Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Also spelled �Sabrata, � western-most of the three cities of ancient Tripolis, located near the modern town of Sabratah, west of Tripoli, in Libya. Founded by the Carthaginians as a trading post, it was first permanently settled in the 4th century BC. Sabratha had a modest natural harbour, later improved by the Romans, and together with Oea (Tripoli) it served as an outlet for the trans-Saharan caravan

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Shensi, The early modern period

Under the Mongols in the 13th century Shensi as a provincial unit assumed approximately its present form, incorporating the area formerly known as Shan-nan (literally �South of the Mountains�), or Li-chou. During this era, however, Shensi underwent many changes. In the course of the Y�an, or Mongol, dynasty (1206 - 1368) the province was devastated and largely depopulated as a result of

Monday, June 28, 2004


The milkweed family of the flowering-plant order Gentianales, including more than 280 genera and about 2,000 species of tropical herbs or shrubby climbers, rarely shrubs or trees. Most members of the family have milky juice, flowers with five united petals, podlike fruits, and, usually, tufted seeds. The silky-haired seeds are drawn out of their pods by the wind

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Croft, William

Educated under John Blow, he was organist of St. Anne's, Soho (1700 - 12), of the Chapel Royal from 1707, and of Westminster Abbey from 1708. In 1700 he collaborated with Blow, Jeremiah Clarke, Francis Piggott, and John Barrett in a Choice Collection of Ayres

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Arabian Desert, Physiography

Plateaus are a common desert feature. Jordan east of the Dead

Friday, June 25, 2004

Yale School

Group of literary critics at Yale University, who became known in the 1970s and '80s for their deconstructionist theories. The Yale school's skeptical, relativistic brand of criticism drew inspiration from the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Its most prominent members were Paul de Man and J. Hillis Miller. De Man, a professor of comparative literature and author

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Fin De Si�cle

Of, relating to, characteristic of, or resembling the late 19th-century literary and artistic climate of sophistication, escapism, extreme aestheticism, world-weariness, and fashionable despair. When used in reference to literature, the term essentially describes the movement inaugurated by the Decadent poets of France and the movement called Aestheticism in

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Skelton, John

His place of birth and childhood

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Shamanism, Basic tasks

It is the obligation of the shaman to know all matters that human beings need to know in everyday life but are unable to learn through their own capacities. He foresees events distant in time and space, discovers the place of a lost animal, forecasts prospects for fishing and hunting, and assists in increasing the gain. Besides these everyday functions, he is a healer

Monday, June 21, 2004

Irrawaddy River

The peoples living on the river's banks are culturally diverse. On the upper reaches, the Kachin, who practice shifting agriculture, predominate. In the middle and lower basins, the Burmese are the dominant group, cultivating wheat, cotton, and oilseeds in the central dry zone and rice and jute to the south and in the delta region, where rainfall is more plentiful. Also

Sunday, June 20, 2004


Originally, and still, a full-size sketch or drawing used as a pattern for a tapestry, painting, mosaic, or other graphic art form, but also, since the early 1840s, a pictorial parody utilizing caricature, satire, and usually humour. Cartoons are used today primarily for conveying political commentary and editorial opinion in newspapers and for social comedy and visual wit

Saturday, June 19, 2004


American collegiate athletic association that grew out of the Southern Conference. Members are the University of Alabama, the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), Auburn University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University,

Friday, June 18, 2004

Bohemian Confession

Latin �Confessio Bohemica, � Protestant doctrinal statement formulated in Bohemia by the Czech Utraquists (moderate Hussites) in 1575 and subscribed to by the Unitas Fratrum, Lutherans, and Calvinists in the kingdom. The document was based on the Augsburg Confession, and it upheld the Lutheran position on justification and the Calvinist interpretation of the Eucharist. Though Emperor Maximilian

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sayce, Archibald H(enry)

During his lifetime Sayce learned to write in about 20 ancient and modern languages. Appointed a fellow of Queen's College, Oxford (1869), and shortly afterward

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Angus, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl Of

By his second marriage in 1514 to the queen dowager Margaret Tudor, Angus aroused the jealousy of the nobles. Margaret was supplanted in 1515 as regent and guardian of the infant James V by the Duke

