Dictionary of World Biography
Aalto, (Hugo) Alvar (Henrick) (1898–1976). Finnish architect and designer. He set up practice in 1923 in central Finland, moving to Turku in 1927, then to Helsinki in 1933, collaborating with his wife Aino Marsio (1894–1949). He gained a national reputation with the Viipuri Municipal Library (1930–35), destroyed in World War II, and an international one with his Finnish pavilions at the World’s Fairs at Paris (1937) and New York (1939–40). He made imaginative use of wood with brickwork, glass, copper and cement and also developed functional plywood furniture, mass-produced in his own factory. His range of commissions, including the Maison Carré in Paris, Baker House in Cambridge, Mass., and the Finlandia Concert Hall, Helsinki, was extensive: factories, museums, churches, theatres, department stores, private houses and public housing. He was professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1945–49.
Aaron (c.14th–13th centuries BCE). Hebrew High Priest. In the Bible story, with his brother *Moses, he led the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan (Palestine) and became their first high priest, but while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai he made a golden calf for the people to worship (Exodus xxiii).
Abbado, Claudio (1933–2014). Italian conductor, born in Milan. He was principal conductor of La Scala, Milan 1971–86, the London Symphony Orchestra 1979–88, the Vienna State Opera 1986–91 and succeeded von *Karajan at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1990–2002. He won many awards for his recordings.
Abbas (566–653). Arab merchant. Uncle of *Muhammad, and a Hashemite member of the Quraysh clan in Mecca, he was ancestor of the Abbasid dynasty which overthrew the *Umayyads and held the caliphate 750–1258 until destroyed by the Mongols.
Abbās I (the Great) (1571–1629). Shah of Persia 1587–1629. Fifth ruler of the Safavid dynasty, son of Shah Mohammad Khodabanda, he inherited a weak and divided empire, but proved to be decisive, effective and brutal. He established Esfahan as his capital, commissioned magnificent buildings, and extended his rule into Mesopotamia, the Caucasus and eastern Anatolia.
Abbas II (Abbas Hilmi Pasha) (1874–1944). Ottoman khedive of Egypt 1892–1914. He supported the nationalist and Pan-Islamic cause and clashed with the British de facto rulers *Cromer and *Kitchener. When the Ottoman Empire entered World War I in support of Germany and Austria-Hungary he was deposed and succeeded by his uncle Hussein Kamil (brother of *Fuad I) who took the title of sultan. Exiled to Switzerland, he died in Geneva.
Abbas, Ferhat (1899–1985). Algerian politician. Trained as a pharmacist, he founded the Algerian Popular Union in 1938 and in 1943 sought political concessions from the Allied authorities who rejected his moderate demands and jailed him. In 1956, in Cairo, he became leader of the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) and was first president of the provisional government of the Algerian Republic 1958–63 until displaced by his rival Ahmed *Ben Bella and imprisoned 1963–64.
Abbas, Mahmoud (also known as Abu Mazen). (1935– ). Palestinian politician, born in Safan. Educated in Damascus, Cairo and Moscow, he became active in the Fatah movement. Premier 2003, he succeeded Yasser *Arafat as President of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) 2004– and of the Palestine Authority 2005– .
Abbasids see Abbas
Abbott, Tony (Anthony John) (1957– ). Australian Liberal politician, born in London. Son of expatriate Australians who returned home in 1960, he was educated at Sydney University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford in 1981, graduating MA in politics and philosophy. He was active in sport and boxing, returned to study for the priesthood (1984–87) but turned to journalism instead. Deeply influenced at first by B. A. *Santamaria, he became active in the monarchist campaign to oppose Australia becoming a republic. Member of the House of Representatives 1994–2019, he served in the *Howard Government as Minister for Employment Services 1998–2001, for Employment and Workplace Relations 2001–03 and for Health and Ageing 2003–07. Leader of the Opposition 2009–13, he was an unrelenting critic of *Rudd and *Gillard, a climate-change sceptic but sympathetic to Aborigines. In the September 2013 election the Liberal-National Party Coalition won a commanding victory and he became Prime Minister 2013–15. His pugilistic style, highly effective in opposition, proved counter-productive in government, and he was defeated by Malcolm *Turnbull in a party room ballot in September 2015. He campaigned passionately against recognition of same-sex marriage and against effective action to combat climate change and played a major role in forcing Turnbull from the prime ministership (August 2018).
Abboud, (El-Ferik) Ibrahim (1900–1983). Sudanese soldier and political leader. His military service was mostly spent with the Sudan Defence Force, serving with the Allies in World War II. He became Commander-in-Chief of the army of independent Sudan in 1956 and in November 1958 led a coup d’état to end anarchy, becoming both President and Prime Minister 1958–64. However, internal divisions in Sudan between the Muslim north and the non-Muslim south led to outbreaks of violence and Abboud was forced from power and retreated to England.
Abd ar-Rahman I (c.730–788). Arab ruler in Spain: emir of Córdoba 756–88. Born in Damascus, he was a member of the *Umayyad dynasty which was overthrown and slaughtered by the Abbasids in 750. He escaped to Spain, built up alliances, defeating the emir of Córdoba at Almeda and establishing his rule in 756. Later, he defeated the forces of *Charlemagne and the Abbasid caliph. In 785 he began the great mosque (Mezquita) in Córdoba, extended by his son Hisham I. It is a World Heritage site.
Abd ar-Rahman III (891–961). Arab ruler: caliph of Andalucía. Direct descendant of *Abd ar-Rahman I and hereditary prince of Córdoba from 912, he became the greatest ruler of the *Umayyad Arab dynasty in Spain and Morocco. He fought against the Fatimid (Muslim) dynasty and the Christian rulers of Leon and Navarre, capturing Seville (913) and Toledo (933). He promoted toleration for Christians and Jews and his reign was the golden age of Andalusian civilisation in architecture, the arts, education and science. From 936 he built the great palace Medinat al-Zahra, near Córdoba.
Abd el-Krim, Mohammed (1882–1963). Moroccan nationalist leader. A Berber, he was a teacher, editor and judge who organised the first liberation movement in North Africa against French and Spanish rule. He proclaimed the Republic of the Rif in 1921 and was its president until 1926 when his forces were defeated by a large Franco-Spanish army commanded by Marshal *Pétain. Exiled to the island of Reunion 1926–47, he went to Egypt to head the Maghrib Bureau and died in Cairo. He was a major influence not only on African nationalists but also on *Ho Chi Minh.
Furneaux, R., Abdel Krim: Emir of the Rif. 1967.
Abdulhamid II (1842–1918). Ottoman sultan and caliph 1876–1909. Son of Abdulmecid I (1823–1861), he was brought to power after the mental collapse of his brother Murad V (1840–1904) and appeared at first to be sympathetic to reform. He ruled as an absolute monarch from 1878. He lost Romania, Bulgaria and parts of Serbia and Bosnia after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), was known as ‘the Red’ or ‘the Damned’ in Europe after the massacre of 200,000 Armenians (1894–95) and went to war with Greece (1896–97) over Cyprus. He used Germans to train his army and encouraged the completion of the Berlin to Baghdad railway. He encouraged Pan-Islamism as a counterbalance to Western influences and became obsessed with the fear of assassination. Deposed by the Young Turks, he was succeeded by his brother *Mehmed V and held as a prisoner in Istanbul until his death.
Abdullah I (Abdullah bin al-Hussein) (1882–1951). King of Jordan 1949–51, formerly Emir 1921–46 and King 1946–49 of Transjordan. Born in Mecca, son of *Hussein, later King of the Hejaz, with the rest of his Hashemite family he actively supported Britain in World War I in bringing down the Ottoman Empire. Designated as king of the newly created Iraq in 1920, he declined the throne; it was taken up by his brother *Faisal, who had been rejected in Syria. Abdullah took control of the Emirate of Transjordan instead, working closely with the British in Palestine, and showing some willingness to co-operate with Jewish settlement. The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan became fully independent in 1946 and was renamed as Jordan in 1949. On the creation of Israel (1948) and the partitioning of Palestine, Abdullah annexed the West Bank for Jordan and was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist. His great-grandson Abdullah II (1962– ) succeeded *Hussein as king in 1999.
Abdul Rahman Putra, Tunku (1903–1990). Malayan prince (Tunku) and politician. Educated at Cambridge University, he was called to the bar, and joined the public prosecutor’s department of his state of Kedah in 1949. In 1952 he was nominated to the federal executive and legislative councils, became Chief Minister (1955) and then first Prime Minister 1957–70 of the Malayan Federation (renamed Malaysia in 1963). Signapore was pushed out of the federation in 1964 and Sabah (British North Borneo) and Sarawak added. The UK awarded him a CH (1961) and Australia an AC (1987).
Abe Shinzō (1954– ). Japanese politician, born in Nagato. Member of a political dynasty and grandson of *Kishi Nobusuku, he studied at Seikei University and in California. He worked for the steel industry, then as an organiser for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Member of the House of Representatives 1993– , President of the LDP 2006–07, 2012– ; and Prime Minister 2006–07, 2012– (the first since *Yoshida to hold non-consecutive terms). In 2013 the LDP won a majority in the upper house as well. Abe was an economic interventionist and right-wing nationalist who argued a revisionist position about Japan’s role in World War II. His ‘apology’ for wartime excesses, given on the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender (August 2015) was regarded as grossly inadequate by China and the Republic of Korea.
Abelard, Pierre [Peter in English usage] (1079–1142). French philosopher and theologian. Of a noble Breton family, he became a lecturer in Paris. He seduced and married a 17-year-old pupil, *Héloïse, whose uncle, Fulbert, canon of Notre Dame, eventually had him castrated. She became a nun and he a monk. Later his retreat at Nogent-sur-Seine, known as Le Paraclet, was visited by scores of disciples. Convicted of heresy, he was eventually absolved by the pope. His own account of his life and his correspondence with Héloïse have perpetuated one of the most famous love stories of the world. In 1817 the two were laid together in one tomb in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. His contribution to the philosophical problem of universals was that a general word (e.g. ‘pink’) does not have meaning by standing for a single quality (e.g. pinkness) that somehow exists, but rather by being tied to a mental concept we acquire by noticing similarities between different things (e.g. pink ones). He extolled the use of reason in religion while giving a place to faith. One of his best known works is Sic et non (Yes and No), which revealed the contradictions in the works of the early Christian Fathers.
Gibson, E., Héloïse and Abelard. 1953.
Abercrombie, Sir (Leslie) Patrick (1879–1957). British town planner. He first practised as an architect in Manchester and was professor of civil design at Liverpool 1915–35. During these years, plans for preserving Stratford-on-Avon and other English towns made him well known. He was professor of town planning at University College, London 1935–46, and the ‘Greater London Plan’ 1943 was his major achievement.
Abercromby, Sir Ralph (1734–1801). Scottish soldier. After being trained for the law he was commissioned in the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1756, and fought with distinction in the Seven Years War and the French wars at the close of the century. He was knighted in 1795 and, as leader of the West Indies campaign which immediately followed, received fresh acclaim. While Commander-in-Chief of British forces in the Mediterranean he made (June 1801) a successful chief of landing at Aboukir Bay, Alexandria. The French counter-attack was repulsed but Abercromby died of wounds.
Aberdeen, 4th Earl of, George Hamilton-Gordon (1784–1860). Scottish Peelite-Whig politician, born in Edinburgh. His family owned large estates, his parents died early and he succeeded his grandfather as earl in 1801. Educated at Harrow and Cambridge, he had a passion for the classics and archaeology. Originally a diplomat and a successful negotiator, as a youthful Ambassador to Vienna 1813–14 he organised the final coalition against *Napoléon and felt haunted by war. Originally a Tory, he was Foreign Secretary 1828–30 and again under *Peel 1841–46. He broke with the Conservatives over the Corn Laws and became leader of the Peelite faction in 1850. Prime Minister 1852–55, he led a coalition between the Whigs and his own minority group. He cultivated good relations with the United States. He took Britain, reluctantly, into the Crimean War 1853–56 and military failure, coupled with internal tensions between *Palmerston and Russell, enfeebled his government and he was happy to resign. *Gladstone regarded him as ‘lovable’, a sentiment not widely shared: *Disraeli detested him.
Aberhart, William (1878–1943). Canadian politician. Originally a clergyman, then a schoolteacher, he became Premier of Alberta 1935–43 and attempted to implement in Canada the Social Credit policies of Major C. H. *Douglas. His scope of action was limited by the overriding authority of the Federal Government.
Abraham (Abram) (c.2100–2000 BCE). Hebrew patriarch, born in Ur of the Chaldees (Mesopotamia). According to the biblical account (Genesis xi:26ff), by his wife Sarah (Sarai) he was ancestor of the Israelites, through *Isaac. The Qu’ran (Koran) claims him as progenitor of the Arabs by his wife Hagar (through his son Ishmael: *Muhammad was a descendant). Genesis describes how Abraham, at the call of God, migrated with Sarah his wife and his whole household to Canaan (Palestine). His faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Only at the last moment, he was told to substitute a ram. According to tradition he died, and was buried, in Hebron.
Abu-Bakr (Abdullah ibn Abi Quhaafah) (c.573–634). First caliph of Islam 632–34. Born to a merchant tribe in Mecca, he became the first male convert to Islam and *Muhammad’s chief adviser in Medina (622–32). His daughter A’ishah (Ayesha) became one of Muhammad’s wives. On his son-in-law’s death he assumed leadership of Islam as khalifa (‘deputy or successor’). His claim was disputed by Muhammad’s son-in-law *Ali, whose followers became known as Shi’ites. He was succeeded as caliph by *Umar. The first four caliphs, known as ‘Rashidun’ (‘rightly guided’), were chosen by consensus among the imams.
Achebe, Chinua (1930–2013). Nigerian novelist, poet and critic. His Things Fall Apart (1958) was the biggest selling novel by an African writer: 10 million copies in 50 languages. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2007.
Acheson, Dean Gooderham (1893–1971). American lawyer, born in Connecticut. Educated at Yale and Harvard, he was a law clerk to Justice *Brandeis and became an attorney in 1921. Undersecretary of the US Treasury 1933, he resigned over a matter of principle, worked as an international lawyer in Washington, then went to the State Department as Assistant Secretary 1941–45 and Undersecretary 1945–47. He formulated the *Truman Doctrine (1947), in which US aid was offered to countries under threat from the USSR. He was a major architect of the *Marshall Plan (1947) which provided support for the rebuilding of Western Europe. As Truman’s Secretary of State 1949–53, despite his hard line in the Cold War in organising NATO (1949), he was attacked as a Communist sympathiser after *Mao’s victory in China and the onset of the Korean War. Memoirs of his years at the State Department, Present at the Creation (1970), won the Pulitzer Prize for history.
Brinkley, D., Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years 1953–71. 1993.
Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron (1834–1902). English historian, born in Naples. Grandson of a former prime minister of the Kingdom of Naples, he was brought up in the household of the 2nd Earl Granville, who married his widowed mother, and studied in Munich where he acquired his mastery of historical method. He was a Liberal MP 1859–65 but reached his greatest fame as professor of modern history at Cambridge 1895–1902, where he planned the original Cambridge Modern History. Though a Roman Catholic, his liberalism made him strongly oppose the dogma of papal infallibility (1870). He coined the maxim (1887): ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
Mathew, D., Lord Acton and His Times. 1968; Mathew, D., Acton: The Formative Years. 1972; Chadwick, O., Acton and History. 2002.
Adam, Adolphe Charles (1803–1856). French composer. A professor at the Paris Conservatoire from 1848, his best known work is the ballet Giselle (1841), but he also wrote popular operas, now forgotten, for the Opera-Comique.
Adam, Robert (1728–1792). Scottish architect, born in Kirkcaldy. Brought up on the family estate in Kinross-shire, in 1754 he was sent by his father (himself an architect of distinction in the Palladian tradition) to Italy, where, without neglecting the Renaissance masters, he made a special study of the antiquities of Rome, Pompeii and Herculaneum. Across the Adriatic the ruins of *Diocletian’s palace at Spalato (Split), much more complete than they are today, provided a theme for a book, fully illustrated by his own drawings; published in 1764. In 1760 he set up in practice in London with his younger brother James Adam (1730–1794) who acted mostly as his assistant.
Out of his studies gradually emerged the so-called Adam style, based on the principle that exterior, interior and furnishings should form a harmonious whole. Details were largely elegant adaptations of Roman and Greek models. They designed and built the Adelphi (i.e. the brothers) Terrace (1768–72), an unfortunate financial speculation but an artistic triumph which was destroyed and replaced in 1936–38. Outstanding among the many Adam country houses are Harewood in Yorkshire, Kedleston in Derbyshire, Syon and Osterley near London. The famous town houses were a later phase. Robert, unmarried, a Member of Parliament 1768–74, elected FRS, was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Adams, Ansel Easton (1902–1984). American photographer. His richly textured, stark images of landscape, especially national parks in California and the southwest, established his reputation. He helped to secure recognition of photography as an academic subject and wrote technical manuals.
Adams, Gerry (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh) (1948– ). Irish politician, born in Belfast. An active civil rights campaigner in Northern Ireland, he was interned 1971–76, and worked with the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), but insisted that he was not a member. President of Sinn Féin 1983–2018, he was an abstentionist MP 1983–92; 1997–2011 in the UK House of Commons. He supported an end to terrorism after 1994, was a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2010, then transferred to the Dail Éireann 2011– .
Adams, Sir Grantley Herbert (1898–1971). Barbadan Labour politician. Educated at Oxford University, he became a successful lawyer (and cricketer) in Barbados. He was premier of Barbados 1954–58 and the first and only Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation 1958–62.
Adams, Henry (Brooks) (1838–1918). American historian, born in Boston. Grandson of John Quincy *Adams and son of Charles Francis Adams (1807–1886), he was educated at Harvard and travelled extensively in Europe. His father became US Minister to Great Britain 1861–68 and Henry served as his private secretary throughout, returning to the US to find that his services and knowledge were rebuffed in *Grant’s Washington. He taught history at Harvard 1870–77 and edited the North American Review 1870–76. He moved to Washington, opposite the White House, and there wrote his great History of the USA. During the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (9 volumes, 1889–91), which set new standards in documentation and was published at his own expense. Lesser historical work followed, but in later life Adams turned to general literature, having already written Democracy (1880), a slashing satirical novel of Washington society. He toured the world (including Polynesia and Australia) with John *Hay 1890–92. Living in France in 1897, he became anti-Semitic and anti-Dreyfusard.
Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (privately published 1904, commercially 1913) is a study of the unifying forces of medievalism symbolised by these great buildings. The Education of Henry Adams, (privately published 1907, commercially 1918), is an ironic and deeply pessimistic autobiography, written in the third person, which speculates about the disintegrative forces of modern life. The Education posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize (1919).
Samuels, E., The Young Henry Adams. 1948, Henry Adams: The Middle Years. 1958, Henry Adams: The Major Phase. 1964, Henry Adams 1 vol. condensation 1989; Levenson, J. C., The Mind and Art of Henry Adams. 1957.
Adams, John (1735–1826). 2nd President of the US 1797–1801. Born in Braintree (Quincy), Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College, he was cousin of Samuel *Adams. He became a leading lawyer and politically a strong supporter of the colonial cause, relying upon the argument ‘No taxation without representation’. However, he revealed his fairness by defending British soldiers who had fired upon and killed some of a group of Boston citizens who had been baiting a sentry. He was prominent in the continental congresses, and signed the Declaration of Independence (1776) which he had helped to draft. He was appointed diplomatic representative to France (1778) and Holland (1781) and with *Franklin and *Jay negotiated the treaty of Versailles (1783), which brought the War of Independence to an end. After serving as the first US minister to Great Britain 1785–88, he returned home, and as a leading member of *Washington’s Federalist Party he became the first vice president of the US 1789–97, bewailing the lack of power of ‘this most insignificant office’. When Washington announced his retirement in 1796 he was elected President of the US, narrowly defeating *Jefferson in the first contested poll but lost to Jefferson in the 1800 election. He returned to his home at Quincy, wrote several books analysing the machinery of American Government, and died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the same day as Jefferson. Dying at 90 years 8 months, he was the longest lived US President until Ronald *Reagan.
McCullough, D., John Adams. 2001.
Adams, John (Coolidge) (1947– ). American composer, born in Massachusetts. A clarinettist, he studied composition at Harvard with Roger Sessions and Leon Kirchner, taught composition himself at the San Francisco Conservatory 1971–81 and was composer in residence with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra 1982–85. His works include Shaker Loops (originally a string septet 1978, set for orchestra 1983), Grand Pianola Music (1982), Harmonium for large orchestra and chorus (*Donne and *Dickinson, 1984), the successful opera Nixon in China (1987), the song cycles Fearful Symmetries (*Blake, 1988) and The Wound-Dresser (*Whitman, 1989). The opera The Death of Klinghoffer was premiered in 1991. Later works include Violin Concerto (1993), On the Transmigration of Souls (choral, 2002), Dr Atomic (opera, 2005), The Gospel According to the Other Mary (opera-oratorio, 2013), Scheherezade.2 (dramatic symphony, 2014) and Girls of the Golden West (opera, 2017). He describes himself as a ‘post-style’ composer.
Adams, John Couch (1819–1892). English astronomer and mathematician, born in Cornwall. Self-taught, then educated at Cambridge, in 1845 he predicted the existence of the planet Neptune from calculations on irregularities in the orbit of Uranus. Delay in publication resulted in his sharing credit for discovery of the planet with *Le Verrier who, working independently, presented similar calculations to the Académie française in 1846. Other notable work by Adams included researches on the moon’s motion. Awarded the Copley Medal in 1846, he was professor of astronomy at Cambridge from 1859–92.
Adams, John Luther (1953– ). American composer, born in Mississippi. He played in rock bands, studied in California and lived in Alaska 1978–2014. Enormously prolific and experimental, his works, profoundly influenced by the environment and a sense of place, include Become Ocean (2013), Ten Thousand Birds (2014) and Become Desert (2018).
Adams, John Quincy (1767–1848). 6th President of the US 1825–29. Born in Braintree, eldest son of John *Adams, his natural precocity was increased by accompanying his father on diplomatic missions. At the age of 14 he was secretary to the American Ambassador in St Petersburg and at 16 to his father, Ambassador in Paris. He graduated at Harvard in 1787, started work as a lawyer, but was soon recalled to diplomacy as minister to Holland 1794–96, to Portugal 1796 and Prussia 1797–1801. US Senator from Massachusetts 1803–08, he supported *Jefferson on the Louisiana Purchase, disagreeing with the Federalist Party. Minister to Russia 1809–14, he was appointed a justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1811 but declined this office. He negotiated the peace treaty of Ghent with England in 1814, and was Minister to Great Britain 1815–17. As Secretary of State under President *Monroe 1817–25, he negotiated a treaty with Spain (1819) which added Texas, California and the Oregon Territory to the US, fixed the border with Canada and formulated the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ (1823). There were four major candidates in the 1824 presidential election: Andrew *Jackson, Adams, Henry *Clay and William Crawford (1772–1834). As no candidate had a majority in the Electoral College, with Clay’s support, Adams was elected by the House of Representatives. He imposed tariffs, promoted national infrastructure and encouraged education and science. Embittered by slander and defeat by Jackson in the presidential election of 1828, he retired to Quincy only to show his resilience by securing election to the House of Representatives. Here, from 1831 until his death he was known for his vehement attacks on slavery. In 1841 he argued before the Supreme Court to secure the freedom of slaves on the ship Amistad. The earliest surviving photograph of a US president was taken of Adams in 1843. Known as ‘Old Man Eloquent’, he died in the House after a vigorous speech.
Lipsky, G. A., John Quincy Adams: His Theory and Ideas. 1950; Bemis, S. F., John Quincy Adams. 2 vols, 1949, 1956; Nagel, P., John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life. 1999; Remini, R. V., John Quincy Adams. 2002.
Adams, Phillip (Andrew Hedley) (1939– ). Australian broadcaster, writer and film producer. He left school early, went into advertising, was central to the revival of the Australian feature film industry, produced 12 films and, from the 1980s, was an influential broadcaster, interviewing thousands of major figures and pursuing unpopular causes. He chaired the Commission for the Future 1985–90 and was a prodigious collector of artefacts. Author of 20 books, he became a ‘living national treasure’. Minor planet 5133 Phillipadams was named for him in 1990.
Adams, Sam(uel) (1722–1803). American politician, born in Boston. The first distinguished member of the Massachusetts family which played such an important part in American history, Adams squandered his inheritance, mismanaged his post as a tax collector, but showed great talent as a political agitator and fiery propagandist. By fomenting and publishing the grievances of the American colonists as a radical leader in the state House of Representatives, he played a decisive part in the contrivance of events, such as the Boston Tea Party (1773), that led to the Declaration of Independence, of which he was a signatory.
Adams, William (1564–1620). English sailor. The first Englishman to settle in Japan (1600), he became the principal adviser on shipbuilding and trade: because of his usefulness he was not allowed to leave. He established a post there for the East India Company.
Addams, Charles Samuel (1912–1988). American cartoonist. A regular contributor to the New Yorker from 1940, his black humour, often featuring a family of grotesques, was the basis for the television series ‘The Addams Family’ (1964–66) and a film (1991).
Addams, Jane (1860–1935). American social reformer, born at Cedarville, Illinois. She founded (1889) the Hull House social settlement in Chicago and worked for female suffrage, social justice and the cause of peace. From 1916, she received 91 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it in 1931 with N. M. *Butler.
Tims, M., Jane Addams of Hull House. 1961.
Addington, Henry, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844). English Tory politician. He entered parliament in 1784, was Speaker of the House of Commons 1789–1801 and Prime Minister during *Pitt’s temporary retirement 1801–04. The Treaty of Amiens 1802 with *Napoléon was a brief respite, but war broke out again in 1803. Pitt turned against him but after reconciliation took him into his own ministry. He received his peerage in 1805 and was almost continuously in office until 1824. As home secretary 1812–21 he was responsible for many repressive measures and incurred odium as a result of the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ of 1819. Minister without Portfolio 1821–24, his opposition to *Canning’s policy of recognising the independence of the Spanish colonies in South America led to his final retirement. He opposed Roman Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform.
Ziegler, P., Addington. 1962.
Addison, Joseph (1672–1719). English essayist. He was chiefly remembered as the founder of and chief contributor to the Spectator (first published 1711). A sickly, precocious child, he was educated at Charterhouse and Oxford. His poem The Campaign (1704), written to celebrate *Marlborough’s victory at Blenheim, won him a post as Commissioner of Excise. Similar posts maintained him in comfort for the rest of his life. He became the main contributor to the Tatler, founded (1709) by his boyhood friend Richard *Steele, who later joined him on the Spectator. The declared aim of both men was to ‘enliven morality with wit and to temper wit with morality’, and it is likely that the influence of both on English manners in the 18th century was more profound than the elegance and sober good sense the papers would suggest. Addison’s tragedy Cato (1713) was highly successful.
Smithers, P., The Life of Joseph Addison. 1954.
Addison, Thomas (1793–1860). English physician and pioneer endocrinologist. His early work was on the action of poisons on the human body, and in his Elements of the Practice of Medicine (1839) he printed an important account of appendicitis. But he is mostly remembered for his researches into the glands, and for his pioneering work on anaemia. On the basis of autopsies, he suggested in 1849 a connection between anaemia and diseases of the suprarenals. This work was extended in his book On the Constitutional and Local Effects of Disease of the Supra-Renal Capsules (1855), in which he identified ‘idiopathic’ anaemia (later known as Addisonian anaemia). He also identified what became known as ‘Addison’s disease’, a condition of the suprarenal capsules which produced weakness, a bronze pigmentation of the skin, and fatality in the patient.
