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Did the term "Arab" exist in the first century?


when Sheik Ilderim visited Messala to place a wager on the race, Messala gave him 4 to 1 odds and said, "4 to 1 the difference between a roman and a jew", to which a roman soldier continues, "or an arab".
As I understand it, the "arab" identity is closely related to the islamic religion which began in the 7th century. in the first century the religion was non-existent as was the arabic language. Was this an error of the script or was the word "arab" used back then?

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There was probably a specific Latin word for "person native to the regions that will be called Arab in 2,000 years", but modern audiences wouldn't understand what the term meant. So the term is meant to indicate a place of origin and perhaps a semitic ethnicity, rather than a cultural origin.

Any other questions?


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Yes, Arab people existed. Islam made the Arabs more prominent in the world but they were always there. Also, in the Roman Empire there was a province called Arabia Petraea, which included the Sinai Peninsula and large parts of Palestine and Jordan. And yes, an early form of the Arabic language existed in that time as well.

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