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Ayn al-Ḏj̲arr

(413 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, an ancient and important site in the Biḳāʿ [ q.v.] and an Umayyad residence, the Arab name of which, now pronounced ʿAnd̲j̲ar, corresponds to the Greek and Syriac Gerrha and ʿIn Gero. The main source of the Litani, which comes forth at the foot of the Anti-Lebanon, not far from the modern road from Beirut to Damascus, for a long time formed a swampy lake there stretching to Karak Nūḥ, which was only finally drained in the Mamlūk period. The remains of a temple, later converted into a small fort (hence the expression ḥiṣn Mad̲j̲dal used at the period of the Crusades…

Bayt Laḥm

(520 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, large Palestinian village and celebrated centre of pilgrimage situated in the limestone mountains of Judaea 800 m. above sealevel and approximately 10 kms. south of Jerusalem, corresponds to the ancient Bethlehem of biblical fame. Honoured and visited by Christians from the 4th century on, it became equally venerated by Muslims as the birthplace of ʿĪsā b. Maryam [ q.v.]. The Arab geographers who never failed to refer to this fact and who often expressed admiration for the Byzantine basilica which (founded by Constantine in 325 and restored under Just…


(757 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, name formerly given by Arab authors to that portion of Arabia Petrea situated directly south of the Wādī al-Ḥasā, an affluent of the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, which from its lofty summits (rising to 1400 or 1600 m.) dominates the depression of the Wādī al-ʿAraba [ q.v.], the southern prolongation of the Jordan Fault. This important mountain system, continued afterwards by that of al-S̲h̲arāt [ q.v.] with which it is often confused, thus corresponds to the broken ¶ border of the steppe desert, in a region where the Transjordan plateau perceptibly rises. Its tortu…


(1,525 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, a ruined city in Sid̲j̲istān, among whose imposing remains are the two principal groups of Ḳalʿa-i Bist and Las̲h̲kar-i Bāzār. It lies in the south of Afg̲h̲ānistān on the now deserted banks of the Hilmand, near its confluence with the Arg̲h̲andāb, on the stretch of the route through Giris̲h̲k between Harāt and Ḳandahār. Its present isolation, to which recent American efforts to rehabilitate the region will no doubt put an end, stands in contrast to the ancient prosperity of the area, celebrat…


(3,530 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J. | Y. Linant de Bellefonds
(a.), tomb was first applied to the pit used as a burial place for a corpse, as was the term ḍarīḥ , giving rise to its habitual use in the text of numerous epitaphs containing the expression hād̲h̲ā ḳabru ... “This is the grave of . . .”. Originally distinguished from the term ṣandūḳ , “cenotaph” (cf., J. Sauvaget, “ Les perles choisiesd’Ibn ach-Chihna , Beirut 1933, 212 and “ Les trésors d’orde Sibt al-ʿAjamī , Beirut 1950, 184), it had the more general meaning of the tumulus or construction covering the grave to bring it to notice, a custom c…


(8,617 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J. | Terrasse, H. | Burton-Page, J.
I Military architecture in the Islande Middle East The different forms of tower s which the word burd̲j̲ signifies in its usual sense (especially in inscriptions) have always formed the principal elements in the fortifications which were erected in Islamic territories from the years following the Conquest and which were to remain of real importance until changes gradually arose in military ideas as a result of the development of heavy and field artillery. The importance of the protective ro…


(897 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
or difrīgī , now divrigi, a small town in modern Turkey, situated on the confines of Armenia and Cappadocia on one of the routes leading from Syria and Upper Mesopotamia to the Anatolian plateau. Through it runs a torrent which flows into the Çaltı Irmak, a tributary of the Kara Su (northern Euphrates). This chief town of a ḳaḍāʾ in the province of Sivas, situated among market gardens and orchards which make it a pleasant resort—archaeological remains alone testify to its former prosperity in the Middle Ages—is now no more than a …


(414 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, the name of a coastal plain in Palestine, and later in particular the name of a famous fortress of the time of the Crusades, is to be found in the works of Arab authors with both these meanings. The Hebrew dārōm from which it is derived and to which it corresponds in the Arabic version of Deuteronomy, XXXIV, 3°, appeared in a few passages of the Old Testament for south as a cardinal point, or any country situated in the south (F. M. Abel), and it was later applied especially to the south-west of Judea, a low-lyi…


(395 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
or ʿamawās , the ancient Emmaus, still marked by a large village, was situated in the plain of Judæa at the foot of the mountains, some 19 miles from Jerusalem, and commanding one of the principal approach routes to the latter. The site of a victory won by Judas Maccabaeus in 166 B.C., it was fortified by the Seleucid general in 160 B.C. and became under Caesar the chief town of a toparchy, only to decline to the size of a small market-town after being burnt by Varus in 4 B.C…


(309 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, a place, no longer extant, in northern Syria, whose name is very probably a word of Syriac origin meaning “mosquito”, from which fact H. Lammens has inferred that the region was a marshy one. It figures in the Arabic texts of the first centuries of Islam. Nothing is known of its more ancient history, but it is mentioned in the narratives of the conquest by Abū ʿUbayda of the provinces of Antioch and Ḳinnasrīn, and appears to have had a certain importance in Umayyad times. Then it was near the …


(21,303 words)

Author(s): Miquel, A. | Brice, W.C. | Sourdel, D. | Aubin, J. | Holt, P.M. | Et al.
, a sovereign State, of the Muslim religion, for the most part Arabic-speaking, situated at the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent. i.—Geography The structure of ʿIrāḳ paradoxically derives its originality from the fact that it forms part of a large geographical block of territory. From the Arabo-Syrian desert tableland which it faces along its south-western flank, it takes its general aspect and its climate. All along its frontiers on the North-East, on the other hand, it shares the orientation and ¶ relief of the folded mountain-chains of western Asia, which give it its t…


