(Ἀδούλη Ptol. 4.7.8
; Arrian. Peripl.;
Eratosth. pp. 2, 3; Ἄδουλις
, Steph. B. sub voce Ἀδούλει
, Joseph. Antiq
. 2.5; Procop. B. Pers. 1.19; oppidum adoulitôn, Plin. Nat. 6.29. s. 34
: Eth. Ἀδουλίτης
, Ptol. 4.8
; Adulita, Plin. l.c.: Adj. Ἀδουλιτικός
), the principal haven and city of the Adulitae, a people of mixed origin in the regio Troglodytica, situated on a bay of the: Red Sea called Adulicus Sinus (Ἀδουλικὸς κόλπος, Annesley Bay
). Adule is the modern Thulla
pronounced, according to Mr. Salt, Azoole,
and stands in lat. 15° 35′ N. Ruins are said to exist there. D'Anville, indeed, in his Map of the Red Sea, places Adule at Arkeeko
on the same coast, about 22° N. of Thulla.
According indeed to Cosmas, Adule was not immediately on the coast, but about two miles inland.
It was founded by fugitive slaves from the neighbouring kingdom of Egypt, and under the Romans was the haven of Axume. Adule was an emporium for hides (riverhorse and rhinoceros), ivory (elephant and rhinoceros tusks), and tortoise-shell.
It had also a large slave-market, and was a caravan station for the trade of the interior of Africa.
The apes which the Roman ladies of high birth kept as pets, and for which they often gave high prices, came principally from Adule. At Adule was the celebrated Monumentum Adulitanum,
the inscription of which, in Greek letters, was, in the 6th century of the Christian era, copied by Cosmas the Indian merchant (Indicopleustes; see Dict. of Biog.
) into the second book of his “Christian Topography.” The monument is a throne of white marble, with a slab of some different stone behind it. Both throne and slab seem to have been covered with Greek characters. Cosmas appears to have put two inscriptions into one, and thereby occasioned no little perplexity to learned men. Mr. Salt's discovery of the inscription at Axume, and the contents of the Adulitan inscription itself, show that the latter was bipartite.
The first portion is in the third person, and records that Ptolemy Euergetes (B.C. 247--222) received from the Troglodyte Arabs and Aethiopians certain elephants which his father, the second king of the Macedonian dynasty, and himself, had taken in hunting in the region of Adule, and trained to war in their own kingdom.
The second portion of the inscription is in the first person, and commemorates the conquests of an anonymous Aethiopian king in Arabia and Aethiopia, as far as the frontier of Egypt. Among other names, which we can identify with the extant appellations of African districts, occurs that of the most mountainous region in Abyssinia, the Semenae, or Samen, and that of a river which is evidently the Astaboras or Tacazzé,
a main tributary of the Nile. The Adulitan inscription is printed in the works of Cosmas, in the Collect. Nov. Patr. et Script. Graec.
by Montfaucon, pt. ii. pp. 113--346; in Chisull‘s Antiq. Asiat.;
and in Fabricius, Bibl. Graec.
iv. p. 245.
The best commentary upon it is by Buttmann, Mus. der Alterthumsw.
2.1. p. 105.