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A Report on Arabia Provincia

  • G. W. Bowersock (a1)

With the increasing sophistication of excavation and exploration our knowledge of the provinces of Rome has grown stunningly in recent years. It will, one may hope, continue to grow; but the prospect of further advances ought not to be a deterrent to periodic reassessment and synthesis. Specialization, inevitable and productive, nevertheless runs the risk of a loss of perspective. The study of the Roman provinces involves widely divergent skills, and this is especially true for regions at the fringes of the empire. The pages which follow constitute a gathering together of new material on the history of Roman Arabia. Incorporated in this report are various observations and discoveries of my own,—some the result of a profitable visit to the Middle East in January of 1970. In writing I have had particularly in mind the needs of Roman historians, including myself: this paper represents a preliminary stage in the preparation of a history of the province of Arabia. Obviously there can be no continuous narrative history here or a balanced consideration of all aspects of the province. New evidence and important problems (old or new) are at issue.

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1 I am glad to be able to acknowledge here my profound gratitude to those who aided me in Jordan and Israel: His Excellency Salah Abu Zeid, Minister of Information in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Mr. David Harris, of the N.R.A. Soils Division in Amman; Prof. Fawzi el-Fakharani, formerly visiting professor at the University of Jordan and now Chairman of the Archaeology Department in the University of Libya at Benghazi; Prof. Zvi Yavetz of the University of Tel-Aviv; Dr. Avraham Negev, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; and Lt.-Col. Mordechai Gichon, of the University of Tel-Aviv. I have also to thank for help and criticism Professors T. D. Barnes, C. P. Jones, John Strugnell and F. V. Winnett. The present report is concerned chiefly with work in or on Arabia since the excavation of Jerash, completed in 1934 and published in 1938 (C. H. Kraeling, Gerasa: City of the Decapolis). The following abbreviations should be noted: AASOR = Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research; ADAJ = Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan; CIS = Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum; IEJ = Israel Exploration Journal; PEQ = Palestine Exploration Quarterly; RB = Revue Biblique; SDB = Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible; ZDPV = Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. Page references are to the initial page of a discussion.

2 Mention should be made, honoris causa, of the serviceable and up-to-date guidebook The Antiquities of Jordan, by Harding, G. Lankaster, in the second (revised) edition of 1967.

3 SDB 886; cf. Starcky's earlier ‘The Nabataeans: a Historical Sketch’, The Biblical Archaeologist 18 (1955), 84. The SDB contribution is now the fundamental study of Nabataean civilization. N. Glueck, Deities and Dolphins (1965), is of much more limited scope, preponderantly concerned with art, and, in particular, at Khirbet Tannur. On this book, cf. Starcky, J., ‘Le temple nabatéen de Khirbet Tannur. À propos d'un livre récent’, RB 75 (1968), 206. Note also M. Lindner, Die Könige von Petra (1968), with fine colour photographs.

4 Diod. 19, 94–100.

5 SDB 903.

7 F. V. Winnett and W. L. Reed, Ancient Records from North Arabia (1970), 99.

8 Negev, A., ‘Avdat, A Caravan Halt in the Negev’, Archaeology 14 (1961), 123. cf. PEQ 98 (1966), 95; PEQ 101 (1969), 5. Also A. Negev, Cities of the Desert (1966), 12. The Nabataeans were originally nomadic, as Diodorus' report (n. 4) shows (from a considerably earlier source); by Strabo's day they had become sedentary (p. 779). Tetradrachms with Aramaic lettering of a date before 310 have recently been discovered in southern Palestine, but there is no reason to think them Nabataean: Starcky, J., IXe Congrès international d'archéologie classique: Rapports et Communications, Damascus, 1969, 23 = Die Nabatäer (Catalogue of Munich Stadtmuseum exhibition, 1970), 81.

9 Journal of Biblical Literature 74 (1955), 160, n. 25.

10 PSI IV, 406.

11 Glueck, N., Explorations in Eastern Palestine: I AASOR 14 (1934); II, AASOR 15 (1935); III, AASOR 18–19 (1939); IV, AASOR 25–28 (1951). Cf. also The Other Side of the Jordan (1940).

