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(mä`rĭb), ancient city, Yemen, SW Arabia, 140 mi (225 km) inland at an altitude of 3,900 ft (1,190 m). It was one of the chief cities, perhaps the capital, of ShebaSheba,
biblical name of a region, called in Arabic Saba, of S Arabia, including present-day Yemen and the Hadhramaut. Its inhabitants were called Sabaeans or Sabeans. According to some passages in Genesis and First Chronicles, Sheba, a grandson of Noah's grandson Joktan, was the
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. It was the site of a dam, built in the 6th cent. B.C., that was one of the great engineering feats of antiquity. The dam collapsed in the 6th cent. A.D., flooding the countryside.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ancient city and the residence of the rulers of the state of Saba; its ruins lie northeast of the city of Sana, in the Yemen Arab Republic. According to epigraphical data, Marib existed by the first half of the first millennium B.C. (or the beginning of the second millennium B.C.). It had a rectangular layout and was surrounded by a stone wall; the rulers’ palace was located inside the city. Numerous date palm plantations lay outside the walls.

Marib’s flourishing is attributable to the famous Marib Dam, which had an earthen dike faced with stone. The dam was constructed west of the city, on the Wadi Denna, in the seventh century B.C. (ruins remain). Near Marib was Awwam (eighth century B.C.), a temple of the chief Sabaean god Al-Makhah. The temple was oval in plan and was surrounded by a wall of large blocks of limestone. Outside its gates stood a structure (fifth century B.C.) with a gallery-enclosed courtyard. A mausoleum adjoined the temple on the southeast.

Marib began to decline in the first century A.D. and reached a state of total decline in the sixth century, when the dam collapsed.


Grohmann, A. “Ma’rib.” In Enzyklopaedie des Islam, vol. 3. Leiden-Leipzig, 1936.
Jamme, A. Sabaean Inscriptions From Mahram Bilgîs (Mârib). Baltimore, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Al Islah call for military escalation originated in Ma'rib and Ibar and was directed to their forces known to have close links to AQAP and ISIS.
Yemen, May 27, 2019, SPA -- The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has continued, for the 21th day in a row of the holy month of Ramadan, the distribution of Iftar (breakfast) meals in the governorates of Dhale, Ma'rib and Hadhramaut in Yemen, where 3712 Iftar meals were distributed.
562,000 were displaced in Ma'rib from Sana'a, Hdeidah and Dhamar - Eman Hanna Ma'rib,Yemen -- 12 April 2019: Ma'rib is only 173 kilometers away from Sana'a, but going to this governorate, which has been liberated since 2015 and includes 14 directorates, was extremely difficult Because there is no airport for civilians.
RIYADH, June 1 (KUNA) -- The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammad Al-Jaber announced the Saudi government's plan to set up a new international airport in the Yemeni city of Ma'rib. In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Al-Jaber, also the general supervisor of the Saudi program for rebuilding Yemen, stated that the airport would be constructed upon directives from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as well as a demand from the Yemeni government.
Last week, the centre said it distributed 3,000 boxes of dates to provide nutritional assistance to around 18,000 people living in the Harib district of the Ma'rib governorate in Yemen.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabian warplanes flattened a mosque in Yemen's West-Central Ma'rib Province, and stricken another in the Northwestern Sa'da Province.
The source said Saudi Arabia intends to wage a civil war in Yemen in order to compensate for its defeat, and "for the same reason the Riyadh government has helped its mercenaries against Ansarullah fighters in Ma'rib, Ta'iz, Al-Jawf and Lahij provinces with its aerial and logistic support".
Manama, Dec.6 (BNA): Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Dhiyab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi today received a number of affiliates from the BDF Taskforce (Ma'rib) which is taking part in the Saudi-led Arab Alliance as part of Operation Restore Hope in Yemen.
Originally from Yemen, near Ma'rib, Shaikh Yas was an ancestor of Dubai's ruling al-Maktoums as well.
Yemen, May 22, 2019, SPA -- King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has continued, for the 16th day in a row of the holy month of Ramadan, the distribution of Iftar (breakfast) meals in the governorates of Hadramout, Dhale and Ma'rib in Yemen, where 2030 Iftar meals were distributed.
"The Yemeni army's air defense system shot down a reconnaissance aircraft of the Saudi-led forces on al-Moshaja of Sirwah in Western Ma'rib province," the Arabic service of Sputnik news agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
MA'RIB, Yemen - The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) on Friday launched several humanitarian programmes in Al Juba district in Ma'rib Governorate, Yemen, as part of a campaign to support the families of people who lost their lives and the wounded.