« EelmineJätka »
hand, the term was restricted so as to exclude those who, the other side with a figure of Pallas Athena, with an for mere exercise, without the incentive of a prize, prac- inscription telling where they were gained, and in some tised in the daily gymnastic competitions. For such the cases adding the name of the eponymous magistrate of name was åyuviotai, and this distinction was the more Athens, from which the exact year can be determined. necessary in the later period of Greek history, when Among the Romans, fond as they were of exhibitions of trained athletes became a professional class (400-300 B.c.) physical skill and strength, the profession of athletes was Yet it was not the value of the prizes themselves which entirely an exotic, and was even under the empire with led men to devote their lives to athletic exercises. That difficulty transplanted from Greece. The system and the was at most very insignificant. But from the heroic athletes themselves were always purely Greek. (A. S. M.) legends of competitions for prizes, such as those at the ATHLETIC SPORTS. Although this term is unobsequies of Patroclus (Iliad, xxii. 257, foll.), from the doubtedly derived from the ancient «Oanraí, the derivation great antiquity of the four national games of Greece (the does not exactly indicate its present meaning, inasmuch Olympian, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian, with the local as our modern athletes are distinctly defined to be amateurs, Panathenæa at Athens), and from the high social position in contradistinction to professionals. In fact, the former of the competitors in early times, there gradually became pursue the agonistic art, and should be styled “ agonistics," attached to victory in one of these games so much glory, if we may be allowed to invent such a word, rather than that the townsmen of a victor were ready to, and frequently athletes. How the pastime came to be thus named in did, erect a statue to him, receive him in triumph, and Britain some fifteen years ago it is hard to say. Till about care for him for the rest of his life. Against specially 1860, all exercises wherein the feet played the principal part trained athletes the better class of citizens refused to were rightly styled "pedestrianism." Up to that period all compete, and the lists of the public games being thus left prizes, whether contended for by amateurs or professionals, practically open only to professionals, training became were invariably in money. As the practice of the pastime, more a matter of system and study, particularly in regard however, rapidly spread amongst the former, it was naturally to diet, which was rigorously prescribed for the athletes found they were loth to compete on the same terms with, and by a public functionary, styled the Aleiptes, who also had for similar trophies as, the latter. Hence arose the modern to salve their bodies when practising. At one time their definition of an amateur athlete, viz., “ Any person who principal food consisted of fresh cheese, dried figs, and has never competed in an open competition, or for public wheaten bread. Afterwards meat was introduced, gene money, or for admission money, or with professionals for a rally beef or pork; but the bread and meat were taken prize, public money, or admission money; nor has ever at separately, the former at breakfast (aplotov), the latter at any period of his life, taught, or assisted in the pursuit dinner (delarvov). Except in wine, the quantity was of athletic exercises as a means of livelihood ; nor is a unlimited, and the capacity of some of the heavy weights mechanic, artisan, or labourer.” The moment this defini(Bapeis aontaí) must have been, if such stories as those tion was brought into force a wide barrier arose between about Milo are true, enormous. Cases of death from the two classes, and amateurs ceased to compete for money apoplexy are not unknown among them. The Tarentine prizes amongst themselves, or against professionals, on any Iccus was an example of the strictest abstinence. Their terms, unless they were willing to forfeit their status. A instruction consisted, besides the ordinary gymnastic generic term was required for the new pastime, and in lieu exercises of the palæstra, in carrying heavy loads, lifting of a better it was entitled “ athletic sports,” and its votaries weights, bending iron rods, striking at a suspended leather “athletes.” Hence the haphazard origin of the name. The sack (Kópukos) filled