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

San Stefano dates from the 16th century. In 1900 the population of Bellinzona was 4949, practically all Romanists and Italian-speaking.

Possibly Bellinzona is of Roman origin, but it is first mentioned in 590. It played a considerable part in the early history of Lombardy, being a key to several Alpine passes. In the 8th century it belonged to the bishop of Como, while in the 13th and 14th centuries it was tossed to and fro between the cities of Milan and Como. In 1402 it was taken from Milan by Albert von Sax, lord of the Val Mesocco, who in 1419 sold it to Uri and Obwalden, which, however, lost it to Milan in 1422 after the battle of Arbedo. In 1499 (like the rest of the Milanese) it was occupied by the French, but in 1500 it was taken by Uri. In 1503 the French king ceded it to Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, which henceforth ruled it very harshly through their bailiffs till 1798. At that date it became the capital of the canton Bellinzona of the Helvetic republic, but in 1803 it was united to the newly-formed canton of Tessin.  (W. A. B. C.) 

BELLMAN, KARL MIKAEL (1740-1795), Swedish poet, son of a civil servant, was born at Stockholm on the 4th of February 1740. When quite a child he developed an extraordinary gift of improvising verse, during the delirium of a severe illness, weaving wild thoughts together lyrically and singing airs of his own composition. When he was nineteen he became clerk in a bank and afterwards in the customs, but his habits were irregular and he was frequently in great distress, particularly after the death of his patron, Gustavus III. As early as 1757 he published Evangeliska Dödstankar, meditations on the Passion from the German of David von Schweidnitz, and during the next few years wrote, besides other translations, a great quantity of poems, imitative for the most part of Dalin. In 1760 appeared his first characteristic work, Månan (The Moon), a satirical poem, which was revised and edited by Dalin. But the great work of his life occupied him from 1765 to 1780, and consists of the collections of dithyrambic odes known as Fredmans Epistlar (1790) and Fredmans Sånger (1791). Fredman and his friends were well-known characters in the Stockholm pot-houses, where Bellman had studied them from the life. No poetry can possibly smell less of the lamp than Bellman’s. He was accustomed, when in the presence of none but confidential friends, to announce that the god was about to visit him. He would shut his eyes, take his zither, and begin apparently to improvise the music and the words of a long Bacchic ode in praise of love or wine. Most of his melodies are taken direct, or with slight adaptations, from old Swedish ballads, and still retain their popularity. Fredman’s Epistles bear the clear impress of individual genius; his torrents of rhymes are not without their method; wild as they seem, they all conform to the rules of style, and among those that have been preserved there are few that are not perfect in form. A great Swedish critic has remarked that the voluptuous joviality and the humour of Bellman is, after all, only “sorrow clad in rose-colour,” and this underlying pathos gives his poems their undying charm. His later works, Bacchi Tempel (The Temple of Bacchus) (1783), eight numbers of a journal called Hvad behagas? (What you Will) (1781), in 1780 a religious anthology entitled in a later edition (1787) Zions Högtid (Zion’s Holiday), and a translation of Gellert’s Fables, are comparatively unimportant. He died on the 11th of February 1795. Much of Bellman’s work was only printed after his death, Bihang till Fredmans Epistlar (Nyköping, 1809), Fredmans Handskrifter (Upsala, 1813), Skaldestycken (“Poems,” Stockholm, 1814) being among the most important of these posthumous works. A colossal bronze bust of the poet by Byström (erected by the Swedish Academy in 1829) adorns the public gardens of Stockholm, and a statue by Alfred Nyström is in the Hasselbacken, Stockholm. Bellman had a grand manner, a fine voice and great gifts of mimicry, and was a favourite companion of King Gustavus III.

The best edition of his works was published at Stockholm, edited by J. G. Carlén, with biographical notes, illustrations and music (5 vols., 1856-1861); see also monographs on Bellman by Nils Erdmann (Stockholm, 1895) and by F. Niedner (Berlin, 1905).

