Arabia Felix

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Arabia Felix (lit. Happy Arabia; also Greek: Eudaimon Arabia) was the Latin name previously used by geographers to describe the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, a country with an extensive history.[1][2]


The term "Happy Arabia" is a translation of the Latin "Arabia felix." Felix means "fecund, fertile" but also "happy, fortunate, blessed." Arabia Felix was one of three regions into which the Romans divided the Arabian peninsula: Arabia Deserta, Arabia Felix, and Arabia Petraea.


The southwestern corner of the peninsula, enjoying more rainfall, at that time was much greener than the rest of the peninsula and has long enjoyed more productive fields. The high peaks and slopes are capable of supporting significant vegetation and river beds called wadis help make other soil fertile.

In 26 BC Aelius Gallus under Augustus's order led a military expedition to Arabia Felix which ended in the utter defeat of Roman troops.

Part of what led to Arabia Felix's wealth and importance to the ancient world was its near monopoly of the trade in cinnamon and spices, both its native products and imports from India and the Horn of Africa.[3]


  1. ^ Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, Mass., 1972), p. 63.
  2. ^ Graf, D., R. Talbert, S. Gillies, T. Elliott, J. Becker. "Places: 746710 (Arabia Eudaemon)". Pleiades. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ Harding, G Lankester (January–February 1965). "Inside Arabia Felix" (HTML). Saudi Aramco World (Houston, TX) 16 (1): 24–27. Retrieved 2009-07-06.