The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "merchant," "raven" and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical from ʿ-B-R "moving around" (Arabic ʿ-B-R "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic."
The plurality of meanings results partly from the assimilation of the proto-Semitic ghayin with ʿayin in some languages. In Hebrew the word ʿarav thus has the same triconsonantal root as the root meaning "west" (maʿarav) "setting sun" or "evening" (maʿariv, ʿerev). The direct Arabic cognate of this is ġarb ("west", etc.) rather than ʿarab; however, in Ugaritic, a language which normally preserves proto-Semitic ghayin, this root is found with ʿayin adding to the confusion.
Persian Martyr Acts in Syriac is a series of Syriac martyrological texts composed from the fourth century into the Islamic period. They detail the martyrdom of a diversity of Christians at the hands of Sasanian kings, bureaucrats, and priests. These documents vary from purely mythological accounts to descriptions of actual events with a clear historical basis, however distorted by the hagiographer's hand.
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