Location...as per QXP,Bakkah and Makkah are same !!

by Jose Rizalino Sarmiento @, saudi arabia, Thursday, September 19, 2013, 20:38 (2070 days ago) @ jawaid ahmed,uk


The Greek geographer, Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria, Egypt, was born in the year 90 A.D. and died in 168 A.D.  He wrote Almonagest, a chief astronomical work, and another work about astrology called Tetrabilos. Around the year 150 A.D. he dedicated himself to the study of the earth's geography - more specifically, cartographical representation, or mapping of the earth.  He was inspired by the work of several other geographers who lived before him, including Marinus, who lived from 70 A.D. to 130 A.D. These geographers pioneered the concept of latitude and longitude lines for world maps. Ptolemy enhanced the concept of the latitude and longitudes. Ptolemy reduced the latitude and longitude that Marinus has established before. Ptolemy tried to document in his geographical work, simply called Geography, the latitude and longitude coordinates, also called meridians lines, for the important locations marked on the maps of his time. Most scholars doubt that the maps which included his latitude and longitude coordinates were actually drawn by him.  But they do believe that other geographers used his information when making their maps.

    Ptolemy's geography provides valuable help in locating places that existed in his time, but we should consider some disclaimers that he mentions in his work. In second book Ptolemy mentions that the locations of some of the places or cities that were documented more recently, with respect to his time, are actually estimated regarding their proximity to more established places or cities.   When compared to the latitude and longitude system we use today, his system seems crude and inaccurate, yet, it is still helpful to know about the recently-discovered places which didn't appear in previous geographical surveys. We can establish where newer cities are located in relation to older ones. It's helpful to know whether the cities in question are south or north of an old city, or whether they are east or west.

    From a practical standpoint, Ptolomy's criteria proves valuable when looking for other cities in the Middle East mentioned by him, or even those in his own country, Egypt. Based on these facts, his work helps us resolve the location problem for some cities, such as Macoraba, which appeared in his generation.

   In book six, chapter seven, of his work titled Geography, Ptolemy documents the latitude and longitude coordinates of several landmarks in Arabia.  By studying these locations and coordinates, we notice once again that the city of Mecca is never mentioned. In fact, Ptolomy doesn't mention any cities in the strip of land where Mecca was eventually built.

    Macoraba was a city in the Arabian interior which was mentioned by Ptolemy. Some people wanted to assume that Macoraba was actually Mecca. Macoraba had appeared recently, with respect to Ptolemy's time. This assumption would result in the conclusion that Mecca was built around the middle of the 2nd century A.D. However, even if this were true, it wouldn't support the claim that Mecca was an old city existing from the time of Abraham. Upon further study of the facts concerning Macoraba, we can conclude with certainty that Macoraba can't be Mecca, and we can refute the idea that Mecca was built in the 2nd century A.D. All the facts point to the historical argument that Mecca was constructed in the 4th century A.D. Since Macoraba is not pronounced similar to Mecca, the scholar Crone suggested that the location of Maqarib, near Yathrib, was actually Macoraba. Maqarib is mentioned by Yaqut al-Hamawi, an Arab geographer who lived from 1179 to1229 A.D., in his geographical dictionary Mujam al-Buldan. This location is more acceptable than Mecca for the modern-day location of Macoraba, because Maqarib is closer in pronunciation to Macoraba than Mecca.  Another reason is that Maqarib, though it does not exactly fit the documented location of Macoraba, is closer to the location, according to the latitude and longitude of Ptolemy, than Mecca is to the documented location of Macoraba.

    In order to determine the exact location of Macoraba, scholars have looked to the city of Lathrippa, mentioned by Ptolemy at longitude of 71, as a reference.  Lathrippa is accepted by most scholars as the city of Yathrib, a city documented in the historical record. Ptolemy placed the city of Macoraba at 73 20 longitude which means about three and a third degrees east of Yathrib, while Mecca is west of Yathrib. So Macoraba can't be the city of Mecca, nor a city in the direction where Mecca was later built.  Macoraba should be located deeper into the interior of Arabia, or toward the eastern coast of Arabia.

    We have just analyzed the longitude; now let's turn to the latitude. When we study latitude we find more data concerning the historical location of Macoraba. Ptolemy described Macoraba, not as the next city south of Lathrippa, or Yathrib, but the sixth city to the south. While the city of Carna is the first city to the south of Lathrippa, Macoraba is the sixth city to the south. Carna was a well-known Yemeni city, belonging to the Minaean kingdom mentioned by Strabo.  That is significant, because Strabo described the main tribes of southern Arabia in these words:

The extreme part of the country is occupied by the four largest tribes; by the Minaeans - whose largest city is Carna; next to these, by the Sabaeans, whose metropolis is Mariaba; third by the Cattabanians, whose royal seat is called Tamna; and the farthest toward the east, the Chatramotitae, meaning Hadramout, whose city is Sabata.


Carna, in the past, was known as the most important and the largest city of the Yemen Kingdom of Ma'in. Carna was a significant city of Arabia which Ptolemy couldn't miss. Because Macoraba was listed as the fifth city south of Carna, we understand Ptolemy used Carna as a reference point for the five cities he listed south of Carna, included Macoraba. We can't make Lathrippa a reference point for locating Macoraba since Lathrippa is farther north of Macoraba,  but Macoraba's location is south of the famous old Minaean city of Carna. We can only conclude that by latitude, Macoraba is in south Arabia, south of the Yemeni city of Carna. However, by longitude, Ptolemy placed it closer to Carna.  By any measure, Macoraba must be near Carna, in Yemen.

    I think we should go more east of Yathrib to identify Mokoraba mentioned by Ptolemy. In fact, Pliny mentions a city with the name Mochorba, and he said it was a port of Oman on the Hadramout shore in South Arabia. It's also possible that Macoraba is derived from Mochorba.

     Since Macoraba never appears in any literature other than the narration of Ptolemy, it must have been a small settlement or tiny village which disappeared in Ptolomy's time during the 2nd century A.D. Probably a small Omani tribe emigrated from the port of Mochorba toward the north of Yemen, near Carna the old Minaean city of Yemen, and established a small settlement which they named after their original city. The tribe would then have moved to another area in search of better living conditions, a usual migratory occurrence in Arabia. The fact that Macoraba never appears again in any other classical survey confirms the fact that it was a small provisional settlement of a small tribe, and not a significant town.

    If a case for the name of Machorba should be opened, it should be seen in relation with the southern Arabian city of Mochorba, and not with Mecca. In the same manner, we see the city of New London in the United States as being named after the original city of London.  We can't open a case for the origin of the name of the American city apart from the English city after which it was named.

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