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Ancient North Arabian-Nabataean bilingual inscriptions from southern Jordan

Hani Hayajneh
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies
Vol. 39, Papers from the forty-second meeting of the Seminar for Arabian Studies held in London, 24-26 July 2008 (2009), pp. 203-222
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41223981
Page Count: 20
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Ancient North Arabian-Nabataean bilingual inscriptions from southern Jordan
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Abstract

The present paper studies eight Ancient North Arabian (ANA) graffiti of the Thamudic E (Ḥismaic) type which concur in their contents with some accompanying Nabataean texts. The corpus is from the Ḥismā region of southern Jordan. The texts provide further evidence of the bilingual and bi-scribal tradition that seems to have existed in the Ḥismā during the pre-Islamic period. Each inscription is treated philologically. The linguistic aspects that distinguish the ANA and Nabataean versions are highlighted, especially the use of the definite article ʾl-in Nabataean and its corresponding absence in ANA. One text also shows that the Nabataean lexeme ṣr was used to express its ANA counterpart ḥṭṭ. An excursus appended to this paper tackles similar ANANabataean bilingual texts from neighbouring regions, including eastern and northern Jordan and southern Syria. Moreover, this paper provides insights into the cultural background of the authors of these bilingual texts.

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