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Wires are frequently stretched across a room overhead, probably with the idea that they will prevent the voice from reaching the roof and being reflected there, but there is no reason to suppose that they ,are efficient. The only cure appears to consist in breaking up the reflecting surfaces so that the reflexion shall be much less regular and distinct. Probably drapery assists by absorbing the sound to some extent, and thus it lessens the echo besides breaking it up. (J. H. P.)

‘ ACOUI, a city and episcopal see of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Alessandria; from the town of that name it is 21 m. S.S.W. by rail. Pop. (1901) 13,786. Its warm sulphur springs are still resorted to; under the name of Aquae Statiellae they were famous in Roman times, and Paulus Diaconus and Liutprand speak of the ancient bath establishment. In the neighbourhood of the town are remains of the aqueduct which sup— plied it. The place was connected by road with Alba Pompeia and Augusta Taurinorum. The tribe of the Statielli, to whom the-district belonged, had joined the Romans at an early period, but was attacked in 173 and in part transferred to the north of the P0. The town possesses a fine Gothic cathedral.

ACRB, or .AQUIRY, a river of Brazil and principal tributary of the Purfis, rising on the Bolivian frontier and flowing easterly and northerly to a junction with the Pun'is at 8° 4 5' S. lat. The name is also applied to a district situated on the same river and on the former (1867) boundary line between Bolivia and Brazil. The region, which abounds in valuable rubber forests, was settled by Bolivians between 1870 and 1878, but was invaded by Brazilian rubber collectors during the next decade and became tributary to the rubber markets of Manaos and Paris. In 1899 the Bolivian government established a custom-house at Puerto Alonso, on-the' Acré river, for the collection of export duties on rubber, which precipitated a conflict with the Brazilian settlers and finally brought about a boundary dispute between the two republics. In July 1899 the Acreanos declared their independence and set up a republic of their own, but in the following March they were reduced to submission by Brazil. Various disorders followed until Brazil decided to occupy Puerto Alonso with a military force. The boundary dispute was finally settled at Petropolis on the 17th of November 1903 through the purchase by Brazil of the rubber-producing territory south to about the 11th parallel, estimated at more than 60,000 sq. m.

ACRE, 'Akka, or Sr JEAN D’Acrus, the chief town of a governmental district of Palestine which includes Haifa, Nazareth and Tiberias. It stands on a low promontory at the northern extremity of the Bay of Acre, 80 m. N.N.W.' from Jerusalem, and 25 m. S. of Tyre. The population is about 11,000; 8000 being Moslems, the remainder Christians, Jews, &c. It was long regarded as the ;“. Key of Palestine,” on account of its commanding position on the shore of the broad plain that joins the inland plain -of~Esdraelon, and so affords the easiest entrance to the interior of vthe country. But trade is now passing over to Haifa, at the south side of the hay, as its harbour offers a safer roadstead, and is a regular calling-place for steamers. Business, rapidly declining, is still carried on in wheat, maize, oil, sesame, &c., in the‘town market. There are few buildings of interest, owing, to the frequent destructions the town has undergone. The wall, which is now ruinous and has but one gate, dates from the crusaders: the mosque was built by Jezzar Pasha (d. 1804) from materials taken from Caesarea Palaestina: his tomb is within. Acre is the seat of the head of the. Babist religion.

Mary—Few towns have had a more chequered or calamitous history. Of great antiquity, it is probably to be identified with the ’Adk of the tribute'lists of Tethmosis (Thothmes) III. (a. 1500 3.0.), and it is certainly the Akka of the Tell el-Amarna correspondence. To the Hebrews it was known as Acco (Revised Version spelling), but it is mentioned only once in the Old Testament, namely Judges i. 31, as one of the places from which the Israelites did not drive out the Canaanite inhabitants. Theoretically it was in the territory of the tribe of Asher, and Josephus assigns it by name to the district of one of Solomon’s provincial governors. Throughout the. period of Hebrew domina‘ tion,.,however, its political connexions were always with Syria


