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al-Ḥīra

(861 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel
Al-Ḥīra was the capital of the Arab principality of the Lakhmids or Naṣrids (c. 300 to 602 C.E.). Located near present-day Najaf, in Iraq, the site began to attract nomad settlers taking advantage of the power vacuum resulting from the turmoil in the early third century C.E. between the decline of the Arsacids and the rise of the Sāsānids. Simultaneous changes in the ecosystem and microclimate also favoured the establishment of the city in an area that had now become fertile and salubrious. The …
Date: 2018-07-12

Sabe

(119 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] City in Arabia Felix (Σάβη/ Sábē: Ptol. 8,22,15). Unlocated city in the interior of  Arabia Felix. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) [German version] [2] Capital of Mapharitis in Arabia (Σάβη βασίλειον/ Sábē basíleion: Ptol. 6,7,42; Σάυη/ Sáuē: Peripl. m. r. 22; Save: Plin. HN 6,104; Šawwā, Šawwām: CIS 4,240,7; 314,14). Capital of  Mapharitis, in the hinterland of Muza, to the south of Taizz. At the time of the Periplous maris Erythraei it was the residence of a prince Χόλαιβος/ Chólaibos. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography L. Casson (ed.), Periplu…

Malangitae

(70 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Μαλαγγῖται; Malangîtai). According to Ptol. 6,7,23, a people in central Arabia who lived on the Máreitha órē (Μάρειθα Ὄρη), i.e. on the Āriḍ. Probably corresponds to the tribe of the Maḏḥiǧ which was expelled by Imru al-Qais, the king of the Lakhmids in c. AD 300. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, Zur Geschichte und Landeskunde von Altsüdarabien (SAWW, Phil.-histor. Klasse 246), 1964, 175, 195f., 404-406.

Saraca

(190 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] City in Arabia Felix to the northwest of Adan (Σάρακα/ Sáraka). City in Arabia [II] Felix to the northwest of Adan. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) [German version] [2] Desert in the Sinai Peninsula (Σάρακα/ Sáraka, Σαρακήνη/ Sarakḗnē, Ptol. 5,17,3). Desert in the Sinai Peninsula (modern al-Tīḥ) inhabited by the Σαρακηνοί/ Sarakēnoí. There is probably a connexion with the Sarakēnoí who, according to Ptol. 6,7,21, lived in the Ḥiǧāz in Arabia. There has been no explanation of the etymology of this designation, used from the 3rd cent. AD on synonymously with Sceni…

Ocelis

(99 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Ὄκηλις/ Ókēlis, Ptol. Geog. 6,7,7; Peripl. m. r. 25; Acila, Ocilia, Plin. HN 6,104; Str. 16,4,5). Small monsoon harbour on the Arabian coast (Bāb al-Mandab). In the 3rd and 2nd century BC, O. belonged to Qatabān, then to the Ḥimyār kingdom. It probably corresponds to the modern harbour of Al-Šaiḫ Saīd. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography L. Casson, The Periplus Maris Erythraei, 1989, 157-158  A. Sprenger, Die alte Geographie Arabiens, 1966, 67, 77  H. von Wissmann, Zur Geschichte und Landeskunde von Altsüdarabien (SAWW, Philol.-histor. Kl. 2…

Zames

(139 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Ζάμης/ Zámēs, also Ζάμητος/ Zámētos). According to Ptol. 6,7,20 a long mountain range in central Arabia. This is presumably not the Jurassic escarpment of Ğabal Ṭuwaiq (see [1. 213 f., 279], see also [2]), which extends across the Arabian peninsula, since that corresponds to the Μάρειθα/ Máreitha mentioned in Ptol. loc.cit., but rather, as in [3. no. 315] and [4. 192], the Šammar Mountains much farther to the north [5]. Cf. also [6] (with a map of pre-Islamic Arabia). Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography 1 E. Glaser, Skizze der Geschichte und Geogra…

Ogyris

(59 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Ὤγυρις; Ṓgyris). Island in the Arabian Sea. Ancient authors reported a monument to Erythras, the eponym of the Red sea, on O. (Deinias FGrH 306 F 7; Steph. Byz. s.v. Ὤ.). Perhaps the island of Maṣīra. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography F. Jacoby, FGrH, Kommentar zu Nearchos FGrH 133 F 1,37,1-4  R.M. Burrell, s.v. Maṣīra, EI2 6, 729a.

