, with characters, music, and
other accompaniments to match; is the creation of
Offenbach (q. v.), his more
distinguished successors in the production of which have been
Lecocq, Hervé, and Strauss.
Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius
in "Hamlet" and in love with the lord, but whose heart,
from the succession of shocks it receives, is shattered and
Ophicleide, a keyed brass
wind instrument of recent invention, of great compass and power,
and of which there are two kinds in use.
Ophir, a region in the East of
uncertain situation, frequently referred to in Scripture as
a region from which gold and precious stones were imported.
Ophites, a sect of Gnostics
who regarded the serpent as a benefactor of the race in having
persuaded Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil in disregard, or rather in defiance, of the warning
of the God of the Jews.
Opie, John, English artist,
born near Truro, Cornwall; began to learn his father's trade
of carpenter, but turning to art went with Dr. Wolcott to London
in 1780; for a year he had phenomenal success as a portrait-painter;
on the wane of his popularity he turned to scriptural and historical
painting and to illustration; after being Associate for a year
he was elected Academician in 1787; besides some lectures on
art, he wrote a Life of Reynolds and other works (1761-1807).
Opinicus, a fabulous winged
creature with the head of a griffin, the body of a lion, and
the tail of a camel; a heraldic symbol.
Opitz, Martin von, a
German poet, born in Silesia; was much patronised by the princes
of Germany; was crowned with laurel, and ennobled by Ferdinand
II.; his poetry was agreeable to classic models, but at the
expense of soul, though, to his credit it must be said, the
German language and German poetry owe him a deep debt (1597-1639).
Oporto (140), at the mouth of
the Douro, 200 m. N. of Lisbon, the chief manufacturing city
of Portugal, and second in commercial importance; is the head-quarters
of the trade in port wine; the industries include cloth, silk,
hat, and porcelain manufacture, tobacco, metal-casting, and
tanning; besides wine it exports cattle, fruit, cork, and copper.
There are many old churches, schools, a library, and two picture-galleries.
Opportunist, name given
to a politician whose policy it is to take advantage of, or
be guided by, circumstances.
Optimism, the doctrine or belief
that in the system of things all that happens, the undesirable
no less than the desirable, is for the best.
Opus Operatum (i. e.
the work wrought), a Latin phrase used to denote the spiritual
effect in the performance of a religious rite which accrues
from the virtue inherent in it, or by grace imparted to it,
irrespectively of the administrator.
Oran (74), the busiest port in
Algeria, is 260 m. W. of Algiers; it has a Roman Catholic cathedral,
a mosque, a school, a college, and two castles, and exports
esparto grass, iron ore, and cereals.
Orange River or Gariep,
chief river of South Africa, rises in the eastern highlands
of Basutoland, and flows 100 m. westward to the Atlantic, receiving
the Vaal and the Caledon as tributaries, and having Cape Colony
on the S. bank and the Orange Free State, Griqualand West, Bechuanaland,
and German Namaqualand on the N.; a bar at the mouth and the
aridity of its lower course make it unfit for navigation.
Orange River Colony,
formerly Orange Free State (380), lying between the Vaal and
the Orange Rivers, Griqualand West, and the Drakenberg Mountains;
has an area nearly the size of England, with a healthy, temperate
climate; undulating plains slope northward and southward, from
which rise isolated hills called kopjes. The chief industries
are the rearing of sheep, cattle, horses, and ostriches; coal-mining
in the N. and diamond-seeking in the SW.; the exports comprise
wool, hides, and diamonds. Founded by Dutch Boers from Natal,
it was annexed by Britain in 1848, but granted independence
in 1854. The capital, Bloemfontein (3), is connected by a railway
with Johannesberg and with the Cape. Having made common cause
with the South African Republic in the Boer War, it was annexed
by Great Britain in 1900. At present (1905) it is under the
supreme authority of the Governor of Orange River and the Transvaal
Colonies, assisted by a Lieutenant-Governor and an Executive
Orangemen, a name given to
an association of Protestants in Ireland instituted to uphold
the Protestant succession to the crown, and the Protestant religion
as settled at the Revolution of 1688, and which derives this
name from William, the Prince of Orange, on whose accession
to the throne Protestantism was established; it became dormant
for a time after its institution, but it has shown very decided
signs of life at political crises when Protestantism seemed
in danger, such as often to call for some firm handling.
