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AZTECS—AZYMITES

Azoximes can also be produced from α-benzil dioxime by the “Beckmann” change. Most of the azoximes are very volatile substances, sublime readily, and are easily soluble in water, alcohol and benzene.

For detailed descriptions, see F. Tiemann (Ber., 1885, 18, p. 1059), O. Schulz (Ber., 1885, 18, pp. 1084, 2459), and G. Müller (Ber., 1886, 19, p. 1492); also Annual Reports of the Chemical Society).

AZTECS (from the Nahuatl word aztlan, “place of the Heron,” or “Heron” people), the native name of one of the tribes that occupied the tableland of Mexico on the arrival of the Spaniards in America. It has been very frequently employed as equivalent to the collective national title of Nahuatlecas or Mexicans. The Aztecs came, according to native tradition, from a country to which they gave the name of Aztlan, usually supposed to lie towards the north-west, but the satisfactory localization of it is one of the greatest difficulties in Mexican history. The date of the exodus from Aztlan is equally undetermined, being fixed by various authorities in the 11th and by others in the 12th century. One Mexican manuscript gives a date equivalent to A.D. 1164. They gradually increased their influence among other tribes, until, by union with the Toltecs, who occupied the tableland before them, they extended their empire to an area of from 18,000 to 20,000 square leagues. The researches of Humboldt gave the first clear insight into the early periods of their history. See Mexico; Nahuatlan Stock.

AZUAGA, a town of western Spain, in the province of Badajoz, on the Belmez-Fuente del Arco railway. Pop. (1900) 14,192. Azuaga is the central market for the live-stock of the broad upland pastures watered by the Matachel, a left-hand tributary of the Guadiana, and by the Bembézar, a right-hand tributary of the Guadalquivir. Coarse woollen goods and pottery are manufactured in the town.

AZUAY (sometimes written Assuay), a province of Ecuador, bounded N. by the province of Cañar, E. by Oriente, S. by Loja, and W. by El Oro. It was formerly called Cuenca, and formed part of the department of Azuay, which also included the province of Loja. Azuay is an elevated mountainous district with a great variety of climates and products; among the latter are silver, quicksilver, wheat, Indian corn, barley, cattle, wool, cinchona and straw hats. The capital is Cuenca.

AZUNI, DOMENICO ALBERTO (1749–1827), Italian jurist, was born at Sassar, in Sardinia, in 1749. He studied law at Sassari and Turin, and in 1782 was made judge of the consulate at Nice. In 1786–1788 he published his Dizionario Universale Ragionato della Giurisprudenza Mercantile. In 1795 appeared his systematic work on the maritime law of Europe, Sistema Universale dei Principii del Diritto Maritimo dell' Europa, which he afterwards recast and translated into French. In 1806 he was appointed one of the French commission engaged in drawing up a general code of commercial law, and in the following year he proceeded to Genoa as president of the court of appeal. After the fall of Napoleon in 1814, Azuni lived for a time in retirement at Genoa, till he was invited to Sardinia by Victor Emmanuel I., and appointed judge of the consulate at Cagliari, and director of the university library. He died at Cagliari in 1827. Azuni also wrote numerous pamphlets and minor works, chiefly on maritime law, an important treatise on the origin and progress of maritime law (Paris, 1810), and an historical, geographical and political account of Sardinia (1799, enlarged 1802).

