Libyan Sea

Libyan Sea, the name given by ancient geographers to that part of the Mediterranean washing the shores of N. Africa, from the E. coast of the Roman province of Africa (the territory of Carthage, or Africa proper) to the S. coast of Crete and the frontier of Egypt. The two Syrtes belonged to it.

Lictors

Lictors, in Roman antiquity, public officers appointed to attend on the chief magistrates, to clear the way and to enforce proper respect. At first they were freemen of the plebeian order, but in later times the office could be held by freedmen. No slave was ever appointed a lictor. The ancient kings were always preceded by 12 lictors, who bore the fasces and secures. One of the consuls was preceded by the same number, bearing only the fasces. Dictators had a double number. Lictors also waited on the decemviri, praetors, and proconsuls, and on some minor magistrates when in the provinces. It belonged to them to inflict punishment on condemned Roman citizens.

Lierre

Lierre (Flem. Lier), a town of Belgium, on the Nethe, in the province and 10 m. S. E. of the city of Antwerp; pop. in 1866, 15,043. It has a normal school, salt refineries, and manufactories of oil cloth and cotton.

Liestal

Liestal, a town of Switzerland, capital of the half canton Basel Country, on the Ergolz, 8 m. S. E. of Basel; pop. in 1870, 3,873. The most notable buildings are the Protestant parish church and the government hall. It has also a cantonal library, a museum, manufactories of gloves, tapestry, and paper, and several breweries.

Life Preserver

See Life Boat.

Lignite

See Brown Coal.

Lignum Vitae

See Guaiacum.

Ligny

Ligny, a village of Belgium, in the province and 13 m. W. N. W. of the city of Namur. It has given its name to the battle fought there between Napoleon's army and the Prussians under Blucher, on June 16, 1815, two days before the battle of Waterloo, and almost simultaneously with the engagement on the neighboring spot of Quatre-Bras, in which the duke of Brunswick fell. A short time before the commencement of the action at Ligny, the duke of Wellington met Blucher there, and foretold his defeat. After a desperate resistance, the Prussians were driven with a heavy loss from their position; but Blucher maintained his communications with the English and made good his retreat, and no beaten army ever rallied quicker.

Lillers

Lillers, a town of France, in the department of Pas-de-Calais, on the Nave, 24 m. N. N. W. of Arras; pop. in 1866, 5,414. It is situated in a verdant plain, watered by beautiful streams, and all its houses of any importance are ornamented with fountains. It has manufactories of linen, shoes, and earthenware, distilleries, tanneries, dye works, and oil mills. In the gardens of a former Dominican convent is the first artesian well, sunk in the 12th century; it is now nearly dry. In the church, which was founded in the 12th century, is a curious wooden sculpture, called the Christ du Saint-Sang de Miracle, of the same period.