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Himyarite Kingdom

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𐩢𐩣𐩺𐩧 (Himyaritic)
مملكة حمير (Arabic)
110 BCE–525 CE
The Himyarite Kingdom at its height in 525 AD
The Himyarite Kingdom at its height in 525 AD
Sana'a (from the beginning of the 4th century)[1]
Common languagesḤimyarite
• 275–300 CE
Shammar Yahri'sh
• 390–420 CE
Abu Karib As'ad
• 510s–525 CE
Yusuf Ash'ar Dhu Nuwas
Historical eraAntiquity
• Established
110 BCE
• Disestablished
525 CE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Aksum

The Himyarite Kingdom[b] was a polity in the southern highlands of Yemen, as well as the name of the region which it claimed. Until 110 BCE, it was integrated into the Qatabanian kingdom, afterwards being recognized as an independent kingdom. According to classical sources, their capital was the ancient city of Zafar, relatively near the modern-day city of Sana'a.[1] Himyarite power eventually shifted to Sana'a as the population increased in the fifth century. After the establishment of their kingdom, it was ruled by kings from dhū-Raydān tribe. The kingdom was named Raydān.[4]

The kingdom conquered neighbouring Saba' in c. 25 BCE (for the first time), Qataban in c. 200 CE, and Haḍramaut c. 300 CE. Its political fortunes relative to Saba' changed frequently until it finally conquered the Sabaean Kingdom around 280.[5] With successive invasion and Arabization, the kingdom collapsed in the early sixth century, as the Kingdom of Aksum conquered it in 530 CE.[6][7]

The Himyarites originally worshiped most of the South-Arabian pantheon, including Wadd, ʿAthtar, 'Amm and Almaqah. Since at least the reign of Malkikarib Yuhamin (c. 375–400 CE), Judaism was adopted as the de facto state religion. The religion may have been adopted to some extent as much as two centuries earlier, but inscriptions to polytheistic deities ceased after this date. It was embraced initially by the upper classes, and possibly a large proportion of the general population over time.[4] Native Christian kings ruled Himyar in 500 CE until 521–522 CE as well, Christianity itself became the main religion after the Aksumite conquest in 530 CE.[8][9][10]

Descendants of the Himyarites, namely the aristocratic families of Dhu'l-Kala and Dhu Asbah, played a prominent role in early Islamic Syria. They led the South Arabian contingents of the Muslim army during the conquest of Homs in 638 and contributed to making Homs a center for South Arabian settlement, culture and political power. Their chiefs supported Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan against Caliph Ali in the First Muslim Civil War (656–661). Their influence waned with their defeat at the Battle of Marj Rahit against the Quda'a confederation and the Umayyad caliph Marwan I in 684 and practically diminished with the death of their leader at the Battle of Khazir in 686. Nonetheless, members of the Dhu'l-Kala and Dhu Asbah played important roles at different times through the remainder of Umayyad rule (661–750) as governors, commanders, scholars, and pietists.


The Himyarite Kingdom was a confederation of tribes, several inscriptions and monumental buildings survive of this period which shows evidence of a wealthy, sophisticated, relatively literate society that had a rich variety of local gods and religions. Trade was already well established by the 3rd century AD, with Yemen supplying the Roman Empire with frankincense and myrrh. Further, the late 1st century AD writer Pliny the Elder mentioned that the kingdom was one of "the richest nations in the world". It was a hub of international trade, linking the Mediterranean, the Middle East and India.[11]

The trade linking East Africa with the Mediterranean world largely consisted of exporting ivory from Africa to be sold in the Roman Empire. Ships from Ḥimyar regularly travelled the East African coast, and the state also exerted a large amount of influence both cultural, religious and political over the trading cities of East Africa whilst the cities of East Africa remained independent. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes the trading empire of Himyar and its ruler "Charibael" (probably Karab'il Watar Yuhan'em II), who is said to have been on friendly terms with Rome:

"23. And after nine days more there is Saphar, the metropolis, in which lives Charibael, lawful king of two tribes, the Homerites and those living next to them, called the Sabaites; through continual embassies and gifts, he is a friend of the Emperors."

