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England, moreover, there is now scarcely a country town, sea-side watering-place, cricket, rowing, or football club of importance, and probably not a single university or school, which does not hold its annual gathering for athletic parposes. Across the border the professional still far eclipses the amateur element, and there is no meeting of amatcuis which can by any means bo compared with the autumn Highland gatherings at Braemar and elsewhere. Until recently the two classes contended indiscriminately together, and the prowess displayed by such amateurs as the late Professor Wilson affords ample testimony that gentlemen were quite capable of holding their own against professionals. The number of annual amateur gatherings held in Scotland is, however, extremely limited, and scarcely extends beyond the universities and chief schools connected with Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. In Ireland the origin of the pastime is again attributable to the leading university, viz., Trinity College, Dublin, where the decision of isolated events, from about the year 1845, has given rise to the meetings now annually held in the picturesque College Park at Dublin. The Irish civil service meeting was inaugurated in 18C7, since which time the pastime has made marvellous strides in the island, as is testified by important meetings now held annually in Belfast, Cork, and Galway; whilst the recently formed Irish Champion Athletic Club takes the lead, and stands in the same relation to Ireland as the London Athletic Gab does to the whole of Great Britain. Athletic sports are also now extending on the Continent, at many great watering-places where Englishmen are in the habit of congregating. Our great colonies of India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, too, as well as the United States of America, Buenos Ayres, China, and even Japan, are not without their annual gatherings for competitors of the Anglo-Saxon race. The contests now classified under the aame *• athletic sports" are, walking, running, leaping, throwing the hammer, and putting the weight. Leaping uid running are respectively identical with the aAfta and IpifUK of the ancient pentathlon; whereas throwing the hammer and putting the weight bear some resemblance to throwing the ouriros. Spear-hurling, AxoVnov, is never practised but by a few gymnastic societies; and wrestling, raki), between amateurs is rarely witnessed. Running and leaping, however, are nearly always combined on every occasion in two descriptions of contests, viz., steeplechasing and hurdle-racing. Race-walking finds most votaries in London, the northern counties of England, and in Ireland, »U distances, from 1 mile to 7, being in rogue amongst amateurs. Running comprises all distances from 100 yards up to 4 miles. Leaping may be divided into three principal heads, viz., running high-leaping, running wide-leaping, and running pole-leaping, which are found to be included in nearly every athletic programme. Adjuncts to these are the running hop-etep-and-jump, standing high-leaping, and itanding wide-leaping, all of which are favourite pastimes in the northern and midland counties of England. Vaulting, too, is sometimes practised, but belongs rather to the gymnasium than outdoor athletic arena. Steeplechasing proper can only be practised over natural courses across country. Its home is to be found at Rugby School, and unongst members of hare-and-hounds' clubs, who keep themselves in exercise thereby during the winter months. Artificial steeplechase courses are often made on athletic grounds; but the leaps are generally far too sensational, and constructed rather to afford merriment to the spectators than a fair test of the competitors' leaping powers. A prettier sight than a well-contested hurdle race can scarcely be imagined; but few first class hurdle racers are met with outside the universities and public schools. Scotland is undoubtedly the birthploco both of hammer throw

ing and putting the weight, yet (key are now practised at nearly every English arfd Irish meeting. 16 Hi is the usual weight of the missile except in Ireland, where a 42-Ib, and sometimes a 561b weight are put, though in a very unsatisfactory fashion. Athletic sports may be practised in a well-rolled gross field, but the best arena is an enclosure, with a regularly laid down running track, the foundation made of clinkers and rubble, and the surface of well-rolled fine cinder ashes. (h. F. W.)