rather-than. with Palestine proper: thus, about 725 8.0. it joined Sidon and Tyre in a revolt against Shalmaneser IV. It had a stormy experience during the three centuries preceding the Christian era. The Greek historians name it Ake (Josephus calls it also Akre); but the name was changed to Ptolemais, probably by Ptolemy Soter, after the partition of the kingdom of Alexander. Strabo refers to the city as once a rendezvous for the Persians in their expeditions against Egypt. About 165 B.C. Simon Maccabaeus defeated the Syrians in many battles in Galilee, and drove them into Ptolemais. About 153 B.C. Alexander Balas, son of Antiochus Epiphanes, contesting the Syrian crown with Demetrius, seized the city, which opened its gates to him. Demetrius offered many bribes to the Maccabees to obtain Jewish support against his rival, including the revenues of Ptolemais for the benefit of the Temple, but in vain. Jonathan threw in his lot with Alexander, and in 150 B.C. he was received by him with great honour in Ptolemais. Some years later, however, Tryphon, an officer of the Syrians, who had grown suspicious of the Maccabees, enticed Jonathan into Ptolemais and there treacherously took him prisoner. The city was also assaulted and captured by Alexander Jannaeus, by Cleopatra and by Tigranes. Here Herod built a gymnasium, and here the Jews met Petronius, sent to set up statues of the emperor in the Temple, and persuaded him to turn back. St Paul spent a day in Ptolemais. The Arabs captured the city in AD. 638, and lost it to the crusaders in 1110. The latter made the town their chief port in Palestine. It was re-taken by Saladin in 1187, besieged by Guy de Lusignan in 1189 (see below), and again captured by Richard Coeur de Lion in 1191. In 1229 it was placed under the control of the knights of St John (whence one of its alternative names), but finally lost by the Franks in 1291. The Turks under Sultan Selim I. captured the city in 1 51 7, after which it fell into almost total decay. Maundrell in 1697 found it a complete ruin, save for a khan occupied by some French merchants, a mosque and a few poor cottages. Towards the end of the 18th century it seems to have revived under the comparatively beneficent rule of Dhahar el-Amir, the local sheikh: his successor, Jezzar Pasha, governor of Damascus, improved and fortified it, but by heavy imposts secured for him~ self all the benefits derived from his improvements. About 1780 Jezzar peremptorin banished the French trading colony, in spite of protests from the French government, and refused to receive a consul. In 1799 Napoleon, in pursuance of his scheme for raising a Syrian rebellion against Turkish domination, appeared before Acre, but after a siege of two months (March—May) was repulsed by the Turks, aided by Sir W. Sidney Smith and a force of British sailors. Jezzar was succeeded on his death by his son Suleiman, under whose milder rule the town advanced in prosperity till 1831, when Ibrahim Pasha'besieged and reduced the town and destroyed its buildings. On the 4th of Novemln r 1840 it was bombarded by the allied British, Austrian and French squadrons, and in the following year restored to Turkish rule. Battle of Acre—The battle of 1189, fought on the ground to the east of Acre, affords a good example of battles of the Crusades. The crusading army under Guy of Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, which was besieging Acre, gave battle on the 4th of October 1189 to the relieving army which Saladin had collected. The Christian army consisted of the feudatories of the kingdom of Jerusalem, numerous small contingents of European crusaders and the military orders, and contingents from Egypt, Turkesian. Syria and Mesopotamia fought under Saladin. The Saractns lay in a semicircle east of the town facing inwards towards Acre. The Christians opposed them with crossbowmen in first line and the heavy cavalry in second. At Arsuf the Christians fought coherently; here the battle began with a disjointed combat between the Templars and Saladin’s right wing. The crusaders were so far successful that the enemy had to send up reinforcements from other parts of the field. Thus the steady advance of the Christian centre against Saladin’s own corps, in which the crossbows prepared the way for the charge of the men-at-arms, met with no great resistance. But the victors scattered to plunder, Saladin rallied his men, and, when the Christians began to retire with their booty, let loose his light horse upon them. No connected resistance was offered, and the Turks slaughtered the fugitives until checked by the fresh troops of the Christian right wing. Into this fight Guy’s reserve, charged with holding back the Saracens in Acre, was also drawn, and, thus freed, 5000 men sallied out from the town to the northward; uniting with the Saracen right wing, they fell upon the Templars, who suffered severely in their retreat. In the end the crusaders repulsed the relieving army, but only at the cost of 7000 men. (R. A. S. M.)

ACRE, a land measure used by English-speaking races. Derived from the Old Eng. acer and cognate with the Lat. agar, Gr. (typos, Sans. ajras, it has retained its original meaning “ open country,” in such phrases as “ God’s acre,” or a churchyard, “ broad acres,” &c. As a measure of land, it was first defined as the amount a yoke of oxen 'could plough in a day; statutory values were enacted in England by acts of Edward 1., Edward 111., Henry VIII. and George IV., and the Weights and Measures Act 1878 now defines it as containing 4840 sq. yds. In addition to this “ statute ” or “ imperial acre,” other “acres” are still, though rarely, used in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and certain English counties. The Scottish acre contains 61504 sq. yds.; the Irish acre 7840 sq. yds.; in Wales, the land measures erw (4320 sq. yds.), slang (3240 sq. yds.) and paladr are called “ acres ”; the Leicestershire acre (2308% sq. yds.), Westmorcland acre (6760 sq. yds.) and Cheshire acre (10,240 sq. yds.) are examples of local values.

