Online Encyclopedia

ALASTOR

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 478 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALASTOR, in Greek mythology, the spirit of revenge, which prompts the members of a family to commit fresh crimes to obtain satisfaction. These crimes necessitate further acts of vengeance, and the curse is thus transmitted from generation to generation. The word is also used for a man's evil genius, which drives him to sin without any provocation; a man so driven is sometimes called Alastor. The epithet is applied to Zeus and the Erinyes as the deities of revenge and punishment. ALA-TAU (" Variegated Mountains"), the name of six mountain ranges in Asiatic Russia. Three of these are in the government of Semiryechensk in Central Asia, all belonging to the Tianshan system:—(1) the Terskei Ala-tau, south of and parallel to the lake of Issyk-kul; (2) the Kunghei Ala-tau, and (3) the Trans-Ili Ala-tau, both N. of and parallel to the same lake; and (4) the Dzungarian Ala-tau, lying N. of the Ili depression. The first three link together the Tian-shan and the Alexander Range. Their mean elevation is 6000-7000 ft.; their culminating point, Talgar, on a transverse ridge between (2) and (3), reaches 15,000 ft.; the limits of perpetual snow run at 11,000-11,700 ft. The Dzungarian Ala-tau reach a maximum altitude of 11,000 ft. and have a mean altitude of 6250 ft. From the middle of the Alexander Range another range (5) called Ala-tau, or Talastau, strikes west by south. The name Ala-tau also enters into the designation of (6), a range between the upper Yenisei and the upper Ob, in the government of Tomsk, namely, the Kuznetsk Ala-tau, forming an outlier of the Altai Mountains, and reaching 6000—7000 ft. in altitude.
End of Article: ALASTOR
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