ATHLON E, a market-town and parliamentary borough of Ireland, lying partly in West Meath and partly in Roscommon, 76 miles W. of Dublin. The River Shannon divides the town into two portions, which are connected by a handsome new bridge, opened in 18-44. The rapids of the Shannon at this point are obviated by means of a canal about a mile long, which renders the navigation of the river practicable for 71 miles above the town. In the war of 1C88 the possession of Athlone was considered of the greatest importance, and it consequently sustained two sieges, the first by William III. in person, which failed, and tho second by General Ginkell, who, in the faco of the Irish, forded the river and took possession of tho town, with the loss of only fifty men. At the time of the last war with France it was strongly fortified on the Roscommon side, the works covering 15 acres and containing two magazines, an ordnance store, an armoury with 15,000 stand of arms, and barracks for 1500 mea Thoro are two parish churches, two Roman Catholic parochial chapels, a Franciscan and Augustinian chapel, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist meeting-houses, a court-house, bridewell, a union work-house, and two branch banks. It has a woollen factory, as well as other industries, and an active trade is carried on with Shannon harbour and Limerick by steamers, and with Dublin by the Grand and Royal Canals and several railway lines, while the importance of its fairs and market* is increasing. There is also a valuable fishery in the river. Market-days, Tuesday and Saturday. The borough returns one member to parliament. Population in 1871, 6566; constituency in 1873, 336.—Thorn's Jrith Almanac for 1875.

ATHOR, Athvb, Hathor, the name of the Egyptian divinity corresponding to Aphrodite or Venus. Her name meant " the abode of Hor or Honis, and she was tho mother of that deity in some of his types, and as such a form of Iain, of whom she was a higher or celestial manifestation. Her name occurs as early as the 4th dynasty, when she is styled the mistress of the tree, or sycamore, neha, or the tree of tho south. Besides the local titles of the different cities over which she presided, she was entitled regent of the gods, living mistress of the upper and lower world, mistress of the heaven and regent of the West, and pupil or eye of Ra, or the Sun, with whom she was connected. In her celestial character she is represented as an Egyptian female holding a sceptre, her head surmounted by the sun's disk, horns, and uncus, and her flesh coloured blue, the colour of the heaven, or yellow, that of gold and beauty (according to Egyptian notions), a term also applied to Aphrodite in Greek mythology. In her terrestrial character she was the goddess who presided over sports and dancing, music and pleasure, like the Greek Aphrodite, the goddess of love; but her particularly special type was the white or spotted cow, the supposed mother of the sun. The solar deities Shu and Tefnut were her children. Ii1 certain legends she is mentioned as tho seven cows of Athor, which appear in the Ritual or Book of tho Dead. These cows, like the Moira, or fates of Greek mythology, appeared at the births of legendary persons, and predicted the course and events of their lives. It is in this capacity that Athor is connected with Ptah, or the Egyptian Hephaestus, and is allied to Sekhet or Bast, called tho wife or mistress of Ptah, the seven cows being the mystical companions of the Apid, the second life or incarnation of the god of Memphis. She was also represented under the attributes and with the titles of the goddess Nut, or the Egyptian Rhea. The cow of Athor wore on its head the solar disk, and hawk feather plumes, like Amen Ra; and in this character as the great cow she has on some monuments her human head replaced by that of a cow wearing a disk, or the disk and plumes. This emblem also appears in her type at a later period, when her head is represented with long tresses curled into a spiral at the end, and she has the ears of a cow instead of human ears. Her head is then surmounted by a doorway or its cornice, emblem of the abode of the sun, which she represented. This is sometimes surmounted by the disk and horns. The handle of the sistrum, a musical instrument with bars, was generally made in shape of this head and cornice, as were also the capitals of the columns of Abusimbel, Denderah, and other temples, and the regis and prows of certaic arks. As the goddess of beauty and youth, many of the queens of Egypt assumed her type and attributes, and young females after death, at the Ptolemaic and subsequent periods, had their names preceded by that of thj goddess, as both sexes had "Osiris"from the period of the 19th dynasty, that of Athor being a later subst:tute, and for females only. The thud month of the Egyptian year was named Athor after her, and the fich aten or latus, a kind of carp, was sacred to her. The names and titles of Athor were very numerous, and she is named in the inscriptions the lady or mistress of Silsilis, Abusimbul, Pselcis, Ombos, Hermonthis, Apollonopolis Magna, and Heliopolis; but the chief site of her worship was Denderah, or Tentyris, where she is mentioned under many names, and all the different festivals held in her honour are recorded in the calendar of the temple. Athor is one of the oldest of the Egyptian deities, and her worship continued till the fall of Pantheism and substitution of Christianity. Her worship passed from Egypt to the neighbouring isles, cow-headed figures of the goddess having been discovered in Cyprus. Her figures and representation are common. Jablonski, Panth.; Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, iv. 387; Birch, 67a//. Antiq., p. 25; Duemichen, Bauurkundt der Dcndtra, Leip. 1865. . (s. B.)

