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SHENDI

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 839 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SHENDI, a town in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in the mudiria (province) of Berber, on the right bank of the Nile in 18° 1' N., 330 59' E., and 104 M. N.N.W. of Khartum by rail. Shendi possesses small manufactories of leather, iron and cotton; extensive railway workshops and a government experimental farm. It is the headquarters of the cavalry of the Egyptian army stationed in the Sudan. Shendi lies within the " Island of IVIeroe" and is a town of great antiquity. Thirty miles north are the pyramids of Meroe. On the opposite (west) bank of the Nile is the village of Metemma, whence there is a caravan route across the Bayuda Desert to the Merawi (Merowe) by Jebel Barkal; this was the route followed by the desert column under Sir Herbert Stewart in 1884 in the Gordon relief expedition. In 1772 James Bruce stayed some time at Shendi—then governed by a woman---on his way to Egypt after visiting the source of the Blue Nile. When the Egyptians invaded the Sudan in 1820 Shendi, then a place of considerable size, submitted to Ismail Pasha, son of Mehemet Ali, the pasha of Egypt. In 1822, how-ever, Ismail and his chief followers were treacherously burnt to death at Shendi by order of the mek (ruler) of the town, in revenge for the cruelties committed by the Egyptians. Later in the same year an Egyptian army from Kordofan razed the town to the ground, most of the inhabitants being massacred. From that period until the establishment of Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1898 Shendi was but a poor village. Its subsequent growth has been comparatively rapid. There is a considerable area of fertile land on either side of the Nile in the neighbourhood. SHENG-KING, SHEN-KING, Or LIAO-TUNG, a province of the Chinese empire, in southern Manchuria. It occupies an area of 50,000 sq. m. and contains a population of 4,000,000. Its capital is Mukden, or, as it is otherwise known, Sheng-king, " the Flourishing Capital." The province includes the Liaotung peninsula, the most southern part of which, including Port Arthur, is leased to Japan. Sheng-king is largely mountainous. A line drawn from King-chow Fu (410 12' N., 121 10' E.) N.E. to Mukden, and then south by west through Leaoi-yang and Hai-cheng to Kai-ping and the sea, would define the level country. A large portion of the plain, being an alluvial deposit, is extremely fertile, but in the neighbourhood of the sea the saline exudation common in the north of China renders futile all attempts at cultivation. North and east of this district run numerous mountain ranges, for the most part in a north-and-south direction. The climate of Sheng-king is marked by extremes of heat and cold. In summer the temperature varies from 7o° to 9o° F., and in winter from 5o° above to to° below zero. The mountain scenery is extremely picturesque, and the trees and shrubs are such as are common in England, the mountain ash being the only common English tree which is there conspicuous by its absence. The most important rivers are the Liao-ho and the Yalu. The former takes its SHEN-SI rise in Mongolia, and after running an easterly course for about 400 m., turns S.W., and empties into the Gulf of Liao-tung, in the neighbourhood of Ying-tsze, up to which town, 20 M. from the bar, the river is navigable for large junks. The Yalu rises in the mountains to the south of the plain, and empties_into the Yellow Sea. The chief cities, Mukden, Liao-yang, Niu-chwang, Port Arthur and Tairen (Dalny) are separately noticed. Niu-chwang is the chief port of the province. Sheng-king is well supplied with railways, Mukden being in direct railway connexion with Peking, Niu-chwang, Port Arthur and Tairen as well as with the Korean railways, and with Europe and Vladivostock by the trans-Siberian line. The Mukden-Peking railway follows the route of the imperial highway from Peking, which passes through the Great Wall at Shan-kai-kwan and along the shores of the Gulf of Chih-li, and after leaving Mukden divides into three branches—one going eastward to Korea, another going by Kirin and A-she-ho to San-sing, while a third diverges N. by W. to Fakumen, thence through Mongolia to Pe-tu-na, and then to Tsi-tsi-har, Mergen, and the Amur. Another road leads east from Niu-chwang to Fung-hwang-chung, now a station on the Mukden-Korea railway. The chief agricultural products are wheat, barley, millet, oats, maize, cotton, indigo and tobacco. Coal, iron and gold are also found in considerable quantities in various localities. (See also MANCHURIA and CHINA.) SHEN-SI, a northern province of China, bounded N. by the Great Wall, W. by the province of Kan-suh, S. by the province of Sze-ch'uen, and E. by Shan-si; from which it is separated by the Hwang-ho. Area about 75,000 sq. m.; pop. about 8,300,000. Si-gan Fu (q.v.), or Sian Fu, is the provincial capital; there are six other prefectural cities. Shen-si