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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

Ærugo - algorithm,   pp. 41-60 ff. PDF (19.2 MB)

Page 59

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ALt-Cominer, An Officer in the City of 1otdog, whofe
lufinefs is to infpe&f the Meafures of the Pdblick Houfes.-.
There are four of them, and they are chofen by the Com-
mon-Hall of the City. See MEASUR E.
ALE-SilVer, a Rent or Tribute yearly paid to the Lord
Mayor of, London, by thofe who fell Ale within the City.
ALE.Tafter, is an Officer appointed, and fworn in every
Court-Leet, to look that there be a due Size and Goodnefs
of Bread, Ale, and Beer, fold within the Jurifdidion of the
Leet. See AssIzE, Cc.
ALECTORIA, in Natural Hiflory, a Stone fometimes
found in the Stomach, Liver, or rather Gall-Bladder of old
Cocks. See STONE.
It is ordinarily of the Figure of a Lupine, and feldom
exceeds the Bignefs of a Bean.-It has abundance of Vir-
tues attributed to it, but moft of them are fabulous.
The Word is deriv'd from gAixæ,, a Cock.
ALECTOROMANTIA, an antient Kind of Divination,
perform'd by means of a Cock. See DIVINATION.
This Art was in ufe among the Greeks ; and the manner
of it was this.-A Circle was made on the Ground, and
divided into 24 equal Portions, or Spaces; in each of which
Spaces was written one of the Letters of the Alphabet, and
upon each of thefe Letters was laid a Grain of Wheat.
This done, a Cock was turn'd loofe into the Circle, and
careful Obfervation made of the Grains he peck'd.-The
Letters corresponding to thofe Grains, were afterwards form'd
into a Word; which Word was to be the Anfwer defired.
'Twas thus that Libanius and Iamblicbus fought who
Ihould fucceed the Emperor Valeio; and the Cock eating
the Grains anfwering to the Spaces eEOA, they concluded
upon Theodore, but by a Miffake inflead of TZ'eodolius.
The Word comes from the Greek mAx1vw, a Cock, and
VAP14e, Divination.
ALEMBICK, or LIMBECK, a Chymical Veffel, confifl-
ing of a Matrafs, fitted with a roundilh Head, perforated in
a floping Tube, for the condenfed Vapours to pafs thro' in
Diflillation. See CUCURBIT, and DISTILLATION.
Alembick is popularly underflood of the whole Infirument
of Di{3illation with all its Apparatus; but in the proper
Senfe of the Word, it is only a Part hereof, viz. a Veffel
ufually of Copper, whereto a concave, globular, metalline
Head is clbfely luted; fo as to flop the rifing Vapours, and
dired them into its Rofirum or Beak.
The Heat of the Fire railing the volatile Parts of the
Subjed, expofed in the bottom of the Veffel; they are
received into its Head, where they are condens'd, either
b'y the Coldnefs of the ambient Air, or by Water exter-
nally apply'd; and become a Liquor, which runs out at the
Beak into another VefTel, called the Recipient. See RECI-
The Head or Capital of the Alembick, is fometimes in-
compaffed with a Veffel full of cold Water, by way of Re-
frigerarory; tho this Intention is now more commonly an-
fwered by a Serpentine. See REFRIGERATORY, SERPEN-
There are divers Kinds of Alembicks: An Open Alem-
bick, where the Capital and Cucurbit are two feparate
Parts; a Blind Alemnbick, or Blind Head, where the Capi-
tal is fealed Hermetically upon the Cucurbit, Cc.
The Word is form'd of the Arabick Particle Al, and the
Greek pAle,, a fort of earthen Vefrel, mention'd by Atheneus,
and Hefyohims. Tho, Mattheus Silvaticus, in his Pandetl
Medicine , afferts the Word Alembick to be Arabick, and
that it literally denotes the upper Part of a diffilling Vefel.
Name of a kind of Verfe, which confifes of twelve and
thirteen Syllables alternately ; the refi or Paufe being always
on the fixth Syllable. See VERSE.
It is faid to have taken its Name from a Poem on the
Life of Alexander, initiled, the Alexandriad; written, or
at leafd tranflated into this kind of Verfe by fome Frencb
Poets: tho others will have it denominated fiom one of the
Tranflators, Alexander Paris.
This Verfe is thought by fome very proper in the Epo-
pea,and the more fublme Kinds of Poetry: for which Rea-
fon it is alfo called Heroic T'erfe. See HEROIC.
It anfwers in our Language to the Hexameters in the
Greek and Latin.-Chaplran's Tranflation of Homer, con-
fias wholly of Alexandrines.
ALEXIPHARMIC, in Medicine, expreffes that Property
which a Remedy, either fimple or compound, hath to refif},
or deflroy every thing of a poifonous Nature: For the An-
tients had a Notion, that there was Poifon in all malignant
Difeafes, and in the generality of thofe whofe Caufe is un-
known. See PoIsON.
Alexiterial, Cardiac, Antidote, Alexipbarmic, and Coun-
'terpoifon, are all Terms of the fame Signification. See AN-