12 Bāyir (on a desert route to ‘Ammān): Glueck, N., AASOR 14 (1934), 73; The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), 41; AASOR 25–28 (1951), 47. Al-Jawf, : AASOR 25–28 (1951), 16, 36, 44; Savignac, and Starcky, , RB 64 (1957), 196; Winnett and Reed, Ancient Records from North Arabia (1970), 15 and, in the same volume but by Milik and Starcky, 144. Sakāka: ibid. 7, 144.

13 Ithrā: Winnett and Reed, op. cit. 60, 160. On the Wādi Sirḥān: Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), 40; AASOR 25–28 (1951), 34; Stein, A., Geographical Journal 95 (1940), 434.

14 Glueck, N., AASOR 25–28 (1951), 39.

15 Most recently, Deities and Dolphins (1965), 6.

16 On Medā'in Ṣalih, Doughty is very much worth reading still. Subsequent and scholarly, especially Jaussen, A. and Savignac, R., Mission archéologique en Arabie I (1909), 107, 301 and II (1914), 78; Winnett and Reed, op. cit. 42. On Midian (al-Bad') A. Musil, The Northern Hegaz (1926), 109; H. St. J. Philby, The Land of Midian (1957), 257; Parr, P. J., RB 76 (1969), 392. Aramaic inscriptions from the oasis of Thaj, near Bahrein, are probably of Mesopotamian, not Nabataean origin: Starcky, op. cit. (n. 8), 23–4 (French) = 81 (German).

17 Newell, Late Seleucid Mints (1939), 92.

18 BM Coins Rom. Rep. 1, 483.

19 On that expedition: J. Pirenne, ‘L'expédition d'Aelius Gallus en Arabie du sud’, in Le Royaume Sud-Arabe de Qatabān et sa Datation (1961), not known to Jameson, S., ‘Chronology of the Campaigns of Aelius Gallus and C. Petronius’, JRS 58 (1968), 71. See also A. Dihle, ‘Der Zug des Aelius Gallus’, in Umstrittene Daten (1964), 80.

20 See below, n. 39.

21 IEJ 13 (1963), 113.

22 Assuming the correction of ἀναβαταίως to Ναβαταίων ἀνάβασις; therefore, εἰς Πέτπαν πρὸς Μαλίχαν βασιλέα Ναβαταίων ἀνάβασις.

23 R. Dussaud, La Pénétration des Arabes en Syrie avant l'Islam (1955), 211; J. Pirenne, op. cit. 167; Altheim, F. (with Stiehl, R.), Die Araber in der alten Welt I (1964), 40, 100, 106, 134.

24 Starcky, J., RB 71 (1954), 161. A. Dihle's criticism of the hypothesis of a third Malichus and related matters (Umstrittene Daten [1964], 13) was attacked in turn by Altheim, ‘Zu einem Buch A. Dihle's’, op. cit. IV (1967), 492. Dihle's good argument would have been even stronger had he recognized that Malichus' name did not actually stand on the papyrus.

25 cf. Starcky in SDB 918. The lot of other En-Geddi papyri: IEJ 12 (1962), 238.

26 Bowersock, G. W., Zeitschr. f. Pap. u. Epig. 5 (1970), 44. And below, 231.

27 cf. the discussion by A. Dihle, op. cit. 29. (On Annius Plocamus, see 27, n. 24.)

28 The Chronology of the Middle Nabataean Period’, PEQ 101 (1969), 5.

29 The Date of the Petra-Gaza Road’, PEQ 98 (1966), 89.

30 Moa has been identified with Bīr Madkuūr (Alt, ZDPV [1935], 24) and with Moyet ‘Awād (Abel, , Géographie de la Palestine II [1938], 181). Moahile has been placed at Qaṣr Maḥalle (Abel, op. cit., II. 182). This road also served for merchants going to Rhinocoloura (el-‘Arīsh), to which Strabo says the Nabataeans conveyed their goods from Petra (p. 781). After ‘Avdat the way would probably be by Nessana. On Nabataean commercial links with Egypt, note the traffic in bitumen from the Dead Sea for use in embalming: Hammond, P., ‘The Nabataean Bitumen Industry at the Dead Sea’, Biblical Archaeologist 22 (1959), 40. On Nabataean Nessana, see Colt, H. D., Excavations at Nessana I (1962).