Early period

The "Homerite Kingdom" is described in the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula in the 1st century Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

During this period, the Kingdom of Ḥimyar conquered the kingdoms of Saba' and Qataban and took Raydan/Zafar for its capital instead of Ma'rib; therefore, they have been called Dhu Raydan (ذو ريدان). In the early 2nd century AD Saba' and Qataban split from the Kingdom of Ḥimyar; yet in a few decades Qataban was conquered by Hadhramaut (conquered in its turn by Ḥimyar in the 4th century), whereas Saba' was finally conquered by Ḥimyar in the late 3rd century.[13]

Bronze statue of Dhamarʿalīy Yuhbabirr "King of Saba, Dhu Raydan, Hadhramawt and Yamnat" (Himyarite Kingdom) 170–180 AD.

Ẓafār's ruins cover scattered over 120 hectare on Mudawwar Mountain 10 km north-north-west of the town of Yarim.[14] Early, Empire and Late/Post art periods have been identified.[15] Around the same time in the north a Himyar General by the name of Nuh Ifriqis led an expedition to Barbaria and took control of eastern ports in modern-day Djibouti.[16] Other Himyarite generals went as far as invading Rhapta in modern-day Mozambique.[17]

By the 4th century, the rich Himyarite export of incense, which had once supplied pagan Rome in its religious offerings, now began to wane with the Christianization of Rome, contributing to a collapse in the local economy.[11]

Jewish monarchy


By 300, the Himyarite Kingdom had vanquished other political units (including the Saba, Qataban, and Hadrawat kingdoms) and became the ruling power of southern Arabia, uniting the region for the first time. In the mid- to late-fourth century, Himyar or at least its ruling class had adopted Judaism, having transitioned from a polytheistic practice.[18] These events are chronicled by the Book of the Himyarites and the fifth-century Ecclessiastical History of the Anomean Philostorgius. Such sources implicate the motive for conversion as a wish on the part of the Himyarite rulers to distance themselves from the Byzantine Empire which had tried to convert them to Christianity. This also took place several decades after the Kingdom of Aksum converted to Christianity in 328. No changes occurred in the people's script, calendar, or language (unlike at Aksum after its conversion).[8] The conversion from polytheism and the institutionalization of Judaism as the official religion is credited in these sources to Malkīkarib Yuha’min (r. c. 375–400). According to traditional Islamic sources, the conversion took place under his son, Abu Karib (r. c. 400–445).[19] It is in the mid-fourth century that inscriptions suddenly transition from polytheistic invocations to ones mentioning the high god Rahmanan, "the Lord of Heaven" or "Lord of Heaven and Earth".[20][9] A Sabaic inscription dating to this time, titled Ja 856 (or Fa 60) describes the replacement of a polytheistic temple dedicated to the god al-Maqah with a mikrāb (which might be the equivalent of a synagogue or an original form of organization local to Himyarite Judaism[21]). The evidence suggests a sharp break with polytheism, coinciding with the sudden appearance of Jewish and Aramaic words (‘ālam/world, baraka/bless, haymanōt/guarantee, kanīsat/meeting hall) and personal names (Yṣḥq/Isaac, Yhwd’/Juda), Yws’f/Joseph).[19] Nevertheless, the nature of the Judaism practiced by the rulers is not clear[22] and the Jewish nature of the kings rule was not frequently made explicit.[23]

Conversion of king Abu Karib to Judaism

According to Arabian legends and folklore, king Abu Karib (r. 390–420) was the first Jewish convert. His conversion is thought to have followed a military expedition into northern Arabia in an effort to eliminate Byzantine influence, who had sought to expand their influence in the peninsula.[24] He reached and seized Yathrib (Medina) and there installed his son as governor. Later, he would learn that his son was killed, and so he returned to siege the city, during which the Jewish population fought against him. Abu Karib fell ill during the siege, but two Jewish scholars named Ka'b and As'ad were able to restore him to health. They also convinced him to lift the siege and make peace; afterwards he and his army converted. When he returned home, he brought the scholars back with him into the capital where he was able to convince the population to also convert.[25] After his eventual death, it was reported that a pagan, Dhū-Shanatir, seized the throne as his children he left to rule were all still minors.[24]