Oratorio, a musical composition
on a sacred theme, dramatic in form and associated with orchestral
accompaniments, but without scenic accessories; it derives its
name from the oratory of St. Philip Neri at Rome, in which a
composition of the kind was first performed, and was a musical
development of the miracle plays
of the, community of secular priests formed by
St. Philip of Neri (q. v.), and
bound by no religious vow, each one of which is independent
of the others; it consists of novices, triennial fathers, decennial
fathers, and a superior, their functions being to preach and
Orcagna, a Florentine painter,
sculptor, and architect, did several frescoes; was architect
of the cathedral of Orviëto; his masterpiece an absolutely
unique marble tabernacle in the church of Or San Michele, Florence
Quiller, English genre-painter, born in Edinburgh; his
pictures are numerous, and among the best and most popular, "The
Challenge," "The Queen of the Woods," "On
Board the Bellerophon," "The Mariage de Convenance";
Orcus (i. e. place of confinement),
another name for Hades, or the "World of the Dead";
also of the god of the nether world.
Ordeal, a test by fire, water,
poison, wager of battle, or the like, of the innocence or guilt
of persons in appeal thereby to the judgment of God in default
of other evidence, on the superstitious belief that by means
of it God would interfere to acquit the
innocent and condemn the guilty, a test very often had recourse
to among savage or half-civilised nations.
a mediæval chronicler, born near Shrewsbury; was a monk
of the Abbey of St. Evreul, in Normandy; wrote an ecclesiastical
history of Normandy and England—a veracious document,
though an incondite; d. 1143.
Orders in Council are
issued by the British Sovereign, with the advice of the Privy
Council, and within limits defined by Parliament. In cases of
emergency these limits have been disregarded, and Parliament
subsequently asked to homologate the action by granting an indemnity
to those concerned.
Oreades in the Greek mythology
nymphs of the mountains, with special names appropriate to the
district they severally inhabit.
Oregon (314), one of the United
States, on the Pacific seaboard, with Washington, Idaho, Nevada,
and California on its inland borders, nearly twice the size
of England, has the Coast Mountains along the W., the Cascade
range parallel 60 m. E., and 70 farther E. the Blue Mountains.
The centre and E. is hilly, and affords excellent grazing and
dairy-farming ground; the western or Willamette Valley is arable,
producing cereals, potatoes, tobacco, hops, and fruit. Between
the Coast Mountains and the sea excessive rains fall. The State
is rich in timber, coal, iron, gold, and silver; and the rivers
(of which the Columbia on the N. border is the chief) abound
in salmon. Owing to the mountain shelter and the Japanese ocean
currents the climate is mild. The capital is Salem (4), the
largest city Portland (46), both on the Willamette River. The
State offers excellent educational facilities; it has 17 libraries,
many schools and colleges, and the Blue Mountain University.
The State (constituted in 1859) forms part of the territory
long in dispute between Great Britain and the United States.
It was occupied jointly from 1818 to 1846, when a compromise
fixed the present boundary of British Columbia.
Orelli, Conrad von,
theologian, born at Zurich; professor at Basel; has written
commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the minor prophets;
Orelli, Johann Kaspar
von, a Swiss scholar, born at Zurich, where he was professor
of Classical Philology; edited editions of the classics, particularly
Horace, Tacitus, and Cicero, highly esteemed for the scholarship
they show and the critical judgment (1787-1849).
Orestes, the son of Agamemnon
and Clytemnestra, and brother of Electra and Iphigenia, who
killed his mother to avenge the murder by her of his father
and went mad afterwards, but was acquitted by the Areopagus
and became king of Argos and Lacedæmon; his friendship
for Pylades, who married his sister Electra, has passed into
a proverb; the tragic story is a favourite theme of the Greek
Orfila, M. J. Bonaventure,
French chemist and physician, born in Minorca; mainly distinguished
for his works on toxicology (1787-1853).
Organism, a structure instinct
with life, and possessed of organs that discharge functions
subordinate and ministrative to the life of the whole.
Organon, a term adopted by Bacon
to denote a system of rules for the regulation of scientific
Orgies, festivals among the Greeks
and Orientals generally connected with the worship of nature
divinities, in particular Demeter (q.
v.), Dionysos (q. v.), and
the Cabiri, celebrated with mystic rites and much licentious
Oriflamme (i. e. flame
of gold), the ancient banner of the kings of France, borne before
them as they marched to war; it was a red flag mounted on a
gilded staff, was originally the banner of the abbey of St.
Denis, and first assumed as the royal standard by Louis VI.
as he marched at the head of his army against the Emperor Henry
V. in 1124, but one hears no more of it after the battle of
Agincourt in 1415, much as it was at one time regarded as the
banner of the very Lord of Hosts.