Singer, C. and Underwood, E. A. Short History of Medicine. 1962.
Adelaide (1792–1849). British queen consort 1830–37. Daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen, she married (1818) the Duke of Clarence, later *William IV of Great Britain. The capital of South Australia is named after her.
Hopkirk, M., Queen Adelaide. 1946.
Adenauer, Konrad (1876–1967). German Christian Democratic politician, born in Cologne (Köln). Son of a civil servant, he was educated at the universities of Freiburg, Munich and Bonn, became a lawyer in 1900, a Cologne councillor in 1906 and Lord Mayor (Oberburgermeister) 1917–33 until removed by the Nazis. Imprisoned briefly 1933 and 1944, he was inactive in politics until the end of World War II. Lord Mayor again 1945, in 1946 he founded the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which although largely Catholic included Protestants and narrowly won the first post-war election of August 1949. He served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany 1949–63. At 73 his appointment was intended as provisional but ‘Der Alte’ kept hold until his unwilling retirement at the age of 87. He was also Foreign Minister 1951–55. His shrewdness and stubbornness won him respect inside Germany and he established friendship with *Churchill and *de Gaulle. He negotiated the Federal Republic’s entry into NATO, the Common Market and other international bodies and, with his successor Ludwig *Erhard, initiated Germany’s ‘economic miracle’.
Adès, Thomas (1971– ). English composer, pianist and conductor. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge, with early successes paralleling Benjamin *Britten. His works include a piano quintet (2000) and an opera, The Tempest (2004).
Adler, Alfred (1870–1937). American psychologist. He was an eye specialist before taking up psychiatry and working with *Freud, from whom he finally broke in 1911 (mainly because he disagreed with Freud’s undue emphasis on infantile sexuality), and established his own system. He stressed the link between hereditary physical defects and psychological states but is best known for the importance he ascribed to the will to dominate and its frustration. He coined the term ‘inferiority complex’.
Bottome, P., Alfred Adler: Apostle of Freedom. 3rd ed. 1957.
Adler, Felix (1851–1933). American sociologist, born in Germany. Son of a rabbi, he established the first child-study group and the first free kindergarten in the US. He was a pioneer of the Ethical Culture movement aimed at providing ethical and moral teaching outside the churches.
Adler, Larry (1914–2001). American mouth organist. He toured constantly from the 1930s and commissioned works by *Vaughan Williams, *Milhaud and *Arnold. A political activist, he moved to England during the *McCarthy period.
Adorno, Theodor W(iesengrund) (1903–1969). German philosopher and musicologist. He worked in the UK, US and Germany, attempting to explain modern music in the context of Marx and Freud and wrote extensively on *Mahler, *Schoenberg and *Berg.
Adrian (Hadrianus) IV (Nicholas Breakspear) (c. 1100–1159). Pope 1154–59. The only English pope, born near St Albans, he became a canon of a monastery at Avignon in France and was cardinal bishop of Albano in Italy (1146–54). As Pope he reasserted papal power (*Arnold of Brescia), crowned *Friedrich I (Barbarossa) Emperor in 1155, but later opposed him on the basis of his theories of papal supremacy.
Adrian (Hadrianus) VI (Adriaan Florensz Boeyens) (1459–1523). Pope 1522–23. Born in Utrecht, he became a distinguished theologian. As tutor to the young Charles of Burgundy and the Low Countries (later King of Spain and emperor *Charles V), he attained political and ecclesiastical preferment. Inquisitor-General of Aragon in 1516, cardinal in 1517, he became (1522) the last non-Italian pope until *John Paul II. Zeal for reform within the Church combined with opposition to all doctrinal change won him enemies both in Rome and among Luther’s adherents. Moreover his inability to prevent the Turkish seizure (1522) of Rhodes from the Knights of St John marked his political failure.
Adrian, Edgar Douglas, 1st Baron Adrian (1889–1977). English physiologist, born in London. He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge, and trained for medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. Foulerton Research Professor at the Royal Society 1929–37, he discovered methods for measuring electrical signals in the nervous system and demonstrated the transmission, by nerve impulses, of sensation and muscular control. He shared the 1932 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology with Sir Charles *Sherrington for their discoveries on the function of neurons. In Cambridge he became Professor of Physiology 1937–51, Master of Trinity College 1951–65 and Chancellor of the University 1967–75. Awarded the OM (1942), the Copley Medal (1946) and a peerage (1955), he was President of the Royal Society 1950–55. His later research was on the electrical activity of the brain itself.
A.E. (pen name of George William Russell) see Russell, George William
Ælfric of Eynsham (c.955–1010). Anglo-Saxon scholar and writer. The best known scholar of his time, and the most prolific writer in Old English, he wrote homilies, sermons, a colloquy between the teacher, the pupil and such characters as ploughman, hunter, etc., a paraphrase of the early books of the Old Testament and Lives of the Saints.
Aeschines (389–314 BCE). Athenian orator. The great rival of *Demosthenes, the famous speech against Ctesiphon and only two others survive. He was important as chief spokesman of the party of appeasement in the face of the encroachments of *Philip II of Macedon and so delayed the resistance advocated by Demosthenes until too late.
Aeschylus (c.525–456/5 BCE). Greek tragic dramatist, born near Athens. A member of an old noble family, he was a soldier who fought against Persia at Marathon (490), Salamis (480) and Plataea (479). Comparatively little is known of his life, except that he was popular in Athens, acted in his plays, was regarded as impious and made three long visits to Gela in Sicily, where he died. The earliest Greek tragedian, and, with *Sophocles and *Euripides, one of the three greatest, he was the first dramatist to present two characters on stage simultaneously (additional to the chorus). He also developed the use of dialogue, costumes, music and scenery. (In the Oresteia trilogy he first presented three characters on stage.) Of about 80 plays, only seven survive. He competed in the Dionysia, an annual drama competition, more than 20 times, winning 13 of them (losing once to Sophocles). The Persians deals with the historic struggle of the Greeks against *Xerxes, the remainder are inspired by ancient legends of gods and heroes. Comprising the great trilogy of The Oresteia are Agamemnon, telling of the King’s murder on his return from Troy by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus, The Choephoroe, in which Orestes and his sister Electra avenge their father, and The Eumenides, which relates the pursuit of Orestes by ‘Furies’, his trial and final acquittal by the goddess Athena. Other surviving plays are The Suppliants, Seven Against Thebes and Prometheus Unbound. All deal with the expiation of sin.
Murray, G. G. A., Aeschylus the Creator of Tragedy. 1940.
Aesop. Greek author of beast fables, probably legendary. He is supposed to have lived in the 6th century BCE but even his existence is uncertain. The first collection of Greek fables, now lost, was made in the 4th century BCE by Demetrius of Phaleron. A metrical collection by Babrius (probably 2nd century CE) contains the first Greek fables to survive. Clearly, the fables ascribed to Aesop originated in many countries and were the work of many hands.
Æthelberht (or Ethelbert) (c.560–616). King of Kent 560–616. Overlord of southern England, he married a Christian, the Frankish princess Bertha. which facilitated his own conversion (597) by St *Augustine of Canterbury. This link with the Franks probably stimulated him to issue a code of laws, the first known to have been written down in England.
Æthelred (or Ethelred) I (840–871). King of Wessex 865–71, brother and predecessor of *Alfred (Ælfræd) the Great. The brothers worked in perfect harmony in their efforts to keep the Danes at bay, and, though the devout king was still at his prayers when the Battle of Asldown (871) began, the Danes sustained their first decisive defeat. He died soon afterwards at Merton.
Æthelred (or Ethelred) II (known as ‘the Unready’) (968–1016). King of England 987–1016. The son of *Edgar the Peaceful he succeeded his murdered half-brother *Edward the Martyr. He was called ‘Unraed’ (lacking in counsel or good sense) because of his vacillating policy towards the Danes, sometimes bribing, sometimes fighting them. His reign was one of unrest and treachery to which he contributed, for example by a general massacre of Danes on St Brice’s Day 1002. The Danish leader, *Sweyn Forkbeard, responded with fierce reprisals, defeated Ethelred and compelled him to flee to the court of the Duke of Normandy, the brother of Emma, Ethelred’s second wife and mother of *Edward the Confessor. He returned to England in 1014.
Roach, L., Æthelred the Unready. 2016.
Æthelstan (or Athelstan) (c.895–939). King of the Anglo-Saxons 924–27, King of the English 927–39. Son of *Edward the Elder, and grandson of *Alfred the Great, he continued and extended their policy of unification by bringing the north of England and much of Wales under his rule. The marriages arranged for his sisters with the royal houses of France and Germany confirmed his position as one of the great medieval kings. He ruled England firmly but also addressed his efforts to the liberation of slaves, care of the destitute and improvement of the coinage. At the end of his reign (937) he defeated a confederacy of Scots, Welsh and Danes in a desperate encounter at Brunanburh (Bourne in Lincolnshire).
Æthelwulf (d. 858). King of Wessex 839–58. Son of *Egbert and father of *Alfred the Great, he was pious, judicious and absentee, but kept the Vikings at bay.
Aga Khan. Hereditary title held by the spiritual head of the Isma’ili (Shi’ite) Muslims, which claims descent from Fatimah, daughter of the prophet *Muhammad. The first Aga Khan, Hasum Ali Shah (1800–1881), fled from Persia to India, where his services to the British won him recognition and the title ‘His Highness’. His grandson, Aga Khan III (1877–1957), born in Karachi, succeeded his father as 48th Imam of the Nizari-Isma’ili Muslims in 1885, was educated at Eton and Cambridge. He became first President of the All-India Muslim League 1912. A moderate reformer, he advocated ending purdah, represented India at international conferences and at the League of Nations 1932–38, and was President of the League of Nations Assembly 1937–38. He gained notoriety as a racing enthusiast whose horses won the Derby five times. He was buried in Egypt. His grandson Shah Karim al-Hussaini, Aga Khan IV (1936– ) campaigned to relieve global poverty and advance women’s rights.
Agassiz, (Jean) Louis (Rodolphe) (1807–1873). Swiss-American biologist, born in Switzerland. A pupil of *Cuvier and *Humboldt, he graduated in medicine (1830), worked in Paris and in 1832 accepted a professorship at Neuchâtel. His early work on fossil fishes was followed by a systematic study of glaciers. In 1846 he went to America and in 1848 became professor of natural history at Harvard, and became an influential, and much admired, teacher. A vigorous critic of *Darwin’s theories of natural selection and the origin of species, he proposed ‘polygenism’—the concept that human races had different origins. His ideas were used to provide a scientific justification for racism, unfairly, as Agassiz opposed slavery. A scientific expedition to Brazil 1865–66 led to the publication of A Journey in Brazil (1868). Only four volumes of his Contributions to the Natural History of the United States were issued before his death. His son Alexander Agassiz (1835–1910) who became curator of the Harvard Museum on his father’s death. His son Alexander wrote much on oceanography, coral formations and the embryology of star fishes, etc.
Marcou, J., Life, Letters and Works of Louis Agassiz. 1972.
Agesilaus (c.444–360 BCE). King of Sparta. Famous for his military skill, his early successes were against the Persians in Ionia, but it was in the long war against an alliance of the other Greek states that he won his most famous victory, that of Coronea (394). In the Theban war, though defeated by *Epaminondas at Mantinea (362), he maintained his country’s defence.
Agnelli, Giovanni (1866–1945). Italian industrialist. Originally a soldier, in 1899 he founded FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) which became the biggest Italian car and weapons manufacturer. *Mussolini appointed him to the Senate in 1923 and he was a generous philanthropist.
Agnew, Spiro Theodore (1918–1996). American Republican politician. Son of a Greek migrant (the family name was Anagnostopoulos), he served in the forces, then became a supermarket manager. County executive in Baltimore 1962–67, he had a meteoric rise to become Governor of Maryland 1967–69 and Richard *Nixon’s Vice President 1969–73 and seemed a likely nominee for president in 1976. When the Justice Department prosecuted him for receiving ‘kickbacks’ from Maryland contractors, he pleaded ‘no contest’ in court, was fined, placed on probation and resigned (October 1973) as Vice President. He then joined an international real estate investment firm.
Agoult, Marie Catherine Sophie de Flavigny, Comtesse d’ (1805–1876). French novelist. Her novel Nélida (1846), written under the pen name Daniel Stern, depicted her relations with the musician Franz Liszt. One of her daughters by *Liszt, Cosima, married Richard *Wagner.
Agricola, Georgius (Georg Bauer) (1495–1555). German scholar. Trained as a humanist at Leipzig, and a friend of *Erasmus, he became a physician in the mining town of Joachimstal, Saxony (1527–33), and his close observation led to the writing of his great work De re metallica (1533–53), posthumously published in Venice. Regarded as the foundation of systematic metallurgy, it was translated into English by Lou and Herbert *Hoover (1913).
Agricola, Gnaeus Julius (40–93 CE). Gallo-Roman soldier and administrator. Born to a senatorial family, Governor of Britannia (Britain) 78–85, he consolidated the Roman hold on Wales, pushed the frontier into Caledonia (Scotland), built a large fort at Inchtuthil (in modern Perthshire), and his fleet made the first circumnavigation of the British Isles since *Pytheas. Shortly after defeating the Caledonians at Mons Graupius (83)—although the scale of the battle was probably exaggerated—he was recalled by the jealous emperor *Domitian. His biography, written by his son-in-law *Tacitus, survives.
Agrippa, Marcus Vipsanius (63–12 BCE). Roman engineer, architect, commander and governor. As governor of Gaul (39), he crossed the Rhine and began colonising Germany. A strong supporter of Octavian, later known as *Augustus, he destroyed the navy of Sextus *Pompeius off Sicily (36). From 33 he enlarged and expanded Rome’s water supply. His victory at Actium (31) over the fleets of *Antony and *Cleopatra enabled Octavian to become the undisputed master of Rome. Augustus’s daughter Julia became Agrippa’s third wife and their daughter *Agrippina continued the imperial line. His Pantheon (27–25 BCE), originally rectangular, was destroyed by fire in 80, rebuilt, first by *Domitian, then (126 CE) by *Hadrian, but Agrippa’s portico remains. He also developed the Campus Martius (24 BCE). The Pont du Gard, one of the greatest Roman aqueducts, originally regarded as Agrippa’s work, is now dated to 40–60 CE.
Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius (1486–1535). German physician, theologian, philosopher and courtier, born in Cologne. Educated at his birthplace, he had a stormy career, became court physician and astrologer to *François I, and was jailed as a heretic. His major work De occulta philosophia (1531) attempted to link scientific knowledge with magic, the occult and cabbalistic tradition. The Faust legend owes much to his reputation.
Agrippina (14 BCE–33 CE). Roman matron. Daughter of *Julia and *Agrippa, she became wife of Germanicus, nephew of *Augustus’s successor, *Tiberius, whom she wrongly blamed for her husband’s death. She died in exile. Of her children Gaius, nicknamed *Caligula, became emperor, her daughter, the younger Agrippina (15–59), was the mother of the emperor *Nero by her first husband and probably poisoned her third, the emperor *Claudius. Notorious for her cruelty and depravity, she was eventually put to death by her son Nero.
Aguinaldo y Fama, Emilio (1869–1964). Filipino politician and insurgent. Born to a wealthy and influential family, he led guerrilla campaigns against the Spanish occupation, and, after invasion by US forces, became head of a revolutionary government 1898–99 and first President of the Philippines 1899–1901, the first head of a constitutional republic in Asia. Aguinaldo designed the national flag. When the United States invaded and defeated the Spanish, establishing direct rule in 1901, the first Filipino Republic ended and Aguinaldo retired to private life. In 1935 he contested the first election for the Presidency of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, losing heavily to his former supporter Manuel *Quezon. In 1945 he was accused of collaboration with the Japanese occupation and was jailed.
Ahab (d.c.853 BCE). King of Israel c.875–852 BCE. His confiscation of Naboth’s vineyard earned him the wrath of the prophet Elisha. His evil genius was his wife *Jezebel who persuaded him to introduce the worship of Baal. He was killed in battle with the Syrians by a man who ‘drew his bow at a venture’. See I Kings xvi:29–xxii:40.
Ahasuerus. Biblical name of several Persian kings. The one who made *Esther his queen has been questionably identified with *Xerxes I (reigned 485–464 BCE). The name Ahasuerus was also attributed to the legendary Wandering Jew.
Ahern, Bertie (1951– ). Irish politician. He was Lord Mayor of Dublin 1986–87, Leader of Fianna Fail 1994–2008 and Prime Minister (Taoiseach) 1997–2008. He worked with Tony *Blair in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland (1998).
Ahmad Shah Durrani (1722–1772). Emir of Afghanistan 1747–72. At first a successful general in the service of *Nadir Shah, on the latter’s death he conquered extensive territories of which Afghanistan was the central part. This survived the collapse of his wider empire on his death and he is thus regarded as the founder of modern Afghanistan. He was also a poet.
Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud (1956– ). Iranian politician, born in Abadan. A Shi’ite, his father was a grocer and barber and his mother claimed direct descent from *Muhammad. Trained as an engineer and teacher, he held a series of appointed offices, including Mayor of Tehran 2003–05, and became a leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran. Elected as President in 2005 (narrowly defeating Hashemi *Rafsanjani), he served 2005–13. As President, he directed domestic and economic policies, but was subordinate in religious and cultural areas, and foreign policy, to the supreme leader, Ali *Khamenei, and the Council of Guardians. An intransigent opponent of Israel, he clashed repeatedly with the United States, especially over Iran’s nuclear program. There were massive protests against the conduct of the 2009 election.
Ahmed Khan, Sir Sayyid (1817–1898). Indian Muslim educator and jurist. He worked in the judicial department of the East India Co. 1841–76, was a major influence in the revival of Urdu as a literary language, and reformed the organisation of Muslim education. In 1875 he opened the Anglo-Oriental College, later called the Aligarh Muslim University.
Ahtisaari, Martti (1937– ). Finnish politician and diplomat. A professional diplomat who served with the UN, he was President of Finland 1994–2000 and received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2008 for his work in negotiating settlements in Kossovo, Namibia, Indonesia and Iraq.
Ai Weiwei (1957– ). Chinese artist and political activist, born in Beijing. Son of a dissident poet, Ai Qing (1910–1996), he grew up in exile in Xinjiang, returning to Beijing in 1976. He studied animation, cinematography and photography, lived in the US 1981–93, then became an architect (with the FAKE design group). He made many documentary films about urban and social problems, became an influential blogger in China from 2005, campaigning for human rights and exposing government failures in the Sichuan disaster relief. He was imprisoned and beaten up several times, and accused of fraud and plagiarism. He created powerful sculptural installations, for example Forever Bicycles (2011) and Tree (2013).
Aidan, St (d.651). Irish monk. Summoned by King *Oswald to become bishop of Northumbria, he left Iona in 635 and founded the monastery and see at the island of Lindisfarne. Thence his missionary journeys restored Christianity in northern England.
Aiken, Conrad (Potter) (1889–1973). American poet, critic and novelist, born in Georgia. He lived in England for many years. His Selected Poems (1929) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1930). His novels include Great Circle (1933).
Hoffman, F. J., Conrad Aiken. 1963.
Ainsworth, William Harrison (1805–1882). English novelist, born in Manchester. Articled to a solicitor, and for a short time a publisher, he edited Ainsworth’s Magazine (1842–53) and wrote over 40 historical novels, including The Tower of London (1840), Guy Fawkes (1841) and Old St Paul’s (1841).
Airy, Sir George Biddell (1801–1892). English astronomer, born at Alnwick, Northumberland. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1828 he became Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge and director of the new observatory there. As astronomer royal 1835–81 he reorganised Greenwich observatory, designed improved instruments and started meteorological and magnetic observations as well as solar photography and spectroscopy. He was elected FRS in 1836 and knighted in 1872.
Akbar the Great (Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar) (1542–1605). Emperor of India 1556–1605. The third of the Mughals, he succeeded his father Humayun, and having gained the allegiance of the warlike Rajputs extended his rule over most of India. Fatehpur Sikri, 35 km from Agra, his wonderful new capital of red sandstone, symbolised the new era. He divided the country into provinces, each under a viceroy to secure law and order, promote trade and collect taxes, but Akbar himself maintained absolute central control. One of his aims was to establish a new religion containing all that was best in existing faiths and so abolishing the strife between the various sects. Among the religious leaders summoned for this purpose were Jesuit missionaries from Goa.
Smith, V., Akbar the Great Mogul, 1542–1605. 2nd ed. 1919; Giri, S., Akbar. 2009.
Akhenaten (or Ikhnaten: ‘Servant of the Sun disc’) (d.c.1336 BCE). Egyptian pharaoh of the XVIIIth dynasty. As Amenhotep (or Amenophis) IV, he succeeded his father Amenhotep III around 1379 BCE and may have been co-ruler with him. His mother was a commoner. He became a devotee of the sun disc (‘Aten’), an entirely rational object of worship, changed his name, and is sometimes exaggeratedly claimed as the founder of monotheism. This new religious emphasis may have been aimed at the political power of priests devoted to Amun (or Amen)-Re, also a sun-god. Amun’s name was replaced by Aten in the official religion, essentially optimistic nature worship. Weak physically, Akhenaten was no hunter, athlete or warrior but patronised the arts which flourished in his time. Some of his poems have survived. He moved his capital from Thebes to a new city Akhenaten, now Tell el Amarna. The beautiful sculptured head of his wife *Nefertiti, frequently reproduced, is in the Neues Museum, Berlin. The religion of Amun was restored by his son *Tutankhamun.
Aldred, C., Akhenaten: Pharaoh of Egypt. 1972.
Akhmatova, Anna (pseudonym of Anna Andreyevna Gorenko) (1889– 1966). Russian poet. Her poems, in the style of Pushkin, were extremely popular and collections included The Rosary (1914) and The Willow Tree (1940). She was a leader of the Acmeist movement which was led by her husband Nikolai Gumilov and included *Mandelstam. Gumilov was executed in 1921 and Akhmatova was placed under ban 1923–40 and 1946–56. Her long Poem Without a Hero (1940–62) achieved international recognition and she is regarded as Russia’s greatest woman poet.
Akihito (regnal name Heisei, i.e. ‘achieving peace’) (1933– ). Emperor of Japan 1989–2019. Son of *Hirohito, he was educated at the Gakushuin High School and Gakushuin University, graduating in political science. He travelled widely and married a commoner, Michiko Shoda, in 1959. He pursued interests in ichthyology, publishing 25 papers on a taxonomic study of the gobiid fish. In 1992 he became the first Japanese emperor to visit China, then went to the United States in 1994 and to the United Kingdom in 1998, where he was made an honorary KG. He abdicated in favour of his son *Naruhito in April 2019.
Aksakov, Sergei Timofeivich (1791–1859). Russian novelist. After retiring from the civil service, he wrote a notable autobiographical trilogy of Russian family life, Family Chronicle (1856), Years of Childhood (1858) and Reminiscences (1856).
Alain, Jehan (1911–1940). French composer and organist. Member of a distinguished musical family, he composed chamber, piano and vocal works but is remembered for his organ music, especially the powerful Litanies (1937). He was killed in action in World War II. His sister Marie-Claire Alain (1926–2013) was an organist and teacher who recorded more than 200 CDs.
Alam II, Shah (né Ali Gohar) (1728–1806). Emperor of India 1760–1806. One of the last Moghul emperors, he ruled, in name only, under the domination of the Marathas whose army was run by skilled French mercenaries. In 1803, the army of the British East India Company defeated the French and Alam Shah was placed under ‘protection’. (Richard *Wellesley). He was a gifted poet.
Alanbrooke, Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount (1883–1963). British field marshal, born in France. From a leading Ulster family (*Brookeborough) he joined the army in 1902. As GOC 2nd Army Corps, in France 1939–40, he showed great skill in extricating his troops at Dunkirk (May–June 1940), then became Commander-in-Chief of home forces 1940–41, succeeding Sir John *Dill as Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1941–46 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had the best strategic mind of the British generals and *Churchill wanted him to be Supreme Commander for the reconquest of Europe, although their relations were sometimes stormy. In 1946 he was created Viscount and given a KG and the OM.
Alarcón y Mendoza, Juan Ruiz de (1581–1639). Spanish dramatist, born in Mexico. He came to Spain and moved in the circle of Lope de *Vega. He is best known for his comedies of manners but also wrote heroic dramas. Interest in his work revived in modern times after a period of neglect.
Alaric (c.370–410). Visigoth chief 395–410. A nobleman, born in modern Romania in the reign of the emperor *Theodosius I, he commanded Gothic auxiliaries in the Roman army, but on the death of the emperor in 395 broke with Rome and invaded Greece. The eastern emperor *Arcadius tried to win him over by appointing him Governor of Illyricum 396–400. He invaded Upper Italy on behalf of the emperor but in 402 was defeated by *Stilicho, the general of the western emperor Honorius. After another defeat (403) he changed sides but the bribe of huge sums of gold made by Stilicho was not paid by the emperor. When two advances upon Rome (408 and 409) had failed to secure a satisfactory settlement, Alaric entered the city as a conqueror and gave it over to pillage (410), though as an Arian Christian he forbade the desecration of religious buildings. A plan to reach Africa by way of Sicily to find a home for his people was foiled by his death in southern Italy.
Alba, Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of (1507–1582). Spanish soldier and administrator. Alba had already gained a military reputation with the armies of the emperor *Charles V in Italy, Tunisia, France and against Lutheran princes in Germany, but had equally incurred odium for intolerance and pride when Charles’ son, *Philip II of Spain, sent him (1567) as Governor-General to the Netherlands to crush the independence movement and stamp out Protestantism. In the first task he began successfully by forcing *William the Silent (of Orange) to disband his army and take refuge in Germany. However, his subsequent cruelty (in five years 18,000 people were executed by his Council of Blood and 100,000 forced into exile) stirred up the antagonism that inspired William the Silent’s subsequent leadership and led to the emergence of Holland as a separate state. Meanwhile in 1573, ill and exhausted, Alba had asked to be recalled.
Alban, St (d.209 or 251 or 304 AC). Roman-British martyr. Alban’s very existence is a matter of controversy, and his name may be drawn from ‘Albion’, or from ‘alba’ (‘bright’) with a feast day on the summer equinox. He may have been a soldier, possibly a Roman convert, condemned for giving shelter to a priest. Most early accounts agree that he was the first Christian martyr in Britain, beheaded in Verulamium, now St Albans. A church was built on the presumed site of his execution in 429. *Bede’s account is the longest, but he sets the date too late, after Christianity was being tolerated in the Roman empire. Many shrines were devoted to St Alban in Britain and Europe, and he has been proposed as a replacement for St *George as England’s patron saint.
Albanese, Anthony Norman (1963– ). Australian Labor politician, born in Sydney. Brought up by a single mother, he first met his father in Italy in 2009. Educated at St Mary’s College and Sydney University, he became a ministerial staffer, party official and Federal MP 1996– . Under *Rudd and *Gillard he was Minister for Infrastructure and Transport 2007–13 and Deputy Prime Minister 2013. Defeated by Bill *Shorten in 2013, he was Leader of the ALP 2019– .
Middleton, K., Albanese. Telling It Straight. 2019.
Albee, Edward Franklin (1928–2016). American dramatist. His early plays were influenced by *Jarry and *Ionesco but after Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) he returned to mainstream naturalism. He won Pulitzer Prizes with A Delicate Balance (1967) and Seascape (1975).