31 PEQ 101 (1969), 12.

32 Archaeology 14 (1961), 125.

33 IEJ 13 (1963), 121; IEJ 17 (1967), 46. Also A. Negev, Cities of the Desert (1966), 23.

34 The graffiti: Winnett, F. V., ‘Atiqot 2 (1959), 146; A. Jamme, op. cit. 150. Negev's interpretation of the graffiti: IEJ 13 (1963), 122; PEQ 101 (1969), 11. This interpretation was followed by N. Glueck in his Deities and Dolphins (1965), 527.

35 Starcky, J. and Strugnell, J., ‘Deux nouvelles inscriptions nabatéennes’, RB 63 (1966), 236.

36 Wright, G. R. H., ‘Structure of the Qaṣr Bint Far'ūn: A Preliminary Review’, PEQ 93 (1961), 8; cf. Parr, P. J., Ex Oriente Lux 19 (19651966), 555; Syria 45 (1968), I = ADAJ 11–12 (19671968), 5. Starcky, however, had dissented from the old communis opinio: SDB 977.

37 Parr, , Ex Oriente Lux 19 (19651966), 556; Syria 45 (1968), 20 = ADAJ 11–12 (19671968), 17.

38 On the arched gate, Wright, G. R. H., ‘Structure et date de l'arc monumental de Pétra’, RB 73 (1966), 404; on the Khazneh, Wright, , ‘The Khazneh at Petra: A Review’, ADAJ 6–7 (1962), 24. See also Parr, P. J., ‘The Beginnings of Hellenization at Petra’, VIIIe Congrès international d'archéologie classique, Paris (1965), 527.

39 Hammond, P., ‘The excavation of the Main Theater at Petra’, ADAJ 8–9 (1964), 81. See J. Starcky's perceptive comments on the flowering of Syro-Palestinian civilization in the age of Aretas IV: ‘La Civilization nabatéenne: état des questions’, IXe Congrès international d'archéologie classique: Rapports et Communications, Damascus (1969), 22. Likewise (in German), Starcky, in Die Nabatäer, Catalogue of the Munich Stadtmuseum exhibition (1970), 81. On page 25 (French) and page 82 (German) Starcky compares with the Petra monuments the temple of Ba'āl Shamīn at Sia', the Herodian temple at Jerusalem, the temple of Juppiter at Damascus, the temple of Qōs at Tannūr, the temple of Bēl at Palmyra, the temple of Juppiter at Ba'ālbek, and (assigned to Rabbel II) the temple of Allāt on Jebel Ramm.

40 Parr, P. J., ‘La date du barrage du Siq à Pétra’, RB 74 (1967), 45, or perhaps Roman, cf. p. 49.

41 Starcky, J., ‘Nouvelle épitaphe nabatéenne donnant le nom sémitique de Pétra’, RB 72 (1965), 95. Also in ADAJ 10 (1965), 44. The RB publication is more complete.

42 Strabo, p. 784.

43 Ch. Clermont-Ganneau, , Études d'archéologie orientale I (1895), 146.

44 Note κάπαρ on a boundary-stone: Atiqot 2 (1959), 152.

45 Wright, G. R. H., ‘Strabo on Funerary Customs at Petra’, PEQ 101 (1969), 113.

46 In SDB 903 and 906.

47 ‘Die Zeit des Schriftstellers Uranius’, Arch. f. Rel. III (1908), 239; cf. SDB 906. See also J. Pirenne, La Royaume Sud-arabe de Qatabān et sa datation (1961), 128.

48 Steph. Byz. s. v. Μωθώ.

49 Obodas the god: e.g. CIS II, 354 (Petra). The ‘Avdat temple: Archaeology 14 (1961), 125; IEJ 17 (1967), 55 [Zeus Obodas].

50 See above, n. 19. Note Strabo, p. 819: εἰ δὲ μὴ ὁ Συλλαῖος αὐτὸν (i.e. Γάλλον) προυδίδου, κἄν κατεστρέψατο τὴν εὐδαίμονα πᾶσαν. Cf. p. 780 : (Augustus) προσοικειοῦσθαι δὴ διενοήθη τούτους ἤ καταστρέφεσθαι.