Origen, one of the most eminent
of the Fathers of the Church, born at Alexandria it is presumed,
the son of a Christian who suffered martyrdom under Severus,
whom he honoured and ever reverenced for his faith in Christ;
studied the Greek philosophers that he might familiarise himself
with their standpoint in contrast with that of the Christian;
taught in Alexandria and elsewhere the religion he had inherited
from his father, but was not sufficiently regardful of episcopal
authority, and after being ordained by another bishop than that
of his own diocese was deposed and banished; after this he settled
in Cæsarea, set up a celebrated school, and had Gregory
Thaumaturgus for a pupil, whence he made journeys to other parts
but under much persecution, and died at Tyre; he wrote numerous
works, apologetical and exegetical as well as doctrinal, besides
a "Hexapla," a great source of textual criticism,
being a work in which the Hebrew Scriptures and five Greek versions
of them are arranged side by side; in his exegesis he had a
fancy for allegorical interpretation, in which he frequently
indulged, but in doing so he was entitled to some license, seeing
he was a man who constantly lived in close communion with the
Unseen Author of all truth (185-253).
Original Sin, the name given
by the theologians to the inherent tendency to sin on the part
of all mankind, due, as alleged, to their descent from Adam
and the imputation of Adam's guilt to them as sinning in him.
Orinoco River, a great
river in the NE. of South America, rises in the Parimé
Mountains, and flowing westward bifurcates, the Cassiquiare
channel going southward and joining the Rio Negro, the Orinoco
proper continuing westward, north and east through Venezuela,
and reaching the Atlantic after a course of 1500 m. by an enormous
delta; it receives thousands of tributaries, but cascades half-way
up stop navigation.
Orion, in the Greek mythology
a handsome giant and hunter, was struck blind by Dionysos for
attempting an outrage on Merope, but recovered his eyesight
on exposing his eyeballs to the arrowy rays of Aurora, and became
afterwards the companion of Artemis on the hunting-field, but
he fell a victim to the jealousy of Apollo, the brother of Artemis,
and was transformed by the latter into a constellation in the
sky, where he figures as a giant wearing a lion's skin and a
girdle or belt and wielding a club.
Orissa (4,047), the name of an
ancient Indian kingdom, independent till 1568, and falling into
British possession in 1803, is now restricted to the most south-easterly
province of Bengal. It is larger than Wales, and comprises a
hilly inland tract and an alluvial plain formed by the deltas
of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani Rivers, well irrigated,
and producing great crops of rice, wheat, pulse, and cotton.
It has no railways, and poor roads; transport is by canal and
river. Chief towns Cuttack, Balasor, and Puri.
Orkney Islands (30), an
archipelago of 90 islands, Pomona the largest, lying north of
the Scottish mainland, from which they are separated by the
Pentland Firth, 7 m. broad. The scenery is tame, the climate
is mild and moist; there are no trees, crops are poor; the chief
industries are fishing and stock-raising; Kirkwall, with a cathedral,
and Stromness are the chief towns. Seized from the Picts by
Norse vikings, they passed to James III. as security for the
dowry of Margaret of Denmark and were never redeemed. The natives
show their Scandinavian ancestry in their features, and the
nomenclature is largely Scandinavian.
Orlando, a hero who figures
in the romantic tales connected with the adventures of Charlemagne
and his paladins, a knight of pure and true blood; had a magical
horn called Olivant, with which he wrought wonders.
Orleans (61), on the Loire,
75 m. by rail SW. of Paris, is the capital of the province of
Loiret, a trading rather than an industrial town, commerce being
fostered by excellent railway, canal, and river communications;
the town is of ancient date, and its streets are full of quaint
wooden houses; there is an old cathedral and museum; many historic
associations include the raising of the siege in 1429 by Joan
of Arc, whose house is still shown, and two captures by the
Orleans, Dukes of, the
name of four distinct branches of the royal family of France,
the first commencing with Philippe, fifth son of Philippe
of Valois, in 1344; the second with Louis, brother of
Charles VI. (1371-1407); the third with Jean Baptiste Gascon,
brother of Louis XIII., who took part in the plots against Richelieu,
and was appointed lieutenant-general on the death of his brother
(1608-1660); the fourth with Philippe I., brother of
Louis XIV. (1640-1701); Philippe II., son of the preceding,
governed France during the minority of Louis XV.; involved his
finances by his connection with Louis, and did injury to the
public morals by the depravity of his life (1674-1723); Louis-Philippe,
his grandson, lieutenant-general and governor of Dauphiné
(1725-1785); Louis-Philippe Joseph, son of preceding,
surnamed Philippe-Egalité, played a conspicuous part
in the Revolution, and perished on the scaffold (1747-1793);
and Louis-Philippe, his son (q.
v.); Prince Louis Robert, eldest son of Comte de
Paris, claimant to the throne, b. 1869.
