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Bīr al-Sabʿ

(214 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic name of Beersheba, in southern Palestine. At this place were the springs which Abraham is said to have dug with his own hands; many legends are current about them. The place was uninhabited from the 8th/14th century, but was rebuilt by the Turks in 1319/ 1901 as an administrative centre for the south. This step was no doubt influenced by the dispute with Britain over the Egyptian-Palestinian frontier and by the need for closer surveillance of the southern tribes. In October 1917 a d…

al-Maṣṣīṣa

(6,866 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic form of the classical Mopsuestis, Byzantine Greek form Μαμίστρα, Syriac Maṣīṣtā, Armenian Msis, Ottoman Tkish. Miṣṣīṣ, or Missis, modern Tkish. Misis, a town of Cilicia on the western or right bank of the D̲j̲ayḥān [ q.v.], 18 miles/27 km. to the east of Adana [ q.v.] and now in the modern vilayet of Adana. In antiquity it was called Μόψου ἑστία, a name, which (like that of Μόψου χρήνη in the Cilician passes) is derived from the cult of the legendary seer Mopsos (cf. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altert ., i/22, § 483). In ancient times, the town was chiefly famous for its bishop Theod…

al-Ramla

(1,733 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town of Palestine, in early Islamic times in the d̲j̲und [ q.v.] of Filasṭīn [ q.v.]. It is situated on the coastal plain 40 km/25 miles west-north-west of Jerusalem, inlat. 31° 50′ N., long. 34° 52′ E., and now lies between the modern Israeli towns of Rehovot and Lod (Lydda, Ludd [ q.v.]). The Umayyad caliphs liked to choose little country towns, usually places in Palestine, to live in rather than Damascus. Muʿāwiya, and after him Marwān and others, frequently resided in al-Ṣinnabra on the south bank of the Lake of al-Ṭabariyya, Yazīd I in Haw…

Rīḥā

(1,040 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the name of two towns in the Levant. 1. The Arabs called the Jericho of the Bible Rīḥā or Arīḥā (Clermont-Ganneau, in JA [1877], i, 498). The town, which was 12 mīls east of Jerusalem, was reckoned sometimes to the D̲j̲und of Filasṭīn (e.g. Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , iii, 913 and sometimes to the district of al-Balḳāʾ (al-Yaʿḳūbī, Buldān , 113); sometimes, however, it was called the capital of the province of Jordan (al-Urdunn) or of G̲h̲awr. the broad low-lying valley of the Jordan (Nahr al-Urdunn) from which it was 10 mīl distant (Yāḳūt, i, 227). As a result of its w…

al-Nuk̲h̲ayla

(275 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in ʿIrāḳ, near al-Kūfa. It is known mainly from the accounts of the battle of Ḳādisiyya [ q.v.]. From the statements collected by Yāḳūt regarding its position, it appears that two different places of this name had later to be distinguished, namely one near al-Kūfa on the road to Syria, which is several times mentioned in the time of the caliphs ʿAlī and Muʿāwiya, and another, a watering station between al-Mug̲h̲īt̲h̲a and al-ʿAḳaba, 3 mīls from al-Ḥufayr, to the right of the road to Mecca. Several encounters took place there during the seco…

al-Tīh

(741 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, properly Faḥṣ al-Tīh, the name in mediaeval Islamic usage for the desert forming the frontier zone between Palestine and Egypt and spanning the Sinai Desert. The name itself is not found in the Ḳurʾān (which in sūra XXIII, 20, uses Sīnāʾ and in II, 60/63, 87/93, IV, 153/154, etc., Ṭūr, for the Sinai peninsula), but the verb from which it is presumably derived occurs as yatīhūn “they wander about in a confused, lost manner” (V, 29/25), said of the Children of Israel, condemned by God to wander distractedly through the Sinai Desert because of their refusal to Moses to enter the Holy Land. Hence th…

Zaytūn

(729 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, in Ottoman usage Zeytūn , a town of southeastern Anatolia, now called Süleymanh. The town (lat. 37° 53’ N., long. 36° 50’ E., altitude 940 m/3,080 feet) lies in the basin of the upper reaches of the D̲j̲ayhān [ q.v.]/Ceyhan river, and the old part of it rises in terraces on the slopes of a steep hill crowned by a Turkish-period fortress. Its former Armenian inhabitants called it Zetʿun or Ulnia, or simply Kegʿ “village”. An Aplgharip (? ʿAbd al-Ḳarīb) of Fornos, to the southwest of Zaytūn, is mentioned at the beginning of the reign of Leon I of Little Armenia (1129-37) ( Rec. hist. Crois ., Doc. arm

