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139
IN ARABIA.

them and the Becrites, who were also a powerful tribe, including the tribes of Keis, Hanifah, Edschlah, and Lodschainah in Yamama and Hadramaut, and who had gained no less than eight victories in a war with the Tamimites,[1] a series of mutual enmities and jealousies had long existed. Of the origin of these animosities no certain account is given. The war of Basus, which ended just before Hogr the Kendite was made king of the Becrites, is said to have originated from a camel,[2] or, according to others, from a goose.[3] But it appears most probable that the chief cause of their hostilities was a quarrel about water, the most valuable article to a wandering Arab. Some of the tribe of Taglab, it seems, running short of water, applied for relief to the tribe of Beer, and on being refused, took arms, and obtained by force what had been denied to their entreaties.[4] After having exhausted each other by their mutual and continual struggles, they at length called in the mediation of Amru ben Hind, the king of Hirah, who reigned from about the sixty-third to the seventy-ninth years of the sixth century.[5] Of this event we have two authentic documents, the poetic addresses of the chiefs of the rival tribes, which deserved a place among the Moallaka that were suspended in the temple of Mecca.

Hareth was of the tribe of Beer, and his Moal-

  1. Rasmussen, p. 117, et seq.
  2. Id. pp. 111, 115.
  3. Vuller, Prolegom. in Hareth. Moall.
  4. Id. ib.
  5. 563 or 564 to 576 or 579, according to Rasmussen.