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104
EARLY CHRISTIANITY

I possess in endeavouring to restrain them, I should not have the power to accomplish it." Then Kobad gave to Hareth six large villages of those belonging to the Suwad on the banks of the Euphrates. When Hareth had taken possession of these, he restrained the Arabs from entering the Persian territories. The Arab king, having thus made trial of the weakness of Kobad, persuaded others of the more southernly tribes to join with him, invaded Persia, and proceeded as far as Rei, where the Persian monarch was slain.[1] The accession of Noushirwan was marked by the destruction of Mazdak and his adherents: Hareth was driven from Hirah, and compelled to take refuge amongst the tribes of the peninsula, and the king who had been deposed by Kobad was restored to his throne.[2]

The more immediate consequence of the Roman embassy to Hamyar and Auxuma was the renewal of the Persian war. No sooner had Noushirwan learnt that Belisarius had left the east to prosecute the war in Italy, than he began to seek causes of rupture with the Byzantine emperor. The Saracen prince was easily induced to invade the border pro-

  1. The foregoing is nearly a literal translation from the Tarikh Tabar, as given in Ouseley's Oriental Collections, vol. iii. p. 156, et seq. In the sequel the author confounds the incursion of the Arabs with the more ancient expeditions of the tobbaas of Yaman. Hamza relates, too, that the kingdom of Hirah was forcibly seized by Hareth. Rasmussen, pp. 11, 12.
  2. Rasmussen, p. 13.