Historically, however, Judaism itself was introduced during the reign of Malkikarib Yuhamin, the father of Abu Karib.[26]

The rise of Dhu Nuwas and the persecution of Christians in the Himyarite realms

In 470, the Himyarite king Sharhabil Yakkuf[27] ordered the execution of a Christian priest named Azqir for erecting a chapel with a cross in the city of Najran.[28]

By the year 500, during the rule of the Jewish monarch Marthad'ilan Yu'nim (c. 400–502) the kingdom of Himyar exercised control over much of the Arabian peninsula.[29] It was around this time that the Kingdom of Aksum invaded the peninsula, overthrowing the Himyarite king and installing in his place the native Christian king, Ma'dikarib Ya'fur.[30][31][32] A Himyarite prince and hardline follower of Judaism, Dhu Nuwas (who had attempted to overthrow the dynasty several years earlier), took power after Ma'dikarib Ya'fur had died via a coup d'état, assuming authority after killing the Aksumite garrison in Zafār. He proceeded to engage the Ethiopian guards, and their Christian allies in the Tihāma coastal lowlands facing Abyssinia. After taking the port of Mukhawān, where he burnt down the local church, he advanced south as far as the fortress of Maddabān overlooking the Bab-el-Mandeb, where he expected Kaleb Ella Aṣbeḥa to land his fleet.[20] The campaign eventually killed between 11,500 and 14,000, and took a similar number of prisoners.[29] Mukhawān became his base, while he dispatched one of his generals, a Jewish prince named Sharaḥ'īl Yaqbul dhu Yaz'an, against Najrān, a predominantly Christian oasis, with a good number of Jews, who had supported with troops his earlier rebellion, but refused to recognize his authority after the massacre of the Aksumite garrison. The general blocked the caravan route connecting Najrān with Eastern Arabia.[20]

The end of Jewish rule over Himyar

Dhu Nuwas went on to try combatting the Christianizing influence from the Kingdom of Aksum militarily and massacred the Christian community of Najran,[33][34][35][36] which is in part documented by an inscription made by Sarah'il Yaqbul-Yaz'an, Ja 1028, which describes the burning of a church and slaughtering of Abyssinians (Ethiopian Christians), claiming thousands of deaths and prisoners. These events are also discussed in several contemporary Christian sources: in the writings of Procopius, Cosmas Indicopleustes, John Malalas, and Jacob of Serugh. Soon afterwards, John of Ephesus (d. 588) related a letter from another contemporary, Mar Simeon, directed to Abbot von Gabula about the events. In addition, an anonymous author produced the Book of the Himyarites, a sixth-century Syriac chronicle of the persecution and martyrdom of the Christians of Najran. This event to a significant counterattack by the Ethiopian kingdom, leading to the conquest of Himyar in 525–530 and the ultimate defeat and deposition of Dhu Nuwas. This signified the end of the Jewish leadership of southern Arabia,[37] and Kaleb appointed a Christian Himyarite, Sumyafa Ashwa, as his viceroy and vassal ruler of Himyar.[38]

Aksumite-Sasanian Wars and the Sasanian conquest of Yemen

The Aksumite general, Abraha, eventually deposed Sumyafa Ashwa and took power, becoming the new ruler of Himyar.[38] After Abraha's death, his son Masruq ibn Abraha continued the Aksumite vice-royalty in Yemen, resuming payment of tribute to the Aksumites. However, his maternal brother Ma'adi Yakrib revolted.

After being denied by Justinian, Ma'adi Yakrib sought help from Khosrow I, the Sassanid Persian Emperor, thus triggering the Aksumite–Persian wars. Khosrow I sent a small fleet and army under Persian military commander Wahrez to depose the king of Yemen. The war culminated with the Siege of Sana'a, capital of Aksumite Yemen. Following the capture of Sanaʽa by Sasanian forces, Wahrez placed Ma'adi Yakrib on the throne of Himyar as a vassal of the Sasanian Persian Empire.[39]

In 575 or 578, the war resumed again, after Ma'adi Yakrib was killed by Aksumites servants. Wahrez led another army of 8000, ending Axum overlordship on Yemen. Subsequently, Yemen was annexed by the Sasanian Empire as a province, and Wahrez was installed as its direct governor by the Sasanian emperor Khosrow I.[39] Greater Yemen remained under firm Sasanian control until the rise of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the early 7th century.


