Corpus of Minaic Inscriptions


Corpus of Minaic Inscriptions

The corpus of the Minaic inscriptions is composed by almost 1,400 texts, gathering all the epigraphic texts left in Minaic (elsewhere called Madhabaic) language. These come from the Jawf valley in northern Yemen (Corpus of Central Minaic inscriptions), but also from outside South Arabia, as the Minaean traders visited and settled in other regions and sites of the Arabian Peninsula and the Near East (Corpus of Marginal Minaic inscriptions).

Among the texts from the Jawf we count some of the most ancient South Arabian monumental texts, inscribed on beautiful objects and imposing architectural structures, which attest a cultural continuum between the city-states of the valley, who left inscriptions in Minaic language, and the kingdom of Sabaʾ as early as in the 8th century BC.
The texts of the following period are expression of the political hegemony of the kingdom of Maʿīn over the Jawf and also of its economic control over the trans-Arabian routes of the trade of incense. To this period are to be dated the Minaic inscriptions left outside South Arabia (the majority of which in the colony of Dedan) that we have collected in the Marginal Minaic corpus.

This is the corpus home page. You can begin the consultation of the whole corpus by using the indexes and tools menu on the left or you can consult only one of its sub-corpora, when present, by choosing from the list below.



Corpus of Central Minaic Inscriptions

The corpus of the Central Minaic inscriptions includes about 1,300 texts coming from Jawf, the northernmost South Arabian region. This corpus has been largely increased in the last years thanks to the edition of recent archaeological findings and of many interesting texts of the National Museum of Ṣanʿāʾ.

Corpus of Marginal Minaic Inscriptions

Around the middle of the 1st millennium BC, the Minaeans were among the main players of the Hijazi caravan trade between South Arabia and the regions north of the Arabian Peninsula (Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Levantine coast). The direct proof these activities and of the stable presence of Minaean merchants outside South Arabia are the sixty epigraphs plus some rock texts that we have collected in the Marginal Minaic corpus.