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Arabia

The great peninsula of southwest Asia comprising most of the present countries of the Middle East. It has been known since the first millennium B.C. In early times it was divided into Arabia Petraea, the northwest part, the only part ever conquered, becoming a Roman province; Arabia Deserta, the northern part between Syria and Mesopotamia; and Arabia Felix, the main part of the peninsula but by some geographers restricted to modern Yemen. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p63)