with sand or flour, taming bulls, &c. birthplace of the modern pastime was undoubtedly the great Boxers had to practise delving the ground, to strengthen universities and the military and public schools. Cricket their upper limbs. The competitions open to athletes has always been justly considered the national game of were in running, leaping, throwing the discus, wrestling, Great Britain during the summer months, and football fills boxing, and the Pancratium, or combination of boxing and the same position in the winter. For a month or six weeks wrestling. Victory in this last was the highest achieve in spring and autumn the weather and condition of the ment of an athlete, and was reserved only for men of ground are in a transition state, and fit for neither of these extraordinary strength. The competitors were naked, pastimes, and athletic sports step in and appropriately fill having their bodies salved with oil. Boxers wore the the vacuum. About the year 1812 the Royal Military cæstus, i.e., straps of leather, round the wrists and fore- College at Sandhurst inaugurated modern athletic sports; arms, with a piece of metal in the fist, which was some but the example was not followed till about 1840, when times employed with great barbarity. An athlete could Rugby School, Eton College, Harrow School, Shrewsbury begin his career as a boy in the contests set apart for boys. Royal School, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, He could appear again as a youth against his equals, and came to the front. Fifteen years later college meetings had though always unsuccessful, could go on competing till the become pretty general both at Oxford and Cambridge. age of 35, when he was debarred, it being assumed that Kensington Grammar School had founded the first annual after this period of life he could not improve. It some series of gatherings held in London, whilst Cheltenham times happened that an athlete would agree to allow his College led the van amongst English public schools. After rival to win; but for that and other cases of dishonesty a a few months' negotiations the first Oxford v. Cambridge fine was imposed, and the money expended in erecting annual meeting was held in 1864, and is justly considered statues, called Záves, with warning inscriptions. The most the premier réunion of the whole year, the interest shown celebrated of the Greek athletes whose names have been and the attendance of spectators being little, if anything, handed down are Milo, Hipposthenes, Polydamas, Proma- less than at the annual boat race between the same two seats chus, and Glaucus. Cyrene, famous in the time of Pindar of learning. Two years later the annual amateur chamfor its athletes, appears to have still maintained its reputa-pionship meeting was founded in London, when the Oxford tion to at least the time of Alexander the Great ; for in and Cambridge victors meet representatives from all parts the British Museum are to be seen six prize vases carried of the United Kingdom, and contend for the “blue off from the games at Athens by natives of that district. ribands” of the various events. The principal athletic These vases, found in the tombs, probably, of the winners, society at present in existence is undoubtedly the “London are made of clay, and painted on one side with a repre tic Club," which takes the lead in all matters persentation of the contest in which they were won, and on taining to athletics throughout the United Kingdom. In
England, moreover, there is now scarcely a country town, ing and putting the weight, yet they are now practised at sea-side watering-place, cricket, rowing, or football club of nearly every English and Irish meeting. 16 bb is the usual importance, and probably not a single university or school, weight of the missile except in Ireland, where a 42-Ib, and which does not hold its annual gathering for athletic pur- sometimes a 56-lb weight are put, though in a very unposes. Across the border the professional still far eclipses satisfactory fashion. Athletic sports may be practised in the amateur element, and there is no meeting of amateurs a well-rolled grass field, but the best arena is an enclosure, which can by any means be compared with the autumn with a regularly laid down running track, the foundation Highland gatherings at Braemar and elsewhere. Until made of clinkers and rubble, and the surface of well-rolled recently the two classes contended indiscriminately together, fine cinder ashes.
