Vertumncs, Or Vortumnus

Vertumncs, Or Vortumnus, an Etruscan or Sabine divinity, worshipped by the ancient Romans as the god who presided over the seasons, and the blossoming and bearing of trees and plants. He had the power of assuming any shape he pleased. Falling in love with Pomona, the goddess of garden fruits, he appeared to her in a variety of forms, and at last won her under the guise of a blooming youth. A flamen was appointed at Rome especially to superintend his worship; a festival called the Vortumnalia was celebrated in his honor on Aug. 23; and offerings were brought him of first fruits from the garden and wreaths of flowers. In works of art he was represented, like Saturn, with a pruning knife in his hand and a wreath of ears of corn on his head.


Veruieres, a S. W. county of Quebec, Canada, bounded N. W. by the St. Lawrence and S. E. by Richelieu river; area, 195 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 12,717, all but 100 of French origin. It is traversed in the south by the Grand Trunk railway. Capital, Verchères.


Verv1ers, a town of Belgium, in the province and 14 m. E. S. E. of the city of Liege, on the Vesdre, near the Prussian frontier; pop. in 1873, 38,875. It contains fine churches and other public buildings, including a chamber of commerce, and has celebrated cloth manufactories, the annual products of which are valued at 100,000,000 francs, including those of the adjacent villages. One third is exported. There are more than 60 mills in the town and its vicinity, employing about 40,000 persons and 150 steam engines. The fortifications were destroyed by Louis XIV.


See Verbena.


Vesoul, a town of France, capital of the department of Ilaute-Saone, at the junction of the Durgeon with the Colombine, about 190 m. S. E. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 7,597. The fortifications have been converted into promenades, and it has a church of the 18th century with a fine altar, a museum rich in Gothic and Roman antiquities, cavalry barracks, a lyceum, a normal seminary, a public library, a theatre, manufactories of turned ware and of cotton and silk goods, and trade in grain, cattle, leather, and iron ware. In the vicinity are many vineyards, iron works, and a mineral spring. On the adjoining Mt. La Motte (1,400 ft. high) is a statue of the Virgin, erected in 1854 as a memorial of the town's exemption from cholera. The Germans took Vesoul Oct. 18, 1870.

Vespers (Lat. Vesper Evening)

Vespers (Lat. Vesper Evening), in the Roman Catholic church, a portion of the divine office recited daily by priests, and generally sung publicly, as the afternoon service, on Sundays and other high festivals. It consists of five of the psalms of David, a hymn, the Magnificat, or canticle of the Virgin Mary, from the 1st chapter of St. Luke, and several prayers, anthems, etc.

Veszprem (Ger. Wesprim)

Veszprem (Ger. Wesprim), a S. W. county of Hungary, partly covered by the Bakony range, and at the southeast bordering on Lako Balaton; area, 1,609 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 201,434, mostly Magyars. The surface is mountainous or hilly, and the soil productive; good pastures for cattle, sheep, and swine abound.

The rivers are insignificant. The capital, Veszprern, is situated near the N. extremity of Lake Balaton, 60 m. S. W. of Buda; pop. in 1870, 12,002. It has a fine cathedral and episcopal palace, a Piarist college, a gymnasium, and considerable trade.