51 Strabo, p. 780; Jos, , AJ 16, 273. On his way to Rome to see Augustus Syllaeus left behind at least two dedications, both bilingual (Nabataean and Greek): at Miletus (Cantineau, , Le Nabatéen II [1932], 46) and at Delos (unpublished, but see SDB 913).

52 ILS 140, ll. 9–10.

53 Dio 55, 10a, 5, which is explicit. Dio's notice that Gaius was consul in Syria (ἔν τε τῇ Συρίᾳ ὄντα καὶ ὑπατεύοντα) does not fit with the statement of the cenotaph; but Dio is simply reporting the news that Phraataces heard, presumably that Gaius had arrived in Syria and become consul. He cannot be assumed to have passed his entire consulate there: the other evidence is decisive.

54 Pliny, , NH 6, 141; 12,56; 32,10; cf. FGrH in A 17s, F 1–3.

55 Pliny, , NH 6, 160. S. Jameson apparently forgot about Gaius' presence in this area when she wrote that after Aelius Gallus ‘the region attracted no further interest until the time of Nero’ (JRS 58 [1968], 79).

56 ibid. As K. Wellesley has proved, there is no possibility that Gaius attacked Aden (as some inferred from the Periplus of the Red Sea 26): ‘The Fable of a Roman Attack on Aden’, Par. del Pass. 9 (1954), 401. J. Innes Miller, The Spice Trade of the Roman Empire (1969), 254 even says that Gaius sailed around the Arabian peninsula.

57 Strabo, p. 780 : οὐδὲ κατὰ γῆν σφόδρα πολεμισταί εἰσιν; p. 781 (lack of interest in warfare) κοινὸν δὲ τοῦτο πᾶσι τοῖς Ἀράβων βασιλεῦσιν; Jos., , AJ 14, 31: οὐκ εὖ πρὸς πόλεμον διακείμενοι.

58 See the researches of M. Gichon, notably ‘The Origin of the Limes Palestinae and the Major Phases in its Development’, Studien zu den Militärgrenzen Roms, Beiheft 19 d. Bonner Jahrb. (1967), 175. Gichon argues against the view of Avi-Yonah that there was no Palestine limes until the age of Diocletian, cf. also IEJ 17 (1967), 27; Provincialia: Festschr. Laur-Belart (1968), 317.

59 IEJ 17 (1967), 47, citing inscriptions; cf. N. Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (1959), 201; A. Negev, Cities of the Desert (1966), 20. See also the Nabataean irrigation arrangements (water-rights) recorded in the En-Geddi papyri: IEJ 12 (1962), 243; Ex Oriente Lux 17 (1963), 232. For a professional reconstruction of an ancient desert farming-system, see M. Evenari and others, The Negev: The Challenge of the Desert (1971). cf. also the agricultural regime at Byzantine Nessana: Meyerson, P. in Excavations at Nessana I (1962), 211.

60 He appears in the En-Geddi papyri: IEJ 12 (1962), 239. Cited also in Ex Oriente Lux 17 (1963), 230.

61 cf. n. 21 above.

62 Negev, A., PEQ 101 (1969), 14.

63 N. Glueck, Deities and Dolphins (1965), 3, 45.

64 Amm. Marc. 14, 8, 3.

66 Semitic Inscriptions, Part IV of the Publications of an American Archaeological Expedition to Syria in 1899–1900 (1904), 143, no. 45. Professor F. V. Winnett has generously shown me an unpublished Safaitic text containing the same three words. It was found in 1958–9 by Winnett and Harding north of the H-4 pumping station and will be published by them as W-H no. 2113.

67 E. Littmann, Thamūd und Safā (1940), 122, no. 14; R. Dussaud, La Pénétration des Arabes en Syrie avant l'Islam (1955), 139. Professor Winnett has also shown me another of his unpublished Safaitic texts (see note 66) and allowed me to make it public. It will be numbered W-H no. 1734 = 2815 and mentions SNT MRDT NBṬ ‘L 'L RM, ‘the year of the Nabataean revolt against the people of Rome.’ Unfortunately, the R of RM is not a certain reading, and a secure date cannot be inferred from the script.

