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Encyclopedia > Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea

Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the second century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria Sinai, and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra. It was bordered on the north by Syria, on the west by Iudaea and Aegyptus Image File history File links Arabia_Petraea. ... Image File history File links Arabia_Petraea. ... Map of the Roman Empire, with the provinces, after 120. ... The Roman Empire is the name given to both the imperial domain developed by the city-state of Rome and also the corresponding phase of that civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government. ... Petra, the Nabataean capital The Nabataeans, a people of ancient Arabia, whose settlements in the time of Josephus gave the name of Nabatene to the border-land between Syria and Arabia from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. ... Sinai Peninsula, Gulf of Suez (west), Gulf of Aqaba (east) from Space Shuttle STS-40 For other uses of the word Sinai, please see: Sinai (disambiguation). ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (from petra, rock in Greek; Arabic: البتراء, al-Bitrā) is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. ... Iudaea Province in the 1st century Iudaea was a Roman province that extended over Judaea (Palestine). ... The Roman Empire ca. ...

It was annexed by Trajan, like many other eastern frontier provinces of the Roman Empire, but held onto, unlike Armenia, Mesopotamia and Assyria, well after Trajan's rule. (Its desert frontier was called the Limes Arabicus.) It produced no usurpers and no emperors (Philippus, though Arab, was from Shahbā, a Syrian city added to the province of Arabia at a point between 193 and 225—Philippus was born around 204). As a frontier province, it included a desert populated by the nomadic Saraceni, and bordering the Parthian hinterland. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus (September 18, 53–August 9, 117), Roman Emperor (98–117), commonly called Trajan, was the second of the Five Good Emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran. ... Relief from Assyrian capital of Dur Sharrukin, showing transport of Lebanese cedar (8th century BC) In the earliest historical times, the term Assyria (Syriac:ܐܬܘܖ̈) referred to a region on the Upper Tigris river, named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur. ... The desert frontier of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea. ... This coin struck under Philip to celebrate Saeculum Novum bears, on the reverse, a temple devoted to Roma goddess. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب) are a heterogeneous ethnic group who are predominantly speakers of the Arabic language, mainly found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ... Shahba, also known as Philippopolis, is a city located 87 km south of Damascus in the Hauran in an oasis. ... In older Western historical literature, the Saracens were the people of the Saracen Empire, another name for the Arab Caliphate under the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Though subject to eventual attack and deprivation by the Parthians and Palmyrenes, it had nothing like the constant incursions faced in other areas on the Roman frontier, such as Germany and North Africa, nor the entrenched cultural presence that defined the other, more Hellenized, eastern provinces. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A general view of the site Palmyra was in the ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. ...



The geographic makeup of Arabia has some variation. It includes the comparatively fertile Moab plateau, which received 200mm of annual rainfall, at the southernmost tip of which lays Petra which, along with Bostra (or Busra), are the political foci of the province. Inhospitability is the norm, though, and along with the desert proper that is the Sinai, the arid Negev, which extends north of the Sinai, is practically such. Along with this are the coastal areas around the Red Sea; the badlands known as Hismā that develop to the north of that coast; and the ever-present rocky terrain. Moab (Hebrew: מוֹאָב, Standard Tiberian  ; Greek Μωάβ ; Arabic مؤاب, Assyrian Muaba, Maba, Maab ; Egyptian Muab) is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (from petra, rock in Greek; Arabic: البتراء, al-Bitrā) is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the great valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. ... Bosra (alternative Bostra, Busrana, Bozrah, Bozra, Busra Eski Sham, Busra ash-Sham, Nova Trojana Bostra) is an ancient city in southern modern-day Syria. ... Ruins in the Negev desert The Negev (Hebrew נֶגֶב;, Tiberian Hebrew Néḡeḇ; Arabic النقب an-Naqab) is the desert region of southern Israel. ... Location of the Red Sea Image:Red Seaimage. ...

