The name is a compound of two divine names; the first part is a form of the Himyaritic `Athtar, the equivalent of the Old Testament Ashtoreth, the Phoenician Astarte, with the feminine ending omitted (Assyr.
Other traditions trace their origin to the Himyaritic chiefs Sanhaj and Samamah, said to have been coeval with a King Afrikus, who is supposed to have conquered Africa about 400.
Under Turkish protection, he visited the territory of the Hashid and Bakil tribes north-east of Sana, and though their hostile attitude compelled him to return after reaching their first important town, Khamr, he had time to reconnoitre the plateau lying between the two great wadis Kharid and Hirran, formerly covered with Himyaritic towns and villages; and to trace the course of these wadis to their junction at El Ish in the Dhu Husen country, and thence onward to the Jauf.
In 1889 he succeeded, again under Turkish escort, in reaching Marib, where he obtained, during a stay of thirty days, a large number of new Himyaritic inscriptions.
The Himyaritic Hadramut.
Both parties visited many sites where Himyaritic remains and inscriptions were found, but the hostile attitude of the natives, more particularly of the Seyyids, the religious hierarchy of Hadramut, prevented any adequate examination, and much of archaeological interest undoubtedly remains for future travellers to discover.
In the higher parts there are fine plains where Glaser found numerous Himyaritic remains, and which he considers were undoubtedly cultivated formerly, but they have long fallen out of cultivation owing to denudation and desiccation - the impoverishment of the country from these causes is increasing.
Himyaritic remains have been found here and in the W.
The world had never quite forgotten the history of the primitive Greeks as it had forgotten the Mesopotamians, the Himyaritic nations and the Hittites; but it remembered their deeds only in the form of poetical myths and traditions.
New colonies, however, seem to have followed from time to time, and, according to the Periplus (§ 16), some parts of the African coast were under the suzerainty of the Sabaean kings as late as the Sabaeo-Himyaritic period; the district of Azania was held for the Sabaean monarch by the governor of Maphoritis (Ma`afir), and was exploited by a Sabaean company.
We cannot tell when the kings took the place of the mukrab, but the Sabaeo-Himyaritic period seems to begin with, or a little after, the expedition of Aelius Gallus.
Arnaud (1845); Inscriptions in the Himyaritic Character in the British Museum (London, 1863); Praetorius, Beitr.
The Axumites belonged originally to the Hamitic race, but the immigration of the Himyaritic tribes of southern Arabia speedily imposed a new language and civilization.
Along the road are still to be seen vestiges of cities and inscribed monuments, such as the Himyaritic inscriptions on the high plateau of Kohait, the six obelisks with a Saban inscription at Toconda, and an obelisk with an inscription at Amba Sait.
The south Arabian inscriptions to which the terms Himyaritic and Sabaean are applied fall into two groups, the Sabaean proper and the Minaean.
It seems unlikely that this modern admixture of Asiatic and African blood represents the " Asiatic Ethiopian " of Herodotus, which was more probably a direct connexion of the Himyaritic Arab builders of " bunds " and revetments who spread eastwards from Arabia.
But the official language and that of all the upper classes is of Semitic origin, derived from the ancient Himyaritic, which is the most archaic member of the Semitic linguistic family.
This was, however, more probably due to the deterioration of the country through desiccation, which has forced the settled population farther westward, where Sana became the centre of the later Himyaritic kingdom.
The Arhab district drained by the Wadi Kharid and Shibwan between Sana and the Jauf is covered with Himyaritic ruins, showing that the land formerly supported a large settled population where owing to the want of water cultivation is now impossible.