previous next


SCENI´TAE (Σκηνῖται), a general name for various Arab tribes in Pliny, often distinguished by some other appellation. Thus, towards the lower part of the Euphrates, beyond the “Attali latrones, Arabum gens,” he places the Scenitae (6.26), whom he mentions again more fully (100.28), “Nomadas inde infestatoresque Chaldaeorum Scenitae, ut diximus cludunt, et ipsi vagi, sed a tabernaculis cognominati, quae ciliciis metantur, ubi libuit. Deinde Nabataei,” &c. Then again below the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris he places the Nomades Scenitae on the right bank of the river, the Chaldaei on the left. He speaks also of the Scenitae Sabaei. Strabo also uses the name in the same latitude of application of many various tribes of Arabia, Syria, and Mesopotamia (see Index, s. v.); but Ptolemy assigns them a definite seat near the mountains which stretch along the north of the peninsula, north of the Thaditae (al. Oaditae) and Saraceni (6.7.21); and in this vicinity, towards the Red Sea, it is that Ammianus Marcellinus places the Scenite Arabs, whom posterity called Saracens (23.6.) [SARACENI] The remark of Bochart is therefore borne out by authorities: “Ubi Scenitas Eratosthenes, ibi Saracenos ponunt Procopius et Marcianus. Saraceni nimirum a Scenitis hoc solum differunt, quod Scenitarum nomen est vetustius.” (Geogr. Sacr. 4.2. p. 213.)


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: