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F. R. S. LOND, AND EDIN, AND M. R. I. A.
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF PARIS, AND OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF
PRUSSIA; MEMBER OF THE ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ; OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF SCIENCES OF DENMARK; OP
THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF GOTTINGEN, AND OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF MODENA; HONORARY ASSOCIATE OF THE
ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF LYONS; ASSOCIATE OF THE SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS ; MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY OF THE AN-
TIQI ARIES OF SCOTLAND; OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON, AND OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON; OF THE
AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY ; HONORARY MEMBER OF THE LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, OF THE
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF NEW YORK; OF THE LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF UTRECHT; OF THE PHILOSPHICAL
SOCIETY OF CAMBRIDGE; OF THE LITERARY AND ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY OF PERTH; OF THE NORTHERN INSTITUTION, AND OF
THE ROYAL MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL SOCIETIES OF EDINBURGH ; OF THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA ; OF
THE SOCIETY OF THE FRIENDS OF NATURAL HISTORY OF BERLIN; OF THE NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY OF FRANKFORT ; OF THE
PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY SOCIETY OF LEEDS, OP THE ROYAL GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF CORNWALL, AND OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL
SOK IETY OF YORK.
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM BLACKWOOD;
AND JOHN WAUGH, EDINBURGH; JOHN MURRAY; BALDWIN & CRADOCK;
J. M. RICHARDSON, LONDON; AND THE OTHER PROPRIETORS.
STROPHANOMETER, another name given published after his death by Lorry, Memoires pour Asturias .
by Jeaurat to instruments resembling the As. servir à l'Histoire de la Faculté de Medicine de tereometers or Astrometers of Jeaurat and Dr Brews- Montpellier. (0) ter, described under the last of these articles. (0) ASTURIAS. Two provinces on the north of Bounda
ASTRUC, John, M. D. a very eminent French Spain, containing about 700 square leagues of the ries. physician, who was born at Sauve, a town of Lower most mountainous country of the whole monarchy, Languedoc, on the 19th of March 1684, and died at form what is called the principality of Asturias. AcParis the 5th of May 1766, at the advanced age of 82. cording to some writers, these two provinces are to He completed his education at Montpellier, and in be considered separate and distinct, one being the 1702 obtained from that university a bachelor's de. Asturia of Oviedo, and the other the Asturia of Sangree in medicine. Soon afterwards he distinguished tillana ; but no such division is recognised in the adhimself in a controversy with the mechanical physi- ministration of the kingdom. This principality is cians on the subject of digestion, which he considered bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay; by Galto be the effect of a peculiar ferment, and not of tri- licia on the west ; and by the kingdoms of Leon and turation, as Pitcairn and others had obstinately main- Old Castile on the south and east. tained. He obtained in 1710 the professorship of The climate is excessively humid ; and no care can Climate. anatomy and medicine at Thoulouse; and in 1716, he preserve grain or fruit from decay, and iron from rust. succeeded to the chair become vacant at Montpellier The atmosphere is continually surcharged with vapour by the death of Chatelain. His reputation for learn. which is attracted by the mountains, and unless the ing and medical skill was here fully established; and wind blows from north-east, the sky is covered with in 1729 he was invited to remove to Poland, where he clouds. was appointed physician to Augustus II., but he The whole principality abounds with marl, chalk, Natural very soon quitted that court, and returned to France.
gypsum, and very fine marbles. The limestone is full listory.
He now fixed himself at Paris, and so early as 1730 of fossil shells, coral, and corallines. Amber, inde-
he was made consulting physician to the French king, pendent of being found on the shore, exists in a fossil
and on the death of Geoffroy he received the appoint- state, uniformly accompanied by jet, and a kind of
ment of professor of medicine in the Royal College, cannel coal. These, when broken, disclose white crust-
He became also doctor regent of the faculty of phy- ed nodules, including bright and transparent amber.
sic at Paris. Astruc merited these honours : he was There is abundance of coal deposited in a calcareous
unquestionably a man of great learning, a distinguish- bed, which has never been worked for fuel, both be-
ed writer, and a very skilful physician ; his celebrity cause plenty of wood can easily be procured for that
as a teacher drew to Paris a crowd of pupils from all purpose, and because it emits an intolerable odour in
parts of Europe, and his work De Morbis Venereis, burning.