Moscha

(137 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: India, trade with (Μόσχα Λιμήν/ Mόscha Limḗn, Ptol. 6,7,10; Peripl. maris Erythraei 32). Port on the south coast of Arabia Felix in the territory of the Adramitai tribe (Hadhramaut). It was probably situated on the present-day Ḫaur Rūri (Yemen), where recent excavations indicate a strongly fortified town. According to inscriptions on some finds, it was founded on the orders of the king of Hadhramaut. M. might have been the port of Zafar but Zafar appears to have been founded later. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliograph…

Zamareni

(107 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] According to Plin. HN 6,158 a people in the interior of southern Arabia, which has not been successfully identified. It may be derived from the name of the modern town of Ḏamār, to the southeast of Ṣana'a. In Plinius the two (also unlocated) cities of Sagiatta and Canthace are classed as theirs. The context suggests that the Z. lived in the territory of the Homeritae at Sapphar (Ẓafār). Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography E. Glaser, Skizze der Gesch. und Geogr. Arabiens, vol. 2, 1890 (repr. 1976), 136, 142 f. J. Pirenne, Le Royaume Sud Arabe de Qataban et…

Zeeritae

(86 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Ζεερῖται/ Zeërîtai, Ζειρῖται/ Zeirîtai or Εἰρῖται/ Eirîtai). A people in Arabia mentioned in Ptol. 6,7,24 but still not unequivocally located. [1] places their territory in Wādī al-Irḍ (modern Wādī Banī Ḥanīfa near Al-Riyāḍ), and therefore central Arabia; [2] in the area of Oman as far as the Wādī al-Dawāsr, and therefore dispersed across the whole of the Al-Rub al-Ḫālī desert. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography 1 A. Sprenger, Die alte Geographie Arabiens, 1875 (repr. 1966), Nr. 395 2 E. Glaser, Skizze der Geschichte und Geographie Arabie…

Septem

(208 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (also Septem Fratres). Term for a chain of seven mountains on the African coast near the Straits of Gibraltar (Ptol. 4,1,5: Ἑπτάδελφοι ὄρος/ Heptádelphoi óros; Mela 1,5; Plin. HN 5,18; It. Ant. 9,3), and later probably for the settlement there, the modern Spanish Ceuta (by way of Arabic  Sabṭa). Archaeological remains bear witness to S. as a significant ancient centre for producing salted fish [1]. From the late Roman period there is a basilica [2]. After a failed attempt at conquest by the Visigoth king Theudis in 534, the emp…

Mamali

(91 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] Region in southern Arabia mentioned in a partly extant naval report of 323 BC in Theophr. Hist. pl. 9,4,2 (Μαμάλι/ Mamáli), probably Mamal near modern Aṣīr in Saudi Arabia on the coast. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, De mari Erythraeo (Stuttgarter Geogr. Stud. 69), 1957, 300 n. 42b Id., M. Höfner, Beiträge zur historischen Geographie des vorislamischen Südarabien (AAWM, Geistes- und sozialwiss. Klasse), 1952 no. 4, 76, 82, 85f., 95, 104, with maps Id., Zur Geschichte und Landeskunde von Altsüdarabien (SAWW, Philos.-histor…

Qataban

(231 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] ( Qatabān). Pre-Islamic people in south-western Arabia, known predominantly through inscriptions. They appear in the ancient sources as Kattabaneîs (Κατταβανεῖς, ἡ Κατταβανία, Str. 16,4,4), Kottabanoí (Κοτταβανοί, Ptol. Geog. 6,7,24) and Catapani (Plin. HN 6,153). According to Eratosthenes in Str. loc cit., the settlement area of the Q. extended across the entire hinterland from Saba to the straits; the inscriptions, on the other hand, record a limitation to the Wādī Baiḥān: a contradiction which probably results from v…

