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105
IN ARABIA.

vinces of the empire. A district which bordered on the territories of the mondar, as well as on those of Hareth, the king of the Roman Saracens, was claimed by the former; and his pretensions were disputed by Hareth, on the plea that its name, Strata, indicated it to have been a Roman possession. The proud spirit of the king of Hirah would not deign to dispute with words, and the territory of Ghassan was quickly overrun by his hostile bands.[1] Justinian expostulated with the Persian king against the hostilities of his tributary, but Noushirwan only reproached him with his endeavours to rouse against him the arms of Hamyar,[2] and with having, in a time of peace, attempted to seduce from his allegiance the king of Hirah. The hostilities of the mondar were continued, and the forces of Persia followed and supported him. Hareth had recourse to the same species of argument as his rival; at the instigation of Belisarius, who had been recalled to the defence of the east, he invaded Assyria, and collected an immense booty from the plunder of that rich province. Their Saracen allies, however, seem

  1. Procopius, de Bel. Pers. lib. ii. c. 1. I find mention of this Strata, or paved way, in the geography of Abulfeda, as cited by Schultens in his Index Geographicus to his edition of Bohaddin. Sarchadum is mentioned as a small town at the boundary of the Hauraun, in lon. 60° 20′, lat. 32° 15′. "A latere ejus Eoo viam pergis, quæ Strata appellator, Irakam ferens. Narrant viatores, si teneatur, Sarchado Bagdadum perveniri decem præter propter diebus."
  2. Theophanes, ad an. 563.