burning. There are also strong prejudices entertain-
published in 1736, everywhere established his fame as an ed against it, as being injurious to health. The an-
author. His Traité des Maladies des Femmes, published cients, particularly Pliny and Silius Italicus, speak of
in 1761, also possesses great merit. His other acknow- the gold of the Asturian mountains, but none is known
ledged works are: A dissertation De Motus Fermenta- now to be there. Mines of copper, lead, and iron, are
tivi Causa, 1702 ; De Hydrophobia, 1720; Sur l'Oris found ; and likewise those of arsenic and cobalt.
gine des Maladies Epidemiques, 1721 ; Memoires Woods, consisting of elm, ash, and poplar, cover
pour l'Histoire Naturelle de Languedoc, 1737; Trac- the hills. Many trees fit for domestic purposes, or
tatus Pathologicus, 1745; Tractatus Therapeuticas, useful in ship building, particularly oaks of very fine
1748; Traité des Tumeurs et des Ulceres, 1759; Con- quality, abound ; and fruits are produced in sheltered
jectures sur les Memoires Originaur dont il paroit places without care or cultivation.
que Moise se servit pour composer le livre de Genese, The cattle of the Asturias grow to considerable
1759; Art d'Accoucher reduit à ses principes; and size: they universally supply the place of horses for
VOL. III, PART I.
Asturias. agricultural uses. Martial and Silius both speak of limits the quantity of agricultural produce ; never- Asturias.
the Asturian horses. It does not appear, however, that 'theless wheat, rye, barley, and maize, are cultivated
they are at this day equally celebrated.
with success, and another kind of corn called escanda,
T'he Asturias contain a bishopric, 668 parishes, 23 affording white flour of good quality. Two crops in tion. monasteries and nunneries, and 13 other religious es- one year are obtained from the low lands, in v hich
tablishments. The total population is about 350,000 case barley follows either maize or fax. But the
persons. Besides dignitaries of the church, the num- operations of the peasantry are rude and unskilful.
ber of religious, including 200 nuns, is 2858, which is Their ploughs are ill constructed, being adapted only
less in proportion than in some other parts of Spain. to scratch the ground, which rather requires a deep
From the nature of the climate, the mode of life pur-
and their harrows have no iron. These aro sued, and certain predisposing causes, the people are used only for maize, as the wheat and barley never subject to many severe diseases, such as fevers, drop- undergo harrowing. Their cart wheels are made of sy, scrofula, palsy, leprosy, and others. The mal de planks, and are fashioned without spokes ; and the
rosa attacks the back of the hands, the insteps, and axles, to which no grease is applied, are eight or ten Discases.
the neck, where it descends to part of the breast, but inches in diameter. An immoderate degree of friction,
leaves the rest of the body free. At first it appears produced by such a clumsy apparatus, is increased by
red, attended with pain and heat, and ends in scurf. the most injudicious expedients. In some of the ra-
Vertigo and delirium succeed in the progress of the vines of the mountains, horizontal water wheels are
disease, and another extraordinary symptom, consist- seen driving the mills. Very considerable quantities
ing in a peculiar propensity of the patients to drown of fruit are gathered throughout the principality, and
themselves. The disease disappears in summer, and much cyder is made from the apples. This is main-
returns in spring : it may be cured by gentle medi- tained to be inferior to English cyder, for two rea-
cines, but if neglected, terminates in scrofula, maras- sons : first, because the inhabitants neither pay suffi.
ma, melancholy, and insanity. The inhabitants are cient attention to the proper selection of fruit, nor to
also grievously' amicted with leprosy, for which there the treatment of the liquor ; and secondly, because
are no less than 20 hospitals in the Asturias. Some its quality is impaired by the extreme humidity of the
labouring under it are covered with a dry white scurf, climate. There are some vineyards, but no wine is
and look like so many millers : some have the skin made from their produce. 'Í'hough the Asturias
almost black, full of wrinkles, and covered with a chiefly consist of successive mountains, there are se.
loathsome crust : some have one leg and thigh swol veral extensive pastures, grazed by numerous flocks of
len to an enormous degree, with many pustules and sheep and cattle.
ulcers; while in others, especially women, the swelling The whole commerce of the Asturias is inconsi- Commerce,
seizes one hand or the face, and hardly leaves the hu- derable : the imports are linen, woollen stuffs, and
man features discernible. Certain patients, again, hardware goods; the exports, fruit, cyder, and mill-
amidst the variety which this disease assumes, have stones. There are eighteen sea-ports on the coast,
carbuncles as large as hazel nuts all over the surface some of them so unimportant as hardly to be known
of the body.
