YeHmyr1

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Himyar - Pagan Period ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Himyarites; Hmyrm ♥ The Himyarites were one of the "six kingdoms of pre-Islamic South Arabia". These were: Qataban; Saba; Hadhramaut; Ausin (Awsan); Himyar, and Ma'in.[1] The founders of the 'empire' of the kings of Saba and Dhu-Raydan "were most likely the Himyarites (Hmyrm of the inscriptions).[2]

♠ Peak Date ♣ 300 CE ♥


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 270-340 CE ♥

First period as Kingdom of Saba and Dhu Raydan 115-240 or 270 BCE (depending on whether Abyssinian occupation is included)

Hitti suggests the first Himyarite kingdom which emerged as a tribe in the southwestern highlands of Yemen around 115 BCE lasted until 300 CE.[3]
After the Roman attacks in 25 BCE the Himyarites "siezed the Sabaean homelands and made the population subject to a new Saba-Himyar regime."[4]
During the dual kingdom period "Saba was obliged, through straitened circumstances, to seek a coalition with Himyar, forming the united monarchy of 'Saba and Dhu Raydan.' In the second century AD, however, the fortunes of the Sabaean people revived somewhat and they began to campaign vigorously against the Himyarites."[5]

Abyssinian occupation from 240-270 CE

Abyssinians, from Ethiopia, who had occupied the Tihama (Red Sea coast) region since the 2nd century CE, "marched on the Himyarite capital, Zafar, and conquered it around 240 CE, compelling the Himyarites to enter into an alliance with them."[6]
agreeing an alliance with Himyar withdraw from the Arabian peninsular[7] the Abyssinians withdrew in about 270 CE.[8]
"the Himyarites seem to have recognized the Aksumites as their overlords by at least about 296-298, which suggests a defeat, but the situation fluctuated."[9]

First Himyarite Period 270-340 CE

"At least from about 270 onwards to about 328 the Aksumites were enemies of Rome. The Himyarites appear to have been clients of the Aksumites at least until about 298 and therefore enemies of Rome but they appear to have thrown off the Aksumite yoke at least temporarily after that, or at least their independent embassy to Persia, in about AD 300 would seem to suggest this, but ... the alliances were unstable".[10]

Abyssinian occupation from 340-377 CE

End 340 CE: "After an invasion from Abyssinia resulting in a short Abysinian rule (ca. 340-78) the native Himyarite kings resumed their long title and held their position till about A.D. 525."[11]'


♠ Degree of centralization ♣ unitary state ♥

In the Middle Period 1-400 CE: "the state organization of the Himyarite South appears to be significantly stronger than that of the Sabaean North" and tribes were less important there.[12]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ vassalage; alliance ♥ Abyssinians, from Ethiopia, who had occupied the Tihama (Red Sea coast) region since the 2nd century CE, "marched on the Himyarite capital, Zafar, and conquered it around 240 CE, compelling the Himyarites to enter into an alliance with them."[13]

"At least from about 270 onwards to about 328 the Aksumites were enemies of Rome. The Himyarites appear to have been clients of the Aksumites at least until about 298 and therefore enemies of Rome but they appear to have thrown off the Aksumite yoke at least temporarily after that, or at least their independent embassy to Persia, in about AD 300 would seem to suggest this, but ... the alliances were unstable".[14]

"the Himyarites seem to have recognized the Aksumites as their overlords by at least about 296-298, which suggests a defeat, but the situation fluctuated."[15]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ EtAksm1 ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ YeHmyr2 ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Himyarite ♥ Himayrite is repeatedly referred to as a civilization.[16] "The South Arabia civilizations were literate during most of the first millennium BC and AD".[17]
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣ Zarfar ♥ The Himyarite capital was Zarfar.[18] Also known as Dhu-Raydan.[19] "The last of the great pre-Islamic kingdoms, that of Himyar, was the only one ruled from the central highlands rather than the desert's edge."[20] When Zarfar became the capital it displaced Marib of the Sabaeans and Qarnaw of the Minaeans.[21]


Language ♠ Language ♣ Sab ♥ The spoken language may have been slightly different to the written language. The Himyarites used Sabaic in their inscriptions "yet frequently made mistakes and introduced alien words and foreign grammatical features which presumably derived from their own spoken languages."[22] "Sab. became the official language of the Himyarites, and its use was expanded to most parts of the southern highlands. There is no doubt, however, that Sab. was not the Himyarites' vernacular."[23] "Sab. is the only ESA language for which a widely acknowledge periodization was established. Its history may be subdivided into archaic (1st millennium B.C.E.), middle (1st c. B.C.E.-late 4th c. C.E.). and late or monotheistic, up to late 6th c. C.E.[24] Hitti says the Himyarite language "was practically the same as that of the Sabaeans and Minaeans before them."[25] The Himyarite's "linguistic cousins" were Ethiopian. This is in contrast to the northern Arab nomads.[26] "South Arabian (or South Arabian Epigraphic) is the term used to designate the South Arabian inscriptions. It was comprised of four dialects: Sabaean was spoken in the Marib region, Minean spoken in the Wadi al-Jawf, Qatabanian in the Wadi Bayhan, and Hadramautic in the Wadi Hadhramawt. While they are usually classified as a Semitic language with close ties to Arabic and the languages of Ethiopia, they also show affinities with Ugaritic and Aramaic, ancient languages spoken in the Levant. The phonological system is nearly identical to Arabic (with the addition of one or more phonemes), and like Hebrew and Arabic, it is formed morphologically on consonantal root patterns. The origins of the Sabaean alphabet are now thought to be in the Fertile Crescent, though why or how it spread to South Arabia remains a mystery. With the arrival of Islam to South Arabia in the seventh century CE, Classical Arabic replaced these written languages, and spoken Arabic generally survived in only a few isolated pockets in what are today known as the regions of Mahrah (in southern Yemen and Oman) and the island of Socotra."[27]

