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Rodez

RODEZ, a town of southern France, capital of the department of Aveyron, 51 m. N.N.E. of Albi by rail. Pop. (1906) town, 11,076; commune, 15,502. Rodez is situated on the southern border of the Causse of Rodez, on an isolated plateau bordered on the E. and S. by the river Aveyron. The cathedral was built between 1277 and 1535. A great Flamboyant rosewindow and a gallery in the same style are the chief features of the principal facade, which is flanked by two square towers and has no portal. Each transept has a fine Gothic doorway. On the north side of the building rises a tower (1510-1526) of imposing height (253 ft.). The three upper stages are richly decorated, and the whole is surmounted by a colossal statue of the Virgin. In the cathedral are a fine rood-loft, some good wood-carving and the tombs of several bishops. Other interesting buildings are the episcopal palace (i?th and 19th centuries), flanked by a massive tower, relic of an older palace; the church of St Amans, of Romanesque architecture, restored in the 18th century; and, among other old houses, the hotel d'Armagnac built in the Renaissance period on the site of the old palace of the counts. The ruins of a Roman amphitheatre still exist in Rodez, which is supplied with water by a Roman aqueduct. About 6 m. to the north of Rodez is the chasm of Tindoul de la Vayssiere, leading to a subterranean river issuing in the springs of the picturesque village of Salles-la-Source.

The town is the seat of a bishop, a prefect and a court of assizes, and has tribunals of first instance and commerce, a chamber of commerce, a branch of the Bank of France, a lycee training college for both sexes and an ecclesiastical seminary. The industries include wool-spinning and the weaving of woollen goods.

Rodez, called Segodunum under the Gauls, and Ruthena under the Romans, was the capital of the Rutheni, a tribe allied to the Arverni and was afterwards the principal town in the district of Rouergue In the 4th century it adopted the Christian faith, and St Amans its first bishop, was elected in 401. During the middle ages contests were rife between the bishops, who held the temporal power in the cite, and the counts in the " bourg." The Albfgenses were defeated near Rodez in 1210. The countship of Rodez, detachec from that of Rouergue at the end of the 11th century, belongec first to the viscounts of Carlat, and from the beginning of the 14th century to the counts of Armagnac. From 1360 to 1368 the English held the town. After the confiscation of the estates of the Armagnacs '" '475 the countship passed to the dukes of Alengon and then to the D'Albrets. Henry IV. finally annexed it to the crown of France RODGERS, JOHN (1771-1838), American sailor, was born in Harford county, Maryland, on the 1ith of July 1771. He entered the United States navy when it was organized in 1798. He was second in command to Commodore James Barren (1760-1851) in the expedition against the Barbary pirates, and succeeded him in the command in 1805. In this year he brought both Tunis and Tripoli to terms, and then returned to America. In 181 1 he was in command as commodore of the U.S. frigate " President " (44) off Annapolis when he heard that an American seaman had been " pressed " by a British frigate off Sandy Hook. Commodore Rodgers was ordered to sea " to protect American commerce," but he may have had verbal instructions to retaliate for the impressment of real or supposed British subjects out of American vessels, which was causing much ill-feeling and was a main cause of the War of 1812. On the 16th of May 1811 he sighted and followed the British sloop " Little Belt " (22), and after some hailing and counterhailing, of which very different versions are given on either side, a gun was fired, each side accusing the other of the aggression, and an action ensued in which the " Little Belt " was cut to pieces. The incident, which was represented as an accident by the Americans, and believed to be a deliberate aggression by the British navy, had a share in bringing on war. When hostilities broke out Rodgers commanded a squadron on the coast of America, and was wounded by the bursting of one of his guns while pursuing the British frigate " Belvedere." He was subsequently President of the Board of Navy Commissioners in 1815-1824 and in 1827-1837, and acting secretary of the navy in 1823 for two weeks. He died in Philadelphia on the 1st of August 1838.

His brother, George Washington Rodgers (1787-1832), a brother-in-law of Commodore Perry, served in the War of 1812 and in the war with Algiers (1815). Rear-Admiral John Rodgers (1812-1882), a son of Commodore John Rodgers, served in the Union navy and in 1877-1882 was superintendent of the Naval Observatory at Washington. G. W. Rodgers had two sons who were naval officers, Christopher Raymond Perry Rodgers (1819-1892) and George Washington Rodgers (1822-1863).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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