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Maṣyād

(4,665 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Elisséeff, N.
, a town of central Syria on the eastern side of the D̲j̲abal al-Nuṣayriyya situated at 33 miles/54 km to the east of Bāniyās [ q.v.] and 28 miles/45 km to the east of Ḥamāt [ q.v.], in long. 36° 35’ E. and lat. 35° N., in the massif of the D̲j̲abal Anṣāriyya at the foot of the eastern slopes of the D̲j̲abal Baḥrāʾ, at an altitude of 1,591 ft./485 m. and to the west of the great trench of the fault of the G̲h̲āb [ q.v.]. The pronunciation and orthography of the name varies between the forms Maṣyād , Maṣyāf (in official documents and on the inscriptions mentioned below of the years 646 and 870 A.H.), Maṣyāt and M…

Naṣībīn

(1,737 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
, Naṣībīn , classical Nasibis, modern Turkish form Nusaybin, a town in upper Mesopotamia, now in modern Turkey. It is situated on the modern Görgarbonizra Çayi, the classical Mygdonios river, the early Arabic Hirmās, Syriac Nehar Māsā or Mās̲h̲ī, in the plain to the south of the mountain region of Ṭūr ʿAbdīn [ q.v.], and today faces the Syrian town of al-Ḳāmis̲h̲lī. Naṣībīn is an ancient town, its name being probably Semitic. In classical sources we find the form Νάσιβις and on coins ΝΕΣΙΒΙ. In Armenian, it is usually Mcbin, Nsepi or Nsepin. The countrysid…

Mard̲j̲ Dābiḳ

(507 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a plain near Dābiḳ [ q.v.] on the Nahr al-Ḳuwayḳ in northern Syria. The town of Dābiḳ, was known to the Assyrians as Dabigu (Sachau, ZA, xii, 47) and is called Δάβεκον by Theophanes ( Chron ., ed. de Boor, 143, 451 ff.). For convenience in his campaigns against the Byzantines, Sulaymān b. ʿAbd al-Malik moved the headquarters of the Syrian troops from D̲j̲ābiya [ q.v.] to Dābiḳ. In 717 with an army under ʿUbayda he set out from Mard̲j̲ Dābiḳ for Asia Minor and on his return died there in Ṣafar 99/September-October 717 (al-Masʿūdī, Murūd̲j̲ , v, 397 = §2151; Chronica minora, ed. Guidi, in GSCO, Scr . Sy…

Karbalāʾ

(2,133 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a place in ʿIrāḳ some 60 miles SSW of Bag̲h̲dād celebrated by the fact that the Prophet’s grandson al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī was killed and his decapitated body buried there ( Ḳabr al-Ḥusayn ). For all these events, see al-ḥusayn b. ʿalī . When it became a place of pilgrimage, Karbalāʾ became known as Mas̲h̲had (al-) Ḥusayn. The name Karbalāʾ probably comes from the Aramaic Karbelā (Daniel, III, 21) and from the Assyrian ¶ Karballatu, a kind of headdress; see G. Jacob, Türkische Bibliothek , xi, 35, n. 2. It is not mentioned in the pre-Islamic period. K̲h̲ālid b…

Marʿas̲h̲

(5,984 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Faroqhi, Suraiya
, a town in the Taurus Mountains region of southern Anatolia, falling within modern Turkey and now the chef-lieu, as Maraş, of the il (formerly vilayet ) of Maraş. It lies about 2,000 feet/610 m. above sea-level on the northern edge of the hollow (ʿAmḳ of Marʿas̲h̲; now Čaḳal Owa and south of it S̲h̲ēḳer Owa or Marʿas̲h̲ Owasi̊) which lies east of the D̲j̲ayḥān and is watered by its tributary, the Nahr Ḥūrīt̲h̲ (Aḳ-Ṣū). As a result of its situation at the intersection of the roads which run to Anṭākiya, to ʿAyn Zarba and al…

Raʾs al-ʿAyn

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
or ʿAyn Warda , Syriac Rēs̲h̲ ʿAynā, a town of classical and mediaeval Islamic times of al-D̲j̲azīra, deriving its name (“spring-head”) from the famed springs of the locality (see below). It is situated on the Greater K̲h̲ābūr [ q.v.] affluent of the Euphrates in lat. 36° 50′ N. and long. 40° 02′ E. It is now little more than a village straddling the modern border between Syria and Turkey, with the Syrian settlement still known as Raʾs al-ʿAyn and the Turkish one as Resülayn or Ceylânpinar. In classical times it was known as Resaina-Theodosiopolis, receiving from the Emperor Theo…

al-Nuḳra

(161 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a plain west of the D̲j̲abal Ḥawrān on the border of Trachonitis in Transjordan. The name al-Nuḳra (“the cavity”) is quite modern. It is applied to an area which includes the two districts of al-Bat̲h̲aniyya (with its chief town Ad̲h̲riʿāt) and Ḥawrān (west of the hills of the same name), i.e. the whole northern half of modern Jordan. In the wider sense, al-Nuḳra includes all the country from al-Lad̲j̲āʾ, D̲j̲aydūr and al-Balḳāʾ to the foot of the D̲j̲abal Ḥawrān, in the narrower sense on…