General Description

In 115 BCE the Himyarites were a tribe from the southwestern highlands of Yemen. They formed, with Saba, the dual kingdom of Saba and Dhu-Raydan[28][29] after the Roman attacks in 25 BCE emboldened the Himyarites who "siezed the Sabaean homelands and made the population subject to a new Saba-Himyar regime."[30] They used the royal title 'king of Saba and dhu-Raydan' with Raydan later becoming known as Qataban.[31] Dhu-Raydan (Zafar), the Himyarite capital, was located in the highlands near modern Yarim.[32]

The Roman discovery of the Indian Ocean trade winds around 100 CE signaled the end of many great civilizations in South Arabia that used overland trade routes;[33] but the Himyarite state was initially an exception, and prospered. For a time the Himyarites were a subject tribe of the Romans[34] and they possessed colonies which seeded the Abyssinian Kingdom in Ethiopia.[35] The wealth of the Himyar state, similarly acquired as other local kingdoms from the trade of incense and spices, came from trading overseas routes. While during the second millennium CE Saba split from Himyar the Himyarites later benefited immensely at the expense of their rival kingdoms as the overland routes became increasingly less efficient and disrupted by warfare, especially in the third century CE, which involved Himyar, Saba, Hadramawt and Aksum.

The Himyarites had a much more centralized polity than Saba throughout the early first millennium[36] but could not hold back the Abyssinians who invaded and occupied the tihama (Red Sea littoral) from the 2nd century CE; the Ethiopians conquered the Himyarite capital in 240 CE, but agreeing an alliance with Himyar withdraw from the Arabian peninsular[37] in about 270 CE.[38] The Himyar-Abyssinain alliance or vassalage ended about 298 CE.[39] Himyar "reached the peak of its power in the third century as a result of a successful series of wars against the local heathen tribes and the African realm of Ethiopia."[40] Between 270-280 CE the Sabaean Kingdom was annexed by the Himyarites.[41] Hadramawt was conquered by 300 CE.[42] Throughout this period the profits from the incense trade were in a progressive decline as the rise of Christianity in the west had reduced demand for a product that was most commonly used in pagan rituals. When in 395 CE the Roman emperor Theodosius declared Christianity to be the official state religion of the Roman Empire the trade ceased entirely.[43]

At this same time Himyarites also were undergoing their own seismic shift in religious belief system - rapidly converting from their pagan polytheistic belief system to monotheistic religious doctrines by the late 4th century CE.[44] "There is significant archaeological evidence of the abandonment of pagan temples toward the conclusion of the fourth century and of the almost complete disappearance of expressions of devotion to the old tribal gods shortly thereafter."[45] "From the 4th century on the Himyarite kings were either full members or sympathizers of Judaism" and the Jewish faith became "the dominant religion" in South Arabia.[46] In the later fourth century there was a Jewish dynasty of kings known as the Tabbai'a.[47] A list of Himyarite's known Jewish kings include: Yassirum Yohre'am (from 270 CE); 'Amr-Shlomo ben David (325-330 CE); Malki Kariba Juha'min (378-385 CE); Abu Kariba As'as (385-420 or 445 CE); Shurihbi'il Yakkuf (468-480 CE); Martad Ilan ('Judaized' 495-515 CE); Yusuf Ash'ar Dhu Nuwas (515-525 CE).[48][49] The Himyarite army adopted Judaism as its official religion at the start of the fifth century CE.[50]

Christianity also was present in Himyar at least from the first half of the 4th century[51] when the Christian missionary Theophilus arrived and "complained that he found a great number of Jews".[52] By 350 CE Christian communities were becoming established and over the next 100 years, "missionaries systematically converted many Arabian tribes from their traditional polytheistic practices to monotheistic Christianity".[53] It is also suggested that the rulers were not Jewish but Monophysite Christians. According to Friedman (2006) Himyarite colonists, the Axumites, in the land of Cush (Ethiopia) "which they renamed Axum ... converted to Monophysite Christianity at the beginning of the fourth century. Between 340 to 378, the Axumites returned to Yemen and imposed their rule and religion over the Himyarites. Although the interregnum was short-lived, the impact of the Axumites was very profound. Yemen was a Christian land, with churches and a cathedral in San'a, and all but one of the restored Himyarite monarchs (378-525) were Monophysite Christians. The lone heretic was Dhu-Nuwas who, for unknown reasons, hated Christians and converted to Judaism."[54] However, Christians appear to have been repressed due to a perceived association with influence of the Byzantine Empire: "in the 470s ... a priest named Azqir was executed for active proselytisation in Najran".[55] Hitti also mentions the 340-378 CE period of Abyssinian rule.[56]

