The Somali belong to the Eastern (Ethiopic) Hamitic family of tribes, of which the other chief members are the neighbouring Galla and Afar, the Abyssinian Agau and the Beja tribes between the Nubian Nile and the Red Sea.
Their domain then began to be encroached upon from the east by the Blemmyes, who have been identified with the present Beja of the Nubian desert.
Here their most collective name was Bugaitae (Bou-yaaaT at), as appears from the Axumite inscription, whence the forms Buja, Beja, which occur in the oldest Arab records, and by which they are still known.
(For ethnology see also Hamitic Races, Beja, Ababda, Bisharin, Hadendoa, &c.).
The chief town of the Majerda basin is Beja (pop. 5000), the ancient Vaga, an important corn market.
The principal mosque at Beja was originally a Christian basilica, and is still dedicated to Sidna Aissa (our Lord Jesus).
There are Roman ruins, scarcely known, in the vicinity of Beja and the country of the Mogods (the district behind Cape Serrat).
A branch line (8 m.) connected Beja with this railway, and another (11 m.) ran from Tunis to Hamman-elEnf, a favourite seaside resort of the Tunisians.
Exiles; Ethiopic falas, a stranger), or "Jews of Abyssinia," a tribe of Hamitic stock, akin to Galla, Somali and Beja, though they profess the Jewish religion.
The country inland belonged in the middle ages to the Beja, but the trading places seem to have been always in the hands of foreigners since Ptolemais Theron was established by Ptolemy Philadelphus for intercourse with the elephant hunters.
After the rise of Mahommedanism many Arabs settled on the coast and mixed with the heathen Beja, whose rule of kinship and succession in the female line helped to give the children of mixed marriages a leading position (Makrizi, Khitat, i.
Thus in 1330 Ibn Batuta found a son of the amir of Mecca reigning in Suakin over the Beja, who were his mother's kin.
In the year 851 the Boja (or Beja), a wild people living between the Red Sea and the Nile of Upper Egypt, the Blemmyes of the ancients, refused to pay the annual tribute, and invaded the land of the gold and emerald mines, so that the working of the mines was stopped.
There are numerous large expanses of level country, the most notable of these being the plains (cameos) of the Tagus valley, and of Aviz or Benavilla, Beja and Ourique, in Alemtejo; the high plateaux (cimas) of Mogadouro in Traz-os-Montes and Ourem between the Tagus and the upper Sorraia; the highly cultivated lowlands (veigas) of Chaves and Valenta do Minho in the extreme north; and the marshy flats (baixas) along the coast of Alemtejo and the southern shore of the lower Tagus.
The chief towns of Portugal are Lisbon (pop. 1900, 356,009), the capital and principal seaport; Oporto (167,955), the capital of the northern provinces and, after Lisbon, the most important centre of trade; the seaports of Setubal (22,074), Ilhavo (12,617), Povoa de Varzim (12,623), Tavira (12,175), Faro (11,789),(11,789), Ovar (10,462), Olhao (10,009) Vianna do Castello (io,000), Aveiro (9975), Lagos (8291), Leixoes (7690) and Figueira da Foz (6221); and the inland cities or towns of Braga (24,202), Louie (22,478), Coimbra (18,144), Evora (16,020), Covilha (15,469), Elvas (13,981), Portalegre (11,820), Palmella (11,478), Torres Novas (10,746), Silves (9687), Lamego (9471), Guimaraes (9104), Beja (8885), Santarem (8628),(8628), Vizeu (8057), Estremoz (7920), Monchique (7345), Castello Branco (7288), Abrantes (7255), Torres Vedras (6900), Thomar (6888), Villa Real (6716), Chaves (6388), Guarda (6124), Cintra (5914), Braganza (5535), Mafra (4769), Leiria (4459), Batalha (3858), Almeida (2330), Alcobaga (2309), Bussaco (1661).
Iron is obtained near Beja and Evora, tin in the district of Braganza.
Lead, wolfram, antimony and auriferous quartz exist in the districts of Coimbra, Evora, Beja and Faro.
The six ancient provinces were subdivided on the 28th of June 1833 into districts, each named after its chief town, as follows: Entre-Minho-e-Douro into Vianna do Castello, Braga, Oporto; Traz-os-Montes, into Villa Real, Braganza; Beira, into Aveiro, Vizeu, Coimbra, Guarda, Castello Branco; Estremadura, into Leiria, Santarem, Lisbon; Alemtejo, into Portalegre, Evora, Beja; Algarve was renamed Faro.
ANTONIO, known as "THE PRIOR OF CRATO" (1531-1595), claimant of the throne of Portugal, was the natural son of Louis (Luis), duke of Beja, by Yolande (Violante) Gomez, a Jewess, who is said to have died a nun.