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List of rulers of Saba and Himyar

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This is a list of rulers of Saba' and Himyar, ancient Arab kingdoms which are now part of present-day Yemen. The kingdom of Saba' became part of the Himyarite Kingdom in the late 3rd century CE.[1]

The title Mukarrib (Old South Arabian: 𐩣𐩫𐩧𐩨, romanized: mkrb) was used by the rulers of Saba' along the title Malik (Old South Arabian: 𐩣𐩡𐩫, romanized: mlk). The title of Mukarrib might have been used as a formal title for the head of a commonwealth of different šaʿb (community) groups until it eventually disappeared by the start of the first millennium AD. On the other hand, Malik was used as a title for the head of a šaʿb with various legal obligations. Later, the title of Malik transformed to imply territorial rule.[2] After the fall of Dhu Nuwas around 530 CE to the Aksumite Empire,[3] Yemen was open for foreign domination by the Aksumites and later the Sasanian Empire, both of whom installed local vassal rulers over the Yemeni people.[4][5][6]

Mukarribs of Saba' (1000–620 BCE)

Mukarrib Reigned Notes
1 Yatha' 'Amr Bayin circa 1000–950 BC
2 Yada'il Bayin
3 Samah'ali Yanuf
4 Yatha' 'Amar Watar
5 Yakrib Malek Dzarah
6 Yakrib Malik Watar
7 Samah'ali Yanuf II
8 Yada'il Bayin II
9 Yatha' 'Amar Watar II He was a contemporary of Sargon II.
10 Yada' Ab
11 Yada'il Bayin III
12 Yakrib Malik Watar II
13 Yatha' 'Amar Bayin II
14 Karib'il Watar He was a contemporary with Sennacherib. Not to be confused with the later king Karib'il Watar.
15 Yada' Ab II
16 Akh Karib
17 Samah'ali Watar
18 Yada'il Dharih Son of Samah'ali Watar (17).
19 Samah'ali Yanuf III Son of Yada'il Dharih (18).
20 Yatha' 'Amar Watar III Son of Yada'il Dharih (18) and the brother of Samah'ali Yanuf III (19).
21 Yada'il Bayin IV Son of Yatha' 'Amar Watar III (20).
22 Yada'il Watar Son of Yatha' 'Amar Watar III (20) and is the brother of Yada'il Bayin IV (21).
23 Dhamar Ali Dharih Son of Yada'il Bayin IV (21).
24 Yatha' 'Amar Watar IV Son of Samah'ali Yanuf III (19).
25 Karib'il Bayin Son of Yatha' 'Amar Watar IV (24).
26 Samah'ali Yanuf IV Son of Yatha' 'Amar Watar IV (24) and brother of Karabil Bayin (25).
27 Dhamar Ali Watar Son of Samah'ali Yanuf IV (26).
28 Samah'ali Yanuf V Son of Dhamar Ali Watar (27).
29 Yatha' 'Amar Bayin III Son of Samah'ali Yanuf V (28).
30 Yakrib Malik Watar III
31 Dhamar Ali Yanuf Son of Yakrib Malik Watar III (30).

Kings of Saba'

King Reigned Notes
32 Karib'il Watar II 620–600 BC Son of (31).
33 Sumuh'ali Dharih 600–580 BC Son of (32).
34 Karib'il Watar III 580–570 BC Son of (33).
35 Ilīsharaḥ I 570–560 BC Son of (33).
36 Yada'il Bayin V 560–540 BC Son of (34).
37 Yakrib Malik Watar IV 540–520 BC Son of (36).
38 Yatha' Amar Bayin IV 520–500 BC Son of (37).
39 Karib'il Watar IV 500–480 BC Son of (38).
40 Sumuh'ali Yanuf VI 480–460 BC Son of (39).
41 Yada'il Bayin VI Son of (39).
42 Yatha' 'Amar Watar V Son of (39).
43 Ilsharih II 460–445 BC Son of 41
44 Zamir Ali Bayin I 445–430 BC Son of 41
45 Yada'il Watar II 430–410 BC Son of 44
46 Zamir Ali Bayin II 410–390 BC Son of 45
47 Samah'ali Yanuf VII Son of (46)
48 Karib'il Watar V 390–370 BC Unknown parentage, probably the son of (46)
Unknown 370–350 BC A period of time without any inscriptions dedicated to a ruler.
49 Karib Yuhan'im 350–330 BC Son of an uncertain "Ham 'Athat"
50 Karib'il Watar VI 330–310 BC Son of (49)
51 Wahhab Shamsam/Al-Yahiz 310–290 BC Son of an unspecified "Halik 'Amar" although he has also been identified as the son of another unspecified personality named "Saraw"
52 Anmar Yuha'min I 290–270 BC Son of (51)
53 Dhamar Ali Dharih II 270–250 BC Son of (52)
54 Nasha'karib Yuha'min 250–230 BC Son of (53)
Unknown 230–200 BC A period of the time without any inscriptions dedicated to a ruler.
55 Nasir Yuhan'em 200–180 BC
56 Dhamar Ali Bayin III
57 Wahhab/Al-Yahiz II 180–160 BC
58 Karib'il Watar Yuhan'im 160–145 BC Son of (57).
59 Anmar Yuha'min II Son of (57).
60 Yarim 'Aymin 145–115 BC Son of an unspecified "Awsalat Rafshan" and he usurped the throne with his son
61 Alhan Nahfan Son of (60) who usurped the throne alongside his father.
62 Far'am Yanhab 130–125 BC Regained the legitimate throne of Saba'.