Orloff, the name of two brothers,
Russians: Gregory, the favourite of Catherine II. (1734-1783),
and Alexis, a man remarkable for his stature and strength,
who murdered Peter III. and was banished by Paul I. (1737-1809).
Orme, Robert, historian,
born in Travancore; entered the East India Company's service,
in which he was appointed historiographer; wrote the history
of its military transactions from 1745 to 1763 (1728-1801).
Ormolu, a name given to bronze
or brass of a golden-yellow colour, and resembling gold.
Ormonde, James Butler,
Duke of, supporter of the cause of Charles I. in Ireland
during the war between the king and the Parliament, on the ruin
of which he repaired to the Continent to promote the restoration
of the dynasty; was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland after
the Restoration, and escaped from a party of ruffians headed
by Colonel Blood, who dragged him from his carriage with intent
to hang him; he was a brave man, and much esteemed by his friends
Ormuz, an island at the mouth
of the Persian Gulf, once the head-quarters of the Persian trade
Ormuzd, the good deity of the
Zoroastrian religion, the embodiment of the principle of good
as Ahriman is of the principle of evil, the creator of light
and order as the other of darkness and disorder. See
Orontes, the principal river
of Syria, rises in the western slopes of Anti-Lebanon, and flows
northward through Syria, turning at last SW. to the Mediterranean;
its course of 150 m. is through country in many parts well cultivated,
past the towns of Hems and Hamah, and latterly through a woody
ravine of great beauty.
Orosius, Paulus, Spanish
Christian apologist of the 5th century, born at Terragona, a
disciple of Augustine; wrote at his suggestion against the pagans
a history of the world used as a text-book in the Middle Ages.
Orpheus, in the Greek mythology
son of Apollo and the Muse Calliopë, famed for his skill
on the lyre, from which the strains were such as not only calmed
and swayed the rude soul of nature, but persuaded even the inexorable
Pluto to relent; for one day when his wife Eurydice was taken
away from him, he descended with his lyre to the lower world
and prevailed on the nether king by the spell he wielded to
allow her to accompany him back, but on the condition that he
must not, as she followed him, turn round and look; this condition
he failed to fulfil, and he lost her again, but this time for
ever; whereupon, as the story goes, he gave himself up to unappeasable
lamentings, which attracted round him a crowd of upbraiding
Mænades, who in their indignation took up stones to stone
him and mangled him to death, only his lyre as it floated down
the river seaward kept sounding "Eurydice! Eurydice!"
till it was caught up by Zeus and placed in memorial of him
among the stars of the sky.
Orrery is a mechanical toy which
exhibits, by an arrangement of rods, balls, and toothed wheels,
the sun, the planets, and their moons, all performing their
respective motions; so named after the Earl of Orrery, for whom
Charles Boyle made the first one in 1715.
Orsini, Felice, Italian conspirator,
born of a noble family, but bred in the atmosphere of revolution
and secret plotting; with three others attempted the life of
Louis Napoleon; was defended by Jules Favre, but condemned to
death and guillotined (1819-1858).
Orsova, two fortified towns on
opposite banks of the Danube, at the Iron Gates: Old Orsova
(3), in Hungary, is a trading and shipping centre; New Orsova,
in Servia, was repeatedly taken and retaken in the wars of the
Orviëto (7), an Italian
city in Perugia, 78 m. by rail N. of Rome, is noted for its
wines; it dates from Roman times, and in the Middle Ages was
a frequent refuge of the Popes.
Oscans, a primitive people of
Italy occupying Campania; were subjugated in the 5th century
B.C. by the Samnites, who amalgamated with them and were subsequently
incorporated with the Romans; the Oscan tongue, a cruder form
of Latin, may have had its own literature, and is still extant
on coins and in inscriptions.
Oscar I., king of Sweden and
Norway, son of Bernadotte, born at Paris, reigned from 1844
to 1857 (1799-1858); Oscar II., king of Sweden and Norway,
son of preceding, succeeded his brother Charles XV. in 1872,
has distinguished himself in literature by translating Goethe's "Faust"
into Swedish, and by a volume of minor poems under his nom
de plume Oscar Frederick; b. 1829.
