About The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer and the Beth Qaṭraye Project

The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer is one of the publications of the Beth Qaṭraye Project a research project funded by NPRP grant NPRP9-002-6-001 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of The Qatar Foundation). The LPI of the project is Dr. Haya Al Thani (Qatar University). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Formal Project Title

A preliminary Syriac, Aramaic and Arabic lexical and toponymical survey of Beth Qaṭraye based on historical, archaeological and lexicographical evidence.

About Beth Qaṭraye

Beth Qaṭraye, Syriac for “region of the Qataris”, is a term found in Syriac literature referring to the region of North-East Arabia including Qatar and Bahrain from the fourth to the ninth centuries. Beth Qaṭraye was an important cultural, linguistic and religious crossroads in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period, when it produced one of the most widely translated Syriac authors of all time (Isaac of Nineveh, called after his bishopric, who is also known as Isaac Qaṭraya or “the Qatari”). A number of other important Syriac authors also came from Beth Qaṭraye in this period in which the Syriac community there was not only surviving but producing some of the finest and most educated authors of the time, many of whom became intellectual, spiritual or religious leaders in the Middle East as a whole.

Beth Qaṭraye Project Objectives

This project has two objectives. The results of the first objective are published here as The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer here. The results of the second objective will be published through Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute.

The first objective of this research project is to collect and analyze information on the pre-Islamic and early Islamic historical geography and toponyms of the Beth Qaṭraye region from the most important available sources as well as later toponymical studies. The toponyms will shed light on the language of Beth Qaṭraye in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period by analyzing their Syriac, Aramaic and Arabic etymology and name components. The historical and archaeological geography will clarify the cultural relations between this region and other areas around the Gulf, and how patterns of social predominance shifted over time. This will provide a better understanding of not only the dynamics of society within Beth Qaṭraye, but also the place of Beth Qaṭraye within the larger history of the Middle East in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods. The data collected in this part of the Beth Qaṭraye Project is published in collaboration with Syriaca.org as The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer, a part of The Syriac Gazetteer.

A second objective of this project is to determine the set of lexemes that are designated in the Syriac/Arabic lexicon of Bar Bahlul and other Syriac texts such as the Synodicon Orientale and the East-Syriac Anonymous Commentary as belonging to the dialect of Beth Qaṭraye. This will shed important light on the languages and dialects that were in use in the Arabian Peninsula not only in the pre-Islamic period, but also what has survived there in the post-Islamic period since Ibn Bahlul, for example, belongs to the tenth century. This portion of the project will produce a number of publications including a toponymical and a lexical dictionary in addition to an online lexical search tool published through Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute.

Submitting Institution

  • Qatar University

Collaborating Institutions

  • American University of Beirut
  • Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute
  • Syriaca.org: The Syriac Gazetteer
  • Vanderbilt University

Team members/Key investigators

  • Dr. Haya Al Thani (LPI. Qatar University)
  • Dr. Saif al-Murikhi (Qatar University)
  • Dr. Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn (American University of Beirut)
  • Dr. Abdul Rahman Chamseddine (Georgetown University in Qatar)
  • Dr. George Kiraz (The Syriac Institute)
  • Dr. Mario Kozah (American University of Beirut)
  • Dr. David Michelson (Vanderbilt University)
  • Dr. Thomas Carlson (Oklahoma State University)
  • Tobias Scheunchen (University of Chicago)
  • William L. Potter (Vanderiblt University)

This project was completed with the additional assistance of Syriaca.org's editorial and development team.

General Editors, The Syriac Gazetteer

  • Thomas A. Carlson, Oklahoma State University
  • David A. Michelson, Vanderbilt University

Senior Programmers

  • Tom Elliott
  • Winona Salesky

Copyright Status of The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer

The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer is published by Syriaca.org. Syriaca.org is committed to the free and open preservation of the world’s shared cultural heritage. Users are encouraged to reuse information from The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer in their own research.

The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer and The Syriac Gazetteer are copyrighted by the contributors and released under a “free culture” license, the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This license lets anyone distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon our work, even commercially, as long as they credit Syriaca.org for the original creation (and do not suggest that Syriaca.org endorses them or their use of the work).

A model citation can be found on most individual articles as well; users are encouraged to contact Syriaca.org to discuss other means of attribution.

Funding and/or institutional support for The Beth Qaṭraye Gazetteer was provided by:

The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors.