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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/160

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148
EARLY CHRISTIANITY

but silver and gold? I came to the king not for wealth, but for deliverance from oppression and insult." The king was moved by his words and appearance, and promised to take his affairs into consideration.

By the advice of his ministers, Noushirwan, we are told, armed all the malefactors who filled his prisons, amounting to three thousand and six hundred men. These were placed under the command of Wehraz, a Persian noble. They landed, accompanied by Seif Dzi Jezen, on the coast of Hadramaut, at a place called Maijoun, and their forces were quickly swelled by the partisans of Seif, and by those who had suffered from the oppressions of the Abyssinian king of Hamyar, Mesrouk, the brother of Yecsoum, and son of Abrahah, to twenty thousand men. Intelligence of this formidable host soon reached the ears of Mesrouk, who prepared to oppose the invader with a powerful army. When they were on the point of engaging, Wehraz, we are told, desired Seif to point out to him the king of Hamyar; the latter was then seated on an elephant, and from his crown a red hyacinth was suspended by a golden chain over his forehead, between his eyes. Whilst the Persian was looking at him, he descended from his elephant and mounted a camel; soon afterwards, he changed the camel for a horse, then descended on foot, and last of all mounted a mule. "Thus," said Wehraz, "shall perish his kingdom, it shall be debased as he is debased." Thereupon he