Aquarius to Archimedes Screw

Aquarius [the water-bearer ]. One of the signs of the zodiac (January 20th to February 18th). So called because it appears when the Nile begins to overflow.

Aqueous Rocks Rocks produced by the agency of water, such as bedded limestones, sandstones, and clays; in short, all the geological rocks which are arranged in layers or strata.

Aquilant (in Orlando Furioso). A knight in Charlemagne's army, son of Olivero and Sigismunda. He was called black from his armour, and his brother Gryphon white. While Aquilant was searching for his brother he met Martano in Gryphon's armour, and took him bound to Damascus, where his brother was.

Aquiline (3 syl.). Raymond's matchless steed, bred on the banks of the Tagus. (Georgics, iii. 271-- 277; and Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, book vii.) (See Horse.)

Aquinian Sage (The). Juvenal is so called because he was born at Aquinum, a town of the Volscians.

Arabesque [Arrabesk ]. The gorgeous Moorish patterns, like those in the Alhambra, especially employed in architectural decoration. During the Spanish wars, in the reign of Louis XIV., arabesque decorations were profusely introduced into France. (French, "Arab-like.")

Arabian Bird (The). The phoenix; a marvellous man, quite sui generis.

"O Antony! thou Arabian bird!" Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, iii. 2.

Arabian Nights (The). First made known in Europe by Antoine Galland, a French Oriental scholar, who translated them and called them The Thousand and One Nights (from the number of nights occupied in their recital). They are of Indian, Persian, Egyptian, and Arabian origin. Common English translations -

4 vols. 12mo, 1792, by R. Heron, published in Edinburgh and London.
3 vols. 12mo, 1794, by Mr. Beloe, London.
3 vols. 12mo, 1798, by Richard Gough, enlarged. Paris edition.
5 vols. 8vo, 1802, by Rev. Edward Foster.
5 vols. 8vo, 1830, by Edw. Wm. Lane.
The Tales of the Genii, by Sir Charles Morell (i.e. Rev. James Ridley), are excellent imitations.

Arabians A class of Arabian heretics of the third century, who maintained that the soul dies with the body.

Arabic Figures The figures 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. So called because they were introduced into Europe (Spain) by the Moors or Arabs, who learnt them from the Hindus. Far more important than the characters, is the decimalism of these figures: 1 figure = units, 2 figures = tens, 3 figures = hundreds, and so on ad infinitum.

The figures i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, etc., are called Roman figures.
The Greeks arranged their figures under three columns of nine figures, units, tens, and hundreds, and employed the letters of the alphabet. As there are but twenty-four letters, a sansculotte letter had to be introduced into each column. In the units column it represented 6, and was called episemon. In the tens column it represented 90, and was called koppos. And: in the third column it represented 900, and was called sanpi. Thousands were represented by a dash under some letter of the first three columns.

Arabs Street Arabs. The houseless poor; street children. So called because, like the Arabs, they are nomads or wanderers with no settled home.

Arachne's Labours Spinning and weaving. Arachne was so skilful a needlewoman that she challenged Minerva to a trial of skill, and hanged herself because the goddess beat her. Minerva then changed her into a spider.

"Arachne's labours ne'er her hours divide,
Her noble hands nor looms nor spindles guide."
Hoole's Jerusalem Delivered, book ii.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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