Bel-Merodach

Bel-Merodach. See Merodach.

Belbeys Belbeis

Belbeys Belbeis, or Bclbes, a town of Lower Egypt, capital of a district of the same name, 28 m. N. N. E. of Cairo; pop. about 5,500. About 14 m. N. N. W. is the site of Bubastus, where traces of the Pelusian arm of the Nile are still visible, which probably led Bishop William of Tyre erroneously to identify Belbeis with Pelusium. North of the town are the ruins of the city of Patumus, supposed to be the Pithour in the building of which the Israelites were employed by their Egyptian taskmasters. The crusaders destroyed Belbeis, which was subsequently rebuilt and became an important station on the caravan road to Syria. It has not retained its prosperity. Napoleon I. had the fortifications repaired in 1798, but they have since fallen to decay.

Beled IL-Jerid

Beled Il-Jerid, " the land of dates,'" a sterile region of Africa S. of the Atlas chain, on the borders of the great Sahara, extending from the borders of Morocco to Tripoli. It received its name from the numerous date palms found in its oases.

Belesta

Belesta, a town of France, department of Ariege, 17 m. E. S. E. of Foix; pop. in 1866, 2,545. It is noted for the intermitting spring of Fontestorbes, which rises in a natural grotto or cavern, and forms the principal part of the river Lers, a feeder of the Garonne. The stream which flows from the cavern is 18 or 20 ft. wide and a foot or more deep, and runs very rapidly; yet in the summer and autumn, and whenever there is a drought, it becomes intermittent. The intermission takes place at equal intervals twice in the 24 hours.

Belgae

Belgae, one of the three peoples who divided the possession of the whole of Gaul among them at the time of its invasion and conquest by Julius Caesar, the other two being the Geltas, in the centre, and the Aquitani, between the Garonne and the Pyrenees. The Belgas occupied the country between the Rhine, Seine, and Marne, embracing modern Belgium and portions of France, Germany, and Holland. (See Gaul.) It is not settled among ethnologists how far the Belgae and Celtos of Gaul were of different or kindred races; nor at what time, whether previous or subsequent to this period, the intermigrations with Britain occurred. It is assumed, however, from many considerations, that the Belgae had at least a mixture of Teutonic blood, if they were not Teutons.

Belgard

Belgard, a town of Prussia, in the province of Pomerania, on the Persante, 15 m. S. S. W. of Koslin; pop. in 1871, 6,303. It has a castle, three churches, and important cattle and horse markets.

Belgium

Belgium, a town in the presidency of Bombay, Hindostan, the headquarters of the southern division of the Bombay army, 40 m. N. W. of Dharwar; pop. about 8,000. Its site is elevated and healthy, and it is strongly fortified. The British captured this place in 1818, after a siege of 21 days.