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Sicily

(3,857 words)

Author(s): Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Falco, Giulia (Athens) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) | Kunz, Heike (Tübingen)
(Σικελία/ Sikelía, Sicily). The largest island in the Mediterranean (Mare Nostrum; cf. Str. 2,5,19; differently Hdt. 1,170 and Timaeus FGrH 566 F 65): 25,460 km2, including the offshore islands such as the Insulae Aegates, Ustica, the Aeoli Insulae, Cossura, Lopadusa (present-day Lampedusa), Aethusa (present-day Linosa) and Melite [7] 25,953 km2. [German version] I. Name The island was originally called Trinacria (Τρινακρία/ Trinakría, Hellanicus FGrH 51 F 79b), later Sicania (Σικανίη/ Sikaníē, Hdt. 7,170; Σικανία/ Sikanía, Thuc. 6,2,2) and only then Sicelia (Σικελία)…

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…

Chronography

(3,691 words)

Author(s): Rüpke | Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. General [German version] A. Notions of measuring time Most cultures have some method of measuring time, frequently based on periodical changes within nature or the stars. The oldest of these is the pars-pro-toto method, in which it is not a certain period of time as a whole that is connected, but a regularly recurring phenomenon within that time [1. 9 f.] (e.g. lunar phases). Metaphors of time or the measuring thereof play no great role in antiquity, with the exception of the field of  metrics. Usually, the focus was not on …

Wisdom literature

(3,886 words)

Author(s): Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | S.SC. | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
I. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Definition When applying the term wisdom literature (WL) to ancient Mesopotamian literature we need to distinguish between the idea of wisdom (Akkadian nēmequ, Sumerian nam.kù.zu, 'precious knowledge') [10; 11] as 'wealth of general human experience' and the concept of wisdom as expertise in a cult. On the one hand, there are a number of non-homogenous, formally different literary genres in which knowledge, procedures, advice and behavioural guidelines are passed on; on the other han…

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…

Kufa

(125 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] ( al-Kūfa). Like Basra, founded in the early period of Islamic conquests (AD 639). Garrison city south of what was later Baghdad, on the right bank of the Euphrates, near the capital city of the Lakhmids, al-Hira. K. soon became the new capital city of Iraq and superseded Sassanid Ctesiphon, that from then on slowly declined. During the Caliphate ( Caliph) of Ali, K. rose for a short time to the status of overall capital city, and remained after Ali's murder (AD 661) a centre of Shiite agitation ( Shiites). However, it lost in importance after the founding of Baghdad. Toral-Nieh…

Walid

(164 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] W. I Sixth Umayyad caliph (born AD 668, reigned 705-715; Umayyads A.), continued his father Abd-al-Malik's policy of Islamization. He had the church of Saint John standing on the site of the Temple of Hadad/Jupiter in Damascus (C.) converted into a mosque (Umayyad mosque; see Arabic-Islamic cultural sphere I. A.) and had the al-Aqṣā Mosque built in Jerusalem and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina (Yaṯrib). Under his rule the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula (in 711) and of Cho…

Nagara

(280 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki)
[German version] [1] City in southern Arabia (Νάγαρα μητρόπολις/ Nágara mētrópolis, Ptol.6,7,37; Nagara, Amm. Marc. 23,47; πόλις Νεγράνων/ pólis Negránōn, Str. 16,4,24). Urban centre in ancient southern Arabia, modern Naǧrān, located in the wadi of the same name. N.'s importance was due to its geographical location at the crossing of two caravan routes from the Hadramaut to the Mediterranean over the Ḥiǧāẓ and into Iraq over the Yamama. It was conquered by Aelius Gallus in 24 BC (Plin. HN 6,160), but retained its …

Masonitae

(49 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] According to Ptol. 6,7,25 (Μασονῖται; Masonîtai) a tribe southwest of the K lîmax óros (Κλῖμαξ ὄρος, today Ǧabal Išbīl) in Arabia Felix. Probably connected to maṣanī (‘fortresses’). Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, Zur Geschichte und Landeskunde von Altsüdarabien (SAWW, Philos.-histor. Klasse 246), 1964, 415.

Syracusae

(4,720 words)

Author(s): Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
(Συράκουσαι/ Syrákousai, Lat. Syracusae). Syracuse, town on Sicily's southeast coast, modern Siracusa. [German version] I. Topography Colony of Corinth (Colonization), founded in 734/3 BC. The place name is said to have derived from the swamp area of Lysimeleia, also called Συράκω/ Syrákō (cf. Scymn. 280-282), which existed until the 20th cent. and was located west of the slim promontory, which, together with the island Ortygia facing it, constituted the original bridgehead settlement (inhabited from the early Paleolithic). The factor …

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…

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…

Maepha

(161 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] According to Ptol. 6,7,41 (Μαίφα μητρόπολις; Maípha mētrópolis), city in the interior of Arabia Felix. Probably corresponds, with regard to the phonetic form, to epigraphically attested MYFT, once the capital of Ḥaḍramaut, the ruins of which are now called Naqab al-Ḥaǧar. M. owed its importance - the city had solid fortifications - to its strategic position on the trading route from the harbour of Cane to Inner Arabia. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, M. Höfner, Beitr. zur histor. Geogr. des vorislam. Südarabien (AAWM, Geiste…

Mamala

(51 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] According to Ptol. 6,7,6 (Μάμαλα κώμη; Mámala kṓm[e]), settlement of the Cassanitae on the west coast of Arabia. Probably the same as Ṣalīf or Lōḥiyya. Not to be confused with Mamali. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography H. v. Wissmann, De mari Erythraeo (Stuttgarter Geogr. Stud. 69), 1957, 300, 42b.

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…

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…

Mara

(64 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] [1] see Mariaba see Mariaba Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) [German version] [2] City in Arabia Felix According to Ptol. 6,7,37 (Μάρα μητρόπολις; Mára mētrópolis), city in the interior of Arabia Felix, mostly identified with the Sabaean capital Mārib ( Mariaba). Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg) Bibliography City i H. v. Wissmann, Zur Geschichte und Landeskunde von Altsüdarabien (SAWW, Philos.-histor. Klasse 246), 1964, 417 (map).

Maranitae

(60 words)

Author(s): Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] (Μαρανῖται; Maranîtai). According to Agatharchides (De Mari Erythraeo 88 GGM 1,177), Arab tribe that settled in the coastal strip of the Red Sea. Sources tell of their conflict with the Garindaneîs (Γαρινδανεῖς), who took advantage of an absence of the M. to seize for themselves, in an underhand manner, their possessions and estates. Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)

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…

Taras

(1,524 words)

Author(s): Goldhahn, Tobias | Muggia, Anna (Pavia) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
(Τάρας/ Táras). [German version] [1] Son of Poseidon and a South-Italian nymph Son of Poseidon and a South-Italian nymph (Paus. 10,10,8), or son of Heracles [1] (Serv. Aen. 3,551); hero and eponym of the town of Taranto ( cf. T. [2]) and of its river. He is considered to be the founder (Paus. l.c.), or at least the patron (Serv. l.c.) of Taranto. On a coin from Taranto, he is represented as a boy reaching out for Poseidon; the image of a dolphin rider appearing on other coins from Taranto, represents rather Phalantus [1], in spite o…
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