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Apologia for ‘the Sabaean cultural-political area’

  • Andrey Korotayev (a1)
Extract

Firstly, I accept Beeston's proposal to refer ‘to linguistic data as Minaic, Sabaic, Qatabanic and Hadramitic, leaving Minaean etc. for non-linguistic contexts’ (Beeston, 1987a: 13). His argument (at least with respect to the distinction between the ‘Sabaean’ and the ‘Sabaic’) looks entirely convincing:

The Sabaeans were the inhabitants of the area around Ma'rib. But they shared a common language(no doubt with dialectal varieties) with the peoples of the desert fringes between Ma'rib and Wadial-Jawf, of a considerable part of Wadi al-Jawf itself, and of the high plateaux lying in the angle of those two areas—Arḥab, Qā‘ al-Bawn, Qā‘ Ṣany‘ā’ etc. It is dubious whether these other peoples would have called themselves Sabaeans,1 and it might be preferable therefore to term the language Sabaic rather than Sabaean’ (Beeston, 1979: 115).

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Sigla of the inscriptions cited

C = Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, pars quarta, 1889–1908, 1911, 1929

Er = Eryānī (1973)

Ja=Jamme (1962, 1976, 1981)

M = Garbini (1974)

Na NAG = Nāmī(1960)

R = Répertoire d'épigraphie sémitique, 1929, 1935, 1950

Ry = Ryckmans (1953)

Sh = Sharafaddīn (1967)

References

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