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south, nearly parallel with the Rhine, and forming a continuation of the Jura mountains, which separate France from Switzerland. Beginning in the vicinity of Belfort, in the ancient Sundgau, they divide Alsace from Lorraine, and, bending towards the German provinces on the Rhine, they terminate, towards the north-east, on the Rhine and the Moselle, under the name of Hundsrück (q. v.), and towards the north-west, in the grand duchy of Luxemburg, under the name of the Ardennes. Alsace, situated on the German side of the Vosges, has been in the possession of France for a century; yet the language is still German. The highest summits attain an elevation of nearly 4500 feet above the surface of the sea. They have a gentle declivity, and, on the eastern and southern sides, are often covered with vineyards. Great part of the Vosges mountains are covered with forests; and they are rich in game, wild fowl, silver, copper, iron, lead, coal and antimony. They also contain excellent pasturage; and the inhabitants breed many cattle, and make large quantities of cheese, known under the name of Munster cheese. The Ill, Lauter, Moselle, Meurthe, Saar and Saonne rise in this chain of mountains.
VOSGES; a department in the eastern part of France. (See Department.)
Voss, John Henry, was born in 1751, in Mecklenburg. Till his fourteenth year, he was educated in the small town of Penzlin. In 1766, he was placed at the school of New Brandenburg. He early devoted himself to the classical languages, and made verses. Being without funds to support him at the university, he accepted the place of tutor in a private family, in order to obtain the necessary means. After having been occupied with instructing five or six hours a day, he found recreation in Greek, music and poetry. In 1772, he went to Göttingen, where he joined a society of young men, at the head of which were Boje and Bürger, and which has since become important in the history of German literature. Voss studied theology, which, however, he soon gave up, in order to devote himself entirely to philology. Heyne was one of his chief teachers; but with him he quarrelled. In 1778, he was appointed rector at Ottendorf. In 1781, after the publication of several treatises, he produced his German Odyssey, a work which, whatever may be the opinion of some respecting it, has rendered this grand poem national with the Germans, and may be compared, in
this respect, with Schlegel's translation of Shakspeare. In 1782, the state of his health obliged him to go to Eutin. His disputes with Heyne continued. In 1793, appeared his translation of the Iliad, and that of the Odyssey, in a new form, in which, however, it did not please so much as before, being more simple. Besides many philological and antiquarian works, he published an idyl in the epic form, called Luise, in 1795. It had previously appeared in 1783, but was now produced with improvements. It is much liked by many Germans: others consider it an unfortunate attempt to give an epic character to the events of an ordinary life. In 1799, appeared his translation of the whole of Virgil into German. In 1801, he added a volume of pastoral poems to a new edition of Luise, and, in 1802, four volumes of lyric poems, to which was added the Zeitmessung Deutscher Sprache, a work of considerable importance. In 1802, his German Homer appeared anew, in an improved form. In 1802, he went to Jena; in 1805, to Heidelberg, in order to aid the new organization of the university. Here appeared, in 1806, his German Horace, Hesiod, and Orpheus the Argonaut; in 1807, a new edition of Luise, and of his Homer; in 1808, a German Theocritus, Bion and Moschus; in 1810, Tibullus and Lygdamus, in German; in 1811, the Latin text of the same, prepared from manuscripts. In 1814, he published a muchimproved edition of his German Homer. In 1821, appeared his translation of Aristophanes; in 1824, a translation of Aratus. He also undertook to translate, with his sons Henry (died in 1822) and Abraham, the whole of Shakspeare, of which the three first volumes appeared in 1819. This translation cannot stand a comparison with Schlegel's. In 1823, Voss came out, in opposition to Creuzer (q. v.), with his Antisymbolik (Stuttgart, 1823). The second volume was published by his son Abraham, from manuscript, in 1826. Almost at the same time, he made an attack on Catholic mysticism, principally in consequence of his friend count Stolberg becoming a Catholic. He died in 1826, in Heidelberg. (See Paulus's Lebens- und Todeskunden von J. H. Voss, 1826.) His translations are the best existing of classic authors, and have contributed much to the advancement of German literature; while Schlegel's translations of Shakspeare and other modern writers, and his treatises on romantic literature, have prevented the classical element from becoming excessive.
