1902 Encyclopedia > Yemen

Yemen




YEMEN, in Arabia, literally the land "on the right hand" of one who faces east, meant originally all the land southwards from Syria (Sham). The Arabia Felix (euSat'/xtov) of Ptolemy and other ancients is a mistrans-lation, the right hand being taken to mean "lucky" (&£tos, dexter). Arabia Felix included all Arabia except the peninsula of Sinai (Arabia Petrsea) and the Syrian desert (Arabia Deserta): i.e., it took in the Hijaz and Nejd as well as South Arabia. The Arabs use the term Yemen in various extensions. A tradition of the Prophet makes Yemen and Sham meet at Tabbak; but Abu 'Abbas already confines the name to all Arabia south of Mecca. This usage, which excludes Nejd and Hijaz from Yemen, is not merely that of Moslem geographers, who take Mecca as their imaginary standpoint, but is found in the heathen poets. When Imraolkais speaks of a Yemenite trader, Tarafa, of tanned ox-hides from Yemen, Labid of a youth from Yemen who knew letters, or a poet of Hodhail of the excellent work of a Yemenite smith, they all mean by Yemen the southern region where trade, letters, and industry had their early home in the peninsula. The northern boundary of Yemen is variously laid down. Al-Asma'f makes it a line drawn obliquely from 'Oman to Nejran; but Hamdanf rightly draws it farther north, from 'Oman and Yebrin in the south of Yemama by way of Al-Hujaira, Tathlfth, and Jorash to Kodommol (Kotumble of the Admi-ralty chart, in lat. 17° 52'). In its narrowest limitation Yemen comprises, not the whole south of the peninsula, but only the south-west as far as Hadramaut, which was viewed as a dependency of Yemen. The physical conformation of the south-western portion of the peninsula differs greatly from that of Arabia proper, being similar to that of Ethi-opia. A range of mountains, which rises into peaks of considerable elevation, and descends with a steep slope towards the shore of the Bed Sea, stretches from the southern extremity northwards as far as Taif. This range is pierced by several streams and wadies, which flow into
Sabxans.—The ancient name of the people of Yemen was Saba (Saba' with final hemza); and the oldest notices of them are in the


whose ships plied on the Red Sea. The other Biblical books do not mention the Sabaeans except incidentally, in allusion to their trade in incense and perfumes, gold and precious stones, ivory, ebony, and costly garments (Jer. vi. 20; Ezek. xxvii. 15, 20, 22 sq.; Isa. lx. 6; Job vi. 19). These passages attest the wealth and trading importance of Saba from the days of Solomon to those of Cyrus. When the prologue to Job speaks of plundering Sabaeans (and Chaldaeans) on the northern skirts of Arabia, these may be either colonists or caravans, which, like the old Phoenician and Greek traders, combined on occasion robbery with trade. The prologue may not be historical; but it is to be presumed that it deals with historical possibilities, and is good evidence thus far.
The Biblical picture of the Sabaean kingdom is confirmed and supplemented by the Assyrian inscriptions. Tiglath Pileser II. (733 B.C.) tells us that Teima, Saba', and Haipá ( = Ephah, Gen. xxv. 4 and Isa. lx. 6) paid him tribute of gold, silver, and much incense. Similarly Sargon (715 B.C.) in his Annals mentions the tribute of Shamsi, queen of Arabia, and of Itamara of the land of Saba',—gold and fragrant spices, horses and camels.
