The name is a compound of two divine names; the first part is a form of the Himyaritic `Athtar, the equivalent of the Old Testament Ashtoreth, the Phoenician Astarte, with the feminine ending omitted (Assyr.
Other traditions trace their origin to the Himyaritic chiefs Sanhaj and Samamah, said to have been coeval with a King Afrikus, who is supposed to have conquered Africa about 400.
Punische Schrift (1835), a pioneering work which he followed up in 1837 by his collection of Phoenician monuments (Scripturae linguaeque Phoeniciae monumenta quotquot supersunt); an Aramaic lexicon (1834-1839); and a treatise on the Himyaritic language written in conjunction with E.
Under Turkish protection, he visited the territory of the Hashid and Bakil tribes north-east of Sana, and though their hostile attitude compelled him to return after reaching their first important town, Khamr, he had time to reconnoitre the plateau lying between the two great wadis Kharid and Hirran, formerly covered with Himyaritic towns and villages; and to trace the course of these wadis to their junction at El Ish in the Dhu Husen country, and thence onward to the Jauf.
In 1889 he succeeded, again under Turkish escort, in reaching Marib, where he obtained, during a stay of thirty days, a large number of new Himyaritic inscriptions.