Greek historian on Nabateans – 50 BC

“They live under the open sky and claim as fatherland a wilderness that contains neither rivers nor goodly springs from which a hostile army might draw water. They have a law forbidding them to sow grain, plant orchards, make wine or build houses. Anyone who does so will be executed. They follow this principle because they believe that anyone who possesses such things in order to get a use from them is vulnerable to powerful men, who can compel their obedience. Some raise camels, others sheep, which they pasture in the wilderness. Although there are a great many other Arab tribes that use the desert as grazing land, the Nabateans, though numbering only 10,000 men, far exceed them in wealth…, because many regularly transport frankincense, myrrh and the choicest spices to the sea, products that they take over from people who bring them out of so-called happy Arabia. Their country, without water, is impenetrable to enemies, but the Nabateans fill cisterns and caves with rain water, making them flush with the rest of the landscape. They leave markers there which only they understand. They water their herds only every third day to accustom them to a flight throughout a waterless country.”

– Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, 50 BC

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