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pituitary body is generally found associated with it; and no very effective treatment has been discovered. It is often associated with some nerve lesion—e.g. atrophy of the optic nerve—but the intellect is generally unimpaired. It is probable that the giants of the olden time were cases of acromegaly.
Acrornlon, the distal end (i.e. the end farthest removed from the point of attachment) of the spine of the scapula or shoulderblade. It receives the extreme part of the clavicle or collar-bone, and gives attachment to the deltoid and trapezoid muscles. In man it is an enlarged process, called the acromial process, which forms the summit of the shoulder.
Acrophony, a term applied to a stage in the development of alphabetical writing—viz. to the use of a picture of an object, or of a symbolical picture of an object, to represent the first syllable of the name of that object, and (later) to represent the first sound of that syllable. See Isaac Taylor's The Alphabet.
Acropolis, THE (Gr. akros, 'lofty;1 polls, 'a city'), was the name given by the Greeks to the fortified eminences round which so manv of their towns were built. The acropolis served also as a sacred enclosure, in which were placed the principal temples and works of art. Among the most famous are the Acropolis of Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, Corinth, Thebes, Pergamum, and in particular Athens, the last being generally referred to as 'the Acropolis' without Qualification. The Acropolis of Athens (called also Cecropia, from its reputed Pclasgian founder, King Cecrops) is a rocky eminence, precipitous on all sides except the west, rising about 150 ft. from the Attic plain, and enclosing on its summit a plateau of an irregular oval shape, measuring from east to west 1,150 ft., and from north to south 500 ft. Prior to the 5th century B.c. an ancient Pelasgian wall surrounded the plateau; but this had fallen into ruin, except on the north side, and was replaced along the south escarpment by the wall of Cimon. Round the base of the hill, especially on the south, were grouped numerous temples and theatres, the chief of these being the Temple of SEsculapius, the Theatre of Dionysius and the Odeon of Herod Atticus. The whole area of the summit was occupied by a series of edifices, the most famous and the most important artistically in the world's history. These were the outcome of the creative spirit of Athens when at the height of her fame. Pericles gave the impetus; Phidias, with a band of architects—Mnesides, Ictinus, Voi~ 1.—1
L'Acropole (1877); Botticher's Die A kropolis von A then (1888).
Acrostic, a verse or verses in which the initial letters of the lines, when read in order, spell a name, word or phrase. The acrostic is of ancient origin, known specimens dating back to the 4th century. Some sacred Greek verses, quoted by Eusebius, bishop of Ccesarca, in the 4th century, are written so that the initial letters spell the phrase •Tcsus Christ, the Son of God. the Saviour.' The first letters of the five Greek words of this phrase spell the word ichthus, *a fish'; hence the use of the fish as a symbol for the Saviour. The Hebrew form of acrostic, as seen in several of the psalms, is alphabetical. In the 119th Psalm, each of the eifjht verses of the first division begins with aleph; each of the eight verses of the second division begins with the second letter, belh; and so on. through the twenty-two letters of the Hlbrew alphabet. The best known English acrostics are an ingenious collection by Sir John D;*vies, called A strata, written to Queen Elizabeth, the initial letters of each forming the words 'Elizabetha Regina/ Addison has a paper (Spectator, No. 60) on 'Wit of the Monkish Ages, in Modern Times,' in which he includes the acrostic among 'several kinds of lalse wit.'
Acroterla. or Acroters, small
and Terence had five acts. Shakespeare never departed from that number; but modern plays have three, four, or five. The conclusion of an act is marked by the fall of the curtain, and by a pause of a few minutes called the entr'acte.
Act of Confess. See Congress.
Act of God. In English and American law an accident is said to be due to the act of God when, without human intervention, it arises from natural causes of such a kind or degree that no experience or care which can reasonably be expected could have foreseen or guarded against them, such as storms, tempests and lightning, an extraordinarily high tide, or severe frost, or an exceptional fall of snow or rain. In the absence of a special contract, no person is held liable for damage caused by the act of God. See Nugent v. Smith, L.R. 1 C.P.D. 423;Broom's Legal Maxims; Pollock, On Contracts.
Act of Parliament. See ParLiament.
