Meaux (Mo), a town in the French dep. of Seine-et-Marne, on a height above the river Marne, 28 miles NE. of Paris. In its noble Gothic cathedral (12-16th century, but still unfinished) is the grave of Bossuet, who was bishop for twenty-three years. Meaux trades largely with Paris in corn, flour, cream-cheeses, etc. It was besieged by the serfs of La Jacquerie (1358), and captured from the League (1594). Pop. 12,704.
Mecca is one of the oldest cities of Arabia and the capital of the Hedjaz, and as the birthplace of Mohammed a holy city and focus of pilgrimage for Islam. It is situated in 21o 30' N. lat. and 40° 8' E. long., 50 miles E. of Jiddah, its port on the Red Sea, in a narrow barren valley, surrounded by bare hills penetrated by two passes. The streets are broad and airy, but unpaved and filthy ; the houses, climbing the hills on either side, are of stone, and well built. There are charitable lodgings for the poorer pilgrims, and also public baths and a hospital. Drainage there is none, though there is plenty of water. The pop., which is notorious for its vice and corruption of every sort, is probably under 60,000, but is annually reinforced by at least as many pilgrims. The Great Mosque stands in the broadest part of the valley, and consists of a large quadrangle, capable of holding 35,000 persons, surrounded by arcades or cloisters, with pillars of marble and granite, and entered by nineteen gates surmounted by seven minarets. In the centre is the Kaaba (i.e. 'cube'), the temple of Mecca ages before the time of Mohammed, who invented the legend that the Kaaba was built by Abraham. It has been twice rebuilt in historical times, but the old form (which is not quite square), has been preserved; it measures about 18 paces by 14, and 35 or 40 feet high. The celebrated fetish, or Black Stone, is apparently a meteorite, about a span long, built into the south-east corner at the proper height for kissing. Hard by, and also within the court, is the well of Zemzem, the tepid water of which may once have been mineral, but the largest item in whose present analysis consists of sewage matter. In 1893 European scientists traced the recent destructive visitations of cholera to this same sacred well; and the Powers alarmed the Sublime Porte by demanding that it should be cleansed or shut up. Mohammed reconquered Mecca from the Koreish in 627, five years after his Flight or Hegira therefrom. It long remained under the rule of the caliphs, who spent large sums in its adornment. In 930 it was sacked by the Karmathians. Mecca afterwards fell under the influence of whatever dynasty - Fatimite, Ayyubite, or Mameluke - happened to rule in Egypt; and thus finally it came into the possession of the Ottoman sultans, whose power, however, is nominal, whilst the real governor is the sherif, or reputed head of the descendents of the Prophet.
See Snouck Hurgronje, Mekka (German, 1888); W. Robertson Smith in Ency. Brit. (1883); Sir Richard Burton's Pilgrimage (1855; new ed. 1894); Burckhardt's Travels in Arabia (1829).