Vossius, or Vos, Gerard John, a celebrated writer on criticism and philology, born near Heidelberg, in 1577, studied at Dordrecht and Leyden. At the age of twenty, he commenced his literary career by the publication of a Latin panegyric on prince Maurice of Nassau, and, two years after, became director of the college of Dordrecht. In 1614, the chair of philosophy was offered him at Steinfurt; but he preferred the direction of the theological college established at Leyden; and, after having occupied that post four years, amidst the storms of religious controversy, he procured the more peaceable appointment of professor of rhetoric and chronology. Having declared himself in favor of the Remonstrants, he became obnoxious to the prevailing party in the church; and, at the synod of Tergou, or Gouda, in 1620, he was deprived of his office. Through the influence of archbishop Laud, the patron of Arminianism in England, Vossius was indemnified for his loss by a prebendal stall at Canterbury, with permission to continue his residence in the Netherlands. In 1633, he was invited to Amsterdam, to occupy the chair of history, at the schola illustris, and continued there till his death, in 1649. Among his numerous works may be specified the treatises De Origine Idololatria; De Historicis Græcis, et de Historicis Latinis; De Poetis Græcis et Latinis; De Scientiis Mathematicis; De Quatuor Artibus popularibus; Historia Pelagiana; Institutiones Historica, Grammatica, Poetica; Etymologicon Lingua Latina; De Vitiis Sermonis; De Philosophorum Sectis. A collective edition of his works appeared in 6 vols., folio (Amsterdam, 1695-1701).
Vossius, Isaac, son of the preceding, was born at Leyden, in 1618, and, possessing great natural talents, acquired early reputation among the learned. At the age of twenty-one, he published an edition of the Periplus of Scylax, with a Latin version, and notes. Christina, queen of Sweden, invited him to Stockholm, and chose him for her preceptor in the Greek language. His quarrels with Saumaise having rendered the court of Sweden disagreeable to him, he quitted it in 1649, and returned to his native country, where he employed himself in the production of various learned works. In 1670, he visited England, and was admitted to the degree of LL. D. at Oxford; and, in 1673, having been presented to a canonry, at Windsor, by Charles II, he passed the remaining part of his life in
that country, where he died in 1688. Besides editing the works of Scylax, Justin the historian, Catullus, Pomponius Mela, St. Barnabas, and St. Ignatius, he published Dissertatio de vera Ætate Mundi; De Septuaginta Interpretibus eorumque Translatione et Chronologia Dissertationes, in which he defended the chronology of the Septuagint version against the Hebrew text of the Old Testament; De Poematum Cantu et Viribus Rhythmi, &c. Isaac Vossius was, while in England, intimate with St. Evremond and the duchess of Mazarin; but though he lived much in the society of the great, his behavior was sometimes rude, and his language by no means decent. In his writings, he maintained extravagant paradoxes, while he was generally considered as an infidel in religion. Hence Charles II said he was a strange divine, for he believed every thing but the Bible. VOTIACKS. (See Finns.)
VOTIVE TABLES are those tablets which give information of the circumstances connected with offerings deposited in a temple in consequence of vows.
VOUET, Simon, an eminent French painter, was born at Paris, in 1582, and was bred up under his father, who was also an artist. He accompanied the French embassy at Constantinople, and drew the grand seignior, from memory, after an audience in the train of the ambassador. He then visited Venice and Rome, at which latter capital he acquired great distinction. He remained in Italy fourteen years, when he was sent for by Louis XIII, to work in his palaces, and furnished some of the apartments of the Louvre, the palace of Luxembourg, and the galleries of cardinal Richelieu, and other public places, with his works. He was a good colorist, but had little genius for grand composition, although France was certainly indebted to him for introducing a better taste. Most of the succeeding French painters who gained distinction, were bred under him, including Le Brun, Perrier, Mignard, Le Sueur, Dorigny, Du Fresnoy, and others. He died in 1649.
