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35
IN ARABIA.

Asseman considers that Theophilus merely converted the Christians, who were already spread over the southern part of the peninsula, to the Arian heresy, of which he was a zealous adherent. The number of Christians in Arabia at this time must certainly have been considerable. No less than four bishoprics were established in the kingdom of Hamyar.[1] The Christians of Yaman were still, however, few in comparison with those amongst the Arabs of Syria and the north, who were generally understood by the name of Arabian Christians. Of the tribes mentioned by Arabian authors as having embraced the worship of Christ, few are included within the limits of Arabia Felix. But it is not improbable that Christians and Jews are often confounded. One writer tells us that Christianity flourished in the tribes of Rabiah, Ghassan, and Kodaah, and Judaism in Hamyar.[2] We know, however, that in Hamyar there were many Christians. Ibn Khalican enumerates, as Christian tribes, those of Bahrah, Tanouch, and Taglab.[3] To these may be added, on the authority of Abulfeda and Safio'ddin, many tribes in the neighbourhood of Nadjran, or

    πασης προθυμιας αυτον υποδεχομενων, και το της αρετης αυτου μεγεθος καταπληττομενων. ην γαρ ὁ ανηρ κρεισσον η ως αν τις δηλωσει λογῳ, ως αν της των αποστολων εικων κ. τ. λ.

  1. Asseman, Biblioth. Orient. tom. iii.
  2. Auctor Libri المستطرز ap. Pocock. Spec. Hist. Arab. p. 141.
  3. Ibn Khalican, ap. Pocock. ib.

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