RAPIER, the name given to two distinct types of sword. Originally the “rapier” (Fr. rapiére) was a long two-edged and pointed weapon with a wide cup hilt, used together with the dagger in fencing and duelling chiefly as a thrusting weapon, the cut taking a secondary position. This was the typical duelling sword of the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century the “ small-sword ” took its place; this was a pointed weapon only, the “ cut” having entirely dropped out, and the dagger being discarded. The Word rapier is of doubtful origin. Du Cange (Glossarium, suv. “ Rapparia ”) quotes an example of the word used as an adjective to qualify espée as early as 1474, and gives as a conjectural derivation Gr. ῥαπίξειν=Lat. caedare, to cut. Skeat (Etym. Dict., 1910) follows the suggestion of Diez that rapiére is from raspiére, a rasper or poker, and was a name given in contempt by the old cut-and-thrust fencers to the new weapon. Spanish has raspadera, a raker, and there are several 16th and 17th century quotations alluding to the contempt with which the rapier was greeted, and to its Spanish origin (see Fencing and Sword).
RAPIN, PAUL DE (1661–1725), sieur of Thoyras, French historian, was the son of Jacques de Rapin, avocat at Castres (Tarn), where he was born on the 25th of March 1661. He was educated at the Protestant academy of Saumur, and in 1679 became an advocate, but soon afterwards entered the army. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the death of his father led him to come to England; but, unable to find employment there, he crossed to Holland and enlisted in the company of French volunteers at Utrecht commanded by Daniel de Rapin, his cousin-german. He accompanied the prince of Orange to England in 1688, and during the Irish campaign he took part in the siege of Carrickfergus and the battle of the Boyne, and was wounded at the battle of Limerick. Soon afterwards he was promoted captain; but in 1693 he resigned in order to become tutor to the earl of Portland’s son. After travelling with his charge, he settled with his family in Holland, first at the Hague, then, for economy’s sake, at Wesel, in 1707, where he began his great work, L’Histoire d’Angleterre. Though he was of a strong constitution, the seventeen years’ application ruined his health. He died in 1725.
Rapin was also the author of a Dissertation sur les Whigs et les Torys (1717). L’Histoire d’Angleterre, embracing the period from the invasion of the Romans to the death of Charles I., was printed at the Hague in 1724 in 8 vols. It was translated into English and improved with notes by Tindal, in 2 vols. folio, 1725–31. Rapin’s history of England was almost the only one available in France in the first half of the 18th century.
RAPOPORT, SAMUEL JUDAH LÖB (1790–1867), Jewish scholar, was born at Lemberg in 1790. After various experiences in business, Rapoport became successively rabbi of Tarnopol (1837) and of Prague (1840). He was one of the founders of the new learning in Judaism. His chief work was the first part of an (unfinished) encyclopedia ('Efekh Millin, 1852). Equally notable were his biographies of the Gaon Saadiah, Nathan author of the Arnkh, the Gaon Hai, Eleazar Kalir and others. He died at Prague in 1867. (I. A.)
RAPPAREE, properly a short pike (Irish rapaire); the term being hence applied in the war in Ireland from 1688-92 to the Irish irregular soldiers armed with this weapon. It thus became synonymous with robber or freebooter, and in 1707 appears in the title of an act (6 Anne, cap. 11) “for the more effectual suppression of . robbers and rapparees.”
RAPPOLTSWEILER (French Ribeauville), a town of Germany, in the imperial province of Alsace-Lorraine. Pop. (1905) 5986. It lies at the entrance of the valley of the Strengbach, under the eastern slope of the Vosges mountains, 33 m. S.W. of Strassburg on the railway to Basel, being connected with its station on that line, 2% m. distant, by a tramway. It is in part surrounded by ancient walls, and has many picturesque medieval houses, and two old churches, of St Gregory and St Augustine, both fine Gothic buildings. The town hall contains a valuable collection of antiquities. The Carolabad, a saline spring with a temperature of 64° F., which had a great repute in the middle ages, was rediscovered in 1888, and made Rappoltsweiler a watering-place. The industries include the spinning and weaving of cotton and wool, printing, dyeing and tanning, while there is a brisk trade in wine.