Polytheistic period

There is evidence prior to the fourth century that the solar goddess Shams was especially favoured in Himyar, being the national goddess and possibly an ancestral deity.[40][41][42][43]

Jewish period

During the fourth century onwards after the Himyarite kingdom (or at least its ruling class) converted to Judaism, or a Jewish-inflected monotheism, references to pagan gods disappeared from royal inscriptions and texts on public buildings, and were replaced by references to a single deity in official texts. Inscriptions in the Sabean language, and sometimes Hebrew, called this deity Rahmanan (The Merciful), “Lord of the Heavens and Earth,” the “God of Israel” and “Lord of the Jews”. Prayers invoking Rahman's blessings on the “people of Israel” in monumental inscriptions often ended with the Hebrew words shalom and amen.[44]

There is scanter material regarding the religious affiliations of the locals. All inscriptions are monotheistic, but the religious identity of their authors is not always explicit. However, there is evidence for the practice of Judaism among locals as well. The name "Israel" appears in four inscriptions and replaces the earlier term shaʿb/community:[45] one inscription from the fifth century mentions the "God of Israel".[46] Three inscriptions mention the "God of the Jews". MAFRAY-Ḥaṣī 1, describes the construction of a graveyard specifically for the Jewish community.[47] There is a Hebrew inscription known as DJE 23 from the village of Bayt Hadir, 15 km east of Sanaa. It lists the mishmarot ("guards"), enumerating the twenty-four Priestly families (and their place of residence in Galilee) appointed to protect the Solomon's Temple after the return of the Jews following the Babylonian exile. It is also written in biblical as opposed to Aramaic orthography.[48] Mentions of synagogues, indicating the formal organization of Jews in Southern Arabia, are present in a fourth-century Sabaic inscription and a late sixth century Greek inscription from the port of Qāniʾ which uses the phrase eis Theos to refer to God and mentions a hagios topos, a phrase typically connoting a synagogue.[49][50] Additional evidence is also known.[51]

Christian Julien Robin argues that the epigraphic evidence argues against viewing the Judaism of Himyar as rabbinic. This is based on the absence of belief in the afterlife (shared by the Sadducees), the predominant use of a local language (Sabaic) as opposed to Hebrew, and the priestly emphasis of DJE 23, Himyarite Judaism may have been more "Priestly" than "Rabbinic".[52] However, Iwona Gajda interprets DJE 23 as evidence for the presence of rabbinic Judaism, and further points to evidence that the loanwords present in Ḥasī 1 indicate that its author was strongly familiar with Jewish law.[53]

Unfortunately, Jewish literary texts outside of Yemen do not discuss the Jewish community there.[54] However, epigraphs from Palestine and Jordan do reflect communication and knowledge from the Yemenite Jewish community:

  • An inscription from Palestine using the Sabaic script (a South Arabian script) is known.
  • A Greek inscription from the village of Beit She'arim mentions the burial of a "Himyarite".
  • A fifth-century Hebrew epitaph from Zoara, Jordan describes an individual named Ywsh br ʾWfy who "died in Ẓafār, the land of the Ḥimyarites".