Oscott, a village in Staffordshire,
4 m. N. of Birmingham, the site of the Roman Catholic College
of St. Mary's, which claims to be the centre of Catholicism
in England; founded in 1752, it was housed in magnificent buildings
in 1835, and became exclusively a training-school for the priesthood
in 1889, though it originally had laymen among its students.
poet, born in London; held a post in the natural history department
of the British Museum; wrote, among other works, three notable
volumes of poems, "The Epic of Women," "Lays
of France," and "Music and Moonlight" (1844-1881).
Osiander, Andreas, a
German Reformer, born near Nüremberg, and attaching himself
to Luther, became preacher there, and eventually professor of
Theology at Königsberg; involved himself in a bitter controversy
with Chemnitz on justification, ascribing it not to imputation,
but the germination of divine grace in the heart, or the mystical
union of the soul with God, a controversy which was kept up
by his followers after his death (1498-1552).
Osiris, one of the principal
gods of Egypt, the husband of Isis, who was his sister and the
father of Horus, who avenged the wrongs he suffered at the hands
of the Earth, his mother, in whose womb he was born and in whose
womb he was buried; he was the god of all the earth-born, and
subject to the like fate.
Osmanlis, name given to the
Ottomans, from that of their founder, Osman or Othman.
Osmose. If two liquids be separated
from each other only by a skin or parchment, each will percolate
through the membrane and diffuse into the other; the process
is known as osmose, and is constantly illustrated in the animal
and vegetable world.
Osnabrück (35), a town
in Hanover, 70 m. W. of Hanover, with a bishopric founded by
Charlemagne, which was held by a brother of George I., and was
secularised in 1803.
Ossa, a mountain in Thessaly, famous
in Greek mythology. See Pelion.
Ossian, the heroic poet of the
Gaels, the son of Fingal and the king of Morven, said to have
lived in the 3rd century, the theme of whose verse concerns
the exploits of Fingal and his family, the translation of which
he brought home from fairyland, to which he had been transported
when he was a boy, and from which he returned when he was old
and blind; James Macpherson, who was no Gaelic scholar, professed
to have translated the legend, as published by him in 1760-62-63.
Ostade, Adrian and Isaac,
two Dutch painters, brothers, born at Haarlem; Adrian (1610-1685),
and Isaac (1617-1654).
Ostend (26), a favourite watering-place
on the SW. coast of Belgium, 65 m. due W. of Antwerp; attracts
20,000 visitors every summer; it is an important seaport, having
daily mail communication with Dover, and it manufactures linen
and sail-cloth; fishing is the chief industry; it is famed for
oysters, which are brought over from England and fattened for
Ostia, the seaport of ancient
Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber, now in ruins.
Ostracism, banishment (lit.
by shell) for a term of years by popular vote from Athens of
any individual whose political influence seemed to threaten
the liberty of the citizens; the vote was given by each citizen
writing the name of the individual on a shell and depositing
it in some place appointed, and it was only when supported by
6000 citizens that it took effect.
Ostrogoths, or the Eastern
Goths, a Teutonic people, who, having been induced to settle
on the banks of the Danube, in the pay of the Roman emperor,
invaded Italy, and founded in the end of the 5th century a kingdom
under Theodoric, which fell before the arms of Justinian in
Oswald, St., king of Northumbria,
where by the aid of Aidan (q. v.)
he established the Christian religion, after his conversion
to it himself in exile among the Scots; he died in battle fighting
against Penda, king of Mercia; d.642.
Oswego (22), principal port on
the E. of Lake Ontario, is at the mouth of the Oswego River,
in New York State; it has 4 miles of quays, and extensive accommodation
for grain, and has a large trade, especially with Canada, in
grain and lumber; the falls in the river are utilised for industrial
purposes, the manufacture of starch and cornflour being famed.
Oswestry (8), a market-town
of Shropshire, 20 m. NW. of Shrewsbury; has an old church, castle,
and school, railway workshops, and some woollen mills.
Otago (153), the southernmost
province in the South Island, New Zealand, somewhat less in
size than Scotland, is mountainous and inaccessible in the W.,
but in the E. consists of good arable plains, where British
crops and fruits grow well; the climate is temperate; timber
abounds; there are gold, coal, iron, and copper mines, manufactures
of woollen goods, iron, and soap, and exports wool, gold, cereals,
and hides; founded in 1848 by the Otago Association of the Free
Church of Scotland, but immigration became general on the discovery
of gold in 1861; education is promoted by the Government in
a university and many colleges and secondary schools; the capital
is Dunedin (23), the chief commercial city of New Zealand, the
other principal towns being Invercargill, Port Chalmers, Oamaru,
Milton, and Lawrence.