An inscription dated to 378 CE claimed "the completion of buildings by a Himyar monarch had been accomplished 'through the power of their lord of sky and heaven,' and phrases such as 'the owner of the sky and earth,' and the expression 'the Merciful' also were used.[57] It has been suggested that the Himyarite "profession of monotheism, and later full-fledged Judaism, distanced the Himyarites from the Christianity of the Byzantines and their Ethiopian allies and the Zoroastrianism of the Persians"[58] so that their strategically located state had an independent or neutral identity. Written sources mention the presence of synagogues in Zafar and Najran.[59]

As trade revenues flatlined, the increasing persecution and then massacre of Christians by king Dhu Nuwas[60] lead to a foreign intervention. The Byzantine Empire in alliance with the Aksumite Kingdom invaded the Himyarite kingdom and Dhu Nuwas was removed. Himyar and the Red Sea Coast was thereafter ruled directly by the Christian Ethiopians until the Persian conquest in 570 CE, interrupted by the Christian Ethiopian governor-general Abraha's declaration of independence between 550-553 CE.[61]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ [250,000-350,000] ♥ in squared kilometers

"At their heights, the Sabean and Himyarite kingdoms embraced much of historic Yemen."[62]

In the fourth century Himyar covered the lands of former Saba, Hadramawt, the mountains and the Tihamah (Red Sea coast) and Yamanat (probably the entire southern coast).[63]

♠ Polity Population ♣ [300,000-500,000] ♥ People.

A population estimate for the kingdom of Saba at its height could be used for the Himyarite kingdom which must have covered the same area, if not more. "At their heights, the Sabean and Himyarite kingdoms embraced much of historic Yemen."[64]

"In turn Schippmann has used these already approximate estimates to arrive at figures of 310,000 to not greater than 500,000 people for the kingdom of Saba' at its height. It must be emphasized, however, that the above figures of captives and corvee labour may well be exaggerated, and, the overall population estimates provided by Schippman, although useful, are little more than educated guesses. Moreover, they do not take into account the recent archaeological surveys conducted in the 1990s that demostrate a rather densely populated plateau... Overall, Schippmann contrasts his estimated population of 500,000 for the kingdom of Saba' with a total estimated population of 1 million for the Indus civilization at its height..."[65]

"Overall, it is sufficient to say that the Yemen plateau between Yarim and Sana'a and apparently to the north as well, was during the later first millennium BC and AD, very well populated with perhaps between 1 and 5 settlements per 100 km2.[66]

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [10,000-30,000] ♥ Inhabitants. Zafar was likely the most populous settlement of the Himyarites but in the absence of data we could use an (earlier period) estimate for the Sabaean capital, Marib.

"population estimates can be made by comparing the size of some of the cities with their surrounding fields, the latter being evident on the ground as rectilinear grids of gullies eroded out of the channels and field boundaries of the original Sabaean irrigated fields. Such population estimates fall in the range of 30,000-50,000 (Schippmann, 2001: 12, Brunner, 1983), figures that are significantly in excess of the possible population of the 110 ha Sabaen city of Marib which probably accommodated between 10,000 and 30,000 people."[67]


Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 4 ♥ levels.

1. Himyarite capital

2. Capitals of subjected kingdoms
3. Larger urban areas, like the port Al-Muza
4. Hagar (town)
"The basis of the Middle Period social structure was the bayt "a village or clan community" although this most assuredly is not meant to convey the meaning of a village community as a bayt could be both in the countryside and within the walls of a hagar, town."[68] Sabaean hagar consisted of bayts.[69]
2. Colonies
c50 CE. "The Himyarite King Charibael had authority over distant sites in East Africa including the trading settlement at Rhapta in northern Tanzania. He leased this settlement to a merchant oligarchy from Muza who ran trade operations from the port and collected taxes on any incoming business. The Periplus explains: 'the region (Rhapta) is under the rule of the governor of Mapharitis, since by some ancient right it became subject to the Kingdom of Arabia when it was first established. The merchants of Muza hold it through a grant from the king and collect taxes from it."[70]


♠ Administrative levels ♣ 4 ♥ levels. "An up-to-date study on the kingdom of Himyar does not exist. One may consult Hoyland [2001] 46-57."[71] Robert G Hoyland. 2001. Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam. Routledge. London.

1. King

Karibil Watar Yuhanim I "combined dynastic titles from both the Sabaeans and the Himyarites."[72]
2. Court official
Saba-Himyarite Kingdom: the king had a royal court.[73]
3. Head of Mint
4. Mint worker
2. Court official
3. Foreign Diplomat
3. Spies and agents
2. Court official
3. Head of a supply depot
4. Worker at a supply depot
2. Court official
3. Taxation official
"Some of the myrrh offered at the port [Muza] was from an inland territory ruled by the Minaeans, so the Himyarite King must have permitted regional traders to sell their own product at Muza."[74] Presumably traders from other kingdoms were permitted to trade in exchange for paying tax which would have been collected by officials.
2. Governor
Saba-Himyarite Kingdom: the city of Saue "was under the authority of a Himyarite tyrannos (governor) named Cholaibos. The Periplus explains that Cholaibos administered the surrounding province called Mapharitis and kept a court residence at Saue."[75]
3. Court official of governor
2. Merchant official of East African colony
c50 CE. "The Himyarite King Charibael had authority over distant sites in East Africa including the trading settlement at Rhapta in northern Tanzania. He leased this settlement to a merchant oligarchy from Muza who ran trade operations from the port and collected taxes on any incoming business. The Periplus explains: 'the region (Rhapta) is under the rule of the governor of Mapharitis, since by some ancient right it became subject to the Kingdom of Arabia when it was first established. The merchants of Muza hold it through a grant from the king and collect taxes from it."[76]


♠ Religious levels ♣ [3-4] ♥ levels.

