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The combined cities of Zeezroom, Cumeni, Judea & Antiparah

 

 

Criteria for the combined cities

 

They were on the west approaching the seacoast.

 

They appear to stretch westward from Manti in the order of Cumeni, Judea, Antiparah (Alma 56:14).

 

Cumeni seems to be just west of Manti (Alma 57:22).

 

The cities of Manti, Zeezrom, Cumeni, and Antiparah were apparently on the south border of the Nephite lands and were the first cities captured by the Lamanite invaders (Alma 56:14).

 

Cumeni doesn't appear to have been a fortified city (Alma 57:16-20).

 

Antiparah was between the city of Judea and an unnamed Nephite city near the west seashore (Alma 56:30).

 

The Nephite armies could flee two days northward from Antiparah into the wilderness (Alma 56:33-42).

 

In battle for Cumeni, defeated Lamanites were driven back to nearby city of Manti (Alma 57:22).

 

Some or all of these cities were fortified (Alma 56:20-21).

 

The cities of Zeezrom, Cumeni, Antiparah, and Judea will be treated as a group as related in the account of Helaman. Helaman, who is based in the city of Judea, describes his battles with the Lamanite invaders in chapters 56-58 of Alma. These events center on the above cities, which the Lamanites had earlier captured (with the exception of Judea). The city of Zeezrom is recorded as having been taken, but no further mention is made of it, so we are unaware whether it was ever regained. The order of Manti, Zeezrom, Cumeni and Antiparah moving westward may be correct, however, when the Lamanites are defeated at Cumeni they don't retreat to Zeezrom, but to Manti, which would indicate that Cumeni was closest to Manti. However, Zeezrom may have been completely destroyed in the initial attack, in which case the above order would be consistent. There is also an unnamed city beyond Antiparah, near the seacoast, which was probably under Nephite control (Alma 56:31-32). These cities may have been strategically located at measured distances to provide defense along the southern border as has been suggested by John Clark . Judea was probably set back from the frontier and centrally located. Helaman first conquers Antiparah by drawing the Lamanites out and leading them two days journey north into the west wilderness with a forced march. The Antiparah Lamanites are finally defeated and the Lamanite prisoners sent to Zarahemla, which would be at a distance of about five days travel. Helaman returns to Judea, and Antiparah is abandon by the Lamanites. Next he besieges Cumeni and is successful in taking it. Again the prisoners are sent to Zarahemla. But now a fortified Lamanite army from Manti attacks and are barely defeated, after which they retreat back to Manti. Helaman again uses the strategy of drawing the Lamanites out of Manti and leads them into the wilderness, after which his hidden confederates take the almost deserted city. The frustrated Lamanites travel east across the head of the Sidon River and travel to the coastal area near Nephihah. These events all take place during the four-year period between 66 and 62 BC. I have tentatively placed these cities along the southern edge of the Central Valley going westward from Cartago