Maephath

(52 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] According to Ptol. 6,7,10 (Μαιφάθ κώμη; Maipháth kṓmē), town in the region of the Ἀδραμίται/ Adramítai (coastal dwellers of Ḥaḍramaut) near the coast north-east of the harbour of Cane. Was probably situated in Wādı̄ Maifa and should not be confused with Maipha situated in Wādı̄ Maifaa. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)

Baṣra

(295 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Τερηδών/ Terēdṓn, Ptol. 5,19,5; Ἰρίδωτις/ Irídōtis or Διρίδωτις/ Dirídōtis, Arr. Ind. 41,6). Arabian city in lower Mesopotamia, 420 km south-east of Baghdad on the Šaṭṭ al-Arab (combined course of the Euphrates [2] and Tigris shortly before their mouth). Although B. lies at the site of the Persian settlement of Vahištābāḏ Ardašer (preceded perhaps by ancient Diridotis/Iridotis or Teredon), it is essentially a new foundation originating during the period of the Arab conquest (AD 635), an…

Fatima

(137 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Fāṭima). Daughter of  Muhammad and his first wife Ḫadı̄ǧa; wife of the future Caliph Alı̄ b. Abı̄ Ṭālib ( Ali), mother of al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusain; she is the only daughter of the prophet to be universally venerated by Muslims, who ascribe extraordinary powers to her. Especially among the  Shiites and the Ishmaelites she is regarded as a miraculous woman, in whom Christian (equated with the Virgin Mary) and gnostic traits (F. as the incarnation of light) come together. Little is known about the historic F. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. Lammens, Fāṭ…

Mazdak

(270 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] Leader of a religious revolutionary movement in Sassanid Iran under King Cavades [1] (AD 488-496, 498/9-531). The fundamental characteristic is a strong social egalitarianism. A basic difficulty in researching Mazdakism is that almost all information originates from sources that are hostile to it. The only contemporary report is found in the Syriac chronicle of Joshua Stylites. Byzantine (Procop. BP 1,5-11; 2,9; Agathias, Historiae 4,27-30; Ioh. Mal. 465, 633 and 653 Migne) and Arabic sources from a late…

Tabari

(153 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] Abū Ǧaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Ǧarīr al-Ṭabarī (AD 839-923). Significant Persian-Arab historian, lawyer and Koranic commentator. His 'Universal History' ( Taʾrīḫ) begins with a creation story; histories follow of Israel, ancient Persia and pre-Islamic Arabia. After an account of the life of Muhammad, T.'s chronicle is constructed annalistically and contains a detailed presentation of the Islamic campaigns of conquest and the periods of the Umayyads and the Abbasids up to AD 915. The significance of T.'s hi…

Ḥimyar

(138 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Lat. Homeritae: Plin. HN 32,161). Arab tribe, attested epigraphically from about AD 100. The Ḥ. held the political hegemony in southern Arabia between AD 100 and 590. The centre of their kingdom was  Saphar (in Plin. HN 25,104: Sapphar) on the plateau south of modern Yarīm. From there the Ḥ. gradually conquered the ancient Southern Arabic kingdoms of  Qatabān,  Sabaʾ and  Ḫaḍramauṭ. In the mid-4th cent., Judaism and Christianity began to spread while simultaneously the attempts of the Sassanid and Byzantine empires to influence the Ḥ. kingdom increased (cf.   Leges Ho…

Zaabram

(228 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Ζααβράμ, also Ζαβάμ/ Zabám, Ζααράμ/ Zaarám, Ζάμβρα/ Zámbra). City on the western coastal strip of the Arabian Peninsula. According to Ptol. 6,7,5 domain (βασίλειον/ basíleion) of the Kinaidokolpites (cf. also Steph. Byz. 293,16, where it is Ζαδράμη/ Zadrámē). Z. was probably the seat of power of a dependent prince (elsewhere in Ptol. μητρόπολις/ mētrópolis) and according to [1. 65] was in Marsā Ibrāhīm (Portuguese: Massabraim), the port of the Al-Līṯ oasis to the south of Jeddah (see [5]); others [2; 3; 4] locate Z. nearer to Mecca in the Wā…
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