These communication routes may have also transferred rabbinic and other Jewish teachings.[55]

Christian period

During the Ethiopian Christian period, Christianity appears to have become the official religion.[56] Many churches began to be built.[57] For example, the inscription RIÉ 191, discovered in Axum, describes the construction of a church off the coast of Yemen. The Marib Dam inscription from 548 mentions a priest, a monastery, and an abbot of that monastery.[10] As in the Himyarite period, Christian inscriptions continue to refer to the monotheistic deity using the name Rahmanan, but now these inscriptions are accompanied with crosses and references to Christ as the Messiah and the Holy Spirit. For example, one (damaged) inscription, as for example in Ist 7608 bis. Another extensive inscription, CIH 541, documents Abraha sponsoring the construction of a church at Marib, besides invoking/mentioning the Messiah, Spirit, and celebrations hosted by a priest at another church. Abraha celebrated the construction of the dam by holding mass in the city church and inviting ambassadors from Rome and Persia. Later Islamic historiography also ascribes to Abraha the construction of a church at Sanaa. Abraha's inscriptions bear a relatively low Christology, perhaps meant to assuage the Jewish population, and their formulae resemble descriptions of Jesus in the Quran.[58] (The Jabal Dabub inscription is another South Arabian Christian graffito dating to the sixth century and containing a pre-Islamic variant of the Basmala.[59]) Whereas Abraha's predecessor more explicitly denoted Jesus as the Son of Rahmanan and as "Victor" (corresponding to Aksumite description under Kaleb of Axum), and made use of Trinitarian formulae, Abraha began to only describe Jesus as God's "Messiah" (but not Son) and, in aligning himself more closely with Syriac Christianity, replaced Aksumite Christian with Syriac loanwords.[56] The use of the phrase "Rahmanan and his son Christ the conqueror" in inscriptions from this time owes to the use of the Syriac loanword Masīḥ.[60] More broadly, the separation of Abraha's Himyar from the Akumsite kingdom corresponded to its greater alignment with the Christianity espoused in Antioch and Syria. Inscriptions from this region disappear after 560.[56] Abraha's influence would end up extending across the regions he conquered, including regions of eastern Arabia, central Arabia, Medina in the Hejaz, and an unidentified site called Gzm.[61]


As the Byzantines were usually equipped with armored horses, Indian fenestrated battle axe, round shield, spear, and scale or mail armor, Paul Yule argued that the Himyarite soldiers were armed in comparable fashion, if not as consistently.[62]


Himyarite inscription of King Dhu Nuwas left near Najran, Saudi Arabia. Dated to the 6th century AD

It is a matter of debate whether the Ṣayhadic Himyarite language was spoken in the south-western Arabian peninsula until the 10th century.[63] The few 'Himyarite' texts seem to be rhymed.

List of rulers

Himyarite dynasties after the coming of Islam

After the spread of Islam in Yemen, Himyarite noble families were able to re-establish control over parts of Yemen.

Many Himyarites participated in the Muslim conquest of Syria in the 630s and, along with other South Arabian tribes, settled in city of Homs after its capture in 637.[64] The city became the center of these tribes in Islamic Syria, which served as the center of the Caliphate during Umayyad rule (661–750).[65] The two principal Himyarite families that established themselves in Homs were the Dhu Asbah and Dhu'l-Kala.[66] The latter had been the most influential family in South Arabia before the advent of Islam there.[67]

Among the leaders of the conquering Muslim troops was the Himyarite prince Samayfa ibn Nakur of the Dhu'l-Kala.[67] The Asbah chief Kurayb ibn Abraha Abu Rishdin led the Himyar of Homs, but he later moved to Egypt with most of the Dhu Asbah. Members of that family, Abraha ibn Sabbah and his son Abu Shamir, had participated in the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640–641.[66] Samayfa was another dominant figure of the city and was referred to in the early Muslim sources as the "king of Himyar".[67] During the governorship of Syria by Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan (640s–661), the Himyarites supported him against Caliph Ali (r. 656–661) during the First Muslim Civil War.[64] At the Battle of Siffin with Ali in 657, Samayfa led the Homs contingent in Mu'awiya's army and was slain. He was succeeded by his son Shurahbil as the power-broker of the Homs tribesmen.[68]