by name. They send out shipping to France and State of the Formerly the lower classes were in a condition but England for articles which the province requires. peasantry little better than bondage. Now, however, they are Formerly their whole trade was engrossed by the
not adscripti glebæ, because a great portion of the Dutch, but is now partitioned among other countries.
peasantry abandon their native soil in quest of em- The difficulty of intercourse with the rest of Spain,
ployment, and are absent even for whole years. Du- undoubtedly restricts the commerce of the Asturias;
ring the interval, the ground which they would have and the roads in general are represented as frightful.
had to labour, is cultivated by their wives. An in- There is only one great road leading from Madrid to
dulgence is shewn to tenantry here, of which we have Oviedo, which traverses this principality: the rest
hitherto found no example in other countries, and are bye roads, many of them almost impracticable
which we can scarce reconcile with our notions of even by a foot passenger. A road runs along the
the right of property in land. A landlord in the coast forty leagues, or nearly the whole length of the
Asturias, as elsewhere, could remove his terants principality. In its course the traveller has to pass
at the expiry of their leases; but a royal ordi- thirty-one rivers, only ten of which have bridges.
pance interposed in the year 1755, stating, that Five of these are crossed in boats; the remainder
the principal cause why agriculture declined was must be forded. The dangers of attempting this
the unlimited power of landlords to eject their road on horseback, can be but imperfectly conceived.
tenants at the termination of their leases: and it Sometimes the traveller finds himself on the summit
declared, that thenceforward, if a farmer cultivated of lofty mountains, then in dark and narrow vales;
his lands properly, and was in no considerable arrear, next buried in the thickest woods, or journeying
he should neither be removed, nor have the rent raised. along the edge of naked precipices. But to com-
Both landlord and tenant were empowered to appeal pensate for his difficulties, the true picture of the
to skilful persons, in order that the value of the farm country is disclosed to his view, here consisting of
might be ascertained; or to fix the compensation hills whose tops are covered with snow, while the
which a tenant on quitting it should receive for the grtenest pasture is seen below; and there of rocks,
improvements he had made. The chief estates of cascades, and natural fountains, or fields in a rich
the Asturias are said to be in the hands of 80 fami- state of cultivation.
lies, and those of the next degree belong to the clergy. There are several edifices of Gothic architecture Remains of
The great extent of surface occupied by mountains, in the Asturias. Not far from Caugas de Onis, is antiquitya
Asturias, the monastery of St Peter Villanosa, said to oc. danger life. Hence a modern author, in speaking of Astyages
# cupy the site of a palace belonging to Alphonso I. 'the frequency of palsy, observes, “ The physician
Athamanes. the son of Pavila, prince of Oviedo. Here there is has such a dread of palsy, that he bleeds his patient a Gothic arcade, exhibiting proofs of great antiquity, into a dropsy, or leaves him to languish between life which is reputed to have been the entrance to the and death, a prey to the most gloomy of all diseases chapel of the palace. At the gate of the church are to which humanity is subject.” See Bourgoing sculptured the tragical incidents attending the death Tableau de l'Espagne Moderne, tom. 2. p. 162. of the prince Favila, who while hunting was torn to Townsend's Travels in Spain, vol. i. ii. Laborde's pieces by a wild boar, in 738. Roman antiquities View of Spain, vol. ii. Bleau's Atlas, tom. 3. Mahave been found near Gijon.
riana Historia de Espana. (c) Ustory.
In regard to the history of the Asturias, it appears ASTYAGES, the last king of Media. See He.
that the Romans made ineffectual attempts to subdue rodotus, lib. i. cap. 74, 75; Pausanias, lib. v. cap.
them. Florus describes a great body of Asturians 10; Justin, lib. v. cap. 4; and Univers. Hist. vol. v.
descending from the mountains, and boldly attacking p. 40, 47, note (C); 170, (B), &c. See also Media
the Roman camp. The engagement was long and
and PERSIA. (w)
bloody, and the victory uncertain. When the Moors ASTYANÀX, the son of Hector and Andro-
struggled for the conquest of Spain, and gained a mache, who was saved by his mother from the flames
decisive battle at Xeres de la Frontera, in 711, the of Troy.
