Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Region, southwestern Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, bordered by the regions of Tombali on the south and east, Bafatá on the northeast, Oio on the north, and Biombo on the northwest. Quinará fronts the Atlantic Ocean and the region of Bolama to the southwest. It has an area of 1,139 sq mi (2,920 sq km). The Rio Grande de Buba flows east–west through the centre of the region and empties into the

Monday, September 27, 2004


Either of two species of birds that constitute the subfamily Jynginae of the woodpecker family (Picidae) but may be separated as the family Jyngidae. Wrynecks are gray-brown birds of open woods and brushlands, named for their habit of twisting their necks snakily when alarmed. They flick up ants from the ground or insects from trees with their long tongues, and they

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Arts, South Asian, Epics

The age of the Pallavas (300?–900), a warrior dynasty of Hindu kings, is known for its epics, beginning with Cilappatikaram (“The Jewelled Anklet”) and Manimekalai (“The Girdle of Gems”) and including an incomplete narrative, Perunkatai (“The Great Story”), the Civakacintamani (“The Amulet of Civakan”) by Tiruttakkatevar, and Culamani (“The Crest Jewel”) by Tolamolittevar. The last three works depict Jaina kings

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Wieschaus, Eric F.

American developmental biologist who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, with geneticists Edward B. Lewis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (qq.v.), for discovering the genetic controls of early embryonic development. Working together with Nüsslein-Volhard, Wieschaus expanded upon the innovative work of Lewis, who likewise

Monday, September 20, 2004

Biblical Literature, Old Testament literature

For various modern critical methods of studying the formation of the Old Testament, see the “Old Testament Series” of Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Norman C. Habel, Literary Criticism of the Old Testament, Gene M. Tucker, Form Criticism of the Old Testament, and Walter E. Rast, Tradition History and the Old Testament (1971–72). Among general introductions, the most exhaustive is Otto Eissfeldt (op. cit.), based mainly on literary criticism. The other methods are reflected to a somewhat greater extent in Aage Bentzen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 3rd ed. (1957); and in the briefer, less original but very readable work of Artur Weiser, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 4th ed. (1957; Eng. trans., The Old Testament: Its Formation and Development, 1961). For pioneering research in tradition analysis of the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets, see Martin Noth, Überlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch, 3rd ed. (1966; Eng. trans., A History of Pentateuchal Traditions, 1972), and Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (1957); the latter deals with what its author calls “The Deuteronomic History,” an envisioned work containing the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. The contribution of form criticism to the understanding of the history of the Book of Psalms may best be approached through Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction (1967), a translation of his article in Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2nd ed.) summarizing his seminal work in Die Psalmen (1926) and Einleitung in die Psalmen (1928). Elmer A. Leslie, The Psalms, Translated and Interpreted in the Light of Hebrew Life and Worship (1949), is heavily dependent on Gunkel and illustrates his use of form criticism. The celebrated work of Sigmund Mowinckel on the Psalter, culminating in his masterful Offersang ob Sangoffer (1951; Eng. trans., The Psalms in Israel's Worship, 2 vol., 1962), combines the methods of Gunkel with those of the comparative historian of religion and locates the setting for the production of most of the psalms in the cult of the Solomonic temple. The application of the newer methods to the study of the Latter Prophets is evident in the essays in Harold H. Rowley (ed.), Studies in Old Testament Prophecy (1950). The new approaches were deeply under the impact of Henrik S. Nyberg, Studien zum Hoseabuche (1935). Other books that amplify the implications of his assumptions include: Johannes Lindblom, Prophecy in Ancient Israel (1962); Curt Kuhl, Israels Propheten (1956; Eng. trans., The Prophets of Israel, 1960); and Sigmund Mowinckel, Prophecy and Tradition: The Prophetic Books in the Light of the Study of the Growth and History of the Tradition (1946). Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets (1962), though of independent origin, nevertheless belongs with those new interpretations of the prophetic materials. An old classic in a new edition, Oliver S. Rankin, Israel's Wisdom Literature: Its Bearing on Theology and the History of Religion (1936, reprinted 1969), presents Israel's wisdom literature in relation both to its extra-Israelite cultural connections and to the rest of Israel's heritage in the Old Testament. Two new approaches to the legacy of wisdom literature, one through literary form and the other through theology, are presented, respectively, in R.B.Y. Scott, The Way of Wisdom in the Old Testament (1971); and Gerhard von Rad, Weisheit in Israel (1970). See also Northrop Frye, The Great Code: The Bible and Literature (1982), and Elsa Tamez, Bible of the Oppressed (1982), an interpretation from a Latin, female theologian's perspective.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Modern English  Far Traveler  Old English poem, probably from the 7th century, that is preserved in the Exeter Book, a 10th-century collection of Old English poetry. “Widsith” is an idealized self-portrait of a scop (minstrel) of the Germanic heroic age who wandered widely and was welcomed in many mead halls, where he entertained the great of many kingdoms. Because the heroic figures the minstrel claims

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Extremely thin sheet of rich-coloured wood (such as mahogany, ebony, or rosewood) or precious materials (such as ivory or tortoiseshell) cut in decorative patterns and applied to the surface area of a piece of furniture. It is to be distinguished from two allied processes: inlay, in which cutout pieces of decorative wood or other materials—such as metal, leather, or

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Alexander carried on the hopeless struggle of the crown against the growing power of the Polish senate and nobles, who deprived him of financial control and curtailed his prerogative. For want of funds, Alexander was unable to assist the Grand Master

Monday, September 13, 2004

'abbas I

L.L. Bellan, Chah 'Abbas I: sa vie, son histoire (1932), the only biography of Shah 'Abbas I in any European language—generally accurate; R.M. Savory, “ 'Abbas I” in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., vol. 1, pp. 7–8 (1960); for general background to the period of Shah 'Abbas, the reader is referred to: J. Chardin, Voyages du Chevalier Chardin, 4th ed., 4 vol. (1811); Sir John Malcom, The History of Persia from the Early Period to the Present Time, 2 vol. (1815); and V. Minorsky, Tadhkirat al-Muluk (1943), especially the introduction, commentary, and appendixes.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Town, extreme southern Thailand. Yala is a modern commercial centre on the Pattani River, which flows north into the Gulf of Thailand. The town is also located on the Bangkok-Singapore railway and the Pattani–George Town (Penang [Malaysia]) highway. The population includes Thai Muslims, Malay Muslims, and Chinese. The region is heavily planted in rubber. Nearby caves contain

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Wagner, Richard

For the next 15 years Wagner was not to present any further new works. Until 1858 he lived in Zürich, composing, writing treatises, and conducting (he directed the London Philharmonic concerts in 1855). Having already studied the Siegfried legend and the Norse myths as a possible basis for an opera, and having written an operatic “poem,” Siegfrieds Tod (Siegfried's Death), in which he

Monday, September 06, 2004

Aldington, Richard

Educated at Dover College and London University, Aldington early attracted attention through his volumes of Imagist verse (see Imagists). In 1913 he married Hilda

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Switzerland, Dynastic Switzerland

The Swiss area became united again in the 11th century under a German-dominated Holy Roman Empire; however, the gradual decline of the empire gave rise to a loose confederation of quasi-independent states, enabling feudal dynasties of the Zähringen, Savoy, Kyburg, and Habsburg families to emerge as territorial powers by the beginning of the 13th century. During the 11th

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Lanciani, Rodolfo Amadeo

At 20 Lanciani assisted in the excavation of Emperor Trajan's harbour at Porto, and his description (1868) of that site remains