(H. F. W.) and the prowess displayed by such amateurs as the late ATHLONE, a market-town and parliamentary borough Professor Wilson affords ample testimony that gentlemen of Ireland, lying partly in West Meath and partly in were quite capable of holding their own against profes- Roscommon, 76 miles W. of Dublin. The River Shannon sionals. The number of annual amateur gatherings held divides the town into two portions, which are connected in Scotland is, however, extremely limited, and scarcely by a handsome new bridge, opened in 1844. The rapids extends beyond the universities and chief schools connected of the Shannon at this point are obviated by means of a with Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. In canal about a mile long, which renders the navigation of Ireland the origin of the pastime is again attributable to the river practicable for 71 miles above the town. In the leading university, viz., Trinity College, Dublin, where the war of 1688 the possession of Athlone was considered the decision of isolated events, from about the year 1845, of the greatest importance, and it consequently sustained has given rise to the meetings now annually held in the two sieges, the first by William III. in person, which picturesque College Park at Dublin. The Irish civil service failed, and the second by General Ginkell, who, in the face meeting was inaugurated in 1867, since which time the of the Irish, forded the river and took possession of the pastime has made marvellous strides in the island, as is town, with the loss of only fifty men. At the time of the testified by important meetings now held annually in last war with France it was strongly fortified on the RoscomBelfast, Cork, and Galway; whilst the recently formed mon side, the works covering 15 acres and containing two Irish Champion Athletic Club takes the lead, and stands magazines, an ordnance store, an armoury with 15,000 in the same relation to Ireland as the London Athletic stand of arms, and barracks for 1500 men. There are two Club does to the whole of Great Britain. Athletic sports parish churches, two Roman Catholic parochial chapels, a are also now extending on the Continent, at many great Franciscan and Augustinian chapel, Presbyterian, Baptist, watering-places where Englishmen are in the habit of con and Methodist meeting-houses, a court-house, bridewell, a gregating. Our great colonies of India, Australia, New union work-house, and two branch banks. It has a Zealand, and Canada, too, as well as the United States of woollen factory, as well as other industries, and an active America, Buenos Ayres, China, and even Japan, are not trade is carried on with Shannon harbour and Limerick by without their annual gatherings for competitors of the steamers, and with Dublin by the Grand and Royal Canals Anglo-Saxon race. The contests now classified under the and several railway lines, while the importance of its fairs
“ athletic sports” are, walking, running, leaping, and markets is increasing. There is also a valuable throwing the hammer, and putting the weight. Leaping fishery in the river. Market-days, Tuesday and Saturday. and running are respectively identical with the adma and The borough returns one member to parliament. PopulaSpópos of the ancient pentathlon; whereas throwing the tion in 1871, 6566; constituency in 1873, 336.—Thom's hammer and putting the weight bear some resemblance to Irish Almanac for 1875. throwing the diokos. Spear-hurling, åkóvrlov, is never ATHOR, ATHYR, HATHOR, the name of the Egyptian practised but by a few gymnastic societies; and wrestling, divinity corresponding to Aphrodite or Venus.
Her name Tráln, between amateurs is rarely witnessed. Running and meant “ the abode of Hor” or Horus, and she was the leaping, however, are nearly always combined on every mother of that deity in some of his types, and as such a occasion in two descriptions of contests, viz., steeplechasing form of Isis, of whom she was a higher or celestial maniand hurdle-racing. Race-walking finds most votaries in festation. Her name occurs as early as the 4th dynasty, London, the northern counties of England, and in Ireland, when she is styled the mistress of the tree, or sycamore, all distances, from 1 mile to 7, being in vogue amongst neha, or the tree of the south. Besides the local titles of amateurs. Running comprises all distances from 100 yards the different cities over which she presided, she was entitled up to 4 miles. Leaping may be divided into three principal regent of the gods, living mistress of the upper and lower heads, viz., running high-leaping, running wide-leaping, world, mistress of the heaven and regent of the West, and and running pole-leaping, which are found to be included pupil or eye of Ra, or the Sun, with whom she was conin nearly every athletic programme. Adjuncts to these are nected. In her celestial character she is represented as an the running hop-step-and-jump, standing high-leaping, and Egyptian female holding a sceptre, her head surmounted standing wide-leaping, all of which are favourite pastimes by the sun's disk, horns, and uræus, and her flesh coloured