Major Cities

Petra, now designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Petra, now designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Most of Arabia was sparsely populated, and its cities can be found concentrated to the north, toward the Jordan. The only major port is Aqaba, which can be found at the tip of a wide gulf from the Red Sea bearing the same name. There is some disagreement as to what was the capital of the province, with claims that Bostra, near the border of the province of Syria, as the sole capital and other claims that both Petra and Bostra served that purpose. Petra served as the base for Legio III Cyrenaica, and the governor of the province would spend time in both cities, issuing edicts from both. Upon annexation of the province, Bostra gained the appelative “Traiane” when Trajan declared it the capital while Hadrian performed the same ceremonial act for Petra when he became emperor. Download high resolution version (500x666, 114 KB)Author: Jean-Brice Demoulin. ... Download high resolution version (500x666, 114 KB)Author: Jean-Brice Demoulin. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ... UNESCO logo UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... Aqaba (Arabic: العقبة al-Ê»Aqabah) is a coastal town with a population of 101,290 (2000) and 2% of Jordans population in the far south of Jordan (). It is the capital of Aqaba Governorate. ... Legio III Cyrenaica, meaning from Cyrenaica (a Roman province), was a Roman legion probably levied by Marcus Antonius around 36 BC, then governor of Cyrenaica. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 – July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was Roman emperor from 117 – 138, and a member of the gens Aelia. ...


Before Roman control, the area was ruled by Rabbel II, last king of the Nabataeans until 106 AD. When Rabbel II, who had ruled since 70, died, the Third Cyrenaica moved north from Egypt into Petra while the Sixth Ferrata, a Syrian garrison unit, moved south to occupy Bostra. The conquest of Nabataea can be best described as casual, an act by Trajan to consolidate control of the area before acting on his designs for territory across the Tigris and eventually into Mesopotamia proper. There’s no evidence of any pretext for the annexation--Rabbel II had an heir by the name of Obodas--and though there was little fighting and gloria (Attested to by the fact that Trajan did not adopt the appelation Arabicus, as he did Dacius when he conquered Dacia), there does seem to have been enough of a defeat to cause some humiliation on the part of the Nabataeans. The two cohorts that eventually found themselves in Arabia had been sailed from Egypt to Syria in preparation for the action, which despite some resistance among the Nabataean royal guard, seemed to be not entirely resisted by the Nabataeans, as evidenced by the fact that the Nabataean troops served as auxiliary troops support Roman legions soon after conquest. Rabel II Soter (ar-Rabil) was the last King of the Nabateans, ruling from 70 until 106 AD. After the death of his father, Malichus II, ar-Rabil ascended to the throne while he was still a child. ... The Tigris River (Arabic: دجلة Dijla, Hebrew: חדקל ḥiddeqel, Kurdish: Dîjle, Pahlavi: Tigr, Old Persian: Tigrā-, Syriac: ܕܩܠܬ Deqlath, Turkish: Dicle, Akkadian: Idiqlat) is the eastern member of the pair of great rivers that define Mesopotamia, along with the Euphrates, which flows from the mountains of Anatolia through Iraq (the name Mesopotamia... Dacia, in ancient geography the land of the Daci, named by the ancient Greeks Getae, was a large district of Southeastern Europe, bounded on the north by the Carpathians, on the south by the Danube, on the west by the Tisa, on the east by the Tyras or Nistru, now...

