woensdag 19 maart 2014

huis van de corpulente man

The 12th place in the list of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon in the year 676 BC is Bet-Gi-si-mi-ia, when he sums up all the places of the kingdom of Sidon at that time.
E.Lipinski (Itineraria Phoenicia, p.31) locates it at Biqsmayya or Boqsmayya, 9 km east of Batrun, on a hill dominating the Nahr al-Gawz. The name looks the same as Betgisimia and it fits in the order of the list of Esarhaddon. But there is more: local tradition reports, that a shepherd had found an inscription on the southern bank of the river. E.Wardini reports in Lebanese Place Names (OLA 120, Leuven 2002 p.161) that it was written in Hebrew or Aramaic and that a bishop has translated it as follows: “an army passed by the river.”
The possibility is high, that this was an Assyrian army.
Gisimia appears to be a personal name closely related to North-Arabian Gšm(w), attested in Nabataean and in Safaitic. It has the same meaning as the Arabic adjective “gismi” = corpulent. The actual pronunciation of the toponym was probably Bet-Gišmiy = House of the corpulent man?
Another suggestion for the localization of Bet-Gi-si-mi-ia is proposed by R.C.Thompson (The Prisms of Esarhaddon…., London 1931). He suggests the place Han al-Qasimiye, 7.5 km north of Tyre, at the mouth of the Litani river. But this place does not belong to the kingdom of Sidon and it does not fit at all in the itinerary on which Esarhaddon’s list was based.

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