ATLAS

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ATLAS ; a chain of mountains which extends over a large part of Northern Africa. The Greater A. runs through the kingdom of Morocco, as far south as Sahara, and is more than 11,000 feet high. The Lesser A. extends from Morocco, towards the N. E., to the northern coast. The mythology of the Greeks assigned this mountain to a Titan, son of Japetus and Clymene. Jupiter, the conqueror of the Titans, condemned him to bear the vault of heaven ; which fable arose from his lofty stature. He was endowed with wisdom, and later accounts ascribe to him much knowledge, particularly of astronomy. By Pleione, the daughter of Oceanus, he had seven daughters, who, under the name of Pleiades (called, likewise, after their father, Atlantides), shone in the heavens. According to some, he was also the father of the Hyades.Atlas, in anatomy, is the name of the first vertebra of the neck, which supports the head. Atlas, in commerce ; a silk cloth manufactured in the East Indies. The manufacture is admirable, and, as yet, inimitable by Europeans; yet it has not that lustre, which the French know how to give to their silk stuffs.Atlas; a name 38 * given to collections of maps and charts ; so called from the giant who supported heaven. This name was first used to signify a geographical system, by Gerard Mercator, in the 16th century.