ATHOS is, strictly speaking, the terminal peak of the most eastern of the three peninsular promontories which stretch south from the coast of Turkey (Macedonia), like the prongs of a trident, into the Archipelago. The name is, however, frequently extended to the whole peninsula which was formerly known as Acte. The peak rises like a pyramid, with a steep aummit of white marble, to a height of 6780 feet, and can be seen at suqset from the plain of Troy on the one hand, and on the other from the slopes of Olympus. The whole peninsula is remarkable for the beauty of its scenery, with rocky heights and richlywooded flanks, ravines "embowered from the light," and glimpses or free outlook over the surrounding sea. The climate is for the most part healthy and pleasant, though tie western side is perhaps too much exposed to the heats of summer; and Lucian assures us that in ancient times the inhabitants were famous for longevity. Several towns, such as Sane, Dium, Olophyxus, Cleonse, are mentioned by Creek and Latin writers as existing in the Peninsula; but none of them seem to have attained any great importance, and the most remarkable event in the ancient history of Athos is the construction by Xerxes of a ship-canal across the isthmus between the outer sea and the Singitic gulf. Traces of this canal, which was regarded by Juvenal as a Greek myth, have been found almost right across the neck of land, and leave no doubt of the truth of the Btory. In more modem times the district of Athos has been famous for

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Athos are the oldest specimens of domestic architecture in Europe; the shrines are in many cases richly decorated with goldsmith's work of great antiquity; the wealth of the monastic libraries in illuminated manuscripts haa long been celebrated; and nowhere, according to Mr Tozer, can the Byzantine school of painting be studied with equal advantage. The date of the oldest religious foundation in the peninsula is not clearly ascertained, and the traditional chronology of the monks themselves can hardly be trusted. A bull of Romanus Lecapenus speaks of the restoration of the monastery of Xeropotamu in 924, and as early as 885 a rescript of Basil the Macedonian forbids the molestation of the "holy hermits." Lavra, on Mount Athos proper, was founded by St Athanasius in 960; the village of Caryes or "The Hazels," was appointed as the seat of government about the same time; and shortly afterwards there followed the establishments Iveron (tuv "I/Jijpuv), Vatopedi (/3aTOjr«'6W), and Sphigmenu (toc 'E^iyjto'ov). The family of the Comneni (1056-1204) bestowed great privileges on the existing monastories, and added to their number. In the reign of Alexius the first purely Slavonic monastery (that of Chilandari) was founded by the Servian prince Stephon Nemenja. The taking of Constantinople by the Latins in 1204 brought persecution and pillage on the monks; this reminded them of earlier Saracenic invasions, and led them to appeal for protection to Pope Innocent III., who gave them a favourable reply. Under the Palreologi they recovered their prosperity, and were enriched by gifts from various sources. In the 14th century the peninsula'became the chosen retreat of several of the emperors, and the monasteries were thrown into commotion by the famous dispute about the mystical Hesychasts. Their numbers were gradually increased by the foundation of St Dionysius, Simopetra, Constamonitu, Russico, St Paul In the 15th century the monks made terms with the Turkish conqueror Amurath, and have since been molested by none of the sultans, except Soliman the Magnificent, who laid waste some parts of the peninsula. In 1545 Stavroniceta, the last monastery, was added to the list. The hospodars of Wallachia, who were recognised as the protectors of Athos, enriched the communities with lands; but a process of secularisation was commenced by Capodistrias, who confiscated their holdings in Greece; and more recently they have been stripped of their possessions in the Danubian principalities. They still retain some property in parts of the Archipelago. A Turkish official resides at Caryes, and collects the taxes, which amount to about ten shillings a head; but for the mast part the peninsula is autonomous, being governed by an administrative body of four presidents (cVto-rarai), one of whom bears the title of "First Man of Athos," and a representative body called the Holy Synod, which consists of twenty members, one from each of the monasteries proper. These twenty communities are partly Coenobitic, with a common stock and a warden, and partly Idiorrhythmic, with a kind of republican government and great individual liberty. Besides these regular monasteries, there are a number of do-mrnjpia, or sketes, which consist of •everal small associations gathered round a central church sod numerous little communities known as tcaMr/tara, 01 retreats, as well as genuine hermitages. Harmony is not always maintained between the different establishments, as »ss shown by a bitter dispute about a water-course between Catlumusi and Fantocratoros, which led to the interference of the British consuls of Salonica and Cavalla, in answer to an appeal from some Ionian monks who were British subjects (1853). For the most part, however, the inhabitants of Athos are quiet and moderately industrious. They are said to number about 3000, all men; for no female, =vea of the lower animals, is permitted to desecrate the precincts of the Holy Mountain.

