By the constant westward pressure of the eastern Arabs, which (after the restraining force of the great Mesopotamian kingdoms was weakened) assumed irresistible strength, the ancient Edomites were forced across the Jordan-Araba depression, and with their name migrated to the south of western Palestine.
This large influx of Europeans, however, is modifying the population by reducing the Indian and mestizo elements to a minority, although they are still numerous in the mesopotamian, northern and north-western provinces.
Half a day's journey beyond Sura, on the Mesopotamian side of the river, are the extensive ruins of Haragla (Heraclea) and Rakka, once the capital of Harun al-Rashid (Nicephorium of Alexander; Callinicus of the Seleucids and Romans).
Two days' journey beyond Rakka, where the Euphrates breaks through the basalt dike of el-IIamme, are two admirably preserved ruins, built of gypsum and basalt, that on the Mesopotamian side called Zelebiya (Chanuga), and that on the Syrian, much the finer of the two, Halebiya or Zenobiya, the ancient Zenobia.
On the Mesopotamian side there would seem, from the accounts of Xenophon and Ptolemy, to have been an affluent which joined the Euphrates between Deir and `Ana, called Araxes by the former, Saocoras by the latter; but no trace of such a stream has been found by modern explorers and the country in general has always been uninhabited.
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