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BAE´TIUS

BAE´TIUS (Βαίτιος), a river of the country of the Cinaedocolpitae, on the west coast of Arabia, in the modern Hedjaz. (Ptol. 6.7. § § 5, 13.) Diodorus Siculus describes it as flowing through the midst of the country of the Deb (Δέβαι), the proper native name (sometimes written Δεβέδαι) for the tribe which Ptolemy designates by its Greek sobriquet. Diodorus (3.44) describes it as so rich in gold dust, that the alluvial deposit at its mouth glittered with the precious metal; but the natives, he adds, were quite ignorant of the method of working it. (Conf. Strab. xvi. p.1104.) That the Bardilloi is the modern representative of the Baetius is proved by the fact that it is the only stream of the Hedjaz whose waters reach the sea, and that it flows through the country of the Zebeyde tribe (a branch of the great Harb nation), whose name and position exactly correspond with the Debedae of Agatharcides. (Forster, Arabia, vol. i. p. 73, ii. pp. 130--134.) This stream falls into the Red Sea at Jidda; but the accounts of its precious metalliferous deposits are commonly supposed to be mythical, as no traces of gold, are now to be found in the peninsula, “ni dans les viviènes, ni dans les mines.” (Niebuhr Description de l'Arabie, p. 124.)

[G.W]

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    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 3.44
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