Definitions

hippo-

hippopotamus

[hip-uh-pot-uh-muhs]

Huge amphibious African mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius). Once found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, it is now restricted to parts of eastern and southeastern Africa. It has a barrel-shaped body, an enormous mouth, short legs, and four toes on each foot. It commonly reaches a length of 11.5 ft (3.5 m), a height of 5 ft (1.5 m) at the shoulder, and a weight of 7,000 lb (3,200 kg). The skin is very thick, nearly hairless, and grayish brown above, lighter and pinkish below. The ears and nostrils protrude above water when the rest of the body is submerged. Hippopotamuses live near rivers, lakes, swamps, or other permanent bodies of water, usually in groups of 7 to 15. During the day they sleep and rest in or near the water. At night they go on land to feed on grasses, which they crop with their hard-edged lips. In water they can swim fast, walk along the bottom, and remain submerged (with ears and nostrils closed) for five minutes or more. The rare pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is the only other species of the family Hippopotamidae. Living along streams and in wet forests and swamps of West Africa, it is about the size of a domestic pig.

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formerly Bône

Seaport (pop., 2004 est.: 410,700), northeastern Algeria. Identified with the port of ancient Hippo (or Hippo Regius), it was a rich city of Roman Africa. It was home to St. Augustine 396–430. Severely damaged by the Vandals in 431, it passed to the Byzantine Empire in 533 before being overrun by the Arabs in the 7th century and named Bona. It was occupied by the French in 1832 when they conquered Algeria. Modern Annaba is Algeria's chief exporter of minerals; it also serves as a trading port and port of call.

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St. Augustine, fresco by Sandro Botticelli, 1480; in the church of Ognissanti, Florence.

(born Nov. 13, 354, Tagaste, Numidia—died Aug. 28, 430, Hippo Regius; feast day August 28) Christian theologian and one of the Latin Fathers of the Church. Born in Roman North Africa, he adopted Manichaeism, taught rhetoric in Carthage, and fathered a son. After moving to Milan he converted to Christianity under the influence of St. Ambrose, who baptized him in 387. He returned to Africa to pursue a contemplative life, and in 396 he became bishop of Hippo (now Annaba, Alg.), a post he held until his death while the city was under siege by a Vandal army. His best-known works include the Confessions, an autobiographical meditation on God's grace, and The City of God, on the nature of human society and the place of Christianity in history. His theological works On Christian Doctrine and On the Trinity are also widely read. His sermons and letters show the influence of Neoplatonism and carry on debates with the proponents of Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism. His views on predestination influenced later theologians, notably John Calvin. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in the early Middle Ages.

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