Abiria

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Abiria was a region in Sindh, Pakistan described by Classical authors, mainly Ptolemy. It covers the area east of the Indus River Delta and is apparently named for the Abhira[1][2] people, presumably in residence of the region.

The 1st century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes Abiria as the territory east of the Indus delta and north of Surastrene (modern Saurashtra) the spot most readily attained by the phonicians, where the products of the north, gold and bdellium, and those of the south, such as sandalwood, would naturally be collected for common exploration.

Ptolemy (vii. 1, fol. 172) embraces the district on the north-west coast of India, between the present Bombay, Surat, Gujrat, Kutch and the Indus River Delta, under the name of Indo-Scythians;the south-easterly portion (Gujrat, with Surat and the Gulf of Cambay) he calls Syrastrene, i.e. Saurastra of the Indians; north-west of that is the Indus delta Patalene, and beyond that is Abiria (not Sibiria according to Ptolemy)[3] the Abhira of Indian geography.[4] And in the Periplus mar. Erythr. ed. Huds. p . 24, neither Iberia nor Siberia should be the reading, but ' Abnpla, whose level district Saurastra and whose metropolis Minnagara are mentioned by the author of the Periplus as the locality, where a great abundance of precious commodities were gathered, prior to their being sent to Barygaza, the great Indian emporium.

Even up to the present day a great Ahir tribe is found in that region. The word had originally the meaning cow-herd, and agreed well with the statement made by Arrian and Ptolemy, that the ancient Indo-Scythians were herdsmen. This Abhira people, together with many other tribes of the same stock, originally settled in the northern Punjab.[5] but wandered southward as they gradually adopted peaceful habits.[6][7]

"Beyond the gulf of Baraca is that of Barygaza and the coast of the country of Ariaca, which is the beginning of the Kingdom of Nambanus and of all India. That part of it lying inland and adjoining Scythia is calledḭ Abiria, but the coast is called Syrastrene." Periplus, Chap. 41[8]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=FoT6gPrbTp8C&pg=PA18&dq=abiria+of+ptolemy&hl=en&ei=_0wkTbjwMsGBlAfovbWNAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=abiria%20of%20ptolemy&f=false
  2. ^ The tribes and castes of Bombay, Volume 1 By Reginald Edward Enthoven-page-18
  3. ^ Chr. Lassen, zur Gesch. der griechish. und indokythisch.Konige, Bonn 1838,p.269.,
  4. ^ Lassen, De Pentapotamia Indica, Bonn 1827, pp.26,27.
  5. ^ Chr.Lassen, Beitrage zur kunde des indischen Alierthums. aus dem Mahabharata, in Zeitschrift fur die kunde des Morgenlandes, Gottimg. 1840, vol. iii.p. 197.:
  6. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=CqYLAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA112&lpg=PA112&dq=iberia+abhira&source=bl&ots=diZ-PU4MMB&sig=GBqmCYv2gR5jobihhJZ0VAM55QI&hl=en&ei=L2slTfrANMys8Aas_dT9AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=iberia%20abhira&f=false
  7. ^ The comparative geography of Palestine and the Sinaitic Peninsula, Volume 1 By Carl Ritter-page-112
  8. ^ Source