In Joel it seems to stand as a general representative of the distant countries reached by the Mediterranean (in contrast with the southern Arabians, Sabaeans, ch.
Tertullian also distinctly alludes to the use of aromatics in Christian burial: "the Sabaeans will testify that more of their merchandise, and that more costly, is lavished on the burial of Christians, than in burning incense to the gods."
Aeizanes and his successors style themselves kings of the Axumites, Homerites (Himyar), Raidan, the Ethiopians (Habasat), the Sabaeans, Silee, Tiamo, the Bugaites (Bega) and Kasu.
An Assyrian inscription mentions Ith`amara the Sabaean who paid tribute to Sargon in 715 B.C. At this time the Sabaeans must have been in north Arabia unless the inscription refers to a northern colony of the southern Sabaeans.
The decay that followed caused a number of Sabaeans to migrate to other parts of Arabia.
Hommel, maintaining that their kingdom existed prior to that of Saba, probably from about 1500 B.C. or earlier until the Sabaeans came from their home in the north and conquered them in the 9th century.
About 115 B.C. the power over south Arabia passed from the Sabaeans to the Himyarites, a people from the extreme southwest of Arabia; and about this time the kingdom of Katabania came to an end.
1 For Seba, see Sabaeans, and cf.
Other South Arabs, and especially the Sabaeans, doubtless also planted settlers on the northern trade routes, who in process of time united into one community with their North-Arab kinsmen and neighbours.
Again, the Sabaeans had colonies in Africa and there mingled with the black Africans; and so in Gen.
The other biblical books do not mention the Sabaeans except incidentally, in allusion to their trade in incense and perfumes, gold and precious stones, ivory, ebony, and costly garments (Jer.
When the prologue to Job speaks of plundering Sabaeans (and Chaldaeans) on the northern skirts of Arabia, these may be either colonists or caravans, which, like the old Phoenician and Greek traders, combined on occasion robbery with trade.
The earliest Greek accounts of the Sabaeans and other SouthArabian peoples are of the 3rd century B.C. Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.) in Strabo (xv.
This short but important and well-informed notice is followed a little later by that of Agatharchides (120 B.C.), who speaks in glowing terms of the wealth and greatness of the Sabaeans, but seems to have less exact information than Eratosthenes.
He knows only the Sabaeans and thinks that Saba is the name of their capital.
Artemidorus (loo B.C.), quoted by Strabo, gives a similar account of the Sabaeans and their capital Mariaba, of their wealth and trade, adding the characteristic feature that each tribe receives the wares and passes them on to its neighbours as far as Syria and Mesopotamia.
The accounts of the wealth of the Sabaeans brought back by traders and travellers excited the cupidity of Rome, and Augustus entrusted Aelius Gallus with an expedition to South Arabia, of which we have an authentic account in Strabo (xvi.
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.
77, as Dilllnann has shown), in the Periplus of an anonymous contemporary of Pliny (§ 23) we read that Charibael of Zafar, " the legitimate sovereign of two nations, the Homerites and Sabaeans," maintained friendly relations with Rome by frequent embassies and gifts.
The hegemony of the Sabaeans now yields to that of a new people, the Homerites or Himyar, and the king henceforth bears the title " king of the Himyarites and Sabaeans."
And the Ethiopians were not without successes, for on the Greek inscription of Axum (c. the middle of the 4th century) King Aeizanes calls himself " king of the Axumites, the Homerites, and Raidan, and of the Ethiopians, Sabaeans, and Silee."
17) of wellknown cities which God appointed as trading stations between the Sabaeans and the cities He had blessed (Egypt and Syria), and which He destroyed because of their sins.
Soon after this the courageous explorer Arnaud discovered the ancient Mariab, the royal city of the Sabaeans, and at great risk copied fifty-six inscriptions and took a plan of the walls, the dam, and the temple to the east of the city.
The inscriptions throw considerable light not only on the Sabaeans but on other South-Arabian nations.
The Minaeans, whose importance has been already indicated, appear in the inscriptions as only second to the Sabaeans, and with details which have put an end to much guesswork, e.g.
The dialect of the Minaeans is sharply distinguished from the Sabaeans (see above).
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 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.
This law of succession explains how we repeatedly find two kings named together among the Sabaeans, and almost always find two among the Minaeans; the second king is the heir.
In spite of the many ruins of temples and inscriptions, the religion of the Sabaeans is obscure.
Of the great national gods of the Sabaeans and Minaeans we know a little more.
Sun-worship seems to have been peculiar to the Sabaeans and Hamdanites; and, if the Sabis of Sabota (Pliny) was in fact the sun deity Shams, this must be ascribed to Sabaean influence.
The Sabaeans also recognize `Athtar; but with them he is superseded by Almaqah, who, according to Hamdani, is the planet Venus, and therefore is identical with `Athtar.
Their commerce brought the Sabaeans under Christian and Jewish influence; and, though the old gods were too closely connected with their life and trade to be readily abandoned, the great change in the trading policy, already spoken of, seems to have affected religion as well as the state.
The religion of the Sabaeans, evidently a later offshoot from the stock of the old Babylonian religion, actually consists in the cult of the seven planets (cf.
Muller,3 that the Sabaeans had colonized Abyssinia as early as woo B.C. Other inscriptions copied by Bent at Aksum belong to the 4th century A.D.
P. 314 if.), following Weber, argues that it comes from the Sabaeans who were carrying on trade with India as early as 1000 B.C. Even if the alphabet had not reached India till the 6th century B.C., there would be time, he contends, for the peculiarities of the Indian form of it to develop before the period when records begin.
1905) shows that by his command of the trade routes Solomon was able to balance Phoenicians and Sabaeans against each other, and that, his Ophir gold would be paid for by trade facilities and protection of caravans.
All are written in a peculiar syllabic script which, un like all other Semitic forms, runs from left to right, and is derived from that of the Sabaeans and Minaeans, still extant in the very old rock-inscriptions of south Arabia.