Miṣṣīṣ

(7,427 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, arab. al-Maṣṣīṣa, a town in Cilicia on the Ḏj̲aiḥān. In antiquity it was called Μόψου ἑστία a name, which (like that of Μόψου κρήνη in the Cilician passes) is derived from the cult of the legendary seer Mopsos (cf. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altert., I/ii.2, § 483). In ancient times, the town was chiefly famous for its bishop Theodoras (d. 428), the teacher of Nestorius and friend of the suffragan bishop and inventor of the Armenian alphabet, ¶ Mas̲h̲tʿocʿ (Peeters, Revue des Etudes Armén., ix., Paris 1929, p. 210; on him cf. e.g. al-Masʿūdī, Tanbīh, ed. de Goeje, p. 152; Mich. Syr., transl. Cha…

Rūm Ḳalʿa

(3,064 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a fortress in Northern Syria. According to Arnold Nöldeke’s description, it is situated “on a steeply sloping tongue of rock, lying along the right bank of the Euphrates, which bars the direct road to the Euphrates from the west for its tributary the Merziman as it breaks through the edge of the plateau, so that it is forced to make a curve northwards around this tongue. The connection between this tongue of rock, some 1,300 feet long and about half as broad, and the plateau which rises above …

Lād̲h̲īḳ

(336 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Lādīḳ, Greek Λαοδίκεια), the name of several towns in Asia Minor. 1. The ancient Λαοδίκεια κατακεκαυμένη ( Lādīḳ Sūk̲h̲ta). It probably derived this name from the smelting furnaces which it had around it as the centre of the quicksilver mining area. It was in Ḳaramān north of Ḳūniya on the great military road which ran through Asia Minor. Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa already knows it by its modern name of Yorgān Lādīḳ or Lād̲h̲iḳīya in Ḳaramān. Bibliography Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa, Ḏj̲ihān-Numā, p. 611 sqq. Ibn Bībī, ed. Houtsma in Recueil de textes relat. à. L’hist. des Siljoucides, iii. 23, 25 …

Maṣyād

(2,380 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in Northern Syria on the eastern side of the Ḏj̲abal al-Nuṣairīye. The pronunciation and orthography of the name varies between the forms Maṣyād, Maṣyāf (in official documents and on the inscriptions mentioned below of the years 646 and 870 a. h.), Maṣyāt and Maṣyāt̲h̲. (on the interchange of f and t̲h̲ see Rescher, Z.D.M.G., lxxiv. 465; Praetorius, Z. D. M. G., Ixxv. 292; Dussaud, Topographie hist. de la Syrie, p. 143, note 4; 209; 395, note 3). The variants Maṣyāb (Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, ed. Wüstenfeld, iv. 556), Maṣyāh (Ḵh̲alīl al-Ẓāhirī, Zubda, ed. Ravaisse, p. 49) and Maṣyāṭ (al-Nāb…

al-S̲h̲awbak

(1,319 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a fortress of the Crusaders east of the Araba in the mountains of al-S̲h̲arā. It was built in 509 (1115) by Baldwin I of Jerusalem in 18 days in Syria Sobal and was called Mens Regalis (Montréal, also le Crac de Montréal to distinguish it from Crac des Moabites, i. e. Kerak [q. v.] and Crac des Chevaliers, i. e. Ḥiṣn al-Akrād [q. v.]) by the Franks. The site of the fortress was, as William of Tyre (xi. 26; Migne, Patrol. Lat., cci., col. 514 sqq.) points out, very suitable for the building of an impregnable fortress. It is therefore not improbable that, as Yāḳūṭ (iii. 332) indi…

Mard̲j̲ Dābiḳ

(507 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a plain near Dābiḳ [ q.v.] on the Nahr al-Ḳuwayḳ in northern Syria. The town of Dābiḳ, was known to the Assyrians as Dabigu (Sachau, ZA, xii, 47) and is called Δάβεκον by Theophanes ( Chron ., ed. de Boor, 143, 451 ff.). For convenience in his campaigns against the Byzantines, Sulaymān b. ʿAbd al-Malik moved the headquarters of the Syrian troops from D̲j̲ābiya [ q.v.] to Dābiḳ. In 717 with an army under ʿUbayda he set out from Mard̲j̲ Dābiḳ for Asia Minor and on his return died there in Ṣafar 99/September-October 717 (al-Masʿūdī, Murūd̲j̲ , v, 397 = §2151; Chronica minora, ed. Guidi, in GSCO, Scr . Sy…

