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Jemen. Until comparatively recently our main sources 
of information on Southern Arabia were the 0. T. and the 
Greek geographers. The earliest cuneiform records in which 
mention is made of Aribi (about the ninth century b. c), 
refer to N. or NE. Arabia. But now, thanks to explorers 
such as Hal^vy and Glaser, historians have been put in 
possession of a vast number of inscriptions, mostly from 
Jemen, which have thrown new light on the history of 
the country. The inscriptions, mainly dedicatory, have 
been found for the most part midst the ruins of temples, 
on stone blocks, pillax's, &c. Their language is a form of 
Arabic. Four dialects have been distinguished : Minaean, 
Sabaean, Hadhramautan, and Katabanian. In the last 
two dialects, which have a close affinity with the Minaean, 
only a very few inscriptions have, as yet, been found. The 
Sabaean differs from the others not only in vocabulary, but 
also in grammar. 

In the minds of most people Arabia is associated with 
the desert. But Southern Arabia contains many fertile 
districts. On account of its fertility Jemen, or Arabia 
Felix, had in very early times a settled population, and 
a highly developed civilization [cf. Caetoni, Annali delV 
Isldrti, II (1907), p. 1093]. We have no chronicles dealing 
directly with the early history of Jemen. Its history has 
to be inferred, but the inferences now drawn are more far- 
reaching than could have been deemed possible when the 
old sources of information alone were at command. About 
2000 B.C., it is conjectured^, there was an immigration of 

* Cf. Weber, Araiien vor dem Islam, A. 0. Ill, i^ (1904), pp. 22 ff. 


Minaeans (the Hadhramautans and Katabanians reaching 
their later settlements aa part of the same migration) from 
the north. From the fifteenth century B. c, or thereabout, 
there was an independent Minaean empire. This was over- 
thrown about the eighth century B.C. by the Sabaeans, 
a people who, like the Minaeans, came from Northern 
Arabia. The Sabaeans in turn fell before the Himyarites 
about the first or second century before our era. 

Of the people who preceded the Minaeans in Jemen nothing 
is as yet definitely known. That the Minaeans owed their 
culture to them seems evident. In the earliest Minaean 
inscriptions, for instance, the alphabet is already com- 
pletely developed, and nomad invaders could scarcely have 
been possessed of this mark of high culture. 

Jemen was never an isolated land. It was the centre of 
the incense trade, and the heart of the world's commerce, 
when such commerce was still in its infancy [Sprenger, 
Alte GeograpMe Arahiens (1875), pp. 289, 297]. South 
Ai'abia, and Jemen in particular, was traditionally wealthy '^. 
The treasures possessed by its peoples were a source of wonder 
to the Greek geographers ^. The fanaticism of Islam gave 
the death-blow to Jemen's prosperity^. It is fanatical 
Islam that still guards the secrets of the past and prevents 
us forming an adequate estimate of the civilizations that 
here rose and fell. 

The name Jemen (Arab. ^^\) is old. Its derivation 

' Cf. e. g. Plinius, Hist. Nat., vi. 163 ' Arabes ... in universum gentes 

^ Cf. Agatharchides {Geoip: Graec. Min., ed. Muller, p. 190) ((tti Si 
TioKvTeKeia -nap' avTOis (sc. Sabaeans and Uerrhaeans) ov novov kv ropcvftaai 
$aviia<TTots Kai irorripiajv ■noiKiXiais, en hi kXivSiv Koi rpiirSSaiv fieyiOeai, \^&\\a^ 
Kal tSiv aXkaiv rSiv Kar o'uiiav vap' ^fuv licritvo^ivajv Kafifiavct rijv virepPoKr)v 
■noKKaiv, d/s eoiKf, KeuTtj/xivav xopvy'^'^" /SairtA.i/ti^i'. Kiovds t« iroWoiis avrots 
<prj(Ti KanaiceuaaOai kitixpvaovi rt waJ apyvpovs, vp&s Se uai ras upocpas Kal 
Svpas iptakais MOoKoWrirots i(€t\rj(p0at irvKfais, uiaavroK Kal rd ixtaoarvXia 
Oiav tx"" '"""P*"'^, tO'l KadSKov roiis napd. rSiv ciWav irKoirovs lKK(Ta6ai tijv 
Siacpopav fieyaXrjv. Cf. also Diod. iii. 46. 

" Vide Koran, xxvi. 128 f. 


is unknown, and none of the suggested derivations^ can 
be considered quite satisfactory. From Glaser, however, 
comes an interesting suggestion. He thinks that the Yauna 
takabard of the Darius inscriptions might very possibly 
refer to the Jemenites [_Slcizze, II, pp. 431 f.]. The Arabic 
word is the exact equivalent of Ja-ma-nu, which corre- 
sponds to Yauna in the Assyrian rendering. Is Javan 
then associated with Jemen ? Are our Javanites Jemenites ? 
Lassen, it will be remembered, expressed the conviction 
that the Javana of the earlier Indian literature were an 
Arabian people. He supported his argument by quoting 
the word jdvana, the Indian word for incense [cf. Ind. 
Altertmnsk.^, I, 2, p. 724], Other forms of the vrord javana 
applied to peculiarly Arabian products, such as bdellium, 
styrax, olibanum^, &c., greatly strengtheti the argument. 
One recalls, too, in this connexion the Ezekiel mention 
of Javan (xxvii. 19), which, in the opinion of many com- 
mentators, must be sought in Arabia. Further, it would 
appear that the South Semitic, the so-called Joktanite, 
alphabet is the parent of the Indian [Taylor, Alphabet^, 
1899, II, pp. 314 ff.]. 

Navigation must have been in progress on the South 
Arabian coast in remote antiquity ^. We have good cause 
to believe that there was regular communication in pre- 
historic days between the Arabian coast and the opposite 
coast of Somali in Africa. At the time of Gudea lai-ge 
ships circumnavigated the Arabian peninsula to procure 

• Jemen, so called (a) after a ruler of that name ; (6) from its position 
on the right (facing eastward) of the Caabah ; (c) from the word j^*j 
meaning "prosperity, good fortune." The last derivation, the one most 
favoured (cf. Glaser, Skizze, II, p. 170), suggests rather popular etymology. 
See Johannsen, Historia Jemanae, &c. (1828), p. a6. 

^ Vide S. L^vi, Quid de Graecis monumenta Indorum tradiderint (iSgo), p. 25 — 
Yavcmaka, olibanum : Tavanadefaja (in Yavanorum regione natum), styrax : 
Yavanadvisia (Yavanis inimicum), bdellium : also Yavanaprija was used for 
pepper : °td for the palm tree ipalmafera). 

' Cf. Sigismund, Aromata, 1884, pp. 94 ff. ; Sprenger, Alte Geographic 
AroMens, 1875, PP- 289 ff. 


building materials for Babylonian temples [cf. KeU. Bib., 
Ill, pp. 5a flP.]. The bulk of the South Arabian trade must 
have been carried on by a people settled on the sea-coast 
in that- quarter. The peoples to whom incense was exported 
had little love of the sea. Amongst the Indians trading 
itself was regarded as an unworthy occupation and, accord- 
ing to the laws of Manu, the " sailor on the sea " was held 
to be unclean. The Persians' aversion to the sea was well 
known. Babylonia proper, except in the earliest historical 
times, was separated from the sea by the mai-sh lands at 
the mouth of the river. When Sinaherib, in later times, 
was preparing to invade Elam, he brought Hittite craftsmen 
from Syria to build vessels for him, just as, still later, 
Alexander employed Phoenicians for the same purpose. 
To the Egyptians the " Great Green," as they called the 
ocean, was an abomination, and not till the Ptolemaic 
period was sea-trade established with India. Whether, on 
the other hand, the maritime races of the Aegean penetrated 
so far south in pre-Homeric days, cannot as yet be deter- 
mined. Glaser is evidently convinced that they did so 
[Skisze, II, p. 435]. It is well known that there were 
waterways constructed linking the Ked Sea and the Nile, 
and it is difficult to see what purpose they could have served 
other than that of commerce. The earliest canal of which 
we have knowledge was that ascribed to Sesostris ^ {perhaps 
Usertesen III) [Pliny, vi. 165]. It is of course possible 
that if, as seems to have been the case, there was a regular 
ti-ade between the Mediterranean and the South, the races 
of the Aegean took part as well as the peoples of Southern 
Arabia. Words used by Pliny ^ could be taken as implying 
that a tradition existed connecting the peoples of Crete 
and of Jemen. 

^ Often identified with Ramses II. The reading Sen-usert for Usert- 
esen connects this name with Sesostris [Hall, Oldest Civilisation of Greece, 
1901, p. 320]. 

" Ac Minaei a rege Cretae Minoe, ut existimant, originem trahentes 
. . . Bhadamaei (et horum origo Bhadamanthus putatur, frater Minois) 
(VI, 157). 


Of what race were the peoples who inhabited Southern 
Arabia in the remote past? Did they speak a Semitic 
language, or did the Semitic take the place of an eaiiier 
non-Semitic speech? History has recorded the triumph 
of the Semitic idiom in Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, and 
later in Egypt and North Africa. Had it a similar con- 
quest in Southern Arabia ? 

It is a fact of more than ordinary interest that, according 
to early Egyptian monuments, the inhabitants of Punt (i.e. 
Jemen, including perhaps also a part of the African coast) 
belonged to the white race [Maspero, L' Orient Classique, II 
(1897), p. 248]. In many ways they, as depicted, show a re- 
semblance to the Egyptians themselves. In one or two cases 
the natives of Punt are repi-esented as dark, with a negro- 
type of feature. There is no indication, on the earlier monu- 
ments at least, that a Semitic race inhabited Punt. Further, 
it has been pointed out by Renan [Hist, des Langues BSmit. 
(1855), pp. 398 fF.] that the early civilization of Jemen was 
essentially non-Semitic, and the ancient customs of Jemen 
had nothing in common with the Semitic. As a conse- 
quence of successive Semitic immigrations the Semitic 
language took the place of the indigenous, undergoing, 
however, several alterations in the process ^. 

There seems eveiy reason to believe, then, that in 
Southern Arabia (and notably in Jemen or South-west 
Arabia) there dwelt a non-Semitic people possessed of a high 
degree of civilization, who carried on an extensive trade 
with all parts of the then known world. The time has 
not yet come for excavation in Southern Arabia, but, if 
surface remains are any indication, when that time does 
come we may look for fruitful results. If we are right 
in our belief that at one time the Javanites had a home 
there we must needs inquire as to the relationship, if any, 
between them and the pre-Semitic population of Babylonia. 

1 Hommel, Abriss, &c. (1889), p. 48, thinks there can be no doubt that 
the Phoenicians, as also the earliest inhabitants of South Arabia, were 
not Semites originally, but were Semitized in course of time. 


It will be remembered that their astronomical knowledge, 
80 much lauded by Indian astronomers, led us to believe 
that they were in some way connected with the " Sume- 
rians." As Sigismund [Aromata, p. 216 f.] rightly remarks, 
the people who first promoted navigation must have been 
the people who began to make a study of the stars. For 
them the close observation of the heavens became a 
necessity. The religion of South Arabia was, moreover, 
astral, as was that of Babylonia. Which pantheon bon-owed 
from the other — the two had much in common — cannot of 
course be determined. Then, again, the ocean served as 
a medium for the acquisition and transmission of culture. 
Races engaged in a sea-trade with distant lands have 
unique opportunities for the development of their civiliza- 
tion. The significance of the sea in promoting civilization 
was early recognized. Ea, the god of the ocean in the 
Babylonian pantheon, was the " lord of wisdom." The ocean, 
his dwelling-place, was the " house of wisdom." All the arts 
were under his special protection. He was the guardian 
deity of the mai-iner, the potter, the workers in gold, silver, 
and precious stones [cf.Rawlinson, W.A.T., 11,58]. Further- 
more, the only tradition we possess respecting the origin of 
Babylonian civilization — if the myth of Oannes ^ as pre- 
served by Berosus [vide Frag. Hist. Oraec, ed. Miiller, II, 
p. 496 f.] can be regarded in the light of a tradition ^ — 
indicates that Chaldaea owed its earliest civilization to 
a people who came in from the sea. It is not un- 
natural to infer that these highly-civilized immigrants 
had found their way thither from Southern Arabia. 
Whence else they could have come it is difficult to see. 