The earliest Greek accounts of the Sabaeans and other South-Arabian peoples are of the 3d century B.C. Erato-sthenes (276-194 B.C.) in Strabo (xv. 4, 2) says that the extreme south of Arabia, over against Ethiopia, is inhabited by four great nations,—the Minaeans (Mcti/aiot, Mipaibi; Ma'in of the inscriptions) on the Red Sea, whose chief city is Carna; next to them the Sabaeans, whose capital is Mariaba (Mariab of the inscriptions); then the Cata-banes (Katabán of the inscriptions), near the Straits of Báb-al-Mandeb, the seat of whose king is Tamna; fourthly, and farthest east, the people of Hadramaut (Chatramotitae), with their city Sabota. The Catabanes produce frank-incense and Hadramaut myrrh, and there is a trade in these and other spices with merchants who make the journey from iElana (Elath, on the Gulf of 'Akaba) to Minaea in seventy days; the Gabaeans (the Gaba'án of the inscriptions, Pliny's Gebanitae) take forty days to go to Hadramaut. This short but important and well-informed notice is followed a little later by that of Agatharchides (120 B.C.), who speaks in glowing terms of the wealth and greatness of the' Sabaeans, but seems to have less exact information than Eratosthenes. He knows only the Sabaeans and thinks that Saba is the name of their capi-tal. He mentions, however, the "happy islands" beyond the straits, the station of the Indian trade (§ 103). Arte-midorus (100 B.C.), quoted by Strabo, gives a similar account of the Sabaeans and their capital Mariaba, of their wealth and trade, adding the characteristic feature that each tribe receives the wares and passes them on to its neighbours as far as Syria and Mesopotamia.
The accounts of the wealth of the Sabaeans brought back by traders and travellers excited the cupidity of Borne, and Augustus entrusted ¿Elius Gallus with an expedition to South Arabia, of which we have an authentic account in Strabo (xvi. 4, 22). He hoped for assistance from the friendly NABAT.EANS (q.v.); but, as they owed everything to their position as middlemen for the South-Arabian trade, which a direct communication between Borne and the Sabaeans would have ruined, their viceroy Syllaeus, who did not dare openly to refuse help, sought to frustrate the emperor's scheme by craft. Instead of showing the Bomans the caravan route, he induced them to sail from Cleopatris to Leucocome, and then led them by a circuitous way through waterless regions, so that they reached South Arabia too much weakened to effect anything. But the expedition brought back a considerable knowledge of the country and its products, and the Roman leader seems to have perceived that the best entrance to South Arabia was from the havens on the coast. So at least we may conclude when, a hundred years later (77 A.D., as Dillmann has shown), in the Periplus of an anonymous contemporary of Pliny (§ 23) we read that Charibael of Zafar, " the legitimate sovereign of two nations, the Homerites and Sabaeans," maintained friendly relations with Rome by frequent embassies and gifts. Pliny's account of Yemen, too, must be largely drawn from the expedition of Gallus, though he also used itineraries of travellers to India, like the Periplus Maris Erythrxi just quoted.
Nautical improvements, and the discovery that the south-west monsoon (Hippalus) gave sure navigation at certain seasons, increased the connexion of the West with South Arabia, but also wrought such a change in the trade as involved a revolution in the state of that country. The hegemony of the Sabaeans now yields to that of a new people, the Homerites or Himyar, and the king henceforth bears the title "king of the Himyarites and Sabaeans." Naval expeditions from Berenice and Myoshormus to the Arabian ports brought back the information on which Claudius Ptolemy constructed his map, which still surprises us by its wealth of geographical names.
Sabaean colonies in Africa have been already mentioned. That Abyssinia was peopled from South Arabia is proved by its language and writing; but the difference between the two languages is such as to imply that the settlement was very early and that there were many centuries of separation, during which the Abyssinians were exposed to foreign influences. New colonies, however, seem to have followed from time to time, and, according to the Periplus (§ 16), some parts of the African coast were under the suzerainty of the Sabaean kings as late as the Sabaeo-Himyaritic period; the district of Azania was held for the Sabaean monarch by the governor of Maphoritis (Ma'afir), and was exploited by a Sabaean company. Naturally difficulties would arise between Abyssinia and the Sabaean power. In the inscription of Adulis (2d century) the king of Ethiopia claims to have made war in Arabia from Leucocome to the land of the Sabaean king. And the Ethiopians were not without successes, for on the Greek inscription of Aksum (c. the middle of the 4th century) King iEizanes calls himself " king of the Aksumites, the Homerites, and Raidan, and of the Ethiopians, Sabaeans, and Silee." More serious was the conflict under Dhii-Nu'as (Dhu-Nuwas of the Arab historians) in the beginning of the 6th century; it ended in the overthrow of the Him-yarite king and the subjugation of Yemen, which was governed by a deputy of the Aksumite king, till (about 570) the conquerors were overthrown by a small band of Persian adventurers (see PERSIA, vol. xviii. p. 613).