The conquest of Arabia was not officially exulted until completion of the Via Nova Traiana. This road extended down the center of the province from Bostra to Aqaba. It isn’t until the project is finished that coins, featuring Trajan’s bust on the obverse and a camel on the reverse, appear commemorating the acquisition of Arabia. These coins are minted until 115, at which time the Roman imperial focus was turning farther eastward. The road links not only Bostra and Aqaba, which other than being a port doesn’t seem to hold much siginificance in the eyes of the imperial government, but also Petra, which sits at the center of the province, between the road’s two termini. Though Trajan declared Bostra to be the capital of the province, he also awarded Petra the status of metropolis, as a sign that he agreed in the matter of its importance with his successor, Hadrian, who considered it to be more dignified and historic. The Via Maris (purple), Kings Highway (red), and other ancient Levantine trade routes, c. ... Auckland Berlin Chicago Hong Kong Istanbul Johannesburg London Los Angeles Madrid Melbourne Metropolis Katowice Moscow Mumbai New York City Osaka Paris Santiago de Chile São Paulo Shanghai Singapore Sydney Tokyo Toronto Warsaw A metropolis (in Greek μήτηρ, mÄ“tÄ“r = mother and πόλις, pólis = city/town) is a major city...


With Roman conquest came the imposition of Greek in official discourse. This was standard for a province in Eastern Rome, but Arabia had far less of the history of Hellenization than its neighbors, and the language was little used before its introduction by the Romans. After the conquest, though, Greek was adopted popularly, as well as officially, practically supplanting Nabataean and Aramaic, as evidenced by inscriptions at Umm al Quttain. The occurrence of Latin in the province is rare and limited to such cases as the tomb inscription of T. Aninius Sextius Florentinus, governor in 127, and, somewhat paradoxically, in personal names.

Bosra, capital of Arabia Petraea.
Bosra, capital of Arabia Petraea.

Millar makes a case for a Graeco-Roman Hellenization in Arabia. It is an area, after all, that was not significantly hellenized during the rule of Alexander, and the locals originally spoke Aramaic and Nabataean, not Greek. So with the introduction of Roman rule, along with many aspects of classic Roman socialization, such as public works and glorification of the military, came an introduction of Greek cultural and social values. Arabia acclimates to the new culture so fully that it seems the original linguistic groups faded away. There were scattered Nabataean inscriptions during the period of imperial Roman rule, but the only evidence of Aramaic still in use was among the Jewish community, and the regions of Lebanon where it is still spoken by the Maronite Catholics today. Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 610 KB)Ancient theater in Bosra (southern Syria) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 610 KB)Ancient theater in Bosra (southern Syria) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For the town in Jordan, see Bozrah. ... Hellenisation (or Hellenization) is a term used to describe a cultural change in which something non-Greek becomes Greek (Hellenic). ... Alexander the Great (Greek: ,[1] Megas Alexandros; July 356 BC-June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III, king of Macedon (336–323 BC), was one of the most successful military commanders in history. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination...


When Avidius Cassius rebelled against what he believed was a deceased Marcus Aurelius, he received no support from Arabia, overlooked by some historians due likely to the fact that Arabia hadn’t the wealth or political might of Syria. Arabia responded similarly when the governor of Syria, Pescennius Niger, proclaimed himself emperor in 193. Gaius Avidius Cassius (c. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ... Pescennius Niger as emperor. ...

When Septimius Severus came into power and stripped the Syrian city of Antioch of its status as Metropolis for its part in the rebellion and meted out punishment to any others who were unlucky enough to choose the wrong side, the Third Cyrenaica received the honorific “Severiana”. In addition, the governor of Arabia, P. Aelius Severianus Maximus, was allowed to continue in his post in reward for his loyalty. Syria was split into two and Arabia was expanded to include the Leja’ and Jebel Drūz, rough terrain south of Damascus, and also the birthplace of M. Julius Phillipus—Phillip the Arab. Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ...

Severus had enlarged a province that was already huge. He then proceeded to enlarge the empire, through the conquest of Mesopotamia. The transfer of the Leja’ and Jebel Drūz seemed to have been part of a shrewd series of political acts on the emperor’s part to consolidate control of the area before this conquest. Arabia became the ideological power base for Septemius Severus in the Roman Near East. The obvious need to mitigate and tame the power of the province of Syria, which had shown itself over and over to be a hotbed of rebellion, was then accomplished in three parts: The aforementioned reorganization of Syria into two political units, the reduction of its territory in favor of Arabia, and the marriage of the emperor to the shrewd Julia Domna. Julia Domna ( 170-217) was member of the Severan dynasty of the Roman Empire. ...