VOULGARIANS. (See Bulgaria.) VOUSSOIRS; the wedge-shaped stones which form an arch.
Vow. "A vow," says the Catholic Dictionnaire de Théologie (Toulouse, 1817), "is a promise made to God of a thing which we think to be agreeable to him, and which we are not, on other grounds, obliged to render to him. This is what the theologians understand by it when
they say a vow is promissio de meliori bono. To promise God to do what he commands, or to avoid what he forbids, is not a vow, because we are already obliged so to act." The Catholics adduce numerous passages in the Old Testament to prove that vows are agreeable to God; and their idea of vows is intimately connected with that of good works. To Protestants the theory of vows appears untenable, because nothing can be agreeable to God but what is good in itself; and it is the duty of man, at all times, to aim at the performance of all the good in his power. They consider vows as belonging to ages when the ideas entertained of the Deity, and of our obligations to him, were very crude; and he was looked upon much in the light of a human being. They consider those vows as nothing less than impious, which assume that the Deity can be made to deviate from the path prescribed by infinite wisdom for the consideration of a promise which can have no meaning except between finite beings. The pope has the power, not to absolve from vows, but to substitute some equivalent for the specific performance of them. Catholic writers have therefore maintained that liberty, which is given up in the monastic vows, being the highest good of man, no equivalent can be found for it, and therefore the pope cannot dispense from or commute these vows. (For the monastic vows, see Monastic Vows, Monasteries, and Religious Orders.) VOWEL (from the French voyelle; Latin, vocalis); a simple articulated sound, which is produced merely by breathing and a peculiar opening of the mouth, or, at least, with very little assistance from any other organ of speech. We say very little, because the difference of the sounds e and i (pronounced as in Italian or German) seems to us to depend, in some slight measure, on a curvature of the tongue. Tubes, with various openings, have been invented, which produce the sounds of the five vowels a, e, i, o, u, as pronounced in most languages on the European continent. The circumstance that all vowels, mainly, and most of them entirely, depend upon the form given to the opening of the mouth, is the reason also, 1. that they can be pronounced without the assistance of another sound; hence they are called, in German, Selbstlauter (i. e. self-sounds), whilst consonants are called Hülfslauter (sounds which need the assistance of another); 2. that the sound of the vowels can be continued as long as the breath lasts: for this reason,
they are the natural expressions of emotions, either with no assistance, or with but slight assistance from consonants. From the circumstance that the vowel sounds require only breathing and the opening of the mouth, they are by far the predominating sounds in the cries or music of animals, the pronunciation of the consonants being more difficult, as requiring the application of the other organs of speech. In the particular that the vowel sounds may be continued as long as the breath lasts, some consonants resemble them, and are therefore called semi-vowels, or half vowels; these are the liquids l, m, n, r, and the sibilant s. (See S.) The number of vowels in the different languages is not uniform; thus there are in Greek seven, in Latin but five, and in German, if we consider ä, ö, ű, simple vowels, as they really are, eight. (For further observations upon this point, and upon others touched on in this article, see Voice.) This difference in number, however, is sometimes founded more on the scarcity or abundance of characters, than on a difference of sounds, since, in some languages, there are many more vowel sounds than signs. In some languages, the sounds of the vowels are uniform, as in Italian and Spanish. Thus a, e, i, o, u, never change their sound except in as far as they are pronounced long or short. The same is the case in the German language, with the single exception of e, which, in many cases, is mute, as in haben. In French, e is pronounced in three ways-the è ouvert, é fermé, and e muet. (See E.) But in no language are the same vowel-characters used to designate so great a variety of sounds, and in no European language are there so many sounds falling between the fundamental sounds, as in English: such are u in but; i in sir; u in spur; ough in through; ea in heard, &c. These intermediate sounds are by far the most difficult for foreigners to acquire, and are very rarely learned so perfectly that the foreign accent is not perceptible. Vowels, as has been remarked in the article Consonant, very frequently alternate with each other in the fluctuations of language, and are, therefore, of less importance to the etymologist than consonants. In the German language, the change of vowels has become a grammatical form, to indicate, generally speaking, the relation of derivation. The harmoniousness of a language depends much upon the proportion of the vowels to the consonants. (See the article Consonant.)
VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY. (See Travels, and North Polar Expeditions.)
VOYER. (See Argenson.)
VRIES, Hieronymus van, born at Amsterdam, in 1776, is one of the most eminent living scholars and authors of Holland. His Life of Anaxagoras, and his Eulogy of Hieronymus van Decker, laid the foundation of his reputation, and procured him admission into the Dutch institute. His History of Dutch Poetry (1808, 2 vols.) is a classical work, and gained the prize offered by the society for the promotion of Dutch literature and poetry. Vries has subsequently been one of the most active members of the second class of the institute, which is employed on two numismatical works of the greatest interest for Netherlandish history. One is intended to form a supplement to the works of Van Loon and Mieris, the other to comprise those medals which were struck subsequently to 1723, and could not, therefore, be included in the works of Van Loon and Mieris.
VROON, Henry Cornelius; a Dutch "painter, born at Haerlem, in 1566. Being shipwrecked on the coast of Portugal, during a voyage to Spain, he succeeded so well in painting the storm which caused his misfortune, that he dedicated himself entirely to sea pieces, on his return home. About this time, the earl of Nottingham, lord high admiral of England, being desirous of preserving the details of the defeat of the Spanish armada, in which he bore so conspicuous a part, bespoke a suit of tapestry descriptive of each day's engagement. For this tapestry Vroon was employed to furnish designs; and the tapestry has often excited great admiration in the house of lords, where it was placed. The date of the death of this artist is not recorded.
VULCANISTS; those geological theorists who maintain that the earth was at first in a state of igneous fusion, and that it gradually cooled, and became covered only at a subsequent period. According to the Vulcanists, the land was raised up by an internal force; the irregularities which diversify its surface are the effects of volcanic eruptions; and the transported soils have been formed by the disintegrations of the higher grounds. The Neptunists, on the other hand, maintain that the earth was originally in a state of aqueous solution. (See Geology.)
VULCANUS; a god of the ancients, who presided over fire, and was the patron of all artists who worked iron and metals.
He was son of Juno alone, who, in this, wished to imitate Jupiter, who had produced Minerva from his brains. According to Homer, he was son of Jupiter and Juno; and the mother was so disgusted with the deformities of her son, that she threw him into the sea as soon as born, where he remained for nine years. According to the more received opinion, Vulcan was educated in heaven with the rest of the gods, but his father kicked him down from Olympus, when he attempted to deliver his mother, who had been fastened by a golden chain for her insolence. He was nine days in passing from heaven upon earth, and fell in the island of Lemnos. He broke his leg by the fall, and ever after remained lame of one foot. He fixed his residence in Lemnos, where he built himself a palace, and raised forges to work metals. Bacchus intoxicated him, and prevailed upon him to come to Olympus, where he was reconciled to his parents. Vulcan has been celebrated, by the ancient poets, for the ingenious works and automatical figures which he made. It is said, that, at the request of Jupiter, he made the first woman that ever appeared on earth, well known under the name of Pandora. (See Pandora.) The Cyclops of Sicily were his ministers and attendants; and with him they fabricated, not only the thunderbolts of Jupiter, but also arms for the gods and the most celebrated heroes. His forges were supposed to be under mount Etna, in the island of Sicily, as well as in every part of the earth where there were volcanoes. Venus was the wife of Vulcan. Her infidelity is well known. Her amours with Mars were discovered by Phœbus, and exposed to the gods by her own husband. The worship of Vulcan was well established, particularly in Egypt, at Athens, and at Rome. He was represented covered with sweat, blowing, with his nervous arm, the fires of his forges. His breast was hairy, and his forehead was blackened with smoke. Some represent him lame and deformed, holding a hammer, raised in the air, ready to strike; while, with the other hand, he turns with pincers a thunderbolt on his anvil. He appears, on some monuments, with a long beard, dishevelled hair, half naked, and a small round cap on his head, while he holds a hammer and pincers in his hand. The Egyptians represented him under the figure of a monkey. Vulcan received many other names, among which the most common is Mulciber. He was father of Cupid by Venus. Cicero speaks of more
than one deity of the name of Vulcan. One he calls son of Cœlus, and father of Apollo by Minerva. The second he mentions as son of the Nile, and called Phthas by the Egyptians. The third was son of Jupiter and Juno, and fixed his residence in Lemnos; and the fourth, who built his forges in the Lipari islands, was son of Menalius.
