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Yemen

(835 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] country in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered to the north by Saudi Arabia and to the east by Oman. The name derives from the Arabic word for “right” (as opposed to “left”) and originally meant the territory lying to the right, i.e. in the south. Yemen, divided into 21 administrative divisions, has an area of 527,968 km…

Thamudene Alphabet/Thamudic Inscriptions

(255 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] The Thamudic inscriptions are a group of inscriptions in several dialects of Early North Arabic, written in a script derived from the Old South Arabic alphabet. The Arab Tamûdi are mentioned in 715 bce in the annals of the Assyrian king Sargon II; according to the geography of Ptolemy, the Thamydítai and Thamydḗnoi lived in the territory of Midian. A Greek/Nabatean bilingual from the temple of Rauwāfa in the northern Hijaz mentions a people called Thamudḗnoi, and at the end of the 4th century we still find

Liḥyānites / Liḥyānite Inscriptions

(261 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] The Liḥyānites of antiquity were a tribe in the oasis of Dedān (modern al-ʾUlā) in northwestern Arabia who were able to establish an independent kingdom. Epigraphic evidences marks the appearance of this kingdom around 320 bce; it came to an end around 100 bce with the advance of the Nabateans. Thus it coexisted with the colonial settlements of the Minaeans in the same oasis. The Liḥyānites had ties with Ptolemaic Egypt (Ptolemaic Dynasty); of the nine Liḥyānite kings whose names we know, two were called Tulmay (Ptolemaios). The Liḥyānite inscriptions were written in a dialect of Early North Arabic using a unique alphabet derived from the early Dedān alphabet and closely related to the Old South Arabic alphabet. To date some 360 inscriptions on rocks and stones have come to light; most are not very long and are also fragmentary, although carefully carved. There are also an even larger number of graffiti consisting only of personal names. The material includes texts dealing with the construction and maintenance of irrigation systems, building inscriptions, dedicatory inscriptions associated with sanctuaries, records of ownership, and funerary and memorial inscriptions. The most frequently mentioned deity is known only under the epithet Dū-Ġaibat, the “(god) of concealment,” but other gods and goddesses are also invoked, and …

Sabaeans

(439 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] a Semitic people in the area of modern Yemen, home of an advanced civilization in antiquity. The center of the kingdom of Saba was the city of Mārib, situated in a riverine oasis. With it as a base, in the early 7th century bce the Sabaean ruler Karibʾil Watar gained ascendancy over the rival kingdoms of Qatabān to the south and Ḥaḍramaut to the east, along with the confederation of Minaean towns to the northwest. From the 3rd century bce on, the Sabaean kingdom expanded into the Yemenite uplands, where a competing Himyarite kingdom emerged in the 1st century ce. When the Sab…

Naǧrān

(274 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] (Najran) is an oasis town situated on the ancient Frankincense Road in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. Naǧrān originally designated the oasis, and later became the name of its main settlement, attested as Rgmtm in Old South Arabian inscriptions and as Ragma in Ezek 27:22, where it is mentioned as a trading partner of the Phoenician city of Tyre (LXX ῾Ραγμα, MT רַעְמָה/Raʿmāh). A Christian community was established in Naǧrān in the 5th century and stood under the authority of its own bishops (Arabian Peninsula: I, 1). Late Sabaean inscr…

Sabäer

(391 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[English Version] Sabäer, sem. Volk im Gebiet des heutigen Jemen, das in der Antike Träger einer Hochkultur war. Zentrum des Reiches von Saba war die in einer Flußoase gelegene Stadt Mārib. Von hier aus errang der sabäische (sab.) Herrscher Karibʾil Watar zu Beginn des 7.Jh. v.Chr. die Vormachtstellung gegenüber den rivalisierenden Reichen Qatabān im Süden, Ḥaḍramaut im Osten und dem Städtebund der Minäer im Nordwesten. Seit dem 3.Jh. v.Chr. weitete sich das sab. Reich in das jemenitische Hochland aus, wo ihm v…

Nagˇrān

(239 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[English Version] , Oasenstadt im Südwesten Saudi-Arabiens, die in der Antike an der Weihrauchstraße lag. N. war urspr. die Bez. der Oase, deren Name später auf den Hauptort übertragen wurde, der in altsüdarab. Inschriften als Rgmtm und in Ez 27,22 als Handelspartner von Tyrus (in Phönizien) als Ragma (LXX ῾Ραγμα, MT רַעְמָה/Ra‘māh) bezeugt ist. Im 5.Jh. entstand in N. eine christl. Gemeinde unter eigenen Bischöfen (arabische Halbinsel: I.,1.). Als 517 in Südarabien der jüd. König Josef an die Macht kam, zog er nach dem Zeugnis spätsabäischer (Sabäer) Inschriften auch gegen N. zu Felde. Im Herbst 518 (oder 523) wurde das belagerte N. eingenommen,…

Thamudisch (T̲amūdisch)/Thamudische Inschriften

(242 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[English Version] Thamudisch (T̲amūdisch)/Thamudische Inschriften, Bez. einer Gruppe von dialektal aufgespaltenen frühnordarab. Inschriften, die in einer aus dem altsüdarab. Alphabet abgeleiteten Schrift abgefaßt sind. Die arab. Tamûdi werden 715 v.Chr. in den Annalen des ass. Königs Sargon II. erwähnt, nach der Geographie des Ptolemaios waren die Thamydítai und Thamydēnoi im Gebiet von Midian ansässig, die griech.-nab. Bilingue des Tempels von Rauwāfa im nördlichen Ḥigˇāz nennt die Völkerschaft der Thamudēnoi, …

