Carsten Niebuhr has a specially honoured place among the earliest pioneers of Arabian exploration, even though the area he covered was not much more than a small triangle in the Yemen. Bernstorffs suggestion that Niebuhr be given the title of professor to put him on a par with von Haven and Forsskal was met by embarrassed protests from Niebuhr. Niebuhr was introduced to Forsskal in September 1760, but it is unlikely that his qualifications impressed the Swede. In the event, the expedition led to tragedy and death, and only Carsten Niebuhr, after more than six years of travel, was to see Copenhagen again. After a lengthy stay in Egypt Peter Forsskal and Niebuhr, and perhaps also von Haven, had acquired a good working knowledge of vernacular Arabic. The most valuable and important part of Niebuhr’s information on social and political conditions in Arabia is ‘The new religion of a part of Najd’.