With the exception of what the South-Arabian Hamdanf relates of his own observation or from authentic tradition, the Mohammedan Arabic accounts of South Arabia and Sabaea are of little worth. The great event they dwell on is the bursting of the dam of Ma'rib, which led to the emigration northwards of the Yemenite tribes. We may be sure that this event was not the cause but the conse-quence of the decline of the country. When the inland trade fell away and the traffic of the coast towns took the sea route, the ancient metropolis and the numerous inland emporia came to ruin, while the many colonies in the north were broken up and their population dispersed. To this the Koran alludes in its oracular style, when it speaks (xxxiv. 17) of well-known cities which God appointed as trading stations between the Sabaeans and the cities He had blessed (Egypt and Syria), and which He destroyed because of their sins.
Inscriptions.—This abstract of the history of Yemen from ancient sources can now be verified and supplemented from inscriptions. Doubts as to the greatness and importance of the Sabaean state, as

attested by the ancients, and as to the existence of a special Sabaean writing, called " Musnad," of which the Arabs tell, were still current when Niebuhr, in the 18th century, brought to Europe the first account of the existence of ancient inscriptions (not seen by him-self) in the neighbourhood of Yarim. Following this hint, Seetzen, in 1810, was able to send to Europe, from porphyry blocks near Yarim, the first copies of Sabaean inscriptions. They could not, however, be read. But the inscriptions found by Wellsted in 1834 at Hisn Ghorab were deciphered by Gesenius and Rodiger. Soon after this the courageous explorer Arnand discovered the ancient Mariab, the royal city of the Sabaeans, and at great risk copied fifty-six inscriptions and took a plan of the walls, the dam, and the temple to the east of the city. These, with other inscriptions on stone and on bronze plates brought home by Englishmen, found a cautious and sound interpreter in Osiander. The historical and geographical researches of Kremer and Sprenger gave a fresh impulse to inquiry. Then Joseph Halevy made his remarkable journey through the Jauf, visiting districts and ruins which no European foot had trod since the expedition of Gallus, and returned with almost 800 inscriptions. Of more recent travellers S. Langer and E. Glaser have done most for epigraphy, while Manzoni is to be remembered for his excellent geographical work.
The alpliabet of the Sabaean inscriptions is most closely akin to the Ethiopic, but is purely consonantal, without the modifications in the consonantal forms which Ethiopic has devised to express vowels. There are twenty-nine letters, one more than in Arabic, Samech and Sin being distinct forms, as in Hebrew. This alphabet, wdiich is probably the parent of the South-Indian character, is un-doubtedly derived from the so-called Phoenician alphabet, the connecting link being the forms of the Safa inscriptions and of the Thamudsean inscriptions found by Doughty and Euting, Of the latter we can determine twenty-six characters, while a twenty-seventh probably corresponds to Arabic z (]i). A sign for also probably existed, but does not occur in the known inscriptions. In the Thainudaean and Sabaean alphabets the twenty-two original Phoenician characters are mostly similar, and so are the differentiated forms for ^and ^, while CJ, i, and probably also k and ^j>, have
been differentiated in different ways. This seems to imply that the two alphabets had a common history up to a certain point, but parted company before they were fully developed. The Tha-inudaean inscriptions are locally nearer to Phoenicia, and the letters are more like the Phoenician ; this character therefore appears to be the link connecting Phoenician with Sabaean writing. It may be noticed that a Thamudrean legend has been found on a Baby-lonian cylinder of about 1000 B.C., and it is remarkable that the Sabaean satara, "write," seems to be borrowed from Assyrian sluitdru.
