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Naṣībīn

(3,240 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in Mesopotamia. The name is certainly of Semitic origin and to be derived (with Fhilon Byblios in Steph. Byz.; Müller, F. H. G., Hi. 571, frg. 8) from ΝάσιβιΣ = στήλαι; ( naṣīb). The idol of Naṣībīn is said to have been called Abnīl (Assemani, Bibl. Orient., i., Rome 1719,p. 27), i.e. “stone of El” (according to W. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, London 1927, p. 210, note 1). On coins the usual form of the place-name is neσibi (Uranios in Steph. Byz.: ΝέσιβιΣ; Pliny, Nat. hist., vi. 42: Nesebis); in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae and elsewhere we find the forms Nitibi(n…

Maʿarrat Maṣrīn or Miṣrīn

(1,199 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, capital of a nāḥiya of Ḥalab. The name is also written Maʿarrat Naṣrīn which has been wrongly taken as an abbrevation of Maʿarrat Ḳinnasrīn (Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, p. 497). In Syriac manuscripts of the eighth century, the town is called Meʿarret Meṣrēn (Wright, Catalogue of the Syriac MSS. in the Brit. Mus., p. 454b, dated 745 a. d.; Agnes Smith Lewis, The Old Syriac Gospels or Evangelion damepharres̲h̲ē, London 1910: a palimpsest under a collection of biographies of holy women, written by a monk Yōḥannan Stylites of Bēt̲h̲ Marī Ḳānūn, a monaste…

al-Nuḳra

(162 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a plain west of the Ḏj̲ebel 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-Bat̲h̲anīya (with its chief town Ad̲h̲riʿāt) and Ḥawrān (west of the hills of the same name), i. e. the whole northern half of Transjordan. In the wider sense al-Nuḳra includes all the country from al-Led̲j̲āʾ, Ḏj̲aidūr and al-Balḳāʾ to the foot of the Ḏj̲ebel Ḥawrān, in the narrower sense only the southern part of thi…

al-Zāb

(868 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the name of two left bank tributaries (al-Zawābī) of the Tigris. 1. The Upper or Great Zāb ( Zāb al-aʿlā or al-akbar) was known already to the Assyrians as Zabu ēlū, the “Upper Zāb”. The Greeks called it Lykos (Weissbach, s. v., N°. 12 in Pauly-Wissowa, R.E., vol. xiii., col. 2391 sq.; on the name see J. Markwart, Südarmenien, Vienna 1930, p. 429 sq.), the Byzantines however have again ό μέγαΣ ΖάβαΣ (Theophan., Chron., ed. de Boor, p. 318, 320). In Syriac it was called Zābhā, in Armenian Zaw (Thomas Arcruni, ed. Patkanean, 111/iv., p. 143; transl. Brosset, in Collection d’hist. Arméniens, i. 1…

Ḳinnasrīn

(1,105 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in North Syria at the point where the Nahr Ḳuwaiḳ enters the swampy lake of il-Maṭk̲h̲. In ancient times it was called ΧαλκίΣ, Chalcis ad Belum and lay ἐν μεθορίοιΣ ’Αράβων (Diodorus, Bibl., xxxiii. 4a); perhaps it is to it that the note in Stephen of Byzantium refers, according to which a town named Chalkis was founded by the Arab ΜονικόΣ. In the late classical period a part of the Syro-Arabian limes was called τὸ λίμιτον ΧαλκίδοΣ (Malalas, p. 296, 5). In this region the Arabs very early immigrated into Byzantine territory; at al-Ḥiyār (the later Ḥiyār bani ’l-Ḳaʿḳāʿ) in the district …

Zaitūn

(853 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, a town in the southeast of Asia Minor. It is the chief town in a ḳazā of the wilāyet (formerly sand̲j̲aḳ) of Marʿas̲h̲ and is (or was before the recent persecutions) inhabited for the most part by Armenians, who call it Zet̲h̲un or Ulnia, usually however simply Keg̲h̲ (“village”). The name Ulni (Ulnia) is also used for the whole of the mountainous country on the Ḏj̲aiḥān between Ḳaratūt̲h̲ (S. W. of Albistān) and Bertis. Whether Ulnia was originally the name of Zaitūn or Furnus to the S. W. of…