BELLO, ANDRÉS (1781-1865), South American poet and scholar, was born at Caracas (Venezuela) on the 29th of November 1781, and in early youth held a minor post in the civil administration. He joined the colonial revolutionary party, and in 1810 was sent on a political mission to London, where he resided for nineteen years, acting as secretary to the legations of Chile, Colombia and Venezuela, studying in the British Museum, supplementing his small salary by giving private lessons in Spanish, by journalistic work and by copying Jeremy Bentham’s almost indecipherable manuscripts. In 1829 he accepted a post in the Chilean treasury, settled at Santiago and took a prominent part in founding the national university (1843), of which he became rector. He was nominated senator, and died at Santiago de Chile on the 15th of October 1865. Bello was mainly responsible for the civil code promulgated on the 14th of December 1855. His prose works deal with such various subjects as law, philosophy, literary criticism and philology; of these the most important is his Gramática castellana (1847), the leading authority on the subject. But his position in literature proper is secured by his Silvas Americanas, a poem written during his residence in England, which conveys with extraordinary force the majestic impression of the South American landscape.

Bello’s complete works were issued in fifteen volumes by the Chilean government (Santiago de Chile, 1881-1893); he is the subject of an excellent biography (Santiago de Chile, 1882) by Miguel Luis Amunátegui.

 (J. F.-K.) 

BELLO-HORIZONTE, or Minas, a city of Brazil, capital of the state of Minas Geraes since 1898, about 50 m. N.W. of Ouro Preto, connected with the Central of Brazil railway by a branch line 9 m. in length. Pop. (estimated) in 1906, 25,000 to 30,000. The city was built by the state on an open plateau, and provided with all necessary public buildings, gas, water and tramway services before the seat of government was transferred from Ouro Preto. The cost of transfer was about £1,000,000. The city has grown rapidly, and is considered one of the most attractive state capitals of Brazil.

BELLONA (originally Duellona), in Roman mythology, the goddess of war (bellum, i.e. duellum), corresponding to the Greek Enyo. By later mythologists she is called sometimes the sister, daughter or wife of Mars, sometimes his charioteer or nurse. Her worship appears to have been promoted in Rome chiefly by the family of the Claudii, whose Sabine origin, together with their use of the name of “Nero,” has suggested an identification of Bellona with the Sabine war goddess Nerio, herself identified, like Bellona, with Virtus. Her temple at Rome, dedicated by Appius Claudius Caecus (296 B.C.) during a battle with the Samnites and Etruscans (Ovid, Fasti vi. 201), stood in the Campus Martius, near the Flaminian Circus, and outside the gates of the city. It was there that the senate met to discuss a general’s claim to a triumph, and to receive ambassadors from foreign states. In front of it was the columna bellica, where the ceremony of declaring war by the fetialis was performed. From this native Italian goddess is to be distinguished the Asiatic Bellona, whose worship was introduced into Rome from Comana, in Cappadocia, apparently by Sulla, to whom she had appeared, urging him to march to Rome and bathe in the blood of his enemies (Plutarch, Sulla, 9). For her a new temple was built, and a college of priests (Bellonarii) instituted to conduct her fanatical rites, the prominent feature of which was to lacerate themselves and sprinkle the blood on the spectators (Tibullus i. 6. 45-50). To make the scene more grim they wore black dresses (Tertullian, De Pallio) from head to foot. The festival of Bellona, which originally took place on the 3rd of June, was altered to the 24th of March, after the confusion of the Roman Bellona with her Asiatic namesake.

See Tiesler, De Bellonae Cultu (1842).

BELLOT, JOSEPH RENÉ (1826-1853), French Arctic explorer, was born at Rochefort on the 18th of March 1826, the son of a farrier. With the aid of the authorities of his native town he was enabled at the age of fifteen to enter the naval school, in which he studied two years and earned a high reputation. He