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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/81

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69
IN ARABIA.

the throne of Persia was his posthumous son Shahpoor the second. The minority of this prince presented an opportunity of revenge to the Arabs of Bahhrein and Lachsa, who collected a considerable force, crossed the Persian gulf, and plundered the country in all directions. The king of Hamyar, tobbaa Hassan, incited perhaps by the fugitive chiefs who had been driven from their possessions by Shahpoor, and who had sought refuge in Yaman, at the same time made a descent on Irak. No sooner, however, had Shahpoor reached the age of sixteen, than he prepared to retaliate on the Arabs the cruelties which they had perpetrated on his subjects. His vengeance was first directed against those tribes who had gained possession of Fars, which had been the principal scene of their devastations. Not one was suffered to escape, and the captives had their shoulders pierced, and afterwards dislocated by means of a string passed through them, a punishment which gained for this Persian king the title of Dzu Lektaf, or lord of the shoulders. Shahpoor next crossed the gulf, marched through the desert as far as Yatreb, filling up all the wells, and massacring every Arab he met with. From Hedjaz he continued his destructive march into Palestine and Syria, and to Mesopotamia and Irak, where he fixed his residence at the cities of Ctesiphon and Seleucia, which, separated by the Tigris, were denominated by the Arabians Al Medaïm, or the two cities.[1] Whilst

  1. Nikbi ben Massoud, p. 329–333, in the Notices de la Bibl. du Roi, tom. ii.