"Up until about the fourth century AD almost all the inhabitants of Arabia were polytheists."[77]

The cult of Athtar was widespread throughout Arabia, where the pantheon of gods known from surviving inscriptions contains over one hundred names (altough "many of these probably represent different aspects or manifestations of the same god"[78]). "'Athtar almost always occupies first place in lists and his cult was spread throughout the region."[79] Different polities/people had their own god. "The patron deity (shym) of a people was of more immediate significance in south Arabia than the remoter figure of 'Athtar. The four principal peoples had as their patrons Almaqah (Sabaeans), Wadd (Minaeans), 'Amm (Qatabanians) and Sayin (Hadramites), and each people was collectively termed the 'chrildren of their respective patron deity."[80] The pagan religion of South Arabia "was in its essence a planetary astral system in which the cult of the moon-god prevailed. The moon, known in Hadramawt as Sin, to the Minaeans as Wadd (love or lover, father), to the Sabaeans as Almaqah (the health-giving god?) and to the Qatabanians as 'Amm (paternal uncle), stood at the head of the pantheon. He was conceived of as a masculine deity and took precedence over the sun, Shams, who was his consort. 'Athtar (Venus, corresponding to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, Phoenician 'Ashtart), their son, was the third member of the triad. From this celestial pair sprang the many other heavenly bodies considered divine."[81]

The pagan Himyarites likely worshipped Almaqah from the time the kingdom was combined with Saba. Hitti writes that the "Himyarites were close kinsmen of the Sabaeans and, as the youngest branch of the sock, became the inheritors of the Minaeo-Sabaean culture and trade."[82] The Himyarites worshipped Almaqah, 'Athtar and other deities.[83] Philostorgius said of the Himyarites: 'They sacrifice to the sun and moon and spirits of the land.'"[84]

The pagan Himyarites practiced dedications to temples[85] which were likely sufficiently complex to archive papyrus legal statements concerning the usage of tombs.[86] Minaean carvings in the temple ruins of al-Hazm, from the first millennium BCE, suggest dancing girls may have been included among the temple servants.[87] Sabaean temples are known to have received tithes at the federal and local levels and its financing may been the "divine assistance" behind construction projects. "Some Middle 'Sabaean' temples may have acted as 'insurance companies' ... Hence the presence of some kind of insurance company which would provide assistance (to build, say, a house after it had been destroyed) was really very practical and useful for most clans. By paying their tithe ('s2r) to the local temples, the tribesmen paid a sort of 'premium' to this insurance company', whereby they could expect to get their 'compensation' when they needed it."[88]

The religion of the Himyarites was pagan and polytheistic in the period 270-375 CE and Jewish or Judaistic monotheism in the period 375-525 CE when they "fell under the influence of Jewish proselytizers"[89] and by the late 4th century CE were rapidly converting from their pagan polytheistic belief system to monotheistic religious doctrines.[90] "There is significant archaeological evidence of the abandonment of pagan temples toward the conclusion of the fourth century and of the almost complete disappearance of expressions of devotion to the old tribal gods shortly thereafter."[91]

_Pagan_

1. King

"Southerners worshiped a triad of sun, star and moon gods, and their kings in early times also served as priests."[92]
2. Priest
3. Lower priests
3. Financial official
Collected, managed tithe revenue
3. Dancing girls
3. Sacred park manager
Minaeans first millennium BCE: "Carvings in the temple ruins of al-Hazm, provincial capital of al-Jawf, represent suspended vessels, probably wine offerings, gazelles and other sacrificial animals, snakes which were divine symbols, dancing girls who were temple servants, and ostriches evidently kept in sacred parks."[93]


♠ Military levels ♣ 6 ♥ levels.

