Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/298

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
282
SMYTH, C. P.—SMYTH, J.

and was worshipped in the valley. The most common and consistent tradition connects Homer with the valley of Smyrna and the banks of the Meles; his figure was one of the stock types on Smyrnaean coins, one class of which was called Homerian; the epithet " Melesigenes " was applied to him; the cave where he was wont to compose his poems was shown near the source of the river; his temple, the Homereum, stood on its banks. The steady equable flow of the Meles, alike in summer and winter, and its short course, beginning and ending near the city, are celebrated by Aristides and Himerius. The description applies admirably to the stream which rises from abundant fountains, now known as Diana's bath, E. of the city, and flows into the S.E. extremity of the gulf. The belief that the torrent, almost dry except after rains, which flows by Caravan bridge, is the ancient Meles, flatly contradicts the ancient descriptions.

In the Roman period Smyrna was the seat of a conventus which included S. Aeolis and great part of the Hermus valley. It vied with Ephesus and Pergamum for the title " First (city) of Asia." A Christian church existed here from a very early time, having its origin in the considerable Jewish colony. Polykarp was bishop of Smyrna and was martyred there A.D. 155. The bishops of Smyrna were originally subject to the metropolitan of Ephesus; afterwards they became independent (αὐτοκέφαλοι) , and finally were honoured with metropolitan rank, having under them the bishops of Phocaea, Magnesia ad Sipylum, Clazomenae, Sosandrus (Nymphi?), Archangelus (Temnos?) and Petra (Menemen?).

When Constantinople became the seat of government the trade between Anatolia and the W. lost in importance, and Smyrna declined apace. A Turkish freebooter named Tsacha seized Smyrna in 1084, but it was recovered by the generals of Alexius Comnenus. The city was several times ravaged by the Turks, and had become quite ruinous when the emperor John Ducas Vatatzes about 1222 rebuilt it. But Ibn Batuta found it still in great part a ruin when the famous chieftain Aidin had conquered it about 1330 and made his son Amur governor. It became the port of the Aidin amirate. Soon afterwards the Knights of Saint John established themselves in the town, but failed to conquer the citadel. In 1402 Timur stormed the town and massacred almost all the inhabitants. The Mongol conquest was only temporary, but Smyrna was resumed by the Seljuks of Aidin and has remained till the present day in Mahommedan hands. Until the reign of Abdul Mejid it was included for administrative purposes in the eyalet of Jezair (the Isles) and not in that of Anadoli. The representative of the Capitan Pasha, who governed that eyalet, was, however, less influential in the city than the head of the Kara Osman Oglu's of Manisa (see Manisa). From the early 17th century till 1825, Smyrna was the chief provincial factory of the British Turkey Company, as well as of French, Dutch and other trading corporations. The passages with gates at each end within which most Frank shops in modern Smyrna lie, are a survival of the semi-fortified residences of the European merchants.

2. The Modern City, capital of the Aidin vilayet, and the most important town of Asia Minor. Pop. more than 250,000, of which fully a half is Greek. It is one of the principal ports of the Ottoman empire, and has a large trade, of which the greater part is with Great Britain. The chief items of export are figs, tobacco, valonia, carpets, raisins and silk, to the value of some three million sterling. The imports are estimated at a million more. About 7006 steamships visit the port annually. Until 1894 the two railways from Smyrna to the interior belonged to British companies; but in 1897 the Smyrna-Alashehr line passed into the hands of a French syndicate, which completed an extension to Afium Kara-hissar and virtually (though not actually) effected a junction with the Anatolian railway system. This line has branches to Burnabat and Soma. The Smyrna-Aidin line has been extended to Dineir, and powers have been obtained to continue to Isbarta and Egerdir. It has branches to Buja, Seidikeui, Tireh, Odemish, Sokia, Denizli and Ishekli.

