Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/24

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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

were descended the tribe of Koreish. Kâhtan was the first that wore a diadem in the land of Yaman.[1] Kâhtan was succeeded by his son Yârab, who is celebrated as the first who spoke the language and introduced the ceremonials of Arabia.[2] Yeshab، the son of Yârab, was succeeded by Abd-Shems, or Saba, the founder of the city of Mariaba, and of the great reservoir in its neighbourhood, which collected the streams as they flowed from the mountains, and distributed them over the plains.[3] He was the first

  1. Abulfeda, p. 3. (in Schultens' Hist. Joct.)— Pococke, Spec. Hist. p. 56.
  2. Hamza, p. 19. Pocock. ibid. He was said to be the first who introduced the formula by which the kings of Hamyar were saluted when crowned. It was ابيت اللعن may you refuse malediction. ان اهل الجاهلية كانوا يحيون الملوك بقولهم ابيت اللعن ولا يخاطيون به غبرهم حتي ان احدهم اذا تولي الامارة والملك قيل له فلان نال التحية٭ "The Arabians formerly saluted their kings with these words, may you refuse malediction: nor did they ever address any one else with this formula: so that when any one was raised to the throne, they said of him, such a one has received the salutation." Almotarazzi, in libro Mogreb. (ap. Pocock) Ebno'l Athir gives the following explanation of it. ابيت اللعن كان هذا في تحايا الملوك في الجاهلية والدعا لهم وصعناه ابيت ان تفعل فعلا تلعن بسببه وتذم٭ "This formula, may you refuse malediction, with which they used to salute their kings, and wish them prosperous, had this meaning—take care you do nothing on account of which people may curse you, and speak ill of you." See Abulfed.
  3. Abulfed. p. 2. Mesoud, p. 167.