"Besrripfcio Hontia Atho et xxii. ejasMonut,"by Jo. Comnenua in Hantfueon'a Palcecgrapkia Grata; Geo rgi rents. Description of Preml State of Samos, Paimos, Nicaria, and Mount Athos, Lond. 1678; Lost Webber Smith, "On Mount Athos," 4c , in Jour*. Roy. Saoe. Sac., 1837 ; Curzon, Visits to Monasteries in the Levant, 1849; Filhn*nyer, Frugmenta aus dem Orient, 1846; Oaaa, Commmistio Ristoriea, Ac., and Zur GeSchichte, &c, 1866; Ramner's Mist. TesAenbueh, I860 (art. by Fischon); Report by If. Minoide H-aaa, 1846; J. MiUler, Denlcmdler in den KUelern von Athos; Lasfloia, Athos, &c.; Didron'a lamogmphie Chritienne, 1844; Imal Asiatiaue, 1867; Toier's Highlands of Turkey, 1869.

ATHY, a market-town of Ireland, county of Kildare, 34 miles S.W. of Dublin. It is a station on the Qreat Southern and Western Railway, and is intersected by the river Barrow, which is here crossed by a bridge of five arches. It has a church, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Presbyterian and a Methodist meeting-house, court-house, jau, two banks, hospital, dispensary, barracks, Ac. Adjoining the town is a small chapel, an ancient cemetery, and a small Dominican monastery. Previous to the Union it

returned two members to the Irish parliament. The principal trade is in corn, which is ground at the neighbouring mills. Population in 1871, 4510.

ATINA, a town of Naples, province of Terra di Lavoro, near the Melfa, and 12 miles S.E. of Sora. It has a cathedral, convent, and hospital, with about 5000 inhabitants; but it is chiefly remarkable for its ancient remains, consisting of portions of its walls, the ruins of an extensive aqueduct, and numerous other structures, besides monuments and inscriptions. The city is of great antiquity, and was a place of importance down to the days of the Roman empire. It is remarkable now, as of old, for the exceptional coolness of its situation.

ATITLAN, a lake in the department of Solola, in Guatemala, 20 miles long, with an average breadth of 9 miles. It seems to occupy the crater of an extinct volcano, and its depth is reported to be very great. The scenery in the neighbourhood is striking and picturesque, the volcano of Atitlan rearing its head 12,500 feet above the level of the sea. A little Indian town, Santiago de Atitlan, nestles at the foot of the mountain.

ATLANTA, the capital of Georgia, one of the United States of North America, is situated about 7 miles to tho S.E. of the Chattahoochee River, at an elevation of 1100 feet above the sea. Laid out in 1845, and incorporated as a city in' 1847, it has since rapidly increased. It is the centre of a large trade in grain and cotton, and has extensive railway communication in all directions. Engineering work of various kinds is carried on, as well as tho manufacture of cast-iron, flour, and tobacco. There are two national and two savings banks. Educational institutions are numerous,' and comprise the North Georgia Female College, Oglethorpe College, a medical college, a university for men of colour, and a variety of Bchools. Tho state library contains upwards of 16,000 volumes. There are about thirty churches of different denominations, the Methodists being most largely represented, and one of their churches ranking among the finest buildings in the city. During the war Atlanta was the centre of important military operations, and suffered greatly in consequence (1864). It was strongly fortified by the Confederates, and defended, first by General Joseph E. Johnston, and then by General Hood, against the attack of General Sherman. Hood was compelled to evacuate the city, and Sherman Afterwards retired to Chattanooga,—movements which occasioned the destruction by fire of tho greater part of the buildings, both public and private. Population—(1860), 9554; (1870), 21,789.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