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…

Ṭarṭūs

(1,621 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
or Tortosa , earlier Anṭarṭūs, frequently Anṭarsūs (by analogy with Ṭarsūs), a town on the Syrian coast, the ancient Antarados opposite the island of Arados (Ar. D̲j̲azīrat Arwād, also written Arwād̲h̲; now Ruwād; concerning the Arab conquest of the island, see L.I. Conrad, The conquest of Arwād : a source-critical study in the historiography of the early medieval Near East , in Averil Cameron and Conrad (eds.), The Byzantine and early Islamic Near East . I. Problems in the literary source material, Princeton 1992, 317-401). Under the Roman empire, Antarados was called Const…

Rīḥā

(1,040 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the name of two towns in the Levant. 1. The Arabs called the Jericho of the Bible Rīḥā or Arīḥā (Clermont-Ganneau, in JA [1877], i, 498). The town, which was 12 mīls east of Jerusalem, was reckoned sometimes to the D̲j̲und of Filasṭīn (e.g. Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , iii, 913 and sometimes to the district of al-Balḳāʾ (al-Yaʿḳūbī, Buldān , 113); sometimes, however, it was called the capital of the province of Jordan (al-Urdunn) or of G̲h̲awr. the broad low-lying valley of the Jordan (Nahr al-Urdunn) from which it was 10 mīl distant (Yāḳūt, i, 227). As a result of its w…

al-Ḳulzum

(1,275 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Ebied, R.Y.
, an ancient town and seaport on the Red Sea (A. Baḥr al-Ḳulzum [ q.v.], Baḥr al-Hind or Baḥr al-Ḥabas̲h̲a ), now administratively in the province ( muḥāfaẓa ) of al-Suways. It appears to have been a fort as well as a town, and was, ¶ perhaps, the spot where the troops destined to guard the sluices of the canal were stationed. It was called Castrum by Hierocles and Epiphanius ; and κλύσμα (Clysma), or κλεῖσμα is first mentioned by Lucian. Ḳulzum is a corruption of the Greek name κλύσμα (in both Arabic and Greek almost always without the ar…

Rūm Ḳalʿesi

(1,691 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
, ḳalʿat al-rūm , a fortress in mediaeval northern Syria, which lay on the right bank of the Euphrates river where it takes its great westernmost bend, hence to the north-north-west of Bīred̲j̲ik [ q.v.]. Its site accordingly comes within the modern Turkish province ( il) of Gaziantep. According to Arnold Nöldeke’s description, it is situated “on a steeply sloping-tongue of rock, lying along the right bank of the Euphrates, which bars the direct road to the Euphrates from the west for its tributary the Merziman as it breaks through the edge o…

Zaytūn

(729 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, in Ottoman usage Zeytūn , a town of southeastern Anatolia, now called Süleymanh. The town (lat. 37° 53’ N., long. 36° 50’ E., altitude 940 m/3,080 feet) lies in the basin of the upper reaches of the D̲j̲ayhān [ q.v.]/Ceyhan river, and the old part of it rises in terraces on the slopes of a steep hill crowned by a Turkish-period fortress. Its former Armenian inhabitants called it Zetʿun or Ulnia, or simply Kegʿ “village”. An Aplgharip (? ʿAbd al-Ḳarīb) of Fornos, to the southwest of Zaytūn, is mentioned at the beginning of the reign of Leon I of Little Armenia (1129-37) ( Rec. hist. Crois ., Doc. arm

Nīs̲h̲āpūr

(1,924 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E. | Bosworth, C.E.
, the most important of the four great cities of K̲h̲urāsān (Nīs̲h̲āpūr, Marw, Harāt and Balk̲h̲), one of the great towns of Persia in the Middle Ages.…
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