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language in the place of Dano-Norwegian. Aasen composed poems and plays in the composite dialect to show how it should be used; one of these dramas, The Heir (1855), was frequently acted, and may be considered as the pioneer of all the abundant dialect-literature of the last half-century, from Vinje down to Garborg. Aasen continued to enlarge and improve his grammars and his dictionary. He lived very quietly in lodgings in Christiania, surrounded by his books and shrinking from publicity, but his name grew into wide political favour as his ideas about the language of the peasants became more and more the watch-word of the popular party. Quite early in his career, 1842, he had begun to receive a stipend to enable him to give his entire attention to his philological investigations; and the Storthing—conscious of the national importance of his work—treated him in this respect with more and more generosity as he advanced in years. He continued his investigations to the last, but it may be said that, after the 1873 edition of his Dictionary, he added but little to his stores. Ivar Aasen holds perhaps an isolated place in literary history as the one man who has invented, or at least selected and constructed, a language which has pleased so many thousands of his countrymen that they have accepted it for their schools, their sermons and their songs. He died in Christiania on the 23rd of September 1896, and was buried with public honours.
AB, the fifth month of the ecclesiastical and the eleventh of the civil year of the Jews. It approximately corresponds to the period of the 15th of July to the 15th of August. The word is of Babylonian origin, adopted by the Jews with other calendar names after the Babylonian exile. Tradition ascribes the death of Aaron to the first day of Ab. On the ninth is kept the Fast of Ab, or the Black Fast, to bewail the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar (586 B.C.) and of the second by Titus (A.D. 70).
ABA. (1) A form of alt azimuth instrument, invented by, and called after, Antoine d'Abbadie; (2) a rough homespun manufactured in Bulgaria; (3) a long coarse shirt worn by the Bedouin Arabs.
ABĀBDA (the Gebadei of Pliny, probably the Troglodytes of classical writers), a nomad tribe of African "Arabs" of Hamitic origin. They extend from the Nile at Assuan to the Red Sea, and reach northward to the Kena-Kosseir road, thus occupying the southern border of Egypt east of the Nile. They call themselves "sons of the Jinns." With some of the clans of the Bisharin (q.v.) and possibly the Hadendoa (q.v.) they represent the Blemmyes of classic geographers, and their location to-day is almost identical with that assigned them in Roman times. They were constantly at war with the Romans, who at last subsidized them. In the middle ages they were known as Beja (q.v.), and convoyed pilgrims from the Nile valley to Aidhab, the port of embarkation for Jedda. From time immemorial they have acted as guides to caravans through the Nubian desert and up the Nile valley as far as Sennar. To-day many of them are employed in the telegraph service across the Arabian desert. They intermarried with the Nuba, and settled in small colonies at Shendi and elsewhere long before the Egyptian invasion (A.D. 1820–1822). They are still great trade carriers, and visit very distant districts. The Abābda of Egypt, numbering some 30,000, are governed by an hereditary "chief." Although nominally a vassal of the Khedive he pays no tribute. Indeed he is paid a subsidy, a portion of the road-dues, in return for his safeguarding travellers from Bedouin robbers. The sub-sheikhs are directly responsible to him. The Abābda of Nubia, reported by Joseph von Russegger, who visited the country in 1836, to number some 40,000, have since diminished, having probably amalgamated with the Bisharin, their hereditary enemies when they were themselves a powerful nation. The Abābda generally speak Arabic (mingled with Barabra [Nubian] words), the result of their long-continued contact with Egypt; but the southern and south-eastern portion of the tribe in many cases still retain their Beja dialect, ToBedawiet. Those of Kosseir will not speak this before strangers, as they believe that to reveal the mysterious dialect would bring ruin on them. Those nearest the Nile have much fellah blood in them. As a tribe they claim an Arab origin, apparently through their sheikhs. They have adopted the dress and habits of the fellahin, unlike their kinsmen the Bisharin and Hadendoa, who go practically naked. They are neither so fierce nor of so fine a physique as these latter. They are lithe and well built, but small: the average height is little more than 5 ft., except in the sheikh clan, who are obviously of Arab origin. Their complexion is more red than black, their features angular, noses straight and hair luxuriant. They bear the character of being treacherous and faithless, being bound by no oath, but they appear to be honest in money matters and hospitable, and, however poor, never beg. Formerly very poor, the Abābda became wealthy after the British occupation of Egypt. The chief settlements are in Nubia, where they live in villages and employ themselves in agriculture. Others of them fish in the Red Sea and then hawk the salt fish in the interior. Others are pedlars, while charcoal-burning, wood-gathering and trading in gums and drugs, especially in senna leaves, occupy many. Unlike the true Arab, the Abābda do not live in tents, but buildhuts with hurdles and mats, or live in natural caves, as did their ancestors in classic times. They have few horses, using the camel as beast of burden or their "mount" in war. They live chiefly on milk and durra, the latter eaten either raw or roasted. They are very superstitious, believing, for example, that evil would overtake a family if a girl member should, after her marriage, ever set eyes on her mother: hence the Abābda husband has to make his home far from his wife's village. In the Mahdist troubles (1882–1898) many "friendlies" were recruited from the tribe.For their earlier history see Beja; see also Bisharin, Hadendoa, Kabbabish; and the following authorities:-Sir F. R. Wingate, Mahdism and the Egyptian Sudan (Lond. 1891); Giuseppe Sergi, Africa: Antropologia della Stirpe Camitica (Turin, 1897); A. H. Keane, Ethnology of Egyptian Sudan (Lond. 1884); Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, edited by Count Gleichen (Lond. 1905); Joseph von Russegger, Die Reisen in Afrika (Stuttgart, 1841-1850).
ABACA, or Abaka, a native name for the plant Musa textilis, which produces the fibre called Manila Hemp (q.v.).Abacus (Gr. ἄβαξ, a slab; Fr. abaque, tailloir), in architecture, the upper member of the capital of a column. Its chief function is to provide a larger supporting surface for the architrave or arch it has to carry. In the Greek Doric order the abacus is a plain square slab. In the Roman and Renaissance Doric orders it is crowned by a moulding. In the Archaic-Greek Ionic order, owing to the greater width of the capital, the abacus is rectangular in plan, and consists of a carved ovolo moulding. In later examples the abacus is square, except where there are angle volutes, when it is slightly curved over the same. In the Roman and Renaissance Ionic capital, the abacus is square with a fillet on the top of an ogee moulding, but curved over angle volutes. In the Greek Corinthian order the abacus is moulded, its sides are concave and its angles canted (except in one or two exceptional Greek capitals, where it is brought to a sharp angle); and the same shape is adopted in the Roman and Renaissance Corinthian and Composite capitals, in some cases with the ovolo moulding carved. In Romanesque architecture the abacus is square with the lower edge splayed off and moulded or carved, and the same was retained in France during the medieval period; but in England, Abaciscus, is applied in architecture to the chequers or squares of a tessellated pavement. "Abacus" is also the name of an instrument employed by the ancients for arithmetical calculations; pebbles, bits of bone or coins being used as counters. Fig. 1 shows a Roman abacus taken