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Arabian Desert The Arabia Deserta was a nomadic tribal region of the
great Syrian Desert. (See Arabia)
Arabian Desert Arabia Deserta, including the great Syrian Desert and a
portion of the interior of the Arabian peninsula. - Harpers
Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers.
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Arabian Desert Arabia Deserta (Aρημος Aρξία）
The great Syrian Desert, N. of the peninsula of Arabia Proper, between the
Euphrates on the E., Syria on the N., and Coelesyria and Palestine on the W.,
was entirely inhabited by nomad tribes (the Beduins, or more properly Bedawee),
who were known to the ancients under the appellation of SCENITAE (Σκηνῖται Strab.
xvi. p.767 ; Plin. Nat. 6.28. s. 32 ; Ptol.) from their dwelling in tents, and
Nomadae (Νομάραι) from their occupation as wandering herdsmen, and afterwards by
that of SARACENI (Σαρακηνοί), a name the origin of which is still disputed,
while its renown has been spread over the world by its mistaken application to
the great body of the Arabs, who burst forth to subdue the world to El Islam (Plin.
l.c.; Ptol.; Ammian. 14.4, 8, 22.15, 23.5, 6, 24.2, 31.16; Procop. Pers. 2.19,
20). Some of them served the Romans as mercenary light cavalry in the Persian
expedition of Julian. Ptolemy (5.19) mentions, as separate tribes, the
Cauchabeni, on the Euphrates; the Batanaei, on the confines of Syria [BATANAEA],
the Agubeni and Rhaabeni, on the borders of Arabia Felix; the Orcheni, on the
Persian Gulf; and, between the above, the Aeseitae, Masani, Agraei, and Marteni.
He gives a long list of towns along the course of the Euphrates and the Persian
Gulf, from Thapsacus downwards; besides many in the inland parts; most of which
are merely wells and halting places on the three great caravan-routes which
cross the Desert, the one from Egypt and Petra, eastward to the Persian Gulf,
the second from Palmyra south-ward into Arabia Felix, and the third from Palmyra
SE. to the mouth of the Tigris. - Dictionary of Greek and
Roman Geography, William Smith, LLD, Ed.
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