Damascics, a Greek philosopher, born probably at Damascus, about A. D. 480. He studied for a time at Alexandria, and then went to Athens, where he was first a student and then a teacher of the Neo-Platonic philosophy. "When the heathen schools at Athens were closed by order of Justinian in 529, he went to the court of Chosroes, king of Persia; and although he afterward returned, little is known as to the remainder of his life. His works, some of which are extant, included a philosophical treatise entitled "Difficulties and Solutions of First Principles " ( Frankfort, 1828), and commentaries on Aristotle and Plato.
Damaskeening, the art of ornamenting iron or steel by inlaying with gold, silver, or some other metal. It is chiefly used for adorning sword blades, guards, and locks of pistols. The most beautiful method of damaskeening consists in cutting the metal deep with a graver, and filling the groove with thick wire of gold or silver. In this way the wire adheres very strongly. The more common process is superficial only. For this, the metal is heated to a blue color; it is then hatched with a knife, and the figure desired is drawn with a fine brass bodkin upon the hatching. This done, a gold wire is conducted according to the pattern designed, and sunk carefully into the metal with a copper tool. Of late a method is in practice of eating out a cavity for the precious metal by means of acid. The art was carried to great perfection in Damascus, whence its name. Its invention is attributed by Herodotus to Glaucus of Chios.
Damaun, Or Daman, a seaport of India, on the coast of N. Concan, belonging to the Portuguese, situated at the mouth of the Damaun river, on the gulf of Cambay, 82 m. N. of Bombay; pop. about 6,000. It has a fine appearance from the sea, and has several churches, convents, and Parsee temples, but the streets are narrow and dirty. The river has a bar at its mouth, with 18 feet of water at high tide. Ship building is carried on to some extent. The Portuguese sacked and burned the town in 1531, and in 1558 took formal possession of it. The territory which they ho]d has an area of 155 sq. m.; pop. in 1866, 40,980.
Dambool, Or Dambolo, a village in the island of Ceylon, 40 m. N. of Candy, with an immense rock about a mile distant, rising 550 ft. above the plain, and called Damboollagalla. On its S. side, 100 ft. from the summit, are five very remarkable caves, ornamented with images of Buddha and other deities, in which the Ceylonese monarch Walogambahu concealed himself during an invasion of the Malabars, about 100 B. C. In gratitude for the protection afforded, he converted the caves into Buddhist temples. Images of the god were placed there, priests appointed to conduct the worship, and the revenues of certain lands set apart for their support; and the service is still kept up. In one of the caves is a colossal statue of Buddha hewn out of the rock; a long inscription in another is interesting for the information it conveys concerning the government of Ceylon during the 12th century.