Online Encyclopedia

ALCMENE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 524 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALCMENE, in ancient Greek mythology, the daughter of Electryon, king of Mycenae, and wife of Amphitryon. She was the mother of Heracles by Zeus, who assumed the likeness of her husband during his absence, and of Iphicles by Amphitryon. She was regarded as the ancestress of the Heracleidae, and worshipped at Thebes and Athens. See Winter, Alkmene and Amphitryon (1876). ALCOBAcA, a town of Portugal, in the district of Leiria, formerly included in the province of Estremadura, on the Alcoa and Baca rivers, from which it derives its name. Pop. (1900) 2309. Alcobaca is chiefly interesting for its Cistercian convent, now partly converted into schools and barracks. The monastic buildings, which form a square 725 ft. in diameter, with a huge conical chimney rising above them, were founded in 1148 and completed in 1222. During the middle ages it rivalled the greatest European abbeys in size and wealth. It was supplied with water by an affluent of the Alcoa, which still flows through the kitchen; its abbot ranked with the highest Portuguese nobles, and, according to tradition, 999 monks continued the celebration of mass without intermission through-out the year. The convent was partly burned by the French in r8so, secularized in 1834 and afterwards gradually restored. Portions of the library, which comprised over roo,0oo volumes, ALCOCK including many precious MSS., were saved in 1810, and are preserved in the public libraries of Lisbon and Braga. The monastic church (1222) is a good example of early Gothic, some-what defaced by Moorish and other additions. It contains a fine cloister and the tombs of Peter I. (1357–1367) and his wife, Inez 'de Castro.
End of Article: ALCMENE
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JOHN ALCOCK (c. 1430–1500)

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