According to the historian Werner Caskel, the Himyar and the other South Arabian tribes of Homs, including the Hamdan, formed a confederation called after their supposed ancestor Qahtan in opposition to the Quda'a confederation, whose constituent tribes had long resided in Syria before the advent of Islam. To the chagrin of the South Arabians in Homs and the Qays tribes of northern Syria, the Quda'a, led by the Banu Kalb tribe, held the supreme position among the tribal groups in the courts of the first Umayyad caliphs Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan (r. 661–680) and Yazid I (r. 680–683).[69] With the strong presence of the Himyarite elite and South Arabian tribesmen in Homs, their scholars there developed and propagated an ideology of Qahtanite preeminence that sought to compete with the elite groups of Islam, including the Quraysh, whose members held the office of the caliph. To that end, they composed and transmitted narratives of the pre-Islamic South Arabian kingdoms, including war stories of these kings' far-flung conquests and heroics and tales of their wealth.[70]

After the deaths of Yazid I and his son and successor Mu'awiya II in 683 and 684, respectively, the Qahtan and the Qays backed the rival caliphate of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who was based in Mecca, while the Quda'a supported the candidacy of the Umayyad Marwan I.[71] Kurayb ibn Abraha also backed Ibn al-Zubayr in Egypt.[66] The Qahtan joined Ibn al-Zubayr's representative in Syria, Dahhak ibn Qays al-Fihri, in the Battle of Marj Rahit against Marwan and the Quda'a in 684. The latter decisively won that battle. Afterward, Dahhak's commander in Homs, Nu'man ibn Bashir al-Ansari, was tracked down and killed by the Dhu'l-Kala. A member of the family who had served as the head of Yazid I's shurta (select troops), Khalid ibn Ma'dan ibn Abi Karib, decapitated Nu'man and sent his head to Marwan I.[64] Not long after Marj Rahit, Qahtan and Quda'a reconciled under unclear circumstances and formed the super-tribal group of the Yaman in alliance against the Qays.[72][c] The resulting Qays–Yaman rivalry for political power and privilege persisted through the remainder of Umayyad rule.

In 686 Shurahbil ibn Dhi'l-Kala, the leader of the Himyar in Syria, was slain commanding his troops in the Umayyad army at the Battle of Khazir.[73] As a consequence, the Himyar in Homs "sank to military insignificance", according to the historian Wilferd Madelung.[74] Khalid ibn Ma'dan maintained his position of prestige with the Umayyad dynasty and Syrian Muslim society in general, having shifted to a new role as a prominent Muslim scholar.[64] Kurayb's cousin Ayyub ibn Shurahbil ibn Sabbah served as the governor of Egypt under Caliph Umar II (r. 717–720),[66] while a Dhu'l-Kala member, Imran ibn al-Nu'man, served as the Caliph's governor of Sind.[75]

During the Third Muslim Civil War, the Dhu Asbah tribesmen who had remained in South Arabia are recorded among the supporters of the Kharijite leader Abu Hamza.[76] A possible member of the family in Syria, Nadr ibn Yarim, led a summertime military expedition against the Byzantines under the Abbasid caliph al-Saffah (r. 750–754).[75]

Ancestral divisions of Himyar

Coin of the Himyarite Kingdom, southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in which ships passing between Egypt and India would stop. This is an imitation of a coin of Augustus. 1st Century CE.

Kahlan septs emigrated from Yemen to dwell in the different parts of the Arabian Peninsula prior to the Great Flood (Sail Al-‘Arim of Marib Dam), due to the failure of trade under the Roman pressure and domain on both sea and land trade routes following Roman occupation of Egypt and Syria.

Naturally enough, the competition between Kahlan and Ḥimyar led to the evacuation of the first and the settlement of the second in Yemen.

The emigrating septs of Kahlan can be divided into four groups:

