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MACAE (Μάκαι), a people of Arabia mentioned by Ptolemy (6.7.14), immediately within the Persian Gulf, as inhabiting the shores of the extensive bay of the Fish-eaters (Ἰχθυοφάγων κόλποι). They occupied apparently the western shore of Cape Musseldom, as Pliny (6.26) states that the width of the strait from the promontory of Carmania to the opposite shore and the Macae, is 50 miles. They were bounded on the east by the Naritae (Ναρεῖται) [EPIMARANITAE]. Mr. Forster considers the Macae of Ptolemy is a palpable contraction of the Naumachaei of Pliny, and that this tribe is recovered in the Jowaser Arabs, the most famous pirates of the Persian Gulf. (Geog. of Arabia, vol. ii. p. 225.) It is clear that the “Naumachaeorum promontorium” of Pliny (6.32) is identical with the modern Cape Musseldom, at which he places the Macae. (Comp. Strabo, p. 765.) He mentions a remarkable story in connection with this place: that Numenius, who had been appointed prefect of Mesena by King Antiochus, gained a naval victory over the Persians, and on the same day, on the tide receding, conquered them in a cavalry engagement, and erected on the same spot two trophies,--one to Neptune, the other to Jupiter.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.32
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.26
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