The language of the inscriptions is South Semitic, forming a link between the North Arabic and the Ethiopic, but is mnch nearer the former than the latter. To the details already given in the article SEMITIC LANGUAGES (vol. xxi. p. 653 sq.) it may be added that of the two dialects commonly called Sabaean and Minaean the latter might be better called Hadramitic, inasmuch as it is the dialect of the inscriptions found in Hadramaut, and the Minaeans seem undoubtedly to have entered the Jauf from Hadramaut.
The inscriptions not only give names of nations corresponding to those in the Bible and in classical authors but throw a good deal of fresh light on the political history of Yemen. The inscrip-tions and coins give the names of more than forty-five Sabaean kings. The chronology is still vague, since only a few very late inscriptions are dated by an era and the era itself is not certain. But the rulers named can be assigned to three periods, according as they bear the title " mukrab of Saba," " king of Saba," or " king of Saba and Raidan." The last, as we know from the Aksum inscriptions, are the latest, and those with the title "mukrab" must be the earliest. Four princes of the oldest period bear the name Yatha'amar, and one of these may, with the greatest probability, be held to be the " Itamara Sabai" wdio paid tribute to Sargon of Assyria. This helps us to the age of some buildings also. The famous dam of Ma'rib and its sluices were the work cf this ancient prince—structures which Arnaud in the 19th century found in the same state in which Hamdani saw them a thousand years ago. The power of these old sovereigns extended far beyond Ma'rib, for their names are found on buildings and monuments in the Jauf.
We cannot tell when the kings took the place of the mukrab, but the Sabaeo-Himyaritic period seems to begin with, or a little after, the expedition of iElius Gallus. A fragmentary inscription of Ma'rib (Br. Mus., 33) was made by "Ilsharh Yahdib and Ya'zil Bayyin, the two kings of Saba and Raidan, sons of Far'm Yanhab, king of Saba." If this Ilsharh is identical with the 'YKdaaapos of Strabo, king of Mariaba at the time of the Roman invasion, the inscription preserves a trace of the influence of that event on the union of the two kingdoms.
The inscriptions of the latest period present a series of dates—669, 640, 582, 573, 385—of an unknown era. Reinaud thought of the Seleucid era, which is not impossible; but Halevy observes that the fortress of Mawiyyat (now Hisn Ghorab) bears the date 640, and is said to have been erected " when the Abyssinians overran the country and destroyed the king of Himyar and his princes." Referring this to the death of Dim Nuwas (525 A.D.), Halevy fixes 115 B.C. as the epoch of the Sabaean era. This ingenious combina-tion accords well with the circumstance that the oldest dated inscription, of the year 385 (270 A.D. ), mentions 'Athtar, Shams, and other heathen deities, while the inscriptions of 582 (467 A.D,) and 573 (458 A.D.), so far as they can be read, contain no name of a heathen god, but do speak of a god Rahmanan—that is, the Hebrew Rahman, " the compassionate" (Arabic, Al-Rahman), agreeably with the fact that Jewish and Christian influences were powerful in Arabia in the 4th century. The only objections to Halevy's hypo-thesis are (1) that we know nothing of an epoch-making event in 115 B.C., and (2) that it is a little remarkable that the latest dated inscription, of the year 669 (554 A.D.), should be twenty-five years later than the Abyssinian conquest. An inscription found by Wrede at 'Obne is dated "in the year 120 of the Lion in Heaven," which we must leave the astronomers to explain.
