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ARABIA FELIX (Ἀραβία εὐδαίμων, Peripl. p. 14; Ἀραβίας ᾿ευπόριον, Ptol. 6.7.9; Ἀραβία τὸ ἐυπόριον, 8.22.8), or ATTANAE (Plin. Nat. 6.28. s. 32, Sillig, Ἀδάνη, Philostorg. H. E. 3.4; Aden), the most flourishing sea-port of Arabia Felix, whence its name; the native name being that given by Pliny and Philostorgius. It was on the coast of the Homeritae, in the extreme S. of the peninsula, about 1 3/4° E. of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, in 45° 10′ E. long., and 12° 46′ N. lat. Ptolemy places it in 80° long. and 11 1/2° N. lat. It was one of his points of recorded astronomical observation; its longest day being 12 hrs. 40 min., its distance E. from Alexandreia 1 hr. 20 min. The author of the Periplus ascribed to Arrian states that it was destroyed by Caesar, which can only refer to the expedition of Aelius Gallus, under Augustus. The blow, however, was soon recovered, for the port continued to flourish till eclipsed by Mokha. Its recent occupation, in 1839, as our packet station between Suez and Bombay, is raising it to new consequence; its population, which, in 1839, was 1,000, was nearly 20,000 in 1842. The ancient emporium of Arabian spices and Indian wealth, restored to importance, after the lapse of centuries, as a station and coal depôt for the overland mail, exhibits a curious link between the ancient and modern civilization of the East, and a strange example of the cycles in which history moves. Aden is undoubtedly the Arabia of Mela (3.8.7), though he places it within the Arabian Gulf. Michaelis supposed it to be the Eden of Ezekiel (27.23), but his opinion is opposed by Winer (Bibl. Realwörterbuch, s. v. Eden). Some also suppose it to be the Ophir of Scripture. [OPHIR].


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.28
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