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NAARDA (Ναάρδα, Ptol. 5.18.7; Steph. B. sub voce Νεάρδα, J. AJ 18.12), a small place in Mesopotamia, near Sipphara. It is probably the same as that called in the Peutinger Table Naharra. Josephus speaks (l.c.) of Nearda as a place in Babylonia, possessing an extensive range of territory and defended from hostile attack by the Euphrates which flows round it. When Tiberius overthrew the Jews in the East, the remnant of that people took refuge in Naarda and Nisibis; and the former city long remained a place of refuge for the Jews. In the intermediate records of the Christian East we find occasional notices of this place, under the titles of Nahardeir and Beth-Nuhadra. Thus, in A.D. 421, a bishop of Nahardeir is mentioned (Assem. Bibl. Orient. iii. p. 264); in A.D. 755, Jonas is bishop of Beth-Nuhadra (Assem. ii. p. 111); and as late as A.D. 1285, another person is recorded as “Episcopus Nuhadrensis.” (Assem. ii. p. 249.) During all this period Nearda is included within the episcopal province of Mosul. Lastly, in the Travels of Benjamin of Tudela, which took place towards the end of the 12th century, the traveller mentions going to “Juba, which is Pumbeditha, in Nehardea, containing about two thousand Jews” (p. 92, Asher's edit.); from which it appears that, at that period, Naarda was considered to comprehend a district with other towns in it. Pumbeditha and Sura were two celebrated Jewish towns situated near one another, at no great distance from Baghdád. [V]

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