Birket-El-Keroon (Arab., lake of the horn), a lake in Fayoom, central Egypt, so named from its shape, or perhaps from the shape of the projecting spouts of a castle which stands on its banks; length about 30 m., greatest breadth 6 m. Its shores are bluff', except on the S. side, where they are low and sandy. The lake communicates with the Nile and with the canal which popular tradition ascribes to Joseph. In antiquity it was connected by canals with the artificial lake Moeris, with which it has often been erroneously identified. (Sec Moeris.) It abounds with fish, and is farmed out to fishermen.


Birr. See Parsonstown.

Birs Nimirud

See Babel, and Babylon.

Birs Nimrud

Birs Nimrud. See Babel.


Birth. See Obstetrics.


Biryim, a hill of Perthshire, in the western highlands of Scotland, near the S. bank of the Tay, 14 m. N. N. W. of Perth, 1,324 ft. high. It was anciently included in a royal forest, and is mentioned as Birnam wood in Shakespeare's "Macbeth." It is now destitute of trees.


Bisaccia, a town of S. Italy, in the province of Principato Ulteriore, 30 m. E. by N. of Avel-lino; pop. about 6,000. It is built on a hill, has several churches and a hospital, and is the seat of a bishop. Ancient remains discovered here seem to identity Bisaccia as the site of Romulea, captnred by the Romans in the third Samnite war.

Bisacquino, Or Bosacrhino

Bisacquino, Or Bosacrhino, a town of Sicily, 27 m. S. of Palermo; pop. about 8,500. It has an extensive trade in grain, oil, and flax, and manufactures of linen.


Bisca, a town of Piedmont, Italy, in the province and 9 m. N. W. of Coni, on the left bank of the Maira, an affluent of the Po; pop. about 9,000. Near it excellent wine is produced.


Bisceglie, a strongly fortified seaport town of Italy, in the province and 21 m. W. N. W. of the city of Bari; pop. in 1872, 21,371. It is built on a promontory, is the seat of a bishop, and has a cathedral, two monasteries, a hospital, and a college. The harbor admits only small vessels. It is famous for its currants.


Bischofswerda, a city of Saxony, on the river Wesenitz, 19 m. E. N. E. of Dresden; pop. in 1867, 4,102, chiefly employed in the manufacture of cloths and the preparation of granite building stones. On a neighboring summit is the castle of St. John, which was finished in 1856. Bischofsvverda was raised to a city by Benno, bishop of Meissen, in 1076. It has suffered several conflagrations, one of which was by the Hussites in 1429, and another in an engagement between the French and Russians in 1813.

Bischweiler, Or Bischwiller

Bischweiler, Or Bischwiller, a town of Alsace, Germany, situated on the Moder, 14 m. N. N. E. of Strasburg; pop. in 1871, 9,231. It was formerly fortified, but was dismantled in 1706. Near Bischweiler is situated the rich iron mine of Mittelhardt. Woollen, linen, oil, soap, and earthenware are manufactured.