Karbalāʾ

(2,133 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a place in ʿIrāḳ some 60 miles SSW of Bag̲h̲dād celebrated by the fact that the Prophet’s grandson al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī was killed and his decapitated body buried there ( Ḳabr al-Ḥusayn ). For all these events, see al-ḥusayn b. ʿalī . When it became a place of pilgrimage, Karbalāʾ became known as Mas̲h̲had (al-) Ḥusayn. The name Karbalāʾ probably comes from the Aramaic Karbelā (Daniel, III, 21) and from the Assyrian ¶ Karballatu, a kind of headdress; see G. Jacob, Türkische Bibliothek , xi, 35, n. 2. It is not mentioned in the pre-Islamic period. K̲h̲ālid b…

Raʾs al-ʿAyn

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
or ʿAyn Warda , Syriac Rēs̲h̲ ʿAynā, a town of classical and mediaeval Islamic times of al-D̲j̲azīra, deriving its name (“spring-head”) from the famed springs of the locality (see below). It is situated on the Greater K̲h̲ābūr [ q.v.] affluent of the Euphrates in lat. 36° 50′ N. and long. 40° 02′ E. It is now little more than a village straddling the modern border between Syria and Turkey, with the Syrian settlement still known as Raʾs al-ʿAyn and the Turkish one as Resülayn or Ceylânpinar. In classical times it was known as Resaina-Theodosiopolis, receiving from the Emperor Theo…

al-Nuḳra

(161 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a plain west of the D̲j̲abal Ḥawrān on the border of Trachonitis in Transjordan. The name al-Nuḳra (“the cavity”) is quite modern. It is applied to an area which includes the two districts of al-Bat̲h̲aniyya (with its chief town Ad̲h̲riʿāt) and Ḥawrān (west of the hills of the same name), i.e. the whole northern half of modern Jordan. In the wider sense, al-Nuḳra includes all the country from al-Lad̲j̲āʾ, D̲j̲aydūr and al-Balḳāʾ to the foot of the D̲j̲abal Ḥawrān, in the narrower sense on…

Sabasṭiyya

(718 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, Sebasṭiyya , the Arabic name of various towns in the Near East. 1. The ancient Samaria, which Herod had changed to Σεβαστή in honour of Augustus. The form Σεβάστεια—as in the case of other towns of this name—was presumably also used, as the Arabic name (which is sometimes also written Sabaṣṭiyya) suggests. By the end of the classical period, the town, overshadowed by the neighbouring Neapolis (Sichem; Arabic, Nābulus), had sunk to be a small town (πολίκνιον) and played only an unimportant part in the Arab period. It was conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ while Abū Bakr ¶ was still caliph; the inh…

Filasṭīn

(733 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Palestine). Under Turkish rule and British mandate. By the victory of Selīm I at Dābiḳ on the 25th Rad̲j̲ab 922 (Aug. 24, 1516) Palestine passed into the hands of the Ottoman Turks for 400 years. During this period of cultural and economic decline there were formed a number of small temporary independent Druse states like that of Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn (1595—1634), of Ẓāhir al-ʿAmr (about 1750), of Aḥmad al-Ḏj̲ezzār (Ḏj̲ezzār Pas̲h̲a) and his successors who usually ruled in ʿAkkā and held a considerable part of Galilee…

al-Tīh

(627 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, properly Faḥṣ al-Tīh, is the name of the desert forming the frontier between Syria and Egypt in the interior of the Sinai Peninsula. The Arab geographers also call it the “Desert of the Banī Isrāʾīl”. As early as the Tabula Peutingeriana we find the legend: Desertum ubi quadraginta annis errauerunt filii Israel ducente Moyse and on the map of Mādabā: ἔρημοΣ [ὅπου] τοὺΣ ’ΙσραηλίταΣ ἔσωσ [εν] ὁ χαλκοῦΣ ὄΦιΣ and ἔρημοΣ Σὶν ὅπου κατεπέμΦθη τὸ μάννα καὶ ἡ ὀρτυγομήτρα. In the desert there was a fortress of the same name (De Guignes, Perle des Merveilles, N. E., ii. 31); there is a Wādi ’l-Tīh i…

Baḥr al-Rūm

(236 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic name for the Mediterranean. It took its name from al-Rūm (Bilād al-Rūm), the Roman, i. e. Byzantine, Empire. Other names were also used, such as Baḥr al-Mag̲h̲rib [q. v.]. The name Adria, which originally meant only the Adriatic Sea, became applied in later antiquity to an area which gradually expanded eastwards. For example Jordanes speaks of Rodus totius Atriae insularum metropolis and the Tabula Peutingeriana makes the Adriaticum Pelagus extend to Crete (Partsch, Pauly-Wissowa’s Realenzykl., i., col. 418; A. Ronconi, Per l’onomastica antica dei mari, in Studi italian…
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