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Encyclopedia Britannica

Mercury
Mercury, In Chemistry, A Metallic Element Which Is Easily Distinguished From All Others By Its Being Liquid At Even The Lowest Temperatures Occurring In Moderate Climates (symbol Hg, Atomic Number 8o, Atomic Weight, 200.6, Numerous Isotopes 197 To 204). This Metal Does Not Appear To Have Been Known To The ...

Mercury
Mercury () Is The Smallest Of The Major Planets, And Has A Diameter Of Only About 3,00o Miles. It Is Also The Nearest To The Sun With A Mean Distance Of 36,000,000 Miles Or 0.39 Of The Earth's Distance. But The Eccentricity Of Its Orbit, Amounting To 0.206, Is Very ...

Mergui
Mergui, The Southernmost District Of Burma, In The Tenas Serim Division, Hounded On The West By The Andaman Sea Of The Bay Of Bengal And On The East By Siam. Area 10,906 Sq.m. Two Principal Ranges Cross The District From North To South, Running Almost Parallel To Each Other For ...

Merida
Merida (anc. Augusta Emerita, Capital Of Lusitania), A Town Of Western Spain, In The Province Of Badajoz, On The Right Bank Of The River Guadiana, 3o M. E. Of Badajoz. Pop. (1930) 17,608. Merida Is An Important Railway Junction, For Here The Madrid-badajoz Railway Meets The Lines From Seville, Huelva ...

Merino
Merino. The Spanish Name For A Breed Of Sheep, And Hence Applied To A Woollen Fabric. The Merino Is A White, Short-wool Sheep, The Male Having Spiral Horns, The Ewes Being Generally Horn Less. It Is Bred Chiefly For Its Wool, Because, Though An Excellent Grazer And Very Adaptable, It ...

Merioneth
Merioneth (welsh Meirionydd), A County Of North Wales Bounded North By Carnarvon And Denbigh, East By Denbigh And Montgomery, South-east By Montgomery, South By The Dovey Estuary, Dividing It From Cardigan, And West By Cardigan Bay. It Is Nearly Triangular, Its Greatest Length From North-east To South West Being About ...

Merlin
Merlin, The Famous Bard Of Welsh Tradition, Enchanter And Counsellor Of Arthurian Romance. The Personality Of Merlin, On One Side Of Demoniac, On The Other Of Human, Parentage, Is Now Generally Recognized As A Combination Of Diverse Traditions. Geoffrey Of Monmouth, To Whom We Owe The Conception Of The Romantic ...

Mermaids And Mermen
Mermaids And Mermen, In The Folk-lore Of England And Scotland, Semi-human Beings Who Dwell In The Sea, But Can Live On Land And Enter Into Social Relations With Humans. The Typical Mermaid Has The Head And Body Of A Lovely Woman, But Below The Waist Is Fashioned Like A Fish, ...

Meroe
Meroe, The Southern Capital Of The Ethiopian Kings Of Napata, 700-300 B.c., Becoming Eventually The Sole Capital Of The Meroitic Kingdom Which Lasted Till About A.d. 350; Now An Exten Sive Field Of Ruins, Found On The East Bank Of The Nile Near Kabushia Railway Station In The Egyptian Sudan, ...

Meroitic Language And Writing
Meroitic Language And Writing. The Ethi Opian Kings Of Napata, And Afterwards Of Meroe, Employed The Egyptian Language In Hieroglyphic Writing For Their Formal In Scriptions And Presumably For Other Records ; But Dating From The First Century B.c. To Near The End Of The Third Century A.d. There Are ...

Merthyr Tydfil Or Merthyr
Merthyr Tydfil Or Merthyr Tydvil, Munic Ipal, County And Parliamentary Borough, Of Glamorganshire, S. Wales, Situated On The River Taff And The Glamorganshire Canal, And Served By The G.w.r. And L.m.s.r., 2 M. N.w. Of Cardiff. Pop. (1931) 71,099. It Is Said To Have Derived Its Name From The Martyrdom ...

Meru Or Maur Merv
Merv, Meru Or Maur, An Ancient And Once Famous Oasis And Town Of Asiatic Russia In The Turkmen S.s.r. The Oasis Has An Area Of 134,40o Sq.km., And A Population (1926) Of Mainly Turkmens Of The Tekke Tribe. The Great Chain Of Moun Tains Which, Under The Names Of Paropamisus ...

