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Nabatea

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Nabatea

Nabataean Kingdom
Malkûtâ Nabatu (Nabatean)

المملكة النبطية (Arabic)


168 BCE–CE 106
Capital Petra
Languages Nabataean, Arabic[1]
Religion Nabataean Mythology
Government Monarchy
King
 -  168–144 BCE Aretas I
 -  70/71–106 CE[2] Rabbel II Soter[2]
Historical era Antiquity
 -  Established 168 BCE
 -  Conquered by the Roman Empire CE 106

The Nabataean kingdom, also named Nabatea (many times spelled Nabatean), was a political state of the Nabataeans which existed during classical antiquity and was annexed by the Roman Empire in CE 106.[3]

Geography

Located between the Sinai Peninsula and the Arabian Peninsula, its northern neighbour was the kingdom of Judea, and its south western neighbour was Ptolemaic Egypt. Its capital was the city of Petra in Jordan, and it included the towns of Bostra, Mada'in Saleh, and Nitzana.

Petra was a wealthy trading town, located at a convergence of several important trade routes. One of them was the Incense Route which was based around the production of both myrrh and frankincense in southern Arabia,[2][4] and ran through Mada'in Saleh to Petra. From here the aromatics were distributed throughout the Mediterranean region.

History

Nabataean origins go back to a time when they were nomadic pastoralists in the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula around the 4th century BCE.[5]

Under the reign of Aretas III (87 to 62 BCE) the kingdom seems to have reached its territorial zenith, but was defeated by a Roman army under the command of Marcus Aemilius Scaurus. Scaurus' army even besieged Petra, but eventually a compromise was negotiated. Paying a tribute, Aretas III received the formal recognition by the Roman Republic.[6]

The kingdom saw itself slowly surrounded by the expanding Roman Empire, who conquered Egypt and annexed Judea. While the Nabatean kingdom managed to preserve its formal independence, it became a client kingdom under the influence of Rome.[6]

Roman annexation

Main article: Arabia Petraea

In CE 106, during the reign of Roman emperor Trajan, the last king of the Nabatean kingdom Rabbel II Soter died.[6] This event might have prompted the official annexation of Nabatea to the Roman Empire, although the formal reasons, and the exact manner of annexation, are unknown.[6]

Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military campaign, commanded by Cornelius Palma, the governor of Syria. Roman forces seem to have come from Syria and also from Egypt. It is clear that by CE 107 Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bostra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The kingdom was annexed by the empire, becoming the province of Arabia Petraea. Trade seems to have largely continued thanks to the Nabataens' undiminished talent for trading.[6]

A century later, during the reign of Alexander Severus, the local issue of coinage came to an end.

There is no more building of sumptuous tombs, owing apparently to some sudden catastrophe, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire.

The city of Palmyra, for a time the capital of the breakaway Palmyrene Empire (fl. 130–270), grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra.[2]

See also

List of rulers of Nabatea, Nephesh

Footnotes

References

  • Gibson, Dan (2011). Qur’anic Geography: A Survey and Evaluation of the Geographical References in the Qur’an with Suggested Solutions for Various Problems and Issues. Independent Scholars Press, Canada. ISBN 978-0-9733642-8-6.ko:나바테아 왕국
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