• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


One of the earliest recorded pre-Islamic Arab civilizations was the Sabaean culture, which fourished in what is now Yemen and southwestern Saudi Arabia during the 1st millennium BC. The wealth of the kingdom of Saba (or Sheba) was based on the incense and spice trade and on agriculture. Beginning in about 115 BC, the Himyarites gradually absorbed Saba and Hadhramaut (to the east) to claim control of all of the southwest Arabian peninsula by the 4th century AD. Himyarite dominance came to an end in the 6th century as Abyssinian (Ethiopian) forces invaded in AD 525. Abyssinian rule was overthrown in 575 by Persian military intervention, and Persian control then endured until the advent of Islam in 628.


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Further Reading

  1. Al-Rasheed, Madawi and Vitalis, Robert (eds.) Counter-Narratives: History, Contemporary Society, and Politics in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2004Google Scholar
  2. Bruck, Gabriele vom, Islam, Memory and Morality in Yemen: Ruling Families in Transition. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dresch, Paul, A History of Modern Yemen. CUP, 2001Google Scholar
  4. Mackintosh-Smith, T., Yemen—Travels in Dictionary Land. London, 1997Google Scholar
  5. Manea, Elham, Regional Politics in the Gulf: Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen. Saqi Books, London, 2005Google Scholar
  6. National Statistical Office: Central Statistical Organization, Ministry of Planning and Development.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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