VULGAR ERA; the common era used by Christians, dating from the birth of Christ. (See Epoch.)
VULGAR FRACTIONS. (See Fractions.) VULGATE; the name of the Latin translation of the Bible, which has, in the Catholic church, official authority, and which the council of Trent, in their fourth session, in May 27, 1546, declared "shall be held as authentic, in all public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions; and that no one shall presume to reject it, under any pretence whatsoever." Even in the early period of the church, a Latin translation of the Old Testament existed, called Itala, made after the Septuagint. (q. v.) St. Jerome found that this translation was not always accurate, and made a new Latin translation from the Hebrew, which, however, was only partially adopted by the church, about the year 387. In the sequel, the translations were combined, and formed the Vulgate, so called. This grew up between the eighth and sixteenth centuries. Only the Psalms were retained in the ancient form. That its Latin phraseology is impure, if the Latin of the classical Roman authors is taken as the standard, is not, in all cases, an objection. New ideas require new terms; but the Vulgate does not give, in many passages, the sense of the original, and does not correspond to the present advanced state of philology and archæology. Many Catholics have often represented the necessity of a new translation, as much of the old one was made when scriptural philology was in a very low state; and all of them admit that the church does not consider the Vulgate as a perfect translation, but only as the most satisfactory of all the Latin editions. Cardinal Bellarmin maintains that all which the counsel of Trent says, is, that the Vulgate contains no errors which affect points of faith or morals: he does not pretend that it is without fault. The Protestants, however, were of opinion that the Vulgate was to be absolutely rejected, if they desired to rest their faith on the Bible. But what edition of the Vulgate was to be adopted by the Catholics, after the decree mentioned above, became a question, because the editions
were various, and differed essentially. A committtee was appointed to prepare a proper text; but, the pope not liking it, it was abandoned. Pius IV, Pius V and Sixtus V then took the greatest pains to form a correct Vulgate. The latter published his edition in 1590, with anathemas against any who should venture to make changes; but this edition had scarcely appeared, when pope Clement VIII published a new one, in 1592, accompanied by a similar bull. Another improved edition was printed in 1593. The differences in these editions are very considerable. The decree of the council above mentioned gives the list of the canonical books, as given in our article Bible. St. Jerome inserted, it is true, the apocryphal books; but it is clear that he only considered those canonical, which are now regarded as such by Protestants.
VULPINITE. (See Anhydrite.)
VULTURE (vultur). The vultures have been referred, by ornithologists, to the accipitres, or rapacious birds, the same family with the hawks and owls, although they differ in many important points. The feet of the vultures are incapable of grasping and bearing off living prey, although sufficiently powerful to permit them to rest on trees: the mouth is also much smaller, the angle not extending beneath the eyes; the head is disproportionately small, compared with the size of the body, and the neck long and slender; the eyes are even with the surface of the head: in short, their general aspect is widely different from the hawks and owls, and most unexpectedly approaches, in some respects, the gallinacea; which similitude is expressed in many of their common names. The head and neck of the vultures are more or less deprived of feathers, and covered with short and scattering down. The beak is straight, more or less stout, and the superior mandible curved at the extremity. Their wings are very long and pointed, and their flight exceedingly powerful, so much so, that they often soar beyond the reach of sight. They are voracious and cowardly, feeding chiefly on carrion, but sometimes attack young or sickly animals. Their bodies exhale a disgusting odor. They usually live in companies; and many of the larger species do not quit the lofty chains of mountains, where they build in inaccessible places. Their piercing sight enables them to discover carrion at a great distance. The condor, or great vulture of the Andes, is particularly described in a separate article. (See Condor.) The king of vultures, V. papa, is about as large as a small tur