Anah

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Anah, or `Ana, is an Iraqi town on the Euphrates river, approximately mid-way between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Persian Gulf.

Contents

Etymology

It is called Hanat in a Babylonian letter (about 2200 BC), a-na-at by the scribes of Tukulti-Ninurta (885 BC), and An-at by the scribe of Assur-nasir-pal (879 B.C.), Anatho (Isidore Charax), Anatha (Ammianus Marcellinus) by Greek and Latin writers in the early Christian centuries, `Ana (sometimes, as if plural, `Anat) by Arabic writers. The name has been connected with that of the deity Anat.

Background

Whilst `Ana has thus retained its name for forty-one centuries the site is variously described. Most early writers concur in placing it on an island; so Tukulti-Ninurta II, Assur-nasir-pal, Isidore, Ammianus Marcellinus, Ibn Serapion, al-Istakri, Abulfeda and al-Karamani. Ammianus[2] calls it a munimentum, Theophylactus Simocatta[3] to 'Anathon frourion, Zosimus[4] a frourion, opp. Fathusai, which may be the Beth(th) ina of Ptolemy (v. 19).[5] Leonhart Rauwolff, in AD 1574, found it "divided ... into two towns," the one "Turkish," "so surrounded by the river, that you cannot go into it but by boats," the other, much larger, on the Arabian side of the river.[6]

G. A. Olivier at the beginning of the 19th century described it as a long street (5 or 6 m. long), parallel to the right bank of the Euphrates—some 100 yards from the water's edge and 300 to 400 paces from the rocky barrier of the Arabian desert—with, over against its lower part, an island bearing at its north end the ruins of a fortress (p. 451).

History

This southernmost town of Mesopotamia proper (Gezira) must have shared the chequered history of that land. Of `Ana's fortunes under the early Babylonian empire the records have not yet been unearthed; but in a letter dating from the third millennium BC, six men of Hanat (Ha-na-atK1) are mentioned in a statement as to certain disturbances which had occurred in the sphere of the Babylonian Resident of Suhi, which would include the district of `Ana.

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