is divided into two parts by a barrier of mountains, consisting of the Fu-niu Shan and the Tsingling Shan, which attain elevations of over I1,000 ft., and run across the southern portion of the province from east to west. To the north of the mountains lie the basins of the Wei-ho and of several other tributaries to the Hwang-ho. The name Shen=si, " west of the pass," refers to the Tungkwan pass, near the confluence of the Wei and the Hwang-ho. The valley of the Wei, situated between high tableland (the Ordos plateau) on the north and rugged mountains to the south, forms the great channel of communication between Eastern China and Central Asia. Were it in the hands of an enemy the Chinese colonies in Central Asia would be completely severed from the mother country, hence the eagerness evinced by the government through-out all history to retain possession of the region. In this district are the sites of cities used as capitals of China in remote antiquity. Si-gan Fu, founded in the 3rd century B.C., was usually the capital until the time of the Kin dynasty (A.D. I127), and it was chosen by the dowager empress as the temporary capital during the stress of the Boxer outbreak (1900-19o1). It is noted also as containing the celebrated Nestorian tablet, erected A.D. 781, on which is engraved an edict according tolerance to the Nestorian missionaries. Modern Christian (Protestant) mission work in the city dates from 1876. The walls of Si-gan enclose a square space of 6 m. each way, and, unlike most Chinese cities, its` fortifications are kept in perfect repair. During the Mahommedan rebellion it was closely invested for two years (1868-1870) by the rebels, who, however, failed to capture it. During a great famine which occurred in 1902 about 2,500,000 persons in the province died of starvation. From Si-gan Fu radiate a number of roads going east, south and west. The east road is the great Tung-kwan road, which forms the principal means of communication between Peking and the north-eastern provinces of the empire, and Sze-ch'uen, Yun-nan and Tibet. To the south, one road crosses the mountains to Shang Chow, and on to the Tan river, an affluent of the Han-kiang, and is thus connected with the trade of the Yangtsze-kiang; and another leads to Han,chung Fu and Sze-ch'uen. Leaving the west gate of the city two roads lead to Lan-chow Fu, from which town begins the great high road into Central Asia by way of Lian-chow Fu, Kan-chow Fu and Su-chow to Hami, where it forks into two branches which follow respectively the northern and southern foot of the Tianshan range, and are known as the Tian-shan pei lu and the Tian-shan nan lu. It, was along these roads that the fame of China first reached Europe, and it was by the Tian-shan nan lu that Marco Polo entered the empire. To defend this line of communication the Great Wall was extended beyond Su-chow, and the Kia-yu gate, " the door of the empire," was built. During the reign of Hia-wu Ti of the Han dynasty, Chinese colonies and high roads lined with fortified cities were established along this route, and though at times the government have lost possession of the line beyond the Great Wall, it has always succeeded in re-establishing its supremacy over it. Occupying a position, then, at the confluence of the roads which connect north-eastern China with its western and south-western portions, Si-gan Fu is a city of great commercial importance. It has few manufactures, but does an extensive trade principally in the importation of silk from Cheh-kiang and Sze-ch'uen, tea from Hu-peh and Hu-nan, and sugar from Sze-ch'uen, and in the exportation of these and other articles (such as skins and furs) to Kan-suh, Russia and Central Asia. Shen-si is purely an agricultural province. Its principal products are cotton, wheat and opium—the anti-opium decrees of 1906 had little effect on the province up to 1910—and these it exchanges with the neighbouring provinces for coal, iron, salt, &c. Kao-liang, pulse, millet, maize, groundnut, barley, beans, pease, lucerne, and rape seed are also grown. The Wei basin being a loess region is unfit for rice, but for the same reason it produces fine crops of the kinds mentioned at a minimum expenditure of labour. The Shen-si opium is much valued by smokers and ranked next to the Shan-si drug, which was second only to that produced in Kan-suh. Coal abounds in the northern part of the province, but owing to difficulty of transit it is not worked to any great extent. The winters are cold, but short, and though fruit trees abound and are most productive, no evergreen trees or shrubs are to be met with within the province. Shen-si is specially noted for the varnish tree. Wolves are numerous in the mountains; the heron, ibis, wild goose and snipe in the valley of the Wei. See M. Broomhall, The Chinese Empire (London, 1907), pp. 198-208; L. Richard, Comprehensive Geography of the Chinese Empire (Shanghai, 1908), pp. 39-46, and the authorities there cited.
End of Article: SHENDI
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