Beth Nahrain (Aramaic: ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ; "the house/land of the two rivers") is the Aramaic name for the region known as Mesopotamia (Greek "land between the rivers"). It refers to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers of Iraq and Syria. The Aramaic name loosely describes the area of the rivers, not between like the literal Greek term; however both names refer to the same region.

While it may be erroneously thought that the name is derived from the Greek "Mesopotamia", the opposite is more probable as the Aramaic name has been attested since the time of the Aramaicization of the region, in the 10th century BCE,[1] while the Greek name Mesopotamia was first coined in the 2nd century BCE by the historian Polybius during the Seleucid period.[2]The name Bayn Nahrayn is also found in Arabic (Arabic: بين نهرين; "between two rivers").

This area roughly encompasses Iraq, eastern Syria and parts of southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran. The Assyrians and Iraqis consider themselves to be indigenous inhabitants of Beth Nahrain.[3] "Nahrainean" or "Nahrainian" is the Anglicized name for "Nahraya", which is the Aramaic equivalent of "Mesopotamian".[4]

See also


  1. Finkelstein, J. J.; 1962. “Mesopotamia”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 21: 73–92
  2. Geoffrey Wigoder, The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible, Sterling Publishing (2005).
  3. Simo Parpola, Assyrian Identity in Ancient Times and Today, Lecture given at the March 27, 2004 historical seminar of the Assyrian Youth Federation in Sweden (AUF)
  4. Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies Past and Present, Perceptions of Syriac Literary Tradition by Lucas VAN ROMPAY

arc:ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪܝܢ

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