  • Azd: Who, under the leadership of ‘Imrān bin ‘Amr Muzaiqbā’, wandered in Yemen, sent pioneers and finally headed northwards. Details of their emigration can be summed up as follows:
    • Tha‘labah bin ‘Amr left his tribe Al-Azd for Ḥijāz and dwelt between Tha‘labiyah and Dhī Qār. When he gained strength, he headed for Madīnah where he stayed. Of his seed are Aws and Khazraj, sons of Haritha bin Tha‘labah.
    • Haritha bin ‘Amr, known as Khuzā‘ah, wandered with his people in Hijaz until they came to Mar Az-Zahran. They conquered the Ḥaram, and settled in Makkah after having driven away its people, the tribe of Jurhum.
    • ‘Imrān bin ‘Amr and his folks went to ‘Oman where they established the tribe of Azd whose children inhabited Tihama and were known as Azd-of-Shanu’a.
    • Jafna bin ‘Amr and his family, headed for Syria where he settled and initiated the kingdom of Ghassan who was so named after a spring of water, in Ḥijāz, where they stopped on their way to Syria.
  • Lakhm and Judham: Of whom was Nasr bin Rabi‘a, father of Manadhira, Kings of al-Hirah.
  • Banū Ṭayy: Who also emigrated northwards to settle by the so- called Aja and Salma Mountains which were consequently named as Tai’ Mountains. The tribe later became the tribe of Shammar.
  • Kinda: Who dwelt in Bahrain but were expelled to Hadramout and Najd where they instituted a powerful government but not for long, for the whole tribe soon faded away.

Another tribe of Himyar, known as Banū Quḑā'ah, also left Yemen and dwelt in Samāwah on the borders of Iraq.

However, it is estimated that the majority of the Ḥimyar Christian royalty migrated into Jordan, Al-Karak, where initially they were known as Banū Ḥimyar (Sons of Ḥimyar). Many later on moved to central Jordan to settle in Madaba under the family name of Al-Hamarneh (pop 12,000, est. 2010)[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Although it may possibly have been adopted earlier.
  2. ^ (Arabic: مملكة حِمْيَر, romanizedMamlakat Ḥimyar, Hebrew: ממלכת חִמְיָר) or Himyar (Arabic: حِمْيَر, Ḥimyar; Ṣayhadic: 𐩢𐩣𐩺𐩧𐩣, Ḥmyrm) historically referred to as the Homerite Kingdom by the Greeks and the Romans (its subjects being called Homeritae)
  3. ^ In forming the pact, the Kalb and Quda'a changed their genealogical descent to Himyar from the north Arabian tribe of Ma'add.[72]


  1. ^ a b "Encyclopædia Britannica, Himyar". Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  2. ^ "GREECE. PALESTINE. HIMYARITES. Taran Yaub, ca. 200 A.D. … | Drouot.com". drouot.com.
  3. ^ "Greek Coinage; Arabia Felix Himyarites, 1st Century AD, NGC VF, Store #191510". Integrity Coin Store.
  4. ^ a b Jérémie Schiettecatte. Himyar. Roger S. Bagnall; Kai Brodersen; Craige B. Champion; Andrew Erskine; Sabine R. Huebner. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, John Wiley & Sons, 2017, 9781444338386.ff10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah30219ff. ffhalshs-01585072ff
  5. ^ See, e.g., Bafaqih 1990.
  6. ^ Playfair, Col (1867). "On the Himyaritic Inscriptions Lately brought to England from Southern Arabia". Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London. 5: 174–177. doi:10.2307/3014224. JSTOR 3014224.
  7. ^ Miller 2024, p. 56–58.
  8. ^ a b Christian Julien Robin, "Arabia and Ethiopia," in Scott Johnson (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity, Oxford University Press 2012 pp.247–333, p.279.
  9. ^ a b Robin, Christian Julien (2021). "Judaism in pre-Islamic Arabia". In Ackerman-Lieberman, Phillip Isaac (ed.). The Cambridge history of Judaism. Cambridge: Cambridge university press. pp. 297–298. ISBN 978-0-521-51717-1.
  10. ^ a b Robin, Christian Julien (2015). "Ḥimyar, Aksūm, and Arabia Deserta in Late Antiquity: The Epigraphic Evidence". In Fisher, Greg (ed.). Arabs and empires before Islam. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 164–167. ISBN 978-0-19-965452-9.
  11. ^ a b MacGregor, Neil (6 October 2011). A History of the World in 100 Objects. Penguin UK. pp. 287–291. ISBN 978-0-14-196683-0. Archived from the original on 11 November 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Source". Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  13. ^ Korotayev A. Pre-Islamic Yemen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1996 Archived 16 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
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