Page:EB1911 - Volume 01.djvu/682

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642

ALGER OF LIÉGE—ALGERIA

  

and sustained a reverse; but on the 12th he again attacked the enemy, whose fleet was double his own strength, and inflicted on them a complete defeat. The important international conference on Moroccan affairs, which resulted in an agreement between France and Germany, was held at Algeciras from the 16th of January to the 7th of April 1906. (See Morocco.)


ALGER OF LIÉGE (d. c. 1131), known also as Alger of Cluny and Algerus Magister, a learned French priest who lived in the first half of the 12th century. He was first a deacon of the church of St Bartholomew at Liége, his native town, and was then appointed (c. 1100) to the cathedral church of St Lambert. He declined many offers from German bishops and finally retired to the monastery of Cluny, where he died about 1131 at a great age and leaving a good reputation for piety and intelligence. His History of the Church of Liége, and many of his other works, are lost. The most important of those still extant are: 1. De Misericordia et Justitia, a collection of biblical and patristic extracts with a commentary (an important work for the history of church law and discipline), which is to be found in the Anecdota of Martène, vol. v. 2. De Sacramentis Corporis et Sanguines Domini; a treatise, in three books, against the Berengarian heresy, highly commended by Peter of Cluny and Erasmus. 3. De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio; given in B. Pez's Anecdota, vol. iv. 4. De Sacrificio Missae; given in the Collectio Scriptor. Vet. of Angelo Mai, vol. ix. p. 371.

See Migne, Patrol Ser. Lat. vol. clxxx. pp. 739-972; Herzog-Hauck, Realencyk. für prot. Theol., art. by S. M. Deutsch.


ALGER RUSSELL ALEXANDER (1836–1907), American soldier and politician, was born in Lafayette township, Medina county, Ohio, on the 27th of February 1836. Left an orphan at an early age, he worked on a farm to pay his expenses at Richfield (Ohio) Academy, was a schoolmaster for two winters, and, having studied law in the meantime, was admitted to the bar in 1859. He began practice at Cleveland, Ohio, but early in 1860 he removed to Michigan, where he abandoned his profession and engaged in the lumber business. Enlisting in a Michigan cavalry regiment in September 1861, he rose from captain to colonel, distinguished himself in the Gettysburg campaign and under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and in 1864 and 1865 respectively received the brevets of brigadier-general and major-general of volunteers. After the war he invested extensively in pine lands in Michigan, and accumulated a large fortune in the lumber business. In 1884 he was elected governor of Michigan on the Republican ticket, serving from 1885 to 1887. In 1889–1890 he was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. From 1897 to 1899 he was secretary of war in President McKinley's cabinet. His administration of the war department during the Spanish-American War was severely criticized for extravagance in army contracts, for unpreparedness, and for general inefficiency, charges which he answered in his The Spanish-American War (1901). The extent of his personal responsibility is at least uncertain. In 1902 he was appointed by the governor of Michigan, and in 1903 was elected by the state legislature, as United States senator to complete the unexpired term of James McMillan (1838–1902). He died at Washington, D.C., on the 24th of January 1907.


ALGERIA (Algérie), a country of North Africa belonging to France, bounded N. by the Mediterranean, W. by Morocco, S. by the Sahara and E. by Tunisia. The boundaries, however, are in part not accurately determined. Algeria extends for about 650 m. along the coast, and stretches inland from 320 to 380 m., lying between 2° 10′ W. and 8° 50′ E., and 32° and 37° N. It is divided, politically, into three departments—Oran in the west, Algiers in the centre and Constantine in the east. Its area is 184,474 sq. m., exclusive of the dependent Saharan regions, which have an area of some 750,000 sq. m. (see Sahara, Tuat, &c.).