ACRIDINE, ClgHgN, in chemistry, a heterocyclic 'ring compound found in crude coal-tar anthracene. It may be separated by shaking out with dilute sulphuric acid, and then precipitating the sulphuric acid. solution with potassium bichromate, the resulting acridine bichromate being decompOsed‘by ammonia. It was first isolated in 1890 by C. Graebe and H. Caro (Amt, 1871, r58, p. 265). Many synthetic processes are known for the production of acridine and its derivatives. A. Bernthsen (ATHL, 1884, 224, p. 1) condensed diphenylamine with fatty acids, in the presence of zinc chloride. Formic acid yields acridine, and the higher homologues give derivatives substituted at the mesa carbon atom,

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Acridine may also be obtained by passing the vapour of phenylortho-toluidine through a red-hot tube (C. Graebe, Ben, 1884, 17, p. 1370); by condensing diphenylamine with chloroform, in presence of aluminium chloride (0. Fischer, Bern, 1884, 17, p. 102); by passing the vapours of orthoaminodiphenylmethane over heated litharge (O. Fischer); by heating salicylic aldehyde with aniline and zinc chloride to 260° C. (R. Mohlau, Ben, 1886, 19, p. 2452); and by distilling acridone over zinc dust (C. Graebe, Ben, 1892, 25, p. 1735).

Acridine and its homologues are very stable compounds of feeny basic character. They combine readily with the alkyl iodides to form alkyl acridinium iodides, which are readily transformed by the action of alkaline potassium ferricyanide to N-alkyl acridones. Acridine crystallizes in needles which melt at 110° C. It is characterized by its irritating action on the skin, and by the blue fluorescence shown by solutions of its salts. On oxidation with potassium permanganate it yields acridinic acid (quinoline —a-B-dicarboxylic acid) C9H5N(COOH)2. Numerous derivatives of acridine are known and may be prepared by methods analogous to those used for the formation of the parent base. For the preparation of the naphthacridines, see F. Ullmann, German Patents 117472,118439, 127586, 128754, and also Ben, 1902, 35, pp. 316, 2670. Phenyl-acridine is the parent base of chrysaniline, which is the chief constituent of the dyestufl" phosphine (a bye-product in the manufacture of rosaniline). Chrysaniline (diamino-phenylacridine) forms red-coloured salts,


which dye silk and wool a fine yellow; and the solutions of the salts are characterized by their fine yellowish-green fluorescence. It was synthesized by O. Fischer and G. Koerner (Bern, 1884, 17, p. 203) by condensing ortho-nitrobenzaldehyde with aniline, the resulting ortho-nitro-para-diamino-triphenylmethane being reduced to the corresponding orthoamino compound, which on oxidation yields chrysaniline. Benzoflavin, an isomer of chrysaniline, is also a dye-stuff, and has been prepared by K. Oehler (English Patent9614)from meta-phenylenediamine and benzaldehyde. These substances condense to form tetra-aminotriphenylmethane, which, on heating with acids, loses ammonia and yields diaminodihydrophenylacridine, from which benzoflavin is obtained by oxidation. It is a yellow powder, soluble in hot water. The formulae of these substances are:—

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ACRO (or ACRON), HELENIUS, Roman grammarian'and commentator, probably flourished at the end of the 2nd century A.D.‘ He wrote commentaries on Terence and perhaps Persius. A collection of scholia on Horace, originally anonymous in the earlier MSS., and on the whole not of great value, was wrongly attributed to him at a. much later date, probably during‘the 15th century. It has been published by Pauly (1861) and. Hauthal (1866), together with the other Horace scholia. '

See Pseudoacronis Scholia in Horatium Vclush'ora, ed. 0. Keller (1902—1904).

ACROBAT (Gr. dxpofiare'iv, to walk on tiptoe), originally a rope-dancer; the word is now used generally to cover professional performers on the trapeze, &c., contortionists, balancers and tumblers. Evidence exists that there were very skilful performers on the tight-rope (funambuli) among the ancient Romans. Modern rope-walkers (e.g. Blondin) or wire-dancers generally use a pole, loaded at the ends, or some such assistance in balancing, and by shifting this are enabled to maintain, or readily to recover, their equilibrium.

ACROGENAE (“ growing at the apex ”), an obsolete botanical term, originally applied to the higher Cryptogams (mosses and ferns), which Were erroneously distinguished from the lower (Algae and Fungi) by apical growth of the stem. The-lower Cryptogams were contrasted as Amphigenae (“ growing all over ”), a misnomer, as apical growth is common among them.

