VItI form of the broad plates of Limulus.
FIJI (Viti), a British colony consisting of an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, the most important in Polynesia, between 15° and 20° S., and on and about the meridian of 180°.
The principal island is Viti Levu, 98 m.
Of Viti Levu, and the three other main islands, lying east of Viti Levu in the Koro Sea, are Koro, Ngau or Gau, and Ovalau.
North-west of Viti Levu lies another chain, the Yasawa or western group; and, finally, the colony includes the island of Rotumah, 300 m.
It breaches the mountains in a fine valley; for this island consists practically of one long range, whereas the main valleys and ranges separating them in Viti Levu radiate for the most part from a common centre.
With few exceptions the islands are surrounded by barriers of coral, broken by openings opposite the mouths of streams. Viti Levu is the most important island not only from its size, but from its fertility, variety of surface, and population, which is over one-third of that of the whole group. The town of Suva lies on an excellent harbour at the south-east of the island, and has been the capital of the colony since 1882, containing the government buildings and other offices.
Vanua Levu is less fertile than Viti Levu; it has good anchorages along its entire southern coast.
The Rewa, debouching through a wide delta at the south-east of Viti Levu, is navigable for small vessels for 40 m.
Above the sea; but certain sedimentary rocks observed on Viti Levu seem to imply a nucleus of land of considerable age.
Volcanic activity in the neighbourhood is further shown by the quantities of pumice-stone drifted on to the south coasts of Kandavu and Viti Levu; malachite, antimony and graphite, gold in small quantities, and specular iron-sand occur.
Good bridle-tracks exist in all the larger islands, and there are some macadamized roads, principally in Viti Levu.
About 1804 some escaped convicts from Australia and runaway sailors established themselves around the east part of Viti Levu, and by lending their services to the neighbouring chiefs probably led to their preponderance over the rest of the group. Na Ulivau, chief of the small island of Mbau, established before his death in 1829 a sort of supremacy, which was extended by his brother Tanoa, and by Tanoa's son Thakombau, a ruler of considerable capacity.
Seemann, Flora Vitiensis (London, 1865); and Viti: Account of a Government Mission in the Vitian or Fijian Islands (1866-1861); W.
Fiume is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Liburnian town Tersatica; later it received the name of Vitopolis, and eventually that of Fanum Sancti Viti ad Flumen, from which its present name is derived.