Cassanitae

(142 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Ptol. 6,7,6: Κασσανῖται; Plin. HN 6,150: Casani; Agatharchidas in Diod. Sic. 3,45,6: Γασάνδαι/ Gasándai). People on the south-west coast of Arabia adjoining the Kinaidokolpites in the north and the Elisaroi in the south. In the area of the C. were the residence of the king Badeṓ (Βάδεως πόλις Steph. Byz.; probably al-Badī in Asīr), the town of

Adane

(234 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Adan, Aden), an important commercial town on the Indian Ocean in the southwestern Arabian peninsula, whose harbour lies on a bay protected by two volcanic peninsulas. The Eudaimones nēsoi mentioned in Agatharchides, De mari Erythraeo, 105a, a…

Labae

(106 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Λάβαι; Lábai: Pol. 13,9.; Steph. Byz.). City on the north-east coast of Arabia in the Gerrhaean coastal area of Chattēnía (Arabic al-Ḫaṭṭ), south of al-Qaṭīf and opposite Bahrein. Their ethnicon is Labaíoi, and probably with a conjecture of g to l the Gabaíoi (Str. 16,4,4) are indicated here, who as merchants travelled from their capital Gerrha to Hadramaut in 40 days. Arab geographers of the Middle Ages also mention Laʿbā as the name of salt pans along the coast of that region. Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, Zur Kenntnis von Ostarabien…

Mesala

(77 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Masala, Plin. HN 6,158). City of the Homeritae (Ḥimyars) in Arabia Felix, certainly identical with the port of Mesalum (Plin. HN. 12,69), from which white myrrh was exported. It may be equated with the ruined town of al-Aṣala, dialect am-Aṣala (13° 13′ N, 45° 28′ E), in the delta of the Wadi Banā on the Arabian Sea northeast of Aden.…

Laeceni

(83 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Λαικηνοί/ Laikēnoí, Λαιηνοί/ Laiēnoí, Λεηνοί/ Leēnoí, Ptol. 6,7,22). Tribe who settled to the east of the central Arabian mountain range of Zámēs. Their name is not mentioned in any other ancient source and has to date not been satisfactorily interpreted. Perhaps the L. should be identified with the aṣḥāb al-Aika, the ‘people of the thicket’ or, rather, the ‘people of al-Aika’ mentioned in the Koran (15,78 et passim), a prehistoric people allegedly annihilated by the wrath of God. Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)…

Saba, Sabaei

(1,058 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] The Sabaei (Σαβαῖοι / Sabaîoi; Lat. Sabaei) were a people in the ancient land and kingdom that is known from the local inscriptions as sb (Saba) and is situated in the area of modern Yemen in the south-west of the Arabian peninsula. S. is already attested in Assyrian sources, for instance in the annals of Tiglath-Pileser III, to whom the Sabaajja paid homage with gifts in about 730 BC, in the annals of Sargon II, where in 715 the Sabaean Itamra is mentioned as bringing tribute, and in an inscription of Sennacherib, according to which i…

Col(o)bi

(38 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Κολοβοί, variant Κόλβοι). Ethiopian tribe from the area around the southern part of the Red Sea, named after the particular type of circumcision common to them (Str. 6,773; Ptol. 4,7,28). Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)

Cane

(248 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: India, trade with (Κανή; Kanḗ). Ancient seaport on the southern coast of Arabia in the bay of what is now Bīr Alī (14° 02′ N, 48° 20′ E). According to the Peripl. M. Rubr. 27, C., together with the offshore island Ὀρνέων/ Ornéōn, the ancient Urr Māwiyat and what is now Ḥuṣn al-Ġhurāb, was an important trading centre that was part of the Hadramitic kingdom of Eleazos and the starting point of the  incense road; Ptol. 6,7,10 too lists C. as  emporion, and Plin. HN 6,104 places

Leanitae

(114 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Λεανῖται; Leanîtai, Ptol. 6,7,18). People on the north-east coast of Arabia between Gerrha and the Šhaṭṭ al-ʿArab, after whom the Leanitian Bay (Λεανίτης κόλπος) is named. The territory of the L. included the town Malláda (variant Mallába; perhaps Rās at-Tanāqīb or Rās Munīfa), the Chersónēsos promontory (probably Rās al-Arḍ), the port Itamós (probably the modern city of Kuwait) and the Adárou pólis (probably opposite the island of Qurain). The L. (Plin. HN 6,156) on the Leanitian or Aelanitian Gulf …

Nascus

(155 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] Inland ( Nascus, Plin. HN 6,154) city in Arabia Felix (Amm. Marc. 23,6,47). Identical with the Našqum of Ancient Southern Arabian inscriptions, which can be identified with the remains of Al-Baydā (16° 12′ N, 44° 29′ E) in Yemenite Ǧawf. N.'s city walls were an oval 1500 m in circumference. At the beginning of the 7th cent. BC, N. was taken by Karibil Watar on behalf of Saba. According to Str. 16,782, Aelius Gallus occupied the city of Aská (Ἀσκᾶ) in 24 BC, which is traced back by the de…

Minaei

(679 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn)
[German version] (Μιναῖοι; Minaîoi). Eratosthenes mentions the M., who lived beside the Erythraean Sea, as the first of the four nations of South Arabia (Strabo 16,768). According to Plin. HN 6,157 the Minaei were descendants of Minos, king of Crete. Ptol. 6,7,23 still presents the M. as an important nation. In Ancient South Arabian inscriptions the people and the kingdom of M. were called mn or mnm, Maīn or Maīnum. The heartland of the M. was the large oasis of the River Maḏāb, which extended north-west of Mārib ( Mariaba) and since the Islamic period has been called al-Ǧauf. The kingdom…
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