ACROLITHS (Gr. deéM0ot, i.e. ending in stone), statues of a transition period in the history of plastic art, in which the trunk of the figure was of wood, and the head, hands and feet of marble. The wood was concealed either by gilding or, more commonly, by drapery, and the marble parts alone were exposed. Acroliths are frequently mentioned by Pausanias, the best known specimen being the Athene Areia 0f the Plataeans.

ACROMEGALY, the name given to a disease characterized by a true hypertrophy (an overgrowth involving both bony and soft parts) of the terminal parts of the body, especially of the face and extremities (Gr. éxpov, point, and news, large). It is more frequent in the female sex, between the ages of 25 and 40. Its causation is generally associated with disturbances in the pituitary gland, and an extract of this body has been tried in the treatment, as one of the recent developments in organetherapeutics; thyroid extract has also been used, but without marked success, on the apparent analogy of acromegaly with myxoedema.

ACRON, a Greek physician, born at Agrigentum in Sicily, was contemporary with Empedocles, and must therefore have lived in the 5th century before Christ. The successful measure of lighting large fires, and purifying the air with perfumes, to put a stop to the plague in Athens (43o B.C.), is said to have originated with him; but this has been questioned on chronological grounds. Suidas gives the titles of several medical works written by him in the Doric dialect.

ACROPOLIS (Gr. lfxpos, too-1'6)“, city), literally the upper part of a town. For purposes of defence early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides, and these early citadels became in many parts of the world the nuclei of large cities which grew up on the surrounding lower ground. The word Acropolis, though Greek in origin and associated primarily with Greek towns (Athens, Argos, Thebes, Corinth), may be applied generically to all such citadels (Rome, Jerusalem, many in Asia Minor, or even Castle Hill at Edinburgh). The most famous is that of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations and the famous buildings erected upon it, is generally known without qualification as the Acropolis (see ATHENS).

ACROPOLITA (AKRororirEs), GEORGE (1217-1282), Byzantine historian and statesman, was born at Constantinople. At an early age he was sent by his father to the court of John Ducas Batatzes (Vatatzes), emperor of Nicaea, by whom and by his successors (Theodorus II. Lascaris and Michael VIII. Palaeologus) he was entrusted with important state missions. The office of “ great logothete ” or chancellor was bestowed upon him in 1244. As commander in the field in 1257 against Michael Angelus, despot of Epirus, he showed little military capacity. He was captured and kept for two years in prison, from which he was released by Michael Palaeologus. Acropolita’s most important political task was that of effecting a reconciliation between the Greek and Latin Churches, to which he had been formerly opposed. In 1273 he was sent to Pope Gregory X., and in the following year, at the council of Lyons, in the emperor’s name he recognized the spiritual supremacy of Rome. In 1282 he was sent on an embassy to John IL, emperor of Trebizond, and died in the same year soon after his return. His historical work (Xpomm) Zv'y'ypa¢1'7, Annales) embraces the period from the capture of Constantinople by the Latins (1204) to its recovery by Michael Palaeologus (1261), thus forming a continuation of the work of Nicetas Acominatus. It is valuable as written by a contemporary, whose official position as great logothete, military commander and confidential ambassador afforded him frequent opportunities of observing the course of events. Acropolita is considered a trustworthy authority as far as the statement of facts is concerned, and he is easy to understand, although he exhibits special carelessness in the construction of. his sentences. He was also the author of several shorter works, amongst them being a funeral oration on John Batatzes, an epitaph on his wife Eirene and a panegyric of Theodorus II. Lascaris of N icaea. While a prisoner at Epirus he wrote two treatises on the procession of the Holy Ghost (’Emrbpevats, Processia S piritus Sandi).

Editio princeps by Leo Allatius (1651), with the editor’s famous treatise De Georgiis eorumque Scriptis; editions in the Bonn CorPus Scriptorum Hist. Bye... by l. Bekker (1836), and Migne, Patrologio Graeca, cxl.; in the Teubner series by Heisenberg (1903). the second volume of which contains a fu 1 life, With bibliography; see also C. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (I897).

ACROSTIC (Gr. &Kpos, at the end, and a-rixos, line or verse), a short verse composition, so constructed that the initial letters of the lines, taken consecutively, form words. The fancy for writing acrostics is of great antiquity, having been common among the Greeks 0f the Alexandrine period, as well as with the Latin writers since Ennius and Plautus, many of the arguments of whose plays were written with acrostics on their respective titles. One of the most remarkable acrostics was contained in the verses cited by Lactantius and Eusebius in the 4th century, and attributed to the Erythraean sibyl, the initial letters of which form the words ’Ino'oiis Xpwrds 9001') via; awr'r'lp: “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour.” The initials of the shorter form of this again make up the word 1x019; (fish), to which a mystical meaning has been attached (Augustine, De Civitate Dei, 18, 23), thus constituting another kind of acrostic.

