Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

(Gk Πέτρα/Pétra, “Rock,” Nab. Ramqu, “Shining”). According to the information given by Diodorus Siculus about what the Greeks took when they looted Petra in 311 bce, Petra should be identified with Khirbat as-Selaʿ, not the modern Petra, inhabited by Edomites (Edom) from the 7th to the 5th century bce. Around the mid-2nd century bce, Petra became the tribal center of the nomadic Nabateans. Until the Augustan period, Petra remained a tent city; then houses were built. There were also some 700 cliff dwellings. The densely settled city…

Cite this page
Wenning, Robert, “Petra”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 06 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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