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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 510 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CROSS RIVER, a river of West Africa, over 500 M. long. It rises in 6° N., 10° 30' E. in the mountains of Cameroon, and flows at first N.W. In 8° 48' E., 5° 50' N. are a series of rapids; below this point the river is navigable for shallow-draught boats. At 8° 20' E., 6° 10' N., its most northern point, the river turns S.W. and then S., entering the Gulf of Guinea through the Calabar estuary. The Calabar river, which rises about 5° 30' N., 8° 30' E., has a course parallel to, and 10 to 20 M. east of, the Cross river. Near its mouth, on its east bank, is the town of Calabar (q.v.). It enters the estuary in 40 45' N. The Cross, Calabar, Kwa and other streams farther east, which rise on the flanks of the Cameroon Mountains, form a large delta. The Calabar and Kwa rivers are wholly within the British protectorate of Southern Nigeria, as is the Cross river from its mouth to the rapids mentioned. The upper course of the river is in German territory. CROSS-ROADS, BURIAL AT, in former times the method of disposing of executed criminals and suicides. At the cross-roads a rude cross usually stood, and this gave rise to the belief that these spots were selected as the next best burying-places to consecrated ground. The real explanation is that the ancient Teutonic peoples often built their altars at the cross-roads, and as human sacrifices, especially of criminals, formed part of the ritual, these spots came to be regarded as execution grounds. Hence after the introduction of Christianity, criminals and suicides were buried at the cross-roads during the night, in order to assimilate as far as possible their funeral to that of the pagans. An example of a cross-road execution-ground was the famous Tyburn in London, which stood on the spot where the Oxford, Edgware and London roads met.
End of Article: CROSS RIVER

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