Arabia became such a symbol of loyalty to Severus and the empire, according to Bowersock, that during his war against Clodius Albinus, in Gaul, Syrian opponents propagated a rumor that the Third Cyrenaica had defected. That it would matter to an issue in France that a single legion in a backwater province on the other side of the empire would rebel indicates the political sway that Arabia had amassed. Not a land of significant population, or resources or even strategic position, it had become a bedrock of Roman culture. That it was an Eastern Roman culture didn't seem to dilute its effectiveness in matters in the west. It is precisely because Arabia had so little that it was able to define itself as Roman and that spurred its loyalty to an Imperial Rome that may never have existed. Clodius Albinus. ... Map of Gaul circa 58 BC Gaul (Latin: ) was the name given, in ancient times, to the region of Western Europe comprising present-day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Switzerland and the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine river. ...

With Emperor Diocletian's restructuring of the empire in 284-305, Arabia province was enlarged to include parts of modern-day Israel. Arabia after Diocletian was a part of the Diocese of Oriens ("the East"), which was part of the Prefecture of Oriens. The province was invaded and conquered by the Muslims under Caliph Umar in the seventh century. Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ( 245– 312), born Diocles (Greek Διοκλής) and known in English as Diocletian,[1] was Roman Emperor from November 20, 284 to May 1, 305. ... The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St. ... For other uses, see number 284. ... Events May 1 - Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome, retire from office. ... Pope Pius XI blesses Bishop Stephen Alencastre as fifth Apostolic Vicar of the Hawaiian Islands in a Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace window. ... The division of the Roman Empire into four Praetorian prefectures originated in the age of the Tetrarchy yet outlived that period. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... Caliph is the title for the Islamic leader of the Ummah, or community of Islam. ... `Umar ibn al-Khattāb (in Arabic, عمر بن الخطاب) (c. ...


G. W. Bowersock, Roman Arabia, (Harvard University Press, 1983)

Fergus Millar, Roman Near East, (Harvard University Press, 1993)

Roman Imperial Provinces (120)
Achaea | Aegyptus | Africa | Alpes Cottiae | Alpes Maritimae | Alpes Poenninae | Arabia Petraea | Armenia Inferior | Asia | Assyria | Bithynia | Britannia | Cappadocia | Cilicia | Commagene | Corduene | Corsica et Sardinia | Creta et Cyrenaica | Cyprus | Dacia | Dalmatia | Epirus | Galatia | Gallia Aquitania | Gallia Belgica | Gallia Lugdunensis | Gallia Narbonensis | Germania Inferior | Germania Superior | Hispania Baetica | Hispania Lusitania | Hispania Tarraconensis | Italia | Iudaea | Lycaonia | Lycia | Macedonia | Mauretania Caesariensis | Mauretania Tingitana | Moesia | Noricum | Numidia | Osroene | Pannonia | Pamphylia | Pisidia | Pontus | Raetia | Sicilia | Sophene | Syria | Thracia |

  Results from FactBites:
Arabia Petraea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (126 words)
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a province of the Roman Empire beginning in the second century AD; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, Sinai, and northwestern Saudi Arabia.
With Emperor Diocletian's restructuring of the empire in 284-305, Arabia province was enlarged to include parts of modern-day Israel.
Arabia after Diocletian was a part of the Diocese of Oriens ("the East"), which was part of the Prefecture of Oriens.
Encyclopedia: Arabia (3538 words)
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are economically the wealthiest in the region.
Arabia has no lakes or permanent rivers, only wadis, which are dry except during the brief rainy season.
The Nefud or An-Nafud is a desert in Northwestern Arabia.
  More results at FactBites »



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