Aden, a peninsula and town belonging to Britain, on the SW. coast of Arabia, 105 miles E. of the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, the entrance to the Red Sea. The peninsula is a mass of volcanic rocks, 5 miles long from E. to W., and rising to 1776 feet. It is joined to the mainland by a narrow, level, and sandy isthmus. The town is on the eastern shore of the peninsula, stands in the crater of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded by indescribably barren, cinder-like rocks. The main crater is known as the Devil's Punch-bowl. Frequently the heat is intense; but the very dry hot climate, though depressing, is unusually healthy for the tropics. The Romans occupied it in the 1st century a.d. Till the discovery of the Cape route to India (1498), it was the chief mart of Asiatic produce for the Western nations; but in 1838 it had sunk to be a village of 600 inhabitants. The increasing importance of the Red Sea route gave Aden great value as a station for England to hold; and in 1839, after a few hours' contest, Aden fell into the hands of the British. It is of high importance both in a mercantile and naval point of view, especially as a great coaling station; it has a garrison and strong fortifications. The population and resources of the place have rapidly increased since 1838, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 gave it a great impetus. The annual value of its imports sometimes exceeds two millions, while that of its exports (coffee, gums, spices) amounts to a million and a half. It is a telegraphic station on the cable between Suez and Bombay, and on the line to Zanzibar and the Cape. To provide for its growing population, a considerable territory on the mainland has been acquired and added to the peninsula, the total area (including the island of Perim, q.v.) being 75 sq. m.; and the settlement, which is politically connected with Bombay (seven days' sailing distant), had in 1901 a population of 41,250. The bulk of the natives are Arabs and Somalis from Africa, all speaking Arabic. In the settlement there are, besides Aden proper, called the Camp, or the Crater, two other centres of population - Steamer Point, which is cooler than the Crater; and the outlying town of Shaikh Othman, with a Presbyterian mission, 10 miles towards the interior.