1 According to the narrative a curious creature, half man, half fish, 
appeai'ed from the Erythraean Sea, and taught the earliest inhabitants 
of Babylonia all they knew. It taught them the use of the letters, and 
the various arts, how to people cities, erect temples, frame laws, measure 
land, sow seed, and reap the harvest — in fact everything that tended 
to promote comfort in daily life. 

' Cf. Jeremias, Theol. Litt-Zeit, 1898, No. 19, p. 507. 


If attention has been directed above to migrations 
southward from North Arabia, it should not be forgotten 
that in much earlier times there were, so far as can be 
ascertained, migrations from Southern Arabia northwards. 
Many scholars believe that Egypt derived its early civili- 
zation from South Arabia. Punt or Pun (thought by many 
to be connected with Poeni) was to the Egyptian the " land 
of the gods," and Petrie, for instance, holds that the 
Egyptians were a branch of the Punite race [History of 
Egypt, I (1895), pp. 12 f.]^ Then, too, according to the 
well-known tradition, the Phoenicians left their ancient 
settlements on the Erythraean Sea (here thought to mean 
the Persian Gulf), and sought new homes on the Syrian 
coast. These Phoenicians were doubtless a branch of the 
Jemenite race. There was, in any case, much in common 
between the two peoples ^. 

The appearance of the Semites on the scene must have 
disturbed the existing civilizations of both Babylonia and 
Southern Arabia, and there must have ensued considerable 
emigration of the original inhabitants. The " Sumerian " 
population of Babylonia seems to have come under Semitic 
influence and Semitic rule earlier than their kindred in 
Jemen. Although to all appearance the Semites settled down 
alongside the Sumerians, there can be no reason to doubt 
that large numbers of the latter would have been forced to 
seek new homes. It is with this migration that we might 

' According to Diod. iii. 3 it was a report amongst the Ethiopians 
that Egypt was a colony of Ethiopia. 

" In religion ; of. J. D^renbourg, Mudes s. I'ipigraphie du Yemen, 1884, 
p. 17; Halevy, Z.D.M.G., XXXII, p. 174; Hommel, Gestirndienst der aiten 
Araber (1901), p. 10. Renan [Hist, des Langues Semit., pp. 298 ff.] thinks of 
"ethnographic, historic, and linguistic" connexions between Jemen and 
Phoenicia. Circumcision was practised in Jemen [cf. Sigismund, Aromata, 
p. 102], and from Herod, ii. 104 it appears that the same custom was 
in vogue amongst the Phoenicians. Petrie [Hist. Mgypt, p. 15] thinks 
that the Phoenicians left their first home on the Persian Gulf, and 
re-settled in South Arabia, whence they passed up the Red Sea and 
crossed into Egypt, ere they went still further north. 


connect the traditional migration of the Phoenicians. The 
migration was in all probability gradual, embracing a con- 
siderable period. Settlements were made in Syria by 
numbers of these Javanites. Others migrated fui-ther north 
and entered the Aegean over Asia Minor. In all prob- 
ability the Delta (since the wanderers would naturally follow 
the path of the Red Sea) furnished a convenient refuge, 
and perhaps, too, they spread along the Libyan coast. 

Early Aegean Civilization. The civilization of Greece 
during the bronze age, or roughly the second Millenium 
B.c.,has come to be known as the "Mycenaean." Exca- 
vations in various parts of the Aegean furnished results 
which led scholars to believe they were dealing with a 
distinctive civilization, and to impose the limits to its 
duration indicated. The situation has been somewhat 
altered by the discoveries made in Crete within the last 
few yeai's ^ Vast palaces and royal villas have been 
brought to light. Much that is suggestive of modern 
civilization has been found. The splendid architecture, 
the highly artistic frescoes, the beautiful work of the gold- 
smith, the bronzosmith, the potter, have revealed to us early 
Aegean civilization in a new and surprising light. Evans 
has shown by his excavations at Knossos that civilization 
there had developed more or less continuously from about 
4000 B.C. This civilization, common to Crete, has been 
called by him Minoan. In it he distinguishes three main 
periods — Early, Middle, and Late. Each of these main 
periods he subdivides into three minor periods. It appears 
to be only the Late Minoan period with which the term 
Mycenaean can be properly associated. In view of the 
Cretan results, it remains to be seen whether further 
excavations in various parts of the Aegean will not furnish 
results showing a development of civilization in the entire 
Aegean parallel to the Cretan. 