THE designation Atlantic Ocean, originally given to the sea that lies beyond the great range of Atlas in North-western Africa, has come to be applied, with the extension of geographical knowledge, to the whole of that vast ocean which occupies the wide and deep trough that asperates the New from the Old World. Its limits are variously defined; some geographers regarding it as extending from pole to pole, whilst others consider it as bounded at its northern and southern extremities by the Arctic and Antarctic circles respectively. As the peculiarity of the physical conditions of the Polar Seas renders it on every account more appropriate to describe them under a ■eparate head (polae Regions), the Atlantic will be here treated as bounded at the north by the Arctic circle, which aaarly corresponds with the natural closing-in of its basin by the approach of the coasts of Norway and Greenland with Iceland lying between them; while at the south, where the basin is at its widest, its only boundary is the Antarctic

circle. The line which separates its southern extension from the Indian Ocean may be considered to be the meridian of Cape Agulhos, the southernmost point of the African continent; whilst the boundary between the South Atlantic and South Pacific would be formed in like manner by the meridian of Cape Horn. Although the Baltic and the Mediterranean are commonly regarded as appendages to the Atlantic, yet their physical conditions are so peculiar as to require separate treatment. (See Baltic and MediTerranean.)

Every physical geographer who has written upon the Atlantic has noticed the curious parallelism between its eastern and its western borders,—their salient and retiring angles corresponding very closely to each other. Thus, beginning at tho north we see that the projection formed by the British Islands {which extends much further westwards at 100 fathoms below the surface than it does above the sea-level), answers to the wide entrance to Baffin's Fay; whilst, on the other hand, the projection of the American coast at Newfoundland answers to the Bay of Biscay. Farther south, the great rounded prominence of Northern Africa corresponds with the vast bay that stretches from Nova Scotia to St Thomas; whilst the angular projection of South America towards the east corresponds with that receding portion of the mid-African coast-line which is known as the Gulf of Guinea.

This correspondence suggested to Humboldt the idea that the Atlantic basin was originally excavated by a very violent rush of water from the south, which, being repulsed by the mountain ranges of Brazil, was directed by them towards the coast of Africa, and formed the Gulf of Guinea; being there checked und turned to the west by the mountains of Upper Guinea, the stream excavated the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico; and issuing thence, it ran between the mountains of North America and Western Europe, until it gradually diminished in velocity and force, and at length subsided. Another writer speaks of the basin of the Atlantic as an immense rift, made by some terrible force, which rent the surface-land asunder, but left the edges of the ravine to show by their form that they had once been connected. For neither of these speculations, however, is there the smallest foundation in fact. What has to be accounted for, indeed, in regard to either of the great areas at present covered by water, is not so much the excavation of its sea-bed, as its segregation from an ocean originally universal by the boundaries that now enclose it; in other words, not so much the depression of the bottom of its basin as the elevation of its sides. Not only is the proportion of the land-surface of the globe to its watersurface scarcely more than one-third (being as 1 to 278), but the entire mass of the land which thus covers little more than one-fourth of the surface of the globe is quite insignificant in comparison with that of the water which covers the remaining three-fourths. For whilst the average elevation of the whole land is certainly less than one-fifth of a mile, giving from 9 to 10 millions of cubic miles as the total mass of land that rises above the sea-level, the average depth of the sea (so far as at present known) may be taken at about 2 miles, giving a total of nearly 290 millions of cubic miles of water, which is therefore about thirty times the mass of tho land. From the computation of Keith Johnston, it appears that, "if we conceive an equalising line, which, passing around the globe, would leave a mass of the earth's crust above it, just sufficient to fill up the hollow which would be left below it, this line would then fall nearly a mile below tho present level of the sea." This is tantamount to saying flat, if tho solid crust of the earth could be conceived to be smoothed down to one uniform level, its entire surface would be covered with water to tho depth of about a mile. Hence it is obvious that as the elevation of that crust into land over certain areas must bo accompanied by a corresponding depression of the sea-bed over other areas, such depression, augmenting in those areas the previous depth of the aqueous covering of the globe, would be quite sufficient to account for the existence of the great oceanic basins, without any excavating action. And a confirmation of this view is found in the fact, ascertained by recent soundings, that the deepest local depressions of the sea-bed are met with in the neighbourhood of islands that have been raised by volcanic -agency. Further, as the quantity of solid matter tl}at must have been removed (on Humboldt's hypothesis) in the excavation of the Atlantic volley must have been nearly four times as great as that which forms tho whole known land .of the globe, and as it is impossible to conceive o( any mode in which such a mass can have been disposed of, wo may dismiss that hypothesis as not only untenable in regard to the Atlantic basin, but