Othman, the third caliph, who
ruled from 614 to 636, was assassinated by Mohammed, son of
Othman or Osman I.,
surnamed the Conqueror the founder of the empire of the Ottoman
Turks, born in Bithynia (1259-1326).
Otho, Roman emperor, had been a
companion of Nero; was created emperor by the Pretorian Guards
in succession to Galba, but being defeated by the German legionaries,
stabbed himself to death after a reign of three months (32-69).
Otis, James, American lawyer,
born in Massachusetts, distinguished as a ringleader in the
revolution in the colonies against the mother-country that led
to American independence, for which he had to pay with his life
and the prior loss of his reason (1724-1783).
Otranto (2), a decayed seaport
and fishing town of SE. Italy, 52 m. S. of Brindisi; founded
by Greek colonists, it was in early times the chief port of
trade with Greece; there is a cathedral and castle.
Ottawa (44), capital of the Dominion
of Canada, is situated 90 m. up the Ottawa River and its confluence
with the St. Lawrence, between the Chaudière and Rideau
Falls. Here are the Parliament buildings, the Governor-General's
residence, a Roman Catholic cathedral, numerous colleges and
schools, and a great library. There is some flour-milling and
some iron-working, but the chief industry is lumber felling.
Half the people are French Roman Catholics. It became the capital
of the Dominion in 1856, and in ten years after the government
was installed in its new buildings.
Ottawa River, the largest
tributary of the St. Lawrence, and one of the largest Canadian
rivers, is 700 m. long; rising in the W. of Quebec, it flows
W., then S., then SE., sometimes in a narrow
channel, sometimes broadening even into
lakes, receiving many tributaries, and passing down rapids and
falls, and joins the St. Lawrence at Montreal; down its waters
are floated immense quantities of lumber.
Otterburn, a Northumberland
village, 16 m. S. of the border, famous as the scene of a struggle
on 19th August 1388 between the Douglases and the Percies, at
which the Earl of Douglas lost his life, and Hotspur was taken
prisoner. See Chevy Chase.
Otto or Attar of Roses,
an essential oil obtained by distilling rose leaves of certain
species in water, of very strong odour, pleasant when diluted;
is used for perfumery; it is made in India, Persia, Syria, and
at Kezanlik, in Roumelia.
Ottomans, the name given to
the Turks from Othman (q. v.).
Otway, Thomas, English dramatist,
born in Sussex, intended for the Church; took to the stage,
failed as an actor, and became a playwright, his chief production
in that line being "Alcibiades," "Don Carlos," "The
Orphan," and "Venice Preserved," the latter two
especially; he led a life of dissipation, and died miserably,
from choking, it is said, in greedily swallowing a piece of
bread when in a state of starvation (1651-1685).
Oubliette, an underground
cell, perfectly dark, in which prisoners were subjected to perpetual
confinement, was so called as being a "place of forgetfulness,"
or where one is forgotten; they were often put secretly to death.
Oudenarde, a town in Belgium,
15 m. S. of Ghent, scene of Marlborough's third victory over
the French in 1708; it contains a 16th-century hôtel de
ville, with a fine tower, and some interesting churches.
Oudh (12,551), a province in the
Bengal Presidency, occupying the basin of the Gumti, Gogra,
and Rapti Rivers, and stretching from the N. bank of the Ganges
to the lower Himalayas; is a great alluvial plain, through which
these rivers flow between natural embankments, affording irrigation
by their marshes and overflows. The sole industry is agriculture;
the crops are wheat and rice, which are exported by rail and
river. The population is one of the densest in the world, the
labouring classes being very poor. The only large town is Lucknow
(273), on the Gumti. One of the earliest centres of Aryan civilisation,
Oudh became subject to the empire of Delhi in the 12th century,
but was an independent State for a century prior to its annexation
by the British in 1856.
Oudinot, Duke of Reggio,
marshal of France, born at Bar-le-Duc; served with distinction
under the Revolution and the Empire; led the retreat from Moscow,
and was wounded; joined the Royalists after the fall of Napoleon,
and died Governor of the Hôtel des Invalides (1767-1847).
Ouida, the pseudonym of Louise
de la Ramée, English novelist, born at Bury St. Edmunds;
resides chiefly at Florence; has written over a score of novels, "Under
Two Flags" and "Moths" among the best; b.