Physical Features.—The character of the Algerian coast is severe and inhospitable. The western half is bordered by a hilly rampart, broken only here and there, in the bays where the larger streams find their outlet, by flat and sandy plains. Between Dellys and Philippeville high mountains rise almost sheer from the sea, leaving only a narrow strip of beach. East of Philippeville the mountains recede from the coast, and the rampart of hills reappears. Only between Bona and La Calle is the general character of the sea-board low and sandy. Save near the towns and in the cultivated district of Kabylia, the coast is bare and uninhabited; and in spite of numerous indentations, of which the most important going from west to east are the Gulf of Oran, the Gulf of Arzeu, the Bay of Algiers, and the gulfs of Bougie, Stora and Bona, there are few good harbours. From time immemorial, indeed, this coast has had an evil reputation among mariners, quite apart from the pirates who for centuries made it the base of their depredations. A violent current, starting from the Straits of Gibraltar, rushes eastward along the shore, and, hurled back from the headlands, is deflected to the West. In summer the east wind brings dense and sudden fogs; while in winter the northerly gales blow straight into the mouths of the harbours. In these circumstances navigation is especially perilous for sailing craft. The terrors of this “savage sea and inhospitable shore,” once described by Sallust, have, however, been greatly mitigated by the introduction of steam, the improvement of the harbours, and the establishment by the French government of an excellent system of lighthouses.

Southward from the sea the country falls naturally into three divisions, clearly distinguished by their broad physical characteristics. The healthy, and on the whole fertile coast region, from 50 to 100 m. in width, is known, as in Morocco and Tunisia, as the Tell (Arabic for “hill”). It is a mountainous country intersected with rocky canons and fertile valleys, which occasionally broaden out into alluvial plains like that of the Shelif, or the Metija near Algiers, or those in the neighbourhood of Oran and Bona. Behind the Tell is a lofty table-land with an average elevation of 3000 ft., consisting of vast plains, for the most part arid or covered with esparto grass, in the depressions of which are great salt lakes and swamps (Arabic, shats) fed by streams which can find no outlet to the sea through the encircling hills. To the south this region is divided by the Great Atlas from the deserts of the Sahara, with its oases, in which the boundary of Algeria is lost.

The country is traversed by lofty ranges of the Atlas system, which run nearly parallel to the coast, and rise in places over 7000 ft. These are commonly divided into two leading chains, distinguished as the Great[1] and Little Atlas. The Great, or Saharan Atlas contains some of the highest points in the country. The chief ranges are Ksur and Amur in the west and the Aures in the east. The peak of Shellia, the highest point in Algeria, in the Aures range, has a height of 7611 ft. In the Amur are Jebel Ksel (6594 ft.) and Tuila Makna (6561 ft.). The Little Atlas, otherwise the Tell or Maritime Atlas, lies between the sea and the Saharan Atlas, and is composed of many distinct ranges, generally of no great elevation and connected by numerous transverse chains forming extensive table-lands and elevated valleys. The principal ranges of the Little Atlas—from west to east—are the Tlemcen (5500 ft.); the Warsenis (with Kef Sidi Omar, 6500 ft.); the Titeri (4900 ft.); the Jurjura, with the peak of Lalla Kedija (7542 ft.) and Mount Babor (6447 ft.); and the Mejerda (3700 ft.), which extends into Tunisia. The Jurjura range, forming the background of the plains between Algiers and Bougie, extends through the district of Kabylia, with which for grandeur of scenery no other part of Algeria can compare. South of the Jurjura and separated from it by the valley of the Sahel, is the Biban range with a famous double pass of the same name, through which alone access is gained to the highlands beyond. The Bibans or Portes de fer (Iron Gates) consist of two defiles with stupendous walls of rock, which by erosion have assumed the most fantastic shapes. In the case of the Petite porte the walls in some places are not more than twelve feet apart. The Dahra range (see Mostaganem) overlooks the sea, and is separated from the Warsenis by the valley of the Shelif (see Atlas Mountains, Sahara and Tuat.)

The rivers are numerous but the majority are short. Most

  1. The name “Great” Atlas is more correctly applied to the main range in Morocco.