Cassis, in conchology, the name of a genus of univalve shells, including the species known as helmets. (See Helmet Shell.)


Cassia, the bark of the cinnamomum cassia, an inferior quality of cinnamon which is often mixed with the genuine article. (See Cinnamon.) - Cassia is also a genus of plants of the family legmniiiosae. Several species of this genus furnish the officinal senna. One species native to this country is the source of the drug called American senna. The pod of cassia fistula, and perhaps an allied species, is employed to some extent as a laxative.

Cinnamomum cassia.

Cinnamomum cassia.


Cassino, a game at cards in which four are dealt to each player, four being also placed on the board. There are generally four players. The greatest number of cards counts 3 points, and of spades 1; the 10 of diamonds, great cassino, 2; the 2 of spades, little cassino, 1; and each of the aces 1. The object is to take as many cards as possible. A player may take from the board any card corresponding to one in his hand, or any cards whose combined spots equal the number of spots on any card in his hand. Thus, a 10 in the player's hand will take a 10 from the board, or any number of cards which can be made to combine into 10. The name of the play is derived from the societies' rooms in Italy, and continental Europe generally, under the name of casinos, where probably the name originated.


Cassiopeia, a northern constellation, easily recognized by the form, a letter W, on the opposite side of the pole from the Great Bear; named from the wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and mother of Andromeda. The constellation was distinguished in 1572 by a brilliant temporary star which shone for 18 months and then disappeared.

Cassiquare, Or Cassiqniari

Cassiquare, Or Cassiqniari, a remarkable river of Venezuela, deep and extremely rapid, which serves as the connecting link between the Orinoco and the Rio Negro. It furnishes the only example in the world of a bifurcation forming in the very heart of a continent a natural water communication between two great river valleys. It leaves the Orinoco about 20 m. W. of Esmeralda, and is at first scarcely 250 ft. broad; and after a S.W. course of nearly 130 m. it joins the Negro near the little town of San Carlos, its breadth having there reached over 1,500 ft. By means of the Cassiquiare canoes can penetrate with facility from the south of Brazil, from Peru and Bolivia, and even from the Argentine Republic, to Caracas through the Amazon and Orinoco and their various affluents.

Cassiterides, Or The Tin Islands Of The Greek And Roman Writers

Cassiterides, Or The Tin Islands Of The Greek And Roman Writers, are supposed with much probability to be the modern Scilly islands near the coast of Cornwall, England. The Phoenicians, who discovered these islands and who kept the knowledge of them for a long time from other nations, traded there for tin with the inhabitants of the neighboring peninsula of Cornwall, where the tin was produced from mines, and was brought to the islands and sold to the foreign merchants. The islands themselves produced no tin. By a natural confusion of ideas the term Cassiterides or tin islands came in time to be applied to Cornwall itself, at least before the Roman settlement in Britain, when the true situation of the tin mines became known. (See Scilly Islands.)