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Metastasio, Pietro

In 1712, after receiving a good education from Gravina,

Monday, June 14, 2004

Tabari, At-

In full �Abu Ja'far Muhammad Ibn Jarir At-tabari� Muslim scholar, author of enormous compendiums of early Islamic history and Qur'anic exegesis, who made a distinct contribution to the consolidation of Sunni thought during the 9th century. He condensed the vast wealth of exegetical and historical erudition of the preceding generations of Muslim scholars and laid the foundations

Sunday, June 13, 2004


English �Sicans� according to ancient Greek writers, the aboriginal inhabitants of western Sicily, as opposed to the Siculi of eastern Sicily. Archaeologically there is no substantial difference between Sicani and Siculi (Sicels) in historical times; but ancient authorities believed the Sicani to be Iberians from Spain who were driven by the invading Siculi into the western

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Geographic region of northwestern Iran. It lies west of Tehran and is bordered on the northwest by Azerbaijan and on the southwest by Kordestan. The region constitutes one of the uplands that frame central Iran and has an average elevation of 8,200 feet (2,500 m). It forms part of the Caspian Sea basin. The Zanjan River is the only major river in the region. Agriculture is the principal

Friday, June 11, 2004

Graf, Steffi

Graf began playing tennis with the encouragement of her father, who became her coach. At age 13 she became the second youngest player ever to earn an international ranking. In 1987 she won her first grand-slam event, defeating Czech-born American Martina

Thursday, June 10, 2004


The Papago speak a Uto-Aztecan language, a dialectal variant of Piman, and culturally they are similar to the Pima (see also Uto-Aztecan languages). There are, however, certain dissimilarities. The drier, harsher

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Arensky, Anton

Although he was a composition student under Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Arensky's work was more akin to that of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; the predominant moods of his music are lyrical and elegiac. Of his three

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

New Forest

District, administrative and historic county of Hampshire, England, comprising the New Forest and its urbanized coastal fringe flanking Southampton Water and The Solent, together with rural areas around Ringwood and Fordingbridge in the west of the county. The old harbour of Hythe and the modern oil terminal of Fawley on Southampton Water are economically linked

Monday, June 07, 2004

Paraffin Wax

Colourless or white, somewhat translucent, hard wax consisting of a mixture of solid straight-chain hydrocarbons ranging in melting point from about 48� to 66� C (120� to 150� F). Paraffin wax is obtained from petroleum by dewaxing light lubricating oil stocks. It is used in candles, wax paper, polishes, cosmetics, and electrical insulators. It assists in extracting perfumes from flowers,

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Effen, Justus Van

Dutch essayist and journalist whose straightforward didactic pieces, modelled on foreign examples, had a wholesome influence on the contemporary Dutch fashion of rococo writing. His other occupations included private tutor, secretary at the Netherlands embassy in London (1715 and 1727), and clerk in the Dutch government's warehouses

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Yuzu Nembutsu

Japanese Buddhist sect that stresses the permeating effect (yuzu) of nembutsu, the invocation of the name of the Buddha Amida (Amitabha). Thus, the belief was that not only the person who chants the name but all humanity benefits from the practice of nembutsu. The sect was founded in the early 12th century by an evangelistic Tendai monk, Ryonin, and was a forerunner of the devotional

Friday, June 04, 2004


Any bird whose sternum (breastbone) is smooth, or raftlike, because it lacks a keel to which flight muscles could be anchored. All species of ratites are thus unable to fly. They are a peculiar and puzzling group, with anatomic anomalies. The group includes some of the largest birds of all time, such as the moa (q.v.) and the elephant bird (Aepyornis). Extant ratites include the

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Khan, Fazlur R.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of Dacca in 1950, Khan worked as assistant engineer for the India Highway Department and taught at the University of Dacca. Qualifying

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Straight-rail Billiards

Billiard game played with three balls (one red and two white) on a table without pockets. The object is to score caroms by hitting both object balls with a cue ball. A player may use either white ball as cue ball but not one that has been placed on one of the small spots marked on the table, as at the start of the game or after one is knocked off the table. Only three caroms may be

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

International Trade, The Association of South East Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) originated in 1961 as the Association of South East Asia (ASA), which had been founded by the Philippines, Thailand, and the Federation of Malaya (now part of Malaysia). In 1967 ASEAN was established by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to accelerate economic growth and social development