Kursk, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, at the junction of the railways from Moscow, Kiev and Kharkov, 330 m. S.S.W. from Moscow. Pop. (1897), 52,896. It is built on two hills (750 ft.), the slopes of which are planted with orchards. The environs all round are well wooded and the woods are famous for their nightingales. Among the public buildings the more noticeable are a monastery with an image of the Virgin, greatly venerated since 1295; the Orthodox Greek cathedral (18th century); and the episcopal palace, Kursk being a bishopric of the national church. It is essentially a provincial town, and is revered as the birthplace of Theodosius, one of the most venerated of Russian saints. It has a public garden, and has become the seat of several societies (medical, musical, educational and for sport). Its factories include steam flour-mills, distilleries, tobacco-works, hemp-crushing mills, tanneries, soap works and iron-works. It has a great yearly fair (Korennaya), and an active trade in cereals, linen, leather, fruit, horses, cattle, hides, sheepskins, furs, down, bristles, wax, tallow and manufactured goods.
Kursk was in existence in 1032. It was completely destroyed by the Mongols in 1240. The defence of the town against an incursion of the Turkish Polovtsi (or Comans or Cumani) is celebrated in The Triumph of Igor, an epic which forms one of the most valuable relics of early Russian literature. From 1586 to the close of the 18th century the citadel was a place of considerable strength; the remains are now comparatively few.
Kurtz, Johann Heinrich (1809–1890), German Lutheran theologian, was born at Montjoie near Aix la Chapelle on the 13th of December 1809, and was educated at Halle and Bonn. Abandoning the idea of a commercial career, he gave himself to the study of theology and became religious instructor at the gymnasium of Mitau in 1835, and ordinary professor of theology (church history, 1850; exegesis, 1859) at Dorpat. He resigned his chair in 1870 and went to live at Marburg, where he died on the 26th of April 1890. Kurtz was a prolific writer, and many of his books, especially the Lehrbuch der heiligen Geschichte (1843), became very popular. In the field of biblical criticism he wrote a Geschichte des Alten Bundes (1848–1855), Zur Theologie der Psalmen (1865) and Erklärung des Briefs an die Hebräer (1869). His chief work was done in church history, among his productions being Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte für Studierende (1849), Abriss der Kirchengeschichte (1852) and Handbuch der allgemeinen Kirchengeschichte (1853–1856). Several of his books have been translated into English.
Kuruman, a town in the Bechuanaland division of Cape Colony, 120 m. N.W of Kimberley and 85 m. S.W. of Vryburg. It is a station of the London Missionary Society, founded in 1818, and from 1821 to 1870 was the scene of the labours of Robert Moffat (q.v.) who here translated the Bible into the Bechuana tongue. In the middle period of the 19th century Kuruman was the rendezvous of all travellers going north or south. Of these the best known is David Livingstone. The trunk railway line passing considerably to the east of the town, Kuruman is no longer a place of much importance. It is pleasantly situated on the upper course of the Kuruman river, being beautified by gardens and orchards, and presents a striking contrast to the desert conditions of the surrounding country. Its name is that of the son and heir of Mosilikatze, the founder of the Matabele nation. Kuruman disappeared during his father's lifetime and the succession passed to Lobengula (see Rhodesia: History). In November 1899 the town was besieged by a Boer force. The garrison, less than a hundred strong, held out for six weeks against over 1000 of the enemy, but was forced to surrender on the 1st of January 1900. In June following it was reoccupied by the British.
Kurumbas and KURUBAS, aboriginal tribes of southern India, by some thought to be of distinct races. There are two types of Kurumbas, those who live on the Nilgiri plateau, speak the Kurumba dialect and are mere savages; and those who live in the plains, speak Kanarese and are civilized. The former are a small people, with wild matted hair and scanty beard, sickly-looking, pot-bellied, large-mouthed, with projecting jaws, prominent teeth and thick lips. Their villages are called mottas, groups of four or five huts, built in mountain glens or forests. At the 1901 census the numbers were returned at 4083.