in the northern and midland counties of England. Vault- blue, the colour of the heaven, or yellow, that of gold and ing, too, is sometimes practised, but belongs rather to the beauty (according to Egyptian notions), a term also applied gymnasium than outdoor athletic arena. Steeplechasing to Aphrodite in Greek mythology. In her terrestrial charproper can only be practised over natural courses across acter she was the goddess who presided over sports and country. Its home is to be found at Rugby School, and dancing, music and pleasure, like the Greek Aphrodite, the amongst members of hare-and-hounds' clubs, who keep goddess of love ; but her particularly special type was the themselves in exercise thereby during the winter months. white or spotted cow, the supposed mother of the sun. Artificial steeplechase courses are often made on athletic The solar deities Shu and Tefnut were her children. In grounds; but the leaps are generally far too sensational, certain legends she is mentioned as the seven cows of and constructed rather to afford merriment to the spec- Athor, which appear in the Ritual or Book of the Dead. tators than a fair onst of the competitors' leaping powers. These cows, like the Moiræ, or fates of Greek mythology, A prettier sight thin a well-contested hurdle race can appeared at the births of legendary persons, and predicted scarcely be imagined: but few first class hurdle racers are the course and events of their lives. It is in this capacity met with outside the universities and public schools. Scot- that Athor is connected with Ptah, or the Egyptian land is undoubtedly the birthplace both of hammer throw- | Hephæstus, and is allied to Sekhet or Bast, called the wife
H A C
or mistress of Ptah, the seven cows being the mystical | the number of hermits and monks that have found shelter companions of the Apis, the second life or incarnation of in its retreats. No fewer than 935 churches, chapels, and the god of Memphis. She was also represented under the oratories are said to exist, and many of the communities attributes and with the titles of the goddess Nut, or the possess considerable wealth. It is believed that, with the Egyptian Rhea. The cow of Athor wore on its head the exception of the dwellings of Pompeii, some buildings in solar disk, and hawk feather plumes, like Amen Ra; and in this character as the great cow she has on some monuments
Æ G E AN her human head replaced by that of a cow wearing a disk, or the disk and plumes . This emblem also appears in her
S E A 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
Chajlandari the abode of the sun, which she represented. This is sometimes surmounted by the disk and horns. The
Zwyraphus handle of the sistrum, a musical instrument with bars, was generally made in shape of this head and cornice, as
Stavroniceta were also the capitals of the columns of Abusimbel, Den
Talveros derah, and other temples, and the ægis and prows of certain
GULF OF arks. As the goddess of beauty and youth, many of the
Caracalls queens of Egypt assumed her type and attributes, and young
Simopetra females after death, at the Ptolemaic and subsequent periods,
HAGION OROS 6: Gregobol had their names preceded by that of the goddess, as both sexes had “Osiris” from the period of the 19th dynasty,
ATHOS that of Athor being a later substitute, and for females only. The third month of the Egyptian year was named
English Miles Athor after her, and the fish aten or latus, a kind of carp,
Caps 89 Gounge was sacred to her. The names and titles of Athor were very
Sketch Map of Athos. numerous, and she is named in the inscriptions the lady or Athos are the oldest specimens of domestic architecture in mistress of Silsilis, Abusimbul, Prelcis, Ombos, Hermonthis, Europe ; the shrines are in many cases richly decorated Apollonopolis Magna, and Heliopolis ; but the chief site with goldsmith's work of great antiquity; the wealth of her worship was Denderah, or Tentyris, where she is of the monastic libraries in illuminated manuscripts has mentioned under many names, and all the different festi- long been celebrated ; and nowhere, according to Mr vals held in her honour are recorded in the calendar of the Tozer, can the Byzantine school of painting be studied temple. Athor is one of the oldest of the Egyptian deities, with equal advantage. The date of the oldest religious and her worship continued till the fall of Pantheism and foundation in the peninsula is not clearly ascertained, and substitution of Christianity. Her worship passed from the traditional chronology of the monks themselves can Egypt to the neighbouring isles, cow-headed figures of the hardly be trusted. A bull of Romanus Lecapenus speaks goddess having been discovered in Cyprus. Her figures of the restoration of the monastery of Xeropotamu in 924, and representation are common. Jablonski, Panth.; Wil and as early as 885 a rescript of Basil the Macedonian kinson, Manners and Customs, iv. 387; Birch, Gall. forbids the molestation of the holy hermits.” Lavra, on Antiq., p. 25; Duemichen, Bauurkunde der Dendera, Leip. Mount Athos proper, was founded by St Athanasius in 1865.
