An Open Access Online Journal on Arabian Epigraphy.
This article investigates the pre-Islamic name ʿAbd al-Asad and the alleged lion-god in the Arabic tradition through the onomastic evidence of two ancient Semitic languages (Eblaite and Amorite) as well as the ancient epigraphic languages of Arabia. The study suggests that the name has no
association with the god Yaġūṯ under the form of a lion. Alternatively, it reflects either an ‘archaic’ astral cult related to Leo or a traditional name-giving practice known especially in the northern parts of the Arabian Peninsula. According to this practice, the individual, whether being a child or
an adult, could have been named ʿAbd-of-X after the person who took care of him (i.e. a patron) or the tribe he belonged to.
This paper strives to overturn the general consensus that has formed over the past three decades on the identification of the Akkadian lexeme udru as exclusively designating the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus). This general opinion does not appreciate the semantic evolution of the lexeme udru during the Iron Age. By examining references to udru in Mesopotamian texts from a diachronic perspective, we can outline the semantic evolution of the lexeme. It will be demonstrated that the lexeme udru without any qualifications designated the camel in general and the dromedary in particular during the 11th to 9th centuries bce. Only after the Assyrians defeated the Arabians in the 8th century bce and became better acquainted with the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), did the lexeme udru start to designate the Bactrian camel in particular.