Sabasṭiyya

(718 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, Sebasṭiyya , the Arabic name of various towns in the Near East. 1. The ancient Samaria, which Herod had changed to Σεβαστή in honour of Augustus. The form Σεβάστεια—as in the case of other towns of this name—was presumably also used, as the Arabic name (which is sometimes also written Sabaṣṭiyya) suggests. By the end of the classical period, the town, overshadowed by the neighbouring Neapolis (Sichem; Arabic, Nābulus), had sunk to be a small town (πολίκνιον) and played only an unimportant part in the Arab period. It was conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ while Abū Bakr ¶ was still caliph; the inh…

Malaṭya

(2,810 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Faroqhi, Suraiya
, an old-established town of eastern Anatolia, not far from the upper Euphrates. It lies at the junction of important roads (in antiquity: the Persian royal road and the Euphrates route; in modern times Samsūn-Siwās-Malaṭya-Diyārbakr and Ḳayṣariyya-Albistān-Malaṭya-K̲h̲arpūt) in a plain (the fertility and richness of which in all kinds of vegetables and fruits was celebrated by the Arab geographers, as in modern times by von Moltke and others) at the northern foot of the Taurus, not very far sou…

Tall Bās̲h̲ir

(533 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Morray, D.W.
(present-day (Tkish.) Tilbeşar Kalesi; Armenian Thilpašar, Thil Aveteač; Frankish Turbessel), a fortress and walled town of the ¶ north Syrian borderlands, in present-day southern Turkey, 25 km/15 miles south-east of the city of Gaziantep (ʿAynṭāb [ q.v.]), near the village of Gundoğdu. Although mentioned as early as Assyrian times, the detailed history of Tall Bās̲h̲ir begins at the end of the 5th/11th century, testimony to its position in the path of powers seeking to expand east or west. In 489/1096 the Sald̲j̲ūḳ ruler of Aleppo, Riḍwān b. Tutus̲h̲ [ q.v.], captured it from Yag̲h…

al-Nuk̲h̲ayla

(275 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in ʿIrāḳ, near al-Kūfa. It is known mainly from the accounts of the battle of Ḳādisiyya [ q.v.]. From the statements collected by Yāḳūt regarding its position, it appears that two different places of this name had later to be distinguished, namely one near al-Kūfa on the road to Syria, which is several times mentioned in the time of the caliphs ʿAlī and Muʿāwiya, and another, a watering station between al-Mug̲h̲īt̲h̲a and al-ʿAḳaba, 3 mīls from al-Ḥufayr, to the right of the road to Mecca. Several encounters took place there during the seco…

al-Ṭūr

(2,266 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
(a.), a word with the basic sense of “mountain”. It occurs ten times in the Ḳurʾān (II, 60/63, 87/93; IV, 153/154; XIX, 53/52, etc.), on two occasions (XXIII, 20; XCV, 2) expressly coupled with Sīnāʾ/ Sīnīn, specifically meaning Mount Sinai. Virtually all its occurences in the Ḳurʾān are connected with the wanderings of the Children of Israel in the Sinai Desert [see banū isrāʾīl ; sīnāʾ ; al-tīh ]. It was early recognised by the Arabic philologists as a loan word from Hebrew or Aramaic (cf. Hebr. ṣūr “rock” > “cliff”, Aram, ṭūrā “mountain”), more proximately, from Syriac (see A. Jeffery, The f…

al-Suwaydiyya

(373 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Morray, D.W.
(modern Tkish. Samandaǧ), nowadays an important town and headquarters of the sub-province ( ilçe ) of Samandaǧ. It is situated 26 km/16 miles south-west of Antakya (Anṭākiyā [ q.v.]), the capital of the Hatay province of Turkey, near to the Mediterranean Sea, 5 km/3 miles north of the Orontes River (Ar. al-ʿĀṣī [ q.v.]). In the mediaeval period, when al-Suwaydiyya is first mentioned, the name apparently refers to the port at the mouth of the river on the north bank, which the Crusaders knew as Soudin or Port Saint-Simeon, after St. Simeon Stylites …