(s. B.) 960; the village of Caryes or "The Hazels," was appointed ATHOS is, strictly speaking, the terminal peak of the as the seat of government about the same time; and most eastern of the three peninsular promontories which shortly afterwards there followed the establishments Iveron stretch south from the coast of Turkey (Macedonia), like (Tô 'ißńpwv), Vatopedi (BaTomédLov), and Sphigmenu (Toù the prongs of a trident, into the Archipelago. The name 'Erbiyuevov). The family of the Comneni (1056-1204) is, however, frequently extended to the whole peninsula bestowed great privileges on the existing monastaries, and which was formerly known as Acte. The peak rises like added to their number. In the reign of Alexius the first a pyramid, with a steep summit of white marble, to a purely Slavonic monastery (that of Chilandari) was founded height of 6780 feet, and can be seen at sunset from the by the Servian prince Stephen Nemenja. The taking of plain of Troy on the one hand, and on the other from the Constantinople by the Latins in 1204 brought persecution slopes of Olympus. The whole peninsula is remarkable and pillage on the monks ; this reminded them of earlier for the beauty of its scenery, with rocky heights and richly- Saracenic invasions, and led them to appeal for protection wooded flanks, ravines "embowered from the light,” and to Pope Innocent III., who gave them a favourable reply. glimpses or free outlook over the surrounding sea. The Under the Palæologi they recovered their prosperity, and climate is for the most part healthy and pleasant, though were enriched by gifts from various sources. In the 14th the western side is perhaps too much exposed to the heats century the peninsula became the chosen retreat of several of summer; and Lucian assures us that in ancient times of the emperors, and the monasteries were thrown into the inhabitants were famous for longevity. Several towns, commotion by the famous dispute about the mystical such as Sane, Dium, Olophyxus, Cleonæ, are mentioned by Hesychasts. Their numbers were gradually increased by Greek and Latin writers as existing in the Peninsula ; but the foundation of St Dionysius, Simopetra, Constamonitu, none of them seem to have attained any great importance, Russico, St Paul. In the 15th century the monks made and the most remarkable event in the ancient history of terms with the Turkish conqueror Amurath, and have Athos is the construction by Xerxes of a ship-canal across since been molested by none of the sultans, except Soliman the isthmus between the outer sea and the Singitic gulf. the Magnificent, who laid waste some parts of the peninsula. Traces of this canal, which was regarded by Juvenal as a In 1545 Stavroniceta, the last monastery, was added to the Greek myth, have been found almost right across the neck list. The hospodars of Wallachia, who were recognised of land, and leave no doubt of the truth of the story. In as the protectors of Athos, enriched the communities with more modern times the district of Athos has been famous for lands; but a process of secularisation was commenced by
Capodistrias, who confiscated their holdings in Greece ; returned two members to the Irish parliament. The
These twenty communities are partly Cænobitic, Roman empire. It is remarkable now, as of old, for the
A little Indian town, Santiago de Atitlan, nestles was shown by a bitter dispute about a water-course between at the foot of the mountain. Cutlumusi and Pantocratoros, which led to the interference ATLANTA, the capital of Georgia, one of the United of the British consuls of Salonica and Cavalla, in answer States of North America, is situated about 7 miles to the to an appeal from some Ionian monks who were British S.E. of the Chattahoochee River, at an elevation of 1100 subjects (1853). For the most part, however, the inhabi- feet above the sea. Laid out in 1845, and incorporated as tants of Athos are quiet and moderately industrious. They a city in 1847, it has since rapidly increased. It is the are said to number about 3000, all men ; for no female, centre of a large trade in grain and cotton, and has even of the lower animals, is permitted to desecrate the pre- extensive railway communication in all directions. Encincts of the Holy Mountain.
gineering work of various kinds is carried on, as well as the "Descriptio Montis Atho et xxii. ejus Monast.,” by Jo. Comnenus in manufacture of cast-iron, flour, and tobacco. There are Montfaucon's Palæographia Græca; Georgirenes
, Description of Pre- two national and two savings banks. Educational institusent State of Samos, Patmos, Nicaria, and Mount Athos, Lond. 1678; tions are numerous, and comprise the North Georgia Lieut. Webber Smith, "On Mount Athos, &c., in Journ. Roy: Female College, Oglethorpe College, a medical college, a uniGeog. Soc., 1837; Curzon, Visits to Monasteries in the Levant, 18:49: _versity for men of colour, and a variety of schools. The Fallmerayer, Fragmenta aus dem Orient, 1845; Gass, Commentatio Historica, &c., and Zur Geschichte, &c., 1866; Ramner's Hist.
