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SAPPHAR METROPOLIS (Σαπφάρα μητρόπολις), placed by Ptolemy in long. 88°, lat. 14° 30′; doubtless the capital of the Sappharitae (Σαπφαρῖται), whom the same geographer places near the Homeritae (6.6.25), which Bochart identifies with the “Sephar” called by Moses “a mount of the East,” and which was the limit of the children of Joktan. (Gen. 10.30.) This Forster further identifies with the Mount Climax of Ptolemy, which Niebuhr judged to be the Sumâra or Nakîl Sumara of modern Arabia, the highlands of Yemen, on the E. of which that same traveller found some ruins, half a day's journey SW. of Jerim, named Saphar, which he says is without doubt Aphar, or Dhafar. (Forster, Geogr. of Arabia, vol. i. pp. 94, 105, 127 notes, 175, vol. ii. pp. 154, 172.) Aphar was the metropolis of the Sabaeans according to the author of the Periplus ascribed to Arrian, and distant 12 days' journey eastward from Musa on the Arabian gulf; Mr. Forster remarks “that the direction and the distance correspond with the site of Dhafar” (vol. ii. p. 166, note *). It is to be regretted that this important and well marked site has not yet been visited and explored.


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