* A good account of the Cretan excavations is given by Burrows, 
Discoveries in Crete, 1907. 


That the early civilization of Greece was deeply influenced 
by the gi'eat civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia is now 
generally recognized. Its connexion with Egypt, especially, 
seems to have been of a very close nature ^ This seems 
all the more surprising if one remembers the characteristic 
exclusiveness of the Egyptians. 

As to the "Mycenaeans" themselves, the view mostly 
favoured at the present time is that they were Achaeans ^. 
Attempts have been made to show that they were Phoeni- 
cians ^, or that the Phoenicians in their r61e of intermediaries 
were at least responsible for the spread and development 
of the culture ; but consequent on the Cretan discoveries 
has come the clearer recognition of the lateness of the 
influence of Tyre and Sidon on the Aegean *. 

Greek scholars have been accustomed to look to the north 
as the direction from which came the migrations which had 
so much influence on the population of the Aegean and its 
culture. But what we have learned of the Javanites 
makes us inquire if there is no evidence for an immigration 

' The points of connexion -with Egypt are too numerous to mention 
here. A few of the points of agreement with the civilization of Babylonia 
may be given : altar, garments of priestesses, gold-work, possibly gesture 
of adoration [e. Fritze, Strena HelUgiana, 1900, pp. 78 ff.] ; the clay-tablets, 
art of burning enamelled ware, coloured tile-work, signalling by beacon, 
eleven-stringed lyre, art in general [Lehmann, Babylonims KuUurmissiou, 
1903 : see also Delitzsch, Mehr Licht, 1907, especially pp. 37 ff.] ; in 
astronordy, astrology, philosophy [Winokler, Die Babylonisohe KuUur in 
Besiehung zur Unsrigen, 1902] ; on the connexion between their early 
literatures, cf. Jensen, Z. A., 1902, pp. 125 ff., also Pries, Klio, III, 
pp. 371 ff. 

* There has been considerable variety of opinion on the subject. They 
have been identified with Pelasgians, Carians, Aeolians, Trojan-Phrygians, 
aborigines of Asia Minor, Hellenes from the north, combinations of 
Phrygians and Cretans, and of Phoenicians and Asia Minor Greeks 
[cf. Walters, History qf Ancient Pottery, 1, 1905, p. 275 ; POhlmann, GriechiscJte 
Beschichie, 1906, pp. 15 ff., &c.]. 

' The hypothesis that they were Phoenicians has found notable 
advocates in Helbig, Homer, Epos, 1887, and B<Srard, Pheniciens et POdyssee, 

* Vide Evans, Corolla Numismatiea, 1906, p. 336, and Burrows, Discoveries 
in Crete, 1907, pp. 143 f. 


from the south. We have already drawn attention to the 
early construction of waterways joining the Red Sea and 
the Mediterranean, and the tradition given by Pliny con- 
necting Crete and South Arabia. Still more important 
evidence is now forthcoming. The Cretan excavations have 
shown that the garb of the early Cretans was the loin-cloth. 
The later costumes exhibit a development from this 
garment. The whole subject has been carefully investigated 
by Mackenzie [B. 8. A., XII, pp. 234 ff.], who convincingly 
shows that we have here proof of the southern origin of 
the early Cretans. He would connect them with the pre- 
dynastic population of the Nile valley. He might well 
go a step further and connect them with the natives of 
Punt. The loin-cloth was the garb worn by that race 
[Maspero, L'Orient Glassique, II, pp. 248 f.]. In the 
pictorial representation of Queen Hatshopsewet's expedition 
to Punt, for instance, the prince of this land is depicted 
wearing just such a loin-cloth as the Cretan. Further, 
Zeus^, like the Egyptian Osiris, was connected with the 
Ethiopians [cf. II. i. 423 ; Od. i. 33 ; also Diod. ii. 97]. 

