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72
EARLY CHRISTIANITY

Aurelian, Palmyra and its dependencies became permanently a province of the empire.

After the death of Constantine the tranquillity of the eastern empire was again disturbed by the hostilities of the Persians, and the most important fortresses of Mesopotamia were reduced by the arms of Shahpoor. The Arabs of Syria had suffered severely from the Persians, who in pursuing the Arabs had been stopped only by the shores of the Mediterranean, and they willingly attended the expedition of Julian, whose army was considerably increased by their numbers,[1] and who was liberal in rewarding them for their services.[2] At this period we read of Saracens, or Arabs, who attended the Persian army,[3] and who were employed in harassing Jovian in his retreat.[4] From the time of Baharam Gaur, who had been educated amongst the Arabs, and raised to the throne by their assistance, the princes of the house of Hirah were in great favour with the Persian monarchs.[5]

Christianity was introduced at an early period

  1. Adscitis Saracenorum auxiliis, quæ animis obtulere promptissimis, &c. Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxiii. c. 5. Conf. Malcolm, Hist. of Pers. vol. i. p. 109.
  2. Post quæ Saraceni procursatores quosdam parte hostium obtuleri lætissimo principi, et munerati ad agenda similia sunt remissi. Id. lib. xxiv. c. 1.
  3. Ammianus, lib. xxiv. c. 2.
  4. Id. lib. xxv. c. 6, 8.
  5. D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. art. Baharam. Eutychius, tom. ii. p. 82. Nikbi ben Massoud, p. 335. (Not. de la Bibl. du Roi, tom. ii.)