of Troy. His superiority to Hector having been
Asturians received Pelayo and the other Christians, predicted by one of the soothsayers, the Greeks are
who escaped the force of their arms. The Moors said to have determined his destruction, and Ulysses
found an impenetrable barrier in the mountains sur- to have precipitated him from the Trojan walls. See
rounding this province. Their cavalry, which con- the Iliad, lib. vi. v. 400, lib. xxii. v. 500.; the
tributed so much to their successes in the low coun. Æneid, lib. ii. v. 457. lib. iii. v. 489; and Ovidio
tries, was of little use; and after being exposed to Metamorph. xiii. v. 415. (0)
various attacks from the Asturians, they judged it ASYLUM, from the Greek xuloy, sanctuary,
expedient to retreat to a distance from the mountains. or place of refuge. See SANCTUARY, where this
Pelayo, protected by their fastnesses, here laid the subject will be discussed at some length. (j).
foundation of the Spanish monarchy; his posterity
ÁSYMPTOTE, is a line which, being indefinitely
waged constant war with the Moors, but it was only produced, continually approaches another line also
after a contest of several successive centuries, that indefinitely produced, so that the two lines never
they were able to effect their expulsion. From that meet, though their distance may be less than any
æra the Asturians derived those privileges of nobility assignable magnitude. See Conic Sections and
which they still retain : the inhabitants of Ansena CURVES. (0)
are distinguished from the rest of their countrymen, ATAHÙÁLPA, one of the kings of Quito.
by the title of Illustrious Mountaineers. The two See Robertson's History of America, vol. iii. p. 29;
provinces of Asturias were erected into a principality, and Quito. (w)
and the oldest son of the Catholic king, under the
ATALANTIS. See ATLANTIS.
late dynasty, has from the year 1388 bore the title ATE, from araw, the same as the goddess of dis.
of Prince of Asturias.
cord among the Latins. She was regarded as the Character The character of the Asturians seems formed, in a daughter of Jupiter, and the author of all evil. She of the posso great measure, from local circumstances. Extreme raised such commotions in heaven, that Jupiter dragple.
simplicity of dress and manners prevail : the women ged her away by the hair, and threw her headlong to
use no artificial decorations, trusting only to what na- the earth. See the Iliad, lib. xix. v. 125. (j)
ture has bestowed. The people are distinguished for ATERGATIS, ATARGATIS, or DERCETO, one
honour, probity, and candour; every thing bespeaks
of the goddesses of the Syrians, whom they repre-
their remoteness from the more sociable and civilized sented like a mermaid, with the head and chest of a
districts of the kingdom : they are warmly attached woman, but with the rest of the body like a fish.
to their country, faithful to their rulers, and passive According to some, she was the Babylonian and As-
to the laws. They are zealous, perhaps it may be syrian Venus, and, like the Astarte of the Pheni.
affirmed superstitious, in matters of religion; and in- cians, had her origin from Semiramis, the foundress
herit a degree of courage frequently the characteris- of Babylon. See Strabo, lib. xvi. p. 748. ; Pliny's
tic of mountaineers. Dishonesty is said to be quite Nat. Hist. lib. v. cap. 23. ; Macrobius’ Saturnalia,
unknown among them. Yet notwithstanding such qua- lib. i. cap. 23. ; Manilius' Astron. iv. ; and Bryant's
lifications, they are accused of dullness, and the want Ancient Mythol. vol. ii. p. 298. (w)
of vivacity, which we may probably ascribe to the ATHABASCA, the name of a territory, lake,
interrupted intercourse subsisting between those who and river, in North America. The inhabitants of
dwell in wild and uncultivated regions. However, this territory carried their furs to Fort-Churchill,
they should probably prize their situation, though Hudson's Bay, till the year 1782; but, since that
the source of so many disadvantages, as it removes time, their trading establishment has been on the
them from the impression of those convulsions to north side of the river La Pluie, where the inhabi.
which a province more populous, civilized, and ac- tants of Montreal repair to exchange their commodi.
cessible, would be exposed.
ties. See Mackenzie's Voyages, Introd. p. 56, &c.
The state of the sciences is at the lowest ebb in (w)
the Asturias : medicine in particular, as now prac-
ÁTHAMANES, the name of an ancient people
sised, is less calculated to effect a cure than to en- who inhabited Athamania, in Epirus. They seera