Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/821

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

STARNBERG, a village and climatic health resort of Germany, in the kingdom of Bavaria, on the Starnberger See, 16 m. by rail S. from Munich. Pop. (1905), 3257. It has an evangelical and a Roman Catholic church, an old castle (now government offices) and a bathing establishment. The Starnberger See (or Wurmsee) is a lake with a length of 12 m., a breadth of 3 m., and covering 23 sq. m. Its greatest depth is about 400 ft. The lake is girdled by hills, studded with attractive villa residences, commanding beautiful and extensive views of the Alps. On the Roseninsel, an island in the lake, remains of lacustrine dwellings have been discovered. The waters abound in fish. In the summer steamboats ply, touching at all the villages lying on the shores.

See Ule, Der Würmsee in Oberbayern (Leipzig, 1901).

STAR-NOSED MOLE (Condylura cristata), a North American species, the single representative of its genus. In burrowing habits it resembles the European mole, but is distinguished from all other members of the family Talpidae by the presence of a ring of tentacles round the nostrils, probably serving as organs of touch.

STARODUB, a town of Russia, in the government of Chernigov, 98 m. N.E. of the city of Chernigov. It is regularly built, with broad straight streets, and the houses are surrounded by large gardens. Pop. 12,451; Little Russians with about 5000 Jews. Tanning and the manufacture of copper wares are carried on, and there is a trade in corn and hemp exported to Riga and St Petersburg. As early as the nth and 12th centuries Starodub was a bone of contention between different Russian princes, who appreciated its strategic position. The Mongols seem to have destroyed it in the middle of the 13th century, and its name does not reappear until the following century. During the 15th and 16th centuries the Russians and Lithuanians were continually disputing the possession of its fortress, and at the beginning of the 17th century it became a stronghold of Poland.

STARVATION, the state of being deprived of the essentials of nutrition, particularly of food, the suffering of the extremities of hunger and also of cold (see Hunger and Thirst). The word is an invented hybrid, attributed, according to the accepted story, to Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, who used it in a parliamentary debate on American matters in 1775 and gained thereby the nickname of " Starvation Dundas " (see H. Walpole's Letters, ed. Cunningham, viii. 30; and Notes and Queries no. 225). The English word " to starve " meant originally " to die," as in O. Eng. steorfan, Du. sterven, Ger. sterben, but was particularly applied to death from hunger or cold.

STAS, JEAN SERVAIS (1813–1891), Belgian chemist, was born at Lou vain on the 21st of August 1813. He studied for a medical career and took his doctor's degree, but soon turned to chemistry. In 1835 after much trouble he gained admission to J. B. A. Dumas's laboratory in Paris in order to continue a research on phloridzin which he had begun in an attic in his father's house, and he was associated with that chemist in several researches, including his redetermination of the atomic weight of carbon. In 1840 he left Paris on his appointment to the chair of chemistry at the École Royale Militaire in Brussels. There he remained for more than a quarter of a century, but before he had served the thirty years necessary to secure a pension he was obliged to resign through a malady which affected his speech. He was then appointed to a post in connexion with the Mint, but gave it up in 1872, and spent the rest of his life in retirement in Brussels, where he died on the 13th of December 1891. Stas's name is best known for his determination of the atomic weights of a number of the more important elements. His work in this field was marked by extreme care, and he adopted the most minute precautions to avoid error, with such success that the greatest variation between his numerous individual determinations for each element was represented by from 0.005 to 0.01. Though he started with a predilection in favour of Prout's hypothesis he was later led by the results he obtained and by his failure to find any evidence of dissociation in the elements to regard it as a pure illusion and to look upon the unity of matter as merely an attractive speculation unsupported by proof. Nevertheless, a few years before his death, a propos of the close approximation to integers presented by a number of the atomic weights of the elements when hydrogen is taken as unity, he remarked, "II faut croire qu'il y a quelque chose là-dessous." In connexion with the poisoning of Count Hippolyte de Bocarme with nicotine in 1850 Stas worked out a method for the detection of the vegetable alkaloids, which, modified by Friedrich Julius Otto (1809–1870), professor of chemistry at Brunswick, has been widely used by toxicologists as the Stas-Otto process.

STASINUS, of Cyprus, according to some ancient authorities the author of the Cypria (in 11 books) , one of the poems belonging to the epic cycle. Others ascribed it to Hegesias (or Hegesinus) of Salamis or even to Homer himself, who was said to have written it on the occasion of his daughter's marriage to Stasinus. The Cypria, presupposing an acquaintance with the events of the Homeric poem, confined itself to what preceded, and thus formed a kind of introduction to the Iliad. It contained an account of the judgment of Paris, the rape of Helen, the abandonment of Philoctetes on the island of Lemnos, the landing of the Achaeans on the coast of Asia, and the first engagement before Troy. It is probable that the list of the Trojans and their allies (Iliad, ii. 816–876), which formed an appendix to the catalogue of the Greek ships, is abridged from that in the Cypria, which was known to contain a list of the Trojan allies. Proclus, in his Chrestomathia, gave an outline of the poem (preserved in Photius, cod. 239).

See F. G. Welcker, Der epische Cyclus (1862); D. B. Monro, Appendix to his edition of Odyssey, xiii.-xxiv. (1901); T. W. Allen, " The Epic Cycle," in Classical Quarterly (Jan. 1908, sqq.) ; and Cycle.

STASSFURT, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Saxony, and one of the chief seats of the German salt-producing industry, situated on both sides of the Bode, 20 m. S.W. of Magdeburg by the railway to Aschersleben. Pop. (1905), 18,310. It is still surrounded in part by the ruins of its ancient walls, but, with the exception of the parish church of St John (15th century), there are no buildings worthy of special notice; Although saline springs are mentioned here as early as the 13th century, the first attempt to bore for salt was not made until 1839, while the systematic exploitation of the salt-beds, to which the town is indebted for its prosperity, dates only from 1856. The shafts reached deposits of salt at a depth of 850 ft.; but the finer and purer layers lie more than 1100 ft. below the surface. Besides the rock-salt, which is excavated by blasting, the saline deposits of Stassfurt yield a considerable quantity of deliquescent salts and other saline products, which have encouraged the foundation of numerous chemical factories in the town and in the neighbouring village of Leopoldshall, which lies in Anhalt territory. The rock-salt works are mainly government property, while the chemical factories are in private hands.

See Precht, Salzindustrie von Stassfurt und Umgebung (Stassfurt, 1891) ; and Westphal, Geschichte des königlichen Salzwerks zu Stassfurt (Berlin, 1901).

STATE. As currently employed in that department of political science which concerns itself, not with the relations Definition. of separate political entities, but with the political composition of society as a whole, the word state expresses the abstract idea of government in general, or the governing authority as opposed to the governed, and is thus used by Herbert Spencer in all his discussions of government and society. Louis XIV.'s " l'etat, c'est moi," Rousseau's theory of the " contrat social," Bastiat's " donne à l'etat le strict nécessaire et garde le reste pour toi," all imply this opposition. Hobbes regards the state, or, as he calls it, the commonwealth, as " one person for whose acts a great multitude by