al-Nad̲j̲af

(1,396 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
or mas̲h̲had ʿalī , a town and place of pilgrimage in ʿIrāḳ 10 km 6 miles west of al-Kūfa. It lies on the edge of the desert on a flat barren eminence from which the name al-Nad̲j̲af has been transferred to it (A. Musil, The Middle Euphrates , 35), at an altitude of 37 m/120 feet in lat. 31° 59′ N. and long. 44° 20′ E. According to the usual tradition, the Imām al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib [ q.v.] was buried near al-Kūfa, not far from the dam which protected the city from flooding by the Euphrates at the place where the ¶ town of al-Nad̲j̲af later arose (Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , iv, 760)…

al-Tīh

(741 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, properly Faḥṣ al-Tīh, the name in mediaeval Islamic usage for the desert forming the frontier zone between Palestine and Egypt and spanning the Sinai Desert. The name itself is not found in the Ḳurʾān (which in sūra XXIII, 20, uses Sīnāʾ and in II, 60/63, 87/93, IV, 153/154, etc., Ṭūr, for the Sinai peninsula), but the verb from which it is presumably derived occurs as yatīhūn “they wander about in a confused, lost manner” (V, 29/25), said of the Children of Israel, condemned by God to wander distractedly through the Sinai Desert because of their refusal to Moses to enter the Holy Land. Hence th…

al-Ruhā

(5,386 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E. | Faroqhi, Suraiya
or al-ruhāʾ , the Arabic name of a city which was in early Islamic times in the province of Diyār Muḍar [ q.v.] but known in Western sources as edessa (Syriac Orhāy, Armenian Uṛhay). It is now in the province of Diyarbakir in the southeast of modern Turkey and is known as Urfa, a name for the city which is not clearly attested before the coming of the Turks to eastern Anatolia. 1. In pre-Islamic times. The city is probably an ancient one, though efforts to identify it with the Babylonian Erech/Uruk or with Ur of the Chaldees cannot be taken seriously. Its site, at the j…

Bīr al-Sabʿ

(214 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic name of Beersheba, in southern Palestine. At this place were the springs which Abraham is said to have dug with his own hands; many legends are current about them. The place was uninhabited from the 8th/14th century, but was rebuilt by the Turks in 1319/ 1901 as an administrative centre for the south. This step was no doubt influenced by the dispute with Britain over the Egyptian-Palestinian frontier and by the need for closer surveillance of the southern tribes. In October 1917 a d…

al-Maṣṣīṣa

(6,866 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic form of the classical Mopsuestis, Byzantine Greek form Μαμίστρα, Syriac Maṣīṣtā, Armenian Msis, Ottoman Tkish. Miṣṣīṣ, or Missis, modern Tkish. Misis, a town of Cilicia on the western or right bank of the D̲j̲ayḥān [ q.v.], 18 miles/27 km. to the east of Adana [ q.v.] and now in the modern vilayet of Adana. In antiquity it was called Μόψου ἑστία, a name, which (like that of Μόψου χρήνη in the Cilician passes) is derived from the cult of the legendary seer Mopsos (cf. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altert ., i/22, § 483). In ancient times, the town was chiefly famous for its bishop Theod…

al-Mawṣil

(4,003 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E. | Sluglett, P.
, in European sources usually rendered as Mosul, a city of northern Mesopotamia or ʿIrāḳ, on the west bank of the Tigris and opposite to the ancient Nineveh. In early Islamic times it was the capital of Diyār Rabīʿa [ q.v.], forming the eastern part of the province of al-D̲j̲azīra [ q.v.]. At the present time, it is the third largest city of the Republic of ʿIrāḳ. 1. History up to 1900. Al-Mawṣil takes its name from the fact that a number of arms of the river there combine (Arabic, waṣala ) to form a single stream. The town lies close beside the Tigris on a spur of the western steppeplateau ¶ which juts …

al-Ramla

(1,733 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town of Palestine, in early Islamic times in the d̲j̲und [ q.v.] of Filasṭīn [ q.v.]. It is situated on the coastal plain 40 km/25 miles west-north-west of Jerusalem, inlat. 31° 50′ N., long. 34° 52′ E., and now lies between the modern Israeli towns of Rehovot and Lod (Lydda, Ludd [ q.v.]). The Umayyad caliphs liked to choose little country towns, usually places in Palestine, to live in rather than Damascus. Muʿāwiya, and after him Marwān and others, frequently resided in al-Ṣinnabra on the south bank of the Lake of al-Ṭabariyya, Yazīd I in Haw…
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