Rappoltsweiler, known in the 8th century as Rathaldovilare, passed from the bishops of Basel to the lords of Rappoltstein, who were among the most famous nobles in Alsace. The lord of Rappoltstein was the king or protector of the wandering minstrels of the land, who purchased his protection by paying him a tax. When the family became extinct in 1673 this orifice of king of the pipers (Pfeiferkénig) passed to the counts palatine of Zweibriicken-Birkenield. The minstrels had a pilgrimage chapel near Rappoltsweiler, dedicated to their patron saint, Maria von Dusenbach, and here they held an annual feast on the 8th of September. Near the town are the ruins of three famous castles, Ulrichsburg, Girsberg and Hohrappoltstein, which formerly belonged to the lords of Rappoltstein.
See Bernhard, Recherches sur l’histoire de la ville de Rappoltsweiler (Colmar, 1888); and Kube, Rappoltsweiler, das Carolabad und Umgebung (Strassburg, 1905). For the lords of Rappoltstein, see Brieger, Die Herrschaft Rappollstein (Strassburg, 1907).
RARE EARTHS, in chemistry, the name given to a group of oxides of certain metals which occur in closing association in some very rare minerals. Although these metals resemble each other in their chemical relationships, it is convenient to subdivide them into three groups: the cerium, terbium and ytterbium groups. The first includes scandium (Sc, 441.1), yttrium (Y, 89-0), lanthanum (La, 139.0), cerium (Ce, 140.25), praseodymium (Pr, 140.6), neodymium (Nd, 144.3), and samarium (Sa, 150.4); the second includes europium' (Eu, 152-0), gadolinium (Gd. 157.3), and terbium (Tb, 159-2); and the third includes dysprosium (Dy, 162.5), holmium (Ho, ?) erbium (Er, 167.4), thulium (Tm, 168.5), ytterbium or neoytterbium (Yb, 172.0), and lutecium (Lu, 174.0); the letters and numbers in the brackets are the symbols and atomic weights (international). Although very rare, a large number of minerals contain these metals; they are chiefly found in Scandinavia, parts of the Urals, America and Australia, generally associated with Archean and eruptive rocks, and more rarely with sedimentary deposits. They are usually silicates, but many complex tantalates, niobates, phosphates, uranates and fluorides occur. The chief mineral species are monazite, a phosphate of the cerium metals, containing thorium (this mineral supplies the ceria and thoria employed in making incandescent gas mantles); cerite, a hydrated silicate of calcium and the cerium metals; gadolinite, a silicate of beryllium, iron, and the yttrium metals; samarksite, a niobate and tantalate ofboth the cerium and yttrium metals, with uranium, iron, calcium, etc.; and keilhauite, a titanosilicate of yttrium, iron, calcium and aluminium; other species are fergusonite, orthite, aeschynite, euxenite and thorianite.
The chemistry of this group may be regarded as, beginning with Cronstedt’s description of the mineral cerite from Bastnaés in 1751, and the incorrect analyses published by T. O. Bergman and Don Fausto d’Elhuyar in 1784. Ten years later Gadolin investigated the mineral subsequently named gadolinite, which had been found at Ytterby in 1788 by Arrhenius. This discovery of a new earth was confirmed by A. G. Ekeberg in 1799, who named the base yttria. Cerite was examined simultaneously by Klaproth in Germany and by Berzelius and Hisinger in Sweden; and a new base was discovered in 1803 which the Swedish chemists named ceria. Both these oxides have proved to be mixtures. In 1839 Mosander separated “ ceria ” into true ceria and an earth which he termed lanthana (Gr. λανθάνειν, to lie hidden), and in 1841 he showed that his lanthana contained another base, which he called didymia (Gr. διδύμοι, twins). This didymia was separated in 1879 by Lecoq de Boisbaudran into a new base, Samaria, and a residual didymia which was shown by Auer von Welsbach in 1885 to consist of a mixture of two bases, praseodidymia and neodidymia; moreover, samaria was split by Demarcay in 1900 into true samaria and a new base named europia. In 1843 Mosander also split