Aylesford, a village near the centre of Kent, on the right bank of the Medway, 3 1/2 miles NW. of Maidstone. Remarkable ancient remains are found here, including the cromlech called Kits Coity House (q.v.). Pop. of parish, 2647.
Ayuthia, the former capital of Siam, on the Menam, 50 miles N. of Bangkok. Founded in 1357, it was sacked and half destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. Among its magnificent but ruinous buildings are Buddhist temples, especially the 'Golden Mount,' 400 feet high.
Azerbijan', or Aderbaijan, the ancient Media Atropatene, the north-western province of Persia, has an area of about 40,100 sq. m., and a pop. of 2,000,000. The surface is very mountainous, Savalan (an extinct volcano), near Ardebil, reaching over 13,000 feet; whilst Mount Ararat rises on the north-west border. The chief rivers are the Aras or Araxes, the Kara Su, and the Kizil-Uzen. The salt lake Urmia (q.v.), the largest in Persia, is near the western border. Towns are Tabriz (the capital) and Urmia.
Azincourt. See Agincourt.
Azo'tus. See Ashdod.
Azpeitia (Ath-pay'e-te-a), a town in the Spanish prov. Guipuzcoa, on the Urola, 18 miles SW. of San Sebastian. A mile from it is the famous convent of Loyola (16S3), now converted into a museum. It comprises a tower of the Santa Casa, in which St Ignatius of Loyola, the great founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491. Pop. 6548.
Babatag, or Babadagh, a town of 7000 inhabitants, in the Roumanian Dobrudja, 2 1/2 miles W. of Lake Razim.
Bab-el-Mandeb (i.e. 'the gate of tears'), the strait between Arabia and the continent of Africa, by which the Red Sea is connected with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The Arabian peninsula here throws out a cape, bearing the same name as the strait, and 865 feet high, 20 miles distant from which the wall-like coast of Africa rises in Ras es Sean to over 400 feet. Within the straits, but nearer to Arabia, lies the bare rocky island of Perim (q.v.), since 1857 occupied by the British as a fort.
Bacharach (Bahh'a-rahh), a town of Rhenish Prussia, on the Rhine, 30 miles SE. of Coblenz. Pop. 1840. Its name is said to be a corruption of Bacchi ara ('Bacchus' altar'), and the vine is still largely cultivated. Here Blucher crossed the Rhine, January 1, 1814.