Ouse, the name of several English
rivers, of which the chief are (1) the Yorkshire Ouse, flowing
through the great Vale of York southwards to the Humber, receiving
the Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, and Aire from the W. and the Derwent
from the E., and having in its basin more great towns than any
other river in the country; (2) the Great Ouse, rising in the
S. of Northamptonshire, pursuing a winding course NE. through
the plains of Buckingham, Bedford, Huntingdon, Cambridge, and
Norfolk to the Wash; and (3) the Sussex Ouse.
Outram, Sir James, British
general, surnamed by Napier the "Bayard of India,"
born in Derbyshire, began his military career in Bombay, served
in the Afghan War and the war with Persia, played an important
part in the suppression of the Mutiny, marching to the relief
of Lucknow, magnanimously waived his rank in favour of Havelock,
and fought under him (1803-1863).
celebrated German painter, born at Lübeck; was head of
the new Romantic or Pre-Raphaelite school of German art; had
devoted himself to religious subjects, abjured Lutheranism,
and joined the Roman Catholic Church; is famed for his frescoes "Christ's
Entry into Jerusalem" and "St. Francis" in particular,
still more than his oil-paintings; spent most of his life in
Overbury, Sir Thomas,
English gentleman, remembered chiefly from the circumstances
of his death, having been poisoned in the Tower at the instance
of Rochester and his wife for dissuading the former from marrying
the latter, for which crime the principals were pardoned and
the instruments suffered death; he was the author of certain
works published after his death, and "The Wife," a
poem, his "Characters," and "Crumbs from King
James's Table" (1581-1613).
Overland Route, the route
to Australia and the East across the European continent instead
of round the Cape of Good Hope, was inaugurated by Lieutenant
Waghorn in 1845, modified on the opening of the Suez Canal in
1869, and is now viâ France, the Mont Cenis tunnel,
Brindisi, the Levant, Suez Canal, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.
Overreach, Sir Giles,
a character in Massinger's play, "A New Way to Pay Old
Overstone, Baron, English
financier, represented Hythe; was made a peer in 1850; wrote
on finances; was opposed to limited liability and the introduction
of the decimal system; died immensely rich (1796-1883).
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman
poet of the Augustan age, born at Salmo, of equestrian rank,
bred for the bar, and serving the State in the department of
law for a time, threw it up for literature and a life of pleasure;
was the author, among other works, of the "Amores," "Fasti,"
and the "Metamorphoses," the friend of Horace and
Virgil, and the favourite of Augustus, but for some unknown
reason fell under the displeasure of the latter, and was banished
in his fiftieth year, to end his days among the swamps of Scythia,
near the Black Sea (B.C. 43-18 A.D.).
Oviedo (44), capital of the Spanish
province of Asturias, near the river Nalon; is the seat of a
university, library, and cathedral; it is the centre of the
chief coal-field of Spain; in the neighbourhood are a gun-factory
and many iron-works.
Owen, John, Puritan divine,
born in Oxfordshire, educated at Oxford; driven from the Church,
became first a Presbyterian then an Independent; Cromwell made
him chaplain for a sermon he preached the day after Charles
I.'s execution, and he was presented in 1651 with the deanery
of Christ Church, Oxford, and next year with the Vice-Chancellorship,
but on the Restoration was deprived of both, after which, from
1657, he spent his life in retirement; wrote an exposition of
the Epistle to the Hebrews, on the Holy Spirit, and many other
works in exposition of the Puritan theology, which at one time
were held in greater favour than they are now (1616-1683).
Owen, Sir Richard, celebrated
English naturalist and comparative anatomist, born in Lancaster;
wrote extensively, especially on comparative anatomy and physiology,
in which, as in everything that occupied
him, he was an enthusiastic worker, being a disciple of Cuvier;
did not oppose, but was careful not to commit himself to, Darwin's
evolutionary theories; Carlyle, who had two hours' talk with
him once, found him "a man of real ability who could tell
him innumerable things" (1804-1892).
Owen, Robert, a Socialist
reformer, born in Montgomeryshire; became manager of a cotton
mill at New Lanark, which he managed on Socialist principles,
according to which all the profits in the business above five
per cent, went to the workpeople; in furtherance of his principles
he published his "New Views of Society," the "New
Moral World," as well as pamphlets, lecturing upon them,
moreover, both in England and America, but his schemes issued
in practical failures, especially as proving too exclusively
secular, and he in his old age turned his mind to spiritualism
Owens College, Manchester,
a non-sectarian university, founded by John Owens, a liberal
Churchman, in 1846, and supported as well as extended by subsequent
bequests, the medical school of which is one of the finest in
the kingdom; of the students attending it in 1897-98, 639 were
arts students, 99 women, and 418 medicals.
