Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/105

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SILA—SILENUS

the maintenance of the state, which practically means the raja's family, and on the improvement of communications. The country has a complete system of mountain roads, bridged and open to animal (but not cart) traffic. British trade with Central Tibet is carried over the Jelep route, on the south-eastern border of Sikkim.

History.—The earliest inhabitants of Sikkim were the Rong-pa (ravine folk), better known as Lepchas, probably a tribe of Indo-Chinese origin; but when or how they migrated to Sikkim is unknown. The reigning family, however, is Tibetan, and claims descent from one of the Gyalpos or princelings of eastern Chinese Tibet; their ancestors in course of several generations found their way westwards to Lhasa and Sakya, and thence down the Am-mochu valley; finally, about the year 1604, Penchoo Namygé was born at Gangtok, and in 1641, with the aid of Lha-tsan Lama and two other priests of the Duk-pa or Red-hat sect of Tibet, overcame the Lepcha chiefs, who had been warring among themselves, established a firm government and introduced Buddhist Lamaism as a state religion. His son, Tensung Namygé, very largely extended his kingdom, but much of it was lost in the succeeding reign of Chak-dor Namygé (1700–1717), who is credited with having designed the alphabet now in use among the Lepchas.

In the beginning of the 18th century Bhutan appropriated a large tract of country on the east. Between 1776 and 1792 Sikkim was constantly at war with the victorious Gurkhas, who were, however, driven out of part of their conquests by the Chinese in 1792; but it was not until 1816 that the bulk of what is known to us as Sikkim was restored by the British, after the defeat of the Nepalese by General Ochterlony. In 1839 the site of Darjeeling was ceded by the raja of Sikkim. In 1849 the British resumed the whole of the plains (Tarai) and the outer hills, as punishment for repeated insults and injuries. In 1861 a British force was required to impose a treaty defining good relations. The raja, however, refused to carry out his obligations and defiantly persisted in living in Tibet; his administration was neglected, his subjects oppressed, and a force of Tibetan soldiers was allowed, and even encouraged, to seize the road and erect a fort within sight of Darjeeling. After months of useless remonstrance, the government was forced in 1888 to send an expedition, which drove the Tibetans back over the Jelep pass. A convention was then concluded with China in 1890, whereby the British protectorate over Sikkim was acknowledged and the boundary of the state defined; to this was added a supplemental agreement relating to trade and domestic matters, which was signed in 1893. Since that time the government has been conducted by the maharaja assisted by a council of seven or eight of his leading subjects, and guided by a resident British officer. Crime, of which there is little, is punished under local laws administered by kazis or petty chiefs. Since 1904 political relations with Sikkim, which had formerly been conducted by the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, have been in the hands of the Viceroy.

Rajas of Sikkim (Dejong-Gyalpo): Penchoo Namgyé (1641–1670), Tensung Namgyé (1670–1700), Chak-dor Namgyé (1700–1717), Gyur-me Namgyé (1717–1734), Penchoo Namgyé (1734–1780), Tenzing Namgyé (1780–1790), Cho-phoe Namgyé (1790–1861), Sikhyong Namgyé (1861–1874), Tho-tub Namgyé (1874), the maharaja, whose son has been educated at Oxford.

Authorities.—Sir J. W. Edgar, Report on a Visit to Sikkim and the Tibetan Frontier in 1873 (Calcutta, 1874); Macaulay, Report on a Mission to Sikkim and the Tibetan Frontier (Calcutta, 1885); The Gazetteer of Sikkim (Calcutta, 1894); Hooker, Himalayan Journals (London, 1854); L. A. Waddell, Lamaism (London, 1895); Among the Himalayas (London, 1898).  (A.W.P.) 


SILA, a mountainous forest district of Calabria, Italy, to the E. of Cosenza, extending for some 37 m. N. to S. and 25 m. E. to W. The name goes back to the Greek period, and then probably belonged to a larger extension of territory than at present. In ancient times these mountains supplied timber to the Greeks for shipbuilding, the forests have given way to pastures to some extent; but a part of them, which belongs to the state, is maintained. Geologically these mountains, which consist of granite, gneiss and mica schist, are the oldest portion of the Italian peninsula; their culminating point is the Botte Donato (6330 ft), and they are not free of snow until the late spring. They are very rarely explored by travellers.


