Discophorae

See Jelly Fish.

Dispensation,

Dispensation, the act by which an exception is made to the rigor of the law in favor of some person. To make a dispensation is an attribute of sovereign power. In the United States no power exists, except in the legislature, to dispense with law, and then it is rather a change of the law than a dispensation. - In the Roman Catholic church a dispensation is an exemption from ecclesiastical law, granted by the proper authority for "just and reasonable causes." The pope alone, and the persons by him empowered, can dispense with the laws which bind the universal church. In local laws, whether national, provincial, or diocesan, the dispensing power resides in the bishops and in those deputed by them. The divine law and the law of nature, according to the church, cannot be dispensed with.

District Of Columbia

See District of Columbia.

Dithyrambus,

Dithyrambus, in Grecian antiquity, a song sung in the vintage season in honor of Bacchus. The origin of these songs is traced to the earliest ages of Greek civilization, and the most famed of the early composers of them was Arion of Methymna. But few fragments of ancient dithyrambic poetry remain, and it is only by tradition that we know the successes of Melanippides, Pindar, and Philoxenus in this style of composition. The dithyrambus was primitively religious; it was lively, rapid, brilliant, and disordered, like the joy and intoxication of a Bacchanalian festival. In the heat of improvisation, the poets often united several words into one, from which resulted expressions so voluminous and sonorous that they wearied alike the ear and the imagination. In the age of Pericles this kind of poetry was the object of raillery.

Ditmarsh

Ditmarsh (Germ. Dithmarachen, or Dit-inarsen, i. e., the German marshes), the westernmost portion of Holstein, Prussia, comprising the coast land on the North sea, between the Eider and the Elbe; area, 500 sq. m.; pop. about 75,000. The surface is a low flat, protected against inundation by strong embankments. Excepting in the marshy districts, it has a rich alluvial soil, bearing heavy crops of wheat, beans, and hay. The inhabitants are a sturdy people of the primitive Teutonic type, and during the middle ages maintained a considerable degree of autonomy and equality, bravely defending their rights against the encroachments of their various rulers, German and Danish. After severe struggles Ditmarsh became part of Holstein, under Danish rule, in 1559, but continued to be governed by its own code. In 1866 it was with the rest of Holstein annexed to Prussia.

Diu, A Portuguese Island And Town Of India

A Portuguese Island And Town Of India Diu, separated by a narrow channel from the S. extremity of Guzerat, in lat. 20° 43' N., Ion. 70° 45' E., 160 m. N. W. of Bombay; area, 12 sq. m.; pop. about 10,000. The soil is unlit for cultivation and the water is brackish, but provisions are plentifully supplied from the mainland, with which the inhabitants carry on a lively trade. The town is situated on the E. end of the island, is well fortified, and has an excellent harbor. It was renowned in ancient times for a magnificent temple of Mahadcva, which was destroyed by Shah Mahmoud of Ghuzni about 1025. The island was taken in 1515 by the Portuguese, and was pillaged in 1670 by the Arabs of Muscat. It is at present one of the most flourishing of the Portuguese settlements.