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MEURSIUS [JOHANNES VAN MEURS] (1579-1...

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 315 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MEURSIUS [JOHANNES VAN MEURS] (1579-1639), Dutch classical scholar and antiquary, was born at Loosduinen, near the Hague. He was extremely precocious, and at the age of sixteen produced a commentary on the Cassandra of Lycophron. In 1610 he was appointed professor of Greek and history at Leiden, and in the following year historiographer to the states-general. In consequence of the disturbed state of his country he welcomed the offer (1625) of Christian IV. of Denmark to become professor of history and politics at Sorb, in Zealand, combined with the office of historiographer royal. He died at Soro on the loth of September 1639. Meursius was the author of classical editions and treatises, many of which are printed in J. F. Gronovius's Thesaurus antiquitatum graecarum. Their lack of arrangement detracts from their value, but they are a storehouse of information, and Meursius does not deserve the epithets of " pedant " and " ignoramus " which Scaliger applied to him. Meursius also wrote on the troubles in the Netherlands and the history of Denmark. Complete edition of his works by J. Lami (1741-1763). See Van der Aa's Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden (1869), and J E. Sandys, Hist. of Class. Scholarship (1908), ii. 311. MEURTHE-ET-MOSELLE, a department of north-eastern France, formed in 1871 out of those parts of the old departments of Meurthe and Moselle which continued French. Before 1790 it belonged to Lorraine, or to one or other of the bishoprics of Toul, Metz and Verdun. Pop. (1906), 517,508. Area 2038 sq. m. It is bounded E. by Lorraine, N. by Belgium and the grand-duchy of Luxemburg, W. by the department of Meuse, and S. by that of Vosges. Meurthe-et-Moselle is of a hilly character, the highest elevation, the Grand Rougimont (2041 ft.), being in the Vosges. The valley of the Moselle runs through it from south to north. Extensive forests, the chief of which is the Forest of Haye, are found in the south-western region. Only a small part of the drainage of Meurthe-et-Moselle flows into the Meuse, by far the greater part reaching the Rhine by way of the Moselle. The principal affluents of the Moselle are the Madon and the Orne on the left, and on the right, besides the Meurthe, the Seille, which in one part of its course forms the boundary of Alsace-Lorraine. The principal tributary of the Meuse within the department is the Chiers. Clirnatologically Meurthe-et-Moselle belongs to the Vosgian region, and has hot summers and severe winters. Its mean annual temperature is between 48° and 490 F., being 2° lower than that of Paris (which has the same latitude). The annual rainfall averages between 28 and 32 in. The department possesses much fertile land, the chief crops being cereals and potatoes, together with clover, mangel-wurzels, tobacco, hops and beet-root. The vine is also cultivated, its best products being those of the Toul district. The most common fruit trees are the pear, the apple, the walnut, the cherry and the plum. Of forest trees the oak and the wych-elm are most frequent in the west of the department, the beech and the fir in the Vosges. The French school of forestry has its seat at Nancy. The salt-workings (the chief of which lie between Nancy and St Nicolas,) and the iron-mines (round Nancy and Longwy) of Meurthe-et-Moselle are the most productive in France. Other important industries are the manufacture of boots and shoes, straw and felt hats, pottery, and tanning and brewing (at Tantonville). Cotton and wool spinning, and the manufacture of cotton goods, hosiery, embroidery, chemicals (at Dombasle, close to Nancy), soap, tobacco, matches, crystal (at Baccarat, which has a population of 5617), mirrors (Cirey), glass, army clothing and paper may also be mentioned. The department is served by the Eastern railway, the chief line being that from Paris to Strassburg through Nancy. The main waterway is formed by the canal between the Marne and the Rhine. This canal communicates with the Moselle, which is navigable from Frouard down-wards, and with the Eastern canal, which unites the Meuse and the Moselle with the Saone and the Rhone. The department constitutes the diocese of Nancy, has its court of appeal at Nancy, and forms a part of the district of the VI. army corps (Chalons-our-Marne), and of the academie (educational division) of Nancy. There are 4 arrondissements (Nancy, Briey, Luneville and Toul), 29 cantons and 598 communes. The principal towns of the department are Nancy, the capital, Luneville, Toul, Longwy, Pont-a-Mousson and St Nicolas. Other places of interest are Preny, with ruins of an important stronghold (12th and 13th centuries) of the dukes of Lorraine; and Vaudemont, seat of a famous countship, with ruins of a stronghold of the 12th and 14th centuries.
End of Article: MEURSIUS [JOHANNES VAN MEURS] (1579-1639)
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