OXFORD                                              1405                                               OXYGEN

was the seat of the parliament and court of Charles I. Population 53,000. See Oxford City, by Boase, in Historic Towns Series and Oxford by Lang.

Oxford, O., a town, 40 miles northwest of Cincinnati. It overlooks the beautiful Miami valley and has some manufactories of agricultural implements, but is best known as a college town. It is the seat of Miami University, founded in 1809, and noted for the high positions attained by its graduates. Western College for women (formerly called Western Female Seminary, a school modeled after Mt. Holyoke Seminary) and Oxford College are situated here. Population 2,017.

Oxford, Univer'sity of, one of the two great seats of learning in England situated at Oxford, is a collection of colleges under one corporation known as "the chancellor, masters and scholars of the University of Oxford." There are 22 colleges and three halls, to some one of which all members of the university belong. The teaching staff numbers about 100, with 3,500 students. Each college is a distinct institution with its own rules. The head of the university is the chancellor, who usually is chosen from the nobility, holds office for life, and receives no salary. The vice-chancellor, appointed by the chancellor, serves four years and is the real head. There are four governing bodies, called house of convocation, ancient house of congregation, modern house of congregation and the council. These bodies are made of college officers, professors, masters of art and resident graduates. The real management is in the hands of the council, consisting of the vice-chancellor, two proctors, who are the police officers of the university, six heads of houses, six professors and six graduates. The teaching in the colleges of the university is carried on by professors, lecturers and tutors. The professors do very little teaching, giving lectures perhaps twice a week and devoting their time largely to independent study. The college lecturers are the real teachers, but belong to the separate colleges, though their lectures are now open to the whole university. A large part of the work of the college course consists in taking papers, essays and translations to the tutors, who may be employed by individuals or by small classes.

Oxford, beginning in the early part of the 12th century, grew rapidly, its scholars being numbered by thousands as early as the 13 th century. The four great orders of mendicant friars were attracted to Oxford, and established their schools in their convents, and were followed by other orders of monks. The Reformation, with the breaking up of the monasteries, destroyed half the glory of Oxford. The earliest college is Merton, founded in 12Ŏ4 and transferred to Oxford in 1274, and the first institution organized into a college at Oxford, the earlier teach-

ings having been carried on in halls. The old quadrangle and the library of Merton are among the most ancient college buildings in Oxford. Balliol, founded by the mother of John Balliol, king of Scotland, in 12Ŏ8; Oriel, founded in 1326 by King Edward II; Queen's in 1340; All Souls' in 1347; and Jesus, founded in 15 71 by Queen Elizabeth, are among the older colleges. Christ Church is the cathedral of the diocese of Oxford and also a college. The cathedral was instituted by Henry VIII in 1546, and the college founded by Wolsey in 1525. The entrance tower contains "Great Tom," one of the largest bells in England. The buildings of Magdalen (md'lin) College, founded in 1457, are thought to be the finest college-buildings in the world, and the musical services in its chapel have been famous for centuries. Other buildings connected with the university are the Boaleian, founded in 1602 by Thomas Bodley and now one of the largest libraries in the world; Radcliffe Library; Ashmolean Museum, the earliest public museum in England, containing British antiquities and some from Cyprus, Egypt etc.; Sheldonian Theater, built in 1669, for the ceremonies of the university; St. Mary's church, where are preached the university sermons; and the university observatory. The parks are the scene of most of the football games; and for a quarter of a mile along the river are moored the barges of the boat clubs. See Tom Brown at Oxford by Hughes and Colleges of Oxford by Clark.

Ox'us, the ancient name of a river in central Asia, now known as Jihun, Gihon and Amu Daria. It rises in the tablelands of Central Asia, flows through Bokhara and Khiva, and empties into the Sea of Aral. Its delta is 90 miles long, including many lakes and marshes. The river is used for irrigation mainly, though it has been ascended for 280 miles by steamboats. It is thought to have once flowed into the Caspian Sea, and to have twice changed its course since about 600 A. D. Its length is about 1,400 miles.

Ox'ygen, the most abundant and the most widely-distributed of all the elements, is a gas without color, odor or taste. In its free state (mixed, not combined, with nitrogen) it composes about one fifth of the air. Combined with hydrogen, it makes about eight ninths of all the water on the globe. Nearly half of the earth's crust is oxygen in combination. It combines with all other elementary substances except fluorine, argon and several very rare gases resembling argon. It is necessary to animal life, and early chemists called it vital air. It was discovered at almost the same time in 1774 by Priestley and by Scheele. Lavoisier made many ingenious experiments to prove that the combustion or burning of bodies in the air is only their combination with oxygen. Combustible substances burn much more