Jordània, dia 4: visita a Petra, un somni fet realitat (31 de desembre de 2017) (IV)


Pel que fa als nabateus, a l’entrada en anglès de viquipèdia és a on es desgrana més informació (https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabateus ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataean_Kingdom ):” The Nabataeans, also Nabateans (/ˌnæbəˈtiːənz/Arabicالأنباط‎ al-ʾAnbāṭ , compare Ancient Greek: Ναβαταῖος, LatinNabataeus), were an Arab people who inhabited northern Arabia and the Southern Levant. Their settlements, most prominently the assumed capital city of Raqmu, now called Petra,  gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Arabia and Syria, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Their loosely controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases that they controlled, where agriculture was intensively practiced in limited areas, and on the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert. Trajan conquered the Nabataean kingdom, annexing it to the Roman Empire, where their individual culture, easily identified by their characteristic finely potted painted ceramics, was adopted into the larger Greco-Roman culture. They were later converted to Christianity. Jane Taylor, a writer, describes them as "one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world".
The Nabataeans were one among several nomadic tribes that roamed the Arabian Desert, moving with their herds to wherever they could find pasture and water. These nomads became familiar with their area as seasons passed, and they struggled to survive during bad years when seasonal rainfall diminished. Although the Nabataeans were initially embedded in Aramaic culture, theories about them having Aramean roots are rejected by modern scholars. Instead; historical, religious and linguistic evidence confirm that they are a northern Arabian tribe.
The precise origin of this specific tribe of Arab nomads remains uncertain. One hypothesis locates their original homeland in today's Yemen, in the south-west of the Arabian peninsula; however, their deities, language and script share nothing with those of southern Arabia. Another hypothesis argues that they came from the eastern coast of the Peninsula. The suggestion that they came from Hejaz area is considered to be more convincing, as they share many deities with the ancient people there, and "nbtw", the root consonant of the tribe's name, is found in the early Semitic languages of Hejaz.
Similarities between late Nabataean Arabic dialect and the ones found in Mesopotamia during the Neo-Assyrian period, and the fact that a group with the name of "Nabatu" is listed by the Assyrians as one of several rebellious Arab tribes in the region, suggests a connection between the two. The Nabataeans might have originated from there and migrated west between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE into northwestern Arabia and much of what is now modern-day Jordan.
Nabataeans have been falsely associated with other groups of people. A people called the "Nabaiti" which were defeated by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal and described to have lived "in a far off desert where there are no wild animals and not even the birds build their nests", were associated by some with the Nabataeans due to the temptation to link their similar names and images. One claim by Jane Taylor alleges a misconception in their identification with the Nebaioth of the Hebrew Bible, the descendants of IshmaelAbraham's son.
Unlike the rest of the Arabian tribes, the Nabataeans later emerged as vital players in the region during their times of prosperity. However, they later faded and were forgotten. The brief Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews that began in 586 BCE opened a minor power vacuum in Judah (prior to the Judaeans' return under the Persian King, Cyrus the Great), and as Edomites moved into open Judaean grazing lands, Nabataean inscriptions began to be left in Edomite territory. The first definite appearance was in 312/311 BCE, when they were attacked at Sela or perhaps Petra without success by Antigonus I's officer Athenaeus as part of the Third War of the Diadochi; at that time Hieronymus of Cardia, a Seleucid officer, mentioned the Nabataeans in a battle report. About 50 BCE, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus cited Hieronymus in his report, and added the following: "Just as the Seleucids had tried to subdue them, so the Romans made several attempts to get their hands on that lucrative trade."[
The Nabataeans had already some tincture of foreign culture when they first appear in history. That culture was Aramaic; they wrote a letter to Antigonus in Syria cletters, and Aramaic continued to be the language of their coins and inscriptions when the tribe grew into a kingdom, and profited by the decay of the Seleucids to extend its borders northward over the more fertile country east of the Jordan river. They occupied Hauran, and in about 85 BCE their king Aretas III became lord of Damascus and Coele-Syria. Proper names on their inscriptions suggest that they were ethnically Arabs who had come under Aramaic influence. Starcky identifies the Nabatu of southern Arabia (Pre-Khalan migration) as their ancestors. However different groups amongst the Nabataeans wrote their names in slightly different ways, consequently archaeologists are reluctant to say that they were all the same tribe, or that any one group is the original Nabataeans.
Many examples of graffiti and inscriptions—largely of names and greetings—document the area of Nabataean culture, which extended as far north as the north end of the Dead Sea, and testify to widespread literacy; but except for a few letters no Nabataean literature has survived, nor was any noted in antiquity, and the temples bear no inscriptions. Onomastic analysis has suggested that Nabataean culture may have had multiple influences. Classical references to the Nabataeans begin with Diodorus Siculus; they suggest that the Nabataeans' trade routes and the origins of their goods were regarded as trade secrets, and disguised in tales that should have strained outsiders' credulity. Diodorus Siculus (book II) described them as a strong tribe of some 10,000 warriors, pre-eminent among the nomads of Arabia, eschewing agriculture, fixed houses, and the use of wine, but adding to pastoral pursuits a profitable trade with the seaports in frankincensemyrrh and spices from Arabia Felix (today's Yemen), as well as a trade with Egypt in bitumen from the Dead Sea. Their arid country was their best safeguard, for the bottle-shaped cisterns for rain-water which they excavated in the rocky or clay-rich soil were carefully concealed from invaders.
The extent of Nabataean trade resulted in cross-cultural influences that reached as far as the Red Sea coast of southern Arabia. The gods worshipped at Petra were notably Dushara and al-‘Uzzá. The Nabataeans used to represent their gods as featureless pillars or blocks. Their most common monuments to the gods, commonly known as "god blocks", involved cutting away the whole top of a hill or cliff face so as to leave only a block behind. However, the Nabataeans became so influenced by other cultures such as those of Greece and Rome that their gods eventually became anthropomorphic and were represented with human features.
(Continuarà)
(La fotografia és del Petra)

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