Arabia Petraea

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Location of the province
Roman provinces under Trajan (117 AD)

Arabia Petraea was a province of the Roman Empire .

It was established in 106 after the annexation of the Nabatean Empire and its capital Petra by Emperor Trajan . Their area covered roughly the Sinai Peninsula and the west of what is now Jordan . Arabia Petraea belonged to the imperial provinces and was administered by a legate of praetorical rank, who was supported by a procurator from the equestrian order . Its neighboring provinces were Aegyptus in the west, Iudaea (since 135 Syria Palestine) in the northwest and Syria in the north. In the south it met the Gulf of Aqaba and Arabia Felix and in the east the Arabian Desert and Arabia Deserta . It is unclear where the governor's seat was; Both Bostra in present-day Syria and Petra come into question . In Jerash an imperial procurator seems to have resided, but also this is not conclusively established.

In the course of the administrative reform of Emperor Diocletian , the province was assigned to the diocese of Oriens at the end of the 3rd century under the name Arabia . With this it fell in the so-called division of the empire of 395 to East Stream . In the 7th century the area was conquered by Muslim Arabs, which meant the end of the province of Arabia .

Roman auxiliary units

After the annexation of the Nabatean Empire , the following auxiliary units were initially recruited from the city of Petra and its surroundings:

In the course of time, however, the units lost their Arab character.


  • Glen W. Bowersock : Roman Arabia. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA et al. 1983, ISBN 0-674-77755-7 .
  • Rudolf Ernst Brünnow , Alfred von Domaszewski : The Provincia Arabia on the basis of two trips made in the years 1897 and 1898 and the reports of earlier travelers. 3 volumes. Trübner, Strasbourg 1904–1909.
  • Maurice Sartre: Trois Études sur l'Arabie romaine et byzantine (= Latomus . Collection Latomus. 178). Latomus, Brussels 1982, ISBN 2-87031-118-4 .
  • Leonhard Schumacher , Oliver Stoll (ed.): Language and culture in the imperial province of Arabia. Ancient historical contributions to the research of acculturation phenomena in the Roman Middle East (= Mainz ancient historical studies. 4). Scripta-Mercaturae-Verlag, St. Katharinen 2003, ISBN 3-89590-140-7 .

Coordinates: 30 °  N , 35 °  E