AZ'YMITES, the name given by the eastern to the western church, arising from a difference about the use, in the Lord's slipper, of leavened or unleavened bread. The western, or Latin branch, insisted that unleavened bread might be used, and the Greek church stigmatized the Latins as "azymites," from the Greek a, "not," and zume, "leaven." The Latins retorted with " pro-zymites," but the terms, intended for reproach, soon passed, with thewhole discussion, into history as useless additions to polemical nomenclature.
second letter in the Hebrew or Phoenician alphabet, and in all alphabets derived from it, belongs to the order of labials, and is of the kind called medial or fiat. See LETTERS, ALPHABET. Its name in Hebrew is both, signifying "house," probably because its original hieroglyphic or picture form was an outline of a house or tent. 111 the corresponding words of sister-languages, we find b very generally replaced by some one of the other labial letters [p, f (ph), r]; these substitutions, however, take place not by chance or caprice, but according to ascertained laws. See PHILOLOGY, CO3IPARATIVE, and GRIMM'S LAW. The following are some examples of the inter change of b with other letters: Corresponding to Eng. bear are Sansc. bhri, Lat. ferre, Gr. pherein: Eng. be, Sansc. Mu, Lat. Jio and fui, Gr. pinto: Eng. bore, Lat. forare: Eng. of and off, Gr. apo, Lat. ab: Eng. wife, plural wires, Ger. weib, Old H. Ger. trip: Eng. web, weare, weft: Gr. episcopos, Eng. bishop, Fr. evique. In several Latin words, b arose out of u (pronounced like v or w). Thus, the original form of bellunt, war, was duellnm or deelluni: of bonus, &onus: and the d being dropped (as we drop the sound of k in knee), the r became hardened into b. Similarly, Lis, twice, is for dais. A remarkable interchange sometimes takes place between b and tn., as in Sause. mri, to die; Lat.
death; and Gr. brotos, mortal.
The Greeks pronounced their b (15) like a ro, for they spelled 17rgilivs, e.g., Birgilios; and this continues to be the case in modern Greek. In Latin, during the classical ages at least, the letter was pronounced as it is in English, French, etc. But in the time of the later emperors (beginning with the 3d c. of our era), b was softened down, in the popular language at least, to a slovenly sound like v; for in inscriptions of this period, such spellings as recta for verba, mirarili for mirabili, are quite common. The distinc tion between the two sounds being once lost sight of, the letter b was frequently substi tuted for berba for verba, biros for virus. This softening of b into v in the middle age Latin, has left traces in the modern Italian and French; as Lat. habere, Ital. arere, Fr. aroir; Lat. tabula, Ital. tavola. A Spaniard, on the contrary, has a tendency to use b instead of v; thus he pronounces virere like bibere, and .1oris as if written /obis.
B, in music, is the seventh degree of the diatonic scale of C, and the twelfth degree of the diatonic-chromatic scale. In harmony, it is called the major seventh. Accord ing to the tempered system of tuning, the ratio of B, to the fundamental note 0, is In the ancient diatonic scale, B was never used as a key-note, as its fifth, F, was imper fect. In the German notation, B is called H, while B Bat is called simply B. B fiat is half a tone lower that B, and in harmony is called the fiat seventh. As a harmonic arising from C, B flat, as produced by nature, is considerably flatter than in the tem pered system of tuning.