(334 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
(or Buluniyās ), the ancient Balanea, which also bore the name of Leucas; attempts have several times been made to identify it with an “Apollonia which never existed on this site” (R. Dussaud). It is today a small township on the Syrian coast situated some fifty kms. to the south of Latakiya. This ancient Phoenician settlement, which became a Greek city minting its own coinage and, later, the seat of a bishopric, was incorporated in the d̲j̲und of Ḥims at the time of the Arab conquest. It was, however, especially at the time of the Crusades, that i…

Diyār Bakr

(4,093 words)

Author(s): Canard, M. | Cahen, Cl. | Yinanç, Mükrimin H. | Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, properly “abode of (the tribe of) Bakr”, the designation of the northern province of the D̲j̲azīra. It covers the region on the left and right banks of the Tigris from its source to the region where it changes from its west-east course to flow in a south-easterly direction. It is, therefore, the upper basin of the Tigris, from the region of Siʿirt and Tell Fāfān to that of Arḳanīn to the north-west of Āmid and Ḥiṣn al-Ḥamma (Čermük) to the west of Āmid. Yāḳūt points out that Diyār Bakr does not extend beyond the plain. Diyār Bakr is so called because it became, during the 1st/7th century…

al-Harawī al-Mawṣilī

(656 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Taḳī al-Dīn Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Abī Bakr, a Syrian author of the 6th/12th century and celebrated ascetic and pilgrim who, after a life of travelling, spent his last days at Aleppo, at the court of the Ayyūbid ruler al-Malik al-Ẓāhir G̲h̲āzī [ q.v.]. This ruler held him in high regard and built for him, at the gates of the town, the S̲h̲āfiʿī madrasa in which he taught and which still houses the remains of his tomb. The Arabic sources mention this “wandering ascetic” ( al-zāhid al-sāʾiḥ ) and devote varying biographical notes to him, though without…


(4,734 words)

Author(s): Spuler, B. | Sourdel-Thomine, J.
is the name given to the dynasty of Turkish origin which was founded by Sebüktigin, a General and Governor of the Sāmānids [ q.v.]. With G̲h̲azna [ q.v.] for long its capital, the dynasty lasted for more than 200 years, from 367/977-8 to 583/1187, in eastern Īrān and what is now Afg̲h̲ānistān, and finally only in parts of the Pand̲j̲āb (with Lahāwur/Lahore as centre). For a long time its rulers held the official title of Amīr, ¶ although historians call them Sulṭān from the start; on coins, Ibrāhīm (no. XII below) was the first to bear this title. From the time when Alptigin established hims…

Bukayr b. Wis̲h̲āḥ

(329 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, Governor of Ḵh̲urāsān at the beginning of the caliphate of ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān. A former lieutenant of ʿAbd Allāh b. Ḵh̲āzim [ q.v.], this Tamīmī of the tribe of the Banū Saʿd made himself noticed during the troubled time which was marked by the insurrections of the Tamīm, both when he commanded the troops of Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Ḵh̲āzim at Harāt and when he was the delegate of the governor in Marw after the recapture of the town from the rebels. In 72/691-2 the triumph of the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, w…


(152 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
in particular denotes a little plain situated north of the Biḳāʿ [see buḳʿa ] and southeast of the Ḏj̲ebel Anṣariyé, at an average altitude of 250 m. It is characterised by an abundance of springs which there give birth to the Nahr al-Kabīr. It was known in the time of the Crusades by the name Boquée and was dominated by the Ḥiṣn al-Akrād [ q.v.] whose ruins still overlook it today (see M. van Berchem and E. Fatio, Voyage en Syrie , Cairo 1914-5, 42; R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de la Syrie , Paris 1923, 92; J. Weulersse, Le pays des Alcouites , Tours 1940, index s.v. Bouqaïa). The name Buḳayʿa …


(794 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
, a little Palestinian township in the valley of the Jordan, situated 30 kms. (18 miles) south of Lake Tiberias and 98 ms. above sea-level on a terrace raised 170 ms. above the low-lying ground through which, some distance away, the Jordan winds its way. Avoiding thus the extreme tropical heat which reigns elsewhere in the G̲h̲awr [ q.v.], it has all the same a hot and humid climate which Arab geographers did not fail to criticise, at the same time deploring the poor quality of its water (they nevertheless point out the merits of ʿAyn al-Fulūs, a well …

D̲j̲isr al-S̲h̲ug̲h̲r

(741 words)

Author(s): Sourdel-Thomine, J.
or D̲j̲isr al-S̲h̲ug̲h̲ūr , the modern name of a place in north Syria, the site of a bridge over the Orontes which has always been an important centre of communications in an area that is mountainous and difficult to traverse. It was in fact at This spot that the most direct route from the Syrian coast to the steppes in the interior and the Euphrates, passing over the D̲j̲abal Nuṣayri and the Limestone Massif, crossed the line of communications that ran north-south and followe…


(11,844 words)

Author(s): Lambton, A.K.S. | Sourdel-Thomine, J. | J. Sourdel-Thomine
(in Arabic Iṣbahān), a town and province in Persia, whose name, according to Hamza al-Iṣfahānī, means “the armies” (Māfarruk̲h̲ī, Kitāb Maḥāsin Iṣfahān , ed. Sayyid D̲j̲alāl al-Dīn Tihrāni, Tehran n.d., 5-6). 1. history The province, whose precise boundaries have varied at different times, is bounded on the north-east and east by the central desert. In the south-east by Yazd and Fārs, in the south and south-west by the Bak̲h̲tiyārī mountains, with peaks rising to over 11,000 ft., in the north-west by Luristān, Kazzāz, Kamara, a…
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