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SMARAGDUS MONS (Σμάραγδος ὄρος, Ptol. 4.5.15), was a portion of the chain of hills which runs along the western coast of the Red Sea from the Heroopolite gulf to the straits of Bab-el-Man-deb. Between lat. 24° and 25° in this range is the Mount Smaragdus, the modern Djebel Zabareh, which derived its name from the emeralds found there, and early attracted by its wealth the Aegyptians into that barren region. The principal mine was at Djebel-Zabareh; but at Bender-el-Sogheir to N., and at Sekket to S., each a portion of Mount Smaragdus, there are traces of ancient mining operations. Small emeralds of an inferior quality are still found in this district. (Mannert, Geograph. vol. x. p. 21.) Strabo (xvii. p.815) and Pliny (xxxvii., 15. s. 16) mention the wealth obtained from these mines. At Sekket there is a temple of the Ptolemaic era; but the mines were known and wrought at least as early as the reign of Amunoph III., in the 18th dynasty of the native kings of Aegypt.


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