The force was divided into units for a campaign after it had assembled.[94]

"The ancient Yemeni military structure consisted of four different elements: 1) the national troops called the Khamis under the king, or one of his generals; 2) levied troops from the highland communities; 3) cavalry (light and heavy); and 4) Bedouin allies/mercenaries."[95]

"By Roman standards the sizes of the Sabaean and Himyarite armies were modest ... thousands of men at its disposal. Most of the evidence (mainly inscriptions with some scattered literary evidence) suggests that the typical size for the army in Yemen was less than one thousand men. The inscriptions mention raiding forces or armies of 40, 50, 203, 250, 270, 670 .... 1026, and 2500, but there is also evidence for the use of larger armies. ... From later evidence, including the military treatise, we know that the Muslim military organization (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16284) was based on Hellenistic Greek practices and it is therefore quite possible that the 16,000 men in question consisted of the Himyar tribal levy/phalanx."[96] "the combined army consisting of the three Khamis (Saba, Himyar, Hadramawt) would have had about 9,000-12,000 men in addition to which came the feudal forces, levies and Bedouins. The full potential of the Himyarite forces in Yemen alone cannot have been much lower than 30,000-40,000 men in addition to which came the forces of the various client kingdoms (60,000?)."[97]

A khamis was an organizational unit. Sabaean Khamis may have had about 3,000-4,000 men.[98]

1. King

2. General
3. Tribal or Khamis leader
"the combined army consisting of the three Khamis (Saba, Himyar, Hadramawt) would have had about 9,000-12,000 men in addition to which came the feudal forces, levies and Bedouins."[99]
4. Leader of 1000?
"From later evidence, including the military treatise, we know that the Muslim military organization (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16284) was based on Hellenistic Greek practices"[100]
5. Leader of ?
6. Individual soldier


Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ The only professional soldiers were employed in the king's personal bodyguard.[101]

"The ancient Yemeni military structure consisted of four different elements: 1) the national troops called the Khamis under the king, or one of his generals; 2) levied troops from the highland communities; 3) cavalry (light and heavy); and 4) Bedouin allies/mercenaries. It is not known whether the Khamis consisted of professional soldiers or peasant conscripts, but the king's bodyguards certainly did consist of professionals."[102]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ The only professional soldiers were employed in the king's personal bodyguard.

"The ancient Yemeni military structure consisted of four different elements: 1) the national troops called the Khamis under the king, or one of his generals; 2) levied troops from the highland communities; 3) cavalry (light and heavy); and 4) Bedouin allies/mercenaries. It is not known whether the Khamis consisted of professional soldiers or peasant conscripts, but the king's bodyguards certainly did consist of professionals."[103]

Sabaean Kingdom Middle Period (whilst not associated with Himyar but considered a less centralized polity): "There are certain grounds to suppose that there were certain lands, most probably in the areas of Marib, San'a, Nashq and Nashan, which were granted on lease by special royal officials; and the rent received from these lands is most likely to have been used for the maintenance of the regular army (hms). This appears very probably to be the way in which the royal power managed to cover effectively what was apparently the most significant item of its expenses."[104]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ Priests and other religious professionals, like diviners, existed.

There were "specialists in divination, who were likely to be self-made, that is their authority derived not from a hereditary office, but from their success in giving accurate information. This meant that they were as often women as men. Many of them were itinerant, offering their services at pilgrim fairs, perennial markets and tribal gatherings; a few were attached to such courts, as existed; others had fixed abodes to which their customers would come, often from far away."[105]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ The Himyarite king ruled from a court and had full-time court officials. Given that the state had mints, storage depots, foreign diplomats and could manage large-scale construction projects, such as renovation work on the Marib dam, it is likely that some of these officials were specialised (e.g. finance official) and full-time.

Scribes and personal assistants existed but at least up to the early first millennium BCE there was no centralized state bureaucracy, with the exception that the Ancient Sabaean state (c800-450 CE) appointed civil officials "to organize certain constructions or to be in charge of a certain city".[106]

"In south Arabia a number of administrative offices are known, such as kabir, qayn and maqtawi, though their exact nature and function is unclear. The first, literally 'elder', was a very senior figure. He might be the head of a tribe or professional group (e.g. 'chief of the cavalry' ... 'chief of the stonemasons' ... or the agent of the king in an outlying city or region" ... ... [or] else he might be the leader of a trading colony abroad ... Before the first century AD the title of qayn occurs very frequently, relating the holder to a deity ... ruler ... city ... or clan ... and usually concerning the supervision of construction projects. After this time the term only appears as the name of a clan (perhaps because such administrators were originally drawn exclusively from thsi clan), and we hear much more of maqtawis, personal assistants. They are most often encountered on military campaigns ... but also performed secretarial duties, supervised building works ... and the like. Though they are most commonly found in the service of kings and nobles, this is not always the case, which may mean the system of administration in south Arabia was relatively informal (in the first few centuries AD at least)."[107]

♠ Examination system ♣ inferred absent ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ Storage depots, mints.

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ [absent; present] ♥ Some codified law may have existed for merchant activity.

Most law in south Arabia was tribal law, a customary law, determined by ancient practice. This could only be changed by "paragons of tribal virtue, who won the approval of all, or by the consensus of all full members of the community meeting together."[108]

In south Arabia official edicts also were a source of law and could be made by 'the gods, via an oracle transcribed by their temple servants, and kings, in consultation with tribal councils".[109]

Royal decrees were made by kings in the Ancient period of Saba (c800-450 CE) and by the Himyarites.[110]

Some codified law may have existed for merchant activity. "The Mercantile Code of Qataban dates to about 110 BC and is a market proclamation designed to centralise trade in recognised markets, facilitate the collection of taxes and regulate prices. The code specifies that 'the King of Qataban has authority over all transactions and goods within his territory'. These powers allowed the king to set prices paid for cinnamon imports in Eudaimon [Aden] and Timna. The prices would be fixed so that royal agents could maximise the profits gained by selling state-owned stocks of the incoming aromatics."[111]

♠ Judges ♣ inferred absent ♥ No specialized judges.