Modern Smyrna is in all but government a predominantly Christian town (hence the Turks know it as giaour Ismir). There is a large European element (including about 800 British subjects), a great part of which lives in two suburban villages, Burnabat and Buja, but has business premises in the city. The European and Greek quarters rapidly increase, mainly to the N.; while the fine quays, made by a French company, are backed by a line of good buildings. The streets behind, though clean and well kept, are very narrow and tortuous. A fine new Konak (government offices) has been built, and another important new structure is the pier of the Aidin Railway Co. at Point. The development of this railway is the most conspicuous sign of progress.

Smyrna is a headquarters of missions of all denominations and has good schools, of which the International College is the best. There is a British consul-general, with full consular establishment, including a hospital.

See general authorities for Asia Minor, especially the travellers, almost all of whom describe Smyrna. Also B. F. Slaars, Étude sur Smyrne (1868); and W. M. Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches (1904) and article in Hastings's Dict. of the Bible (1902). (W. M. Ra.; D. G. H.)


SMYTH, CHARLES PIAZZI (1819–1900), British astronomer, was born at Naples on the 3rd of January 1819. He was called Piazzi after his godfather, the Italian astronomer of that name, whose acquaintance his father, Admiral Smyth, had made at Palermo when on the Mediterranean station. His father subsequently settled at Bedford and equipped there an observatory, at which Piazzi Smyth received his first lessons in astronomy. At the age of sixteen he went out as assistant to Sir Thomas Maclear at the Cape of Good Hope, where he observed Halley's comet and the great comet of 1843, and took an active part in the verification and extension of La Caille's arc of the meridian. In 1845 he was appointed astronomer royal for Scotland and professor of astronomy in the university of Edinburgh. Here he completed the reduction, and continued the series, of the observations made by his predecessor, Thomas Henderson (see Edinburgh Observations, vols, xi.-xv.). In 1856 he made experimental observations on the Peak of Teneriffe with a view to testing the astronomical advantages of a mountain station. The Admiralty made him a grant of £500 for tne purpose, and a yacht—the " Titania "—of 140 tons and a fine 7½ in. equatorial telescope were placed at his disposal by friends. The upshot of the expedition was to verify Newton's surmise, that a " most serene and quiet air . . . may perhaps be found on the tops of the highest mountains above the grosser clouds." The scientific results were detailed in a Report addressed to the lords commissioners of the admiralty, 1858, in a communication to the Royal Society (Phil. Trans. cxlviii. 465) and in the Edinburgh Observations, vol. xii. A popular account of the voyage is contained in Teneriffe, an Astronomer's Experiment, 1858. In 1871–1872 Piazzi Smyth investigated the spectra of the aurora, and zodiacal light. He recommended the use of the " trainband " for weather prediction (Jour. Scottish Meteor. Society, v. 84), and discovered, in conjunction with Professor A. S. Herschel, the harmonic relation between the rays emitted by carbon monoxide. In 1877–1878 he constructed at Lisbon a map of the solar-spectrum (Edin. Phil. Trans. xxix. 285), for which he received the Macdougall-Brisbane prize in 1880. Further spectroscopic researches were carried out by him at Madeira in 1880 (Madeira Spectroscopic, 1882), and at Winchester in 1884 (Edin. Phil. Trans. vol. xxxii. pt. ii.). He published besides Three Cities in Russia (1862), Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1864), Life and Work at the Great Pyramid (1867), and a volume On the Antiquity of Intellectual Man (1868). In 1888 he resigned his official position and retired to the neighbourhood of Ripon, where he died on the 21st of February 1900.

See Month. Notices Roy. Astr. Society, lxi. 189; Observatory, xxiii. 145, 184; R. Copeland in Astr. Nach. No. 3636, and Pop. Astronomy (1900), p. 384; Nature, lxii. 161 (A. S. Herschel); André and Rayet, L'Astronomie pratique, ii. 12.  (A. M. C.) 


SMYTH (or Smith), JOHN (c. 1570-1612), English non-conformist divine, commonly called the Se-baptist, was born