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MALATIA (MALATIEH or Aspuzu)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 466 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MALATIA (MALATIEH or Aspuzu) the chief town of a anjak of the same name in the Mamuret el-Aziz vilayet of Asia Minor, and a military station on the Samsun-Sivas-Diarbekr road, altitude 2900 ft., situated about ro m. S.W. of the junction of the Tokhma Su (med. Kubakib) with the Euphrates, near the south end of a fertile plain, and at the northern foot of the Taurus. Pop. about 30,000, including, besides many Armenian Christians, bodies of Kurds and " Kizilbash." It is a wholly modern place, rebuilt since the earthquake of 1893, contains fine public buildings, and is noted for its fruit orchards. There are Protestant (American) and Roman Catholic missions, and an Armenian Catholic archbishop has his seat here. Eskishehr or Old Malatia (Melitene), 5 M. N.E. and 3 M. from the great medieval bridge (Kirkgeuz) over the Tokhma Su, is said to owe its present desolation largely to its occupation by Hafiz Pasha as his headquarters in 1838 before his advance to fight the disastrous battle of Nizib with the Egyptian, Ibrahim. But it has still many inhabitants and large gardens and many ruinous mosques, baths, &c., relics of Mansur's city. It was the residence of von Moltke for some months, while attached to Hafiz's army. The earliest site was possibly Arslan Tepe about 2 M. south of Eskishehr were two " Hittite " stelae, representing hunting scenes, now in the Constantinople and Paris museums, were found in 1894. In the time of Strabo (xii. 537) there was no town in the district of Melitene, which was reckoned part of Cappadocia. Under Titus the place became the permanent station of the 12th (" Thundering ") legion; Trajan raised it to a city. Lying in a very fertile country at the crossing point of important routes, including the Persian " Royal Road, ' and two imperial military highways from Caesarea and along the Euphrates bank, it grew in size and importance, and was the, capital of Armenia Minor or Secunda. Justinian, who completed the walls commenced by Anastasius, made it the capital of Armenia Tertia ; it was then a very great place (Procop., De aed., iii. 4). The town was burnt by Chosroes on his retreat after his A systematic campaign for the destruction of breeding-places has been inaugurated in the British West African colonies, with encouraging results. The planting of eucalyptus trees is out of favour at present, but it appears to have been successful in Portugal, not from any prophylactic virtues in the plant, but through the great absorption of moisture by its deep roots, which tends to dry the subsoil. Treating the breeding-ponds with petroleum or similar preparations seems to be hardly applicable on a large scale, and in any case can only be a temporary expedient. H. Ziemann advocates the destruction of mosquito larvae by the growing of such plants as the water-pest (Anacharis alsinatrum) which covers the surface of the water and suffocates larvae and nymphae. Short of suppressing mosquitoes, the parasitic cycle may theoretically be broken by preventing them from giving the infection to man or taking it from him. The means of accomplishing the former have been already pointed out, but they are obviously difficult to carry out on a large scale, particularly in native communities. It is one thing to protect individuals from mosquito bites, another to prevent the propagation of the parasite in a whole community. Perhaps the converse is more feasible in some circumstances—that is to say, preventing mosquitoes from having access to malarial persons, and so propagating the parasite in themselves. It could be carried out where the infected persons are few, by isolating and protecting them, but not where many are infected, as in native villages. Koch has suggested that the disinfection of malarial persons by quinine would have the desired effect, but other authorities of greater experience do not consider it practicable. In spite of the difficulties, however, there is no doubt that a great deal can be done to reduce, if not stamp out, malaria by the methods indicated, which should be applied according to circumstances. An encouraging example is afforded by the remarkable fact that malaria, which was once rife in certain districts of England, has now died out, although the Anopheles maculipennis mosquito still exists there. The parasitic cycle has been broken, and the insect is no longer infected. The suggested causes are (1) reduction of insects by drainage, (2) reduced population, (3) the use of quinine. Sir Patrick Manson has suggested that the problem of stamping out malaria may be assisted by the discovery of some at present unknown factors. He has pointed out that certain areas and certain islands are entirely free from the disease, while neighbouring areas and islands are devastated. This immunity is apparently not due to the absence of favourable conditions, but rather to the presence of some inimical factor which prevents the development of the parasite. If this factor could be discovered it might be applied to the suppression of the disease in malarious localities. 1 Drainage works begun. 2 Nearly all were relapses of previous infection. Year . Cases of Malaria. 1900 510 1901 I 610 1902 199 903 69 1904 32 1905 23 great defeat there in 577. Taken by the Saracens, retaken and destroyed by Constantine Copronymus, it was presently recovered to Islam, and rebuilt under Mansur (A.D. 756). It again changed hands more than once, being reckoned among the frontier towns of Syria (Istakhry, pp. 55, 62). At length the Greeks recovered it in 934, and Nicephorus II., finding the district much wasted, encouraged the Jacobites to settle in it, which they did in great numbers. A convent of the Virgin, and the great church which bears his name, were erected by the bishop Ignatius (Isaac the Runner). From this time Malatia continued to be a great seat of the Jacobites, and it was the birthplace of their famous maphrian Barhebraeus (or Abulfaragius). At the commencement of the rith century the population was said to number 60,000 fighting men (Assem., Bib. Or., ii. 149; cf. Barheb., Chr. Ecd., i. 411, 423). At the time of the first crusade, the city, being hard pressed by the Turks under Ibn Danishmend, was relieved by Baldwin, after Bohemund had failed and lost his liberty in the attempt. But the Jacobites had no cause to love Byzantium, and the Greek governor Gabriel was so cruel and faithless that the townsmen were soon glad to open their gates to Ibn Danishmend (1102), and the city subsequently became part of the realm of Kilij Arslan, sultan of Iconium. See H. C. B. v. Moltke, Briefe fiber Zustande, &c. in der Tiirbei (1835-1839). (D. G. H.)
End of Article: MALATIA (MALATIEH or Aspuzu)
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