Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































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The country of the Nabataei, of which Petra was the chief town, is well
characterized by Diodorus,[Diod. Sic.l - Page 8
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The Country Of The Nabataei, Of Which Petra Was The Chief Town, Is Well Characterized By Diodorus,[Diod.

Sic.l.2,c.48.] as containing some fruitful spots, but as being for the greater part, desert and waterless. With equal accuracy, the combined information of Eratosthenes, [Eratosth.

Ap. Strab. p.767.] Strabo,[Strabo, p.779.] and Pliny, [Plin. Hist Nat.l.6,c.28.] describes Petra as falling in a line, drawn from the head of the Arabian gulf (Suez) to Babylon,--as being at the distance of three or four days from Jericho, and of four or five from Phoenicon, which was a place now called Moyeleh, on the Nabataean coast, near the entrance of the AElanitic gulf,--and as situated in a valley of about two miles in length surrounded with deserts, inclosed within precipices, and watered by a river. The latitude of 30 degrees 20 minutes [p.vii]ascribed by Ptolemy to Petra, agrees moreover very accurately with that which is the result of the geographical information of Burckhardt. The vestiges of opulence, and the apparent date of the architecture at Wady Mousa, are equally conformable with the remains of the history of Petra, found in Strabo,[P.781.] from whom it appears that previous to the reign of Augustus, or under the latter Ptolemies, a very large portion of the commerce of Arabia and India passed through Petra to the Mediterranean: and that ARMIES of camels were required to convey the merchandise from Leuce Come, on the Red Sea,[Leuce Come, on the coast of the Nabataei, was the place from whence AElius Gallus set out on his unsuccessful expedition into Arabia, (Strabo, ibid.) Its exact situation is unknown.] through Petra to Rhinocolura, now El Arish.

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