Albéniz (y Pascual), Isaac (Manuel Francisco) (1860–1909). Spanish composer. A prodigy as a pianist, he later studied under *Liszt, toured the US, South America and Europe. He worked in London 1890–93 and four of his six operas have English libretti. His greatest work was the piano suite Iberia (1906–09, later orchestrated by E. F. Arbos). He was a friend of *Debussy and a student of folk music.
Alberoni, Giulio (1664–1752). Italian cardinal. Son of a gardener, he went to Spain as secretary to the Duc de Vendôme. He soon gained ascendancy at court, which was strengthened when he brought about the marriage of *Felipe V with Elizabeth (or Isabella) Farnese, whose ambition to endow her sons with Spain’s lost Italian duchies Alberoni (first minister 1714, cardinal 1717) fostered. The policy, which involved war (1718) with the Quadruple Alliance (Great Britain, France, Austria, Holland), failed and despite his sound internal administration Alberoni was dismissed.
Harcourt-Smith, S., Alberoni. 1963.
Albers, Josef (1888–1976). German-American painter and designer. He worked at the Bauhaus, migrated to the US in 1933 and taught at Harvard and Yale. His famous series Homage to the Square influenced the development of op art and Minimalism.
Albert I (1875–1934). King of the Belgians 1909–34. An enthusiastic naturalist, he succeeded his uncle *Leopold II and gained worldwide admiration for his defiance of German aggression in World War I and for leading the remains of his army throughout. He died in a mountaineering accident in the Ardennes. His widow Elisabeth, Duchess of Bavaria (1876–1965) was a patron of the arts, especially music, and radical causes. His grandson, Albert II (1934– ) was King of the Belgians 1993–2013, abdicating in favour of his son Philippe.
Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Franz Albrecht August Karl Emmanuel von Wettin) (1819–1861). British Prince Consort, born in Coburg. The second son of Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, he was educated in Brussels and Bonn and (after strenuous encouragement from their uncle *Leopold I of Belgium) married his cousin, Queen *Victoria in February 1840. The marriage was passionate and happy and they had nine children. For several years he was virtually the queen’s private secretary, which aroused political mistrust although his judgment was good. Deeply interested in music, the fine arts, architecture, science and manufacturing, the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace was a tribute to his organising skills. He became a field marshal, chancellor of Cambridge University 1847–61 and was created prince consort in 1857. His death, now thought to have been from Chrone’s disease, devastated the queen who remained in seclusion for many years. London’s Albert Hall (1867) is one of many memorials to him.
Weintraub, S., Albert: Uncrowned King. 1997.
Albert Victor Christian Edward (von Wettin), Duke of Clarence and Avondale (1864–1892). British prince, born in Windsor. Eldest son of the future *Edward VII, he was second in the line of succession to Queen *Victoria. Known as ‘Prince Eddie’, he died of influenza. His fiancée *Mary of Teck married his brother, the future *George V, in 1893. A poor student, amiable but dim, he became, decades after his death, the subject of wild speculation, completely unsupported by evidence, that he was *Jack the Ripper.
Alberti, Leon Battista (1404–1472). Italian humanist and architect, born in Genoa. Son of an exiled Florentine nobleman, he was one of the most versatile figures of the Italian Renaissance. His 10-volume treatise on architecture, De re aedificatoria (1485), was the first printed book on architecture and encouraged interest in classical forms. His buildings include churches at Mantua and the Rucellai palace at Florence. His plays, educational and moral treatises, and essays on law, politics and science reflect the extent of his interests.
Gadol, J., Leon Battista Alberti. 1969.
Albertus Magnus, St (Albrecht, Count of Bollstadt) (1193–1280). German philosopher. Renowned for the depth and breadth of his knowledge, he proved himself a great teacher of the Dominican order, his most famous pupil being St Thomas *Aquinas, with whom he contributed to the infusion of Aristotelianism into medieval theology. His work in natural science drew on many sources and he introduced the notion of affinity into chemistry. His work in these scientific fields gave him a reputation as a magician. Bishop of Regensburg 1260–62, he was canonised in 1931.
Albrecht of Magdeburg (Albrecht von Hohenzollern) (1490–1545). German prelate. Son of the elector of Brandenburg, he became Archbishop of Magdeburg 1513–45, Archbishop and Elector of Mainz 1514–45, Primate of Germany and a cardinal in 1518. Originally sympathetic to humanism, and influenced by *Erasmus, he spent extravagantly and borrowed heavily from the *Fuggers. His sale of indulgences, permitted by Pope *Leo X, provoked *Luther to publish his 95 theses.
Albright, Madeleine (née Korbelová) (1937– ). American administrator, born in Prague. She was US Ambassador to the UN 1993–97 and Secretary of State 1997–2001, the first woman so appointed. She became a professor at Georgetown University, rejecting bids to enter Czech politics and wrote the memoir Madam Secretary (2003). She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Albuquerque, Afonso de (1453–1515). Portuguese soldier. Raised at the court of King Alfonso V, he led an adventurous life, which included fighting against the Turks, before going to the East, where he succeeded (1507) Almeida as Viceroy. Goa, captured in 1510, became his capital and he gradually asserted control over Malabar, Ceylon, Malacca and some of the Indonesian islands. Intrigues at home led to his dismissal and he died on the way home.
Alcaeus (620–after 580 BCE). Greek poet. He lived and worked on the island of Lesbos. Of his work, mainly battle songs, love songs and hymns, only fragments survive, but his Alcaic metre was used by others, especially by the Roman poet *Horace.
Page, D., Sappho and Alcaeus. 1955.
Alcalá Zamora, Niceto (1877–1949). Spanish politician, born in Priego. A Catholic conservative, he was a Cortes member 1905–31, Minister for Works 1917 and for War 1922 and Prime Minister 1931, negotiating *Alfonso XIII’s abdication. Elected as first president of the Spanish Republic 1931–36, he tried to reconcile all factions but showed little leadership and was distrusted by left and right. Removed in 1936, he went into exile in France, then Argentina, where he died.
Alcibiades (c.450–404 BCE). Athenian leader. Brought up in the household of *Pericles, he became a brilliant but wayward member of the group of talented young men who found inspiration in discussions with Socrates. In the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta which opened in 431, Alcibiades planned and jointly led the disastrous expedition to Syracuse. On the eve of departure all the statues of the god Hermes were mutilated. For this Alcibiades was blamed and to avoid prosecution took refuge with the Spartans, whom he helped by stirring up revolts among the allies of Athens in Asia Minor. Failing, however, to retain Spartan confidence he fled to the Persian satrap Tissaphernes, whom he tried to win over to the Athenian side in the hope of obtaining his own recall. He failed with Tissaphernes, but, chosen by the Athenian forces in Samos to lead them, he was so successful in the Hellespont (Dardanelles) that he returned home in triumph. But his command was not renewed and he withdrew to Thrace, where he was murdered.
Alcock, Sir John William (1892–1919). English aviator. With Arthur Whitten *Brown, he made the first aeroplane crossing of the Atlantic (14 June 1919) in a Vickers-Vimy, travelling about 3,154 km (1,960 miles) from Newfoundland to Clifden in Ireland in 16 hours 12 minutes. He died after an air accident in France.
Alcott, Louisa May (1832–1888). American novelist. Her stories of family life in America, especially Little Women (1868), had phenomenal sales. She served as a nurse in the American Civil War.
Stern, M., Louisa May Alcott. 1971.
Alcuin (735–805). English scholar and poet, born in York. From a noble Anglo-Saxon family, he acquired his great learning at the Cloister School, York. In 782 he accepted an invitation from *Charlemagne to foster the revival of Latin language and literature throughout his empire. He spent much of his life at the imperial court at Aachen. He taught, among many others, the young princes, and even the emperor sometimes attended the classes. He was Charlemagne’s adviser in all matters concerning education. He promoted the use of Carolingian minuscule as lower case writing, and this became standard in Western Europe. From 796 he lived and taught at Tours, where he had become an abbot.
Aldanov, M. A. (pseudonym of Mark Aleksandrovich Landau) (1886–1957). Russian novelist. He left Russia in 1919 and wrote a series of books on the French Revolutionary period. Later (in The Key etc.) he turned to the Russian revolution and in The Fifth Seal (1939) depicted the decline in revolutionary idealism that followed it. He lived in the US from 1941.
Aldington, Richard (1892–1962). English poet, novelist and biographer. He wrote several volumes of Imagist and other poetry, the disillusioned war novel Death of a Hero (1929), and lively, controversial biographies of D. H. *Lawrence (Portrait of a Genius, but … , 1950) and T. E. *Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia, a Biographical Enquiry, 1954). He married (1913) the American poet Hilda *Doolittle.
Aldrovandi, Ulisse (1522–1605). Italian naturalist, born in Bologna. From a noble family, after studying medicine at Bologna University and travelling, he became professor in 1560 and later first director of the botanic garden. Like many Renaissance scholars, Aldrovandi’s interests were wide ranging, and included archaeological remains and medicine. But his main passion was for natural history, especially the branches of botany, ornithology, embryology and the study of monsters. He observed the development of chicks by opening their eggs successively on each day of the incubation period, confirming that *Aristotle was correct in stating that the heart is formed prior to the liver in the embryo. Aldrovandi’s work had lasting interest chiefly through his pioneer collecting activities. His museum of natural history was amongst the largest in Europe. He planned to catalogue his collections in 14 volumes, but lived to complete only four—one on insects, and three on birds. He bequeathed his collections and manuscripts to Bologna.
Bodenheimer, F. S., History of Biology. 1958.
Aldus Manutius see Manutius, Aldus
Aleichem, Shalom see Shalom Aleichem
Alekhine, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1892–1946). Russian chess master. He became a French citizen and was world chess champion from 1927 (when he defeated José *Capablanca) to 1935 and again from 1937 until his death.
Alekhine, A., My Best Games of Chess, 1924–1937. 1939.
Aleksandr I (1777–1825). Tsar of Russia 1801–25. He came to the throne after the murder of his father *Paul I. His education in humanitarian but abstract principles was directed by his grandmother, *Catherine the Great, but though he was at first liberal in outlook and ordered the preparation of elaborate schemes of reform, he shrank from putting all but a very small part into effect. He joined the coalition against *Napoléon, but was forced to conclude the treaty of Tilsit (1807). There the two emperors met and Aleksandr conceived a hero worship for the conqueror which postponed a further clash for five years. However, in 1812 Napoléon made the disastrous invasion into Russia which brought about his downfall. Aleksandr, the hero of the hour, was thus a leading figure at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15). With Austria and Prussia he formed the ‘Holy Alliance’, intended to preserve the status quo, but under the influence of *Metternich became increasingly reactionary, though he gave Russian Poland a constitution under his sovereignty. He was succeeded by his brother, *Nikolai I.
Palmer, A., Alexander I. 1974.
Aleksandr II (Aleksandr Nikolaievich Romanov, known as ‘the Liberator’) (1818–1881). Tsar of Russia 1855–81. Son of *Nikolai I, as Tsarevich he travelled extensively, from Siberia to England, succeeding to the throne after defeat in the Crimean War. Defeat created the atmosphere for reforms, the greatest of which was the emancipation of 10,000,000 serfs and their families (1861). He sold Alaska to the US in 1867, reformed the judicial system, abolished corporal punishment in the military, created limited local self-government (zemstvo), built railways and was sympathetic to the Finns. He married his mistress in 1880. He survived assassination attempts in 1866, 1879, 1880 but was killed by a bomb in St Petersburg.
Mosse, W. E., Alexander II and the Modernisation of Russia. 1958; Radzinsky, E., Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar. 2005.
Aleksandr III (Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Romanov) (1845–1894). Tsar of Russia 1881–94. He succeeded on the assassination of his father, *Aleksandr II. Under the influence of Konstantin *Pobedonostsev, he set out to reverse the liberalising reforms of his father, and was devoted to ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality’. He married the Danish Princess Dagmar (1847–1928) in 1866. He survived an assassination attempt in 1887 for which *Lenin’s brother was hanged. He died of nephritis.
Thomson, O., Romanovs: Europe’s Most Obsessive Dynasty. 2008.
Aleksandr Nevsky (1220–1263). Russian hero. He gained his surname after defeating the Swedes on the River Neva (1240). In 1242 he overcame the Teutonic knights on the frozen Lake Peipus (on the Estonian border). Aleksandr, who ruled as grand prince in Novgorod 1236–52 and from 1252 in Vladimir, was canonised after his death. A knightly order named after him was founded by *Peter the Great and revived by Soviet Russia in 1942 for deeds of valour.
Aleksandra Fyodorovna (1872–1918). Russian Tsarina 1894–1917. Born a princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, and a granddaughter of Queen *Victoria, she married *Nikolai II of Russia (1894). Belief in the power of *Rasputin to cure the young tsarevich Aleksei (1904–1918) of haemophilia brought her under his disastrous domination and led her to exert nefarious political influence. After the 1917 revolution she was murdered with her husband and children at Yekaterinberg.
Massie, R. K., Nicholas and Alexandra. 1969.
Aleksei Mikhailovich (1629–1676). Tsar of Russia 1645–76. Son of Mikhail Romanov, known as the ‘quiet one’, he gave Russia a new code of laws in 1649, favouring the landowners and confirming serfdom, which remained in force until the early 19th century. He approved the Church reforms of Metropolitan Nikon which led to the dangerous schism in the Orthodox Church. He fought wars against Poland (1654–67) and Sweden (1656–61), and won Ukraine for Russia. A serious revolt by Cossacks under Stenka Razin was quelled in 1671.
Alemán (y Enero), Mateo (1547–c.1616). Spanish novelist, born in Seville. He was famous for his Guzmán de Alfarache (translated into English in 1622 as The Rogue), a vigorous story, with moralising digressions, of a boy who ran away from home and became involved with much sordid crime and vice before eventually being condemned to the galleys. Alemán, though a university graduate and for a short time in government service, spent much of his life in poverty, was twice in prison and in 1608 went to Mexico and died there.
Alembert, Jean Le Rond d’ (1717–1783). French philosopher and mathematician, born in Paris. Illegitimate son of the Chevalier Destouches, he was abandoned on the steps of the Church St Jean-Le-Rond, hence his name, and was later generously provided for by his father and brought up by a grazier’s wife. Educated by Jansenists, he studied law, medicine, then mathematics. He expounded a positivist philosophy but it was in mathematics that his genius lay. He wrote a notable study of dynamics and threw light on the precession of the equinoxes. From 1746 to 1758 he worked with Denis *Diderot as an editor of the great Encyclopédie, then continued to write entries on science and mathematics. He became a friend of *Voltaire, gained a great reputation for wit and wisdom in the Paris salons, but refused important offers from *Friedrich II (‘the Great’) of Prussia and Empress *Catherine of Russia. He was admitted to the Académie française in 1754.
Grimsey, R., Jean d’Alembert. 1963.
Alexander (Aleksandar) (1876–1903). King of Serbia 1889–1903. A member of the *Obrenovíc dynasty, he became king after the abdication of his father King Milan. An unpopular marriage to Draga Mashin, a lady of the court, and his own pro-Austrian policy provoked a revolution during which he and his wife were murdered by a group of army officers. *Peter I of the rival Karageorgevic dynasty then took the throne.
Alexander (Aléxandros) (1893–1920). King of Greece 1917–20. He was chosen by the Allies to replace his father *Constantine, who had been forced to abdicate because of his pro-German attitude in World War I, ruling as a puppet under the Prime Minister, *Venizelos. He married morganatically, and died of blood poisoning after a bite from a monkey in the palace grounds. Following a referendum, his father was restored to the throne.
Alexander I, II, III Tsars of Russia see Aleksandr I, II, III
Alexander I (1077–1124). King of Scots 1107–24. Son of *Malcolm III (Canmore), he succeeded his brother Edgar. He ruled only north of the Forth and Clyde, his brother and successor *David I governing the country to the south.
Alexander (Aleksandar) I (1888–1934). First King of Yugoslavia 1929–34. As regent for his father *Peter I of Serbia, who had become insane, he led his nation through the trials of World War I to the final triumph when all the Slav lands under Austrian or Hungarian rule were linked with Serbia in a single state. When his father died (1921), Alexander was proclaimed ‘King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes’. In 1929 this state took the name of Yugoslavia. As a result of rivalry between Serbs and Croats, Alexander found himself compelled to suspend parliament and he ruled as a dictator from 1929. He was assassinated by Croatian terrorists at Marseilles with Jean-Louis *Barthou, the French Foreign Minister.
Alexander II (1198–1249). King of Scots 1214–49. He succeeded his father *William the Lion and was almost immediately excommunicated for helping the barons against the English king *John. Two years later the sentence was lifted and the liberties of the Scottish Church confirmed, while peace with England was secured by his marriage to a sister of *Henry III. Alexander extended his rule over much of the western Highlands but died while seeking to win the Hebrides from Norway.
Alexander (Aléxandros) III (‘the Great’) (356–323 BCE). King of Macedonia 337–323 BCE. Born in Pella, son of *Philip II, he was educated by *Aristotle, who had great influence over his mind and character. He first distinguished himself at the battle of Chaeronea (338) against the Thebans, while his father was still king. He was only 19 when his father was murdered and he succeeded to the throne. He had still to put down rebellions in his own kingdom, and secure his rear in Greece before he could cross the Hellespont (334) to begin the war against Persia for which his father had long prepared by creating a magnificent army based on the supremacy of the Macedonian line of battle known as the phalanx. Alexander won his first victory on the River Granicus, and in 333 marched through Phrygia to Issus, where he defeated King *Darius III and captured his family and treasures. He now conquered Syria and Phoenicia and, rejecting offers of peace, reached Egypt (332) where the inhabitants, tired of the harsh Persian rule, welcomed him; in the following year he founded Alexandria, also visiting Luxor and Siwa. He returned to the east and fought Darius once more (33l) near Arbela on the upper Tigris and inflicted on him an even heavier defeat than at Issus; from Arbela he marched to Babylon, Susa and Persepolis, all of which surrendered. Pursuit of Darius, whom he was too late to save from a rebellious satrap but whom he buried with full honours, took him northeastwards to the furthest corners of the empire in Sogdiana (Bukhara and Samarkand). It was on this campaign that he captured and married the beautiful Princess Roxana. In 327, starting from Balkh in Bactria, Alexander began his conquest of India. He crossed the Indus near Attock, and defeated Porus near the Hydaspes (it was here that he lost his famous charger, Bucephalus), and then went on through the Punjab. His troops, greatly depleted, would go no further. He returned to the ocean and having ordered one division to embark and sail to the Persian Gulf, he with the others marched back through Baluchistan and finally reached Persia in 325. At Susa he took a second wife, Barsine, daughter of Darius, and then remained in Babylon, ruling in great pomp until his death, from unknown causes—fever, complicated by alcohol and/or poison. His remains were entombed in Alexandria. *Augustus visited the tomb 300 years later, but it later disappeared. His posthumous son by Roxana, Alexander IV (323–310 BCE), ruled in name only and was murdered. Hailed as divine by many of his followers, he had already shown signs of megalomania. His judgment suffered and excesses had lost him the friendship of Clitus, whom he killed in a drunken brawl. But his achievement remains tremendous. With an army which probably never exceeded 35,000 fighting men he came to rule an empire stretching from Italy to India, although it was soon divided among his generals *Antigonus, *Ptolemy and *Seleucus. Through them the civilising influence of late Greek culture, known as Hellenism, spread and left enduring effects.
Green, P., Alexander the Great. 1970, Alexander of Macedon. 1974; Everitt, A., Alexander the Great. 2019.
Alexander (Alessandro) III (Orlando Bandinelli) (c.1100–1181). Pope 1159–81. Born in Siena and educated in Bologna, he became a canon lawyer, chief advisor of *Adrian IV, a cardinal in 1150, but not a bishop. After his contested election as Pope, the Emperor *Friedrich I (Barbarossa) challenged his authority and recognised three successive ‘antipopes’, beginning with Victor IV. He was three times forced out of Rome and exiled for much of his pontificate. Equivocal in his support for *Becket, after his murder he made him a saint and forced *Henry II to do public penance. Alexander canonised *Edward the Confessor, probably laid the foundation stone for Notre Dame, Paris, recognised an independent Portugal, and supported the growth of universities. Friedrich’s forces were defeated at Legnano in 1176 by the Lombard League and in the Peace of Venice (1177) he accepted papal authority. At the Third Lateran Council (1179) Alexander established the rule for papal election by cardinals, which (with minor modifications) is still used. Even *Voltaire regarded him as one of the better popes.
Duggan, A. J. and Clarke, P. D., Pope Alexander III: The Art of Survival. 2012.
Alexander III (1241–1286). King of Scots 1249–86. He succeeded his father *Alexander II at the age of 8. He resumed his father’s conflict with the Norwegians and by a decisive victory at Largs (1263) the Scots acquired the Hebrides and the Isle of Man. Alexander’s children all died before him and his heiress was Margaret (Maid of Norway), whose mother, Alexander’s daughter, had married Eric II of Norway.
Alexander VI (Rodrigo de Lanzol y Borja. Borgia in Italian) (1431–1503). Pope 1492–1503. Born in Játiva, near Valencia, he adopted the name of his maternal uncle Alonso de Borja, later Pope *Callistus III. Created cardinal by his uncle in 1456 he became Vice Chancellor of the Curia and gained some reputation as an efficient financial administrator. But he was far more notorious for his profligacy, for his many mistresses, and for the complete lack of scruple with which he advanced the careers and fortunes of his numerous children, of whom the best known are Cesare and Lucrezia *Borgia. (Their mother was Vannozza Catanei.) The Florentine reformer *Savonarola, who denounced such evils, was excommunicated and executed (1498). Politically Alexander made it his principal purpose to build up a strong, unified papal state in central Italy, making use of Cesare’s military skill and not hesitating to invite help from *Charles VIII and *Louis XII of France. In 1493 he proposed dividing between Spain and Portugal those parts of the world not already under Christian rule. This principle was adopted in the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 1494) and confirmed by Pope *Julius II in 1506. (In modern maps, the ‘Pope’s line’ is found between 48 and 49 degrees W of Greenwich, or 131 or 132 degrees E.) Alexander’s patronage of the arts, especially by inviting *Bramante to the Vatican and commissioning Pintoricchio to decorate the Borgia apartments there, has at least proved of benefit to mankind. He died probably of a fever but, according to tradition, of poison intended for his guests at dinner. One of the most infamous figures in papal history, he reached the highest office through nepotism and bribery.
Alexander, Samuel (1859–1938). British-Australian-Jewish philosopher, born in Sydney. Educated in Melbourne, he won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, in 1877. Elected (1882) as a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, he was the first practising Jew to hold a fellowship at Oxford or Cambridge. He was professor of philosophy at Manchester 1893–1924. His theory of ‘emergent evolution’ was that everything evolved, first things and then minds, from a beginning of pure motion or space-time. God, he held, is being evolved but does not actually exist. His Space, Time and Deity (1920) argues that there are three hierarchies of reality—matter, life, and mind—each striving towards perfection or deity. Alexander was the first Australian-born recipient of the OM (1930).
Alexander of Tunis, Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl (1891–1969). British field marshal, born in London. Third son of the 4th Earl of Caledon, he was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, joined the Irish Guards, served with distinction (MC and DSO) in World War I and (1934–38) on the Indian frontier. He commanded the 1st Division in France in World War II and was left in command on the beaches after Lord *Gort had been recalled. When Japan entered the war Alexander was sent to Burma and conducted the retreat with such skill that when *Rommel’s victories (1942) threatened Egypt he was chosen for the supreme command in the Middle East and was thus General in Charge of *Montgomery’s brilliant campaign which started at Alamein. Later he was *Eisenhower’s deputy (and successor) in the campaign that cleared North Africa, Sicily and eventually Italy of the enemy. One of the most successful generals in World War II, he served as Governor-General of Canada 1946–52 and Minister of Defence in *Churchill’s Government 1952–54. He was created Viscount in 1946, promoted to an earldom when he left Canada and given the OM in 1959.
Jackson. W. G. F., Alexander of Tunis. 1971, Nicolson, N., Alex: The Life of Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis. 1973.
Alexander Severus (originally Marcus Julius Gessius Bassianus Alexianus) (208–235). Roman Emperor 222–35. Born in Syria (now in Lebanon), son of a magistrate and his Syrian wife, he succeeded on the murder of his cousin *Elagabalus. Weak, amiable and popular, he lacked the forcefulness necessary for imperial rule. A campaign against the Persians (231–33) had failed to achieve decisive results when he was forced to return to the west by German attacks. Here his caution and indecisiveness provoked an army mutiny and his murder.
Alexandra (Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julie) (1844–1925). British queen consort 1901–10. Daughter of *Christian IX of Denmark, she went to England to marry the future king *Edward VII in 1863. Striking for her beauty (although lame and deaf in later years), she was very popular. *George V was her second son.
Battiscombe, G., Queen Alexandra. 1972.
Alfieri, Vittorio, Conte (1749–1803). Italian dramatist. He inherited a fortune and his early life was occupied with travel and love affairs until the success of his first play, Cleopatra (1775), encouraged him to undertake a period of study. In Florence he fell in love with the Countess of Albany, wife of *Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), and lived with her after the prince’s death (1788) for the rest of his life. He wrote over 20 plays by which he hoped to arouse Italy’s nationalist spirit and a hatred of tyranny.
Alfonsín, Raúl Ricardo (1926–2009). Argentinian politician. A lawyer, he served as councillor and congressman, opposed both Peronism and military rule and became leader of the Radical Civil Union in 1982. Elected President of Argentina (in the first free election for a decade) in 1983, he began to curb the military, normalised foreign relations, reformed trade unions and restored civil liberties. By the end of his term in 1989, the economy had deteriorated and Carlos *Menem was elected President.
Alfonso (or Alphonso). Name of two kings of Spain and of many kings of the constituent kingdoms of Aragon, Leon and Castile. For the kings of Portugal the form Afonso is used.
Alfonso X (known as ‘the Wise’) (1221–1284). King of Castile and Leon 1252–84. He engaged Arab and Jewish astronomers to prepare the ‘Alfonsine Tables’ of planetary movements and he codified the law by his fueroreal (c.1254). A notable poet himself, he made his court a great cultural centre, and by sponsoring works of learning (among them a general history and a history of Spain) written in Castilian (rather than Latin) he ensured that it became the literary language of Spain. Both his day-to-day administration and his foreign policy, however, suffered from a diffusion of energy. He had some success in bringing much of Moorish Spain under Castilian rule but had not the strength to pursue claims in Gascony, Portugal and Navarre to a successful conclusion. A vain attempt to obtain the imperial throne was most wasteful in money and energy as well as unwise. The raising of money for all these ventures absorbed much of the economic strength created by other reforms.
Proctor, E. S., Alfonso X of Castile. 1951.
Alfonso XII (Alfonso Francisco de Asís Fernando Pío Juan María de la Concepción Gregorio Pelayo de Borbón y Borbón) (1857–1885). King of Spain 1874–85. Son of Queen *Isabel II and possibly her husband, he studied in France and Vienna and married the Austrian archduchess Maria. Known as ‘the peacemaker’, his reign marked an end to the long period of civil war. He was the last Spanish king to die while still ruling.
Alfonso XIII (Alfonso León Fernando María Jaime Isidro Pascual Antonio de Borbón y Habsburgo-Lorena) (1886–1941). King of Spain 1886–1930. As a posthumous child of *Alfonso XII, he may be said to have been king before he was born. From the time that he took over the reins of government in 1902 his rule was threatened by revolutionary movements. In 1906 Alfonso married Victoria Eugénie, niece of King *Edward VII. The fall of *Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship in 1930, with which the king was inextricably linked led to his immediate abdication and exile. He died in Rome.