Alexipbarmics are ordinarily divided into fuch as are ge-
neral; and tlore more particular, fuppofed only to combat
h r.r,
foome particular Direafe.-But this Divifion is founded m.ore
on Speculation than Experience.
Alexzpbarm7ic Medicines, contain a great Number of vo-
latile Parts, and fuch at render fluid the Maf6 of Blood. The
greatef part of them are aromatick, and pungent to the.
Tafle. See AROMATIC.-Among the reft; it is trta,
there are forne acid Plants and juices; but thele are 0only
reckon'd in the Number, on account of their U-fe in malig-
nant, colliquative Fevers.
Alexip7,armics chiefly a& by exciting or increafing a Dia-
phorefis, or Perfpiration; by which the noxious Matter is
Alexipharmics, whether fimple or compound, are alfi
efteemed Prerervatives againfi malignant, and petilential
Fevers: But they are to be ufed with Caution; fome being
only proper in Condenfarions, and others in Colliquations of
The Word is derived from  the Greek TLSw, hiceo, to
drive out, or expel; and £py'yVov, Venenum, Poifon.
ALEXITERIAL, in Medicine, a Term of the fame im-
port with Alexipharmic. See ALEXIPMARMIC.
It is form'd from the Greek dm~rj, arceo, I drive away,
on Opitulor, I affiLl.
ALFET, antiently fignified the Cauldron in which boiling
Water was put, for the Accufed to plunge his Hand in up to
the Elbow, by way of Trial or Purgation. See WATER.
ALGAROT, or ALGAREL, in the Arabian Chymiliry,
a Pouder prepared of Butter of Antimony ; being in-rea-
lity no more than the Regulus of that Mineral, diffolv'd in
Acids, and feparated again by means of feveral Lotions with
lukewarm Water, which imbibes thofe Acids. See REGULUS.
This is alfo called Mercurius Vitte, or fimply Enictic
Pouder.-It purges violently both upwards and downwards.
By colleding all the Lotions, and evaporating two third
Parts, what remains is a very acid Liquor, called Spirit of
Pbilofopbical Vitriol.
ALGEBRA, a Method of refolving Problems by means
of Equations. See PROBLEM, and EqUATIoN.
Some Authors define Algebra the Art of folving all Pro-
blems capable of being folv'd : But this is rather the Idea
of Analyjis, or the Analytic Art. See ANALYSIS.
The Arabs call it, the Art of Reflitution and Coinpari-
fon ; or, the Art of Refolution and Equation.-Lucas de
Burgos, the firfe -European who wrote of Algebra, calls it,
the Rule of Refloration and Opporition.-The Italians call
it, Regula Rei & Cenfus, that is, the Rule of the Root and
the Square; the Root with them being called Res, and the
Square Cenftus.-Others call it Specious Aritbmetick; others
Univerfal Aritbmetick, &c.
Menage derives the Word from the Arebic Algebra,
which fignifies the fetting of a broken Bone ; fuppofing
that the principal Part of AHgebra is the Confideration of
broken Numbers.-Others rather borrow it from the
ASpani/h Algebrifla, a Perfon who re-places diflocated Bones;
adding, that Algebra has nothing to do with Fradion; in
that it confiders broken Numbers as if they were entire, and
even expreffies its Powers by Letters, which are incapable of
Frad ion.
Some, with M. d'Ierbelot, are of Opinion, that Algebra
takes its Name from Geber, a celebrated Philofopher, Chp
miPr, and Mathematician, whom the Arabs call Giaber;
and who is fuppofed to have been the Inventor.-Others,
from Gefr, a kiiad of Parchment, made of the Skin of a
Camel, whereon Ali and Giafar Sadek wrote in myflick
Characters the Fate of Mabometanifm, and the grand Events
that were to happen till the End of the World.-But
others, with more probability, derive it from Gebr, a Word
whence, by prefixing the Particle A1, we have formed
Algebra, which is pure Arabic, and properly fignifies thy
Redudtion of broken Numbers to a whole Number.
However, the Arabs, it is to be obferved, never uie the
Word Algebra alone, to exprefs what we mean by it ; but
always add to it the Word Macabelab, which fignifies Opto-
.ftion and Comparifon.-Thus, Algebra-Almocabelak, is what
we properly call Algebra.
Algebra is a peculiar kind of Arithmetick, which takes
the quantity fought, whether it be a Number, or a Line, or
any other Quantity, as if it were granted ; and by means
of one or more Quantities given, proceeds by confequence,
till the Quantity at firft only fiuppos'd to be known, is
found to be equal to foome Quantity or Quantities which
are certainly Icnown, and consequently it felf is known.
Algebra is of two Kinds, viz. Numeral, and Literal.
Numeral, or Vulgar ALGEBRA, is that of the Antients,
which only had placeinthe Refolution ofArithmetical Quef-
tions.-In this, the Quantity fought is reprefented by fome
Letter or Charaaer; but all the given Quantities are ex-
prefs'd by Numbers. See NUMBER, and NUMEROUS.

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