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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…

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…

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…

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-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…

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

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…

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…

Zind̲j̲īrli̊

(365 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a village in Northern Syria in the valley of the Ḳaraṣū between the Amanos and the Kurd Dāg̲h̲ not far from Iṣlāḥīye. Near the village is a tell, the ruins of the old Aramaean town of S̲h̲amʾal, the capital of the little North Syrian state of Yaʾdī (Assyr. Yaudi). It was discovered in 1883 by Hamdy Bey, F. v. Luschan and O. Fuchstein and excavated in 1888, 1890—1891, 1894 and 1902 by the Berlin Orientkomitee under the leadership of K. Humann, F. v. Luschan and F. Winter with the co-operation of J. Euting and W. Koldewey. The citadel of S̲h̲amʾal was surrounded by two concentric circular w…

Maʿlūlāʾ

(405 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in Central Syria north-east of Damascus. It is mentioned as early as Georgios Kyprios (ed. Gelzer, p. 188, N°. 993) as Μαγλούλων (MSS. μαγλούδων, μαγαιγλούδων) κλίμα in Phoinike Libanesia. Yāḳūt also calls Maʿlūlāʾ an iḳlīm (κλίμα) near Dimas̲h̲ḳ with many villages. The modern Maʿlūla, a village of Christians, is picturesquely situated at the west end of a deep ravine of the Antilebanon, which splits into a western and southern arm. “At the entrance to the northern lies the monastery of Mār Taḳlā built half into the rocks.…

al-Yarmūk

(433 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a river in Syria, now called S̲h̲arīʿat al-Manāḍira (from the Beduin tribe ʿArab al-Manāḍira). It rises in the Ḥawrān, flows west through a deeply cut valley of erosion, the Wādī al-Ramād, which describes a flat curve open to the south, to the G̲h̲awr, where it flows into the Nahr al-Urdunn (the Jordan) below Lake Gennesareth at Ḏj̲isr al-Mud̲j̲āmiʿ. Pliny calls it ( Hist. Nat., v. 74) Hieromix or Hieromices ( Gadara Hieromice praefluente, var. Hieromiace; the now so popular form “ Hieromax” is not recorded). On the 12th Rad̲j̲ab 15 (Aug. 20, 636 a. d.) in the celebrated battle on the Y…

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…

al-Namāra

(371 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, 1. a place in Syria. It is situated in the ḥarra of al-Ṣafāʾ on an eminence in the Wādi ’l-S̲h̲ām, which runs from the Ḏj̲ebel al-Drūz (Ḏj̲ebel al-Ḥawrān) to the plain of Ruḥba, at the spot where it joins the Wādi ’l-Saʾūṭ. It ¶ corresponds to the Roman military post of Namara (Waddington, Inscriptions, N°. 2270). Less than a mile S. E. of al-Namāra, Dussaud found the Nabataean-Arab tomb inscription of the “King of all the Arabs”, Maiu ’l-Ḳais bar ʿAmru, i. e. the Lak̲h̲mid Imru ’l-Ḳais b. ʿAmru, of the 7th Keslūl 223 of the era of Boṣrāʾ = Dec. 7,. 328 a. d. (cf. vol. i., p. 382a). Bibliography R. Duss…

Ṣūr

(2,983 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Tyre), the island city of Phoenicia. From the Amarna period it was one of the richest commercial centres of the Syrian coast and gradually developed into a powerful rival of the adjoining Sidon [q. v.] for dominion over the Phoenician colonies in the west. Its conquest and destruction by Alexander the Great only deprived the flourishing metropolis of its importance for a brief period; but it had one permanent important result, namely that the island city was henceforth connected with the mainla…

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…

Zaitūn

(853 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in the southeast of Asia Minor. It is the chief town in a ḳazā of the wilāyet (formerly sand̲j̲aḳ) of Marʿas̲h̲ and is (or was before the recent persecutions) inhabited for the most part by Armenians, who call it Zet̲h̲un or Ulnia, usually however simply Keg̲h̲ (“village”). The name Ulni (Ulnia) is also used for the whole of the mountainous country on the Ḏj̲aiḥān between Ḳaratūt̲h̲ (S. W. of Albistān) and Bertis. Whether Ulnia was originally the name of Zaitūn or Furnus to the S. W. of…

al-Nad̲j̲af

(1,170 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Mas̲h̲had ʿAlī), a town and place of pilgrimage in the ʿIrāḳ 6 miles west of al-Kūfa. It lies on the edge of the desert on a flat barren eminence from which the name al-Nad̲j̲af has been transferred to it (A. Musil, The Middle Euphrates, p. 35). According to the usual tradition, the Imām al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib [q. v.] was buried near Kūfa, not far from the dam which protected the city from flooding by the Euphrates at the place where the town of al-Nad̲j̲af later arose (Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, ed. Wüstenfeld, iv. 760), also called Nad̲j̲af al-Kūfa (Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲arī, Lexicon geographicum, ed. …

Maʿarrat Maṣrīn or Miṣrīn

(1,199 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, capital of a nāḥiya of Ḥalab. The name is also written Maʿarrat Naṣrīn which has been wrongly taken as an abbrevation of Maʿarrat Ḳinnasrīn (Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 497). In Syriac manuscripts of the eighth century, the town is called Meʿarret Meṣrēn (Wright, Catalogue of the Syriac MSS. in the Brit. Mus., p. 454b, dated 745 a. d.; Agnes Smith Lewis, The Old Syriac Gospels or Evangelion damepharres̲h̲ē, London 1910: a palimpsest under a collection of biographies of holy women, written by a monk Yōḥannan Stylites of Bēt̲h̲ Marī Ḳānūn, a monaste…
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