The Nuttall Encyclopædia/X
Xanthus, principal city in ancient Lycia, on a river of the same name, celebrated for its temples and works of art; sustained two sieges, the last of which terminated in the self-destruction of its inhabitants; ruins of it exist, and are Cyclopean; also the name of a river in the Troad, called also the Scamander.
Xantippe, the name of the wife of Socrates, a woman of a peevish and shrewish disposition, the subject of exaggerated gossip in Athens, to the exaltation of the temper of her husband, which it never ruffled. She is quaintly described by an old English writer as “a passing shrewde, curste, and wayward woman, wife to the pacient and wise philosopher Socrates.”
Xavier, St. Francis, a Jesuit missionary, styled usually the “Apostle of the Indies,” born, of a noble family, in the north of Spain; a student of Sainte Barbe in Paris, he took to philosophy, became acquainted with Ignatius Loyola, and was associated with him in the formation of the Jesuit Society; was sent in 1541, under sanction of the Pope, by John III. of Portugal to Christianise India, and arrived at Goa in 1542, from whence he extended his missionary labours to the Eastern Archipelago, Ceylon, and Japan, in which enterprises they were attended with signal success; on his return to Goa in 1552 he proceeded to organise a mission to China, in which he experienced such opposition and so many difficulties that on his way to carry on his work there he sickened and died; he was buried at Goa; beatified by Paul V. in 1619, and canonised by Gregory XV. in 1622 (1506-1552).
Xebec, a small three-masted vessel with lateen and square sails, used formerly in the Mediterranean by the Algerine pirates, and mounted with guns.
Xenien, the name, derived from Martial, of a series of stinging epigrams issued at one time by Goethe and Schiller, which created a great sensation and gave offence to many, causing “the solemn empire of dulness to quake from end to end.”
Xenocrates, an ancient philosopher and a disciple of Plato, born in Chalcedon, and a successor of Plato's in the Academy as head of it; d. 314 B.C.
Xenophanes, the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy, born in Asia Minor; was the first to enunciate the doctrine “all is one,” but “without specifying,” says Schwegler, “whether this unity was intellectual or moral.... Aristotle says he called God the one.” See Eleatics.
Xenophon, historian, philosopher, and military commander, born at Athens, son of an Athenian of good position; was a pupil and friend of Socrates; joined the expedition of Cyrus against his brother Artaxerxes, and on the failure of it conducted the ten thousand Greeks—“the Retreat of the Ten Thousand”—who went up with him back to the Bosphorus, served afterwards in several military adventures, brought himself under the ban of his fellow-citizens in Athens, and retired to Elis, where he spent 20 years of his life in the pursuits of country life and in the prosecution of literature; the principal of his literary works, which it appears have all come down to us, are the “Anabasis,” being an account in seven books of the expedition of Cyrus and his own conduct of the retreat; the “Memorabilia,” in four books, being an account of the life and teaching and in defence of his master Socrates; the “Helenica,” in seven books, being an account of 49 years of Grecian history in continuation of Thucydides to the battle of Mantinea; and “Cyropædeia,” in eight books, being an ideal account of the education of Cyrus the Elder. Xenophon wrote pure Greek in a plain, perspicuous, and unaffected style, had an eye to the practical in his estimate of things, and professed a sincere belief in a divine government of the world (435-354 B.C.).
Xeres (61), a town in Spain, 14 m. NE. of Cadiz, a well-built, busy town, and the centre of the trade in sherry wine, which takes its name from it, and of which there are large stores.
Xerxes, a king of Persia, son of Darius I., whom he succeeded on the throne in 485 B.C.; in his ambition to subdue Greece, which, after suppressing a revolt in Egypt, he in 481 essayed to do with an immense horde of men both by sea and land, he with his army crossed the Hellespont by means of a bridge of boats, was checked for a time at Thermopylæ by Leonidas and his five hundred, advanced to Athens to see his fleet destroyed at Salamis by Themistocles, fled at the sight by the way he came, and left Mardonius with 300,000 men to carry out his purpose, but, as it happened, to suffer defeat on the fatal field of Platæa in 479, and the utter annihilation of all his hopes; the rest of his life he spent in obscurity, and he was assassinated in 465 by Artabanus, the captain of his bodyguard, after a reign of 20 years.
Xesibeland, a region in South Africa lying between Griqualand East and Pondoland; was annexed to Cape Colony in 1886.
Ximenes de Cisneros, Francisco, cardinal and statesman, born in Castile, of a poor but noble family; studied at Salamanca and went to Rome, where he gained favour with the Pope, who appointed him to the first vacant ecclesiastical preferment in Spain, as the result of which he in 1495 became archbishop of Toledo, but not till he was 60 years of age; in 10 years after this he became regent of Spain, and conducted the affairs of the kingdom with consummate ability. He was a severe man, and he was careful to promote what he considered the best and highest interests of the nation; but he was narrow-minded, and did often more harm than good; he was intolerant of heresy such as the Church deemed it to be, and contrived by his policy to confer more than sovereign rights upon the crown. He was to Spain pretty much what Richelieu was to France.
Xingu, a river in Brazil, which rises in the heart of the country, and after a course of 1300 m. falls into the Amazon 210 m. W. of Pará.
Xucar or Jucar, a river of Valencia, in Spain, which rises near the source of the Tagus, and after a course of 317 m. falls diminished into the Mediterranean, most of its water having been drained off for purposes of irrigation in connection with orange-gardens on its way, gardens which yield, it is said, 20 millions of oranges a year.