Becskerek. I. Great (Hung. Nagy-Becsle-rek), a town of S. Hungary, capital of the county of Torontal, on the Bega, 47 m. S. W. of Temesvar; pop. in 1870, 19,666. It has a Roman Catholic and a Greek church, a gymnasium, and a college of Piarists. The principal trade is in agricultural produce and cattle. II. Little (Hung. Kis-Bccskerek), a village of Hungary, in the county and 10 m. N. W. of Temesvar; pop. about 8,000. It is in a fine agricultural district, famous for its sheep, and has a trade in wool and honey.
Bedarieux, a town of Languedoc, France, in the department of Herault, on the Orbe, 19 m. N. of Beziers; pop. in 1866, 8,985. The town has a college and manufactories of cloths and woollen goods. In 1851 Bedarieux was the scene of a serious insurrection.
Bedbug. See Epizoa.
Bedford Capperton Trevylian Pim, an English naval officer, born at Bideford, Devonshire, June 12, 1826. He began his career in the mercantile navy, and was subsequently employed in the naval surveying service. He made a voyage round the world in 1845-51, was engaged in the search for Sir John Franklin, saved the crew of the Investigator, and was the first who ever succeeded in going overland from the E. to the W. side of the northwest passage. After serving in the Crimean war, and in China, where he was severely wounded, he engaged in efforts for the construction of a railroad across Nicaragua. He has published "The Gate of the Pacific" (London, 1863), and, in conjunction with Berthold Seemann, "Dottings on the Roadside in Panama, Nicaragua, and Mosquito " (1869).
Beelzebub, Or Beelzebul, a heathen deity, to whom the Jews in the times of the apostles ascribed the sovereignty over evil spirits. It is supposed to be identical with the Baalzebub, fly god, of the Ekronites (see Baal), the final b being in later times changed to I in pronouncing the word. Others find in the last element the Hebrew word zebul, "habitation," and consider Beelzebul to mean "lord of the house;" others refer it to the Heb. zebel, "dung," and render the name "dung god." Hug ingeniously, suggests-that the form under which the Philistine deity was worshipped was that of the scarabcBus pillularius, the dunghill beetle, in which case Baal-zebub or Beelzebul would be equally appropriate. The name appears nowhere in the rabbinical writers.
Beemster, the largest of the polders or tracts of drained land of the Netherlands, about 12 m. N. of Amsterdam; area, 8,000 acres. The district contains a neat village of about 2,600 inhabitants, chiefly employed in raising sheep and cattle.
Befana, in Italy, a puppet or doll dressed as a woman, and carried through the streets in procession on the day of Epiphany, and on some other feast days. The name is probably derived from Epifania, the feast of the Epiphany. On the day of this feast presents are given to children in Italy, as they are elsewhere on Christmas or New Year's, and the be/ana is supposed to bring them.