68 cf. Préaux, C., Phoibos 5 (19501951), 132.

69 On milestones of C. Claudius Severus: PIR 2 C 1023.

70 Described with quotations in IEJ 12 (1962), 235 and Ex Oriente Lux 17 (1963), 227. Four of the least interesting of the papyri have been published with Hebrew commentary by Polotsky, H. J. in Eretz-Israel 8 (1967), 46. These are documents nos. 12, 27, 28, 29. Note also that the third period of building at Khirbet Tannūr belongs to the time of the early province: N. Glueck, Deities and Dolphins (1965), 138.

71 Doubted by Brünnow and Domaszewski, vol. III, 268 and by A. Kammerer, Pétra et la Nabatène (1929), 286.

72 cf. recently Negev, A., ‘New Dated Nabataean Graffiti from the Sinai’, IEJ 17 (1967), 252.

73 Rothenberg, B., PEQ 102 (1970), 18.

74 Bietenhard, H., ‘Die Dekapolis von Pompeius bis Traian’, ZDPV 79 (1963), 44.

75 Répertoire d'fipig. Sém. II, 1128 (cf. II, 1175). See also the graffiti of soldiers in Syria 22 (1941), 219.

76 Archaeology 22 (1969), 139 and 325.

77 A. Musil, The Northern Hegaz (1926), 185.

78 op. cit., 258.

79 H. St. J. Philby, The Land of Midian (1957), 146, cf. 154. On the bilingual text see also A. Grohmann. Arabien (1963), 73. This inscription is due to receive a definitive publication from Milik. For a provisional text, see Teixidor, J., Syria 47 (1970), 378; cf. Altheim-Stiehl, op. cit. (n. 23), V/2 (1969), 24 and figs. 2–5.

80 Syria 34 (1957), 259.

81 Parr, P. J., ‘Exploration archéologique du Hedjaz et de Madian’, RB 76 (1969), 390. A full report of this exploration is appearing in the Bulletin of the London Institute of Archaeology: for Part I, see Bulletin (1970), 193.

82 IEJ 12 (1962), 258; cf. Bowersock, G. W., Zeitschr.f. Pap. u. Epig. 5 (1970), 39.

83 Yadin, Y., IEJ 12 (1962), 257, n. 52; with more detail, Ex Oriente Lux 17 (1963), 234; cf. G. W. Bowersock, op. cit., 44. It will be seen that I now maintain a still more cautious attitude to Yadin's proposals than in my earlier study.

84 The new name is widely attested on the coins and inscriptions of the city. For Bostra as caput viae in the north, see Mittmann, S., ZDPV 80 (1964), 113 [German] = ADAJ 11 (1966), 65 [English], cf. also Beyer, G., ZDPV 58 (1935), 143.

85 Michigan Papyri, vol. 8 (1951), no. 466, l. 48.

86 Milik, J. T., Syria 35 (1958), 244.

87 Harding, G. Lankaster, PEQ 90 (1958), 14; Kirkbride, D., ADAJ 4–5 (1960), 120; Bennett, C. M., Archaeology 15 (1962), 243; J. Starcky, SDB 948.

88 One should not forget Strabo, p. 779: μητρόπολις δὲ τῶν Ναβαταίων ἐστιν ἡ Πέτρα καλουμένη, cited by Starcky, and Bennett, in Syria 45 (1968), 53, n. 1 = ADAJ 12–13 (19671968), 39, n. 40 à propos an inscription from Petra mentioning Ἁδριανὴ Πέτρα μητρόπολις.

89 G. W. Bowersock, op. cit., 40.

90 Michigan Papyri, vol. 8 (1951), nos. 465 and 466.

91 Préaux, C., ‘Une source nouvelle sur l'annexion de l'Arabie par Trajan’, Phoibos 5 (19501951), 123.

92 R. Dussaud, La Pénétration des Arabes en Syrie avant l'Islam (1955), 154; Syme, R., Historia 14 (1965), 353, n. 53; Petersen, L., Klio 48 (1967), 160 with n. 3.