AZURARA, GOMES EANNES DE (?–1474), the second notable Portuguese chronicler in order of date. He adopted the career of letters in middle life. He probably entered the royal library as assistant to Fernão Lopes (q.v.) during the reign of King Duarte (1433–1438), and he had sole charge of it in 1452. His Chronicle of the Siege and Capture of Ceuta, a supplement to the Chronicle of King John I., by Lopes, dates from 1450, and three years later he completed the first draft of the Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea, our authority for the early Portuguese voyages of discovery down the African coast and in the ocean, more especially for those undertaken under the auspices of Prince Henry the Navigator. It contains some account of the life work of that prince, and has a biographical as well as a geographical interest. On the 6th of June 1454 Azurara became chief keeper of the archives and royal chronicler in succession to Fernão Lopes. In 1456 King Alphonso V. commissioned him to write the history of Ceuta, “the land-gate of the East,” under the governorship of D. Pedro de Menezes, from its capture in 1415 until 1437, and he had it ready in 1463. A year afterwards the king charged him with a history of the deeds of D. Duarte de Menezes, captain of Alcacer, and, proceeding to Africa, he spent a twelvemonth in the town collecting materials and studying the scenes of the events he was to describe, and in 1468 he completed the chronicle. Alphonso corresponded with Azurara on terms of affectionate intimacy, and no less than three commendas of the order of Christ rewarded his literary services. He has little of the picturesque ingenuousness of Lopes, and loved to display his erudition by quotations and philosophical reflections, showing that he wrote under the influence of the first Renaissance. Nearly all the leading classical, early Christian and medieval writers figure in his pages, and he was acquainted with the notable chronicles and romances of Europe and had studied the best Italian and Spanish authors. In addition, he had mastered the geographical system of the ancients and their astrology. As an historian he is laborious, accurate and conscientious, though his position did not allow him to tell the whole truth about his hero, Prince Henry.

His works include: (1) Chronica del Rei D. Joam I. Terceira parte em que se contem a tomada de Ceuta (Lisbon, 1644); (2) Chronica do Descobrimento e Conquista de Guiné (Paris, 1841; Eng. version in 2 vols. issued by the Hakluyt Society, London, 1896–1899); (3) Chronica do Conde D. Pedro (de Menezes), printed in the Ineditos de Historia Portugueza, vol. ii. (Lisbon, 1792); (4) Chronica do Conde D. Duarte de Menezes, printed in the Ineditos, vol. iii. (Lisbon, 1793). The preface to the English version of the Chronicle of Guinea contains a full account of the life and writings of Azurara and cites all the authorities.  (E. Pr.) 

AZURE (derived, through the Romance languages, from the Arabic al-lazward, for the precious stone lapis lazuli, the initial l having dropped), the lapis lazuli; and so its colour, blue.


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AZURITE, or Chessylite, a mineral which is a basic copper carbonate, 2CuCO3·Cu(OH)2. In its vivid blue colour it contrasts strikingly with the emerald-green malachite, also a basic copper carbonate, but containing rather more water and less carbon dioxide. It was known to Pliny under the name caeruleum, and the modern name azurite (given by F. S. Beudant in 1824) also has reference to the azure-blue colour; the name chessylite, also in common use, is of later date (1852), and is from the locality, Chessy near Lyons, which has supplied the best crystallized specimens of the mineral. Crystals of azurite belong to the monoclinic system; they have a vitreous lustre and are translucent. The streak is blue, but lighter than the colour of the mineral in mass. Hardness 3½–4; sp. gr. 3.8.

Azurite occurs with malachite in the upper portions of deposits of copper ore, and owes its origin to the alteration of the sulphide or of native copper by water containing carbon dioxide and oxygen. It is thus a common mineral in all copper mines, and sometimes occurs in large masses, as in Arizona and in South Australia, where it has been worked as an ore of copper, of which element it contains 55%. Being less hydrated than malachite it is itself liable to alteration into this mineral, and pseudomorphs of malachite after azurite are not uncommon. Occasionally the massive material is cut and polished for decorative purposes, though the application in this direction is far less extensive than that of malachite.  (L. J. S.) 

AZYMITES (Gr. ἀ-, without; ζύμη, leaven), a name given by the Orthodox Eastern to the Western or Latin Church, because of the latter's use of unleavened bread in the Eucharist, a practice which arose in the 9th century and is also observed by Armenians and Maronites following the Jewish passover custom. The Orthodox Church strenuously maintains its point, arguing that the very name bread, the holiness of the mystery, and the example of Jesus and the early church alike, testify against the use of unleavened bread in this connexion.