Act of Settlement, Tee (known also as the Succession Act). The act of the British parliament, passed in 1701, settling the crown in the present royal family. Though this was its
rincipal object it was converted
y a hostile parliament into an expression of nostility to the domestic and foreign policy of the
Act of Settlement
reigning sovereign, William III. The act was entitled, an 'Act for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better Securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject.' The succession to the crown was an urgent question, owing to William and Mary having had no issue, and owing to the death (July, 1700) of the Duke of Gloucester, the Princess (later Queen) Anne's sole surviving child. It cut away the hereditary claim of the elder branch of the house of Stuart and vested the succession in the house of Hanover, by providing that, on the death of Anne, and in the jibscncc of issue, the crown
Councillor or a member of cither house, or hold commission or office from the crown, or receive a grant of lands from the crown (a clause due to resentment of William Hi.'s Dutch favoritism); that no holder of office or pension under the crown should sit in the House of Commons (a clause designed to prevent the house from being packed with royal nominee's and supporters); that judges should hold their commissions during good conduct — should have lixed salaries, and should be removed only on petition 01 both houses; that no pardon under the Great Seal—i.e. from the crown
Other Acts of Toleration are 53 Geo. III. c. 160, removing civil disabilities of Unitarians; 9 Geo. IV. c. 17, repealing provisions of the Test Act and Corporation Act: 10 Geo. IV. c. 7, the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act.
Act of Uniformity. Sec UniFormity.
Act of Union. Sec Scotland, II istory.
Acta (Lat. 'transactions') was a title given to various records memorials, or minutes published in Roman times. They may be treated under the following heads: —(1.) Ada populi, or of fa diurna, an official journal of important
should go to the Elertress Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of Tames I., and her descendants, "being Protestants.' The act further provided (1) that the sovereign must be in communion with the Church of England: that no war should be waged without consent of Parliament for the foreign dominions of the sovereign, if "a foreigner; that the sovereign should not go abroad without consent of Parliament; that the full Privy Council (not a mere committee or clique) should be recognized, consulted, and have weight, and members agreeing to the decisions should sign such resolutions (an artificial attempt, to secure responsibility of ministers); that no foreigner should become a Privy
and executive—should be pleaded as a bar to an impeachment by the Commons. Eighteenth century politicians, especially Whig, saw in the Act of Settlement p.irt of the 'Bible of the Constitution.' Most of its restrictive provisions have, however, been repealed by later enactments. Sec Cabinet, Crown.
Act of Toleration. A title given specially to Act 1 Wm. and M.,c. IS (1GS9), confirmed by 10 An., c. 2, relaxing the stringency of the Act of Uniformity, the Five Mile Act, and the Conventicle Act. It pave religious freedom to all dissenters from the Church of England, except to Roman Catholics and Unitarians. The same freedom was extended to Scotland.
events, both public and private, which was published daily in ancient Rome after 59 B.C. The original acta were deposited in the state archives after a certain time. They contained imperial and magisterial notices and decrees, resolutions and discussions of the senate, possibly the results of chariot-races, advertisements of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. No genuine acta are extant, though fifteen spurious fragments have been published by Pighius (1615). (2.) Acta senalus, the minutes of the transactions in the senate—the title acta is an abbreviation of commentarii ac~ torum—first published by Julius Caisar as consul in 59 B.C. They were kept in the imperial archives, Acta Pllatl
being accessible only to senators; or in separate parts of public libraries, being then accessible only by special permission of the city prefect. (3.) Acta fralrum .FA'alium, minutes of the .-Eval brotherhood, a priestly college in ancient Rome. Important fragments covering the period from 14-241 A.D. have been found, and edited by Henzen (1874).
Acta Pllatl, or Gesta Pilati ('Acts of Pilate'), the name of an apocryphal work giving, by way of an official report purporting to have been drawn up under Pilate's orders, an account of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. It is, of course, by no means improbable that Pilate furnished the Emperor Tiberius with some record of his dealings with Jesus; but as it is extremely unlikely that such ever became public p'roperty, the references made by Justin and Tertullian probably refer to some spurious composition designed to fill up the blank. Euscbius (Hist. Eccl. IX. y.) speaks of heathen Ada Pilali circulated in the Galerian persecution for the purpose of bringing the Christian passion story into disrepute, but seems to know nothing of a Christian writing under that title. The extant Acts of Pilate is written from a Christian standpoint; and although it was known in some form to Epiphanius towards the close of the 4th century, it has no claim to authenticity, but is probably connected in its origin both with the heathen acts (by way of confutation) and with the earlier narrative alluded to by Justin. It now forms ch. 1-16 of the Gospel of Nicodemus. The apocryphal Ads and Epistles of Pilate are collected in Tischendorf's Evaneelia A pocrypha (1853), translated in Cowper s Apocryphal Gospels (4th cdT, 1874), and in AnteNicene Fathers (Am. ed. vol. viii., 1886, p. 416 ff.) See Pilate.