93 Préaux, op. cit. 127. The evidence is CIL III, 141476 (with the correct date given there).

94 cf. A. Stein, Die Reichsbeamten von Dazien (1944), 54; Smallwood, E. M., JRS 52 (1962), 131. Hence the problem raised in JRS 48 (1958), 4 vanishes. Oὑπατικός just means governor.

95 III Cyrenaica in 119: BGU 1. 140. II Traiana in 127: CIL III, 42. The Michigan documents (note 90) imply that Apollinarius was recruited in Egypt. It might therefore be argued that he was serving with a formerly Egyptian force now in Arabia (i.e. all or part of III Cyrenaica). This, however, would mean either cutting the Egyptian garrison in half or leaving the new Arabian province without a legion; neither possibility seems likely. Further, Egyptians are found in other eastern legions than those in Egypt: note 22 of them in X Fretensis in 125/6 (PSI IX, 1026 c).

96 cf. Bowersock, op. cit., 43.

97 Negev, A., ‘Seal Impressions from Tomb 107 at Kurnub (Mampsis )’, IEJ 19 (1969), 89; also Negev in Die Nabatäer, Catalogue of the Munich Stadtmuseum exhibition (1970), 40.

98 Negev, , IEJ 19 (1969), 90.

99 IEJ 12 (1962), 260. It is worth remembering that there are no coins of Characmoba before Elagabalus.

100 Ben-Dor, S., ‘Petra Colonia’, Berytus 9 (1948), 41.

101 Ben-Dor, ibid., 43.

102 The evidence is set forth in FGrH III A 281.

103 Stein, A., ‘Kallinikos von Petrai’, Hermes 58 (1923), 448. Stein argued from Callinicus' πρὸς Κλεόπατραν περὶ τῶν κατ' Ἀλεξάνδρειαν ἱστοριῶν βιβλία δέκα. The only evidence that Zenobia took the name Cleopatr a is in the Historia Augusta, Aug. 27, 3; Prob. 9, 5 (Corp. Pap. Jud. III, 1449 is not secure).

104 Suid. s. v. Гέσιος. cf. Bernays, J., ‘Ein nabatäischer Schriftsteller’, Ges. Abhand. II (1885), 291, an expanded version of Rh. Mus. 17 (1862), 304. Note also the brisk activity in Negev cities during the Byzantine era: N. Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (1959), 252; A. Negev, Cities of the Desert (1966), 33. On life in Byzantine Nessana, see Kraemer, C. J. Jr., Excavations at Nessana, vol. 3 (1958): non-literary papyri.

105 Parr, P. J., PEQ 89 (1957), 15. Some of the fragments had been found previously by George and Agnes Horsfield during their pioneering investigations at Petra : cf. Quarterly of the Dept. of Antiquities in Palestine 7 (1938), 1; 8 (1938), 87; 9 (1942), 105.

106 ibid. For the vigour of Petra, note the panegyriarchs delegated from Adraa to Petra: inscriptions in Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. I, 220 (cf. the festival at Petra in the fourth century as reported by Epiphanius, Panarion II, 51, 22).

107 On Adraa (and danger from desert Arabs as well as Palmyrenes) see Pflaum, H.-G., ‘La Fortification de la ville d'Adraha d'Arabie (259–60 à 274–5) d'après des inscriptions récemment découvertes’, Syria 29 (1952), 307. On Palmyrene destruction of a temple at Bostra see Seyrig, H., Syria 22 (1941), 46. cf. Malalas, Chron. 299 (Bonn) on Zenobia and Arabia.

108 On second and early third century Gerasa: C. H. Kraeling, Gerasa: City of the Decapolis (1938), 52. There are many Hadrianic inscriptions from the year of Hadrian's visit: Welles apud Kraeling, op. cit. inscriptions no. 30, 58, 143–5. Colonia Antoniniana: inscriptions no. 179, 191—perhaps this honour was also due to Elagabalus, just as in the cases of Petra and Bostra.

109 Syria 45 (1968), 56 [French] = ADAJ 12–13 (19671968), 42 [English]. Refuting this, Bowersock, G. W., Zeitschr. f. Pap. u. Epig. 5 (1970), 41.

