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68
EARLY CHRISTIANITY
68
IN ARABIA.

sian princes had at times made a temporary conquest of Irak, Medaine, and even Rei and Isfahaun. Ardesheir however invaded the territories of the Mûlouk-al-Towâeif, drove them from Khorasan, Irak, and Mesopotamia, and even pursued them into Bahhrein and Hedjaz, where he compelled them to pay tribute to the crown of Persia. Many of the Arab chieftains were permitted to occupy the northern deserts under the princes of Hirah, which with its dependencies the Arabian king of Bahhrein was allowed to retain, and some appear to have retired to Hamyar and other parts of the south. The king of Hirah seems however to have been considered as little better than a viceroy of Persia. The Arabs of Ghassan, and other tribes who bordered on Syria, which was occupied by the Romans, sheltered themselves from the Persian power by a nominal alliance with their neighbours. Accordingly when Hormuz II., the seventh king of the Sassanian dynasty, attempted to exact a tribute of the tribe of Ghassan, they refused to comply with his demand. Without giving them time to seek assistance from their Roman allies, the Persian king invaded their territory, and entirely defeated them. But Hormuz himself was waylaid in the desert by a body of Arabs, who put him and his attendants to the sword.[1]

On the sudden death of Hormuz, the next heir to

  1. Malcolm's History of Persia, vol. i. p. 106, 7, and the authorities cited by him.