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Encyclopedia > Nabateans
Petra, the Nabataean capital
Petra, the Nabataean capital

The Nabataeans were a trading people of ancient Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Their loosely-controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases and the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert. For who ruled the area, see Rulers of Nabatea. The Treasury at Petra. ... The Treasury at Petra. ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (rock in Greek) 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. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ... Josephus, also known as Flavius Josephus (c. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ... Boat on the Shatt-al-Arab The Euphrates (the traditional Greek name for the river, which is in Old Persian Ufrat, Aramaic Prâth/Frot, in Arabic Al-Furat الفرات, in Turkish Fırat and in ancient Assyrian language Pu-rat-tu) is the westernmost of the two great rivers that define... Conshelf II in the Red Sea (Sudan) The Red Sea (Arabic البحر الأحمر Baḥr al-Aḥmar, al-Baḥru l-’Aḥmar; Hebrew ים סוף Yam Suf) is a gulf or basin of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... List of rulers of Nabatea Also rendered as Nabathea, territory located in present-day Jordan, southern Syria, southern Israel and north-western Saudi Arabia Sources Jewish Virtual Library: http://www. ...

Contents


Culture

Thousands of graffiti and inscriptions document the area of Nabataean culture and testify to widespread literacy, yet no literature has survived, nor was any noted in Antiquity, and the temples bear no inscriptions. Classical references to the Nabataeans suggest that their trade routes and the origins of their goods were regarded as trade secrets, and disguised in tales that should have strained outsiders' credulity. Diodorus Siculus described them as a strong tribe of some 10,000 warriors, pre-eminent among the nomads of Arabia, eschewing agriculture, fixed houses and the use of wine, but adding to pastoral pursuits a profitable trade with the seaports in frankincense and myrrh and spices from Arabia Felix, as well as a trade with Egypt in bitumen from the Dead Sea. Their arid country was the best safeguard of their cherished liberty; for the bottle-shaped cisterns for rain-water which they excavated in the rocky or clay rich soil were carefully concealed from invaders. Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian, born at Agyrium in Sicily (now called Agira, in the Province of Enna). ... Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from the tree Boswellia thurifera or . ... Myrrh is a red-brown resinous material, the dried sap of the Commiphora myrrha tree, indigenous to Somalia. ... The Republic of Yemen is a country in the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia, and is a part of the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. ... Bitumen Bitumen is a category of organic liquids which are highly viscous, black, sticky and wholly soluble in carbon disulfide. ... The Jordan River flowing into the Dead Sea The Dead Sea (Arabic البحر الميت,Hebrew ים המלח) is the lowest point on the Earths surface. ...


Origins

The Nabataean origins remain obscure. On the similarity of sounds, Jerome suggested a connection with the tribe Nebaioth mentioned in Genesis, but modern historians are cautious about an early Nabatean history. The Babylonian captivity that began in 586 BCE opened a power vacuum in Judah, and as Edomites moved into Judaean grazing lands, Nabataean inscriptions began to be left in Edomite territory. earlier than 312 BC, when they were attacked at Petra without success by Antigonus I. Petra or Sela was the ancient capital of Edom; the Nabataeans must have occupied the old Edomite country, and succeeded to its commerce, after the Edomites took advantage of the Babylonian captivity to press forward into southern Judaea. This migration, the date of which cannot be determined, also made them masters of the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba and the important harbor of Elath. Here, according to Agatharchides, they were for a time very troublesome, as wreckers and pirates, to the reopened commerce between Egypt and the East, until they were chastised by the Ptolemaic rulers of Alexandria. , by Albrecht Dürer , by Peter Paul Rubens Jerome (about 340 - September 30, 420), (full name Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) is best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. ... Nebaioth נְבָיוֹת (Hebrew: Nevayot), (also written in English as Nebajoth or Nbioth), is mentioned at least five times in the Hebrew Bible according to which he was the firstborn son of Ishmael, and the name is among the eponyms of tribes mentioned in the Book of Genesis 25:13, and in... The Babylonian captivity, or Babylonian exile, is the name generally given to the deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. ... Judah (יְהוּדָה Praise, Standard Hebrew YÉ™huda, Tiberian Hebrew YÉ™hûḏāh) is the name of several Biblical and historical figures. ... Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm) sounds like the Biblical Hebrew word for red and is a vividly apposite designation for the red sandstones of Edom. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC Years: 317 BC 316 BC 315 BC 314 BC 313 BC _ 312 BC _ 311 BC... The Treasury at Petra Petra (rock in Greek) 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. ... Antigonus I Monophthalmos (the One-eyed) (382 BC - 301 BC) was a Macedonian nobleman, general, and governor under Alexander the Great. ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (rock in Greek) 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. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm) sounds like the Biblical Hebrew word for red and is a vividly apposite designation for the red sandstones of Edom. ... Edom (אֱדוֹם, Standard Hebrew Edom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔḏôm) sounds like the Biblical Hebrew word for red and is a vividly apposite designation for the red sandstones of Edom. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... Desert hills in southern Judea, looking east from the town of Arad Judea or Judaea (יהודה Praise, Standard Hebrew Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Yəhûḏāh) is a term used for the mountainous southern part of historic Palestine, an area now divided between Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. ... Sinai Peninsula, Gulf of Suez(west), Gulf of Aqaba(east) viewed from Space Shuttle STS-40. ... Aqaba (Arabic: العقبة al-ʿAqabah; Standard Hebrew עקבה) is a coastal town in the far south of Jordan. ... Agatharchides of Cnidus, was a Greek historian and geographer (flourished 2nd century BC); Strabo (14. ... Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Greats generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexanders death in 323 BC. In 305 BC he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as Soter (saviour). ...