SILANION, a Greek sculptor of the 4th century B.C. He was noted as a portrait-sculptor. Of two of his works, his heads of Plato and of Sappho, we possess what seem to be copies. Both are of simple ideal type, the latter of course not strictly a portrait, since Sappho lived before the age of portraits. The best copy of the Plato is in the Vatican.


SILAS (fl. A.D. 50), early Christian prophet and missionary, was the companion of St Paul on the second journey, when he took the place formerly held by Barnabas. The tour included S. Galatia, Troas, Philippi (where he was imprisoned), Thessalonicaand Beroea, where Silas was left with Timothy, though he afterwards rejoined Paul at Corinth. He is in all probability the Silvanus[1] who is associated with Paul in the letters to the Thessalonians, mentioned again in 2 Cor. i. 19, and the bearer and amanuensis of 1 Peter (see v. 12). It is possible, indeed, that he has an even closer connexion with this letter, and some scholars (e.g. R. Scott in The Pauline Epistles, 1909) are inclined to give him a prominent place among the writers of the New Testament. He was of Jewish birth and probably also a Roman citizen.


SILAY, a town of the province of Negros Occidental, island of Negros, Philippine Islands, on the N.W. coast, about 10 m. N. of Bacolod, the capital of the province. Pop. (1903, after the annexation of Guimbalon and a portion of Eustaquio Lopez) 22,000. There are more than fifty barrios or villages in the town and the largest of these had, in 1903, 3834 inhabitants. The language is Visayan. There is a considerable coasting trade, sugar, brought by a tramway from neighbouring towns, is shipped from here, and the cultivation of sugar-cane is an important industry; Indian corn, tobacco, hemp, cotton and cacao are also grown.


SILCHAR, a town of British India, in the Cachar district of Eastern Bengal and Assam, of which it is the headquarters. Pop. (1901) 9256. It is situated on the left bank of the river Barak, with a station on the Assam-Bengal railway, 271 m. N. of Chittagong. Silchar is the centre of an important tea industry, and the headquarters of the volunteer corps known as the Surma Valley Light Horse.


SILCHESTER, a parish in the north of Hampshire, England, about 10 m. S. of Reading, containing the site of the Romano-British town Calleva Atrebatum. This site has been lately explored (1890–1909) and the whole plan of the ancient town within the walls recovered; unfortunately the excavators had to abandon their task before the suburbs, cemeteries and what-ever else may lie outside the walls have been examined. The results are published in Archaeologia, the official organ of the London Society of Antiquaries (see Britain: Roman). As the excavations proceeded, the areas excavated were covered in again, but the ruins of the town hall, which have been famous since the 12th century, still remain. The smaller and movable objects found in the excavations have been deposited by the duke of Wellington, owner of the site of Calleva, in the Reading museum.


SILENUS, a primitive Phrygian deity of woods and springs. As the reputed inventor of music he was confounded with Marsyas. He also possessed the gift of prophecy, but, like Proteus, would only impart information on compulsion; when surprised in a drunken sleep, he could be bound with chains of flowers, and forced to prophesy and sing (Virgil, Ecl. vi., where he gives an account of the creation of the world; cf. Aelian, Var. hist. iii. 18). In Greek mythology he is the son of Hermes (or Pan) and a nymph. He is the constant companion of Dionysus, whom he was said to have instructed in the cultivation of the vine and the keeping of bees. He fought by his side in the war against the giants and was his companion in his travels and adventures. The story of Silenus was often the subject of Athenian satyric drama. Just as there were supposed to be several Pans and Fauns, so there were many Silenuses, whose father was called Papposilenus (“Daddy Silenus”), represented as completely covered with hair and more animal in appearance. The usual attributes of Silenus were the wine-skin (from which he is inseparable), a crown of ivy, the Bacchic thyrsus, the ass, and sometimes the panther. In art he generally appears as a little pot-bellied old man, with a snub nose and a bald head, riding on an ass and supported by satyrs; or he is depicted lying asleep on his wine-skin, which he sometimes bestrides. A more dignified type is the Vatican statue of Silenus carrying the infant Dionysus, and the marble group from the villa Borghese in the Louvre.

See Preller-Robert, Griechische Mythologie (1894), pp. 729-735; Talfourd Ely, " A Cyprian Terracotta," in the Archaeological Journal (1896); A. Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Altertums, iii. (1888).
  1. For the abbreviation, cf. Lucas, Prisca (= Priscilla), Sopater (= Sosipater).