state library contains upwards of 16,000 volumes. There Taschenbuch, 1860 (art. by Pischon); Report by M. Minoide are about thirty churches of different denominations, the Minas, 1846 ; J. Müller, Denkmäler in den Klöstern von Athos; | Methodists being most largely represented, and one of their Langlois, Athos, &c.; Didron's Iconographie Chrétiennes, 1844 ; churches ranking among the finest buildings in the city. Journal Asiatique, 1867; Tozer's Highlands of Turkey, 1869.
During the war Atlanta was the centre of important ATHY, a market-town of Ireland, county of Kildare, military operations, and suffered greatly in consequence 34 miles S.W. of Dublin. It is a station on the Great (1864). It was strongly fortified by the Confederates, and Southern and Western Railway, and is intersected by the defended, first by General Joseph E. Johnston, and then river Barrow, which is here crossed by a bridge of five by General Hood, against the attack of General Sherman. arches. It has a church, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Hood was compelled to evacuate the city, and Sherman Presbyterian and a Methodist meeting-house, court-house, afterwards retired to Chattanooga,-movements which jail, two banks, hospital, dispensary, barracks, &c. Adjoin- occasioned the destruction by fire of the greater part of the ing the town is a small chapel, an ancient cemetery, and a buildings, both public and private. Population—(1860), small Dominican monastery. Previous to the Union it 9554; (1870), 21,789.
sea that lies beyond the great range of Atlas in from the Indian Ocean may be considered to be the
whilst, on the other hand, the projection of the American as equally inapplicable to any other valley of similar width coast at Newfoundland answers to the Bay of Biscay. and depth. Further south, the great rounded prominence of Northern The general direction of geological opinion, indeed, has Africa corresponds with the vast bay that stretches from of late been, on physical grounds, towards the high antiNova Scotia to St Thomas ; whilst the angular projection quity of the great oceanic basins, not exactly as at present of South America towards the east corresponds with that bounded, but as areas of depression having the same relareceding portion of the mid-African coast-line which is tion as they have now to the areas of elevation which form known as the Gulf of Guinea.
the great continents. Thus Sir Charles Lyell was strongly This correspondence suggested to Humboldt the idea that impressed by the fact that the mean depth of the sea is the Atlantic basin was originally excavated by a very not improbably fifteen times as great as the mean height violent rush of water from the south, which, being repulsed of the land ; and that depressions of the sea-bottom to a by the mountain ranges of Brazil, was directed by them depth of three miles or more extend over wide areas, whilst towards the coast of Africa, and formed the Gulf of elevations of the land to similar height are confined to a Guinea ; being there checked and turned to the west by few peaks and narrow ridges. Hence, he remarked, " while the mountains of Upper Guinea, the stream excavated the the effect of vertical movements equalling 1000 feet in Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico; and issuing both directions, upward and downward, is to cause a vast thence, it ran between the mountains of North America transposition of land and sea in those areas which are now and Western Europe, until it gradually diminished in continental, and adjoining to which there is much sea not velocity and force, and at length subsided. Another writer exceeding 1000 feet in depth, movements of equal amount speaks of the basin of the Atlantic as an immense rift, made would have no tendency to produce a sensible alteration by some terrible force, which rent the surface-land asunder, in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or to cause the oceanic but left the edges of the ravine to show by their form that and continental areas to change places. Depressions of they had once been connected. For neither of these specula- 1000 feet would submerge large areas of the existing land; tions, however, is there the smallest foundation in fact. What but fifteen times as much movement would be required to has to be accounted for, indeed, in regard to either of the convert such land into an ocean of average depth, or to great areas at present covered by water, is not so much the cause an ocean three miles deep to replace any one of the excavation of its sea-bed, as its segregation from an ocean existing continents.”2 And Professor Dana, who, more originally universal by the boundaries that now enclose it; than any other geologist, has studied the structure of the in other words, not so much the depression of the bottom existing continents and