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(10,605 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, Maʾrib ( mryb or mrb in the ancient South Arabian inscriptions), in classical antiquity, capital of the Sabaean realm in South-West Arabia, now the chef-lieu of the muḥāfaẓa of the same name in the Yemeni Arab Republic, lying some 135 km. to the east of Ṣanʿāʾ. At the last census in 1975, the muḥāfaẓa of Mārib counted 70,000 inhabitants, and the ḳaḍāʾ of Mārib—with a population density of 2.4 inhabitants per km.2—13,000 inhabitants, consisting of about 10,000 residents, 2,000 Bedouins and 1,000 refugees. The ʿuzla of Mārib counted 1,900 residents, and the…


(1,134 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, i.e. Ẓafār i, the name of the ancient capital of the South Arabian kingdom of Ḥimyar. The present small village of the same name on the ruins of the ancient town is located approximately 8 km/5 miles to the south of the town of Yarīm; the geographical co-ordinates of Ẓafār are lat. 14° 13′ N. and long. 44° 24′ E. The identity of the site has been known in Yemen since Antiquity and is confirmed by Late Sabaic inscription ¶ found at this place. The site of Ẓafār is located at the foot of a hilltop with the ruins of an ancient castle, and remains of foundations and walls can…


(1,363 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, the name of the ancient capital of the South Arabian kingdom of Ḥaḍramawt [ q.v. in Suppl.]. The name of this town appears in classical sources as Sabata (Strabo, Geographica , XVI, 4.2, according to Eratosthenes), Sabatha (Ptolemaios, Geographia , VI, 7.38), Sabbatha ( Periplus maris Erythraei , 27) and Sabota (Pliny, Natural history, VI, 155; XII, 52). Ptolemaios calls the town a metropolis, and the Periplus additionally calls it the residence of the king, for whom silverware, horses, statues, and clothing of fine quality are imported. Pliny mentions as the…


(5,314 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, a tribe living in the south-eastern part of the Arabian peninsula, in a stretch of land along the coast of the Indian Ocean between Ḥaḍramawt and ʿUmān, and in the hinterland belonging to that region. More accurately, the boundaries of Mahra-land run in the west from the coast along Wādī Masīla, a continuation of Wādī Ḥaḍramawt, in the north-west along Wādī Ramāʾ as far as Ṣanāw, from there east-north-east, and reach via Anḍawr the north-eastern coast at Rās Ḥāsik, to the north of Ḥāsik, the ancient Mahra settlement. These bound…


(849 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, also Silḥīn, the name of the royal palace of the Sabaean kings in their capital Mārib [ q.v.]. The house of Salḥīn ( bytn slḥn ; e.g. CIH 373) is the building of ancient South Arabia which is most frequently mentioned in the Sabaic inscriptions of the first three centuries A.D. Its name is also attested in the forms Salḥēn and Σιλεῆ in the title of the Abyssinian king ʿĒzānā in Ethiopic and Greek inscriptions of the fourth century A.D. from Aksum. Owing to the lack of excavations, the original site of the palace of Salḥīn in the area of the ancient town of Mārib has not yet been discovered. Arab tradit…