Kings of Saba' & Dhu Raydan

King Reigned Notes
63 Sha'ram Awtar Son of (61).
64 Ilisharih Yahdhib Son of (62). He was probably Strabo's "Ilasarus". Contemporary with Sha'ram Awtar, see (63).
65 Yazil Bayin Son of (62). He allied with his brother see (64) against Sha'ram Awtar (63).
67 Hayu Athtar Yazi'
68 Karib'il Watar Yuhan'im II Son of (56). Probably the king Charibael of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, said to have dominion over the major ports of Azania (the Swahili coast) through a vassal located at Saba'.
69 Watar Yuha'min Son of (64).
70 Dhamar Ali Dharih III Son of (68).
71 Nasha'karib Yuha'min Yuhar'ib Son of (64).
72 Karib'il Bayin II Son of (68).
73 Yasir Yuhasdiq
74 Sa'd Shams 'Asri Son of (64).
75 Murthid Yuhahm'id Son of (74).
76 Dhamar Ali Yahbur 135–175 Son of 73. His statue made by the Greek sculptors is well preserved and on display at the National Museum of Yemen.[7]
77 Tha'ran Ya'ub Yuhan'im Son of (76). Has a statue preserved in the National Museum of Yemen.
78 Dhamar Ali Yahbur II Son of (77).
79 Shamdar Yuhan'im
80 Amdan Bayin Yuhaqbiz
81 Hutar Athat Yafish
82 Karab Athat Yuhaqbiz
83 Shahar Aymin
84 Rabb Shams Nimran
85 Al-Izz Nawfan Yuhasd'iq
86 Sa'd Um Nimran
87 Yasir Yuhan'im

Kings of Saba' & Dhu Raydan & Hadhramaut & Yamnat (2nd Himyarite Kingdom)

King Reigned Notes
88 Shammar Yahr'ish AD  275–300 Son of 87
89 Yarim Yuharhib Son of 88
90 Yasir Yuhan'im III Son of 88
91 Tharin Ayfi' Son of 90
92 Dhara'amar Ayman I Son of 90
93 Karabil Watar Yuhan'em III
94 Tharin Yakrib Son of 88
95 Dhamar Ali Yahbur II 321–324 Son of 94
96 Tharan Yuhanim 324–375 Son of 95

King of Saba', Dhu Raydan, Hadramawt, Yamnat and their Arabs, on Tawdum (the high plateau) and Tihamat

This period of time is most famously featured in Arabian legends. This is also the last period of native Yemeni rule.

