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date: 26 November 2022



  • J. F. Healey


The Nabataean Arabs, whose kingdom was centred on *Petra, achieved great wealth by conveying luxury goods from southern Arabia to the Mediterranean. In 312 bce*Antigonus (1) I tried unsuccessfully to conquer them and, though they had been forced into a treaty with Rome as early as 62 bce, their kings retained independent status until Trajan transformed their kingdom into the Roman province of Arabia (ce 106). More important kings included Obodas I (c.96–85 bce), Aretas III Philhellen (c.84–60/59bce), Aretas IV Philopatris (9/8bc-ad39/40), Malichus II (39/40–69/70), and Rabel II (70/71–106). Their religious traditions are ‘Arabian’ and their main deity, Dushara/Dusares, was probably astral in character. Although they may have spoken some form of Arabic, they used *Aramaic for inscriptions.


  • Near East

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