The monks of the middle ages, who wrote in Latin, were fond of acrostics, as well as the poets of the Middle High German period, notably Gottfried of Strassburg and Rudolph of Ems.


The great poets of the Italian renaissance, among themBoccaccio, indulged in them, as did also the early Slavic writers. Sir John Davies (r 569—1626) wrote twenty-six elegant H ymn: to Astraea, each an acrostic on “ Elisabetha Regina ”; and Mistress Mary Page, in Fame’s Route, 1637, commemorated 42o celebrities of her time in acrostic verses. The same trick of composition is often to be met with in the writings of more recent versifiers. Sometimes the lines are so combined that the final letters as well as the initials are significant. Edgar Allan Poe worked two names—one of them that of Frances Sargent Osgood—into verses in such a way that the letters of the names corresponded to the first letter of the first line, the second letter of the second, the third letter of the third, and so on.

Acrostic verse has always been held in slight estimation from a. literary standpoint. Dr Samuel Butler says, in his “Character of a Small Poet,” “ He uses to lay the outsides of his verses even, like a bricklayer, by a line of rhyme and acrostic, and fill the middle with rubbish.” Addison (Spectator, No. 60) found it impossible to decide whether the inventor of the anagram or the acrostic were the greater blockhead; and, in describing the latter, says, “ I have seen some of them where the verses have not only been edged by a name at each extremity, but have had the same name running down like a seam through the middle of the poem.” And Dryden, in Mac Ftecknoe, scornfully assigned Shadwell the rule of I

Some peaceful province in acrostic land.

The name acrostic is also applied to alphabetical or “ abecedarian ” verses. Of these we have instances in the Hebrew psalms (Lg. Ps. xxv. and xxxiv.), where successive verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in their order. The structure of Ps. cxix. is still more elaborate, each of the v.erses of each of the twenty-two parts commencing with the letter which stands at the head of the part in our English translation.

At one period much religious verse was written in a form imitative of this alphabetical method, possibly as an aid to the memory. The term acrostic is also applied to the formation of words from the initial letters of other words. ’Ixfli's, referred to above, is an illustration of this. So also is the word “Cabal,” which, though it was in use before, with a similar meaning, has, from the time of Charles 11., been associated with a particular ministry, from the accident of its being composed of Clifi'ord, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington and Lauderdale. Akin to this are the names by which the Jews designated their Rabbis; thus Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (better known as Maimonides) was styled “ Rambam," from the initials R.M.B.M.; Rabbi David Kimchi (R.D.K.), “ Radak,” &c.

Double acrostics are such as are so constructed, that not only initial letters of the lines, but also the middle or last letters, form words. For examplez—r. By Apollo was my first made. 2. A shoemaker’s tool. 3. An Italian patriot. 4. A tropical fruit. The initials and finals, read downwards, give the name of a writer and his nom de plume. Answer: Lamb, Elia.

r. L yr E i
'2. A w L
3. M azzin I
4. B anan A

ACROTERIUM (Gr. (ixpw-rfiprov, the summit or vertex),in architecture, a statue or ornament of any kind placed on the apex of a pediment. The term is often restricted to the plinth, which forms the podium merely for the acroterium. .

ACT (Lat. actus, actum), something done, primarily a volun+ tary deed or performance, though any accomplished fact is often included. The signification of the word varies according to the sense in which it is employed. It is often synonymous with “ statute ” (see ACT or PARLIAMENT). It may also refer to the result of the vote or deliberation of any legislature, the decision of a court of justice or magistrate, in which sense records, decrees, sentences, reports, certificates, &c., are called acts. ‘

In law it means any instrument in writing, for declaring or justifying the truth of a bargain or transaction, as: “ I deliver: this as my act and deed.” The origin of the legal use of the word “ act ” is in the acta of the Roman magistrates or people, of their courts of law, or of the senate, meaning (1) what was done before the magistrates, the people or the senate; (2) the records of such public proceedings.

In connexion with other words “ act ” is employed in many phrases, e.g. act of God, any event, such as the sudden, violent or overwhelming occurrence of natural forces, which cannot be foreseen or provided against. This is a good defence to a suit for non-performance of a contract. Act of honour denotes the acceptance by a third party of a protested bill of exchange for the honour of any party thereto. Act of grace denotes the granting of some special privilege.

