Journal of Law

Previous Issues

Advance Search
Year : From To Vol
Issue Discipline:

Volume :2 Issue : 7 1976      Add To Cart                                                                    Download


Auther : By: Thuraya mankush

This study deals with the history of the Ma’ini state, one of the ancient Yemeni states which co-existed in Southern Arabia during the period of prosperity that region went through in the pre-Christian Era.
The writer supports the opinion which refers the establishment of this state to the 4th century B.C. and the supposition that Ma’in was the first state established in ancient Yemen.  The researcher attributes the prosperity of Ma’in to number of factors, the most important of which are:
i) The strategic commercial position Ma’in enjoyed as it controlled the cross roads of the Caravan routes stretching between Northern and Southern Arabia.
ii) The prolificacy of soil and the abundance of water in the Yemeni Jouf where Ma’in was situated.
The natural results of these two factors were the rise of the Ma’ini cities as the outstanding commercial centers in Arabia, and the transformation of the primitive economic life of nomadism to a new urban one based on trade and agriculture.
The commercial intercourse between Ma’in and North Arabian states comprised a civilizational dimension.  For, it was inevitable for the Ma’ini to acquire the constituents of North Arabian civilization and to recast them in a new style imposed by geographical climatic and social conditions of the Yemeni land and society.
The relationship between Ma’in and other ancient Yemeni states varied between open military confrontation and intimate friendship which resulted sometimes in the complete affiliation of Ma’in with one Yemeni state or another.  For instance, the relations between Ma’in on one hand, and Hadramout and Kutban, on the other, exceeded the economic dimensions to many other aspects such as political, social and even personal relations.  But the relations between Ma’in and Sab’a were of a completely different nature.  For the rulers of Sab’a were jealous of the strategic commercial position and of the consequent prosperity Ma’in enjoyed.  Therefore, Sab’a launched successive military expeditions against Ma’in, and the Saba’ean didn’t withdraw until they conquered and destroyed all the Ma’ini cities and villages.
The Kingdom of Ma’in was divided into a number of districts, or Mahafed.  And at the head of each districts, or Mahafed, there was a ruler called “Kabeer” whose name was mentioned after the king’s in any business of legislative affair.  The writer believes that the conditions of the commercial life in Ma’in imposed a democratic system in both social and political affairs, for the king used to consult the religious leaders, the rulers of the cities and the chiefs of the tribes before issuing any legislative acts.
The Ma’ini government depended on two major resources of income in its general expenditure, namely, taxes and commercial fees, on one hand, and agricultural products, on the other.  The taxes were to be collected by the Shaikhs, the rulers of tribes who would take their shares before sending the rest to the State treasury. The Most Important Ma’ini cities were Kernaw (the capital), Brakech, Neshk, Dershion, Kermnen and Nishion.  Each of these cities had its own temple, or temples, which might be assigned to the worship of one God or more.  The Ma’ini worshipped three major gods, namely: Athterah (a symbol of Venus), Nekrah (a symbol of the Sun), and Wod, the greatest god of the Ma’ini which was a symbol of the Moon.
Ma’in was ruled by three dynasties who succeeded to the throne during the period between 400-500, B.C.  The first dynasty began with “Alif’Tab’a”, the second one with “Wakah Eil Nibt” and the third one with “yath’a El Sidk”.  The last Ma’ini king was “Alif a Bisher” during whose reign Ma’in was destroyed by the Kutbanese.
The writer attributes the fall of Ma’in to:
i. SUBJECTIVE FACTORS: for the people of Ma’in plunged into luxury as a result of the urban, prosperous economic life they led, and, consequently, lost the Bedouin spirit which was necessary  for them at that time to protect their civilization and withstand the attacks of their jealous neighbours.
ii. OBJECTIVE FACTORS: The other Yemeni states were aware of the new peaceful life the Ma’ini led, the thing which attracted Kutban and Sab’a to exert commercial, and then political and military, pressures against Ma’in.
The natural result of these combined factors was the fall of Ma’in as the outstanding civilization and commercial center in ancient Yemen.

Journal of Law
Journal of Law

You are Visitor No.


Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Tell your friendsJournal of Law
Journal of Law

Last Updated

Dec 26, 2021

Journal of Law
Journal of Law
Journal of Law

Please enter your email Here to receive our news

Journal of Law