Rukwa - Encyclopedia


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RUKWA (sometimes also Rikwa and Hikwa), a shallow lake in German East Africa, lying 2650 ft. above the sea in a N.W. continuation of the rift-valley which contains Lake Nyasa. The sides of the valley here run in steep parallel walls 30 to 40 m. apart, from S.E. to N.W., leaving between them a level plain extending from about 71° to 82° S. This whole area was probably once covered by the lake, but this has shrunk so that the permanent water occupies only a space of 30 m. by 12 at the S. immediately under the E. escarpment. In the rains its extends some 40 1n. farther N., and the north of the plain is likewise then covered with water to a depth of about 4 ft. The rest of the plain is a bare expanse intensely heated by the sun in the dry season, and forming a tract of foul mud near the lake shores. But in 1903-4 the level of the lake rose so that the waters covered the whole depression. The lake has two large feeders, one coming from the W., the other from the S.E. The W. feeder, the Saisi, or Momba, rises in 80° 50' S., 31° 30' E., and traverses a winding valley cut out of the high plateau between lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika. It enters the lake on its N.W. side. The other chief feeder, the Songwe, rises in 9° 8' S., 33° 30 E. on the same plateau as the Saisi and flows N.W., entering Rukwa at its S. end. The Songwe is joined about 50 m. about its mouth by the Rupa, whose head-waters are in the high-lying land N.E. of Rukwa. The maximum depth of the lake is about roz ft. Its water is very brackish and of a milky colour from the mud stirred up by the wind. It contains great quantities of fish. First seen from the north by Joseph Thomson in 1880, it was visited by Dr Kaiser, a German, in 1882, and has since been thoroughly explored by various British and German travellers.

See "Begleitworte zu der Karte der Gebiete am siidlichen Tanganjikaand Rukwa-See," by Paul Sprigade, in Mitteil. v. Forsch. u. Gelehrten a. d. deutschen Schutzgebieten (Berlin, 1904), with map on the scale of 1:500,000.

Rulhiere (or RuunkRES), Claude Carloman De (1735-1791), French poet and historian, was born at Bondy, near Paris, on the 12th of June 1735. He became aide-de-camp to Marshal Richelieu, whom he followed through the Hanoverian campaign of 1757 and to his government at Bordeauk in 1758; and at twenty-five he was sent to St Petersburg as secretary of legation. Here he actually saw the revolution which seated Catherine II. on the throne, and thus obtained the facts of Anecdotes sur la revolution de Russie en 1762. Catherine made repeated efforts to secure the destruction of the MS., which remained unpublished until after the empress's death. Rulhiere became secretary to the comte de Provence (afterwards Louis XVIII.) in 1773, and he was admitted to the Academy in 1787. The later years of his life were spent chiefly in Paris, where he held an appointment in the Foreign Office and went much into society; but he visited Germany and Poland in 1776. His unfinished Histoire de l'anarchie de Pologne (4 vols., 1807) was published posthumously under the editorship of P. C. F. Daunou. The only important historical work which he published during his lifetime was his Eclaircissements historiques sur les causes de la revocation de l'edit de Nantes. .. (2 vols., 1788), undertaken in view of the restoration to the Protestants of their civil rights. Rulhiere died at Bondy on the 30th of January 1791.

His short sketch of the Russian revolution is justly ranked among the masterpieces of the kind in French. Of the larger Poland Carlyle, as justly, complains that its allowance of fact is too small in proportion to its bulk. The author was also a fertile writer of vers de societe, short satires, epigrams, &c., and he had a considerable reputation among the witty and ill-natured group also containing Nicolas Chamfort, Antoine de Rivarol, Louis Rene de Champcenetz, &c. On the other hand he has the credit of caring for J. J. Rousseau in his morose old age, until Rousseau as usual quarrelled with him.

Rulhiere's works were edited, with a notice by P. R. Anguis, in 1819 (Paris, 6 vols. 8vo). The Russian Revolution may be found in the Chefs-d'oeuvre historiques of the Collection Didot, and the Poland, with title altered to Revolutions de Pologne, in the same collection. See also a notice by Eugene Asse prefixed to an edition 1890) of Rulhiere's Anecdotes sur le Marechal de Richelieu; SainteBeuve, Causeries du lundi (vol. iv.).

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