In universities, the presenting and publicly maintaining a thesis by a candidate for a degree, to show his proficiency, is an act. “ The Act ” at Oxford, up to 1856 when it was abolished, was the ceremony held early in July for this purpose, and the expressions “ Act Sunday,” “ Act Term ” still survive.

In dramatic literature, act signifies one of those parts into which a play is divided to mark the change of time or place, and to give a respite to the actors and to the audience. In Greek plays there are no separate acts, the unities being strictly observed, and the action being continuous from beginning to end. If the principal actors left the stage the chorus took up the argument, and contributed an integral part of the play, though chiefly in the form of comment upon the action. When necessary, another drama, which is etymologically the same as an act, carried on the history to a later time or in a difierent place, and thus we have the Greek trilogies or groups of three dramas, in which the same characters reappear. The Roman poets first adopted the division into acts, and suspended the stage business in the intervals between them. Their number was usually five, and the rule was at last laid down by Horace in the Ar: Poetica—

Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu
Fabula, quae posci vult, et spectata reponi.
“ If you would have your play deserve success,

Give it five acts complete, nor more nor less." (Francis)

On the revival of letters this rule was almost universally observed by dramatists, and that there is an inherent convenience and fitness in the number.five is evident from the fact that Shakespeare, who refused to be trammelled by merely arbitrary rules, adopts it in all his plays. Some critics have laid down rules as to the part each act should sustain in the development of the plot, but these are not essential, and are by no means universally recognized. In comedy the rule as to the number of acts has not been so strictly adhered to as in tragedy, a division into two acts or three acts being quite usual since the time of Moliére, who first introduced it. It may be well to mention here Milton’s Samson A gonisles as a specimen in English literature of a dramatic work founded on a purely Greek model, in which, consequently, there is no division into acts.

For “ acting,” as the art and theory of dramatic representation (or histn'onics, from Lat. histrio, an actor), see the article DRAMA.

ACTA DIURNA (Lat. acla, public acts or records; diumus, daily, from dies), called also Acta Populf, Acta Publica and simply Acta or Diurna, in ancient Rome a sort of daily gazette, containing an officially authorized narrative of noteworthy events at Rome. Its contents were partly ofiicial (court news, decrees of the emperor, senate and magistrates), partly private (notices of births, marriages and deaths). Thus to some extent it filled the place of the modern newspaper (q.v.). The origin of the Acta is attributed to Julius Caesar, who first ordered the keep— ing and publishing of the acts of the people by public officers (59 3.0.; Suetonius, Caesar, 20). The Acta were drawn up from day to day, and exposed in a public place on a whitened board (see ALBUM). After remaining there for a reasonable time they were taken down and preserved with other public documents, so that they might be available for purposes of research. The Acta differed from the Annals (which were discontinued in :33 ac.) in that only the greater and more important matters were given in the latter, while in the former things of less note were recorded. Their publication continued till the transference of the seat of the empire to Constantinople. There are no genuine fragments-extant.


Leclerc, Des journaux chez les Romains (l8 8); Renssen, De Diurm's aliisque Romanorum Actis (I857); Hii ner, De Senatus Populique Ramam' Actis (1860); Gaston Boissier, Tacitus and other Roman Studies (Eng. trans, W. G. Hutchison, 1906), pp. 197-229.

ACTAEON, son of Aristaeus and Autonoé, a famous Theban hero and hunter, trained by the centaur Cheiron. According to the story told by Ovid (M elam. iii. r31; see also Apollod 4), having accidentally seen Artemis (Diana) on Mount Cithaeron while she was bathing, he was changed by her into a stag, and pursued and killed by his fifty hounds. His statue was often set up on rocks and mountains as a protection against excessive heat. The myth itself probably represents the destruction of vegetation during the fifty dog-days. Aeschylus and other tragic poets made use of the story, which was a favourite subject in ancient works of art. There is a well-known small marble group in the British Museum illustrative of the story.

ACTA SENATUS, or COMMENTARII Sana-rus, minutes of the discussions and decisions of the Roman senate. Before the first consulship of Julius Caesar (59 13.0.), minutes of the proceedings of the senate were written and occasionally published, but unoflicially; Caesar, desiring to tear away the veil of mystery which gave an unreal importance to the senate’s deliberations, first ordered them to be recorded and issued authoritatively. The keeping of them was continued by Augustus, but their publication was forbidden (Suetonius, Augustus, 36). A young senator (ab ach's senatus) was chosen to draw up these Acta, which were kept in the imperial archives and public libraries (Tacitus, Ann. v. 4). Special permission from the city praefect was necessary in order to examine them. For authorities see ACTA DIURNA.