The inscriptions throw considerable light not only on the Sabaeans but on other South-Arabian nations. The Minfeaus, whose import-ance has been already indicated, appear in the inscriptions as only second to the Sabaeans, and with details which have put an end to much guesswork, e.g., to the idea that they are connected with Mina near Mecca. Their capital, Ma'in, lay in the heart of the Sabaean country, forming a sort of enclave on the right hand of the road that leads northward from Ma'rib. South-west of Ma'in, on the west of the mountain range, and commanding the road from San'a to the north, lies Barakish, anciently Yathil, which the inscriptions and Arabic geographers always mention with Ma'in. The third Minaean fortress, probably identical with the Kdpca of the Greeks, lies in the middle of the northern Jauf, and north of the other two. The three Minaean citadels lie nearly in this position (.'.), with old Sabaean settlements (Raiam) all round them, and even with some Sabaean places (e.g., Nask and Kamna) within the triangle they form. The dialect of the Minaeans is sharply distinguished from the Sabaeans (see above). The inscriptions have yielded the names of twenty-seven Minaean kings, who were quite independent, and., as it would seem, not always friends of the Sabaeans, for neither dynasty mentions the other on its inscriptions, while minor kings and kingdoms are freely mentioned by botlr presumably when they stood under the protection of the one or the other respectively. The Minaeans were evidently active rivals of the Sabaean influence, and a war between the two is once mentioned. In Hadramaut they disputed the hegemony with one another, the government there being at one time under _ Minaean, at another under a Sabaean prince, while the language shows now the one and now the other influence. The religions also of the two powers present many points of agreement, with some notable differences. Thus, puzzling as the fact appears, it is clear that the Minaeans formed a sort of political and linguistic island in the Sabaean country. The origin of the Minaeans from Hadramaut is rendered probable by the pre-dominance of their dialect in the inscriptions of that country (except in that of Hisn Ghorab), by the rule, already mentioned, of a Minaean prince in Hadramaut, and by Pliny's statement (H. A'., xii. 63) that frankincense was collected at Sabota (the capital of Hadramaut; inscr. _13_>), but exported only through the Gebanites, whose kings received custom dues on it, compared with xii, 69, where he speaks of Minaean myrrh "in qua et Atramitica est et Gebbanitica et Ausaritis Gebbanitarum regno," &c, implying that Minaean myrrh was really a Hadramite and Gebanite product. AU this suggests a close connexion between the Minaeans and Hadra-maut; and from theMinaaan inscriptions we know that the Gebanites, were at one time a Minaean race, and stood in high favour with the queen of Ma'in. Thus we are led to conclude that the Minaeans were a Hadramite settlement in the Jauf, whose object was to secure the northern trade road for their products. We cannot but see that their fortified posts in the north of the Sabaean kingdom had a strategical purpose ; and so Pliny (xii. 54) says, "Attingunt et Minaei, pagus alius, per quos evehitur uno tramite angusto [from Hadramaut]. Hi primi commercium turis fecere maximeque exer-cent, a quibus et Minaeum dictum est." Besides this road, they had the sea-route, for, according to Pliny, their allies, the Gebanites, held the port of Ocelis. If the Minaeans were later immigrants from Hadramaut, we can understand how they are not mentioned in Gen. x. In later times, as is proved by the Minaean colony in Al-'Ola, which Euting has revealed to us, they superseded the Sabaeans in some parts of the north. In the 'Ola inscriptions we read the names of Minaean kings and gods. Notable also is the mention in 1 Chron. iv. 41 of the " Bedouin encampments
(_^__) and the Ma'mfm" smitten by the Simeonites, which may possibly refer to the destruction of a Minaean caravan pro-tected by these Bedouins. The LXX. at least renders Ma'inim by Miraious. It seems bold to conjecture that the Minaeans were in accord with the Komans under .rElius Gallus, yet it is noteworthy that no Minaean town is named among the cities which that genera!)


destroyed, though ruin fell on Nask and Kamna, which lie inside the Minaean territory.
The inscriptions seem to indicate that the monarchies of South Arabia were hereditary, the son generally following the father, though not seldom the brother of the deceased came between, appar-ently on the principle of seniority, which we find also in North Arabia. Eratosthenes (in Strabo xvi. 4, 3) says that the first child born to one of the magnates after a king came to the throne was his designated successor ; the wives of the magnates who were pregnant at the king's accession were carefully watched and the first child born was brought up as heir to the kingdom. There seems to be a mistake in the first part of this statement; what Eratosthenes will have said is that the oldest prince after the king was the designated suc-cessor. This law of succession explains how we repeatedly find two kings named together among the Sabfeans, and almost always find two among the Minaeans ; the second king is the heir. The prin-ciple of seniority, as we know from North-Arabian history, gives rise to intrigues and palace revolutions, and was probably often violated in favour of the direct heir. On the other hand, it readily leads to a limited power of election by the magnates, and in fact good Arabian sources speak of seven electoral princes. Some inscriptions name, besides the king, an eponymus, whose office seems to have been priestly, his titles being dhii harif, eponymus, and rashiiw, "sacri-ficer." All royal inscriptions are signed by him at the beginning and the end, and he appears with the king on coins.
