Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/179

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SIVAS—SIWALIK HILLS

SIVAS, one of the largest and most important vilayets of Asia Minor, lying between 38° 30′ and 41° N. and 35° 30′ and 39° E. It is rich in mineral wealth—silver, lead, copper, iron, manganese, arsenic, alum, salt and coal; and has several hot and cold mineral springs, and large forests of fir, pine, beech and oak. The climate is good, the average elevation of the province being over 3500 ft., and the soil fertile. Wheat and barley are largely grown on the plateau, and in the lower districts there are extensive fruit orchards and vineyards. The port of the vilayet is Samsun (q.v.), whence a chaussée runs through Amasia, Tokat, and Sivas to Kharput; but Sivas is also connected by road with the minor Black Sea ports, Unieh, Ordu and Kerasund. The rates for transport are, however, prohibitive. Angora is the nearest railway point.

Sivas (anc. Megalopolis-Sebasteia), altitude 4420 ft., is also the name of the chief town of the vilayet (and of a sanjak of the same name). It is situated in the broad valley of the Kizil Irmak, on one of its right bank tributaries, the Murdan Su. Pop. over 43,000, fully two-thirds Mussulman. The climate is healthy but severe in winter. Coarse cotton cloth and woollen socks are manufactured. The medresses (colleges), built in the 13th century by the Seljuk sultans of Rum, are amongst the finest remains of Moslem art in Asia Minor. In one of them is the tomb of its founder, Izz ud-din Kai Kāus I. (1210–1219). Near the town is the Armenian monastery of the Holy Cross, in which are kept the throne of Senekherim and other relics. There are several Armenian churches of interest, a flourishing American mission with church and schools, and a Jesuit mission. Under Diocletian Sebasteia became the capital of Armenia Minor, and in the 7th century that of the Sebasteia Theme. Justinian rebuilt the walls and, under the Byzantine emperors, it was second only to Caesarea in size and wealth. In 1021 Senekherim, king of the Armenian province of Vaspuragan (Van), ceded his dominions to Basil II., and became the Byzantine viceroy of Sebasteia and the surrounding country. This position was held by his successors until the town fell into the hands of the Turkomans after the defeat of Romanus II. by the Seljuks (1071). After having been ruled for nearly a century by the Danishmand amirs, it was taken (1172) by the Seljuk sultan of Rum, and in 1224 was rebuilt by Sultan Ala-ed-din Kaikobad I. In 1400, when captured by Timur, the city is said to have had 100,000 inhabitants, and to have been famous for its woollen stuffs. On this occasion the bravest defenders were massacred, and 4000 Armenians were buried alive. Mahommed the “Conqueror” restored the citadel, and the place has ever since been an important Ottoman provincial capital. Early in the 19th century, like all other Ottoman towns, it was terrorized by janissaries, with whom Mahmud II. commissioned the great Dere Bey of Yuzgat, Chapan Oglu, to deal in 1818. The news of his drastic success provoked a dangerous riot in Stambul, which postponed by some years the final tragedy of the janissaries. From 1880 to 1882 Sivas was the residence of the British military consul-general for Asia Minor; but it has now only an American vice-consulate. Mechithar, the founder of the Mechitharists (q.v.) and of the famous monastery at Venice, was born (1676) at Sivas.  (C. W. W.; D. G. H.) 

SIVORI, ERNESTO CAMILLO (1815–1894), Italian violinist, was born at Genoa on the 25th of October 1815, and was taught by Restano, Paganini, Costa and Dellepiane. His talent was extraordinarily precocious. From 1827 Sivori began the career of a travelling virtuoso, which lasted almost without interruption until 1864. He played Mendelssohn's concerto for the first time in England, in 1846, and was in England again in the seasons of 1851 and 1864. He lived for many years in Paris, and died at Genoa on the 18th of February 1894.

SIVRI-HISSAR, “Pointed-Castle,” a town of Asia Minor, in the Angora vilayet, situated 8 m. N. of the site of Pessinus, at the foot of a lofty double-peaked ridge of rock, which bears the ruins of a Byzantine castle. It is a road and commercial centre, with a trade in opium and mohair. The population includes a large Armenian community. The town occupies the site of ancient Palia, re-founded and re-named Justinianopolis by the emperor Justinian. It was one of the chain of fortresses on the Byzantine military road across Asia Minor, and became the chief city of Galatia Salutaris about A.D. 700, succeeding to the heritage of Pessinus, whose metropolitan transferred his seat to the new capital, and held the title of “archbishop of Pessinus or of Justinianopolis.”