King Reigned Notes
97 Malkikarib Yuhamin 375–400 Son of (96). He is the first king to officially convert to Judaism and remove previous polytheistic invocations from records and inscriptions. He also replaced the Great Temple of the pagan god Almaqah with a mikrāb for Jewish organization. Later tradition ascribes the conversion to Judaism to his son, Abu Karib.
98 Abu Karib As'ad 390–440 Son of (97). Judaism was made the state religion during his rule. Some Arab traditions relate that he was the first ruler to put a covering over the Kaaba during his attempted invasion of Mecca.
99 Hassan Yuha'min 440–450 Son of (98). He shared kingship with his brother Sharhabil Yafar for a while.[8]
100 Sharhabil Yafar 450–465 Son of (98). Known as 'Amr in the Arabian folklore and traditions.
101 Sharhabil Yakkuf 465–480 He is believed to have started a new dynasty, as his patronymic is not mentioned in any inscription. Sharhabil Yakkuf is also featured in Ethiopian folklore as being a king who accepted Judaism and persecuted the Christians living in Arabia.
102 Lakhni'ah Yanuf 480–502 He is the son of (101) and did start off his political career by sharing the royal power with his father and other two brothers, Abu Shamir Nawaf and Ma'dikarib Yun'im. Some inscriptions also cite him as being from the Dhu Hasbah/Dhu Asbah tribe.
103 Marthad'ilan Yu'nim 502–504 He is the son of (102) and helped to build a synagogue for the local Jewish community, as well as repaired a local place of worship as stated in Inscription YM 1200.
104 Marthad'ilan Yanuf 504–515 A Christian, he engaged in diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Aksum.
105 Ma'dikarib Ya'fur 515–517 He was appointed as a king by the Aksumite Empire.[9] In the Arabian folklore, Ma'dikarib Ya'fur does not exist, and is instead replaced by an unknown Dhu Shanatir.
106 Dhu Nuwas 517–530 The last of the native Himyarite kings, he rose to power in 517 after assassinating (104). His real name was Yusuf As'ar Yathar and his father was an unknown Sharhabil, thought to have been Sharhabil Yakkuf (101). He was known for his persecutions of Christians. He was killed in the year 530 during the Aksumite conquest of Yemen by King Kaleb.

Aksumite rulers of Saba' and Himyar

After the Aksumites successfully invaded and subsequently took control of Yemen, they appointed a native Christian as the vassal ruler of Saba' and Himyar. However, later on actual Abyssinians would rule Saba' and Himyar temporarily until the Sasanian Empire conquered Yemen under request from the native Yemenis.

King Reigned Notes
107 Sumyafa Ashwa 530–535 A native from Himyar who had converted to Christianity, Sumyafa Ashwa was appointed by Kaleb as the ruler of Saba' and Himyar. He was deposed and overthrown in 535 by Abraha, who usurped the throne from him.
108 Abraha 535–570 A usurper to the throne, he deposed Sumyafa Ashwa by force and imprisoned him. He also turned against Kaleb, but they later reconciled and he was allowed to keep his throne. He is best known for his attempted invasion of Mecca, a famous story in Islamic literature and exegesis.
109 Yaksum ibn Abraha 570–571 Son of Abraha, he ruled for no more than one year, as he ascended the throne in 570, but died the following year.
110 Masruq ibn Abraha 571–572 Son of Abraha and the brother of Yaksum. After his brother's death, he took the throne. During this time period, the native Yemenis revolted against him and later on, they were assisted by forces from the Persian Sasanian Empire. Masruq was ultimately killed in the attack by the invading Persian army, ending Aksumite rule over Himyar.

Vassal rulers of the Sasanian Empire

King Reigned Notes
111 Ma'adi Yakrib ibn Abi Murrah 572–574 Appointed as a vassal king by the Sasanian Empire. He ruled for two years until he was stabbed to death by Abyssinian assailants whom he had hired as his servants. After his death, his son Ma'dikarib was made a temporary ruler of Yemen.

References

  1. ^ Radner, Karen; Moeller, Nadine; Potts, Daniel T. (2023). The Oxford history of the ancient Near East. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-068766-3.
  2. ^ Beeston, A. F. L. (1972). "Kingship in Ancient South Arabia". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. 15 (3): 256–268. doi:10.2307/3596067. ISSN 0022-4995.
  3. ^ "DASI: Digital Archive for the Study of pre-islamic arabian Inscriptions: Epigraph details". dasi.cnr.it. Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  4. ^ Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman (2008). The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-9960899558.
  5. ^ Bowersock, Glen Warren (2013). The throne of Adulis: Red Sea wars on the eve of Islam. Emblems of antiquity. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-973932-5.
  6. ^ Zakeri, Mohsen (1995). Sasanid soldiers in early muslim society: the origins of 'Ayyaran and Futuwwa. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 978-3-447-03652-8.
  7. ^ "DASI: Digital Archive for the Study of pre-islamic arabian -RES 4708 A)". dasi.cnr.it. Retrieved 2024-04-29.
  8. ^ The History of Al-Tabari: The Sasanids, the Lakhmids, and Yemen. SUNY Press. p. 184-186. ISBN 9780791443569.
  9. ^ Bowersock, G. W. (2013-04-01). The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-933384-4.
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List of rulers of Saba and Himyar
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