Thursday, November 17, 2005

Smith, Robert

Smith, brother of Samuel Smith, the military hero, grew up in Baltimore. He graduated in 1781 from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), studied law, and became a prominent and prosperous Baltimore attorney. From 1793 to 1801 Smith was active in Maryland politics,

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Shamanism, American Indians

Among many North American tribes shamanism constitutes the most important aspect of the religious life. The shaman is characterized by the supernatural power he acquires as the result of a direct personal experience. This power is obtained either spontaneously or after a voluntary quest, but in either case the future shaman has to undergo certain initiatory

Sunday, July 24, 2005


The Shilluk are sedentary agriculturists with strong pastoral interests (cattle, sheep, and goats). Men hunt, herd, and milk the livestock; both sexes do agricultural work. The community

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Aesthetics, Japan

The practice of literary commentary and aesthetic discussion was extensively developed in Japan and is exemplified at its most engaging in the great novel Genji monogatari (c. 1000; Tale of Genji), written by Murasaki Shikibu, lady-in-waiting to the Empress. Centuries of commentary on this novel, as well as on the court literature that it inspired, on the no and puppet plays,

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ma'mun, Al-

At the beginning of 833 al-Ma'mun decided to require adherence to Mu'tazilah from all his subjects. As the caliph was then on an expedition against the Byzantines in the region of Tarsus, he entrusted this task to his representative in Baghdad, the prefect of police Ishaq ibn Ibrahim. The latter first called together the qadis (judges) to urge them to recognize the Mu'tazili doctrine;

Friday, June 17, 2005


Under Pope Gregory I the Great, he served as papal ambassador at Constantinople, trying to reconcile the Roman Church with Patriarch John IV the Faster, whose claim to the title of ecumenical patriarch was regarded by Gregory to be a threat to Christian unity. Elected in 604 as Gregory's successor, Sabinian seems to have been markedly

Monday, June 13, 2005

China, Mineral resources

China is well endowed with mineral resources, the most important of which is coal. Although deposits are widely scattered (some coal is found in every province), most of the total is located in the northern part of the country. The province of Shansi, in fact, is thought to contain about half of the total; other important coal-bearing provinces include Heilungkiang, Liaoning,