110 Bowersock, op. cit., 45.

111 IEJ 12 (1962), 259.

112 ibid.

113 ibid.

114 CIL III, 6028.

115 Above, n. 94.

116 Vol. I, 470.

117 The main highway goes on to ‘Ain Sadaqa. Thomsen, (ZDPV 40 [1917], 35) and Abel, following him (Géographie de la Palestine II [1938], 229), consider the line from Doshak to Petra a branch road which rejoins the putative main road at ‘Ain Ṣadaqa. This is difficult to credit in view of Petra's importance, not to mention that two of the stops on the alleged branch road (‘Ain Nejl and Petra) appear on the Peutinger Table on the main line south. In addition, Petra is the caput viae of the via nova Traiana in the south: cf. ZDPV 58 (1935), 129. Need one say more?

118 Limes congresses have not shown a particular interest in the limes Arabiae, although work on the limes Palestinae is sometimes relevant.

119 Explorations of Eastern Palestine: see above, n. 11.

120 Thomsen, P., ‘Die römischen Meilensteine der Provinzen Syria, Arabia, und Palestina’, ZDPV 40 (1917), 1.

121 A. Poidebard, La Trace de Rome dans le désert de Syrie (1934).

122 See plate XV, 1 and 2.

123 Stein, A., ‘Surveys on the Roman Frontier in Iraq and Trans-jordan’, Geographical Journal 95 (1940), 428. The aerial photographs are mentioned on page 438.

124 cf. Thomsen, op. cit. (n. 120), with excellent map. El Hadῑd is often identified with Adittha of the Notitia (Hatita in the Tab. Peut.). See also Butler's study, ‘Trajan's Road from Boṣrā to the Red Sea’, in the Princeton Arch. Exped. Publications III, A, 2 (1911).

125 Mittmann, S., ‘Die römische Strasse von Gerasa nach Adraa’, ZDPV 80 (1964), 113 [German] = ADAJ II (1966), 65 [English].

126 Hadrianic milestones: op. cit., 123 in ZDPV and 74 in ADAJ. Aelius Severianus: op. cit., 126 in ZDPV and 77 in ADAJ. Furnius Julianus: op. cit., 127 in ZDPV and 78 in ADAJ.

127 AASOR 15 (1935), 71.

128 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437.

129 Musil, The Northern Hegaz (1926), 53; Savignac, , RB 41 (1932), 595; Frank, , ZDPV 57 (1934), 235; Glueck, , AASOR 15 (1935), 65; Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437. Stein, on p. 436, mentions that his surveyor prepared a map of the ancient road on a scale of 4 miles to 1 inch: the map survives in the Stein Collection at the Royal Geographical Society.

130 Apud Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. I, 477.

131 e.g., Musil, op. cit. (n. 129), 59; Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437. The name of this place is vocalized in some works as Ahmeime, which has induced a false belief that the spot is the site of the ancient Ammatha.

132 cf. Savignac, op. cit. (n. 129); Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437; Glueck, , AASOR 18–19 (1939), 15.

133 Glueck, , AASOR 15 (1935), 58 (plan of the fort on 173). Cf. Jaussen (visit of 1902), quoted apud Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. I, 473: ‘Au Naqb Eštar seulement, j'ai pu distinguer une voie antique à côté du chemin actuel’.

134 Apud Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. I, 478.

135 Musil, op. cit. (n. 129), 58; Frank, op. cit. 235.

136 AASOR 15 (1935), 65.

137 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437.

138 AASOR 15 (1935), 68.

139 ZDPV 57 (1934), 235; AASOR 15 (1935), 70.

140 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 438.

141 Its name implies a connection with the Jebel Shabῑb in the south and the Qaṣr Shabῑb near Zarqᾱ. All these are probably traces of the medieval Shabῑb ibn Tubbai, ruler of the land from below Ma‘ān to Mt. Hermon (cf. Doughty apud Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. II, 223).

142 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 437; Aharoni, , IEJ 13 (1963), 41.

143 Near ‘Ain el Hawwᾱre: ZDPV 58 (1935), 24.

144 Musil, op. cit. (n. 129), 59, n. 20.

145 After Oboda a road will have diverged to Nessana, from there presumably on to Rhinocoloura.

146 cf. IEJ 17 (1967), 55: the earliest sign of resettlement is a burial dated to 242.

