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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/58

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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

of whose vast riches had excited his cupidity;[1] later authors have praised their beauties and their virtues.[2] During the reign of the Ptolemies, when the trade of the Red Sea was carried on partly through the Egyptian ports, and Ethiopia was made by their fleets a place of less difficult access, the language and some of the refinements of Greece were introduced;[3] and it was a favourite resort of the later king's of this family, for the purpose of hunting the elephant.[4] Like Arabia, this country afforded a refuge to multitudes of Jews, of whom many are to be found there at the present day.[5] Christianity is supposed to have reached Ethiopia as early as the days of the apostles;[6] but it can be ascertained with more

  1. Herodotus, lib. iii. p. 191, &c. The Ethiopians sent Cambyses one of their bows, with the following message: — The king of the Ethiopians advises the king of the Persians, that when his soldiers are able to bend this bow with ease he may venture to invade Ethiopia, in the mean time let him thank the gods that they have not induced the Ethiopians to desire other countries than their own.
  2. Herod, ibid. Mela, lib. iii. c. 3.
  3. {{polytonic|Κατα δε τον δευτερον Πτολεμαιον ὁ βασιλευς των Αιθιοπων Εργαμενης, μετεσχηκως Ελληνικης αγωγης, και φιλοσοφησας. Diodorus, lib. iv. p. 178.
  4. Agatharchides, περι της Ερυθρας θαλασσης, p. 1. In the Adulitic inscription in Cosmas (p. 143), Ptolemy professes to have conquered the Arabians, και περαν δε της Ερυθρας θαλασσης οικουντας Αραβιτας.—Τους εις την Ομηριτην σημαινει·, says Cosmas, τουτεστι τους εν τῃ ευδαιμονι Αραβιᾳ.
  5. Jewett's Christian Researches.
  6. They were reported to have been visited by Thomas (Chrysost. Homil. in xii. Apost. p. 11), by Matthæus (Ruffinus, lib. i.