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date: 26 July 2021

tribes, Arab 

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity
Ella Landau-TasseronElla Landau-Tasseron

Tribes were the units that constituted *Arab society, whether *nomadic, semi-nomadic, or sedentary. Theoretically agnatic descent groups, they usually included outsiders, and some were formed by alliances. Most bore the name or soubriquet of a real or imagined ancestor. Each considered itself as part of ever larger tribal units, reaching up to one of two distant eponyms, ‘Adnan and Qahtan (‘Northern’ and ‘Southern’ Arabs respectively).... ...

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