SIWA, an oasis in the Libyan Desert, politically part of Egypt. It is also known as the oasis of Amnion or Jupiter Ammon; its ancient Egyptian name was Sekhet-am, “Palm-land.” The oasis lies about 350 m. W.S.W. of Cairo, its chief town, also called Siwa, being situated in 29° 12′ N., 25° 30′ E. The oasis is some 6 m. long by 4 to 5 wide. Ten miles north-east is the small oasis of Zetun, and westward of Siwa extends for some 50 m. a chain of little oases. The population of Siwa proper (1907 census) was 3884. The inhabitants are of Libyan (Berber) stock and have a language of their own, but also speak Arabic. The oasis is extremely fertile and contains many thousands of date palms. The town of Siwa is built on two rocks and resembles a fortress. The houses are frequently built on arches spanning the streets, which are narrow and irregular.

The oasis is famous as containing the oracle temple of Ammon, which was already famous in the time of Herodotus, and was consulted by Alexander the Great. The remains of the temple are in the walled village of Aghormi, 2 m. E. of the town of Siwa. It is a small building, with inscriptions dating from the 4th century B.C. The oracle fell into disrepute during the Roman occupation of Egypt, and was reported dumb by Pausanias, c. A.D. 160. Siwa was afterwards used as a place of banishment for criminals and political offenders. After the Mahommedan conquest of Egypt Siwa became independent and so remained until conquered by Mehemet Ali in 1820. It is now governed by its own sheikhs under the supervision of an Egyptian mamur responsible to the mudir of Behera.

Siwa contains many relics of antiquity besides the ruins of the temple of Ammon. Near that temple are the scanty remains of another temple of the same century, Umm Beda, with reliefs depicting the prince of the oasis making offerings to Ammon, “lord of oracles.” At Jebel Muta, 1 m. N.E. of Siwa, are tombs of Ptolemaic and Roman date; 10 m. E. of Aghormi is a well-preserved chapel, with Roman graves; at Kasr Rumi is a Doric temple of the Roman period.

The oasis lies close to the Tripolitan frontier and is largely dominated by the sect of the Senussi (q.v.), whose headquarters were formerly at Jarabub, 80 m. to the north-west. The Senussi successfully prevented various explorers penetrating westward beyond Siwa. The first European to reach Siwa since Roman time was W. G. Browne, who visited the oasis in 1792. He was followed in 1798 by F. Hornemann. Both these travellers started from Cairo; in 1820 General H. Minutoli gained the oasis from the Gulf of Solum. In 1869 Gerhard Rohlfs reached Siwa via Tripoli, and subsequently the ruins were examined by Professor G. Steindorff. After the occupation of Egypt by the British steps were taken to enforce the authority of the government in Siwa, where order proved difficult to maintain. There were serious disturbances in 1909, and as a result in 1910 a telegraph line was built across the desert from Alexandria to the oasis.

See G. Steindorff, Durch die Libysche Wüste zur Amonsoase (Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1904) ; A. Silva White, From Sphinx to Oracle (London n.d., 1898); Murray's Handbook for Egypt (11th ed., London, 1907); T. B. Hohler, Report on the Oasis of Siva (Cairo, 1900); also the works of the earlier travellers named.  (F. R. C.) 

SIWALIK HILLS, a name given to the foot-hills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun district of the United Provinces of India, and in Nahan state and Hoshiarpur district of the Punjab. The range runs parallel with the Himalayan system from Hardwar on the Ganges to the banks of the Beas, with a length of 200 m. and an average width of 10 m. The elevation varies from 2000 to 3500 ft. Geologically speaking the Siwaliks belong to the tertiary deposits of the outer Himalayas, and are chiefly composed of low sandstone and conglomerate hills, the solidified and upheaved detritus of the great range in their rear. The intermediate valley lying between the outer hills and the Mussoorie