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ʿUḳba b. Nāfiʿ

(1,699 words)

Author(s): Christides, V.
b. ʿAbd al-Ḳays al-Ḳurās̲h̲ī al-Fihrī (d. 63/683), one of the most prominent Arab commanders of the Islamic conquests period, above all in North Africa, where he was responsible for the foundation of al-Ḳayrawān [ q.v.]. He was born towards the end of the Prophet’s life, hence was accounted a Companion, and was through his mother a nephew of ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ [ q.v.], the conqueror of Egypt, who shortly before his death in 43/663 was to give him command over the lands to the west of Egypt. It seems that ʿUḳba had already ¶ played a role in ʿAmr’s first raid towards North Africa in 21/642, …

Milāḥa

(16,177 words)

Author(s): Soucek, S. | Christides, V. | Tibbetts, G.R. | G. Oman
(a.) “navigation, seamanship; seafaring”. Like its English and French counterparts, navigation , the Arabic term has both a narrower and a broader connotation. The former refers to the mariner’s art of determining the ship’s position, charting her course and assuring that her progress and ultimate arrival is performed efficiently and safely; the latter, to seafaring in general. The term is attested in its faʿʿāl form, mallāḥ , at least since the ʿAbbāsid period (Lane, vii, 2733); it appears to go back to Akkadian and ultimately Sumerian ( Chicago Akkadian dictionary, Letter M

S̲h̲īnī, S̲h̲īniyya, S̲h̲ānī

(796 words)

Author(s): Christides, V.
(a.), a type of mediaeval Arabic warship used in the Mediterranean. The s̲h̲īnī is mentioned briefly in safīna . 1 (b) as a type of galley, but its importance in naval history of the time merits separate notice. ¶ Ancient and mediaeval Mediterranean shipbuilding is poorly documented, and, while the study of cargo-carriers has been somewhat enhanced by an increasing number of discovered wrecks, the only ancient wreck of a war vessel we possess is the Punic ship of Marsala (A. Guillerm, Archaeologic excavations and experimental archaeology. The Punic ship of Marsala and Trireme Olympias

Nafṭ

(5,427 words)

Author(s): Richardson, M.E.J. | Christides, V. | Ferrier, R.W.
1. In pre-Islamic times. The Greek word naphtha is probably borrowed from Semitic, for in Akkadian literature from Northern ʿIrāḳ the word napṭu is well attested. There the substance could be easily found and its special qualities soon discovered. In Sumerian it is described as “mountain oil”, in contrast to “fish oil” and “vegetable oil”. In Aramaic it has been linked by assonance with the root n-ṭ-p , which commonly describes oozing blood or dripping water, but the link is weak and it is safer to assume the nominal stem has been simply borrowed in Greek. Akkadian literature distinguishes…

Nūba

(4,938 words)

Author(s): Hillelson, S. | Christides, V. | Bosworth, C.E. | Kaye, A.S. | Shahi, Ahmed al-
, the mediaeval Islamic form for the land of Nubia, lying to the south of Egypt, and its peoples. 1. Definition The names Nubia, Nubian, Nūba are commonly used without scientific precision and it is only in the linguistic sense that they have an unambiguous meaning. The frontier separating Nubia from Egypt proper is well defined as the first cataract of the Nile in the neighbourhood of Aswān, and the area where Nubian is spoken nowadays ends in the vicinity of the 18th parallel, but the southern limit of Nubia is so…

Ṭarābulus al-G̲h̲arb

(3,129 words)

Author(s): Oman, G. | Christides, V. | Bosworth, C.E.
or simply Ṭarābulus, with the local variants of Itrābulus, Iṭrābulus al-G̲h̲arb and Ṭrablus, the name for the city of Tripoli, of Africa or of Barbary, in Libya, a designation which is also extended to Tripolitania, a region of North Africa bordering the Mediterranean which, with Cyrenaica and the Fezzan, constitutes the State of Libya [see lībiyā ; barḳa ; fazzān ]. 1. General. The name derives from an Arabisation of the Greek term Tripolis which dates back to ancient times. The qualificative al-G̲h̲arb (= “of the West”) was added after the Tur…

Miṣr

(46,751 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E. | Becker, C.H. | Christides, V. | Kennedy, H. | Et al.
, Egypt A. The eponym of Egypt B. The early Islamic settlements developing out of the armed camps and the metropolises of the conquered provinces C. The land of Egypt: the name in early Islamic times 1. Miṣr as the capital of Egypt: the name in early Islamic times 2. The historical development of the capital of Egypt i. The first three centuries, [see al-fusṭāṭ ] ii. The Nile banks, the island of Rawḍa and the adjacent settlement of D̲j̲īza (Gīza) iii. The Fāṭimid city, Miṣr al-Ḳāhira, and the development of Cairo till the end of the 18t…