(1873); Dr John Shortt, Hill Ranges of Southern India, pt. i. 47–53; Rev. F. Metz, Tribes Inhabiting the Neilgherry Hills (Mangalore,1864).
Kurunegala, the chief town in the north-western province of Ceylon. Pop. of the town, 6483; of the district, 249,429. It was the residence of the kings of Ceylon from A.D. 1319 to 1347, and is romantically situated under the shade of Adagalla (the rock of the Tusked Elephant), which is 600 ft. high. It was in 1902 the terminus of the Northern railway (59 m. from Colombo), which has since been extended 200 m. farther, to the northernmost coast of the Jaffna Peninsula. Kurunegala is the centre of rice, coco-nut, tea, coffee and cocoa cultivation.
Kuruntwad, or Kurandvad, a native state of India, in the Deccan division of Bombay, forming part of the Southern Mahratta jagirs. Originally created in 1772 by a grant from the peshwa, the state was divided in 1811 into two parts, one of which, called Shedbal, lapsed to the British government in 1857. In 1855 Kuruntwad was further divided between a senior and a junior branch. The territory of both is widely scattered among other native states and British districts. Area of the senior branch, 185 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 42,474; revenue, £13,000. Area of junior branch, 114 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 34,003; revenue, £9000. The joint tribute is £640. The chiefs are Brahmans by caste, of the Patwardhan family. The town of Kuruntwad, in which both branches have their residence, is on the right bank of the Panchganga river near its junction with the Kistna. Pop. (1901), 10,451.
Kurz, Hermann (1813–1873), German poet and novelist, was born at Reutlingen on the 30th of November 1813. Having studied at the theological seminary at Maulbronn and at the university of Tübingen, he was for a time assistant pastor at Ehningen. He then entered upon a literary career, and in 1863 was appointed university librarian at Tübingen, where he died on the 10th of October 1873. Kurz is less known to fame by his poems, Gedichte (1836) and Dichtungen (1839), than by his historical novels, Schillers Heimatjahre (1843, 3rd ed., 1899) and Der Sonnenwirt (1854, 2nd ed., 1862), and his excellent translations from English, Italian and Spanish. He also published a successful modern German version of Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan und Isolde (1844). His collected works were published in ten volumes (Stuttgart, 1874), also in twelve volumes (Leipzig, 1904).
His daughter, Isolde Kurz, born on the 21st of December 1853 at Stuttgart, takes a high place among contemporary lyric poets in Germany with her Gedichte (Stuttgart, 1888, 3rd ed. 1898) and Neue Gedichte (1903). Her short stories, Florentiner Novellen (1890, 2nd ed. 1893), Phantasien und Märchen (1890), Italienische Erzählungen (1895) and Von Dazumal (1900) are distinguished by a fine sense of form and clear-cut style.
Kusan (“lake” or “inland bay”), a small group of North American Indian tribes, formerly living on the Coos river and the coast of Oregon. They call themselves Anasitch, and other names given them have been Ka-us or Kwo-Kwoos, Kowes and Cook-koo-oose. They appear to be in no way related to their neighbours. The few survivors, mostly of mixed blood, are on the Siletz reservation, Oregon.
Kushalgarh, a village in the Kohat district of the North-West Frontier province of India. It is only notable as the point at which the Indus is bridged to permit of the extension of the strategic frontier railway from Rawalpindi to the Miranzai and Kurram valleys.
Kushk, a river of Afghanistan, which also gives its name to the chief town in the Afghan province of Badghis, and to a military post on the border of Russian Turkestan. The river Kushk, during a portion of its course, forms the boundary between Afghan and Russian territory; but the town is some 20 m. from the border. Kushk, or Kushkinski Post, is now a fourth-class Russian fortress, on a Russian branch railway from Merv, the