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LACEDAEMON

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 49 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LACEDAEMON, in historical times an alternative name of LACONIA (q.v.). Homer uses only the former, and in some passages seems to denote by it the Achaean citadel, the Therapnae of later times, in contrast to the lower town Sparta (G. Gilbert, Studien zur altspartanischen Geschichte, Gottingen, 1872, p. 34 foil.). It is described by the epithets KOIXI7 (hollow) and Ici7rdueuua (spacious or hollow), and is probably connected etymologically with X&KKOS, locus, any hollow place. Lacedaemon is now the name of a separate department, which had in 1907 a population of 87,106. LAC$PEDE, BERNARD GERMAIN $TIENNE DE LA VILLE, COMTE DE (1756–1825), French naturalist, was born at Agen in Guienne on the 26th of December 1756. His education was carefully conducted by his father, and the early perusal of Buffon's Natural History awakened his interest in that branch of study, which absorbed his chief attention. His leisure he devoted to music, in which, besides becoming a good performer on the piano and organ, he acquired considerable mastery of composition, two of his operas (which were never published) meeting with the high approval of Gluck; in 1781–1785 he also brought out in two volumes his Poetique de la musique. Mean-time he wrote two treaties, Essai sur l'electricite (1781) and Physique generale et particuliere (1782–1784), which gained him the friendship of Buffon, who in 1785 appointed him sub-demonstrator in the Jardin du Roi, and proposed to him to become the continuator of his Histoire naturelle. This continuation was published under the titles Histoire des quadrupedes ovipares el des serpents (2 vols., 1788–1789) and Histoire naturelle des reptiles (1789). After the Revolution Lacepede became a member of the legislative assembly, but during the Reign of Terror he left Paris, his life having become endangered by his disapproval of the massacres. When the Jardin du Roi was reorganized as the Jardin des Plantes, Lacepede was appointed to the chair allocated to the study of reptiles and fishes. In 1798 he published the first volume of Histoire naturelle des poissons, the fifth volume appearing in 1803; and in 1804 Etudes d'histoire re- choir, terminating in an apse with radiating chapel, contains the fine tomb and statue of Clement VI., carved stalls and some admirable Flemish tapestries of the early 16th century. There is a ruined cloister on the south side. The church, which dates from the 14th century, was built at the expense of Pope Clement VI., and belonged to a powerful Benedictine abbey founded in 1043. There are spacious monastic buildings of the 18th century. The abbey was formerly defended by fortifications, the chief survival of which is a lofty rectangular keep to the south of the choir. Trade in timber and the making of lace chiefly occupy the inhabitants of the town. LA CHALOTAIS, LOUIS RENE DE CARADEUC DE (17o1-1785), French jurist, was born at Rennes, on the 6th of March 1701. He was for 6o years procureur general at the parliament of Brittany. He was an ardent opponent of the Jesuits; drew up in 1761 for the parliament a memoir on the constitutions of the Order, which did much to secure its suppression in France; and in 1763 published a remarkable " Essay on National Education," in which he proposed a programme of scientific studies as a substitute for those taught by the Jesuits. The same year began the conflict between the Estates of Brittany and the governor of the province, the duc d'Aiguillon (q.v.). The Estates refused to vote the extraordinary imposts demanded by the governor in the name of the king. La Chalotais was the personal enemy of d'Aiguillon, who had served him an ill turn with the king, and when the parliament of Brittany sided with the Estates, he took the lead in its opposition. The parliament forbade by decrees the levy of imposts to which the Estates had not consented. The king annulling these decrees, all the members of the parliament but twelve resigned (October 1764 to May 1765). The government considered La Chalotais one of the authors of this affair. At this time the secretary of state who administered the affairs of the province, Louis Philypeaux, duc de la Vrilliere, comte de Saint-Florentin (1705-1777), received two anonymous and abusive letters. La Chalotais was suspected of having written them, and three experts in handwriting declared that they were by him. The government therefore arrested him, his son and four other members of the parliament. The arrest made a great sensation. There was much talk of " despotism." Voltaire stated that the procureur general, in his prison of Saint Malo, was reduced, for lack of ink, to write his defence with a toothpick dipped in vinegar—which was apparently pure legend; but public opinion all over France was strongly aroused against the government. On the 16th of November 1765 a commission of judges was named to take charge of the trial. La Chalotais maintained that the trial was illegal; being procureur general he claimed the right to be judged by the parliament of Rennes, or failing this by the parliament of Bordeaux, according to