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52
EARLY CHRISTIANITY

and erected churches in various parts of the kingdom.[1]

Soon after this, when the greater part of the Abyssinian forces had been withdrawn from Arabia, Dzu Nowass suddenly raised an army, and defeated those who had been left to secure the conquests of the nadjash.[2] No sooner had he thus regained possession of his hereditary kingdom, than the tobbaa prepared to wreak his vengeance on the now defenceless Christians; and all who refused to renounce their faith and embrace Judaism, were put to death, without respect to age or sex.[3]

The town of Nadjran, or Nedjeraun, on the north of Yaman, was inhabited by the Benni Hâleb, who had embraced the religion of Jesus, according to the Arabian historians, at the preaching of a Syrian missionary.[4] It was under the jurisdiction of a bishop, and had a church which was frequented by many of the Arabian tribes.[5] The Greek writers trace the introduction of Christianity into this town from the time of the embassy sent by Constantius to Arabia under Theophilus.[6] Against this place Dzu Nowass

  1. Johan. As. Episc. p. 19, 20. (Ed. Michaelis.) Jo. Malala, p. 164. Nicephorus, lib. xvii. c. 22. Cedrenus, &c.
  2. Metaphrastes, ap. Sur. in Baronius ad an. 522, 3.
  3. Metaphrastes, ibid. Johan. Episc. As. p. 21, 22, &c.
  4. Hamza, p. 38. Tabri and Zakaria Cazvine, ap. Ouseley, Travels, vol. i. p. 369, 71.
  5. Abulfeda and Safio'ddinus, apud Pocock. Spec. Hist. Arab. p. 141.
  6. Quædam tamen civitas frequens populo sita in Homeritide,