The Nabataeans had already some tincture of foreign culture when they first appear in history. That culture was naturally Aramaic; they wrote a letter to Antigonus in Syriac letters, and Aramaic continued to be the language of their coins and inscriptions when the tribe grew into a kingdom, and profited by the decay of the Seleucids to extend its borders northward over the more fertile country east of the Jordan. They occupied Hauran, and in about 85 BC their king Aretas became lord of Damascus and Coele-Syria. "Nabataeans" became the Arabic name for Aramaeans, whether in Syria or Iraq, a fact which has been incorrectly held to prove that the Nabataeans were originally Aramaean immigrants from Babylonia. Proper names on their inscriptions suggest that they were true Arabs who had come under Aramaic influence. Starcky [1] identifies the Nabatu of southern Arabia as their ancestors. However different groups amongst the Nabateans wrote their names in slightly different ways, consequently archeologists are reluctant to say that they were all the same tribe, or that any one group is the original Nabataeans [5]. Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... Seleucus I Nicator (Nicator, the Victor) (around 358–281 BC) was one of Alexander the Greats generals who, after Alexanders death in 323 BC, founded the Seleucid Empire. ... The Hauran refers to the southern region of modern-day Syria. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC - 80s BC - 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC Years: 90 BC 89 BC 88 BC 87 BC 86 BC - 85 BC - 84 BC 83 BC 82... Damascus by night, the green spots are minarets Damascus (Arabic officially دمشق Dimashq, colloquially ash-Sham الشام) is the capital city of Syria and is the oldest inhabited city in the world. ... Coele-Syria means hollow Syria and it was the region of Southern Syria disputed between the Seleucid dynasty and the Ptolemaic dynasty. ... The Arameans or Aramaeans (also called Syriacs) were a Semitic, nomadic people who dwelt in Aram-Naharaim or Aram of the two rivers, also known as Mesopotamia a region including modern Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Iran that is mentioned six times in the Hebrew Bible. ... Babylonia was an ancient state in Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq), combining the territories of Sumer and Akkad. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب Ê»arab) are an originally Arabian ethnicity of the Caucasoid race widespread in the Middle East and North Africa. ...


The Hellenistic and Roman periods

The Roman province of Arabia Petraea, created from the Nabataean kingdom.
The Roman province of Arabia Petraea, created from the Nabataean kingdom.

