Xanthus, principal city in ancient
Lycia, on a river of the same name, celebrated for its temples
and works of art; sustained two sieges, the last of which terminated
in the self-destruction of its inhabitants; ruins of it exist,
and are Cyclopean; also the name of a river in the Troad, called
also the Scamander.
Xantippe, the name of the wife
of Socrates, a woman of a peevish and shrewish disposition,
the subject of exaggerated gossip in Athens, to the exaltation
of the temper of her husband, which it never ruffled. She is
quaintly described by an old English writer as "a passing
shrewde, curste, and wayward woman, wife to the pacient and
wise philosopher Socrates."
Xavier, St. Francis,
a Jesuit missionary, styled usually the "Apostle of the
Indies," born, of a noble family, in the north of Spain;
a student of Sainte Barbe in Paris, he took to philosophy, became
acquainted with Ignatius Loyola, and was associated with him
in the formation of the Jesuit Society; was sent in 1541, under
sanction of the Pope, by John III. of Portugal to Christianise
India, and arrived at Goa in 1542, from whence he extended his
missionary labours to the Eastern Archipelago, Ceylon, and Japan,
in which enterprises they were attended with signal success;
on his return to Goa in 1552 he proceeded to organise a mission
to China, in which he experienced such opposition and so many
difficulties that on his way to carry on his work there he sickened
and died; he was buried at Goa; beatified by Paul V. in 1619,
and canonised by Gregory XV. in 1622 (1506-1552).
Xebec, a small three-masted vessel
with lateen and square sails, used formerly in the Mediterranean
by the Algerine pirates, and mounted with guns.
Xenien, the name, derived from
Martial, of a series of stinging epigrams issued at one time
by Goethe and Schiller, which created a great sensation and
gave offence to many, causing "the solemn empire of dulness
to quake from end to end."
Xenocrates, an ancient philosopher
and a disciple of Plato, born in Chalcedon, and a successor
of Plato's in the Academy as head of it; d. 314 B.C.
Xenophanes, the founder of
the Eleatic school of philosophy, born in Asia Minor; was the
first to enunciate the doctrine "all is one," but "without
specifying," says Schwegler, "whether
this unity was intellectual or moral.... Aristotle says he called
God the one." See Eleatics.
Xenophon, historian, philosopher,
and military commander, born at Athens, son of an Athenian of
good position; was a pupil and friend of Socrates; joined the
expedition of Cyrus against his brother Artaxerxes, and on the
failure of it conducted the ten thousand Greeks—"the
Retreat of the Ten Thousand"—who went up with him
back to the Bosphorus, served afterwards in several military
adventures, brought himself under the ban of his fellow-citizens
in Athens, and retired to Elis, where he spent 20 years of his
life in the pursuits of country life and in the prosecution
of literature; the principal of his literary works, which it
appears have all come down to us, are the "Anabasis,"
being an account in seven books of the expedition of Cyrus and
his own conduct of the retreat; the "Memorabilia,"
in four books, being an account of the life and teaching and
in defence of his master Socrates; the "Helenica,"
in seven books, being an account of 49 years of Grecian history
in continuation of Thucydides to the battle of Mantinea; and "Cyropædeia,"
in eight books, being an ideal account of the education of Cyrus
the Elder. Xenophon wrote pure Greek in a plain, perspicuous,
and unaffected style, had an eye to the practical in his estimate
of things, and professed a sincere belief in a divine government
of the world (435-354 B.C.).
Xeres (61), a town in Spain, 14
m. NE. of Cadiz, a well-built, busy town, and the centre of
the trade in sherry wine, which takes its name from it, and
of which there are large stores.
Xerxes, a king of Persia, son
of Darius I., whom he succeeded on the throne in 485 B.C.; in
his ambition to subdue Greece, which, after suppressing a revolt
in Egypt, he in 481 essayed to do with an immense horde of men
both by sea and land, he with his army crossed the Hellespont
by means of a bridge of boats, was checked for a time at Thermopylæ
by Leonidas and his five hundred, advanced to Athens to see
his fleet destroyed at Salamis by Themistocles, fled at the
sight by the way he came, and left Mardonius with 300,000 men
to carry out his purpose, but, as it happened, to suffer defeat
on the fatal field of Platæa in 479, and the utter annihilation
of all his hopes; the rest of his life he spent in obscurity,
and he was assassinated in 465 by Artabanus, the captain of
his bodyguard, after a reign of 20 years.
Xesibeland, a region in South
Africa lying between Griqualand East and Pondoland; was annexed
to Cape Colony in 1886.
Ximenes de Cisneros,
Francisco, cardinal and statesman, born in Castile,
of a poor but noble family; studied at Salamanca and went to
Rome, where he gained favour with the Pope, who appointed him
to the first vacant ecclesiastical preferment in Spain, as the
result of which he in 1495 became archbishop of Toledo, but
not till he was 60 years of age; in 10 years after this he became
regent of Spain, and conducted the affairs of the kingdom with
consummate ability. He was a severe man, and he was careful
to promote what he considered the best and highest interests
of the nation; but he was narrow-minded, and did often more
harm than good; he was intolerant of heresy such as the Church
deemed it to be, and contrived by his policy to confer more
than sovereign rights upon the crown. He was to Spain pretty
much what Richelieu was to France.
Xingu, a river in Brazil, which
rises in the heart of the country, and after a course of 1300
m. falls into the Amazon 210 m. W. of Pará.
Xucar or Jucar, a river
of Valencia, in Spain, which rises near the source of the Tagus,
and after a course of 317 m. falls diminished into the Mediterranean,
most of its water having been drained off for purposes of irrigation
in connection with orange-gardens on its way, gardens which
yield, it is said, 20 millions of oranges a year.