Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/101

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and his presents were received with respect, and when he had read the letters of the emperor urging him to make war on the Persians, and to send his merchants to the Roman ports, the Abyssinian prince brandished his weapons, and proclaimed incessant hostility against Kobad and the idolatrous Persians.[1]

The preparations of the Hamyarites and Abyssinians for the invasion of Persia were however never completed; for the reign and life of Aryat were shortened by civil discord. The spoils of Hamyar had, it is said, been divided among the Abyssinian chiefs to the entire exclusion of the soldiery, who, disappointed in their expectations of the reward due to their services, soon began to manifest their discontent. They were restrained only from actual rebellion, whilst they were engaged in seeking and punishing those participators and encouragers of the crimes of the preceding reign who had been marked out for their vengeance but when peace had been restored in Arabia by their destruction, the general indignation could be no longer repressed. The standard of rebellion was set up, Aryat was deposed, and Abrahah proclaimed king of Yaman.[2] Abrahah was a Christian, and had been once the slave of a Roman merchant[3] of

  1. Jo. Malala, p. 194-6. Besides the authors already cited, this embassy is related, though briefly and very confusedly, by Theophanes, Chronograph, p. 206, 207.
  2. Nuweir, p. 81. Tabeir, p. 108. Mesoud, p. 142. Procopius de Bell. Pers. c. 20.
  3. Procopius, ib.