Alfred (Ælfræd) the Great (849–900). King of Wessex 871–900. Born at Wantage, son of King Æthelwulf, he twice visited Rome before succeeding his brother *Æthelred I. His reign began disastrously with invasions of armies from the Midlands which Alfred was forced to cut off. This won him only brief respite and early in 878 he was driven back into the Somerset marshes. (It is to this period that the legend of his letting the cakes burn belongs.) However, he won a decisive battle (almost certainly at Eddington in Wiltshire) in May of that year and was able to impose the treaty of Wedmore by which Guthrum, the Danish king, accepted baptism and a division of the country between himself and the Wessex king. He acknowledged Alfred’s supremacy in East Anglia, much of Mercia and all England south of the Thames. London, too, was gained in 886. Having made his kingdom secure, partly by a network of forts (burhs), partly by building war vessels, Alfred turned to the tasks of peace. New codes of law and a fair, efficient administration restored stability after the wars, but his great love was education. He drew scholars to his court from other parts of England and from the Continent but, even more importantly, initiated a program of education far ahead of its time. To ensure the spread of the vernacular as a literary language he set his scholars to translating many religious, philosophical and historical works from Latin. He translated *Boethius, *Augustine and *Gregory I and excelled as warrior, administrator and educator. Buried in Winchester, his remains have been lost.
Alger, Horatio (1834–1899). American author. His first story was Ragged Dick (1867). He wrote over 100 boys’ books, all on the theme that, by hard work and honesty, adversities can be overcome and honour and riches won. His books had an astonishing popularity and influenced a generation of American youth.
Algorithmi see Khwārizmī, Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-
Alhazen (abu-Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham) (c.965–c.1038). Arab scientist, born in Basra. He spent most of his life in Egypt. His work on optics was remarkably percipient, including discussions of the propagation, reflection and refraction of light and the phenomenon of colour. This treatise was translated into Latin in the 13th century and published (1572) as Opticae Thesaurus Alhazeni. Alhazen opposed the theory of *Euclid that the eye sends out visual rays and was the first to suggest that rays of light pass from an object to the eye.
Ali (Alī ibn Abī Tālib) (c.600–661). Fourth caliph of Islam 656–61. Born in Mecca, son of *Muhammad’s uncle Abu Tālib, he grew up in the prophet’s household, and married his daughter *Fatimah. According to Shi’ite tradition, he was the principal scribe to whom Muhammad dictated the Qu’ran. On Muhammad’s death he contested the succession with *Abu-Bakr, father of the prophet’s favourite widow A’ishah, who became the first caliph. However, on the death of *Uthman, Ali was recognised as the fourth caliph. Murdered and buried in Kufa (modern Iraq), his son Hasan ibn Ali (625–670) succeeded briefly, but resigned and died in Medina, possibly by poison. The caliphate was taken by *Mu’āwiyah, first of the *Umayyad dynasty. Supporters of Ali’s descendants became known as Shi’ites, rivals of the Sunnis: comprising 90 per cent in Iran, 60 per cent in Iraq, a majority in Azerbaijan and Bahrain, but a minority elsewhere. In the Shi’ite tradition, pilgrimages are made to the tombs of Ali and his 11 successors as Imam, all descendants of Muhammad.
Ali, Muhammad (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr) (1942–2016). American heavyweight boxer, born in Louisville, Kentucky. After winning the light heavyweight gold medal at the Rome Olympics (1960) he turned professional, and in 1964 took the world heavyweight title from Sonny Liston. Following success he changed his name to Muhammad Ali and became a Black Muslim. In 1967 he refused to join the US army pleading conscientious objection and was convicted and deprived of his title. This decision was reversed on appeal (1971) and in 1974 he regained his pre-eminence, taking the title for the second time, on this occasion from George Foreman. Finally, having lost his title to Leon Spinks (February 1978) he made history when he became world heavyweight champion for the third time in September 1978, until his defeat in 1980. He was identified with radical politics, but surprisingly endorsed *Reagan in 1984. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, he campaigned to raise levels of public awareness about it and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005).
Remnick, D., King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero. 1998.
Ali Pasha (known as ‘the Lion’) (1741–1822). Albanian ruler. Although nominally in the service of Turkey he came to exert despotic rule over most of Albania and Epirus and by 1820 was clearly intending to create an independent state. The sultan then ordered that he should be deposed and executed. His court at Yanina was visited by *Byron, who described it in Childe Harold.
Alinsky, Saul (1909–1972). American social activist, born in Chicago. A brilliant tactician, he organised many successful campaigns on social issues, such as poverty and minority rights.
Alkan, Charles Henri Valentin (originally Morhange) (1813–1888). French pianist and composer. A friend of *Chopin, he was an eccentric recluse who wrote extraordinarily demanding works for piano which, despite the admiration of *Liszt and *Busoni, were virtually ignored until the 20th century.
Al-Khwārīzmī (Abū Abdallāh) Muhammad ibn Mūsā (c.780–c.850). Persian mathematician, astronomer and geographer, born in Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan. Influenced by Greek, Babylonian and Indian mathematicians, including *Brahmagupta, he worked at ‘The House of Wisdom’ in Baghdad. He wrote On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals (c.825), which promoted use of Indian digits (1, 2, 3 etc) and the zero (0), adopted in Europe from the 12th century CE. The word ‘algorithm’ is derived from the Latin version (Algoritmi) of his name. He seems to have coined the word ‘algebra’ (from ‘al-jabr’, or ‘completion’) in his Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing (c.830), published in Latin in 1145. He edited and corrected the work of *Ptolemy in The Image of the Earth (c.833).
Allais, Maurice (1911–2010). French economist and engineer, born in Paris. He worked as an engineer in the Mines Department and the railways, taught at the University of Paris and directed research at CNRS. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1988 for his work on capital formation, resource allocation, operation of monopolies and factors influencing consumer choice.
Allbutt, Sir Thomas Clifford (1836–1925). English physician and medical historian, born at Dewsbury. He was educated at Cambridge and St George’s Hospital, London. While a consultant in Leeds (1861–89) he introduced (1867) the clinical thermometer. He became Regius professor of medicine at Cambridge 1892–1925. His work on the use of the ophthalmoscope for nerve diseases and his Diseases of the Arteries (1915) are of lasting importance. He was knighted in 1907 and made a PC.
Allen, Ethan (1738–1789). American revolutionary patriot. A flamboyant personality, he raised a private army, ‘The Green Mountain Boys’, and captured Ticonderoga from the British. He was later taken prisoner on a rash expedition against Montréal. Vermont at this stage declared its independence. Allen engaged in devious negotiations with the British regarding its status, which was still unsettled when he died in 1789.
Allen, William (1532–1594). English Roman Catholic prelate. Principal of St Mary’s Hall, Oxford, 1556–60, in 1568 he founded an English seminary at Douai, moved it to Reims in 1578, remaining director until 1585. The Douai-Reims English translation of the Bible was prepared by Gregory Martin under Allen’s supervision. He called on *Phillip II of Spain to assume the English throne and supported the Armada. Created cardinal in 1587, he died in Rome.
Allen, Woody (Allen Stewart Konigsberg) (1935– ). American writer, actor and director, born in Brooklyn. At high school he began writing jokes and scripts for television. He directed and wrote the films Bananas (1971), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask (1972), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), Annie Hall (Academy Award for Best Film, 1977), Interiors (1978), Manhattann (1980), Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1985), Radio Days (1986), Alice (1990), Husbands and Wives (1992), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Scoop (2006), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2007), Midnight in Paris (2011), To Rome with Love (2012) and Blue Jasmine (2013). In 1993 his former partner Mia Farrow raised allegations of child molestation against him, but criminal charges were not proceeded with.
Allenby, Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount (1861–1936). British field marshal. He commanded the 3rd Army in France 1915–17 and was then given command of the expeditionary force based on Egypt to fight the Turks. In the last great cavalry campaign in modern warfare he captured Jerusalem (December 1917) and Damascus (October 1918), freeing Palestine and Syria from Ottoman rule. A student of the Greek classics, he was notably sparing of lives in battle and worked closely with T. E. *Lawrence. Created a viscount (1919), he served as British High Commissioner in Egypt 1919–25, negotiating the transition to limited self-government (*Zaghlul).
Allende (Gossens), Salvador (1908–1973). Chilean socialist politician and physician. President of Chile 1970–73, he was the first Marxist elected in a free election in the western hemisphere, but lacked majority support in the electorate and in the Congress. On taking office he attempted to restructure Chile on socialist lines. Following considerable unrest mostly fomented from outside, the military demanded his resignation. In 1973 an attack was made on the presidential palace and his private residence and he was killed by machine-gun fire. The military dictatorship of General *Pinochet succeeded. His niece Isabel Allende (1942– ) was a successful novelist.
Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626). English actor and entrepreneur. He and Richard *Burbage were considered to be the finest actors in the Elizabethan-Jacobean theatre. He performed with The Admiral’s Men, created the roles of Tamburlaine, Faustus and Barabbas in plays by *Marlowe, and *Shakespeare’s Henry VI, and was actively involved in lion and bear-baiting, and theatre management. He married twice and his fathers-in-law were Philip *Henslowe and John *Donne. He was the founder of Dulwich College (1619) and died rich.
Almagro, Diego de (1464 or 1475–1538). Spanish conquistador in South America. He served with *Pizarro in Peru and obtained a large share of the plunder. In 1535 he organised the expedition that invaded Chile but was disappointed by failure to find any precious metals. Back in Peru he attempted to seize the country, but was defeated, captured and strangled by Pizarro. He was avenged by the second Diego (his son born of an Indian mother), whose followers stormed Pizarro’s palace and murdered him.
Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence (Lourens Tadema) (1836–1912). Anglo-Dutch painter, born in Dronrijp (Frisia). He lived in England from 1869, became the last person classified as a ‘denizen’ 1873, and was elected RA in 1879. His pictures interpret classical subject matter in a highly finished academic manner evocative of the Victorian epoch. He received the OM in 1905 but his reputation declined posthumously. Interest in his work revived in the 1970s. The Finding of Moses (1904) sold for £252 in 1960, and was auctioned in New York for $35.9 million in 2010.
Almeida Garrett, Joáo Baptista da Silva Leitào de (1799–1854). Portuguese novelist, poet and politician, born in Porto. He became famous with Camões (1825), a long poetic tribute to Luis de *Camoes as a prototype Romantic. A strong liberal, he was an exile in England 1823–25; 1828–32. He returned with the army supporting King *Pedro in 1832 and, having been ennobled, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs 1852.
Almodóvar Caballero, Pedro (1949– ). Spanish film director. Since making his first commercial film in the 1980s, he has written, directed, acted in and/or produced nearly 30 films. His films are characterised by elements of melodrama and high camp and he won Academy Awards for All about my Mother (1999) and Talk to Her (2002).
Al-Razi see Razi, Al-
Altdorfer, Albrecht (c.1480–1538). German painter, architect and engraver, born at Regensburg. Leader of the ‘Danube school’, a meticulous draughtsman and engraver, he was the first great landscape painter, in the sense that in his later works the landscape ceases to be merely a background to human figures and is granted an importance never before given to it. Major works include the St Florian Altar (Linz) and Alexander’s Victory (Munich).
Altgeld, John Peter (1847–1902). American Democratic politician, born in Germany. He migrated, as a child, to Ohio with his very poor immigrant family. He became a lawyer and served as Governor of Illinois 1893–97. A champion of the poor and trade unionism he pardoned the anarchists who had been, on scanty evidence, convicted of taking part in the Chicago Haymarket riots (1886). He also opposed the use of federal troops in the Pullman strike (1894).
Althusser, Louis (1918–1990). French philosopher, born in Algiers. A leading theoretician of the French Communist party, he argued that utopian and humanist elements in Marx should be disregarded and that the main stream of his teaching was a revolutionary science of history (i.e. class struggle), expressed through changes in production rather than by political operations per se (e.g. Leninism or Maoism). In 1980 Althusser murdered his wife and was certified insane.
Altman, Robert Bernard (1925–2006). American film director. Trained as an engineer, he was a pilot, documentary and feature producer and writer for television, then secured critical success with some major films, e.g. M*A*S*H (1970), Nashville (1975), A Wedding (1978), Health (1979), Popeye (1982), Fool for Love (1985), The Player (1991) and Pret-a-Porter (1994).
Alvarado, Pedro de (1485–1541). Spanish conquistador in Mexico. Left in command during the absence of *Cortés, by treacherously attacking the Mexicans he provoked an uprising which forced the Spaniards to retire from the city with disastrous losses. He became (1527) the first governor of Guatemala, and was killed fighting in Mexico.
Alvarez, Luis Walter (1911–1988). American physicist, born in San Francisco. Professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, he worked on the atomic bomb and won the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work in detecting short-lived ‘resonance particles’. In 1979 with his son Walter Alvarez (1940– ) he proposed a theory (now generally accepted) that ‘the Cretaceous-Teriary extinction’ of dinosaurs and other species about 65,000,000 years ago was caused by the impact of a comet or asteroid.
Alvarez Quintero, Serafin (1871–1938) and Joaquin (1873–1944). Spanish dramatists. For 40 years they achieved success after success with light comedies mostly concerned with Andalusian life. Some, e.g. Pueblo de las mujeres (The Women have their Way) and El centenario (A Hundred Years Old), were translated into English by Harley and Helen Granville-Barker.
Alzheimer, Alois (1864–1915). German neurologist. In 1906 he described the symptoms of a form of cerebral atrophy, affecting all aspects of brain function, formerly called dementia, now Alzheimers’ disease.
Amadeo (1845–1890). King of Spain 1870–73. Second son of King *Vittorio Emanuele I of Italy, he accepted election as king by the Spanish Cortes after the 1868 revolution had forced Queen *Isabella II into exile. A liberal constitution had been drawn up but after further revolts he abdicated.
Amado, Jorge (1912–2001). Brazilian novelist. Son of a plantation owner, he studied law, became a reporter, identified himself with the Left and lived abroad for many years. His novels include Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon (1958) and Dona Fler and her two Husbands (1966).
Amalrik, Andrei Alekseivich (1938–1980). Russian historian and playwright. He was expelled from Moscow University in 1963 for political reasons and in 1965 was sentenced to 21 years’ exile for ‘parasitism’. His experiences there formed the subject of his book Involuntary Journey to Siberia (1970). He also wrote Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984? (1970). Expelled from the USSR in 1976, he was killed in a car accident.
Amanullah(Khan) (1892–1960). King of Afghanistan 1919–29. Immediately on his succession after the assassination of his father, Habibullah, Amanullah provoked a war with British India and sustained defeat. From later negotiations, however, Afghanistan emerged as a sovereign state with Amanullah as king. He lost his throne because he tried to modernise his backward state too quickly, his attempt to emancipate women being one of the most decisive causes of the revolution which overthrew him. He lived in exile after his dethronement and died in Zürich.
Amati. Italian family of violin-makers in Cremona. The most outstanding was Nicolo Amati (1596–1684), master of *Stradivari and *Guarneri. Others were Andrea Amati (c.1511–c.1580) and his sons Antonio (c.1540– 1638) and Girolamo, Nicola’s father (1561–1635). Another Girolamo (1649–1740) was Nicolo’s son.
Ambrose, St (Ambrosius in Latin, Ambrogio in Italian) (c.339–397). Italian prelate and administrator, born in Trier. Trained as a lawyer, he was Governor of Liguria and Aemilia. When the Bishop of Milan died (371), rival factions being unable to agree on a successor, Ambrose was elected although not yet baptised. As bishop he proved to be a brilliant administrator and a courageous opponent of Arianism which the Emperor *Theodosius supported. He probably wrote the Athanasian Creed. He insisted that the Church alone was guardian of moral and religious truth and even excommunicated Theodosius for his massacre of the Thessalonians. He had important influence on *Augustine and helped to convert him. Augustine noted that he was a silent reader, a rare phenomenon at the time. He wrote many hymns and introduced the ‘Ambrosian chant’ and much ritual into church services. The aphorism ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ is attributed to him. Ambrose, with Augustine, *Gregory and *Jerome, is regarded as one of the Four Doctors of the Latin Church. The Ambrosian library at Milan is named after him.
Amenhotep. Four Egyptian pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty, Amenhotep III built the avenue of ram-headed sphinxes at Thebes (Karnak). For Amenhotep IV see *Akhenaton.
Amerigo Vespucci see Vespucci, Amerigo
Amery, Leo(pold) Charles Maurice Stennett (1873–1955). English Conservative politician, born in India. Educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford, he became a journalist on The Times, worked in *Milner’s ‘Kindergarten’ in South Africa and wrote a history of the Boer War. A Conservative MP 1911–45, ardent imperialist and advocate of Imperial Preference, he served as Secretary 1924–29 and Secretary of State for India and Burma 1940–45. His son John Amery (1912–1945) became a fascist, went to Germany in 1942, proposing a British Free Corps and made propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis. He pleaded guilty to treason and was hanged.
Amherst, Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron (1717–1797). British field marshal. He was chosen (1758) by *Pitt to command the force sent against the French in Canada. The spectacular capture of Québec by *Wolfe has somewhat obscured Amherst’s achievement in securing all Canada for Britain in the space of two years. His nephew and successor William Pitt Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst (1773–1857), a diplomat, gained notoriety by his refusal to ‘kowtow’ to the emperor Jiaqing while on an embassy to China (1816). He became Governor-General of Bengal 1823–28, won success in the first Burma War and was promoted to an earldom (1826).
Amin Dada, Idi (1925–2003). Ugandan soldier and politician. He joined the British army in 1946, served in Kenya against the Mau Mau, and became commander of the Ugandan army in 1964. In 1971 the army overthrew President Milton Obote and Idi Amin became President. An economic nationalist, he expelled Uganda’s Asian minority, violently suppressed his opponents and identified himself with the Arab cause. In 1979 he fled the country following the invasion of Uganda by Ugandan exiles backed by Tanzania.
Amis, Sir Kingsley William (1922–1995). English novelist, born in London. After army service he graduated from Oxford, lectured in Wales and the US and was a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge 1961–63. His first novel, Lucky Jim (1954), established his reputation as a comic-ironic observer of contemporary provincial life. He was also a poet and a staunch advocate of science fiction. Later novels include That Uncertain Feeling (1955), I Like It Here (1958), Jake’s Thing (1979), Stanley and the Women (1984) and The Old Devils (1986, winner of the Booker Prize). He also edited The New Oxford Book of Light Verse (1978). His second wife was the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. After their divorce Amis boarded with her and her husband. With age he became notoriously reactionary and choleric. His son, Martin Amis (1949– ) was a novelist and essayist. His novels include Money (1984), Yellow Dog (2003), The Pregnant Widow (2010) and Lionel Asbo: State of England (2012).
Amos (fl. 780 BCE). Israelite prophet. Originally a shepherd or sheep-farmer, his denunciations of the Israelites for immorality and greed and oppression of the poor contain the implication that Jahweh (Jehovah) was not the God of Israel alone but of the whole world. The last part of the book of Amos, with its optimistic promises, is probably by another hand.
Ampère, André Marie (1775–1836). French mathematical physicist. A prodigy, largely tutored at home, he suffered profound depression after his father was guillotined in Lyon as a counter-revolutionary (1793). He later received *Napoléon’s patronage and was a professor of physics at Bourg 1801–04, Lyon 1804–09, the Paris Polytechnique 1809–24 and the Collège de France 1824–36. Following *Oersted’s discovery (1820) of the relationship between electricity and magnetism he became the virtual founder of electrodynamics, invented the solenoid and proposed Ampère’s law. His work was taken even further by *Faraday. In 1883 *Kelvin named the unit of electric current (ampere, amp, A) for him.
Amundsen, Roald (1872–1928). Norwegian polar explorer. The first to reach the South Pole, he commanded (1903–06) the Gjoa, which was the first ship to navigate the Northwest Passage. In 1910, in rivalry with the British expedition, which he informed of his intention, he set out for the Antarctic and in December 1911 he reached the Pole—one month before Captain *Scott. In 1926 he flew over the North Pole in a dirigible with the Italian explorer *Nobile. He lost his life in an air search for Nobile, two years later.
Partridge, B., Amundsen. 1953; Huntford, R., Scott and Amundsen. 1979.
Anacreon (d.c.485 BCE). Greek lyric poet. His work reflects the voluptuous refinement of Ionian life. Few poems survive and he is best remembered by the Anacreontic metre to which his name is attached and in which many imitations of his style, known as Anacreontea, were written from the 2nd century CE.
Anastasia (1901–1918). Russian grand duchess. Daughter of Tsar *Nikolai II, it was assumed that she had been murdered with the rest of the Russian royal family at Ekaterinburg until in 1929 a German citizen named Anna Anderson (d 1983) claimed to be Anastasia. Her claim provoked long-lasting controversy until DNA testing indicated that she was probably a Pole, Franziska Schanzkowska. However, the remains of the royal family found in 1993 are incomplete—either Anastasia or Maria is missing.
Anaxagoras (c.500–428 BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Clazamenae, Asia Minor (now Turkey). He lived in Athens and originated the idea that all things are composed of small particles, ‘seeds’ or atoms, the rearrangement of which was the cause of change, and he discovered the true cause of eclipses. He also believed that the world was flat and that the sun was a hot and glowing stone. He was prosecuted for the latter affront to the belief in the divinity of the heavenly bodies. The universe of ‘seeds’, he claimed, was organised into its apparent form by an all pervading mind, nous. He taught *Pericles, *Euripides and other illustrious Greeks.
Anaximander (610–540? BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Melitus, Asia Minor (now Turkey). Known for his elaborate system of cosmology, he conceived the universe as a boundless mass separated into hot and cold masses from which land, sea and air were ultimately formed. Apertures in misty substances enveloping parts of the hot mass appear as sun, moon and stars. From a misunderstanding of his belief that the first human beings were born from huge fishes he has been credited with anticipating the theory of evolution.
Anaximenes of Miletus (fl. c.546 BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Miletus, Asia Minor (now Turkey). A follower of *Anaximander, he addressed himself to the question of the original nature of all things. He believed that origin to be air, for by processes of condensation and rarefaction air could be transformed into all other things. Condensation of air produces water, and eventually earth, rarefaction of air produces fire. *Plutarch tells us that Anaximenes demonstrated this truth by experiment. If we expel air from our mouths, it becomes cold if we exhale under pressure, whereas if we open our mouths wide, it is hot. Anaximenes probably thought of air as made up of small, separate particles. He believed in the infinity of worlds, and thought that each was formed by processes of condensation and rarefaction. He thought the earth was at the centre of things, and that both the sun and moon had been formed out of fire.
Anders, Wladislaw (1892–1970). Polish general. Captured by the Russians in their invasion of Poland in 1939, he later formed an army from the Polish prisoners in Russia to fight the common enemy. In 1943 he took command of the Polish troops in Italy. In 1946 he was deprived of his nationality by the Polish Communist Government and remained in Britain as a leader of the Free Polish community.
Andersen, Hans Christian (1805–1875). Danish author, born in Odense. Son of a poor shoemaker (although King Frederick VI could have been his father), as a boy he went to Copenhagen to seek his fortune but failed as an actor and, through lack of education, was equally unsuccessful as a playwright. At this time he came under the influence and patronage of Jonas Collin, a theatre director who sent him to school and later to the University of Copenhagen. His first important literary work was published in 1828–29. From 1835 to 1857 came that flow of stories whose titles have become household words all over the world—The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Tinder Box, Thumbelina, The Red Shoes—about 160 in all. After 1840 he travelled in Europe and became a friend of Charles *Dickens (who found him a tedious house guest). Actively bisexual, he never married, and failed to win the love of the great singer Jenny *Lind.
Böök, F., Hans Christian Andersen, A Biography. 1962. Bredsdorff, E. Hans Christian Andersen. 1975.
Anderson, Carl David (1905–1991). American physicist. A student of R. A. *Millikan at Caltech, he specialised in the study of the cosmic rays first observed (1911–12) by V. F. *Hess. In 1932 Anderson discovered the positron (a positively charged particle of the same mass as the negatively charged electron), the existence of which had been predicted by P. A. M. *Dirac. In 1937 he established the existence of mesons (particles of mass between those of the electron and the proton), predicted in 1935 by *Yukawa Hideki. Anderson shared the 1936 Nobel Prize for Physics with Hess. He was professor of physics at Caltech 1939–76.
Anderson, Elizabeth (née Garrett) (1836–1917). English physician, born in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. A sister of Millicent *Fawcett, she studied medicine privately, having being refused university admission, and was licensed to practise in 1865 by the Society of Apothecaries. She graduated MD from the University of Paris in 1870. She worked in London at the New Hospital for Women, renamed the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in 1918. In 1908 she became England’s first woman mayor, of Aldeburgh.
Manton, J., Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. 1965.
Anderson, John, 1st Viscount Waverley (1882–1958). British administrator. He joined the civil service and as Undersecretary for Ireland 1919–22 was reputed to have created the ‘Black and Tans’. He served as Undersecretary for Home Affairs 1922–32, Governor of Bengal 1932–37, then became a Conservative MP 1938–50. Home Secretary 1939–40, under *Churchill he was Lord President of the Council (with responsibility for research on atomic weapons) 1940–43 and Chancellor of the Exchequer 1943–45. He received the OM in 1958.
Anderson, Marian (1897–1993). American contralto, born in Philadelphia. A notable interpreter of *Brahms and *Sibelius and of negro spirituals, it was not until 1955 that she was invited to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. A delegate to the UN in 1958, she received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Anderson, M., My Lord, What a Morning. 1957.
Anderson, Maxwell (1888–1959). American dramatist, born in Pennsylvania. Son of a Baptist minister, brought up in the Midwest, his first successful play, What Price Glory? (with Laurence Stallings, 1924), was concerned with front-line life in World War I. Other plays, many of which are in blank verse, include Saturday’s Children (1927), Both Your Houses (Pulitzer Prize winner, 1932), Winterset (1935) and High Tor (1937).
Anderson, Sherwood (1876–1941). American writer. He held executive positions in advertising and in the paint industry, which he abandoned abruptly to devote himself to literature. His works reveal his disenchantment with the complexities of modern industrialised society. They include the short-story collection Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and the novels Poor White (1920) and Beyond Desire (1926).
Ando Tadao (1941– ). Japanese architect, born in Osaka. Essentially self-taught, from 1973 he designed houses, museums and churches that combined beauty of line, imagination and sensitivity to landscape. He won many international awards, including the Alvo *Aalto Medal (1985) and the Pritzker Prize (1995). Most of his buildings were in Japan, but also in Paris, New York, Chicago, Fort Worth, Milan, Venice and Manchester.
Andråssy, Gyula, Count (1823–1890). Hungarian nobleman. He gained great influence with the emperor *Franz Josef and was Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary during the critical years 1871–79. These included the Congress of Berlin (1878), one clause of which gave Austria the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus adding to the number of Slavs within the empire. It was the fear that Russia might at some time intervene to liberate these Slavs that guided Andråssy’s entire policy. He put aside all thoughts of avenging the humiliating defeat of 1866 and did everything possible to build up and strengthen the German alliance. He did much therefore to create the political pattern that led to World War I. His son, also Gyula, Count Andråssy (1860–1929), was Foreign Minister (1918), tried to negotiate a separate peace for Austria-Hungary, and after 1921 attempted to restore the Habsburgs.
André of Montréal, St (Alfred Bessette) (1845–1937). Canadian Catholic Brother, born in Québec. A barber and school porter in Montréal, known as Frère André, he claimed to have had a vision of St Joseph, established a reputation as a healer and campaigned tirelessly to build the huge Oratory of St Joseph. More than 1,000,000 people attended his funeral. He was canonised in October 2010.