the succession of changes concerned of its basin as the elevation of its sides. Not only is the in their elevation, has been led, by the consideration of the proportion of the land-surface of the globe to its water probable direction of the forces by which that elevation was surface scarcely more than one-third (being as 1 to 2:78), effected, to conclude that the defining of the present conbut the entire mass of the land which thus covers little tinental and oceanic areas began with the commencement more than one-fourth of the surface of the globe is quite of the solidification of the earth's crust. “ The continental insignificant in comparison with that of the water which areas are the areas of least contraction, and the oceanic covers the remaining three-fourths. For whilst the average basins those of the greatest, the former having earliest had elevation of the whole land is certainly less than one-fifth a solid crust. After the continental part was thus stiffened, of a mile, giving from 9 to 10 millions of cubic miles as and rendered comparatively unyielding, the oceanic part the total mass of land that rises above the sea-level, the went on cooling, solidifying, and contracting throughout; average depth of the sea (so far as at present known) may consequently, it became depressed, with the sides of the be taken at about 2 miles, giving a total of nearly 290 depression somewhat abrupt. The formation of the oceanic millions of cubic miles of water, which is therefore about basins and continental areas was thus due to "unequal thirty times the mass of the land. From the computation radial contraction.'' In the opinion of Professor Dana, of Keith Johnston, it appears that, “if we conceive an there has never been any essential change in the relations equalising line, which, passing around the globe, would of these great features. “It is hardly possible,” he says, leave a mass of the earth's crust above it, just sufficient to o "to conceive of any conditions of the contracting forces that fill up the hollow which would be left below it, this line should have allowed of the continents and oceans in after would then fall nearly a mile below the present level of time changing places, or of oceans, as deep nearly as existthe sea.” This is tantamount to saying that, if the solid | ing oceans, being made where are now the continental areas ; crust of the earth could be conceived to be smoothed down although it is a necessary incident to the system of things to one uniform level, its entire surface would be covered that the continental plateaus should have varied greatly with water to the depth of about a mile. Hence it is in their outline and outer limits, and perhaps thousands of obvious that as the elevation of that crust into land over feet in the depths of some portions of the overlying seas, certain areas must be accompanied by a corresponding and also that the oceans should have varied in the extent depression of the sea-bed over other areas, such depression, of their lands." “The early defining, even in Archæan augmenting in those areas the previous depth of the aqueous times, of the final features of North America, and the concovering of the globe, would be quite sufficient to account formity to one system visibly marked out in every event for the existence of the great oceanic basins, without any through the whole history-in the positions of its outlines excavating action. And a confirmation of this view is and the formations of its rocks, in the character of its found in the fact, ascertained by recent soundings, that the oscillations, and the courses of the mountains from time to deepest local depressions of the sea-bed are met with in time raised-sustain the statement that the American conthe neighbourhood of islands that have been raised by tinent is a regular growth. The same facts also make it volcanic agency. Further, as the quantity of solid mat- evident that the oceanic areas between which the continent ter that must have been removed (on Humboldt's hypothesis) in the excavation of the Atlantic valley must
1 The case of such a shallow trough as that of the English Channel,
of the former continuity of whose sides there is ample evidence, whilst have been nearly four times as great as that which forms its bottom is nowhere 500 feet beneath the surface, is obviously altothe whole known land of the globe, and as it is impos gether different. The extraordinary depth of the Mediterranean basin, sible to conceive of any mode in which such a mass can
on the other hand, affords strong reason for regarding it as, like the have been disposed of, wo may dismiss that hypothesis
Atlantic, a portion of the original area of depression, circumscribed by
the elevation of its borders. as not only untenable in regard to the Atlantic basin, but * Principles of Geology, 11th ed. vol. i. p. 269.