Arabia is popularly known to the western world as the homeland of the Arabs, the origin of the legendary Queen of Sheba, and the origin of frankincense and myrrh. Most of that knowledge and familiarity comes indirectly from foreigners with little or no first-hand experience with the region or its peoples, and stereotypes such as the nomadic Bedouin are embedded in western culture. Recent archaeological evidence and historical syntheses show the situation is far more complex, and often misunderstood. In this course we explore the meteoric rise of some of the world's greatest, including the Sabaeans and the Nabataeans, and when and how the Arabs came to be. We delve into mysterious legends and biblical traditions, and review the contact the people of Arabia had with the Canaanites and Hebrews, the Assyrians and Babylonians, and the Greeks and Romans.