André, John (1751–1780). British officer. In America during the War of Independence, he was caught while negotiating with Benedict *Arnold for the betrayal of West Point, and hanged as a spy. In 1821 his grave was opened and his remains were later reinterred in Westminster Abbey.
Andrea del Sarto (Andrea d’Agnolo di Francesco) (1486–1531). Italian painter, born in Florence. Son of a tailor, as the name suggests, he was a master of the High Renaissance period. Some of his best work is to be found in the frescoes in the churches of the Annunciation and St Salvi in Florence. A fine example of his portraiture, A Sculptor, is in the National Gallery, London. Influenced by *Michelangelo, Fra *Bartolommeo and others, he had his own colour values and achieved striking effects by diffusion of light. The accuracy of his crayon drawings earned him the name of ‘the faultless painter’. In 1518 he accepted an invitation to visit *François I in Paris and was commissioned to buy pictures in Italy. However, having squandered the money, he dared not return. He died of the plague. Robert *Browning’s poem ‘Andrea del Sarto’ tells of his unhappy marriage with Lucrezia del Fede.
Andrée, Salomon Auguste (1854–1897). Swedish engineer and Polar explorer. In 1897 his second attempt (the first had been abandoned) to reach the North Pole by balloon failed. The finding of his body and those of his two companions in 1930, with diaries, revealed that the balloon had come down on the ice and that the men had reached White Island on foot.
Andreotti, Giulio (1919–2013). Italian Christian Democratic politician. A journalist, he served as a Deputy 1947–94, as a minister in innumerable governments and as Prime Minister 1972–73, 1976–79, 1989–91 and Foreign Minister 1983–89. He was attacked as symbolising the malaise of post-war Italian politics, a frequent recycling of ministers with little willingness to tackle difficult issues.
Andrew, St (Andreas in Greek and Latin: the name means ‘manly’) (d.c.60–70). Christian apostle. With his brother *Peter he was working as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee when he received his call. According to tradition, after *Jesus’ crucifixion he preached in Scythia and was crucified on an X-shaped cross, in Patra, Greece. Patron saint of Scotland and Russia, his feast day is 30 November.
Andrewes, Lancelot (1555–1626). English prelate. A favourite preacher of James I of England, he was one of the translators of the Authorised Version of the Bible. After being appointed bishop of Chichester (1605) and Ely (1609) he held the see of Winchester from 1618. He was the leading theologian of the High Church Party, and his Preces privatae (Private Prayers) witnesses his personal holiness. T. S. *Eliot drew attention to the remarkable originality and fine prose of his sermons.
Welsby, P. A., Lancelot Andrewes. 1958.
Andrews, Thomas (1813–1885). Irish physical chemist. He studied in Glasgow and Paris, graduated in medicine at Edinburgh but spent most of his life at his birthplace, Belfast, where he was professor of chemistry at Queen’s University, from 1849 to 1879. His most important discovery was that every gas has a ‘critical’ temperature below which it must be cooled if it is to be liquefied by applying pressure. This discovery opened the way to the liquefaction of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen.
Andreyev, Leonid Nikolaivich (1871–1919). Russian short-story writer and dramatist. Originally a lawyer, he became a journalist, and was befriended by Maksim *Gorki, who influenced his style. Most of his works reveal his obsession with death, madness and sex, although he was capable of an almost surrealistic humour. His best known works are Anathema, The Red Laugh, Seven Who Were Hanged and He Who Gets Slapped. He fled to Finland after the Russian revolution (1917) and died in poverty.
Woodward, J. B., Leonid Andreyev. 1969; Newcombe, J., Leonid Andreyev. 1972.
Andric, Ivo (1892–1975). Bosnian (Yugoslav) author and diplomat. Son of an artisan family, educated in Zagreb, Krakow, Vienna and Graz, he was imprisoned by the Austrians as a nationalist and wrote his first novel, Ex Ponto (1918), in jail. He became a diplomat, serving in Rome and Berlin. During World War II, under German occupation, he wrote the trilogy The Bridge on the Drina, Bosnian Story and Young Miss, all published in 1945 but not translated into English until 1959. He was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature for his ‘epic power’.
Andropov, Yuri Vladimirovich (1914–1984). Russian Communist politician, born in Stavropol. The son of a railway worker, he was a Volga boatman briefly, rose through the Komsomol and joined the CPSU in 1939 to become a party functionary in Karelia and Moscow. He was Ambassador to Hungary 1953–57 (helping to suppress the 1956 revolt), Chairman of the KGB 1967–82, and a member of the Politburo 1973–84. On *Brezhnev’s death (November 1982) he succeeded him as First Secretary of the CPSU and President of the USSR. Determined to reform the Soviet system, he was terminally ill and unable to effect major change before his death in January 1984. The succession went initially to a Brezhnev supporter, *Chernenko, instead of Andropov’s protégé *Gorbachev.
Angelico, Fra (Guido di Pietri) (c.1387–1455). Italian painter. A Dominican friar (known as Giovanni da Fiesole) throughout his life, all his paintings, which are in a simple direct style, are of religious subjects. In 1443 he was summoned by the pope to work in the Vatican. The name by which he is now known comes from the unearthly beauty of his angelic figures. The largest collection is in the Museo di San Marco, Florence (his own convent).
Pope-Hennessy, J., Fra Angelico. 2nd ed. 1974.
Angell, Sir (Ralph) Norman (originally Lane) (1874–1967). English journalist and politician. His book The Great Illusion (1910), which showed that war was as disastrous for the victor as for the conquered, had an enormous influence, and won him the Nobel Prize for Peace (1933). He was a founder of the Union of Democratic Control (1914) and a Labour MP 1929–31.
Angell, N., After All. 1951.
Angerstein, John Julius (1735–1823). British merchant and philanthropist, born in Russia. A Lloyd’s underwriter, his 38 paintings (including works by *Raphael, *Rembrandt, *Rubens, *Claude, *Hogarth) became, with the encouragement of *George IV, the nucleus of the National Gallery collection.
Anglesey, 1st Marquess of, Henry William Paget (1768–1854). British field marshal, born in London. Son of the Earl of Uxbridge, he was an MP 1790–96, 1796–1804, 1806–10, served in the Peninsula War under *Wellington, commanded the Anglo-Belgian cavalry at Waterloo (1815) where he lost a leg, and became Master General of the Ordnance 1827–28, 1846–52. Twice Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1828–29, 1830–33, he was a moderate reformer, sympathetic to Catholic emancipation.
Ångström, Anders Jonas (1814–1874). Swedish physicist. He studied, lectured and in 1858 became professor of physics at Uppsala University. He made extensive studies of the spectra of the sun’s light and of the Aurora Borealis. In this work he expressed wavelengths of light in a unit equal to one hundred millionth of a centimetre. This unit, now called the ‘angstrom’, has been generally adopted for spectroscopic measurements.
Anna Ivanovna (1693–1740). Empress of Russia 1730–40. A niece of *Peter the Great, she became Empress on the death of *Peter II. Having been a neglected and unloved child, she grew up to be a coarse and ignorant woman. On ascending the throne she gave herself up entirely to pleasure, leaving affairs of state to her lover, Ernst Johann von *Biron, who was detested by her subjects.
Longworth, P., Three Empresses. 1972.
Annan, Kofi Atta (1938–2018). Ghanaian administrator. Son of a chief, educated in the US and Switzerland, he joined the UN in 1962 and became Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations 1994–97. He married a niece of Raoul *Wallenberg and succeeded Boutros *Boutros-Ghali as Secretary-General 1997–2006. In February 1998 he averted a second Gulf War by persuading *Saddam Hussein to accept closer UN inspection of weapon storage in Iraq. He shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN but failed to prevent the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Appointed as UN mediator in Syria, he resigned in frustration in 2012.
Anne (née Stuart, by marriage Oldenburg) (1665–1714). Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland 1702–14, from 1707 of Great Britain and Ireland. She was the first to rule over the United Kingdom of Great Britain, created by the Act of Union (with Scotland) in 1707. The second daughter of the future *James II by his first wife Anne Hyde, she was born in Westminster and raised, with her sister *Mary, as an Anglican on instructions from her uncle *Charles II. In 1683 she married Prince George (Jørgen) of Denmark (1653–1708) by whom she had 17 pregnancies: of five live births, only one child survived infancy, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester (1689–1700), who was hydrocephalic.
In 1701 the Act of Settlement provided that if Anne, the heir-presumptive to her brother-in-law *William III, died without heirs, the succession must pass to a non-Catholic; this excluded Anne’s half brother James Edward *Stuart in favour of *Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her (Lutheran) descendants.
The earlier years of her reign, under Whig rule, were influenced by her favourite, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, enhanced by *Marlborough’s victories in the War of the Spanish Succession. This period ended when Anne, whose natural affinity was with the Tories, having quarrelled with the Marlboroughs, appointed Robert *Harley to head her government in 1710. Anne was the last sovereign to veto an act of Parliament (the Scottish Militia Bill, 1708), but she acted on ministerial advice. Her new favourite, Mrs Abigail Masham (née Hill) (c.1670–1730), was a cousin of both Sarah Churchill and Harley. An active promoter of the arts, Anne had been a patron of *Purcell and, later, *Händel, encouraged public gardens, and her reign was marked by distinguished architecture (*Vanburgh) and literature (*Pope, *Addison, *Swift, *Defoe). Anne suffered agonies from gout, found it difficult to walk, became morbidly obese, drank heavily, and may also have had lupus and diabetes. She died of a stroke and was buried in a square coffin. She was succeeded by her second cousin *George I, Elector of Hanover, son of Sophia.
Gregg, E., Queen Anne. 1984; Somerset, A., Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion. 2012; Winn, J. A., Queen Anne. Patroness of Arts. 2014.
Anne (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise) (1950– ). British princess royal. Second child of Queen *Elizabeth II, she married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 and, after a divorce, married Commander Timothy Laurence in 1992. One of the most active royals, she was an accomplished horse rider, member of the British Olympic team in 1976 and toured constantly in support of the Save the Children Fund.
Anne (Boleyn) (1501/7–1536). English queen consort 1533–36. Her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, later 1st Earl of Wiltshire (c.1477–1539), was a diplomat, her mother daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk. There is continuing controversy about her birth year. Educated in the Netherlands and France, her sister Mary Boleyn (c.1499/1500–1543), had been mistress both to *François I and to *Henry VIII. Following the failure of *Katherine of Aragon to produce a male heir, Henry began the process of having his marriage annulled and determined on Anne as his second wife. She married Henry in January 1533, was crowned Queen in June, and in September was created Marquess (sic) of Pembroke in her own right and gave birth to the future *Elizabeth I. She strongly supported Thomas *Cranmer and evangelical reform in the church. Once Henry had determined to marry *Jane Seymour, Henry had her beheaded for adultery, incest (with her brother) and high treason. Five men, including her brother George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford (1504–1536), were also executed for adultery and treason. The trial and execution of all six was a travesty, driven by Henry’s paranoia about gossip, and when her daughter Elizabeth became queen in 1558, Anne was regarded as a martyr.
Chapman, H., Anne Boleyn. 1974.
Anne of Austria (1601–1666). French queen consort 1615–43 and regent 1643–51. Daughter of *Philip III of Spain, she was married to *Louis XIII of France. After her husband’s death she became regent for her son *Louis XIV but allowed all power to rest with her lover (or even husband?) Cardinal *Mazarin. *Dumas in his The Three Musketeers tells the story of the alleged romance between her and George Villiers, Duke of *Buckingham.
Anne of Brittany (Anne de Bretagne) (1477–1514). Duchess of Brittany 1488–1514 and French queen consort 1491–98, 1499–1514. She broke her betrothal to the future emperor *Maximilian and married two successive French kings—*Charles VIII (1491) and *Louis XII (1499). Her daughter Claude married the future *François I. She was a patron of artists and poets.
Anne of Cleves (Anna von Kleve) (1515–1557). English queen consort 1540. Born in Düsseldorf, her father, Johann, Duke of Cleves, was a Protestant follower of *Erasmus. Anne became the fourth wife of *Henry VIII of England in 1540. Henry had been guided by political reasons and encouraged by a flattering portrait, but they lacked a common language, he found her unattractive and the unconsummated marriage was annulled six months later. Henry blamed Thomas *Cromwell, who had recommended the match. He was arrested and speedily executed. However, Anne was allowed to live in England in comfortable seclusion.
Annigoni, Pietro (1910–1988). Italian artist. His delicately flattering portraits of Queen *Elizabeth and others won him an important niche in British social life. This partly obscures work in other styles which can be seen, e.g. in the Modern Art Gallery in Milan. In his work he revived Renaissance techniques.
Anning, Mary (1799–1847). English fossil collector, born in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She collected, identified and sold fossils, from the Jurassic era, found near her birthplace, including the first ichthyosaur and plesiosaur, some marine reptiles and fossil fish. She identified the significance of coprolites. Her work was recognised by a few geologists and anatomists, but she died poor and isolated.
Annunzio, Gabriele d’ see Gabriele D’Annunzio
Anouilh, Jean (1910–1987). French dramatist, born in Bordeaux. His plays vary from historical reconstruction e.g. L’Alouette (1953, The Lark), his version of the *Joan of Arc theme, and Becket (1959) to comedy or farce, e.g. L’Invitation au Chateau (1947, translated by Christopher Fry as Ring Round the Moon) and The Waltz of the Toreadors (1952). In 1949 his film M. Vincent was awarded the Grand Prix du Cinema Français. Anouilh, whose witty, sophisticated and elegant manner conceals a deep underlying pessimism, handles ingenious plots with a superb sense of stagecraft.
Marsh, E. G., Jean Anouilh, 1953; Pronco, L. C., The World of Jean Anouilh. 1961.
Anselm, St (c.1033–1109). Italian theologian and prelate, born at Aosta, northern Italy. As his father objected to his becoming a monk it was not until c.1059 that he reached Lanfranc’s abbey at Bec, in Normandy, of which in 1078 he eventually became abbot. *Lanfranc, who had become Archbishop of Canterbury, died in 1089, and the see was left vacant until Anselm was appointed in 1093. His opposition to *William Rufus’s depredations of the church led to his exile in 1097. He returned at the request of *Henry I in 1100 but while on the Continent he had become a convinced opponent of lay investiture and refused to do homage to Henry for his bishopric. This led to a further period of exile, but eventually in 1107 a compromise was reached. Anselm, the leading theologian of his age, put forward the theory that faith and reason are not incompatible, he also advanced the ‘ontological argument’ that the very fact that man can conceive the existence of a supreme omnipotent Being must mean that such a Being exists. He was canonised in 1494.
Ansermet, Ernest (1883–1969). Swiss musician. He taught mathematics at the University of Lausanne, became a conductor with *Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes 1915–23 and founded the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR) in Geneva (1918), remaining its chief conductor until 1967. He excelled in *Debussy, *Ravel, *Stravinsky, *Bartók and *Honegger and made many recordings. Suspected of anti-Semitism, he refused to perform *Schoenberg.
Anson, George Anson, 1st Baron (1697–1762). English sailor. On the outbreak of war with Spain (1740) he was sent in command of six ships, with orders to inflict as much damage on Spanish trade and colonies as possible. Nearly four years later he returned with only one ship but £500,000 of treasure, having sailed round the world. He received his peerage during the war of Austrian succession for a great victory (1747) over the French off Cape Finisterre. Coin worth £300,000 was found aboard the six prizes taken.
Anthony, (John) Doug(las) (1929– ). Australian National Party politician, born in Murwillumbah. Three generations of the Anthony family were elected to the House of Representatives. He succeeded his father as MHR for Richmond 1957–84, became a Minister in 1964, serving as Leader of the National Party 1981–84 and Deputy Prime Minister 1971–72 and 1975–83. He received a CH in 1981.
Anthony, Susan B(rownell) (1820–1906). American campaigner, born in Adams, Mass. From a Quaker abolitionist family, she became a teacher, working for temperance and against slavery. She devoted herself to the cause of female voting and founded the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1892.
Antigonus I (‘Monophthalmos’ or ‘Cyclops’ i.e. one-eyed) (c.382–301 BCE). King of Macedonia 306–301 BCE. One of *Alexander the Great’s generals and successors (diadochi), he ruled first in Phrygia, then gained Lydia, Pamphilia and Asia Minor. He tried to unite Alexander’s empire but was fought by a coalition of the other diadochs until his defeat and death at the battle of Ipsus.
Antiochus. Greek kings of the Seleucid (*Seleucus) dynasty which ruled Syria 312–64 BCE. Antiochus III (‘the Great’) (242–187 BCE), ruled 223–187, came into conflict with Rome, sheltered *Hannibal but was eventually forced to accept onerous terms. His son Antiochus IV (‘Epiphanes’ i.e. God Manifest) (c.215–164 BCE), ruled 175–164, by attempting to substitute the Greek gods for Judaism, kindled the patriotic rising of the Maccabees (Maccabaeus). By defeating Antiochus XIII (‘Asiaticus’) (d.64 BCE), the last of the Seleucids, *Pompey was enabled to make Syria a Roman province.
Antipater (c.397–c.319 BCE). Macedonian general. Friend and adviser of *Alexander the Great, he was made regent of Macedonia (334) during Alexander’s absence in Asia and after his death ruled all Greece, without claiming a kingdom for himself.
Antonello da Messina (c.1430–1479). Sicilian painter, born in Messina. He was greatly influenced by the techniques of the Flemish painters, especially the van *Eycks. His surviving paintings are mostly portraits distinguished by a virtuoso style. His works influenced the Venetians, notably Giovanni *Bellini.
Antonescu, Ion (1882–1946). Romanian general and politician. After King *Carol II had been forced to abdicate (1940), he assumed dictatorial powers. Under his rule Romania fought as Germany’s ally against Russia in World War II with the result that after the Russian victory he was overthrown and two years later executed.
Antoninus Pius (Titus Fulvius Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius) (86–161). Roman Emperor 138–61. One of the ‘Five Good Emperors’ in the *Nerva-Antonine dynasty, he succeeded *Hadrian, who had adopted him as his heir. He governed with ability and his reign was remarkably happy and peaceful. During his reign Roman control in Britain was extended northwards from Hadrian’s Wall, and the Antonine Wall was constructed, from 142, between the Forth to the Clyde. His daughter, Faustina, married *Marcus Aurelius.
Antonioni, Michelangelo (1912–2007). Italian film director, born in Ferrara. He studied economics in Bologna, became a journalist, film critic, script writer and documentary film maker. His feature films include L’Avventura (1960), Blow-up (1967), Zabriskie Point (1969) and The Passenger (1974).
Cameron, I. and Word, R., Antonioni. 1970.
Antony (Abbot) (‘the Great’), St (c.250–355). Egyptian hermit, born in Koman, Upper Egypt. His family was Christian and for 20 years he lived an ascetic life in the desert and is said to have been tormented by temptation, as depicted by Hieronymus *Bosch, Matthias *Grunewald and others. Many anchorites followed his example and in this sense he may be said to have initiated the monastic system. In the great theological controversy of the time he opposed Arianism.
Antony, Mark (Marcus Antonius) (c.82–30 BCE). Roman soldier and politician. An early supporter of *Caesar, he fought under him with distinction in Gaul and against *Pompey, but it was after Caesar’s death that, by exploiting the popular indignation, he was able to rise to greatness. With Caesar’s heir Octavian and *Lepidus, a figure of comparatively minor importance, he formed a ruling triumvirate and it was mainly due to Antony’s skill that the assassins, *Brutus and *Cassius, and their supporters, who had been forced to leave Italy, were decisively defeated at Philippi in Macedonia (42). After some dissension Octavian and Antony, Lepidus being tacitly ignored, agreed to separate their spheres of power, Octavian to rule Italy and the west, Antony over Asia and Africa, which included Egypt, where *Cleopatra ruled in alliance with Rome. To cement the agreement Antony left Cleopatra to marry Octavian’s sister Octavia. Unfortunately this marriage did not last. Egypt’s resources were necessary for a war against Parthia and so, with self-interest and affection in convenient accord, Antony became openly the lover of Cleopatra and after the failure of the Parthian war lived with her in the state and style of an independent oriental monarch. His divorce of Octavia (32) immediately brought on the clash with Octavian which was in any case inevitable. A year of shapeless and indecisive struggle ended with the complete destruction of the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium (3l). In the following year Octavian invaded Egypt. Defeated outside Alexandria, Antony committed suicide and Cleopatra, after the failure of negotiations, followed his example. The triumphant Octavian was to become the emperor *Augustus.
Tarn, W. and Charlesworth, M., Octavian, Antony and Cleopatra. 1965.
Antony of Padua, St (1195–1231). Portuguese religious, born in Lisbon. One of the most famous preachers of the Middle Ages, he was a Franciscan friar who spent most of his working life in Italy. It was said that he preached to the fishes when man refused to listen. Miracles at his tomb at Padua caused immediate canonisation. In art he often appears with a lily and the Christ Child in his arms.
Anwar (bin) Ibrahim (1947– ). Malaysian politician, born in Penang. He served in governments led by *Mahathir bin Mohamed, and was Education Minister 1986–91, Finance Minister 1991–98, Deputy Prime Minister 1993–98 and an absentee President of the UNESCO General Assembly 1989–91. Widely read and scholarly, he broke with Mahathir, but was arrested and subjected to police brutality (1998), convicted of sedition and sodomy, after trials that attracted international condemnation, and jailed 1999–2004. He founded the Peoples’ Justice Party and became Leader of the Opposition 2008–15, but was convicted of sodomy again and imprisoned. His party formed an unlikely alliance with Mahathir and their combined forces succeeded in defeating *Najib Razak, accusing him of corruption. Anwar was freed and pardoned (May 2018) on the understanding that he would succeed Mahathir as Prime Minister at an early date.
Apollinaire, Guillaume (Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky) (1880–1918). French poet, born in Rome. Of Polish descent, as a leader of the avant-garde, he helped to define Cubism, joined the Dadaists, and is said to have invented the term Surrealism. His volumes of poems Alcools (1913) and Calligrammes (1918), his play Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1918, later an opera by *Poulenc) and his novel Le Poète assassiné (1916) are among his best known works. He died of wounds in World War I.
Bates, S., Guillaume Apollinaire. 1967; Adema, M., Guillaume Apollinaire. 2nd ed. 1968.
Apollodorus of Damascus (d.c.149). Greek architect. Chief architect and engineer of the Roman emperor, Trajan, he built the Odeum, Gymnasium and Forum in Rome. *Trajan’s Column, with its banded relief sculptures, was an architectural novelty planned by him. His bluntness of speech in professional matters is said to have led to his banishment and execution by Trajan’s successor, *Hadrian.
Apollonius of Perga (c.262–190 BCE). Greek mathematician, born probably in Perga, Asia Minor. The greatest student of ‘conic sections’ in antiquity, almost nothing is known of his life, but several of his works survive. One of his main concerns was with generating curves. He pioneered new modes of generating curves which had the advantage of rendering it easier to solve traditional conic problems (e.g. calculating areas) by geometrical means. His work in this field became canonical. Apollonius also wrote a tract on applied optics and was apparently famous for his astronomical studies, where he used his rigorous geometrical approach to solve the problem of the motions of the planets. He may have produced solar and lunar tables, and seems to have calculated that the moon lies about 600,000 miles distant from the earth.
Apollonius of Rhodes (b.c.295 BCE). Greek poet and librarian. He composed the 6000 line epic Argonautica, the story of Jason’s voyage from Greece to Georgia in the Argo to retrieve the Golden Fleece. The story predates the Trojan War (about 1300 BCE). Apollonius was head of the library in Alexandria, then retired to Rhodes.
Appel, Karel Christian (1921–2006). Dutch painter. A co-founder (1948) of the CoBrA (Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam) group of abstract expressionists, his powerful works were marked by vivid colour, and thick, almost sculptured, impasto. He won prizes at the Biennales in Venice 1953 and São Paulo 1959.
Appia, Adolphe (1862–1928). Swiss musician and theorist of scenic design. While studying music at Bayreuth he was struck by the disparity between the music and the stage settings. In his book Music and Staging (1899) he attacked the conventional painted scenery and suggested three-dimensional sets based on linear constructions, e.g. staircase, ramp. His theories and productions based on them (e.g. Tristan und Isolde at La Scala, Milan, in 1923) have, with those of Gordon *Craig, had a revolutionary effect on theatrical design.
Appleton, Sir Edward Victor (1892–1965). English physicist, born in Bradford. He studied at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge under *Thomson and *Rutherford and specialised in the study of long distance radio waves and their reflections in the upper atmosphere. An ionised region which could cause this reflection had been predicted by *Heaviside, and in 1924 Appleton demonstrated the existence of such a region (the Heaviside Layer) at a height of about 60 miles. A higher reflecting region discovered later is called the Appleton Layer. Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) 1939–49, he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947 and was Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh University 1949–65.
Apuleius, Lucius (fl. c.160). Latin author, born in Africa. Educated at Carthage and Athens, he travelled widely in his youth and was able to put his experiences to good account in the most famous of his works, the scandalous and amusing novel The Golden Ass. The main theme concerns a young man turned into an ass for witchcraft, and among the episodes are the legend of Cupid and Psyche. The youth is restored to human shape by the Egyptian goddess, Isis, whose initiate Apuleius had probably become. In the light of his novel it is interesting that Apuleius himself was accused by the family of his wealthy wife, Pudentilla, of influencing her by magic. His successful defence (De magia) survives.
Aquaviva, Claudio (1543–1615). Italian cleric. As fifth general of the Society of Jesus (from 1581) he composed the Ratio studiorum, the basis of Jesuit education. He showed great diplomatic finesse especially in relation to the French Huguenots.
Aquinas, St Thomas (c.1225–1274). German-Sicilian theologian and philosopher, born near Aquino, Italy. He became a Dominican and, despite family opposition, left Italy to study theology in Paris and later under *Albertus Magnus at Cologne. Although nicknamed by fellow students ‘The Dumb Ox’, he is now considered to have been the greatest systematic theologian of the Catholic Church. Except for study in Italy (1259–68) he worked and taught in Paris (1252–72). Influenced by the philosophy of *Aristotle, he based his vast and clearly argued theology, now known as Thomism, upon it. He defended human reason as a source of knowledge of the natural world and also attempted to reconcile reason and faith. He opposed the claim that a belief could be philosophically false but theologically true, and set out five proofs of the existence of God. After his death his work was decried by the Franciscans for its debt to pagan Aristotle, but it remains today an enthusiastically studied theology. Aquinas died on his way to the Council of Lyon and was proclaimed a saint in 1323 and a doctor of the Church in 1567. His remains are in Toulouse. Of his many writings, Summa theologica is the most comprehensive exposition of his system.
Foster, K. (ed.), The Life of St Thomas Aquinas. 1959; Turner, D., Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait. 2013.
Aquino, Corazon (née Cojuango) (1933–2009). Filipina politician. Born to a wealthy and powerful family, she married Benigno Aquino (1932–1983) in 1964. He was a potential presidential candidate against Ferdinand *Marcos, arrested in 1972, sentenced to death and kept in prison for eight years. After his return from the US in August 1983 he was murdered at Manila airport. Officers accused of complicity in the assassination were later acquitted. In 1986 Corazon Aquino contested the presidential election against Marcos who was declared the winner after a fraudulent poll. The withdrawal of US, Church and military support from Marcos led to a virtually bloodless coup and Mrs Aquino took office (February 1986). In 1992 she was succeeded by Fidel *Ramos. Her son, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III (1960– ), known as Noynoy, was President 2010–16.