147 On the camp at ‘Avdat: ibid., 47; also A. Negev, Cities of the Desert (1966), 18. Dr. Negev assigns considerable importance to the Nabataean army, but the issue is a delicate one: exclusively Nabataean sherds at the ‘Avdat camp are no proof that this was not a Roman camp. The role of the attested Nabataean 'SRTG' (στρατηγός)—cf., e.g., CIS II, 196—may not have been very militaristic. See n. 57 above on the unwarlike character of the Nabataeans. What did the RB MŠRYT' (‘chief of the camp[s]’) in CIS II, 196 do? The army supplied contingents (e.g. to Caesar [Bell. Alex. I] and Aelius Gallus [Strabo, p. 780]), but that does not mean it was more than a police force to keep the routes open.

148 Ad Dianam is ‘Ain Ghadiᾱn, and Aridela is ᾱin Gharandel; cf. Alt, , ZDPV 58 (1935), 24. Toponymy is conclusive.

149 See above, p. 225.

150 Rothenberg, B., ‘An Archaeological Survey of South Sinai’, PEQ 102 (1970), 4. The account of the road begins on page 18.

151 ibid., 20.

152 cf. n. 72 above.

153 See, for example, the inscriptions in R. Dussaud and F. Macler, Rapport sur une mission scientifique dans les régions désertiques de la Syrie moyenne, in Nouvelles Archives des Missions scientifiques et littéraires 10 (1903), 411.

154 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 433.

155 Stein's error is proven by the Arabic inscription dating the Qaṣr Burqu' to A.D. 700: Sauvaget, J., Journal Asiatique 231 (1939), 23 and F. E. Day apud Henry Field, North Arabian Desert Archaeological Survey, 1925–50 (Papers of Peabody Museum, vol. 45, no. 2), 1960, 154. Glueck's observations: AASOR 25–28 (1951), 32. A Greek inscription was found at Burqu': S. Dow apud Field, op. cit. 161.

156 Dussaud and Macler, op. cit. (n. 153), 670 no. 85 = IGR III, 1339.

157 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 434. Note also a milestone reported to have been at Azraq in Antiquity 3 (1929), 89: Group Capt. Rees said he ‘rescued’ the stone.

168 Constans, whose name would appear last in a listing of three Caesars, is obviously not included. I am particularly grateful to T. D. Barnes for his acute suggestions concerning this inscription.

159 Stein, op. cit. (n. 123), 434.

160 ibid.

161 cf. N. Glueck, The Other Side of the Jordan (1940), 41.

162 An inscription of the year 213, mentioning the governor Furnius Julianus, apud Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. III, 291 (Princeton Arch. Exp. Syria III, A, 2, 21, no. 17). On the Arab desert buildings, see above all Sauvaget, J., ‘Remarques sur les monuments omeyyades,’ Journal Asiatique 231 (1939), 1.

163 There may have been a short time when the south was detached from the north but was still distinct from Palestine; cf. below, and chiefly Brünnow-Domaszewski, vol. III, 277.

164 Vol. III, 266. Against: M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land: A Historical Geography (1966), 170.

165 For recently discovered Christian inscriptions at Bostra: Ann. Arch. Syrie 15 (1965), 73. Nabataean epigraphy: Rosenthal suggests from lettering that the Nessana inscriptions in Nabataean belong to 150–350 (apud Colt, H. D., Excavations at Nessana I [1962], 201). This would make them among the latest Nabataean texts known. (A new Nabataean inscription which appears dated to A.D. 356 will be the latest so far discovered: Beiträge zur alten Geschichte: Festschrift für Altheim [1970], II, 87.) Note that in the fourth century Epiphanius says that certain cultic observances at Petra were conducted Ἀραβικῇ διαλέκτῳ and Ἀραβιστί (Panarion II, 51, 22). That may mean Arabic, not Nabataean.

166 Alt, A., ‘Augusta Libanensis’, ZDPV 71 (1965), 173, against W. Seston, Dioclétien et la tétrarchie (1946), 373.

167 Atiqot 2 (1959), 153.

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