Open main menu

Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/118

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

always to have been regarded by the Byzantine court with suspicion, and Hareth is accused of having tried to deceive the Roman army, in order to secure his prey.[1] His faith was afterwards considered as proved by his inveterate hostility to the king of Hirah. In a war between the two Arab chiefs, which was carried on without the interference of either Persia or Rome, the son of Hareth fell into the power of the mondar, who sacrificed him to Venus, or Ozza, the deity worshipped by his tribe.[2] In a subsequent action the united forces of the mondar were defeated with great slaughter, and two of his sons made prisoners.

During the reigns of the mondar the son of Ma-es-samai, and of Amru ben Hind, flourished most of the celebrated poets, whose writings merited to be suspended in the Kaaba, and have thence received the name of Moallakat, or the suspended.[3] Despising the shackles of grammatical rules and prosody, which were not introduced till ages subsequent to Muhammed,[4] as much as they abhorred the

  1. Procopius, lib. ii. c. 1.
  2. Και απ’ αυτου εγνωσθη ου καταπροϊεσθαι τα Ρωμαιων πραγματα Πετρας Αρεθαν. Procopius, lib. ii. c. 28.
  3. Amru ben Keltum, cd. Kosegarten (4to. Jen. 1819.) p. 66. D'Herbelot in Moallakat. They have been translated by Sir W. Jones.
  4. Ante Muslemanisinum Arabes, qui ad eloquentiam sua natura facti esse videntur, grammaticæ regulis non utebantur. Schamseldinæus Altensaræus, ap. Casiri, Biblioth. Hispan. Arab. tom. i. p. 1. The first who reduced the Arabian poetry to fixed and determinate laws of prosody and versification, was"