Arafat, Yasser (1929–2004). Palestinian politician, born in Jerusalem. Educated as an engineer at Cairo University, he became Chairman of the Palestine Student Federation, and in Kuwait trained Palestinian commandos. He rose to the leadership of the Al Fatah commando group and in 1968 was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, claiming credit for later acts of terrorism against Israel. Arafat’s moderate wing of the PLO agreed to a peace settlement with Israel in the Gaza strip and the West Bank (September 1993). He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak *Rabin and Shimon *Peres. However, continuing acts of terrorism and interfada resistance to Jewish settlements on the West Bank led to a virtual war, and under Ariel *Sharon, Israeli troops occupied Palestinian cities (April 2002) and held Arafat in effective detention. He died in France and was buried in Egypt.
Arago, Dominique François Jean (1786–1853). French physicist and politician, born at Perpignan. He was educated at Toulouse and Paris, where he became (1804) secretary to the Observatory. Sent in 1806 to measure an arc of the meridian between Barcelona and the Balearics, he was arrested as a spy when war broke out between France and Spain. On his release he became a member of and later secretary of the Académie des Sciences and (1830– 50) was director of the Observatory. He helped to confirm the wave theory of light and discovered several important electromagnetic effects. In politics he was a man of the left and took part in the revolution that deposed *Charles X in 1830. He was a deputy 1830–51 and Minister of War in the government that in 1848 abolished slavery in the French empire. In 1852 he refused to take the oath of allegiance to *Napoléon III.
Aragon, Louis (1897–1982). French poet, novelist and essayist. An early Dadaist and later a Surrealist he turned to political activities and joined the Communist Party (1930). He was decorated for war service (1940). Among the best known of his works are Les Beaux Quartiers (1936), for which he was awarded the Prix Renaudet, and Les Voyageurs de l’Imperiale (1943), published in English as Passengers of Destiny. He also wrote some notable war poems.
Roy, C., Aragon. 1945; Juin, H., Aragon. 1960.
Aram, Eugene (1704–1759). English philologist, teacher and murderer, born in Yorkshire. Largely self-educated, he ran his own school and pursued philological studies, arguing that Celtic was an Indo-European language. He was convicted of murdering a friend, Daniel Clark, and hanged at York. This murder and its discovery were the subject of Thomas Hood’s poem The Dream of Eugene Aram and Bulwer *Lytton’s novel Eugene Aram.
Arbatov, Georgiy Arkadyevich (1923–2010). Russian academician and administrator. He worked in publishing, the CPSU secretariat and the Academy of Sciences, and as Director of the Institute of US and Canadian Studies (ISKAN) 1967–95, played an important role in opening up Soviet political life and was an architect of perestroika. He advised Mikhail *Gorbachev and Boris *Yeltsin.
Arbuthnot, John (1667–1735). Scottish physician and author. After an Oxford education he became an MD at St Andrews (1696). Settling in London he was elected FRS in 1704. An urgent summons to attend the prince consort, George of Denmark, resulted in his becoming physician to Queen *Anne. With literary as well as scientific tastes he became a close friend of *Pope and *Swift, was the chief author of the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus and wrote the History of John Bull (1712).
Arcadius (377–408). Eastern Roman Emperor 383–408. Son of *Theodosius I, he inherited the eastern portion of the empire, while the western part was assigned to his younger brother Honorius. His reign at Constantinople marks the permanent separation of the two parts of the Roman world and so the beginning of what came to be known as the Byzantine Empire.
Archer, Jeffrey, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (1940– ). English novelist and politician. Educated at Oxford and a Conservative MP 1969–74, he wrote a series of successful novels to stave off bankruptcy, became a life peer in 1992 and was imprisoned for perjury 2001–03.
Archer, William (1856–1924). British journalist, critic and dramatist, born in Perth, Scotland. Educated at Edinburgh University, he worked in London, translated *Ibsen’s plays and promoted Bernard *Shaw. His melodrama The Green Goddess (1921) was a great commercial success.
Archimedes of Syracuse (287–212 BCE). Greek mathematician and physicist, born in Syracuse, Sicily. He studied in Alexandria and made many discoveries, notably in mechanics and hydrostatics. He deduced the laws of levers, devised the compound pulley, and invented the Archimedian Screw still widely used by primitive peoples for raising water. He is best known, however, for his statement of the principle (Archimedes’ Principle) that a body immersed in a fluid appears to lose weight equal to the weight of the liquid it displaces. He thus discovered the property known as specific gravity. In mathematics he calculated the value of π (pi) to a close approximation and discovered the correct formula for the area of a parabola. His ingenious war machines enabled Syracuse to hold out for three years against the Roman besiegers but on its fall (212) Archimedes was slain, in spite of orders by the Roman general that he should be spared. A moon crater and mountain range are named for him.
Dijksterhuis, E. J., Archimedes. 1956; Simms, D. L., Archimedes the Engineer. 1995; Gow, M., Archimedes. The Father of Mathematics. 2005.
Archipenko, Aleksandr Porfirievich (1887–1964). Russian sculptor. His technique followed the same trends as those set by the Cubist painters. A gradual simplification of human contours brought him to the point of expressing the nude figure entirely in geometrical shapes.
Archipenko, A., Archipenko: Fifty Creative Years, 1908–1958. 1960; Karshan, D. H. (ed.), Archipenko: International Visionary. 1970.
Arcimboldo, Giuseppe (1527–1593). Italian painter, born in Milan. He designed stained glass for Milan Cathedral, then became court painter to *Maximilian I and *Rudolf II in Prague. A Mannerist, his grotesque assemblages of faces and bodies made up of fruits, animals or objects influenced Surrealists in the 20th century.
Ardashir see Artaxerxes
Ardern, Jacinda Kate Laurell (1980– ). New Zealand Labour politician, born in Hamilton. Raised as a Mormon, educated at the University of Waikato, she was a protégé of, and staffer for, Helen *Clark, elected MP 2008– , Deputy Leader and, after six months, Leader of the Labour Party 2017– . With the support of the Greens and Winston *Peters’ New Zealand First Party, she became Prime Minister 2017– . She gave birth in 2018, an exceptional event for a government leader. Her empathic and measured response to the massacre of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019 gained her international praise.
Duff, M., Jacinda Ardern. 2019.
Arendt, Hannah (1906–1975). American political philosopher, born in Germany. A student of Karl *Jaspers and lover of Martin *Heidegger (1924–28), she left Germany in 1933, working first in France, then the US from 1941. Her books included The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), The Human Condition (1958), Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963) and On Violence (1970).
Arensky, Anton Stepanovich (1861–1906). Russian composer and pianist. He is now mainly remembered for his Piano Trio in D minor (1894) and String Quartet No. 2, incorporating Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky, for violin, viola and two cellos (1894). He taught *Scriabin and *Rachmaninoff and drank himself to death in Finland. An Antarctic glacier is named for him.
Aretino, Pietro (1492–1556). Italian writer and wit, born at Arezzo. Living in Rome and Venice, he became known as ‘the scourge of princes’, and by a mixture of flattery and literary blackmail won patronage from such formidable characters as *François I of France and the emperor *Charles V. His vivacious and satiric dialogues, plays and verses are of great value to the social historian.
Argerich, Martha (1941– ). Argentinian pianist, of Catalan-Jewish descent, born in Buenos Aires. A pupil of *Michelangeli, she developed an extraordinarily powerful technique, toured extensively and made many recordings. Her extensive repertoire excluded the sonatas of *Beethoven and *Schubert. She preferred *Ravel to *Debussy and collaborative performances to solo recitals.
Argyll, 1st Marquess and 8th Earl of, Archibald Campbell (1607–1661). Scottish nobleman. The Campbells of Lochow were strong supporters of the Reformation and the Covenant. During the Civil War he raised an army against *Charles I but after early defeats by the Royalist forces under *Montrose, became ruler of Scotland after 1645. He collaborated with *Cromwell, although opposing Charles’ execution, then invited the future *Charles II to Scotland and crowned him at Scone (1651). Never trusted, he was beheaded after the Restoration. His son Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl (1629–1685), was also sentenced to death in 1661 but worked with Charles II after his reprieve. He opposed *James II, sympathised with *Monmouth and the Rye House conspirators and was executed without trial. His son Archibald Campbell, 10th Earl and 1st Duke of Argyll (1658–1703), joined *William of Orange in Holland and was active in the Glorious Revolution in 1688. His son, John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and 1st Duke of Greenwich (1680–1743) helped to secure the union of 1707, fought under *Marlborough, supported the Hanoverian succession and was created field marshal (1736).
Arias Sanchez, Oscar (1941– ). Costa Rican politician. Educated in England, he was President of Costa Rica 1986–90, 2006–10 and won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in settling differences with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Ariès, Philippe (1914–1984). French historian. A public servant, he was essentially an amateur, who made original contributions to the study of attitudes to death and also to the study of childhood, a concept which, he argued, developed as late as the 17th century.
Arinze, Francis (1932– ). Nigerian cardinal. Baptised in 1941, he was ordained priest 1958, became a bishop in 1965 at the very early age of 32, Archbishop of Onitsha 1967–85 and became a cardinal in 1985. He was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in Rome, 2002–08.
Ariosto, Ludovico (1474–1533). Italian epic poet, born in Reggio Emilia. He came of a good family of Ferrara and was intended for the law, but gained little from five years at the city’s university. His father now secured employment for him with the d’Este family then ruling Ferrara. He served Cardinal Ippolito 1503–17 and his brother Duke Alfonso 1518–22. Here he found the literary background which helped inspire his great epic Orlando Furioso. Orlando is the Roland of the Charlemagne legends and in form the work is the continuation of (but far superior to) Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato. Ariosto’s poem continues the story of Angelica, the beautiful princess of Cathay who has been carried off to the court of Charlemagne, then engaged in a war with the Saracens. In the new poem Angelica escapes, Orlando, who is in love with her, forgets his duties and pursues, but discovers her married to a Moorish youth, with whom she is idyllically in love. He becomes a raving madman (furioso) but eventually returns to sanity and duty and overcomes and kills the Saracen king. Nothing else of Ariosto’s work compares with this great epic. Late in life he loved and married Alessandra Benucci and his last years were spent happily with her and in revising his poems.
Aristarchus of Samos (c.310–230 BCE). Greek astronomer. He taught at Alexandria and held the then unacceptable view that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. Aristarchus was the first astronomer on record to estimate (crudely) the relative sizes of the sun and moon and their distance from earth.
Aristide, Jean-Bertrand (1953– ). Haitian politician and priest. Elected President of Haiti in a free election in October 1991, he was deposed by the army and restored only after a UN backed invasion by US forces (September 1994). In February 1996 he handed power over to his elected successor, René Préval.
Aristides (known as ‘the Just’) (c.530–468 BCE). Athenian leader. He distinguished himself against the Persians at the battle of Marathon (490) but was exiled by his fellow citizens (one of whom was alleged to have said that he was tired of hearing him called ‘the Just’), probably for opposing the bold naval policy of *Themistocles. He was allowed to return, held a command at Salamis (480), and led the Athenians to victory against the Persians at Phataea (479). He played a major part in the formation of the Delian league for united action against the Persians.
Aristophanes (c.448–c.388 BCE). Athenian dramatist. One of the greatest writers of comedy, his plays have remained popular and are still frequently revived. Little is known of his life and of his character only that which can be deduced from the plays. He was clearly a conservative, which then meant that he favoured the interests of the agricultural rather than the commercial classes, and, since it was the countryside that suffered from the annual incursions of the Spartans, he wanted peace in the apparently never ending Peloponnesian War. The earliest of his 11 plays to survive is The Acharnians (425), which tells of the efforts of the villagers of Acharnae to make a separate peace, and enables Aristophanes to ridicule the war party. In The Knights (424) a satiric presentation of the demagogic fire-eater Cleon provides a principal theme. The Clouds (423) is a satire on *Socrates. In The Wasps (422) the law is the target, and when a juryman is persuaded to try cases in his own home great fun is provided by the trial of a dog. The Birds (414) tells of how the birds in contest with the gods build Cloud-Cuckoo Land between earth and heaven, and starve the enemy into submission by preventing the smoke of sacrifice from reaching them. The Frogs (405), where the god Dionysus is asked to decide the rival merits of *Aeschylus and *Euripides, provides abundant opportunity for parody. Perhaps the most amusing to a modern audience is Lysistrata (411), where the women refuse intercourse with their husbands until peace is declared. The plays are written in verse, and in style are comparable with the greatest of the Greek tragedies.
Murray, G., Aristophanes. New ed. 1966.
Aristotle (384–322 BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Stagira, Northern Greece. Son of Nicomachus, a physician in the Macedonian court, he learned biology from his father and studied at the academy of *Plato from the age of 17 until Plato died, 20 years later. He then became tutor of Alexander, later *Alexander the Great. He came back to Athens and in 335 established his own school, the Lyceum, essentially a research institution, covering many disciplines. His followers became known as peripatetics after the peripatos (covered walk), where—perhaps pacing up and down—he taught. In 323, after the death of Alexander deprived him of the protection of his former pupil, Aristotle left Athens and took refuge on the island of Euboea, where he died. His work, known as Aristotelianism, covers many subjects, including philosophy, several sciences, poetry and drama. His influence on western civilisation has been immense, especially in establishing scientific method. In the Middle Ages his doctrines were combined with Christian theology, notably by St Thomas *Aquinas. In his philosophy, he set out a system of categories or basic classifications into which all things fall. Some things, for example, are classed as substances: those entities, if they are such, are the foundations or possessors of each ordinary thing’s various properties but not properties themselves. In his Metaphysics (merely meaning that which comes after physics), he also elaborated doctrines on the distinction between form and matter, on the development of potentialities into actualities, and on various kinds of cause. At the bottom of an ascending scale was ‘prime matter’, with potentiality but no ‘form’ or function other than existence and therefore incomprehensible. At the top, and equally incomprehensible, was the equivalent of God, with potentiality fully realised and therefore no potency, but to be regarded as ‘pure act’ (in these terms the soul’ is regarded as the ‘act’ of the body). In between, the terms ‘form’ and ‘matter’ may be sometimes interchangeable. A familiar example is that brick is ‘form’ when related to the clay of which it is made but ‘matter’ in relation to the building of which it forms a part. In logic Aristotle claimed to be the first to work out the theory of reasoning by syllogisms, arguments of a particular form whose conclusions follow necessarily or certainly from their premises. Aristotle’s Ethics contains the doctrine that virtue consists in a mean between excess and deficiency, and in his Politics he argues for a form of government which is an oligarchy of merit, preferably with the consent of the governed. Of Aristotle’s science, his biology was uneven. His system of classification was impressive, but his teaching that the brain was essentially a cooling mechanism for the blood, and not the centre of reason (which he located in the heart), although contrary to *Hippocrates and rejected by *Galen, was dominant for nearly 2000 years. In The Generation of Animals he taught that females were ‘deformed males’, a concept adopted by Galen and Aquinas. However, he seemed to have grasped the central feature of genetics, that encoded ‘information’ can be transmitted (and transformed). He dissected more than 50 species of animals and first identified the placenta. His view that the sun rotates round the earth, which is fixed in space, was one of a number of doctrines that were taken as unquestionable in the Middle Ages and had the effect of delaying scientific advance. His views on drama, contained in his Poetics, led to the ‘rules’ of the Renaissance, including those of the unities of time and place.
Green, M., A Portrait of Aristotle. 1963; Ross, W. D., Aristotle. 1964; Downey, G., Aristotle. 1965.
Arius (d.335). Greek theologian, born in Libya. He studied in Asia Minor and returned to Alexandria to work and teach. He gave his name to the great Arian controversy which rent Christendom during the 4th century. It related to the status of the members of the Trinity, whether God the Father was co-equal with God the Son or in some sense (as Arius maintained) his superior. At the Council of Nicaea (325) the dispute was dramatised as the battle of the iota (i), whether the Father and Son were of the same substance (homoousioi) or of like substance (homoiousioi). The decision (formulated in the Nicene Creed) was against Arius, whose doctrines became heretical. Alexander, the bishop there, was a principal opponent. After Nicaea Arius was exiled to the Danube and died excommunicated, but the Arian controversy lived on.
MacCulloch, D., A History of Christianity. The First Three Thousand Years. 2009.
Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792). English inventor, born in Preston. Originally a barber, by the late 1760s he was devoting his attention exclusively to improving cotton spinning processes and invented the water driven spinning frame in Preston in 1768. To escape Luddite antagonism he migrated to Nottingham and built (1771), in partnership with Jedediah Strutt, a factory with water power in Cromford, Derbyshire. His various inventions were copied, litigation went against him, and one of his factories was destroyed by a mob. However, his work was recognised by a knighthood (1786).
Arlen, Michael (Dikran Kouyoumdjian) (1895–1956). British novelist and short story writer of Armenian extraction. He became a British citizen in 1922, but spent most of his later life in New York, where he died. In an elegant but artificial style he portrayed in such novels as The Green Hat and These Charming People the sophisticated, amoral but highly decorative young people of the English upper classes in the years following World War I.
Arlington, Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of (1618–1685). English politician. He gave great service to *Charles II in procuring and managing his mistresses, and became one of the ‘Cabal’ (the clique that advised the king in the early years of his reign: see *Clifford of Chudleigh). He was impeached (1674) by the House of Commons for his concealed advice in support of a return to Roman Catholicism, corruption and breach of trust, but was acquitted. Notorious for duplicity, superficiality and opportunism, he was a faithful husband (unusual in his cohort) and became a Catholic on his deathbed.
Arminius (Hermann) (c.18 BCE–19 CE). German chief. Educated in Rome, he served under *Tiberius in Germany and received Roman citizenship. Under his leadership his tribe, the Cherusci, annihilated three Roman legions under Varus in 9 CE, a defeat which led *Augustus to abandon the conquest of Germany north of the Elbe. He was killed in a feud with his own kinsmen.
Arminius, Jacobus (Jakob Hermandzoon), (1560–1609). Dutch theologian. Originally a Calvinist, he turned violently against *Calvin’s doctrine of predestination and taught that any person who repents of his sins and accepts Christ as saviour is granted forgiveness by God and eternal life. These doctrines were violently assailed by Calvinists and in 1608 he asked that a synod should be convoked to decide the issue. However, worn out by anxiety and illness, he died before it was held. The controversy continued after his death but with decreasing bitterness as his views, with some modification, gained wider and wider acceptance notably by *Wesley and his Methodists.
Armstrong, Edwin Howard (1890–1954). American electrical engineer. Educated at Columbia University, he used Lee *De Forest’s triode vacuum tube to develop a regenerative or ‘feedback’ circuit which enabled (1912) radio signals to be amplified x 1000 or more. (This led to unsuccessful litigation with De Forest.) In 1916 he invented the ‘superheterodyne’ circuit, still the basis of television and radio equipment. In 1933 he patented ‘frequency modulation’ (FM) as a means of overcoming natural static and set up the first FM transmitter in 1939. He committed suicide.
Armstrong, Lance Edward (originally Gunderson) (1971– ). American cyclist, born in Texas. After recovering from testicular cancer (1997), he returned to professional cycling with unparalleled zeal, assisted by performance enhancing drugs, and his seven consecutive wins in the Tour de France (1999–2005) established him in the international sporting pantheon. Revelations about drug use in cycling, and Armstrong’s successful attempts to avoid detection, led to a major report in 2012 by the US Anti-Doping Agency, and all his victories since 1998 were annulled. Initially, Armstrong strongly denied the allegations, then conceded their accuracy, but without signs of repentance, in a television interview with Oprah *Winfrey.
Armstrong, Louis (1900–1971). American jazz trumpeter and singer, born in New Orleans. Known as ‘Satchmo’ (i.e. ‘satchel mouth’) he moved to Chicago to join King Oliver in 1922 and later formed the ‘Hot Five’ and the ‘Hot Seven’. Apart from a period in the 1930s when he deserted ensemble playing to pursue a career as a virtuoso soloist, he and the groups he led remained in the forefront of the New Orleans style.
Jones, M. and Chilton, J., Louis. 1971.
Armstrong, Neil Alden (1930–2012). American astronaut. The first man to set foot on the moon, he was a licensed pilot from the age of 16 and studied aeronautics at Purdue University. He was active in the Korean war and in 1962 joined the US National Aerospace Program, and was commander of Gemini 8 in which he completed the first manual space docking manoeuvre. In July l969 he lifted off from Cape Kennedy US with Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins in Apollo 11 and four days later landed on the moon. As he stepped on to its surface he said ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. He worked as a NASA executive and was professor of engineering at Cincinnati University 1971–79. He died in Cincinnati after failed heart surgery.
Armstrong, N. A., Change in the Space Age. 1973.
Armstrong, William George Armstrong, 1st Baron (1810–1900). English engineer and inventor, born at Newcastle upon Tyne. He turned from the law to engineering and devised a steam jet electric engine followed by a hydraulic crane and a hydraulic accumulator (1845–50). The Elswick works were built to make civil engineering machinery, but soon became better known for military guns, particularly heavy artillery. His first rifled gun was manufactured in 1854. The wire wound barrel was another of Armstrong’s improvements. An early advocate of renewable energy, particularly hydroelectricity and solar, he predicted an end to the use of coal. He received a peerage in 1887. His firm became Armstrong-Whitworth, later Vickers-Armstrong, and built battleships for the Japanese, which proved decisive in the defeat of the Russian fleet at Tsushima (1905).
Arnau of Villanova (1240–1311). Catalan physician and astronomer. In the 1280s he was physician to Peter III of Aragon, and from 1291 taught medicine at Montpellier University. He seems to have been a successful medical practitioner curing Pope *Boniface VIII of a stone—but was chiefly important for his attempt to integrate empirical medicine with the medical philosophy of the Greeks and Arabs. Being familiar with Arabic, he translated works of *Galen and *Avicenna into Latin. Much of his medical teaching consisted of exposition of the works of *Hippocrates and Galen, and this pioneering approach was taken up and became the basis of 14th-century medical education. Arnau’s chief theoretical medical interest was the attempt to conceptualise the body as being in a state of equilibrium between opposed forces (primarily those of hot and cold), which determines the resultant condition of health. Towards the end of his life, his interests took a more philosophical, mystical and theological turn. He investigated the occult world, wrote on astrology, and made a prophecy that the world would end in 1378. His theological heterodoxy involved him in difficulties with the Paris theologians.
Arne, Thomas Augustine (1710–1778). English composer. Educated at Eton, he worked in a lawyer’s office before turning to music. He wrote Rule, Britannia (from his masque Alfred, Constant *Lambert called it ‘the best written of all national songs’), incidental music for plays (e.g. including *Shakespeare’s song Where the Bee Sucks … ) and many other songs in addition to oratorios, light operas and the serious opera Comus based on the poem by John *Milton.
Arnim, Countess von see Russell, Mary Annette
Arnim, Elizabeth von (née Mary Annette Beauchamp, later Countess von Arnim, then Countess Russell) (1866–1941). English-Australian novelist, born in Sydney. Writing under the pen name ‘Elizabeth’, which she later adopted as her own, and a cousin of Katherine *Mansfield, she was brought up in England. In 1891, she married Count Henning von Arnim-Schlagenthin (d.1910). While on his country estate, she wrote Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898)—ironic and charming, both a critical success and a bestseller. She returned to England in 1910, became a lover of H. G. *Wells and, in 1916, married Frank, 2nd Earl Russell, a disastrous union. (They separated in 1919 but never divorced.) Her later books include Vera (1921), The Enchanted April (1922, later a film and stage play) and Mr Skeffington (1940, later a film). She died of influenza, in the US.
Arno, Peter (Curtis Arnoux Peters) (1904–1968). American cartoonist. One of the earliest recruits to the New Yorker magazine, on whose staff he continued to work, his clever linear characterisation combined with metropolitan humour helped to establish the magazine’s reputation.
Arnold, Benedict (1741–1801). American soldier. Eventually a traitor during the American War of Independence, he fought with gallantry first with Ethan *Allen’s ‘Green Mountain Boys’, in Canada, and under *Washington, and was an excellent officer. The Senate, ignoring Washington’s recommendations, promoted several other officers ahead of him but he was soon breveted Major General and fought with distinction at Saratoga, where he received wounds which limited him to less active commands. In 1780, as Commander of West Point, he seemed embittered by lack of recognition and conspired with the British Major *André to surrender the post. The plot was discovered but Arnold escaped to the British, by whom he was given command of British troops. He lived in England after the war.
Arnold, Henry Harley (1886–1950). American airman, born in Pennsylvania. A pilot from 1911, ‘Hap’ Arnold was Commanding General of the US Army Air Force 1942–46 and promoted five-star General of the Army in 1944.
Arnold, Sir Malcolm (1921–2006). English composer. A trumpet player in the London Philharmonic and BBC Symphony orchestras, he wrote many orchestral compositions, including the ballet Homage to the Queen, English Dances (1953), nine symphonies and 18 concertos. He received an Oscar for music for the film Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).
Arnold, Matthew (1822–1888). English critic, educationist and poet, born at Laleham on Thames. Educated at Rugby under his father Thomas *Arnold, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he became a disciple of *Wordsworth. As an inspector of schools 1851–86, he was an important liberal influence in enriching the curriculum and pointing to the need for educating the working class. He became professor of poetry at Oxford 1857–67 and set high standards in his lectures on *Homer and his collected Essays in Criticism (1865) which emphasised the social function of the critic. His own poetry was criticised for its harshness, gloom and difficulty but his Dover Beach (1851—published 1867), is one of the greatest 19th-century poems, set to music in 1931 by Samuel *Barber. Arnold attacked middle class cultural values as ‘philistine’ (his own coinage) in Culture and Anarchy (1869). In his later years he was deeply troubled by his own spiritual restlessness and a fear of anarchy.
Rowse, A. L., Matthew Arnold. 1976; Honan, P. Matthew Arnold, a life. 1981; Collini, S., Arnold. 1988; Murray, N., A Life of Matthew Arnold. 1996.
Arnold, Thomas (1795–1842). English educator. Headmaster of Rugby School 1828–41, he created the educational pattern, followed by other British public schools, which encouraged the emergence of a class of capable and devoted administrators to meet the needs of the growing empire. To give older boys responsibility and self-discipline he introduced a prefectorial system while his own sermons and strict religious instruction supplied a moral background. The educational structure, based upon the classical form-master, had obvious limitations. A glowing picture of Rugby under Arnold is presented by Thomas *Hughes in Tom Brown’s Schooldays.
Bamford, T. W., Thomas Arnold in Education. 1970.
Arnold of Brescia (c.1100–1155). Italian religious revolutionary. After studying under *Abelard in France he returned to his birthplace, Brescia, where he entered an Augustinian monastery and eventually became Abbot. An embroilment with his bishop led to a period of exile, during which, after a quarrel with St *Bernard, he was banished from France. Meanwhile a revolution in Rome had suppressed the power of the pope and created a republic on the lines of that of ancient Rome. Returned from exile, Arnold threw himself into the fray (c.1147) as a violent supporter of the new regime and denouncer of the pope’s temporal power. He accordingly had to flee when the new pope, *Adrian IV, brought about the republic’s collapse. Arnold fell into the hands of the emperor *Friedrich I (Barbarossa), was delivered over to the papal prefect and hanged.
Arnolfo di Cambio (Arnolfo di Lapo) (c.1232–1302). Italian architect and sculptor. A pupil of Pisano, he designed Florence Cathedral (from 1296) and, also at Florence, built the Franciscan Church of S. Croce (1294 ff.) and the Palazzo Vecchio (also called the Palazzo della Signoria, 1298 ff.)