Meshed
Meshed (properly Mash-had, The Place Of Martyrdom), Capital Of Khurasan In Persia, Is Situated At An Elevation Of 3,197 Ft., In The Valley Of The Ab-i-meshed Or Kashaf Rud, A Tributary Of The Hari Rud. The Town, In N., 36' E. Is 46o M. Crowfly From Tehran (566 M. By ...

Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia. Although The Boundaries Of The Modern Kingdom Of 'iraq, Which Occupies The Land Of Ancient Mesopo Tamia, Have Recently Been Clearly Defined The Term Mesopotamia Has Been Loosely Used. In This Article The Area Included Is The Great Depression Shut In Between The Escarpment Of The Arabian Desert And ...

Mesquite Or Honey Locust
Mesquite Or Honey Locust, In Botany, A Tree, Native Of Arid Regions In The South-western United States And Extending Southwards To Chile And The Argentine Republic. It Is Known Botanically As Prosopis Juliflora, And Belongs To The Family Leguminosae (suborder Mimoseae). It Reaches 4o Or 5o Ft. In Height With ...

Messapii
Messapii, The Name Of An Ancient Tribe Which Inhabited, In Historical Times, The South-eastern Peninsula Or "heel" Of Italy, Known Variously In Ancient Times As Calabria, Messapia, And Iapygia. Their Chief Towns Were Uzentum, Rudiae, Brundisium, And Uria. They Are Mentioned (herod. Vii. 170) As Having Inflicted A Serious Defeat ...

Messene
Messene, An Ancient Greek City, Capital Of Messenia, Founded In 369 B.c., After The Battle Of Leuctra And The First Theban Invasion Of The Peloponnese, By The Combined Theban And Argive Armies And Exiled Messenians, Invited To Found A State Independent Of Sparta. The Site, Chosen By Epameinondas, Lay On ...

Messenia
Messenia (gr. Or The S.w. District Of The Peloponnese, Bounded On The E. By Mt. Taygetus, On The N. By The River Neda And The Arcadian Mountains, On The S. And W. By The Sea. Its Area Is Some 825,000 Acres. Historically And Economically Important Is The Great Plain, Watered ...

Messiah
Messiah (dan. X. 25, 26) And Messias (john I. 41; Iv. 2). The Word Answers To The Hebrew Ha-mashiah, "the Anointed." There Can Be No Doubt That Magical Power Was Ascribed To The Anointing Oil; The King Was Thereby Rendered Sacrosanct (i Sam. Xxiv. 6 Sqq.; 2 Sam. I. 14 ...

Messina
Messina, City, Sicily, 7 M. South-south-west Of The Promon Tory Of Faro (anc. Promontorium Pelorum) Which Forms The North-east Angle Of The Island, Capital Of The Province Of Messina And Seat Of An Archbishop. Pop. (1931) 114,651 (town) ; 182,5o8 (commune). The Site Curves Round The Harbour, Between It And ...

Metabolic Diseases
Metabolic Diseases. All Disease Is Primarily Due To Alterations, Quantitative Or Qualitative, In The Chemical Changes In The Protoplasm Of Some Or All Of The Tissues Of The Body. Being Unavailable, The Tissues Have To Use More Fats And More Proteids To Procure The Necessary Energy, And Hence, Unless These ...

Metallgesellschaft Ag
Metallgesellschaft A.g., A German Company, Was Founded In 1881, By Mr. William Merton, As A Limited Company, Taking Over The Metal Business Of The Private Firm Philipp Abraham Cohen Established In The Beginning Of The 19th Century. Because Of Its Dealings In Metals, Ores, Pyrites, Etc., The Company Took Interests ...

Metalliferous Mining
Mining, Metalliferous, The Winning Of Metals And Their Ores From The Ground. Metals, In Their Pure State And Also Mechanically And Chemically Combined With Other Substances, Occur All Over The Earth's Surface. These Deposits Of Metals And Metal Ores Vary In Extent And Metal Content And In Their Depth Under ...

