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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/37

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landed in the country of the Thamudites, near the Elanitic Gulf,[1] and to have proceeded in the direction of Yatreb and Mecca to Nadjean,[2] which he appears to have destroyed, as well as Asca, Athrulla, Marsuaba, and several other cities;[3] amongst which was Mariaba itself, which he found to be six miles in circuit.[4] But what the Arabian arms could not do, was effected by the climate and the country; and the Roman army was obliged to retire, with the honour only of having experienced no successful opposition from a people who had been hitherto unconquered.[5]

The religion and theology of the Arabians of Yaman bore doubtless a great resemblance to that of the surrounding nations. They professed the doctrines of the Sabians, and in common with them, acknowledged Abraham as their ancestor. Attached therefore to a superstition made reverend by its antiquity, and in which their great progenitor Abraham was reported to have been educated,[6] the

  1. Vincent, Peripl. p. 302, &c.
  2. Egran, Plin. πολις Αγρανων, Strabo.
  3. Strabo, lib. xvi. c. 4. p. 407.
  4. Et supra dictam Mariabam, circuitu vi mil. passuum. Plin. lib. vi. c. 28.
  5. Τους δε αλλους απεβαλεν, ουχ ὑπο πολεμιων, αλλα νοσων, και κοπων, και λιμου, και μοχθηριας των οδων, κ. τ. λ. Strabo, p. 408.
  6. ידו‬ע‬ שא‬ב‬רהם אב‬י‬נ‬ו‬ עליו השלום‬ גד‬ל בא‬מוגת הצאבה ודע‬תם שא‬ין‬ אל‬יה‬ רק הכ‬כ‬בי‬ם

    Notum est Abrahamum patrem nostrum educatum esse in fide Zabæorum, qui statuerunt nullum esse deum præter stellas. Maimonides, More Nevochim, pars iii. c. 29.