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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 Ma…

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 co…

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 rega…

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.…

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

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 (

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…

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…

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 Theodorus (d. 428), the teacher of Nestorius and friend of the suffragan bishop and inventor of the Armenian alphabet, Mas̲h̲tʿocʿ. The emperor Heraclius is said to have removed the inhabitants and laid waste the district between Antioch and Mopsuestia on the advance of the Arabs, in orde…

al-Ramla

(1,716 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, capital of Filasṭīn, 25 miles E. N. E. of Jerusalem. The Umaiyad 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-Ṭabarīya, Yazīd I in Hawwārīn, Ad̲h̲riʿāt, ʿAbd al-Malik in al-Ḏj̲ābiya, Walīd in Usais (now Tell Sais S. E. of Damascus) and al-Ḳaryatain and his ¶ sons in al-Ḳaṣtal, Yazīd II also in al-Muwaḳḳar near Fudain or in Bait Raʾs (Lammens, La Bâdia et la Ḥîra sous les Omaiyades, in M.F.O.B., iv., 1910, p. 91—112; A. Musil, The country residences of the Omayyads, in Palmyrena, New York 1928, p. 277—297). In the reign of al-Walīd his brother Sulaimān was governor of Filasṭīn. Stimulated by the examples of ʿAbd al-Malik, the builder of the Ḳubbat al-Ṣak̲h̲ra in Jerusalem, and of his brother who had restored the mosque of Damascus (Yāḳūt,

Ortoḳids

(2,024 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Urtuḳids), a Turkmen dynasty, branches of which ruled in Mārdīn, Ḥiṣn Kaifā and Ḵh̲artabirt. When the Sald̲j̲ūḳ sulṭān of Damascus, Tutus̲h̲, conquered Jerusalem in 479 he appointed as governor of the town his officer Urtuḳ b. Aksab, who had already served under Maliks̲h̲āh and had taken part in the siege of Āmid in 477. He was succeeded in 484 (1091) by his sons Sukmān and and Īlg̲h̲āzī. After the Holy City had been taken for the Fāṭimids in S̲h̲aʿbān 489 (1096) by al-Afḍal b. Badr al-Ḏj̲amālī, Sukmān went to al-Ruhā and ¶ Īlg̲h̲āzī to his lands in the ʿIrāḳ. In 495 (1101) Sulṭān Muḥammad made Īlg̲h̲āzī his commissioner (S̲h̲aḥna) in Bag̲h̲dād. A. Ḥiṣn Kaifā. Muʿīn al-Dawla Sukmān I (cf. iv., p. 510) assisted Mūsā when he was besieged by Ḏj̲akarmis̲h̲ in al-Mawṣil and as a reward received from him in 495 (1101) 10,000 dīnārs and the town of Ḥiṣn Kaifā (Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, x. 234—236). He had already owned Sarūd̲j̲ since 488 and in 498 or shortly before, Mārdīn also fell into his hands (Abu ’l-Fiḍāʾ ed. Reiske, iii. 350—35…

Rūd̲h̲rāwar

(344 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a district in al-Ḏj̲ibāl (Media) south of Mount Alwand, halfway between Hamad̲h̲ān and Nihāwand. According to Ibn al-Faḳīh, it was a valley in the district of Nihāwand, which was three farsak̲h̲s in length and formed one of the most pleasing spots in the Sāsānian empire with its 93 villages all linked up one another by an uninterrupted stretch of orchards and perennial streams. The principal product was a world renowned saffron which was exported through Nihāwand and also through Hamad̲h̲ān. T…

Nīs̲h̲āpūr

(2,027 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the most important of the four great cities of Ḵh̲urāsān (Nīs̲h̲āpūr, Marw, Herāt and Balk̲h̲), one of the great towns of Īrān in the middle ages. The name goes back to the Persian Nēw-S̲h̲āhpuhr (“Fair S̲h̲āpūr”); in Armenian it is called Niu-S̲h̲apuh, Ar…

al-Raḥba

(2,740 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, Raḥbat Mālik b. Ṭawḳ or Raḥbat al-S̲h̲aʾm, a town on the right bank of the Euphrates, the modern al-Miyādīn. Hardly anything definite is known about the history of the town before the Muslim era. In the middle ages it was usually identified as the Reḥōbōt han-Nāhār of the Bible (Gen. xxxvi. 37) i.e. Reḥōbōt on the river (Euphrates) especially in the Talmud and by the Syriac authors (e. g. Mich. Syr., cf. index, p. 63*; Barhebraeus, Chron. syr., ed. Bedjan, p. 273 and passim), who usually call it Reḥabōt, Raḥabat (M. Hartmann, in Z.D.P.V., xxiii., p. 42, note 1). A. Musil ( The Middle …

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 Yarmūk an army of some 50,000 Byzantines was decisively defeated by an Arab force, probably half as strong, under Ḵh̲ālid b. al-…

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 …

Orfa

(5,384 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
(Greek Edessa, Syr. Orhāi, Armen. Urhay, Ar. al-Ruhāʾ), an important town in Diyār Muḍar, the ancient Osrhoëne.…

al-Raḳḳa

(2,688 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, capital of Diyār Muḍar in al-Ḏj̲azīra on the left bank of the Euphrates, shortly before it is joined by the Nahr Balīk̲h̲ (ΒασίλειοΣ, Βίληχα, ΒάλισσоΣ). The town was in antiquity called Kallinikos. Nikephorion is to be located in the same region (Strabo, xvi. 747; Isidores of Charax, in Geogr. Graeci Min., ed. Müller, p. 247; Dio Cass., xl. 13; Pliny, Nat. Hist., v. 86; vi. 119; Ptolemy, Geogr., v. 17; Stephen Byz.); but its usual identification with Kallinikos is certainly wrong and it may be a case of two adjoining towns as with the “black” and “white al-Raḳḳa” of the middle ages. Nikephorion was, according to Appian (
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