Acta Sanctorum (Lat. 'The Acts of the Saints'), also Acta Martyrum ('Acts of the Martyrs') is the title given to a vast collection of legends and histories of all the saints in both the ancient martyrolcgies of the Eastern and Western Churches and in the calendar of the modern Church of Rome. It was begun in 1643, and the work is still going on. The idea of making this exhaustive collection originated with a learned Jesuit, Heribert Rosweyd, of Bois le Due, about the end of the 16th century. At his death it was taken up by John van Holland (1596-1665), and under his guidance a society of Jesuits, called Bollandists after their leader, was formed to carry on the work. Sixty-five volumes, most of which contain more than a thousand closely printed pages in double columns, have appeared, with an
index (1892V The calendar from January to October has been overtaken, twelve volumes being required for October alone. Acteea. See Banf.bkrry. Actaeon, in classic mythology a famous hunter, whom the goddess Artemis changed into a stag, because he saw ner bathing; in this form his dogs tore him to pieces. Sec Ovid's Metamorphoses, bk. iii.
Actc Addltionnrl. L'AcIc addilionncl aux Constitutions de f Empire was issued by Napoleon on April 23, 1815, during the "Hundred Days,' as a concession to Liberal politicians. It contained provisions for individual liberty and freedom of the press, and was an advance upon 'The Charter' of Louis XVIII., June, 1814, based on English models.
Actian Games, The, were instituted by Octavius in commemoration of his great naval victory over Antony and Cleopatra (b.c. 31) at Actium. They included musical contests, wrestling, horseracing, and, in memory of the battle, sea-fights. They were held every fifth year.
Acting and Actors. The art of representing a living person upon a mimic stage is of comparatively recent development. Owing to the character of the Greek and Roman theatres, vast amphitheatres open to the sky and seating multitudes of people, the actor of antiquity must have devoted himself largely to pantomime, for he could not be heard. In the middle ages the miracle plays given under the patronage of the church were, so far as acting goes, but a step above the buffoonery of the shows given in country fairs. As the drama found expression in such works as those of Buonaroti and Metastasio in Italy, of Corneille and Moliere in France, and of Marlowe, Peele and other predecessors of Shakespeare in England, the actor became of more importance, and, as in the case of both Moliere and Shakespeare, he often wrote the plays as well as appeared in them.
Until within the last hundred years the social status of the actor was low. In the middle ages he was a strolling vagabond, wandering from fair to fair, a business so degraded that even in Shakespeare's time women were not allowed to act in public. The English law classed the actor with vagabonds and suspicious persons. In Germany and France actors were usually the servants of the nobility; Moliere's players were officially designated as the king's servants. In 'Wilhelm Meister' Goethe depicts the actor as on a par with the hairdresser and valet in noble houses. All public performers, whether ac
Actlng and Actors
tors, singers, or musicians, remained until the middle of the last century more or less under a social stigma. As late as 1860 a silk cord stretched across the drawing-room was used in great English houses to divide the paid performers from the invited guests, and such performers were expected to enter by the rear entrance of the house. Liszt, the famous pianist, once created a sensation by refusing to enter an English house except with the other guests.
The last change for the better that has taken place in modern times in the position of the actor comes largely from the recognition of acting as an art, from the enormous increase in the number of theatres, and from the present importance of the theatre as a business enterprise. The salaries now paid to leading actors are twenty times what they received a century ago. Where London had six theatres in 1800, there are now nearly seventy. New York had three theatres of good repute in 1820; to-day there are fifty-two houses excluding those of lower grades. The number of actors in the United States has risen from a few hundreds in 1800 to about 20,000, employed in about 400 different theatrical companies.
It is often said that acting cannot be taught, and that it is a matter of temperament rather than intelligence. Nevertheless, the French government has maintained for many years a school of acting from which the Comedie Franchise, the world's most noted stage, draws its material, and most of the best men and women of the French stage have passed through this Paris conservatoire. In England dramatic schools have not prospered, but in this country an Academy of Dramatic Arts, founded in New York in 1884 by Franklin H. Sargent, has graduated more than a thousand pupils, who have found places upon the stage. The real training is still obtained in actual work behind the footlights, as it always has been, but there is doubtless much pertaining to deportment, speech, costume, make-up, etc., that can be learned in schools and with great saving of time.
Whether good acting is an affair of the head or of the heart, of inspiration or cold calculation, seems to depend largely upon the actor. Coquelin, the noted French comedian, contends that the actor who forgets himself in the part is lost; he should watch and calculate every detail of his acting, pulling the wires and nothing more. Salvini and Mme. Bernhardt take the opposite view, and like to lose themselves in their parts, to shed real tears and, so