Metallography
Metallography. A Polished Piece Of Metal Presents An Appearance Of Complete Homogeneity Which Does Not Suggest The Existence Of A Complex Internal Structure. When The Metal Is Broken, However, The Fracture Indicates A Structure Or Texture Capable Of Microscopic Examination. This Fruitful Method, Which Forms The Foundation Of The Science ...

Metals
Metals. It Is Extremely Difficult To Find A Satisfactory Definition For A Metal But It Is Probably Best Specified As A Body Which Possesses Many Of The Following Properties : It Is Solid At Ordinary Temperatures; It Is Opaque; When Polished It Is A Good Reflector Of Light; It Is ...

Metamorphism
Metamorphism, In Petrology, Denotes The Sum Of The Processes Effecting Fundamental Alterations In Composition, Mineral Or Chemical, Structural Or Textural In Solid Rock Masses, The Altera Tions Determining Completely The Character Of The Rock Mass. The Term (from Gr. J.tera, Change Of, And Pop4i7, Shape) Is Now Very Generally Used ...

Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis, A Greek Word Meaning Change Of Shape, Is Applied In Zoology. (see Invertebrate Embryology.) All Animals Begin Their Existence As Undifferentiated Cells And At Tain Their Characteristic Features By Growth Which Entails Changes Of Shape. If We Were To Magnify The Model Of A Baby To The Size Of ...

Metasomatism
Metasomatism, In Petrology A Process Of Alteration Of Rocks Which Involves Enrichment Of The Rock By New Substances Introduced From Without Change, Body). Sub Stances Originally Present Are Partly Or Wholly Removed In Solu Tion, The Newly Introduced Material Entering As Gas Or In Aqueous Solution. Usually The Enrichment Takes ...

Metastasio
Metastasio (1698–t782). Pietro Trapassi, Italian Poet, Better Known By His Assumed Name Of Metastasio, Was Born In Rome On Jan. 13, 1698. His Father, Felice Trapassi, A Native Of Assisi, Who Had Served In The Corsican Regiment Of The Papal Forces, Kept A Grocer's Shop In The Via Dei Cappellari. ...

Metaurus
Metaurus (mod. Metauro), A River Of Italy Which Flows Into The Adriatic A Little South-east Of Fanum Fortunae (mod. Fano). In 207 B.c. (see Punic Wars And Hannibal) Hasdrubal Had Marched From Placentia To The Aid Of His Brother Hannibal, And, On Reaching The Cesano, The Next Stream South Of ...

Metayage System
Metayage System. The Cultivation Of Land For A Pro Prietor By One Who Receives A Proportion Of The Produce. The System Has Never Existed In England And Has No English Name, But In Certain Provinces Of Italy And France It Was Once Almost Universal, And Is Still Very Common. It ...

Metempsychosis
Metempsychosis. The Theory Of The Transmigration Of Souls Is Usually Associated With The Ancient Egyptians, Who Are Said To Have Practised Embalming To Prevent Or Delay Rein Carnation; With The Teaching Of Pythagoras And The Buddha (q.v.) ; And Was Also Held By A Sect Of Early Christian Heretics Spoken ...

Meteor
Meteor, A Term Used By The Greeks To Denote Atmospheric Phenomena In General, Such As Clouds, Halos, Rainbows, Etc., As Well As Shooting Stars (gr. Pterhopa, Literally "things In The Air," From ?eta, Beyond, And Lcdpav, To Lift Up). This Usage Survived Even Into Older English Literature. To-day The Term ...

Meteora
Meteora, A Group Of Monasteries In Thessaly, North Of The Peneius Valley, Near The Village Of Kalabaka (the Ancient Aeginium, Mediaeval Stagus Or Stagoi), Not Quite 20 M. N.e. Of Trikkala. From The Cambunian Hills Two Masses Of Rock Project Southward Into The Plain, Eroded Into Isolated Columns 85 To ...

Meteorite
Meteorite, A Mass Of Matter From Outer Space, Which Has Fallen Upon The Earth's Surface. These Masses Are Made Up Usually Of Stony Matter With Varying Amounts Of Metallic Iron Containing Nickel; More Rarely Of Nickeliferous Iron Alone; And Much More Rarely Of Stony Matter With Little Or No Metal. ...

Meteorology
Meteorology, The Science Of The Atmosphere (gr. Merhopa And ?kayos, The Science Of Things In The Air). In Its Widest Sense The Term Includes The Study Of Weather, Climate, Optical Phenomena In The Atmosphere And Atmospheric Electricity. The Beginnings Of The Study Of Weather Are Lost In Antiquity. Some Of ...

