Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Puerto Militar, between the city and the entrance to the bay. The port, whose trade is increasing rapidly, is connected with the neighbouring and interior producing districts by five or six lines of railway and their branches. Bahia Blanca dates from 1828, when a fort and trading post were located here, but its development as a commercial centre began only in 1885, when its first railway line was opened. In 1908 direct railway communication was opened with Mendoza and San Juan. Though situated near the mountainous section of southern Buenos Aires, the immediate vicinity of the city is low and swampy, its water is brackish, and it has been decidedly unhealthy; but a water supply from the Sauce Grande, 50 m. distant, was projected in 1906, and this, with better drainage and street paving, was expected to improve matters. The mean annual temperature is 60°, and the average annual rainfall is 19 in. The city has street cars, electric-lights and telephone service, and the port has a shipping pier 1640 ft. long, with spacious warehouses and several miles of railway sidings.

BAHR, the Arabic for “sea,” with the diminutive bahira. Bahr also signifies a. river, especially one with a large body of water, e.g. the Nile, and is sometimes used to designate the dry bed of a river.

BAHRAICH or Bharaich, a town and district of British India, situated in the Fyzabad division of the United Provinces. The town is on the river Sarju. Since the opening of the railway the place has begun to flourish. It contains the most popular place of pilgrimage in Oudh, the tomb of Masaud, a champion of Islam, slain in battle by the confederate Rajputs in 1033, which is resorted to by Mahommedans and Hindus alike. There is also a Mussulman monastery, and the ruined palace of a nawab of Oudh. The American Methodists have a mission here. Pop. (1901) 27,304.

The district of Bahraich contains an area of 2647 sq. m. It consists of three tracts: (1) in the centre, an elevated triangular plateau, projecting from the base of the Himalayas for about 50 m. in a south-easterly direction—average breadth, 13 m., area, 670 sq. m.; (2) the great plain of the Gogra, on the west, about 40 ft. below the level of the plateau; and (3) on the east, another lesser area of depression, comprising the basin of the Rapti. The tarai, or the forest and marshy tracts along the southern slopes of the Himalayas, gradually merge within the district into drier land, the beds of the streams become deeper and more marked, the marshes disappear, and the country assumes the ordinary appearance of the plain of the Ganges. The Gogra skirts the district for 114 m.; and the Rapti, with its branch the Bhalka, drains the high grounds. In 1901 the population was 1,051,347, showing an increase of 5% in the decade. A considerable trade is conducted with Nepal, chiefly in timber. A line of railway has been opened through the district to Nepalganj on the frontier. As there are no canals in the district, irrigation is obtained solely from wells, tanks and rivers. The district is purely agricultural in character, and is one of large estates, 78% being held by taluqdars, of whom the four chief are the raja of Kapurthala, the maharaja of Balrampur, the raja of Nanpara and the raja of Payagpur.

Little is known of the history of the district before the Mahommedan invasion in A.D. 1033. Masaud was defeated and slain by the nobles of Bahraich in 1033, and the Mahommedans did not establish their authority over the country till the middle of the 13th century. About 1450 the Raikwars, or Rajput adventurers, made themselves masters of the western portion of the district, which they retain to this day. In 1816 by the treaty of Segauli the Nepal tarai was ceded to the British, but was given back in 1860. During the Mutiny the district was the scene of considerable fighting, and after its close a large portion was distributed in jagirs to loyal chiefs, thus originating the taluqdari estates of the present day.

BAHRĀM (Varahrān, in Gr. Οὐαραράνης or Οὐραράνης, the younger form of the old Verethragna, the name of a Persian god, “the killer of the dragon Verethra”), the name of five Sassanid kings.

1. Bahrām I. (A.D. 274–277). From a Pahlavi inscription we learn that he was the son (not, as the Greek authors and Tabari say, the grandson) of Shapur I., and succeeded his brother Hormizd (Ormizdas) I., who had only reigned a year. Bahrām I. is the king who, by the instigation of the magians, put to a cruel death the prophet Mani, the founder of Manichaeism. Nothing else is known of his reign.

2. Bahrām II. (277–294), son of Bahrām I. During his reign the emperor Carus attacked the Persians and conquered Ctesiphon (283), but died by the plague. Of Bahrām II.'s reign some theological inscriptions exist (F. Stolze and J. C. Andreas, Persepolis (Berlin, 1882), and E. W. West, “Pahlavi Literature” in Grundriss d. iranischen Philologie, ii. pp. 75-129).

3. Bahrām III., son of Bahrām II., under whose rule he had been governing Sejistan (therefore called Saganshah, Agathias iv. 24, Tabari). He reigned only four months (in 294), and was succeeded by the pretender Narseh.

4. Bahrām IV. (389–399), son and successor of Shapur III., under whom he had been governor of Kirman; therefore he was called Kirmanshah (Agathias iv. 26; Tabari). Under him or his predecessor Armenia was divided between the Roman and the Persian empire. Bahrām IV. was killed by some malcontents.

5. Bahrām V. (420–439), son of Yazdegerd I., after whose sudden death (or assassination) he gained the crown against the opposition of the grandees by the help of al-Mondhir, the Arabic dynast of Hira. He promised to rule otherwise than his father, who had been very energetic and at the same time tolerant in religion. So Bahrām V. began a systematic persecution of the Christians, which led to a war with the Roman empire. But he had little success, and soon concluded a treaty by which both empires promised toleration to the worshippers of the two rival religions, Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Bahrām deposed the vassal king of the Persian part of Armenia and made it a province. He is a great favourite in Persian tradition, which relates many stories of his valour and beauty, of his victories over the Romans, Turks, Indians and Negroes, and of his adventures in hunting and in love; he is called Bahrām Gor, “the wild ass,” on account of his strength and courage. In reality he seems to have been rather a weak monarch, after the heart of the grandees and the priests. He is said to have built many great fire-temples, with large gardens and villages (Tabari).  (Ed. M.) 

BAHRDT, KARL FRIEDRICH (1741–1792), German theologian and adventurer, was born on the 25th of August 1741 at Bischofswerda, where his father, afterwards professor, canon and general superintendent at Leipzig, was pastor. At the age of sixteen young Bahrdt, a precocious lad whose training had been grossly neglected, began to study theology under the orthodox mystic, Christian August Crusius (1715–1775), who in 1757 had become first professor in the theological faculty. The boy varied the monotony of his studies by pranks which revealed his unbalanced character, including an attempt to raise spirits with the aid of Dr Faust's Höllenzwang. His orthodoxy was, however, unimpeachable, his talent conspicuous, and in 1761 he was appointed lecturer on biblical exegesis, and preacher (Katechet) at the church of St Peter. His eloquence soon gave him a reputation, and in 1766 he was appointed professor extraordinarius of biblical philology. Two years later, however, the scandals of his private life led to his dismissal. In spite of this he succeeded in obtaining the chair of biblical antiquities in the philosophical faculty at Erfurt. The post was unpaid, and Bahrdt, who had now married, lived by taking pupils and keeping an inn. He had meanwhile obtained the degree of doctor of theology from Erlangen, and was clever enough to persuade the Erfurt authorities to appoint him professor designate of theology. His financial troubles and coarse and truculent character, however, soon made the town too hot to hold him; and in 1771 he was glad to accept the offer of the post of professor of theology and preacher at Giessen.

Thus far Bahrdt's orthodoxy had counterbalanced his character; but at Giessen, where his behaviour was no less objectionable than elsewhere, he gave a handle to his enemies by a change