ACTINOMETER (Gr. alerts; ray, né'rpov, measure), an instrument for measuring the heating and chemical eflects of light. The name was first given by Sir John Herschel to an apparatus for measuring the heating effect of solar rays (Edin. Journ. Science, 182 5); Herschel’s instrument has since been discarded in favour of the pyrheliometer (Gr. 1rfip, fire, fihios, sun). (See RADIATION.) The word actinometer is now usually applied to instruments for measuring the actinic or chemical effect of luminous rays; their action generally depends upon photochemical changes (see PHOTO-CHEMISTRY). Certain practical forms are described in the article Pnoroomnv.

ACTINOMYCOSIS (STREPTOTRICHOSIS), a chronic infective disease occurring in both cattle and man. In both these groups it presents the same clinical course, being characterized by chronic inflammation with the formation of granulomatous tumours, which tend to undergo suppuration, fibrosis or calcification. It used to be believed that this disease was caused by a single vegetable parasite, the Ray-Fungus, but there is now an overwhelming mass of observations to show that the clinical features may be produced by a number of different species of parasites, for which the generic name Streptothrix has been generally adopted. In 1899 the committee of the Pathological Society of London recommended that the term Streptotrichosis should be used as the appropriate clinical epithet of the large class of Streptothrix infections. 'And since that year the name Actinomycosis has been falling into disuse, and in any case is only used synonymously with Streptotrichosis. For a further account of these parasites see the articles on BACTERIOLOGY and on PARASITIC DISEASES.

Pathological Anatomy—The naked-eye appearance of the diflerent organs afiected by Streptothrix infection varies according to the duration and acuteness of the disease. In some tissues the appearance is that of simple inflammation, whereas in others it may be characteristic. The liver when affected shows scattered foci of suppuration, which may become aggregated into spheroidal masses, surrounded by a zone of inflammation. In the lungs the changes may be any that are produced by the following conditions. (1) An acute bronchitis. (2) A phthisical lung, grey nodules being scattered here and there almost exactly simulating tuberculous nodules. (3) An acute broncho-pneumonia with some interstitial fibrosis and a tendency to abscess formation. The most characterich lesions are in the skin. These appear as nodules, sarcomatous-looking, soft and pulpy. Their colour is mottled, yellow and purplish red. The skin over them is thinned out, and broken down in places to form one or two crateriform ulcers from which a clear sticky fluid exudes. The size varies from that of a- pea to a small orange. The pus is characteristic. varying in consistency though usually viscid, and containing numerous minute specks.

The disease is more common in males than in females, and more prevalent in Germany and Russia than in England. The infection is probably spread by grain (corn or barley), on which the fungus may often be found. In a great number of recorded cases the patient has been following agricultural pursuits. The disease can only be transmitted from one individual to another with considerable difficulty, and no case of direct transmission from animal to man has yet been noted.

Clinical H istory.——The course of actinomycosis is usually a chronic one, but occasionally the fungus gets into the blood, when the course is that of an acute infective disease or even pyaemia. The symptoms are entirely dependent on the organ attacked, and are in no way specially characteristic. During life a diagnosis of phthisis is continually made, and only a mimoscopic examination after death renders the true nature of the disease apparent. The nature of the skin lesion is the most evident, and here the parasite can be detected early in the illness. The only drug which appears to have any beneficial influence on the course of the disease is potassium iodide, and this has occasionally been used with great benefit. Surgical interference is usually needed, either excision of the part affected, or, where possible, a thorough scraping of the lesion and free application of antiseptics.

-ACTINOZOA, a term in systematic zoology, first used by H. M. D. de Blainville about 1834, to designate animals the organs of which were disposed radially about a centre. De Blainville included in his group many unicellular forms such as Noctiluca (see PROTOZOA), sea-anemones, corals, jelly-fish and hydroid polyps, echinoderms, polyzoa and rotifcra. T. H. Huxley afterwards restricted the term. He showed that in de Blainville’s group there were associated with a number of heterogeneous forms a group of animals characterized by being composed of two layers of cells comparable with the first two layers in the development of vertebrate animals. Such forms he distinguished as Coelentera, and showed that they had no special affinity with echinoderms, polyzoa, &c. He divided the Coclentera into a group Hydrozoa, in which the sexually produced embryos were usually set free from the surface of the body, and a group Actinozoa, in which the embryos are detached from the interior of the body and escape generally by the oral aperture. Huxley’s Actinozoa comprised the sea-anemones, corals and sea-pens, on the one hand, and the Ctenophora on the other. Later investigations, whilst confirming the general validity of Huxley’s conclusions, have slightly altered the limits and definitions of his groups. (See ANTHOZOA, COELENTERA, CTENOPHORA and Hrnnozoa.) (P. C. M.)

