Torres Vedras

Torres Vedras, a town of Portugal, 25 m. N. N. W. of Lisbon, on the left bank of the .Sizandro; pop. about 4,200. Part of its ancient walls and an old fortress still remain. In the vicinity are an aqueduct with Gothic arches and the noted convent of Varratojo. It has four churches, two hospitals, a Latin school, and a considerable trade in wine. It gave its name to the defensive lines erected by Wellington in 1810 on a range of heights in its neighborhood, which took nearly a year for their completion, and set the army of Mas-sena at defiance.

Torsion Balance

See Balance.

Torsk, Or Task

See Cusk.


Tortola, the most important of the Virgin group of West India islands, belonging to Great Britain, lying between Virgin Gorda and St. John's, in lat. 18° 24' N., Ion. 64° 32' W.; area, 26 sq. m.; pop. about 4,000. It is 12 m. long by 2 to 4 m. broad, and has a rough surface, rising to the height of over 1,600 ft. On the north, at Tortola, the chief town, is an excellent land-locked harbor. It exports sugar, molasses, rum, and copper ore. It is the seat of the lieutenant governor and the administrative council. The climate is unhealthful. (See Virgin Islands).


I. See Dry Tortugas.

II. An Island Of The West Indies

An Island Of The West Indies, off the N. E. coast of Cuba, from which it is separated only by a narrow channel called El Savinal. It forms the entrance to the harbor of Nuevitas, and is about 25 m. long from N. W. to S. E. and 6 m. wide. - Several smaller islands are called Tor-tuga or Tortue (Sp. and Fr., a tortoise) from their shape, or from abounding in tortoises.


See Whig and Tory.


Totila (properly Baduila), a Gothic king of Italy, died A. D. 552. He was duke of Friuli, and was chosen king in 541, after the surrender of Vitiges to the Byzantine forces at Ravenna. When Belisarius was withdrawn from the service against the Goths, Totila overran the greater part of Italy, and in 546 entered Rome by the treachery of some Isau-rian sentries. He held peaceful possession of the city until compelled to leave it in order to repair the reverses his armies had sustained in Lucania. In his absence Rome was recovered by Belisarius, and in 547 Totila was repulsed in endeavoring to retake it. In 548 Belisarius was recalled to Constantinople, and Rome once more fell into the hands of Totila. In 552 Narses was sent into Italy by the emperor Justinian, and at Tagina in Umbria To-tila's forces were defeated, and he was killed.


Toul (anc. Tullnm), a fortified town of French Lorraine, in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, on the Moselle, 14 m. W. of Nancy; pop. in 1872, 6,584. It has a celebrated Gothic cathedral, and other notable buildings are the church of St. Genoult and the former episcopal palace, now used as a town hall. Its trade and .industry embrace wine, glass, hosiery, and other local products and manufactures. - Originally it belonged to Belgic Gaul, and afterward successively to Austrasia, to local counts, and to Germany as an imperial city under the protectorate of the dukes of Lorraine; and in the middle of the 16th century it was annexed to France. The bishopric, established early in the 5th century, was suppressed during the revolution. In January, 1814, Toul was stormed by the Russians; and in 1870 it was bombarded by the Germans, to whom it surrendered Sept. 23, after a strenuous defence.