Aron, Raymond (Claude Ferdinand) (1905–1983). French political philosopher, teacher and journalist. He taught at Toulouse and Paris, worked in London for *de Gaulle (1940–44), broke with his friend *Sartre, and became the most prominent exponent of rationalist humanism. He was deeply opposed to all authoritarian regimes and supported Israel and Algerian independence.
Arp, Jean (Hans) (1886–1966). German-French sculptor, painter, poet, collage and woodcut artist, born in Strasbourg. He moved to Paris in 1904, studied in Weimar, then returned to Paris. In Zürich in 1916, with Tristan *Tzara, he was a founder of the Dada movement which later morphed into Surrealism. His versatility was immense, but he was known primarily as a sculptor, whose forms, though deriving largely from Surrealism, had an abstract purity of surface and contour. He also produced collages and wood-reliefs as well as works in more traditional media, and he wrote poetry.
Arp, J., Arp on Arp. Problems, Essays, Memories. 1972; Robertson, E., Arp: Painter, Poet, Sculptor. 2006.
Árpád (c.845–c.907). Hungarian prince. A leader of the Magyar tribes, he was invited by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI ‘the Wise’ to drive out the Bulgarians and occupy the Carpathian basin. His dynasty reigned in Hungary from c.895 to 1301. The Hungarians, originally Tengriians, were Christianised in the 10th century.
Arrau (Léon), Claudio (1903–1991). Chilean pianist. After his Santiago debut (1908), he studied in Berlin, and emerged in the front rank of pianists during the 1940s. His performances and recordings of *Beethoven, *Chopin and *Brahms were greatly admired.
Arrhenius, Svante August (1859–1927). Swedish physical chemist. He evolved a satisfactory explanation, published in 1887, of electrolytic dissociation from the many electrochemical observations of the 19th century. He put forward the idea, which is the basis of present-day ‘Ionic Theory’, that when salts are dissolved in water they split up almost completely into particles, which *Faraday had previously named ‘ions’. In 1896 he made the first quantitative prediction of global warming due to increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, calling it the ‘hot-house’ effect, renamed by his colleague Nils Gustaf Ekholm as the ‘Greenhouse effect’ in 1901. Much of his early work was done in Germany but he returned to Sweden in 1891 and served as director of the Nobel Institute at Stockholm 1905–27. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903 for his research on ‘the electrolytic theory of dissociation’. He pioneered (1903) research on the concept of panspermia, first proposed by the ancient Greeks, the hypothesis that life forms arrived on earth in space debris.
Arrow, Kenneth Joseph (1921–2017). American economist, born in New York. Of Romanian-Jewish ancestry, he studied at Columbia University, worked in Chicago and was Professor of Economics at Harvard 1968–79 and Stanford 1979–91. He shared the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1972 with Sir John *Hicks ‘for their pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory’. Elected FRS in 2006, he taught five Nobel Laureates.
Arroyo, (Maria) Gloria Macapagal- (1947– ). Filipina politician. Daughter of Diosdado Macapagal (1910–1997) who was President 1961–65, she served as president herself 2001–10 and was arrested for electoral fraud in 2011.
Artaud, Antonin Marie Joseph (1896–1948). French actor, producer and theorist, born in Marseille. He advocated the ‘theatre of cruelty’, in which performances were ritualistic and cathartic for audiences and not mere expositions of a text. He gave an electrifying performance as Marat in Abel *Gance’s film Napoléon (1927). He was confined to mental hospitals from 1936.
Artaxerxes. Name of several Persian kings, Artaxerxes I (reigned 464–424 BCE) brought the war with Greece to an end with the loss of Thrace and parts of Asia Minor. Artaxerxes II (d.358 BCE) defeated his rebellious brother *Cyrus and gained the Greek cities of Asia Minor. A much later Artaxerxes or Ardashir (d.242 CE) overthrew the last of the Parthian kings (226 CE), conquered Media and, as founder of the Sassanian dynasty, restored the Persian monarchy.
Artemesia. (fl. c.480 BCE). Queen of Halicarnassus. She fought with the Persians against the Greeks in the naval Battle of Salamis (480 BCE).
Artemisia (Queen of Caria) see Mausolus
Arthur (6th century). British legendary hero. He may represent the folk memory of one or more Romanised British chieftains who, after the departure of the legions, put up a heroic resistance to the invading Anglo-Saxons, in their westward advance. This would explain the number of places, from Astolat (Guildford) to the extreme Cornish west, associated with his name. The hero of romantic legend is first mentioned by the 9th-century *Nennius, but the first long account was given (c.1135) by *Geoffrey of Monmouth. The legends were embellished by such medieval writers as Chretien de *Troyes, and a great number of the stories were woven together by Sir Thomas *Malory in his vast Morte D’Arthur, printed by Caxton in 1485. Tennyson (Idylls of the King etc.) and others took up the tale and even in our own day the musical play Camelot is a reminder that the legends are still alive. Costume, armour and codes of conduct in the Arthurian stories are mainly those of the 12th–14th centuries.
White, T. H., The Once and Future King. 1958; Barber, R., King Arthur in Legend and History. 1973.
Arthur, Chester Alan (1830–1886). 21st President of the US 1881–85. Son of a Vermont clergyman, and a lawyer by profession, he held the lucrative post of collector of customs at the Port of New York 1871–78. During this period he became involved in the controversy within the Republican party over the use of patronage (i.e. the allocation of offices etc. to gain political support) and in opposition to President Rutherford *Hayes, a purist in such matters, who dismissed him for abuse of his official position. However, at the 1880 convention the choice of James A. *Garfield for the presidential nomination was offset by that of Arthur, as a prominent supporter of patronage, for vice presidency. The Republicans won the 1880 election, and after Garfield’s assassination, Arthur became President, but to the dismay of his former associates proved himself a determined enemy of corruption and patronage.
Reeves, T. C., Gentleman Boss, Chester Alan Arthur. 1975.
Arthur, Sir George, 1st Baronet (1784–1854). English soldier and administrator. As Lieutenant Governor 1823–25 and Governor 1825–36 of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), he organised the ‘Black Drive’ and established Port Arthur, a large convict settlement (1830). He served as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada 1837–42 and Governor of Bombay 1842–46.
Arthur of Brittany (1187–1203). Duke of Brittany. A grandson of *Henry II of England as his dead father, Geoffrey, was *John’s elder brother, so, on *Richard I’s death, Arthur had a claim to the throne which was supported by *Philippe II of France. The story of his imprisonment by his uncle and of his death is told with much poignancy (but considerable historical distortion) in *Shakespeare’s King John.
Asbury, Francis (1745–1816). American prelate. The first Methodist bishop consecrated (1784) in America, John *Wesley sent him from England and in the course of his missionary journeys he is said to have travelled 270,000 miles.
Asch, Sholem (1880–1957). Polish-Jewish Yiddish writer, born in Poland. His first novel, an admitted masterpiece, Dos Shtetl (The Township) was published in 1904, but it was Max *Reinhardt’s Berlin production (1907) of his play The God of Vengeance which brought him fame. He lived in the US (1914–56), moved to Israel and died in London. Among his books are The Mother, Mottke the Thief and East River.
Rosenberg, S., Sholem Asch at Close Quarters. 1959.
Ascham, Roger (1515–1568). English scholar, born near Thirsk, in Yorkshire. He received his early education in the family of Sir Anthony Wingfield, who sent him to Cambridge University, where he became reader in Greek at St John’s College (c.1538). His Toxophilus (1545), an agreeable dialogue on archery, dedicated to *Henry VIII, as well as his growing reputation as a teacher, brought him wider recognition and in 1548 he became tutor to Princess *Elizabeth. After returning from a diplomatic mission (1550–53) he became Latin secretary to *Edward VI, an office which, though a Protestant, he was prudent enough to retain under *Mary. He was still in office under Elizabeth when he died. The Scholemaster, published posthumously, is a humanist and humane treatise on education.
Ryan, L. V., Roger Ascham. 1963.
Ashbery, John Lawrence (1927–2017). American poet and art critic. Educated at Harvard, Columbia and New York 1974–90. He worked in publishing, lived in France 1955–65, became an art critic and was professor of creative writing at the City University of New York 1974–90. He won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize with Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. His Selected Poems (138 poems chosen from earlier volumes) appeared in 1985. Regarded as the greatest American poet since Robert *Lowell, Ashbery was relatively prolific.
Ashcroft, Dame Peggy (Edith Margaret Emily) (1907–1991). English actor. She made her London debut in 1926 and played with outstanding success in *Ibsen, *Shakespeare and *Chekhov. Her films include The Nun’s Story (1959), Hullabaloo about George and Bonnie’s Pictures (1976) and A Passage to India (1984), which won her an Academy Award. She was made a DBE in 1956. Her lovers included W. R. *Sickert, J. B. *Priestley and Paul *Robeson.
Ashdown, Paddy (Jeremy John Durham), Baron Ashdown (1941– ). English Liberal Democrat politician. After service as a Marine commando, diplomat and manager, he was MP 1983–2001, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 1988–99 and the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002–06.
Ashford, Daisy (pen name of Margaret Mary Devlin) (1881–1972). English writer. She gained sudden and perhaps immortal fame by the publication in 1919, under Sir James *Barrie’s sponsorship, of her book The Young Visiters, a remarkable and hilarious example of literary precocity, said to have been written when she was nine.
Ashkenazy, Vladimir Davidovich (1937– ). Russian-Icelandic pianist and conductor. He left the USSR in 1963, living first in Britain, then in Iceland, finally in Switzerland. He established an international reputation as an interpreter of *Mozart, *Beethoven, *Chopin and the Romantics. He was conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2009–13.
Ashmole, Elias (1617–1692). English antiquarian, born in Lichfield. He started work as a solicitor, joined the excise, but soon retired to studies extending from botany to alchemy. His book on the Order of the Garter revealed his antiquarian interest. The nucleus of the Ashmolean collection was formed by ethnological objects from America, Africa and the South Seas bequeathed to him by his friend, John Tradescant. His name is perpetuated by the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.
Josten, C. H. (ed.), Elias Ashmole, 1617–92. 5 vols, 1967.
Ashton, Sir Frederick William Mallandine (1904–1988). English choreographer and dancer, born in Ecuador. After gaining prominence in creating ballets for and dancing with the Carmargo Society and the Rambert company he became in 1935 choreographer, and later associate director, of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet (known as the Royal Ballet from 1956). He succeeded Ninette *de Valois as director 1963–70. His best known ballets were Cinderella (in which he took the role of one of the ugly sisters), Ondine, Daphnis and Chloe, La Fille mal gardee, Facade and Symphonic Variations. Ashton was knighted in 1962 and received both CH (1970) and OM (1977).
Ashur-bani-pal (or Assurbanipal) (d.626 BCE?). King of Assyria 668–627 BCE. The great-grandson of *Sargon II, his half-brother Shamash-shum-ukin was an essentially subordinate king in Babylon who attempted to gain full independence, failed and suicided (648). He was a scholar, athlete, soldier and administrator who created a great library of 22,000 cuneiform tablets in his capital at Nineveh, texts being collected from throughout the Near East and copies made. Deeply devout and a patron of the arts, his palaces and temples were notable for magnificent sculptured panels (many of which are in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum, New York). He lost Egypt (654) but conquered Phoenicia and Elam: however, the lavishness and expense of his rule created enmity in the provinces and his empire barely survived him. He was sometimes identified with the legendary ruler Sardanapalos.
Asimov, Isaac (1920–1992). American science writer and novelist, born in Russia. Best known as a science fiction writer, he was a professor of biochemistry in Boston. His encyclopaedic grasp of scientific issues was demonstrated in more than 300 books.
Aske, Robert (d.1537). English rebel. A lawyer who led the rising in the north of England known as the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ (1536) in protest against the dissolution of the monasteries by *Henry VIII. Having received assurances, including a promise of his personal safety, he persuaded the rebels to disperse, but was immediately arrested, convicted of treason and hanged.
Prescott, H. F. M., The Man on the Donkey. 1952.
Asoka (c.300–232 BCE). Indian Emperor c.270–232 BCE. Grandson of the conquering Chandragupta Maurya, he became ruler of all India except the extreme South. Repentance for the bloodshed effected a conversion to Buddhism so violent and complete that (from c.257) the whole machinery of government was used as a propaganda machine for spreading the Buddhist faith, by such means as texts carved on walls (many of which survive) and officers sent out to ensure that the rules of piety were observed. His ambassadors became missionaries and so compelling was the impetus set in motion that within 20 years of his death the faith had reached China, whence it spread to Japan and Korea and elsewhere. Asoka sent his own son to Ceylon, which has been a stronghold of Buddhism ever since. The unfortunate result of these pious and peaceful exercises was that the country, having abandoned its means of self-defence, was quickly overrun after Asoka’s death.
Moorkerji, R. K., Asoka. 3rd ed. 1962.
Aspasia see Pericles
Asperger, Hans (Johann Karl Friedrich) (1906–1980). Austrian pediatrician, born in Vienna. An enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi regime, he diagnosed autism spectrum disorder in children (1944), but his initial research paper was largely ignored until the 1980s when the condition, called ‘Asperger’s syndrome’ (AS), became fashionable, and applied as a retrospective diagnosis (*Newton, *Darwin, *Einstein, Bill *Gates). Since 2015 the name AS has been incorporated in broader definitions of autism.
Sheffer, E., Asperger’s Children. 2018.
Asquith, Herbert Henry, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1858–1928). British Liberal politician, born at Morley, Yorkshire. Educated at the City of London School and Balliol College, Oxford, his impressive academic successes included the Craven Scholarship. He became a successful barrister (QC 1890) and first entered parliament in 1886 as Liberal Member for East Fife, serving 1892–95 as Home Secretary under *Gladstone and Lord *Rosebery. During the long spell of Conservative rule that followed, Asquith’s standing so greatly increased that when at last the Liberals returned triumphantly in 1905 he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in *Campbell Bannerman’s Government and, in April 1908, succeeded him as Prime Minister. His ministry, which contained *Lloyd George, Winston *Churchill and Sir Edward *Grey, put through a major program of reform including old age pensions, Welsh Church disestablishment and National Insurance, but the greatest parliamentary battles (in the course of which Asquith was confirmed in power by the two elections of 1910) were over a bill depriving the House of Lords of a final veto and over Irish Home Rule. Declaration of war in August 1914 seems to have come as a surprise to him, but the country was supportive, expecting rapid victory. However, early defeats and disappointments shook the faith of many in Asquith as a director of the war effort, brilliant though his peacetime administration had been. The formation of a coalition government in 1915 was temporarily reassuring, but in December 1916 popular unease and political intrigue brought about his displacement by Lloyd George. From this rift neither Asquith nor the Liberal Party (of which he remained the official leader) ever recovered. He lost his seat at East Fife in 1918 and, though re-elected at Paisley (1920), he was never able to bring his party back to a position of strength. He accepted a peerage in 1925. Asquith enjoyed great happiness in both his marriages. His children by the first, all of whom gained distinction in different fields, included Lady Violet Bonham Carter (1887–1969), later Baroness Asquith, who inherited much of her father’s political talent. His second wife was the brilliant, witty Margot Tennant (1862–1945), whose son Anthony Asquith (1902–1968) became a distinguished film director.
Jenkins, R., Asquith, 1964; Coss, S., Asquith, 1976.
Assad, Hafez al- (1930–2000). Syrian politician and soldier. An Alawite, a minority Muslim sect, he joined the Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba’ath) Party in 1946, served in the air force and became its commander. He was Minister for Defence 1966–70, and after a coup, Prime Minister 1970–71 and President of Syria 1971–2000. One of Israel’s strongest opponents, he had an uneasy relationship with his fellow Ba’athist in Iraq *Saddam Hussein. Hafez planned that his brother Rifaat Ali al-Assad (1937– ) would succeed, but after a serious dynastic feud settled on his own son Bassel al-Assad (1962–1994), army officer, athlete and potential reformer. Bassel died in a car crash, and Hafez’s second son, Bashar al-Assad (1965– ), an ophthalmologist, trained in London, succeeded as President 2000– . After promised political reforms failed to eventuate, and after the Arab Spring movement which toppled regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya, civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, with savage fighting and atrocities on both sides.
Assange, Julian Paul (1971– ). Australian publisher, editor and activist, born in Townsville. He was an early internet hacker, became a computer programmer and studied at Melbourne and Canberra universities. In 2006 he founded WikiLeaks which published material designated ‘secret’ to demonstrate discrepancies between what governments claimed and what they were actually doing. Assange, understandably apprehensive about being tried in the US for espionage, sought and received diplomatic asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London (2012). Expelled from the embassy in April 2019, he was imprisoned for having breached UK bail conditions. Extradition proceedings were initiated by the US (Sweden having withdrawn a similar application).
Astaire, Fred (Frederick Austerlitz) (1899–1987). American dancer. He performed in a number of musical comedies in London and New York with his sister Adele (1898–1981) (who later married Lord Charles Cavendish), and made 37 films: he was partnered by Ginger Rogers (1911–1995) in 10 of them.
Aston, Francis William (1877–1945). English physicist. He extended the work of J. J. *Thomson on isotopes and developed the instrument known as the mass spectrograph to study them. Aston showed that almost all the natural elements consist of mixtures of isotopes. For this work he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1922. His original mass spectrograph is preserved in the Science Museum, London.
Astor. German-American-British family, with important social and business connections in Britain and America. John Jacob Astor (1763–1848), son of a German butcher from Waldorf, near Heidelberg, arrived in America in 1784 and made a vast fortune in the fur trade and in property speculation in New York. A great-grandson, William Waldorf Astor (1848–1919), was active in American politics and diplomacy before settling in England. In 1917 he was created Viscount Astor. The wife of the 2nd Viscount, Nancy Witcher Astor, née Langhorne (1879–1964), born in Virginia, was a Conservative MP 1919–45 and the first woman to actually sit in the Commons. She received the CH in 1937. Her brother-in-law, John Jacob Astor (1886–1971), was created Baron Astor of Hever in 1956. Among family interests were (elder branch) the Observer and (younger branch) The Times newspapers. Cliveden, with strong social and political associations, was the family seat.
Sykes, C., Nancy. Life of Lady Astor. 1972; Fort, A., Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor. 2012.
Atahualpa (c.1502–1533). Last independent Sapa Inca 1532–33. On the death of his father Huana Capac (d.1527) from smallpox, he became King of Quito while his older half-brother Huáscar (d.1532) received most of the Inca Empire, centred on Cuzco. In May 1532, during a five-year period of brutal civil war, the Spaniards invaded under Francisco *Pizarro. Atahualpa’s troops defeated and seized Huáscar and he became Sapa (or supreme) Inca. When Atahualpa was ambushed and taken prisoner by Pizarro’s men at Cajamarca in November 1532, he proffered a roomful of gold and silver objects (24 tonnes in total) as ransom. Having melted down the treasure, the Spaniards garrotted him to demonstrate their power and to crush possible rescue attempts.
Atatürk, (Mustafa) Kemal (1881–1938). Turkish soldier and politician, born in Thessalonika. Son of a customs official, he joined the Young Turk reform movement in 1908. He gained an army commission and won rapid promotion; he fought against the Italians in Tripoli (1911) and in World War I saved the situation at a critical moment (1915) in the Gallipoli campaign—a result that made him famous. He later served in the Caucasus and Syria. After the Turkish defeat, when Constantinople (Istanbul) was in Allied occupation (1919) and the sultan *Mehmed VI was supine and powerless, he was in Anatolia and led the great movement of national resistance stirred by an invasion by Greece. He threw off allegiance to the sultan, and established a provisional government at Ankara (April 1920). He led the Turks to victory in the War of Independence which resulted, with eventual Allied acquiescence, in the expulsion of the Greeks, the deposition (1922) of the sultan, and the establishment (1923) of a republic with Kemal as first president 1923–38. He made no attempt to regain the Arab lands lost in the war and concentrated his activities on creating a strong modern state in the Turkish homelands of Anatolia and what remained of Turkey in Europe. Ankara became the new capital. His basic policies were 1. maintaining territorial integrity, 2. secularism and 3. democracy. The outward signs of his modernisation, e.g. the unveiling and emancipation of women, the replacing of the fez by western headgear, the adoption of surnames, the introduction of the Gregorian calendar and of Latin script, signalled a reawakening of a people dormant for centuries under corrupt and often oppressive rule. That these changes had taken place so quickly and with so little disturbance was due to the patriotic fervour, the military skill, the driving energy, the shrewd judgment and occasional restlessness of Mustafa Kemal, who auspiciously took the surname ‘Father Turk’ (Atatürk). He died of cirrhosis of the liver.
Kinross, J. P. D., Atatürk: The Rebirth of a Nation. 1964; Mango, A., Atatürk. 1999.
Athanasius of Alexandria, St (c.296–373). Egyptian (or Greek?) Christian theologian, born in Alexandria. His ethnicity remains controversial. One of the strongest opponents of the doctrines of *Arius at the council of Nicaea (the Athanasian Creed, though it expresses his orthodox views, was probably written by St *Ambrose), Athanasius succeeded to the see of Alexandria in 328 but was beset by controversy. Despite the presence of the emperor Constantine at Nicaea, the Arian cause gained increasing imperial support. Athanasius was forced five times into exile and in 356 a price was set on his head. In the last years of his life, however, he remained in peaceful occupation of his see. His early book On the Incarnation is the best known of his many works.
Athelstan see Æthelstan
Athlone, 1st Earl of, Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge (1874–1957). British soldier and courtier, born in London. Originally Prince Alexander of Teck, he was the brother of Queen *Mary, consort of *George V, and married Princess Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline of Albany (1883–1981), granddaughter of Queen *Victoria. He fought in the Boer War and World War I and was Governor-General of South Africa 1923–31 and Chancellor of the University of London 1932–55. Appointed Governor-General of Canada in 1914, he declined to serve during World War I but held the office 1940–45.
Atiyah, Sir Michael Francis (1929–2019). British mathematician. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became professor of geometry at Oxford 1963–69, of mathematics at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study 1969–72, Royal Society research professor at Oxford 1973–90, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1990–97 and President of the Royal Society 1990–95. He received the Copley Medal in 1988 and the OM in 1992.
Atkinson, Sir Harry Albert (1831–1892). New Zealand politician, born in England. He migrated to New Zealand in 1853, held several ministries and was Prime Minister 1876–77, 1883–84 and 1887–91. He took a leading role in abolishing the provincial governments. A convinced social reformer, he was forced to make financial stability his first concern.
Attenborough, Richard Samuel, Baron Attenborough (1923–2014). English actor, producer and director. After many years as an actor, he turned to directing in 1969. His greatest success was Gandhi (1982), which won eight Oscars in 1983. His brother, Sir David Frederick Attenborough (1926– ), natural history broadcaster, television presenter and writer, produced many acclaimed series of natural history programs for television, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Madagascar (2011), Kingdom of Plants (2012) and Africa (2013), which emphasised the beauty and wonder of natural processes, and their vulnerability, from a deep perspective. He was elected FRS in 1983 and awarded a CH in 1996 and the OM in 2005.
Atterbury, Francis (1663–1732). English churchman. He rose to become Bishop of Rochester (1713). On the death of Queen *Anne he became involved in various Jacobite plots, was deprived of his offices and banished (1722). He died in Paris. *Pope, *Swift and *Bolingbroke were among his friends.
Bennett, G. V., Tory Crisis in Church and State, 1688–1730: The Career of Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester. 1976.
Attila (c.406–453). King of the Huns 433–453. Known as ‘the Scourge of God’, he became king, at first jointly with his brother Bleda, whom he murdered (445), of vast hordes living in lands from the Caspian to the Danube. He several times invaded the eastern empire and in 447 he devastated the Balkans as far as Constantinople and Thermopylae, forcing the emperor Theodosius to yield and pay tribute. In 451 he invaded Gaul and reached Orléans but was forced to return by Aetius, the Roman commander, who had opportunely won over Theodoric, King of the Visigoths. Attila’s enormous army was decisively defeated near Chalons-sur-Marne but, though forced to retire into Hungary in 452, he invaded Italy and sacked Aquileia, Milan and Pavia. An advance to Rome was stayed only after a personal interview between the conqueror and Pope *Leo I, although shortage of provisions in his army and plague in northern Italy may have suggested the same course. He was preparing a further invasion of the Balkans when he died of a heart attack on the night of his marriage to the lovely Ildico. His empire collapsed with his death. Attila is the Etzel of German legend, where, as in the Nibelungenlied, he appears as a just ruler and not a ruthless conqueror.
Thompson, E. A., A History of Attila and the Huns. 1948.
Attlee, Clement Richard, 1st Earl Attlee (1883–1967). English Labour politician, born in Putney. Son of a London solicitor, educated at Haileybury and Oxford, he was converted to socialism by his work as secretary of Toynbee Hall in the East End 1901–13 and lectured at the London School of Economics. In World War I he served in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and France, rising to the rank of major. Mayor of Stepney 1919–20, he was elected MP for Limehouse in 1922–50, being the first Oxford graduate to represent Labour in the House of Commons. In Ramsay *MacDonald’s governments became Undersecretary for War 1924, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1930–31 and Postmaster General 1931. When MacDonald formed a National Government with *Baldwin during the financial crisis of 1931, Attlee stayed with Labour and was Deputy Leader of the Opposition 1931–35 under George *Lansbury and Leader of the Labour Party for a record period, 1935–55. Until Munich he generally agreed with *Baldwin and *Chamberlain on foreign policy, then supported stronger resistance to *Hitler. He joined *Churchill’s coalition government as Lord Privy Seal 1940–42 and Deputy Prime Minister 1942–45, taking increasing responsibility for domestic administration. The July 1945 election, the first for 10 years, swept the Conservatives out and Attlee became Prime Minister 1945–51 with an initial majority of 171, reduced to six in the February 1950 election. His government introduced the National Health Act and the National Insurance Act, reduced the power of the House of Lords, nationalised railways, coal, gas and electricity, and promoted law reform and urban planning. Independence was granted to India and Pakistan (1947), Burma (1947) and Ceylon (1948). Attlee, with his Foreign Secretary Ernest *Bevin, generally supported *Truman in the Cold War (including Korea) and joined NATO; however he recognised *Mao in China. Although Labour led in the primary vote in the October 1951 election, Churchill won narrowly. Attlee was again Leader of the Opposition 1951–55 until he retired, ensuring that Hugh *Gaitskell succeeded. Astonishingly laconic for a politician, he was a tough, shrewd administrator. As he wrote in a typically terse limerick:
Few thought he was even a starter:
There were many who thought themselves smarter
But he ended PM,
CH and OM,
An earl and a knight of the garter.
Harris, K. Attlee, 1982; Beckett, C., Clem Attlee, 1997; Jago, M., Clement Attlee: the Inevitable Prime Minister, 2015; Bew, J., Citizen Clem. 2016; McKinstry, L., Attlee and Churchill. 2019.
Atwood, Margaret Eleanor (1939– ). Canadian novelist, poet, critic, environmentalist, born in Ottawa. Educated at Toronto and Harvard universities, she taught in Canada, Britain, the US and Australia and won awards for her poetry, novels and short stories. Her novels include Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1986) and Catseye (1988). The Blind Assassin (2000) won the Booker Prize. She received many awards, including a CH in 2019. The Testaments (2019) was a long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.
Auber, Daniel François Esprit (1782–1871). French composer, born at Caen. He wrote several vigorous ‘comic operas’, including Fra Diavolo (1830) and Les Diamants de la Couronne (1841). La Muette de Portici (1828) is a grand opera. He directed the Paris Conservatoire from 1842 to 1857.
