Euphrates

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The Euphrates (/juːˈfreɪtiːz/  ( listen), Arabic: الفرات‎: al-Furāt, Turkish: Fırat) is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Southwest Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia. Originating in eastern Turkey, the Euphrates flows through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf.

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Etymology

The earliest references to the Euphrates come from cuneiform texts found in Shuruppak and pre-Sargonic Nippur and date to the mid-third millennium BCE. In these texts, written in Sumerian, the Euphrates appears as Buranuna (logographic: UD.KIB.NUN). The name could also be written KIB.NUN.(NA) or dKIB.NUN, with the prefix "d" indicating that the river was deified. In Sumerian, the name of the city of Sippar in modern-day Iraq was also written UD.KIB.NUN, indicating a historically strong relationship between the city and the river. In Akkadian, the Euphrates was called Purattu.[2] The modern spelling of the Euphrates derives from the Old Persian Ufrātu via Middle Persian Frat into Turkish Fırat.[1] The Persian Ufrātu (meaning the good) is also the source of the Greek spelling Εὐφράτες (Euphrates).[3]

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