' Is it not possible that the name Zei!r may be a form of the South Ara- 
bian Shems (even although Shems is feminine) or Babylonian Shamash, the 
sun-god, having regard to the passing over of m into »? The v of Zeis 
was no doubt originally consonantal, as it still is in modern Greek. The 
Doric 28et!s would almost seem to be an attempt to reproduce the Semitic 
sh. In the cosmogony of Sanchunjathon (as preserved by Philo of 
Byblos and reproduced in Eusebius, Praeparat. Evangel. , X) Zeus is 
identified with the sun. "These [so. Genos and Genea] had inhabited 
Phoenicia, and as it was very hot, they had stretched forth their hands 
heavenwards to the sun. Him they took for the only lord of the heaven, 
and named him Baalsamen, which is amongst the Phoenicians ' lord of 
the heavens,' amongst the Greeks Zeus " [Jeremias, A. T. A. 0.^, p. 143]. In 
several early. Greek inscriptions Zeus is called Helios [cf. Preller-Boberts, 
Griech. Myth., 1894, p. 136, note i ; Gruppe, Gr. Myth., 1906, pp. 1095 ff.]. 
Pui'ther, in Susa in Elam, de Morgan discovered in 1902 a diorite block 
with a representation thereon of Hammurabi receiving his code of laws 
(which are inscribed on the stele) from Shamash [Winckler, A. 0., IV, 4', 
1906]. Corresponding to this we have the legend of Minos of Crete 
receiving his laws from Zeus. To complete the resemblance we have 
the discovery by the Italian expedition of the early code of Greek laws 


Conclusion. In the first part of the article an attempt 
was made to identify the Javanites and the traditional 
Phoenicians. The references to Javan gathered from all 
quarters seemed to show us that the Javanites occupied in 
early history the place that later traditions have assigned 
to the Phoenicians. Phoenicia, it was argued, was not the 
home of a Semitic-speaking race, nor did it make its 
influence felt in the Mediterranean until comparatively 
late. The deduction, further, was made that either Baby- 
lonia or South Arabia was the early home of the Javanites. 
In the second part, in the notes on Jemen, a short sketch 
has been given of the history of Southern Arabia so far as, 
in the absence of dii-ect historical evidence, such history 
can be inferred. The possibility of regarding South Arabia 
as a centre of culture in antiquity has been briefly con- 
sidered, and an identification of the names Jemen and 
Javan suggested. Special attention was directed to the 
view, widely held, that the early inhabitants of South 
Arabia were of a non-Semitic race. The connexions which 
apparently existed between South Ai-abia and Babylonia, 
Phoenicia, and Egypt have been briefly alluded to. The 
probable connexion of Jemen with the Aegean in pre- 
Homeric times has been referred to in the notes on Aegean 

Taking into account all our evidence, we prefer to think 
of South Arabia as the earliest home of the Javanites. 
There seems to be every reason to believe that it was an 
early centi'e of culture. The incense trade, which had 
there its head quarters, was the means of promoting inter- 
course between the inhabitants of South Arabia and lands 
far distant, and hence was a potent factor in the rise and 
development of civilization in that quarter. It seems quite 
possible that South Babylonia derived the beginnings of 
its earliest (Sumerian) civilization from South Arabia. 

inscribed on the circular wall of the agora at Gortyna [cf. Maraghiannis; 
Antiquites Cretoises, 1907, pi. XLVIII], which would appear to closely 
resemble that of Hammurabi [Drerup, Homer, 1903, pp. 134, 145; 
Burrows, Crete, p. 139]. 


Synchronous with the Semitization of Southern Babylonia 
there could well have been an emigration, no doubt gradual, 
of Javanites to the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean 
was possibly akeady well known to the southern traders. 
In many of the places where they settled there would be 
intermarriage with the natives. The characteristics of 
race, more especially the language [cf. Herod, i. 57, 142], 
would in course of time become modified and altered. 
The effect of their culture on that of the people amongst 
whom they settled would depend on their numbers, for one 
thing, and the conditions of their settlement. In Phoenicia, 
for instance, two Hittite migrations of which we now have 
knowledge [cf. Winckler, Mittheil. d. deutsch. Or. GeseUsch., 
35 (Dec. 1907), p. 48], must have considerably altered the 
character of the people. 

