NABATAEANS, a people of ancient Arabia, whose settlements in the time of Josephus (Ant.
Thus the history of the Nabataeans cannot certainly be carried back beyond 312 B.C., at which date they were attacked without success by Antigonus I.
Petra (q.v.) or Sela` was the ancient capital of Edom; the Nabataeans must have occupied the old Edomite country, and succeeded to its commerce, after the Edomites took advantage of the Babylonian captivity to press forward into southern Judaea.'
The Nabataeans had already some tincture of foreign culture when they first appeared in history.
As "allies" of the Romans the Nabataeans continued to flourish throughout the first Christian century.
The new Arab invaders who soon pressed forward into their seats found the remnants of the Nabataeans transformed into fellahin, and speaking Aramaic like their neighbours.
Hence Nabataeans became the Arabic name for Aramaeans, whether in Syria or Iran, a fact which has been incorrectly held to prove that the Nabataeans were originally Aramaean immigrants from Babylonia.
Pompey deferred his decision until he should have inquired into the state of the Nabataeans, who had shown themselves to be capable of dominating the Jews in the absence of the Roman army.
The names of the months were the same as those used by the Nabataeans, Syrians and later Jews, viz.
It is impossible here to follow in detail the numerous changes in the distribution of the territory and the gradual disappearance of particular dynasties which maintained a footing for some time longer in Chalcis, Abila, Emesa and Palestine; but it is of special interest to note that the kingdom of the Arab Nabataeans was able to keep its hold for a considerable period on the north as far as Damascus.
Through the kingdom of the Nabataeans Roman influence penetrated from Syria far into northern Arabia.
The connexion of Saba with the north, where the Nabataeans had existed from about zoo B.C., was now broken.
6, and, for the part played by Damascus, the later vicissitudes under the Nabataeans (Josephus, Ant.
He hoped for assistance from the friendly Nabataeans; but, as they owed everything to their position as middlemen for the South-Arabian trade, which a direct communication between Rome and the Sabaeans would have ruined, their viceroy Syllaeus, who did not dare openly to refuse help, sought to frustrate the emperor's scheme by craft.
(See JEws; Nabataeans.) A populous land commanding the trade routes from Arabia to Damascus, rich in agricultural and pastoral wealth, Moab, as Mesha's inscription proves, had already reached a high state of civilization by the 9th century B.C. Its language differed only dialectically from Hebrew; its ideas and religion were very closely akin to the Israelite, and it may be assumed that they shared in common many features of culture.
For language and epigraphy see NABATAEANS, SEMITIC LANGUAGES; for topography, &C., PALESTINE; and for the later history, JEWS.
The Nabataeans and the Jews above all had encroached upon the Hellenistic domain; in the south the Jewish raids had spread desolation and left many cities practically in ruins.
Although they were repulsed, this awakening of a land which has so often fed Palestine and Syria, when viewed with the increasing weakness of Assyria, and subsequent vicissitudes in the history of the Edomites, Nabataeans and East Jordan tribes, forbids us to treat the invasion as an isolated raid.
32) and other writers leave no doubt as to the identity of this site with the famous capital of the Nabataeans and the centre of their caravan trade.
94-97) which describes the expeditions which Antigonus sent against the Nabataeans in 312 B.C. is generally understood to throw some light upon the history of Petra, though it must be admitted that the Petra referred to as a natural fortress and place of refuge cannot be a proper name, and the description at any rate implies that the town was not yet in existence.
In the land of the Nabataeans, a people of Arabian origin, the Aramaic alphabet was employed in a form which ultimately de- Arabic. veloped into the modern Arabic alphabet.
The Nabataeans were forbidden to cultivate the vine, the object being to prevent any departure from their traditional nomadic habits.
The pressure of the Nabataeans forced Edom to leave its former seats and advance into the south of Judah with Hebron as the capital.
Northern Arabia was traversed by the Assyrian forces, the Nabataeans were almost exterminated, and the desert tribes terrorized into order.
Haritha), the Greek form of a name borne by kings of the Nabataeans resident at Petra in Arabia.