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 I return to the opinions of Eratosthenes, which he next delivers respecting Arabia. He is speaking of the northern and desert part, lying between Arabia Felix, Cœle-Syria, and Judæa, to the recess of the Arabian Gulf. From Heroopolis, situated in that recess of the Arabian Gulf which is on the side of the Nile, to Babylon, towards Petra of the Nabatæi, are 5600 stadia. The whole tract lies in the direction of the summer solstice (i. e. east and west), and passes through the adjacent Arabian tribes, namely Nabatæi, Chaulotæi, and Agræi. Above these people is Arabia Felix, stretching out 12,000 stadia towards the south to the Atlantic Sea.1 The first people, next after the Syrians and Jews, who occupy this country are husbandmen. These people are succeeded by a barren and sandy tract, producing a few palms, the acanthus,2 and tamarisk; water is obtained by digging [wells] as in Gedrosia. It is inhabited by Arabian Scenitæ, who breed camels. The extreme parts towards the south, and opposite to Ethiopia, are watered by summer showers, and are sowed twice, like the land in India. Its rivers are exhausted in watering plains, and by running into lakes. The general fertility of the country is very great; among other products, there is in particular an abundant supply of honey; except horses,3 there are numerous herds of animals, mules (asses?), and swine; birds also of every kind, except geese and the gallinaceous tribe. Four of the most populous nations inhabit the extremity of the above-mentioned country; namely, the Minæi the part towards the Red Sea, whose largest city is Carna or Carnana.4 Next to these are the Sabæans, whose chief city is Mariaba.5 The third nation are the Cattabaneis,6 extending to the straits and the passage across the Arabian Gulf. Their royal seat is called Tamna. The Chatramotitæ7 are the furthest of these nations towards the east. Their city is Sabata.
1 Letronne here proposes to read Erythræan or Ethiopian Sea.
2 Mimosa Nilotica.
3 This is remarkable.
4 Cam Almanazil.
5 Mariaba was not the name of a city, but the title of a city acquired by the residence of their sovereigns. ‘Mariana oppidum,’ says Pliny, vi. 32, ‘significat dominos omnium.’ The capital was called Saba, now Sabbea; and the country in which it is situated is called Sabieh.
7 The people of Hadramaüt.
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