Albracca's Damsel (in Orlando Furioso) is Angelica. Albracca is the capital of Cathay (q.v.).
Album A blank book for scraps. The Romans applied the word to certain tables overlaid with gypsum, on which were inscribed the annals of the chief priests, the edicts of the prætors, and rules relating to civil matters. In the Middle Ages, "album" was the general name of a register or list; so called from being kept either on a white (albus) board with black letters, or on a black board with white letters. For the same reason the boards in churches for notices, and the boards in universities containing the names of the college men, are called albums.
Alcade (3 syl.) A magistrate is so called in Spain and Portugal. The word is the Arabic al cadi (the judge).
Alcaic Verse Alcaïcs. A Greek and Latin metre, so called from Alcoes, a lyric poet, who invented it. Each line is divided into two parts. The first two lines of each stanza of the ninth ode of Horace are in Alcaics. The first two lines of the ode run thus, and in the same metre:
"See how Soracté groans with its wintry snow,
Alcantara (Order of) A military and religious order instituted in 1214 by Alfonso IX., King of Castile, to commemorate the taking of Alcantara from the Moors. The sovereign of Spain is ex-officio, head of the Order. A resuscitation of the order of St. Julian of the Pear-tree, instituted by Fernando Gomez in 1176, better known by the French title St. Julien du Poirier. The badge of the order was a pear-tree.
Alcastus (in Jerusalem Delivered). The Capaneus of the Crusaders, leader of 6,000 foot soldiers from Helvetia.
Alce (2 syl.). One of the dogs of Actæon. The word means "strength."
Alceste (2 syl.) The hero of Molière's Misanthrope. Not unlike Shakespeare's character of Timon.
Alchemilla or Lady's Mantle. The alchemist's plant; so called because alchemists collected the dew of its leaves for their operations. Lady means the Virgin Mary, to whom the plant was dedicated.
Alchemy (Al-ki-me) is the Arabic al kimia (the secret art); so called not only because it was carried on in secret, but because its main objects were the three great secrets of science - the transmutation of baser metals into gold, the universal solvent, and the elixir of life.
Alcimedon A generic name for a first-rate carver in wood.
Alcina The personification of carnal pleasure in Orlando Furioso; the Circe of classic fable, and Labè of the Arabians. She enjoyed her lovers for a time, and then changed them into trees, stones, fountains, or beasts, as her fancy dictated.
Alcinoo poma dare (to give apples to Alcinous). To carry coals to Newcastle; sending cider to Herefordshire. The orchards of Alcinous, King of Corcyra (Corfu), were famous for their fruits.
Alcofribas The pseudonym of Rabelais in his Gargantua and Pantagruel. Alcofribas Nasier is an anagram of "François Rabelais." The introduction runs thus: "The inestimable life of the great Gargantua, father of Pantagruel, heretofore composed by M. Alcofribas, abstractor of the quintessence, a book full of pantagruelism."
Alcuith mentioned by the Venerable Bede, is Dumbarton.
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