Religion. —In spite of the many ruins of temples and inscriptions, the religion of the Sabfeans is obscure. Most of the many names of gods are mere names that appear and vanish again in particular districts and temples. Of the great national gods of the Sabfeans and Minfeans we know a little more. The worship of the heavenly bodies, for which there is Arabic evidence, had really a great place in Yemen. Sun-worship seems to have been peculiar to the Sabfeans and Hamdanites ; and, if the Sabis of Sabota (Pliny) was in fact the sun deity Shams, this must be ascribed to Sabaean influence. The Sabaean Shams was a goddess, while the chief divinity of the Minseana was the god 'Athtar, a male figure, worshipped under several forms, of which the commonest are the Eastern 'Athtar and 'Athtar Dhii Kabd. Wadd and Nikrah, the gods of love and hate, are possibly only other forms of the two 'Athtars. The Sabfeans also recognize 'Athtar ; hut with them he is superseded by Almakah, who, accord-ing to Hamdani, is the planet Venus, and therefore is identical with 'Athtar. The moon-god Sin appears on an inscription of Shabwat; but, according to Hamdani, Haubas, "the drier," was the Sabfean moon-god. On the Shabwat inscription 'Athtar is the father of Sin, and it is noteworthy that these two deities also appear as nearly related in the Babylonian legend of 'Ishtar's descent to Hades, where 'Ishtar is conversely the daughter of the god Sin. The mother of 'Athtar on another inscription is probably the sun. We find also the common Semitic II (El) and a Dhii Samai answering to the northern Ba'al Shamayim. Three gods of the inscriptions are named in the Koran, —Wadd, Yaghuth, and Nasr. In the god-name Ta'lab there may be an indication of tree-worship. The many minor deities may be passed over ; but we must mention the sanc-tuary of Riyam, with its images of the sun and moon, and, according to tradition, an oracle. In conformity with old Semitic usage, pil-grimages were made at definite seasons to certain deities, and the Sabfean pilgrim month, Dhu Hijjatan, is the northern DhuT-Hijja. The outlines, and little more, of a few of the many temples can still be traced. Noteworthy are the elliptic form of the chief temples in Ma'rib and Sirwah, and the castle of Nakab-al-Hajar with its entrances north and south.
Sacrifices and incense were offered to the gods. The names for altar (midhbah) and sacrifice (dhibh) are common Semitic words, and the altar of incense has among other names that of miktar, as in Hebrew. A variety of spices—the wealth of the land—are named on these altars, as rand, ladantim, costus, tarum, &c. Frankincense appears as lubdn, and there are other names not yet understood. The gods received tithes of the produce of trade and of the field, in kind or in ingots and golden statues, and these tributes, with freewill offerings, erected and maintained the temples. Temples and forti-fications were often combined. The golden statues were votive offerings ; thus a man and his wife offer four statues for the health of their four children and a man offers to Dhii Samai statues of a man and two camels, in prayer for his own health and the protection of his camels from disease of the joints.