ACTION, in law, a term used by jurists in three different

senses: (I) a right to institute proceedings in a court of justice to obtain redress for a wrong (actio nihil aliud est quam ju: prerequendi in judicio quad alicui dcbetur, Bracton, de Logibus A ngliae, bk. iii. ch. i., f. 98 b); (2) the proceeding itself (action n’est outer chose que loyall demands de son droil, Co. Litt. 285 (a)); (3) the particular form of the proceeding. The term is derived from the Roman law (actio), in which it is used in all three senses. In the history of Roman law, actions passed through three stages. The first period (terminated about r70 B.C. by the Lox Aebutia) is known as the system of legis actiones, and was based on the precepts of the XII. tables and used before the proctor urbanus. These actiones were five in number—sacramcnti, per judicir postulationem, per condictioncm, per menus injectionem, per pignoris captionem. The first was the primitive and characteristic action of the Roman law, and the others were little more than modes of applying it to cases not contemplated in the original form, or of carrying the result of it into execution when the action had been decided. The logic actions: were superseded by the formulae,


originated by the Proctor peregrinus for the determination of controversies between foreigners, but found more flexible than the earlier system and made available for citizens by the Lee Acbutia. Under both these systems the Proctor referred the matter in dispute to an arbiter (judex), but in the later he settled the formula (i.e. the issues to be referred and the appropriate form of relief) before making the order of reference. In the third stage, the formulary stage fell into disuse, and after AD. 342 the magistrate himself or his deputy decided the controversy after the defending party had been duly summoned by a libollus

The classifications of actioncs in Roman law were very numerous. The division which is still most universally recognized is that of actions in rem and actions in personam (Sohm, Roman Law, tr. by Ledlie, 2nd ed. 277). An action in rem asserts a right to a particular thing against all the world. An action in personam asserts a right only against a particular person. Perhaps the best modern example of the distinction is that made in maritime cases between an action against a ship after a collision at sea, and an action against the owners of the ship.

In English law the term “ action ” at a very early date became associated with civil proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas, which were distinguished from pleas of the crown, such as indictments or informations and for suits in the Court of Chancery or in the Admiralty or ecclesiastical courts. The English action was a proceeding commenced by writ original at the common law. The remedy was of right and not of grace. The history of actions is the history of civil procedure in the courts of common law. As a result of the reform of civil procedure by the Judicature Acts the term “ action ” in English law now means at the High Court of Justice “ a civil proceeding commenced by writ of summons or in such other manner as may be prescribed by rules of court " (e. g. by originating summons). The proceeding thus commenced ends by judgment and execution. This definition includes proceedings under the Chancery, Admiralty and Probate jurisdiction of the High Court, but excludes proceedings commenced by petition, such as divorce suits and bankruptcy and winding-up matters, as well as criminal proceedings in the High Court or applications for the issue of the writs of mandamus, prohibition, habcas corpus or certiorari. The Judicature Acts and Rules have had the effect of abolishing all the forms of “ action ” used at the common law and of creating one common form of legal proceeding for all ordinary controversies between subjects in whatever division of the High Court. The stages in an English action are the writ, by which the persons against whom relief is claimed are summoned before the court; the pleadings and interlocutory steps, by which the issues between the parties are adjusted; the trial, at which the issues of fact and law involved are brought before the tribunal; the judgment, by which the relief sought is granted or refused; and execution, by which the law gives to the successful party the fruits of the judgment.

The procedure varies according as the action is in the High Court, a county court or one of the other local courts of record which still survive; but there is no substantial difference in the incidents of trial, judgment and execution in any of these courts. The initial dilierence between actions in the High Court and the county court is that the latter are commenced by plaint lodged in the court, on which a summons is prepared by the court and served by its bailiff, whereas in the High Court 'the party pre~ pares the writ and lodges it in court for sealing, and when it is sealed, himself effects the service.

An action is said to “ lie ” when the law provides a remedy for some particular act or omission by a subject which infringes the legal rights of another subject. An act of such a character is said to give a “ cause of action.” In the action the person who alleges himself aggrieved claims a judgment of the court‘ in his favour giving an adequate and appropriate remedy for the injury or damage which he has sustained by the infraction of his rights. As to the time within which an action must be brought, see LIMITATION, STATUTES or. When the rights of a subject are in~ fringed by the illegal action of the state, an action lies in England against the officers who have done the wrong, unless the claim be one arising out of breach of a contract with the state, or out

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