"Not only were rulings passed and policies determined in tribal councils, but also misdemeanours might be heard and their perpetrators examined: 'Excellent is the man upon whom you can call for defence when the plaintiff in the council brings his charge' ('Amr ibn Qami'a 1)."[112]

"Among the wealthier sedentary polities of Arabia there existed a more elaborate legal system with more of an institutional framework. A number of the cities of south Arabia had a council (mswd), and at each of the capital cities there was a supreme council where the king sat along with delegates from a certain number of tribal groups, representing the whole nation and issuing edicts on its behalf."[113]

♠ Courts ♣ inferred present ♥

"Among the wealthier sedentary polities of Arabia there existed a more elaborate legal system with more of an institutional framework. A number of the cities of south Arabia had a council (mswd), and at each of the capital cities there was a supreme council where the king sat along with delegates from a certain number of tribal groups, representing the whole nation and issuing edicts on its behalf."[114]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ inferred absent ♥ No specialized lawyers.

"Not only were rulings passed and policies determined in tribal councils, but also misdemeanours might be heard and their perpetrators examined: 'Excellent is the man upon whom you can call for defence when the plaintiff in the council brings his charge' ('Amr ibn Qami'a 1)."[115]

"Among the wealthier sedentary polities of Arabia there existed a more elaborate legal system with more of an institutional framework. A number of the cities of south Arabia had a council (mswd), and at each of the capital cities there was a supreme council where the king sat along with delegates from a certain number of tribal groups, representing the whole nation and issuing edicts on its behalf."[116]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ "The Kingdom of Himyar rose to power in the highlands supported by some large dams, valleywide barrages and other impressive agricultural constructions, but most crops grown in the highlands were undoubtedly rainfed and roughly 75 percent of crops in Yemen today are grown without irrigation."[117]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ inferred present ♥ Cisterns. In Arabia "wells were dug and cisterns hollowed out in order to store water, chiefly for household consumption, but also to supplement irrigation sources in dry years."[118]
♠ markets ♣ inferred present ♥ Qataban king controlled settlements in Somalia that produced incense and cinnamon and could fix the international price of cinnamon. "Pliny explains that 'only the king of the Gebbanitae (Qataban) has the authority to control the sale of cinnamon and he opens the market by public proclamation'.[119]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ "If needed, supplies were deposited in advance to supply depots after which the king summonded his vassals, levies, and allies and set a date and a place to assemble for a campaign."[120]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ inferred present ♥ There was a road from Zafar to the port of Muza.[121]
♠ Bridges ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Canals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ The Himyarites traded from the port of al-Muza on the Red Sea.[122]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ inferred present ♥ Silver mines in south Arabia.[123] Alabaster sold to Romans as ballast.

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ "The South Arabia civilizations were literate during most of the first millennium BC and AD, and consequently they supply us with a record that complements that derived from archaeological excavations and surveys."[124]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ "The South Arabia civilizations were literate during most of the first millennium BC and AD, and consequently they supply us with a record that complements that derived from archaeological excavations and surveys."[125] "In the second half of the 1st millennium B.C., beside the monumental script of the inscriptions, another, 'cursive' (or 'miniscule,' abbreviated below as minusc.), script of everyday documents such as private letters, contracts, and magic texts developed. Discovered in 1973, this script was difficult to decipher. Only thirty minuscule documents have been published, out of an estimated number of several thousand. Almost all published miniscule texts are Sab. and date from the 2nd-3rd centuries C.C., most of them coming from the city of Nashshan in the Wadi Madhab."[126] Aramaic was used in northwest and east Arabia in the mid-first millennium BCE "and later adopted by all the polities scattered around the edges of the Syrian desert. The success of the Nabataeans led to the spread of their version of the Aramaic script far and wide, and even after the Roman annexation of their realm in AD 106 it continued in use for a couple of centuries. Subsequently the Arab tribes affiliated to Rome and Iran employed it to write their language, namely Arabic. The process of conveying a language with different sounds and extra consonants caused the Nabataean script (which had only twenty-two letters) gradually to evolve until by the sixth century AD it had become what we would recognise as the Arabi script".[127]
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ ♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ "In the second half of the 1st millennium B.C., beside the monumental script of the inscriptions, another, 'cursive' (or 'miniscule,' abbreviated below as minusc.), script of everyday documents such as private letters, contracts, and magic texts developed. Discovered in 1973, this script was difficult to decipher. Only thirty minuscule documents have been published, out of an estimated number of several thousand. Almost all published miniscule texts are Sab. and date from the 2nd-3rd centuries C.C., most of them coming from the city of Nashshan in the Wadi Madhab."[128][129]
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ "By 229 CE, Himyar had enough control of southern Arabia that their calendar system began to be employed throughout the region (heralding the arrival of a unified state in Arabia), while the rest of the peninsula retained its tribal character." [130] In the late third century "The Himyarite era, an absolute system of dating, now became commonly used throughout south Arabia."[131]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ present ♥ e.g. Bible.
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥ "In the second half of the 1st millennium B.C., beside the monumental script of the inscriptions, another, 'cursive' (or 'miniscule,' abbreviated below as minusc.), script of everyday documents such as private letters, contracts, and magic texts developed. Discovered in 1973, this script was difficult to decipher. Only thirty minuscule documents have been published, out of an estimated number of several thousand. Almost all published miniscule texts are Sab. and date from the 2nd-3rd centuries C.C., most of them coming from the city of Nashshan in the Wadi Madhab."[132][133]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ Legal statements were made in inscriptions on tombs, concerning the tomb, and it was probably standard practice for papyrus copies to be stored in an official archive at a temple.[134]
♠ History ♣ inferred absent ♥ One of the first known Arab historians Hisham ibn al-Kalbi (737 AD-819 CE) relied on oral traditions of the Arabs, Biblical and Palmyran sources.
♠ Philosophy ♣ suspected unknown ♥ "South Arabia was an independent high culture comparable with those of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt."[135]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ present ♥ Poetry. Pre-Islamic poetry.[136]