Their commerce brought the Sabfeans under Christian and Jewish influence ; and, though the old gods were too closely connected with their life and trade to be readily abandoned, the great change in the trading policy, already spoken of, seems to have affected religion as well as the state. The inland gods lost importance with the failure of the overland trade, and Judaism and Christianity seem for a time to have contended for the mastery in South Arabia. Jewish influence appears in the name Rahman (see above), while efforts at Christianization seem to have gone forth from several places at various times. According to Philostorgius, the Homerites were converted under Constantius II. by the Indian Theophilus, who built churches in Zafar and Aden. Another account places their conversion in the reign of Anastasius (491-518). In Nejran Syrian missionaries seem to have introduced Christianity (Nöldeke). But, as the religion of the hostile Ethiopians, Christianity found poli-tical obstacles to its adoption in Yemen ; and, as heathenism had quite lost its power, it is intelligible that Dhu Nuwas, who was at war with Ethiopia before the last fatal struggle, became a Jew. His expedition against Christian Nejran had therefore political as well as religious motives. The Ethiopian conquest rather hurt than helped Christianity. The famous kalis (eKKX-qaia.) of Abraha in San'ä seems to have been looked on as a sign of foreign dominion, and Islam found it easy to supersede Christianity in Yemen.
Coins.—In older times and in many districts coins were not used, and trade was carried on mainly by barter. Nor have there yet been many great finds of coins ; indeed most of the pieces in European collections probably come from the same hoard. At the same time the coins throw a general light on the relations of ancient Yemen. The oldest known pieces are imitations of the Athenian mintage *of the 4th century B.c., with the legend AGE and the owl standing on an overturned amphora. The reverse has the head of Pallas with a Sabaean N. Of younger coins the first series has a king's head on the reverse, and the old obverse is enriched with two Sabfean monograms, which have been interpreted as meaning "majesty" and "eponymus" respectively. In a second series the Greek legend has disappeared, and, instead of the two Sabfean monograms, we have the names of the king and the eponymus. A third series shows Roman influence and must be later than the ex-pedition of Gallus. As the standard of the coins of Attic type is not Attic but Babylonian, we must not think of direct Athenian influence. The type must have been introduced either from Persia or from Phoenicia (Gaza). One remarkable tetradrachm with the Sabaean legend Abyath'a is imitated from an Alexander of the 2d century B.C., the execution being quite artistic and the weight Attic. There are also coins struck at RaydAn and Harib, which must be assigned to the Himyarite period (1st and 2d century A. D.). The inscriptions speak of "bright Hayyili coins in high relief," but of these none have been found. They also speak of sela' pieces. The sela' in late Hebrew answers to the older shekel and the men-tion of it seems to point to Jewish or Christian influence.
Literature.— Fresnel, Puces rel. auz Inscrr. Himyaritcs dec. par M. Arnaud, 1845 ; Inscriptions in the Himyaritic Character in the British Museum, London, 1863; Praetorius, Beitr. zur Erklärung der himjar. Inschr., 3 parts, Halle, 1872-74; Kreraer, Siidarabische Sage, 1866; Sprenger, Alte Geogr. Arabiens, 1873; D. H. Müller, Siidarabische Studien, Vienna, 1877 ; Id., Die Burgen u. Schlösser Südarabiens, 2 parts, Vienna, 1879-S1 (especially for chronology and antiquities); Mordtmann and Müller, Sabäische Denkmäler, Vienna, 1883; Derenbourg, Etudes sur l'Epigraphie du Yemen, Paris, 1884; Id., Nouv. Etud., 1885; Glaser, Mittheilungen über . . . sab. Inschr., 1886; Hamdani, Geogr. d. Arab. Halbinsel, ed. D. H. Müller, vol. i., Leyden, 1884. See also papers by Osiander, Z.D.M.G., xix.-xx. (1864-65); Halevy, Journ. As., 1872-74; D. H. Müller, Z.D.M.G., xxix.-xxxi., xxxvii.; Prideaux, Tr. Soc. Eibl. Arch., 1873; Derenbourg, Bab. and Or. Record, London, 1887, In the press, D. H. Müller, Epigraphische Denkmäler nach . . . Copien Eittings. Further cp. the travels of Niebuhr, Seetzen, Wellsted, Wrede, Maltzan, Halevy, Manzoni, and Glaser. (D. H. M,)








Search the Encyclopedia:



About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Sitemaps
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us



© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries