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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/73

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61
IN ARABIA.

Nowass himself was amongst the number of the slain. The native historians give a different account of the death of the tobbaa. According to them, he fled from the field of battle, after he had witnessed the defeat of his army, but being closely pursued, and at last hemmed in between his enemies and the sea, he precipitated himself from a rock, and perished in the waves. By this action the fate of Arabia was decided. In Dzu Dgiadan, who was the successor of Dzu Nowass, and who fell in opposing the conquerors, ended the race of Hamyar.[1] Yaman became a province dependent on the Abyssinian nadjash, and Aryat, known to the Greeks under the name of Esimiphæus, ascended the throne as his tributary.[2]

The spirit of Christianity is mild and forgiving, and its doctrines inculcate the duty of forbearance and long-suffering; but in the barbarous times which marked the decline of the Roman empire, and among the wild tribes, such as those of Arabia and Abyssinia, who became converts, a different spirit had usurped its place. As the partizans of Christianity, moreover, increased in power, they unfortunately became too often, like their enemies, vindictive and persecuting. This change was not caused by their religion, but by the state of the times, by the character of those who embraced it, and by the different and contending doctrines that were mixed with it.

  1. Hamza, p. 34. Abulfeda, p. 10.
  2. Procopius de Bel. Pers. lib. i. c. 30, who calls him a Christian and an Hamyarite.