These are the kingdoms of Ma t in (Minaean), of Saba (Sabaean), of Hadramaut (Hadramut) and of Katabania (Katabanu).
The Minaean kingdom extended over the south Arabian Jauf, its chief cities being Karnau, Ma`in and Yathil.
As inscriptions in the Minaean language are found in al-`Ula in north Arabia, it is probable that they had colonies in that district.
Pp. 109 seq., Giessen, 1902), that none of the inscriptions are earlier than about 800 B.C. and that the Minaean kingdom existed side by side with the Sabaean.
Muller show that there were Minaean colonies in North Arabia.
Of the two dialects commonly called Sabaean and Minaean the latter might be better called Hadramitic, inasmuch as it is the dialect of the inscriptions found in Hadramut, and the Minaeans seem undoubtedly to have entered the Jauf from Ijadramut.
The third Minaean fortress, probably identical with the Kapva of the Greeks, lies in the middle of the northern Jauf, and north of the other two.
The three Minaean citadels lie nearly in this position (.
The inscriptions have yielded the names of twenty-seven Minaean kings, who were quite independent, and, as it would seem, not always friends of the Sabaeans, for neither dynasty mentions the other on its inscriptions, while minor kings and kingdoms are freely mentioned by both, presumably when they stood under the protection of the one or the other respectively.
In Hadramut they disputed the hegemony with one another, the government there being at one time under a Minaean, at another under a Sabaean prince, while the language shows now the one and now the other influence.
The origin of the Minaeans from Hadramut is rendered probable by the predominance of their dialect in the inscriptions of that country (except in that of Hisn Ghorab), by the rule, already mentioned, of a Minaean prince in Hadramut, and by Pliny's statement (H.N.
69, where he speaks of Minaean myrrh " in qua et Atramitica est et Gebbanitica et Ausaritis Gebbanitarum regno," &c., implying that Minaean myrrh was really a Hadramite and Gebanite product.
All this suggests a close connexion between the Minaeans and Hadramut; and from the Minaean inscriptions we know that the Gebanites were at one time a Minaean race, and stood in high favour with the queen of Ma`in.
In later times, as is proved by the Minaean colony in Al-`01a, which Euting has revealed to us, they superseded the Sabaeans in some parts of the north.
In the `Ola inscriptions we read the names of Minaean kings and gods.
41 of the " Bedouin encampments (a'5nrz) and the Ma`inim " smitten by the Simeonites, which may possibly refer to the destruction of a Minaean caravan protected by these Bedouins.
It seems bold to conjecture that the Minaeans were in accord with the Romans under Aelius Gallus, yet it is noteworthy that no Minaean town is named among the cities which that general destroyed, though ruin fell on Nask and Kamna, which lie inside the Minaean territory.
The type is very closely related to the oldest European (Etruscan) forms, and, in a less degree, to the " South Semitic " (old Minaean and Sabaean); and since it at once begins (c. 700) to develop along separate paths (Canaanite and Aramaean), it may be inferred that the common ancestor was not of long derivation.
Muller, daughter-tongues of the old Sabaean and Minaean, standing in the same relation to the speech of the old inscriptions as Coptic does to that of the hieroglyphics.
The relative age of the Minaean and Sabaean monuments is a matter of dispute amongst Semitic scholars.
Minaean inscriptions were found at the same place, the Minaeans having had a trading station there.