Petra was rapidly built in the 1st century BCE in Hellenistic splendor, yet the Nabataeans were allies of the first Hasmoneans in their struggles against the Seleucid monarchs they became the rivals of the Judaean dynasty in the period of its splendor, and a chief element in the disorders which invited Pompey's intervention in Palestine. Many were forcefully converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus [4]. The Roman military was not very successful, and King Aretas retained his whole possessions, including Damascus, as a Roman vassal. derived from other Wikipedia maps File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... derived from other Wikipedia maps File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ... The Hasmonean Kingdom (pronunciation) in ancient Judea and its ruling dynasty from 140 BC to 37 BC was established under the leadership of Simon Maccabaeus, two decades after Judah the Maccabee defeated the Seleucid army in 165 BC. Origin of the Hasmonean dynasty The origin of the Hasmonean dynasty is... The Seleucid Empire was one of several political states founded after the death of Alexander the Great, whose generals squabbled over the division of Alexanders empire. ... This article refers to the Roman General. ... Palestine (Latin: Syria Palæstina; Hebrew: פלשתינה Palestina, ארץ־ישראל Eretz Yisrael; Arabic: فلسطين Filasṭīn) is the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Jordan River, plus various adjoining lands to the east. ... The Hasmonean Kingdom (pronunciation) in ancient Judea and its ruling dynasty from 140 BC to 37 BC was established under the leadership of Simon Maccabaeus, two decades after Judah the Maccabee defeated the Seleucid army in 165 BC. Origin of the Hasmonean dynasty The origin of the Hasmonean dynasty is...


As allies of the Romans the Nabataeans continued to flourish throughout the first century AD. Their power extended far into Arabia along the Red Sea to Yemen, and Petra remained a cosmopolitan marketplace, though its commerce was diminished by the rise of the Eastern trade-route from Myoshormus to Coptos on the Nile. Under the Pax Romana they lost their warlike and nomadic habits, and were a sober, acquisitive, orderly people, wholly intent on trade and agriculture. The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Ancient Roman polity in the centuries following its reorganization under the leadership of Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus). ... Conshelf II in the Red Sea (Sudan) The Red Sea (Arabic البحر الأحمر Baḥr al-Aḥmar, al-Baḥru l-’Aḥmar; Hebrew ים סוף Yam Suf) is a gulf or basin of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (rock in Greek) 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. ... The Nile in Egypt Length 6 695 km Elevation of the source 1 134 m Average discharge 2 830 m³/s Area watershed 3 400 000 km² Origin Africa Mouth the Mediterranean Basin countries Uganda - Sudan - Egypt The Nile (Arabic: النيل an-nīl), in Africa, is one of the two... Pax Romana, Latin for the Roman peace, is the long period of peace experienced by states within the Roman Empire. ...


They might have long been a bulwark between Rome and the wild hordes of the desert but for the short-sighted cupidity of Trajan, who reduced Petra and broke up the Nabataean nationality as the short-lived Roman province of Arabia Petraea. Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus (full title in Latin: IMP·CAESAR·DIVI·NERVAE·FILIVS·TRAIANVS. GERMANICVS·AVGVSTVS ¹) (September 18, 53 - August 9, 117), Roman Emperor from 98 - 117, commonly called Trajan, was the second of the so-called five good emperors of the Roman Empire, succeeding Nerva. ... The Treasury at Petra Petra (rock in Greek) 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. ... The term the Middle East sometimes applies to the peninsula alone, but usually refers to the Arabian Peninsula plus the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. ...


By the third century AD the Nabateans had stopped writing in Aramaic language and begun writing in Greek instead, and by the forth century they had converted to Christianity [3]. The new Arab invaders who soon pressed forward into their seats found the remnants of the Nabataeans transformed into fellahin.


References

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclop√¶dia Britannica. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1911) in many ways represents the sum of knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century. ...

  1. The Nabateans: A Historical Sketch - Jean Starcky
  2. The Nabateans in the Negev
  3. The Nabateans by Professor Avraham Negev
  4. A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson, George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Limited, London, 1987
  5. Nabataea.net, Dan Gibson's comprehensive Nabataean site

External links

  • Bulletin of Nabataean Studies: links on Petra and the Nabataeans

Further reading

  • David Graf, Rome and the Arabian Frontier: from the Nabataeans to the Saracens
  • Encyclopedia of Islam, Volume VII: "Nabat."

  Results from FactBites:
 
Nabateans (791 words)
The Nabateans are most likely of the same ethnic origin as other peoples of Arabia, and their modern descendants are either labelled Arabs or Bedouins.
The Nabatean kingdom was governed by a royal family, and the kingdom was abundant in resources and bustling with a cosmopolitan population.
The Nabateans use this to conquer land to the north and east, involving parts of modern Syria and most of modern Jordan.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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