Arabian Epigraphic Notes

An Open Access Online Journal on Arabian Epigraphy.

New Epigraphica from Jordan I: a pre-Islamic Arabic inscription in Greek letters and a Greek inscription from north-eastern Jordan


This article studies two unique Greek inscriptions from Wadi Salma in north-eastern Jordan. The first contains seven lines of Old Arabic written in Greek letters, and is our first secure example of Arabic prose written in Greek in the pre-Islamic period. The inscription sheds light on several grammatical features otherwise obscured by the consonantal skeletons of the Semitic scripts, such as the presence of case inflection, the realization of III-w suffix-conjugated verbs, and the vowel pattern of the prefix conjugation. The second inscription is written entirely in the Greek language, but contains a long section of prose which is thematically similar to what is typically found in the Safaitic inscriptions.


Graeco-Arabica Greek inscriptions Old Arabic Safaitic