Sok'oto, a Central African state, bounded by the Sahara, the rivers Niger and the Benuwe, and Bornu. Since 1900 Sokoto has been included in the northern part of the British protectorate of Nigeria; the area is about 200,000 sq. m., and the pop. some 11,000,000. There are large deposits of good iron. The ruling race are the Mohammedan Fulahs, whose subjects are Haussa and various Negro tribes, mainly pagans. In 1885 the sultan of Sokoto granted to the (British) Royal Niger Company a monopoly of the trade. - The town of Sokoto was the old historic capital; Kano is the trading centre. See the travels of Barth (1853), Rohlfs (1860), Flegel (18S0), and J. Thomson (1885), and books on Nigeria by Robinson (1900) and Lady Lugard (1905).
Solebay. See Southwold.
So'lent, the western portion of the strait that intervenes between the Isle of Wight and the mainland of England. It is 17 miles long, and about 3 in average breadth, but contracts to 3/4 mile at Hurst Castle (1535), built by Henry VIII.; and here the tide flows very rapidly.
Soleure (Solehr; Ger. Solothum), a Swiss canton, bounded W. and S. by Bern, and N. and E. by Basel and Aargau. Area, 306 sq. m.; the population, 101,000 in number, mostly Catholic and German-speaking. - The capital, Soleure, lies on the Aar, 18 miles NNE. of Bern by rail. The cathedral of St Ursus was built in 1762-63 on the site of an older church (1050); and there are an old clock tower, an arsenal, etc. Cottons, clocks, and cement are manufactured. Pop. 10,050. Soleure (Salodurum) was a place of consequence in Roman times. Close by are the baths of Weissenstein, with a celebrated 'whey-cure.'
Solferi'no (i as ee), a village (pop. 1284) of N. Italy, 19 miles NW. of Mantua, stands on a hill, whence the whole plain of Lombardy may be seen. Here, on June 24, 1859, the Austrians were defeated by the allied French and Piedmontese.
Solingen (Zo'ling-eri), a town of Prussia, 13 miles E. of Dlisseldorf and not far from the river Wupper. Ever since the 12th or 13th c. it has been famous for its steel and iron ware - sword-blades, helmets, cuirasses, knives, surgical instruments, etc. It has also iron-foundries, cigar-factories, etc. Pop. (1875) 14,040; (1900) 45,260.
Solofra, a city of Southern Italy, 31 miles by rail E. of Naples. Pop. 5178.
Solor Islands. See Timor.
Solothurn. See Soleure.
Somersham, a market-town of Hunts, 5 1/2 miles NNE. of St Ives. Pop. 1381.
Somers' Islands. See Bermudas.