■ ..^—

as equally inapplicable to any other valley of similar widtst

and depth.1

The general direction of geological opinion, indeed, has of late been, on physical grounds, towards the high antiquity of the great oceanic basins, not exactly as at present bounded, but as areas of depression having tha same relation as they have now to the areas of elevation which form the great continents. Thus Sir Chsrles Lyell was strongly impressed by the fact that the mean depth of the sea is not improbably fifteen times as great as the mean height of the land; and that depressions of the sea-bottom to a depth of three miles or more extend over wide areas, whilst elevations of the land to similar height are confined to a few peaks and narrow ridges. Hence, he remarked, " while the effect of vertical movements equalling 1000 feet xn both directions, upward and downward, is to cause a vast transposition of land and sea in those areas which are now continental, and adjoining to which there is much sea not exceeding 1000 feet in depth, movements of equal amount would have no tendency to produce a sensible alteration in the Atlantic or Pacific Ocea,ns, or to cause the oceanic and continental areas to change ■ places. Depressions of 1000 feet would submerge large areas of the existing land; but fifteen times as much movement would be required to convert such land into an ocean of average depth, or to cause an ocean three miles deep to replaco any one of the existing continents."1 And Professor Dana, who, more than any other geologist, has studied the structure of the existing continents and the succession of changes concerned in their elevation, has been led, by the consideration of the probable direction of the forces by which that elevation was effected, to conclude that the defining of the present continental and oceanic areas began with the commencement of the solidification of the earth's crust. "The continental areas are the areas of least contraction, and tho oceanic basins those of the greatest, the former having earliest had a solid crust. After the continental part was thus stiffened, and rendered comparatively unyielding, the oceanic part went on cooling, solidifying, and contracting throughout; consequently, it became depressed, with the sides of tho depression somewhat abrupt. The formation of the oceanic basins and continental areas was thus due to 'unequal radial contractioa'" In the opinion of Professor Dana, there has never been any essential change in the relations of these great features. "It is hardly possible," he says, "to conceive of any conditions of the contracting forces that should havo allowed of the continents and oceans in after time changing places, or of oceans, as deep nearly as existing oceans, being made where are now the continental areas; although it is a necessary incident to the Bystem of things that the continental plateaus should have varied greatly in their outline and outer limits, and perhaps thousands of feet in the depths of some portions of the overlying seas, and also that the oceans should have varied in the extent of their lands." ..." The early defining, even in Archaean times, of tho final features of North America, and tho conformity to one system visibly marked out in every event through the whole history—in the positions of its outlines and the formations of its rocks, in the character of its oscillations, and the courses of the mountains from time to time raised—sustain tho statement that the American continent is a regular growth. The same facta also make it evident that the oceanic areas between which tho continent

1 The cue of inch a shallow trough as tint of the English Channel, of the former continuity of whose sides there is ample evidence, whilst its bottom is nowhere 600 feet beneath the surface, is obvioualy altogether different. The extraordinary depth of the Mediterranean basin, on the other hand, affords strong reason for regarding it as, like the Atlantic, a portion of the original area of depression, circumscribed by the elevation of its borders.

Principle) of Oeolnyy, 11th ed. ml i. p. 289

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ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA NINTH EDITION

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