Aubrey, John (1626–1697). English antiquary. Having lost through litigation his inherited estates in Wiltshire, Herefordshire and Wales, he had to depend upon the patronage of friends such as *Hobbes and *Ashmole. He published a quaint collection of ghost stories and folk lore in Miscellanies (1696), but is best known for his incisive but somewhat malicious profiles of his contemporaries, collected after his death and edited as Brief Lives by Andrew Clark in 1898. The ‘Aubrey holes’ at Stonehenge were discovered by, and are named after him and he revived interest in megaliths in Avebury. His importance in preserving heritage sites has been lately recognised.
Powell, A., John Aubrey and his Friends. Rev. ed. 1963; Scurr, R., John Aubrey, My Own Life. 2015.
Auchinleck, Sir Claude John Eyre (1884–1981). British field marshal, born at Aldershot. Son of an officer, he served in the east, mostly India, until 1940, returning to command the pointless but dramatic allied occupation of, and withdrawal from, Norway (May–June 1940). He was appointed GOC, Southern Command (July–November 1940), Commander in Charge, India (November 1940–June 1941), then replaced *Wavell as Commander in Charge, Middle East Command (June 1941–August 1942). He defeated the Germans in Libya and was then pushed back by *Rommel, dismissed by *Churchill and replaced by *Alexander. Again Commander in Charge, India (1943–47), he worked well with the Americans, providing the support for *Slim’s success in Burma. He supervised partition in India 1947–48, refused a peerage and retired to Marrakech.
Connell, J., Auchinleck. 1959.
Auckland, 1st Earl of, George Eden (1784–1849). English politician and administrator. Educated at Oxford, he became a lawyer and a Whig MP, and was President of the Board of Trade 1830–35. His friend Lord *Melbourne appointed him Governor-General of India and he served 1836–42, being recalled after failure of the British campaign in Afghanistan. The New Zealand city was named for him.
Auden, W(ystan) H(ugh) (1907–1973). Anglo-American poet, born in York. Brought up in Birmingham, he attended schools in Surrey and Norfolk, and while still at Christ Church, Oxford, he edited Oxford Poetry, and his own Poems appeared in 1930. He became a teacher and tutor, and spent time in Berlin. Auden was the most influential poet of his generation and one of the most prolific (about 400 poems), with strong left-wing sympathies. An active homosexual, his partners included the novelist Christopher *Isherwood and the American poet Chester Kallman. In 1935 he married Erika Mann, daughter of Thomas *Mann, to provide her with a British passport; the union was unconsummated. In 1937 he observed the Spanish Civil War and wrote effective propaganda. In 1939, with Isherwood, he migrated to the United States and taught in universities, becoming a citizen in 1946 (a mirror image of T. S. *Eliot’s experience.) He also rejoined the Anglican communion in 1940.
His works include The Orators (1932), The Dance of Death (1933), Look, Stranger (1935) and Another Time (1940). The Dog Beneath the Skin (1935) and The Ascent of F.6 (1936, with Isherwood) are verse plays, The Rake’s Progress a libretto for a *Stravinsky opera (1951). He edited The Oxford Book of Light Verse (1938). Auden was professor of poetry at Oxford 1956–61. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1965. He died in Vienna and was buried in Kirchstettin.
His status as a poet was controversial, but Frank *Kermode regarded him as the greatest of his time. His most familiar poems include ‘Funeral Blues’, elegies to *Yeats and *Freud, ‘Lullaby’, ‘Spain 1937’, ‘September 1, 1939’, ‘If I Could Tell You’ and ‘A Summer Night’. His wrinkled face has been described as ‘a wedding cake left out in the rain’.
Spender, S. (ed.), W. H. Auden: A Tribute. 1975; Osborne, C., W. H. Auden. 1980; McCall Smith, A., What W. H. Auden Can Do for You. 2014.
Audubon, John James (1785?–1851). American ornithologist and artist. Of French descent, born either near New Orleans or in Haiti and educated in France, where he studied painting under *David, he spent most of his later life in Kentucky and on the Hudson devoting his time to the observation of birds. Between 1827 and 1838 he published Birds of America, with 435 remarkable coloured engravings. The Quadrupeds of North America was completed by his sons in 1854. The legend that he was the dauphin (Louis XVII), son of *Louis XVI, has no substance.
Herrick, F. H., Audubon the Naturalist. 1968.
Auerbach, Frank Helmut (1931– ). British painter, born in Berlin. Evacuated to England in 1939, his parents died in a concentration camp in 1942. He was an actor, then a teacher and first exhibited in 1956 and won prizes at the Biennales in Venice 1982 and 1986 for his powerful depictions of urban life.
Hughes, R., The Art of Frank Auerbach. 1990; Lampert, C., Frank Auerbach. Speaking and Painting. 2015.
August II ‘the Strong’ (Friedrich August) (1670–1733). King of Poland 1697–1704, 1709–33, Grand Duke of Lithuania 1697–1704 and Elector of Saxony 1694–1733. On the death of Jan *Sobieski, he was elected from 18 candidates for the Polish throne, having pledged to become a Catholic. After being defeated by *Charles XII of Sweden, the Diet deposed him (1704) in favour of Stanisław *Leszczyński, until his restoration after the Russian victory at Poltava. August, whose political schemes exceeded his power to achieve them, was far more successful in the artistic field and, under his inspiration, his two capitals, Dresden and Warsaw, achieved a spectacular baroque magnificence. August’s nickname ‘the Strong’ referred to sexual rather than military prowess. He was notorious for the number of his mistresses and about 350 illegitimate children, of whom the best known was the French marshal, Maurice de *Saxe.
Augustine (or Austin) of Canterbury, St (d.604/5). Roman missionary bishop in England. Born to the Roman nobility, he was prior of a monastery at Rome until in 596 Pope *Gregory entrusted him with the mission to convert the English. With 40 priests he landed in Kent, and was received favourably by King *Æthelberth, whose wife Bertha, a Frankish princess, was already a Christian. Augustine was given land on which to build a church at Canterbury, and had soon converted and baptised the king. Before the end of 597 he was raised to episcopal rank. Early successes among the East Saxons were not maintained and Essex reverted to paganism. In 601 Augustine was given authority over the British by Pope Gregory, but they refused to recognise him as Archbishop. This may have been due to his own haughty temperament as well as to resentment at foreign interference. Augustine’s mission was therefore only a partial success, but he must be recognised as a great missionary pioneer whose successors ensured the primacy of the Canterbury see.
Deansley, M., Augustine of Canterbury. 1964.
Augustine of Hippo, St (Aurelius Augustinus) (354–430). Latin Father of the Church and theologian, born at Tagaste (Souk Arhas), Numidia (now Algeria). Son of a Roman officer, Patricius, a pagan, and a Christian mother, [St] Monica, he practised no religion as a youth but was attracted to Manichaen dualism (*Mani). He studied rhetoric and law in Carthage, lived with a mistress for 15 years and fathered Adeodatus. Professor of rhetoric at Milan 383–86, he experienced a sudden conversion in 386 and was baptised by [St] *Ambrose in 387. He returned to Tagaste, living a monastic life until chosen as priest of the Christians at Hippo (Annaba, Algeria) in 391. Bishop of Hippo 395–430, he died there during a siege by the Vandals. His influence on Christian theology was enormous. The texts of 252 letters and more than 400 sermons survive, in addition to his books. In his Confessions (c.397), a literary masterpiece, strikingly modern in its psychological insights, he wrote frankly about his early life and feelings, leading to his conversion. De civitate Dei (The City of God), written after 412 is his view of society, and especially, at a time when the fall of the Roman Empire was attributed to its abandonment of its pagan gods, of the relationship between Church and State. On the Trinity is purely dogmatic, and a systematisation of the Christian doctrine on the subject. He also wrote energetically against the Donatist and Pelagian heresies and in doing so clarified and expounded his own convictions: that God’s grace is offered independently of merit to those predestined for salvation and that it cannot be refused when offered, that man suffers from the burden of Adam’s original sin unless through baptism he gains the redemption secured by Christ’s passion, that only by the liberation of his will by God’s grace from the enslavement of evil desires can man enjoy the vision and love of God. From his writings, which the above sentences summarise in barest outline, not only medieval Catholics but Calvin and Jansen derived heir teaching on predestination. Indeed Augustine’s thoughts as they developed over the years, contained inconsistencies, some of which were corrected in Retractationes (428). His feast is on 28 August. Diarmaid *MacCulloch argued that Augustine’s impact on Western Christian thought ‘can hardly be overstated, and Westerners have generally seen Paul through Augustine’s eyes’. Outside the Catholic tradition, Augustine influenced *Schopenhauer, *Kierkegaard and *Nietzsche.
Brown, P., Augustine of Hippo. 1967; Matthews, G.B., Augustine. 2005; Pollman, K., Saint Augustine the Algerian. 2007; Ayres, L., Augustine and the Trinity. 2010; Lane Fox, R., Augustine. 2016; O’Collins, G., Augustine. 2017.
Augustulus, Romulus see Romulus Augustulus
Augustus (Gaius Octavius) (63 BCE–14 CE). First Roman Emperor 27 BCE–14 CE. Born near Rome, his father, Gaius Octavius, was rich but not patrician; his mother, Atia Balba Caesonia, was the daughter of Julia, sister of Julius *Caesar. He became close to Caesar, travelled with him, and was named as heir in his will. On Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE, he took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. He formed the Second Triumvirate (sometimes called ‘The Gang of Three’) with Mark *Antony and *Lepidus, tracked down Caesar’s assassins, their families and associates, and destroyed them brutally, then divided control of Roman territories (Octavian in the West, Antony in the East, Lepidus in North Africa). From 38 BCE, Octavian was known as Imperātor Caesar Dīvī Filius: as Commander-in-Chief he held the title of ‘imperator’, which evolved to mean ‘emperor’ or supreme ruler, and the other names pay tribute to his deified adoptive father. In 36 BCE, he destroyed the power of Lepidus, after a trial of strength in Sicily, spared his life, and sent him into contemptuous exile. By 32 BCE, with Antony obsessed with Egypt and *Cleopatra, Octavian decided to attack.
After Antony’s defeat at Actium in 27 BCE the Senate conferred the additional name of ‘Augustus’, meaning ‘great’ or ‘venerable’. The ‘Empire’ dates from that year, and he ceased using his birth name.
Augustus was the first ruler of what became known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which held power until 68 CE. He retained republican forms as a façade, lived comparatively austerely and called himself Princeps Civitatis, or ‘first citizen of the state’. In theory his power rested on his possession of old republican offices, e.g. consul (an office he held 13 times), tribune, pontifex maximus. He retained the loyalty of a large, but physically dispersed, army with a generous retirement scheme. He claimed to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble. He directed the social, economic, political and military reforms which together created the imperial system of the next 400 years. In Italy and the older provinces he ruled through the Senate to which he left much of its dignity and at least some of its power. The outlying provinces were kept under his direct control through an agent (procurator), and the bulk of the army was kept there, with veterans settled in colonies near the frontiers to act as a first line of defence. His military policy was cautious: he did little to extend the limits of the empire except by advancing the frontier in the Danube area, which he held from Bavaria to the Black Sea. The loss of three legions which advanced in 9 CE fortified his cautious policy. It was a source of great pride to him that during his reign the doors of the temple of Janus were closed, indicating that the empire was everywhere at peace.
Economic progress followed: the construction of roads, aqueducts and fine buildings all witnessed to a steadily advancing prosperity. He also patronised the arts and in the ‘Augustan Age’ *Virgil, *Livy and *Horace all flourished (*Ovid was in exile).
He married three times: (1) Claudia, who had no children by him, (2) Scribonia, mother of his dissolute daughter *Julia, and (3) *Livia Drusilla, who had two sons by a former marriage, *Tiberius and Drusus. Augustus had no sons, adopted Tiberius as his heir and married him to Julia. The month of Sextilis was renamed Augustus (August) for him in 8 CE.
He died, suddenly but peacefully, in Nola. He left a huge fortune: two-thirds to Tiberius, his heir, one-third to Livia.
In Rome he is commemorated by the Ara Pacis (dedicated in 9 BCE), now restored and reassembled on a different site, and his Mausoleum, which was sacked in 410. More statues and images of Augustus survive than all other Roman emperors combined, and he was very careful to promote his stereotypical image. After his brutal beginning, Augustus became a cool, enigmatic character who, for a time, adopted the sphinx as his emblem.
Hamond, M., The Augustan Principate. 1968; Grant, M., Augustus to Constantine. 1971; Goldsworthy, A., Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor, 2014.
Aung San (1914?–1947). Burmese nationalist politician. A prominent student leader, he worked with the Japanese during World War II, formed the Burma Independence Army and the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League, then worked with the British to defeat the Japanese. He secured appointment to the provisional government, won the elections for a constituent assembly and became de facto Prime Minister. He was murdered together with seven other members of the Executive Council.
Aung San Suu Kyi (often referred to as Suu Kyi or ASSK) (1945– ). Burmese (Myanmar) politician and activist, born in Yangon. Daughter of the nationalist leader *Aung San, she was educated in Delhi, Oxford and London, married the English historian Michael Aris (1946–1999), worked for the UN in New York and was exiled by the military government of *Ne Win. She returned to Burma (Myanmar) in 1988 and became leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD). Although she was placed under house arrest in 1989 her party won the May 1990 election, gaining 81 per cent of the seats. The army refused to cede power and she remained under house arrest until July 1995, attracting international support for her cause. Awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, she was under house arrest again 2000–02, 2003–10, then given some freedom of movement as part of a moderate reform process, continued by the new President of Myanmar, Thein Sein. In 2011 Suu Kyi visited Europe and the US, receiving her Nobel Prize in Oslo and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack *Obama. She delivered the 2011 BBC Reith Lectures on ‘Securing Freedom’. In April 2012 she was elected to the House of Representatives, receiving 71 per cent of the vote, and became Opposition Leader. In November 2015, in a comparatively free election, the NLD won large majorities in both Houses of Parliament but the Constitution had been amended to prohibit any person who had married a foreign national from becoming President. Her nominee *Htin Kyaw became President March 2016–18, with Suu Kyi as Foreign Minister. In 2016 she was criticised by other Nobel Laureates for her failure to prevent the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the (Muslim) Rohingya population in Rakhine province.
Aurangzeb (Muhi-ud-Din Mohammed) (1618–1707). Emperor of India 1658–1707. Sixth of the Mughals, he gained the throne by imprisoning his father *Shah Jahan and overcoming the rivalry of his brothers by defeating them one by one and having them put to death. Throughout his reign his pious Mohammedanism aroused antagonism and revolt. Sikhs and Rajputs were alienated and the building up of the hostile Mahratta confederacy was hastened. Hopes of a strong united empire based on tolerance and justice were thus shattered and the way was opened for foreign intervention.
Sarkar, J., A Short History of Aurangzeb, 1618–1707. 1962.
Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) (212–275). Roman Emperor 270–75. Originally a common soldier, he was elected Emperor by the Danube army and consolidated the provinces in that area by evacuating Dacia. In Syria he overcame (27l–72) the famous queen *Zenobia. In the west he brought Gaul back to its allegiance by inducing the ‘independent’ ruler Tetricus to renounce his claims, by this and other successes fully deserving the title ‘restorer of the Roman Empire’.
Aurelius, Marcus see Marcus Aurelius
Auric, Georges (1899–1983). French composer. One of the modernist group known as ‘Les Six’, much influenced by *Satie and *Stravinsky, he is best known for his colourful dramatic music for ballet (e.g. Les Matelots) and films (e.g. René *Clair’s A Nous la liberté and *Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra).
Auriol, Vincent (1884–1966). French Socialist politician. A lawyer, he was a Deputy 1914–42, secretary of the French Socialist Party 1918–22, and served under *Blum as Minister of Finance 1936–37 and Justice 1937–38. In 1940 he voted against giving full power to *Pétain and was imprisoned 1940–43, escaped to England and worked with the Free French. President of the Constituent Assembly 1946–47, he became the first President of the Fourth French Republic 1947–54.
Aurobindo, Sri (Sri Aurobindo Ghose) (1872–1950). Indian mystic and poet. Educated at Cambridge, he took an active part in the revival of political nationalism but after a term of imprisonment, withdrew to Pondicherry in 1910. Here he set up an ashram devoted to his concept of a divine evolutionary force which would expand human capacity and lead to utopia. He was an active promoter of ‘Integral Yoga’ and a prolific writer.
Austen, Jane (1775–1817). English novelist, born at Steventon, Hampshire. Daughter of a clergyman, George Austen (1731–1805) who held a family living, and Cassandra Austen, née Leigh (1739–1827), she had one sister, Cassandra (1773–1845), who like herself remained unmarried, and six brothers (two became clergymen, two became admirals). The quiet happy family life was varied by dancing, visiting and play-acting in the barn. In composing material for plays Jane found early opportunities for exercising her talents. She declined two proposals of marriage. Retiring in 1801 George Austen took his family to Bath where they lived until his death in 1805. Four uncomfortable years at Southampton followed, before the sisters found themselves installed at Chawton Cottage near Alton, Hampshire, now a house museum. Here, with routine enlivened by visits from a growing number of nephews and nieces, she lived for all but the last few months of her life. She died, probably of Addison’s disease (but possibly of typhus or bovine tuberculosis) in Winchester and is buried in the cathedral.
The order of publication of her novels is not always that of composition. First Impressions, refused by a publisher in 1797, was rewritten as Pride and Prejudice and published in 1813, after Sense and Sensibility (1811). Northanger Abbey, which began as a satire on the Gothic novel, was completed in 1803 but not published until 1818. She then wrote Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816) and Persuasion (1818). Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon were unfinished when she died.
Her novels, published anonymously, were out of print 1820–32. After Richard Bentley republished them they gradually gained recognition with the assistance of Thomas Babington *Macaulay and George Henry *Lewes (although Emily *Brontë was a dissenter). They are remarkable for the beautifully poised satire with which she presents the tensions between individual ambition and social necessity among the ‘middling classes’ in English country towns in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Her dialogue is very witty, her characterisation shrewd and there is a deep vein of irony.
After reading Pride and Prejudice three times, Sir Walter *Scott wrote in his journal (March 1826): ‘That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with.’ (By then she had been dead for almost nine years.)
It is often asserted that events, such as the Napoléonic Wars then raging round her, had little or no influence in her absorbing but limited themes, but the Austen family were only one or two degrees of separation from conflicts in Europe and Asia. There was a family connection with Warren *Hastings in India, even some income from the opium trade, a cousin was married to a French aristocrat guillotined in 1794, an aunt was charged with stealing, and Jane’s surviving letters indicate a keen observation of the world around her and a dark humour, sometimes using double entendre. James Edward Austen-Leigh’s A Memoir of Jane Austen (1869) led to a sharp increase in interest and her novels were all republished. She has fallen in and out of fashion but is now recognised as one of the greatest writers in the language and (like Emily *Dickinson) her self-imposed limitation in subject matter is seen as evidence of artistic mastery. Her fame has risen steadily since the 1940s and her novels have been made into much admired films, television series and stage adaptations.
W. H. *Auden wrote:
You could not shock her more than she shocks me,
Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me most uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of ‘brass’,
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.
Cecil, D., Portrait of Jane Austen. 1978; Nokes, D., Jane Austen. A Life. 1997; Tomalin, C., Jane Austen. A Life. 1997; Byrne, P., The Real Jane Austen. A Life in Small Things. 2013.
Austin, Herbert, 1st Baron Austin of Longbridge (1866–1941). English motor car pioneer, born in Buckinghamshire. He migrated to Australia in 1884 and worked for the Wolseley Company in Melbourne. Back in England by 1890, he designed the first Wolseley car (a three-wheeler) in 1895, and a four-wheeler in 1900. He founded his own Austin Motor Company in 1905, and his highly successful 7 h.p. ‘baby’ Austin was the first of a line of small cars which revolutionised the pattern of car manufacture and ownership throughout Europe. A Conservative MP 1918–24, he received a peerage in 1936.
Austin, John (1790–1859). English legal philosopher, born in Suffolk. Known as ‘the founder of the analytical school of jurisprudence in England’, he became a barrister and was first professor of jurisprudence 1826–32 at the new University College, London. Much of his middle life he spent in Germany, often in bad health, and his last years (from 1848), at Weybridge, Surrey. Sound and subtle reasoning, which discerned errors in the traditional phraseology of legal writers, is a main characteristic of his work, much of which is summarised in his Province of Jurisprudence Determined (1832) and the posthumously published Lectures on Jurisprudence (1861–63).
Austin, John Langshaw (1911–1960). English philosopher. Educated at Shrewsbury and Balliol College, Oxford, he was a Fellow of All Souls College 1933–35 and taught at Magdalen from 1935. After service in army intelligence, he became White’s professor of moral philosophy at Oxford 1952–60. Influenced by *Wittgenstein, he was, with *Ryle, leader of the ‘Oxford school’ of philosophy, published little, but had a powerful influence on the analysis of language, especially the need to formulate precise questions before satisfactory answers can be attempted.
Austin, Stephen Fuller (1793–1836). American pioneer. In 1823 he received permission to settle 200 American families in Texas (then in Mexican possession). The colony prospered, but friction developed with the Mexican Government and for a time Austin was imprisoned. After the revolution of 1835 caused by Mexico’s abrogation of all states’ rights, Austin served until his death as Secretary of State in the provisional government of an independent Texas.
Austral, Florence (Florence Mary Wilson, later Fawaz) (1892–1968). Australian soprano, born in Richmond. A protégé of *Melba, much recorded, she appeared as a dramatic soprano, especially in Wagnerian roles in London and Berlin. She retired to Australia in 1946 and died virtually forgotten.
Avebury, 1st Baron. John Lubbock (1834–1913). English banker, social reformer, and amateur scientist, born in London. Educated at Eton and at home, he was a neighbour and young friend of Charles *Darwin at Downe, wrote many successful books on science, including anthropology, geology, botany, zoology, especially hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), and archaeology. In Pre-Historic Times (1865) he coined the terms Palaeolithic and Neolithic to describe distinct periods in the Stone Age. In 1871 he bought Avebury, Silbury Hill and the West Kennet long barrow to ensure their preservation. He was a Liberal MP 1870–1900, Vice-Chancellor of London University 1872–80, Chairman of the London County Council 1890–92 and held office in many professional bodies. After a long campaign, he secured passage of the Ancient Monuments Act (1882). Created a baron in 1900, he took his title from the stone circles in Wiltshire.
Averroës (Abu-al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Rushd) (1126–1198). Arabic philosopher, jurist and medical writer, born in Córdoba, in Andalusia. He became ‘cadi’ (judge) in Córdoba, then in Seville, and wrote commentaries on the works of *Aristotle, which were widely influential in the Middle Ages. He attempted to reconcile the Muslim religion and Aristotelianism, and wrote an encyclopaedia of medicine which was widely diffused in Latin translations.
Avery, Oswald Theodore (1877–1955). American bacteriologist, born in Canada. In 1944 his identification of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as the genetic materrial of chromosomes—the building blocks of plant and animal life—was the foundation of molecular biology.
Avicenna (Latinised version of Ibn Sīnā: full name Abū ‘Alī al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Sīnā) (980–1037). Persian polymath, philosopher, theologian and physician, born near Bukhara. His great Qanun (Canon), which codified medical knowledge, rivalled in importance the works of *Galen. He translated *Euclid and also wrote on mathematics, alchemy, music and science. In his philosophical writings, which influenced St Thomas *Aquinas, he attempted a synthesis of Islamic religious teaching and the work of *Plato and *Aristotle. He accepted the view that matter has always existed and opposed the more orthodox belief that the universe was created from nothing.
Afnan, S. M., Avicenna, His Life and Works. 1958.
Avogadro, Amedeo (1776–1856). Italian physicist. A doctor of law, he taught physics in Turin from 1806, eventually becoming professor of mathematical physics there. He is best known for the statement (Avogadro’s hypothesis or law) that, under the same conditions, equal volumes of all gases contain an equal number of molecules (a word he coined). Although put forward in 1811, the importance of this hypothesis was not realised until 1858 when *Cannizzaro pointed out that it could be used to determine atomic weight. Thereafter it played a part in bringing order to chemical classification.
Avon, 1st Earl of see Eden, Anthony
Ayckbourn, Sir Alan (1939– ). British playwright and theatre director. He went straight from school to work in repertory companies and directed the Scarborough Theatre 1971–2009. From 1959 he wrote 76 plays, generally critical and popular successes, many of them adapted for television, including, The Norman Conquests (1975), A Small Family Business (1987) and Henceforward … (1989).
Ayer, Sir A(lfred) J(ules) (1910–1989). British philosopher. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he was originally known as an expounder of logical positivism. He was Grote professor of the philosophy of mind and logic at London University 1946–59 and Wykeham professor of logic at Oxford 1959–78. His books include Language, Truth and Logic (1936), where he expounded the theory that philosophic argument must be based on linguistic analysis, and The Problem of Knowledge (1956), an examination of the nature of philosophical skepticism and such problems as perception and memory. He was knighted in 1970. His frank autobiography revealed him as a serial philanderer.
Aylmer, Sir Felix (originally Felix Edward Aylmer Jones) (1889–1979). English actor. He played upper-class type-cast characters, appeared in 137 films, was Polonius in *Olivier’s Hamlet (1947), President of Actors’ Equity 1950–69 and knighted in 1965.
Aylwin (Azócar), Patricio (1918–2016). Chilean politician. A lawyer and academic, he was a founder of the Christian Democratic Party (1952), became a senator 1964–73 and under the military rule of General *Pinochet continued cautious advocacy of democratic reform. In December 1989 he was elected President of Chile with 55.2 per cent of the vote and took office in March 1990, with Pinochet retaining command of the armed forces. He was succeeded by Eduardo *Frei in 1994.
Ayub Khan, Muhammad (1908–1974). Pakistani soldier and President. He entered the Indian army from the British military college at Sandhurst, served in Burma in World War II and became Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistani army (1951). He was Defence Minister 1954–55 and succeeded *Mirza as President 1958–69. To mitigate corruption and faction he abolished the 1947 constitution and used authoritarian methods, but prepared for a return to democracy by creating a large number of local councils known as Basic Democracy Units. In 1965 he won the presidential election against Fatima Jinnah, sister of Pakistan’s creator, but resigned in 1969 after crop failures and political riots. Ayub’s party was obliterated in the 1970 elections.
Azaña y Diaz, Manuel de (1880–1940). Spanish radical politician, born in Alcalá de Henares. A civil servant and writer, he was Prime Minister 1931–33 of the newly formed republic after *Alfonso XIII’s fall. He became Prime Minister again (1936) and President 1936–39 during the Spanish Civil War. He fled to France on *Franco’s victory.
Azeglio, Marchese d’, Massimo Taparelli (1798–1866). Italian author and politician. An aristocrat, he studied painting in Rome, married a daughter of Alessandro *Manzoni, wrote several political novels, became an ardent advocate of Italian unification and an opponent of papal rule in the Romagna. One of the pioneers of Risorgimento, he was premier of Sardinia-Piedmont under *Vittorio Emanuele II 1849–52, passed anti-clerical laws but had an uneasy relationship with *Cavour.
Azikiwe, Nnamdi (1904–1996). Nigerian politician. An Ibo, known generally as ‘Zik’, he lived in the United States 1925–34, lectured at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, worked as an editor in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) 1934–37, then returned to Nigeria, where he acquired large banking and newspaper interests. Prime Minister of the Eastern region 1954–59, he was Governor-General in 1960–63 and, after Nigeria became a republic, the first president 1963–66, until deposed by an army coup.
Aznar, José Maria (1953– ). Spanish politician. Leader of the Partido Popular (PP) 1990–2004, he was Prime Minister of Spain 1996–2004.