the custom of the province. The judges did not dare to pronounce a condemnation on the evidence of experts in handwriting, and at the end of a year, things remained where they were at the first. Louis XV. then decided on a sovereign act, and brought the affair before his council, which without further formality decided to send the accused into exile. That expedient but increased the popular agitation; philosophes, members of the parliament, patriot Bretons and Jansenists all declared that La Chalotais was the victim of the personal hatred of the duc d'Aiguillon and of the Jesuits. The government at last gave way, and consented to recall the members of the parliament of Brittany who had resigned. This parliament, when it met again, after the formal accusation of the duc d'Aiguillon, demanded the recall of La Chalotais. This was accorded in 1775, and La Chalotais was allowed to transmit his office to his son. In this affair public opinion showed itself stronger than the absolutism of the king. The opposition to the royal power gained largely through it, and it may be regarded as one of the preludes to the revolution of 1789. La Chalotais, who was personally a violent, haughty and unsympathetic character, died at Rennes on the 12th of July 1785. See, besides the Comptes-Rendus des Constitutions des Jesuites and the Essai d'education nationale, the Memoires de la Chalotais (3 vols., 1766-1767). Two works containing detailed bibliographies are Marion, La Bretagne et le duc d'Aiguillon (Paris, 1893), and B. Pocquet, Le Duc d'Aiguillon et La Chalotais (Paris, 1901). See also a controversy between these two authors in the Bulletin critique for 1902. LA CHARIT$, a town of central France in the department of Nievre, on the right bank of the Loire, 17 m N.N.W. of Nevers on the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranee railway. Pop. (1906) 3990. La Charite possesses the remains of a fine Romanesque basilica, the church of Sainte-Croix, dating from the iith and early 12th centuries. The plan consists of a nave, rebuilt at the end of the 17th century, transept and choir with ambulatory and side chapels. Surmounting the transept is an octagonal tower of one story, and a square Romanesque tower of much beauty flanks the main portal. There are ruins of the ramparts, which date from the 14th century. The manufacture of hosiery, boots and shoes, files and iron goods, lime and cement and woollen and other fabrics are among the industries; trade is chiefly in wood and iron. La Charite owes its celebrity to its priory, which was founded in the 8th century and reorganized as a dependency of the abbey of Cluny in 1052. It became the parent of many priories and monasteries, some of them in England and Italy. The possession of the town was hotly contested during the wars of religion of the 16th century, at the end of which its fortifications were dismantled. LA CHAUSSEE, PIERRE CLAUDE NIVELLE DE (1692-1754), French dramatist, was born in Paris in 1692. In 1731 he published an Epitre a Clio, a didactic poem in defence of Leriget de la Faye in his dispute with Antoine Houdart de la Motte, who had maintained that verse was useless in tragedy. La Chaussee was forty years old before he produced his first play, La Fausse Antipathie (1734). His second play, Le Prejuge a la mode (1735) turns on the fear of incurring ridicule felt by a man in love with his own wife, a prejudice dispelled in France, according to La Harpe, by La Chaussee's comedy. L'Ecole des antis (1737) followed, and, after an unsuccessful attempt at tragedy in Maximinien, he returned to comedy in Melanide (1741). In Melanide the type known as comedie larmoyante is fully developed. Comedy was no longer to provoke laughter, but tears. The innovation consisted in destroying the sharp distinction then existing between tragedy and comedy in French literature. Indications of this change had been already offered in the work of Marivaux, and La Chaussee's plays led naturally to the domestic drama of Diderot and of Sedaine. The new method found bitter enemies. Alexis Piron nicknames the author " le Reverend Pere Chaussee," and ridiculed him in one of his most famous epigrams. Voltaire maintained that the comedie larmoyante was a proof of the inability of the author to produce either of the recognized kinds of drama, though he himself produced a play of similar character in L'Enf ant prodigue. The hostility of the critics did not prevent the public from shed-ding tears nightly over the sorrows of La Chaussee's heroine. L'Ecole des meres (1744) and La Gouvernante (1747) form, with those already mentioned, the best of his work. The strict moral aims pursued by La Chaussee in his plays seem hardly consistent with his private preferences. He frequented the same gay society as did the comte de Caylus and contributed to the Recueils de ces messieurs. La Chaussee died on the 14th of May 1754. Villemain said of his style that he wrote prosaic verses with purity, while Voltaire, usually an adverse critic of his work, said he was " un des premiers apres ceux qui ont du genie." For the comedic larmoyante see G. Lanson, Nivelle de la Chaussee et la comedie larmoyante (1887).
End of Article: LACEDAEMON
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