The influence of the South seems to have been most 
marked in the case of Crete. The squatting posture of the 
early Cretans, their loin-cloth garments, the gold-woven 
apparel, their fashion of house-building, &c., all indicate 
their southern origin. The alphabetic signs, also, discovered 
during the recent excavations, show a marked affinity to 
the Libyan, and hence to the South Semitic alphabet. It 
is possible that immediately prior to, and during the 
" Hyksos " domination of Egypt there was a considerable 
commercial intercourse between the Mediterranean and the 
South, in which the Delta played an important part. The 
" Hyksos " invaders, who entered Egypt during the political 
chaos that followed the overthrow of the Xllth Dynasty, 
seem to have been traders, and possessed of considerable 
culture^. It is thus quite probable that at a time when 

' In the quotation from Manetho (our only historical source of in- 
formation on the subject) given by Josephus [c. Apionem, I. xiv] the 
Hyksos are said to be Arabs. It is very doubtful, however, if the words 
Ttvis Si \iyovatv avroiis 'Apaffas ftvm [c. Ap. I. xiv. 9] can be attributed 
to Manetho. In the versions of Manetho's narrative given by Africanus 
[cf. Syncellus 61 A : vide Frag. Hist. Grace. , ed. Mullei-, II, p. 568] and 
Eusebius [cf. Syncellus 61 D : vide 1. c, p. 570] they are said to have been 

VOL. XX. 3 I 


Semitic tribes were pressing down towards Southern 
Arabia many of those in the South sought a new home 
in the Delta. The expulsion of the "Hyksos" caused 
several important changes. The Delta ceased to be the 
halfway house between the Aegean and South Arabia. 
Trade was diverted to the cities of Philistia and Syria, and 
the Mycenaean civilization now began to make its presence 
felt there. As in South Arabia, so in Phoenicia, the 
Semitic language conquered, and in course of time, under 
the hegemonies of Sidon and Tyre, Phoenicia entered on 
her period of greatest prosperity. 

E. Robertson. 

Phoenicians. The nationality of these invaders has, however, given 
rise to considerable diversity of opinion amongst modern scholars. 
Identifications have been suggested with Canaanites, Elamites, Hittites, 
Sumerians [for references see Maapero, V Orient Classigue, II, 1897, p. 55, 
note], Philistines [Lepsius, Aegypt. Chron., I, p. 341], Libyans [Caetoni, 
AnnaZi delf Islam, II, 1907, p. 847], Minaeans allied with other tribes 
from Elam and East Arabia [Ctlaser, Skizze, II, 1890, p. 328]. The 
Hyksos domination probably commenced about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century b. c, and lasted from 100 to 200 years — but all is at 
present subject of controversy. The Hyksos invasion may have been 
the natural outcome of great commercial activity in the Delta, carried 
on by people who were of foreign race. During the Xllth Dynasty 
there were already signs of increased prosperity [cf. Breasted, Hist. 
Egypt, 1906, p. 16]. With the advent of the New Empire we have 
a marked advance [cf. Erman, Aegypten, 1885, pp. 70, 155]. It is scarcely 
correct then to regard the Hyksos period as an age for Egypt of devasta- 
tion and depression. The Hyksos had their head quarters in the Eastern 
Delta. As we have seen, they were Phoenicians according to Manetho. 
From his account of their doings, they seem in any case to have been 
traders [vide Josephus, c. Ap., I. xiv. 4, 8]. Keeping in mind the 
Egyptian contempt of the trader [cf. Herod, ii. 167], we can perhaps 
better understand the significance of the opprobrious epithets the 
Egyptians heaped on the Hyksos, whom they forebore to mention by 
name. Manetho describes them as avSpainoi to -yivos aa-qjxoi [Josephus, 
c. Ap. I. xiv. 3]. The discovery of an alabaster vase lid at Knossos 
bearing the name of Khyan, one of the Hyksos kings [Brit. Sch. Athens. 
VII, p. 65, fig. 21 j suggests that there was intercourse between the Delta 
and Crete at that time. Steindorff, indeed, contends that much that 
appears as new in the art of the New Empire may have been due to 
Mycenaean influence [Arch. Anzeiger {Arch. Jahrb.), 189a, pp. 11 ff.].