Oxenford, John, English
man of letters and critic; translated Goethe's "Dichtung
und Wahrheit," and "Echermann's Conversations with
Goethe"; was dramatic critic for the Times, and
wrote plays, as well as an "Illustrated Book of French
Oxenstiern, Axel, Count,
Swedish statesman, favourite minister of Gustavus Adolphus;
supported him through the Thirty Years' War, though he disapproved
of his engaging in it, and managed the affairs of the State
with great ability after his death (1583-1654).
Oxford (46), the county town
of Oxfordshire, seat of one of the great English universities
and of a bishopric; is on the left bank of the Thames, 52 m.
W. of London; it is a city of great beauty, its many collegiate
buildings and chapels and other institutions making it the richest
of English cities in architectural interest; naturally historical
associations abound; here the Mad Parliament met and adopted
the Provisions of Oxford in 1258; Latimer and Ridley in 1555,
and Cranmer in 1556, were burned in Broad Street; Charles I.
made it his head-quarters after the first year of the Civil
War; it was the refuge of Parliament during the plague of 1665.
Oxford School, the name
given to the leaders of the Tractarian Movement, which originated
at Oxford in 1833.
Oxford is spoken of as a seat of learning as early as the 11th
century. Cloistral schools existed before that. Schools of divinity,
law, and topography were founded in the 12th century. In the
13th Dominican and Franciscan scholars raised it to a level
only second to Paris, and by the end of the 14th century there
were thousands of students in attendance. Oxford responded quickly
to the Renaissance, and by the time of the Reformation 13 colleges
were founded. Her Protestantism stood firm through Mary's reaction,
sank into passive obedience under the Stuarts, but woke up to
resist James II.'s Catholic propaganda. Thereafter followed
a serious lapse in efficiency, but this century has seen a complete
revival. Oxford has now 21 colleges, among which are Balliol,
Christ Church, Magdalen, Oriel, Trinity, and University College;
64 professors and teachers, and 3000 students. It is rich in
museums and libraries; the Bodleian Library is of great value,
the Taylor Library is devoted to modern literature. The Oxford
or Tractarian Movement, one of the most remarkable religious
impulses of modern times, had its centre in the University between
1834 and 1845. Among distinguished Oxford alumni were Hooker,
Jeremy Taylor, Wesley, Newman; Hobbes, Locke, Adam Smith; Johnson,
Gibbon, Freeman, Green; Chatham, Gladstone; Ruskin; Shelley,
Keble, Arnold, and Clough. Of the colleges of which the University
consists, the University was founded in 1249, Balliol in 1269,
Merton in 1264, Exeter in 1314, Oriel in 1326, Queen's in 1340,
New in 1379, Lincoln in 1427, All Souls' in 1437, Magdalen in
1468, Brasenose in 1509, Corpus in 1516, Christ Church in 1546,
Trinity in 1554, St. John's in 1555, Jesus in 1571, Wadham in
1612, Pembroke in 1624, Worcester in 1714, Keble in 1870, and
Hertford in 1874.
Oxfordshire (186), a S.
midland county of England, stretching on the N. bank of the
Thames between Gloucester and Buckingham; is an agricultural
district; bleak in the N. and W., it is hilly, well wooded and
picturesque in the S., where are the Chiltern Hills; iron-stone
is mined near Banbury, blankets made at Witney, and paper at
Shiplake and Henley; natives of the county were Edward the Confessor,
Leland, Warren Hastings, Maria Edgeworth, and J. R. Green.
Oxus or Amu-daria, a great
river of Central Asia, rises in the Pamirs, and flows W. between
Turkestan and Afghanistan, then N. through Turkestan to the
Sea of Aral; it is believed at one time to have flowed into
the Caspian, and there is record of two changes of course; half
its waters are absorbed in irrigating the plains of Khiva.
Oxygen, a colourless, inodorous
gas which constitutes one-fifth in volume of the atmosphere,
and which, in combination with hydrogen, forms water. It is
the most widely diffused of all the elementary bodies, and an
essential support to everything possessed of life.
Oyer and Terminer, an
English Court Commission to hear and determine special causes.
Ozone, is an allotropic form of
oxygen, from which it can be developed by electricity, and into
which it can be resolved by heat, present in small quantities
in the atmosphere, and possessing strong oxidising properties.
(1) The figures in brackets following Geographical names indicate the
number of thousands of population.