Methodism
Methodism, A Term Denoting The Religious Organizations Which Trace Their Origin To The Evangelistic Teaching Of John Wes Ley. The Name "methodist" Was Given In Derision To Those Oxford Students Who In Company With The Wesleys Used To Meet Together For Spiritual Fellowship; And Later On When John Wesley Had ...

Methodism In The United
Methodism In The United States There Are In The United States Sixteen Distinct Methodist Denominations, All Agreeing Essentially In Doctrine. John Wesley Had Been Conducting His United Societies For More Than Twenty Years Before The Movement Took Root In North America. Administration Until Wesley's Desires And Judgment Should Be Ascertained. ...

Methodius
Methodius (c. 825-885), The Apostle Of The Slays, Was A Native Of Thessalonica, Probably By Nationality A Graecized Slay. His Father's Name Was Leo, And His Family Was Socially Distin Guished ; Methodius Himself Had Already Attained High Official Rank In The Government Of Macedonia Before He Determined To Become ...

Methyl Alcohol
Methyl Alcohol, In A More Or Less Impure Form Known In Commerce As Wood Spirit, Being Produced By The Destructive Distillation Of Wood. The Name Methyl From The Greek Kliev, Wine, Wood, Explains Its Origin. Discovered In 1661 By R. Boyle, It Was Studied In Greater Detail By Dumas And ...

Metric System
Metric System, That System Of Weights And Measures Of Which The Metre Is The Fundamental Unit (adapted From Gr. Orpov, Measure). The Theory Of The System Is That The Metre Is A Part Of A Quadrant Of The Earth Through Paris ; The Litre Or Unit Of Volume Is A ...

Metrology
Metrology, A Name For The Science Of Pure Measure Ment, Is In Practice Restricted To Mean Measurement Of The Three Fundamental Quantities, Mass, Length And Time, From Which All Other Quantities, Such As Volume, Density, Velocity, Acceleration, Force And Power, Are Derived. If "science Is Measurement" Then Without Metrology There ...

Metz
Metz, A Town Of France, Capital Of The Department Of Moselle, On The Moselle, 99 M. N.w. Of Strasbourg By Rail, And On The Through Route From Paris To Mainz And Frankfort. Pop. (1931), History.—metz, The Roman Divodurum, Was The Chief Town Of The Mediomatrici, And Was Also Called By ...

Meurthe Et Moselle
Meurthe-et-moselle, A Department Of North-eastern France, Formed In 1871 Out Of Those Parts Of The Old Departments Of Meurthe And Moselle Which Continued French. Before 1790 It Belonged To Lorraine, Or To One Or Other Of The Bishoprics Of Toul, Metz And Verdun. Pop. (1931) 592,632. Area 2,036 Sq. Miles. ...

Meuse
Meuse, A Department Of France, Formed Out Of A Part Of Lorraine And Champagne. Pop. (1931) 215,819. Area, 2,408 Sq. Miles. It Is Bounded North By Belgium And The Department Of Ardennes, East By That Of Meurthe-et-moselle, South By Those Of Vosges And Haute-marne, And West By Those Of Marne ...

Mexico
Mexico, A Central Plateau State Of The Republic Of Mexico. Pop. (1930) 990,112, Largely Indian. Area, 8,267 Sq. Miles. En Closed Within Its Boundaries, Except On The South, Is The Federal District And Capital City Of Mexico With An Area Of 572.5 Sq. M., Which Is Not Included In That ...

Mexico
Mexico, A Federal Republic Of North America, Though Be Longing Partly To Central America, In The Geographical Sense, And Extending From The United States Southward To Guatemala And British Honduras. Its Northern Boundary-line Follows The Rio Grande Del Norte (rio Bravo) From Its Mouth Northwest Ward To Lat. 31° 47' ...

Mexico City
Mexico City, Capital And Metropolis Of The Republic Of Mexico, And Chief Town Of The Federal District, Near The Southern Margin Of The Great Central Plateau Of Mexico, In Lat. 19° 25' 45" N., Long. 99° 7' W. It Is About 200 M. In A Direct Line W. By N. ...