Money

♠ Articles ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Tokens ♣ ♥
♠ Precious metals ♣ ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ "Himyarite kings minted coins bearing their images".[137] Silver coins.[138] Coins in South Arabia at least from 200 BCE.[139] "In south Arabia the earliest coins (fourth/third century BC) are imitations of Athenian tetradrachms".[140] Referring to Aksum's period of rule in South Arabia, Kobishanov says "coins did not exist in vassal states such as Himyar or 'Alva.[141]
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ present ♥ Messengers included diplomats. "The inscriptions also prove that the Himyarites employed a relatively efficient intelligence gathering organization, consisting of spies and agents that provided the commanders with timely information on enemy actions. The Himyarites were part of the international trade network and therefore it is not surprising that their diplomats could be found in Roman territory, Aksum, Ctesiphon, and in India."[142]
♠ Postal stations ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Edward A L Turner ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ present ♥
♠ Bronze ♣ present ♥
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ Al-Kindi commented on the the high quality steel of the ancient Yemeni sword."[143] Hoyland dates the iron age in South Arabia from 1300-330 BCE.[144] (but provides no evidence for iron at the earliest times). "From the Hellenistic period onwards iron arrowheads begin to turn up in large quantities, many of which are likely to have been manufactured locally".[145] Likely iron/steel was imported from Sri Lanka and/or India. There is no evidence for an iron-smelting site in Yemen [146] The area, like East Africa, could have received iron imports from Sri Lanka toward the end of the first century BCE and was, in any case, conquered by iron-using Axum [147] by 200 CE. Historical records show "good quality Indian steel" was reaching Ethiopia in 200 BCE. [148]
♠ Steel ♣ present ♥ Al-Kindi commented on the the high quality steel of the ancient Yemeni sword."[149] Likely iron/steel was imported from Sri Lanka and/or India. There is no evidence for an iron-smelting site in Yemen [150] The area, like East Africa, could have received iron imports from Sri Lanka toward the end of the first century BCE and was, in any case, conquered by iron-using Axum [151] by 200 CE. Historical records show "good quality Indian steel" was reaching Ethiopia in 200 BCE. [152]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ inferred absent ♥ Spear: "Depending on the length to weight ration [the spear] could serve either as a projectile, like a javelin, or as a thrusting implement. The latter function became more popular once the horse had been introduced into Arabia, during the fourth-second centuries BC, for the spear could be wielded more easily on horseback than the sword."[153]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ Weapon used only in the New World.
♠ Slings ♣ present ♥ Slings.[154]
♠ Self bow ♣ ♥ Bow mentioned but which type is not stated.[155]
♠ Composite bow ♣ inferred present ♥ Bow mentioned but which type is not stated.[156] Rock art of pastoral tribes using the bow on camel back might imply it would have to be the shorter composite bow.[157]
♠ Crossbow ♣ ♥
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥ Axe was used.[158]
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ Main infantry weapons were dagger and spear.[159]
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ Swords were used by the wealthier fighters.[160]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ Main infantry weapons were dagger and spear.[161]
♠ Polearms ♣ ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ present ♥ Asses used in baggage train.[162]
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ "The cavalry appears to have consisted at most about 10-25 per cent of the army ... of specialized heavy and light contingents, the former consisting mainly of the Yemenis ... and the latter of the Bedouins."[163] The horse was "introduced into Arabia, during the fourth-second centuries BC".[164]
♠ Camels ♣ present ♥ Infantry rode to battle on camel then dismounted for combat. The poor rode pillion[165]
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ inferred present ♥ 'Leather shields' mentioned in Arabic poetry[166] would probably be supported by wood, otherwise they would have been referred to by its metal component.
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ inferred present ♥ Pliny (6.161-62) said probably referring to a civilian context "The Arabs wear turbans or else go with their hair unshorn" - however a thick Turban might potentially be used as head protection in warfare.[167] Leather shields.[168]
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ "Fragments of an iron coat of mail have been discovered in a first-second-century AD grave at Janussan on Bahrain and shields are illustrated on a bronze bowl of the third/second century BC from Mleiha in the Emirates. These meagre remains can be abundantly supplemented by the numerous references in pre-Islamic poetry. The full complement is given as follows: 'We wore helmets and Yemeni leather shields ... and glittering coats of mail having visible folds above the belt (Mu.:'Amr)."[169]
♠ Helmets ♣ inferred present ♥ Pliny (6.161-62) said probably referring to a civilian context "The Arabs wear turbans or else go with their hair unshorn" - however a thick Turban might potentially be used as head protection in warfare.[170]
♠ Breastplates ♣ ♥
♠ Limb protection ♣ ♥
