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Famine death without loss of honour in ancient Arabia and Yemini Arhab

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

Abstract

On 6 December 1966, with Muhammad al-'Ubaydī, son of the naqīb of Shākir, as Leader of my escort, I went to Sūdah in Arhab, a Black lava Mountain, the place belonging to 'Iyāl al-Sihaym. We had passed by Jabal al-Riyām and Sirwā. The tomb of Sālih was on the north side, a domed building This tomb had, or used to have, 'ushūr, tithes paid to it. In the houses which were on the south side there was only one man, the rest ofthe villagers being women. The men were away at the war or perhaps employed in San‘ā’. Water was short here and I believe (though this is not in my notes) brought from quite some distance. Sūdah had the Look of a hungry place. Yet in the area there was much driwing on the rocks, some quite recent, including a Hebrew graffito which too had the appearance of being recently made, and it seems that Jews used at one time to Live here.

Type
Notes and Communications
Copyright
Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 1987

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References

1 This prophet is buried in more than one place in south ArabiaGoogle Scholar

2 Yahyāb., al-Husayn, Ghāyat al-amānī fī akhbār al-qutr al-Yamāī, 'Āshūr, S. and Ziyāda, M. M., Cairo, 1388/1968, 1, 190.Google Scholar

3 Sanat al-hutma = sanat al-shidda wa-'L-jadb (loc. cit.).Google Scholar

4 Al-Takmila, vol. Ibrāhīm, al-Abyārī and Muhammad, Khalafullācairo, 1971, II, 291 ff.Google Scholar

5 Abū 'Amr (b. al-‘Alā’ al-Basrī) died in 151 or 159 A.H. Shamir Was contemporary with Muhammad b. Ziyād b. al-A'rābī (died 231/846). So this information was being reported to a Basran philologist as early as the first half of the second century A.H.

6 cf. Wrigh, Grammar, II, 217, for this rendering of wāw rubba.

7 Tāj al-īarūs, Kuwait, 1390/1970, VIII, 393 seq., reads Zamān mu'tafad-un for zaman-un mu'tafid-un of the takmia, the former to be rendered ‘A time in which starving to death had to take place’, or something of this sense. The reading of the Tāj is the easier of the two.

8 Tāj, loc. cit., ātam for atam. It looks as if the reading with Qāf is simply a textual error.

9 Shams, al-'ulūmGMS, xxIV, Leiden-London, 1916, 73. Nashwān was a Himyaī of Jabal Sabir behind Ta'izz and it could well be that, in his time, i lifā was only a memory there but survived in remoter districts of the Yemen.Google Scholar

10 See also Mordtmann's, J. H. notes on Glase'd ‘Skizze der Geschichte Arabiens’, ZDMG, Leipzig, 1890, XIIV, 192, 200.Google Scholar

11 I noted this word as a term for stone pillars of vine trellises in Bani Bahlū Country San‘ā’, with a variant qirdāl (1966).

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