In Greek mythology the term was specially applied to the stone supposed to have been swallowed by Cronus (who feared misfortune from his own children) in mistake for his infant son Zeus, for whom it had been substituted by Uranus and Gaea, his wife's parents (Etymologicum Magnum, s.v.). This stone was carefully preserved at Delphi, anointed with oil every day and on festal occasions covered with raw wool (Pausanias x. 24). In Phoenician mythology, one of the sons of Uranus is named Baetylus. Another famous stone was the effigy of Rhea Cybele, the holy stone of Pessinus, black and of irregular form, which was brought to Rome in 204 B.C. and placed in the mouth of the statue of the goddess. In some cases an attempt was made to give a more regular form to the original shapeless stone: thus Apollo Agyieus was represented by a conical pillar with pointed end, Zeus Meilichius in the form of a pyramid. Other famous baetylic idols were those in the temples of Zeus Casius at Seleucia, and of Zeus Teleios at Tegea. Even in the declining years of paganism, these idols still retained their significance, as is shown by the attacks upon them by ecclesiastical writers.
See Munter, Über die vom Himmel gefallenen Steine (1805); Bösigk, De Baetyliis (1854); and the exhaustive article by F. Lenormant in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionary of Antiquities.
BAEYER, JOHANN FRIEDRICH WILHELM ADOLF VON (1835- ), German chemist, was born at Berlin on the 31st of October 1835, his father being Johann Jacob von Baeyer (1794-1885), chief of the Berlin Geodetical Institute from 1870. He studied chemistry under R. W. Bunsen and F. A. Kekulé, and in 1858 took his degree as Ph.D. at Berlin, becoming privat-docent a few years afterwards and assistant professor in 1866. Five years later he was appointed professor of chemistry at Strassburg, and in 1875 he migrated in the same capacity to Munich. He devoted himself mainly to investigations in organic chemistry, and in particular to synthetical studies by the aid of “condensation” reactions. The Royal Society of London awarded him the Davy medal in 1881 for his researches on indigo, the nature and composition of which he did more to elucidate than any other single chemist, and which he also succeeded in preparing artificially, though his methods were not found commercially practicable. To celebrate his seventieth birthday his scientific papers were collected and published in two volumes (Gesammelte Werke, Brunswick, 1905), and the names of the headings under which they are grouped give some idea of the range and extent of his chemical work:—(1) organic arsenic compounds, (2) uric acid group, (3) indigo, (4) papers arising from indigo researches, (5) pyrrol and pyridine bases, (6) experiments on the elimination of water and on condensation, (7) the phthaleins, (8) the hydro-aromatic compounds, (9) the terpenes, (10) nitroso compounds, (11) furfurol, (12) acetylene compounds and “strain” (Spannungs) theory, (13) peroxides, (14) basic properties of oxygen, (15) dibenzalacetone and triphenylamine, (16) various researches on the aromatic and (17) the aliphatic series.
BAÉZA (anc. Beatia), a town of southern Spain, in the province of Jaén; in the Loma de Ubeda, a mountain range between the river Guadalquiver on the S. and its tributary the Guadalimar on the N. Pop. (1900) 14,379. Baéza has a station 3 m. S.W. on the Lináres-Almería railway. Its chief buildings are those of the university (founded in 1533, and replaced by a theological seminary), the cathedral and the Franciscan monastery. The Cordova and Ubeda gates, and the arch of Baéza, are among the remains of its old fortifications, which were of great strength. The town has little trade except in farm-produce; but its red dye, made from the native cochineal, was formerly celebrated. In the middle ages Baéza was a flourishing Moorish city, said to contain 50,000 inhabitants; but it was sacked in 1239 by Ferdinand III. of Castile, who in 1248 transferred its bishopric to Jaén. It was the birthplace of the sculptor and painter, Caspar Becarra.
BAFFIN, WILLIAM (1584-1622), English navigator and discoverer. Nothing is known of his early life, but it is conjectured that he was born in London of humble origin, and gradually raised himself by his diligence and perseverance. The earliest mention of his name occurs in 1612, in connexion with an expedition in search of a North-West Passage, under the orders of Captain James Hall, whom he accompanied as chief pilot. Captain Hall was murdered in a fight with the natives on the west coast of Greenland, and during the two following years Baffin served in the Spitsbergen whale-fishery, at that time controlled by the Muscovy Company. In 1615 he entered the service of the Company for the discovery of the North-West Passage, and accompanied Captain Robert Bylot as pilot of the little ship “Discovery,” and now carefully examined Hudson Strait. The accuracy of Baffin's tidal and astronomical observations on this voyage was confirmed in a remarkable manner by Sir Edward Parry, when passing over the same ground, two centuries later (1821). In the following year Baffin again sailed as pilot of the “Discovery,” and passing up Davis Strait discovered the fine bay to the north which now bears his name, together with the magnificent series of straits which radiate from its head and were named by him Lancaster, Smith and Jones Sounds, in honour of the generous patrons of his voyages. On this voyage he had sailed over 300 m. farther north than his predecessor Davis, and for 236 years his farthest north (about lat. 77° 45′) remained unsurpassed in that sea. All hopes, however, seemed now ended of discovering a passage to India by this route, and in course of time even Baffin's discoveries came to be doubted until they were re-discovered by Captain Ross in 1818. Baffin next took service with the East India Company, and in 1617-1619 performed a voyage to Surat in British India, and on his return received the special recognition of the Company for certain valuable surveys of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf which he had made in the course of the voyage. Early in 1620 he again sailed to the East, and in the Anglo-Persian attack on Kishm in the Persian Gulf, preparatory to the reduction of Ormuz, he received his death-wound and died on the 23rd of January 1622. Besides the importance of his geographical discoveries, Baffin is to be remembered for the importance and accuracy of his numerous scientific and magnetic observations, for one of which (the determination of longitude at sea by lunar observation) the honour is claimed of being the first of its kind on record.
BAFFIN BAY and BAFFIN LAND, an arctic sea and an insular tract named after the explorer William Baffin. Baffin or Baffin's Bay is part of the long strait which separates Baffin Land from Greenland. It extends from about 69° to 78° N. and from 54° to 76° W. From the northern end it is connected (1) with the polar sea northward by Smith Sound, prolonged by Kane Basin and Kennedy and Robeson Channels; (2) with the straits which ramify through the archipelago to the north-west by narrow channels at the head of Jones Sound, from which O. Sverdrup and his party conducted explorations in 1900-1902; (3) with the more southerly part of the same archipelago by Lancaster Sound. Baffin Bay was explored very fully in 1616 by Baffin. The coasts are generally high, precipitous and deeply indented. The most important island on the east side is Disco, to the north of Disco Bay, Greenland. During the greater part of the year this sea is frozen, but, while hardly ever free of ice, there are normally navigable channels along the coasts from the beginning of June to the end of September connected by transverse channels. The bay is noted as a centre of the whale and seal fishery. At more than one point a depth exceeding 1000 fathoms has been ascertained.
Baffin Land is a barren insular tract, included in Franklin district, Canada, with an approximate area of 236,000 sq. m., situated between 61° and 90° W. and 62° and 74° N. The eastern and northern coasts are rocky and mountainous, and are deeply indented by large bays including Frobisher and Home Bays, Cumberland Sound and Admiralty Inlet. Baffin Land is separated from Greenland by Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, from Ungava by Hudson Strait, from Keewatin and Melville Peninsula by Fox Channel and Fury-and-Hecla Strait, from Boothia Peninsula and North Somerset by the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet, and from North Devon by Lancaster Sound. Various names are given to various parts of the land—thus the north-western part is called Cockburn Land, farther