♠ Chainmail ♣ present ♥ "Fragments of an iron coat of mail have been discovered in a first-second-century AD grave at Janussan on Bahrain and shields are illustrated on a bronze bowl of the third/second century BC from Mleiha in the Emirates. These meagre remains can be abundantly supplemented by the numerous references in pre-Islamic poetry. The full complement is given as follows: 'We wore helmets and Yemeni leather shields ... and glittering coats of mail having visible folds above the belt (Mu.:'Amr)."[171]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ present ♥ "The Himyarite navy appears to have consisted of the dhow merchant ships meant either for trade in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea or Indian Ocean, and small numbers of pirate vessels."[172] "The bulk of the Himyarite naval assets lay in the ports of Mukhawan, Aden, Qana, and after its conquest also in Oman. These ports could house truly significant numbers of these ships. For example, on one occasion in the thrid century the Sabaeans destroyed forty-seven cargo vessels/sambuccas in one of the Hadramawt ports ..."[173]
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥ "The Himyarite navy appears to have consisted of the dhow merchant ships meant either for trade in the Red Sea, Arabian Sea or Indian Ocean, and small numbers of pirate vessels."[174]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ inferred present ♥ "Some sites (e.g. DS212) have rectangular rampart walls, similar to those known from the Sayhad region."[175]
♠ Ditch ♣ inferred present ♥ "When the invader had re-crossed the seas, the Himyar king reconquered his realm, and wreaked a savage vengance on the Christians of Najaran, who had probably collaborated with the Axumites. Their churches were demolished, and several hundred Najranis, who refused to apostatize, were burnt alive in a trench or moat outside their principal settlement. This occurred in the year 523...".[176] Khandak: "ditch, moat ... it may be an Aramaic loanword in Arabic. ... Salman al-Farisi ... it is said, advised Muhammad to protect Madina in the year 6 A.H. against its beleaguerers by digging a moat, a means of defence hitherto unknown in Arabia but usual in Persia."[177]
♠ Moat ♣ inferred absent ♥ "When the invader had re-crossed the seas, the Himyar king reconquered his realm, and wreaked a savage vengance on the Christians of Najaran, who had probably collaborated with the Axumites. Their churches were demolished, and several hundred Najranis, who refused to apostatize, were burnt alive in a trench or moat outside their principal settlement. This occurred in the year 523..."."When the invader had re-crossed the seas, the Himyar king reconquered his realm, and wreaked a savage vengance on the Christians of Najaran, who had probably collaborated with the Axumites. Their churches were demolished, and several hundred Najranis, who refused to apostatize, were burnt alive in a trench or moat outside their principal settlement. This occurred in the year 523...".[178] Khandak: "ditch, moat ... it may be an Aramaic loanword in Arabic. ... Salman al-Farisi ... it is said, advised Muhammad to protect Madina in the year 6 A.H. against its beleaguerers by digging a moat, a means of defence hitherto unknown in Arabia but usual in Persia."[179]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ inferred present ♥ The Hadrami (non-Himyarite) city of Sumhuram (from late 1st BCE) on the far southern coast of Oman had a monumental building which, including foundations, covered 400m2, with walls 6.6 metres thick, double the thickness of the city wall.[180] The city of Sirwah (Sabaean) which covered about 3ha was "surrounded by an enormous wall, fortified by towers at several points, with the unusual feature of the monumental structures such as the Almaqah Temple and the ruler's palace built into it."[181] Himyarites used stone to build dams, so it is likely they used stone for defensive works - question is whether the walls were mortared: "The masonry structures ... are built in a style that is regarded as Himyarite, being made of cut blocks of stone arranged in well-made horizontal courses. In addition, some dams are firmly dated to the Himyarite period by in situ inscriptoins."[182] Ed: I've seen some photos of walls that look constructed without mortar.
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ inferred present ♥ The Hadrami (non-Himyarite) city of Sumhuram (from late 1st BCE) on the far southern coast of Oman had a monumental building which, including foundations, covered 400m2, with walls 6.6 metres thick, double the thickness of the city wall.[183] The city of Sirwah (Sabaean) which covered about 3ha was "surrounded by an enormous wall, fortified by towers at several points, with the unusual feature of the monumental structures such as the Almaqah Temple and the ruler's palace built into it."[184] Stone and mortar abutments at the Marib dam.[185] Himyarites used stone to build dams, so it is likely they used stone for defensive works - question is whether the walls were mortared: "The masonry structures ... are built in a style that is regarded as Himyarite, being made of cut blocks of stone arranged in well-made horizontal courses. In addition, some dams are firmly dated to the Himyarite period by in situ inscriptoins."[186]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Long walls ♣ 0 ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥


Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ ♥

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥ The name of the research assistant or associate who coded the data. If more than one RA made a substantial contribution, list all.

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ inferred present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ inferred absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [187] [188] [189]

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