Open main menu

Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/65

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
53
IN ARABIA.

is said to have been instigated by the Jews of Yatreb.[1] On his arrival before it, he found it surrounded by a wall and ditch, and the whole town in arms, prepared to oppose him. The tobbaa laid siege to the place with a large army, ravaging the surrounding country, and threatening the inhabitants with extermination, unless they would publicly renounce the cross. Finding, however, from the firmness and bravery of the Christians in Nadjran, that he was not very likely to succeed by force, he had recourse to treachery; and on his taking a solemn oath that he would not injure one of the inhabitants, but that he would allow them the peaceful exercise of their religion, the town of Nadjran was surrendered.[2]

The king of Hamyar disguised his treachery no longer than was necessary to gain the object which he had in view by it. Nadjran was plundered by

    quæ vocatur Najran, cum jam longo abhinc tempore evenisset ad agnitionem veritatis, et pietatem suscepisset, nempe ex quo Constantius, magni Constantini filius, ad Sabæos, qui nunc vocantur Homeritæ, orti vero sunt ex Cætura Abrahæ, misit legatos. Metaphrast. — The town of Nadjeran is still reverenced by the Druses, (Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia, vol. ii. p. 387), as well as another town of the same name. Nadjeran is now in ruins. "When I communicated this fact," says Buckingham, "as I had had a previous opportunity of doing, the principal Druse of the company exclaimed, 'Alas! there are but two Nedjerauns in the whole world, and they are both in decline.'" Travels among the Arab tribes, p. 254.

  1. Hamza, p. 38.
  2. Metaphrast. Joh. As. Episc. p. 24.