Open main menu

Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/99

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
87
IN ARABIA.

now entirely monopolised by the Persian merchants; during hostilities the supply was necessarily stopped, and in time of peace the emperor beheld with grief the wealth of Rome passing into the hands of its enemies. By a coincidence of commercial interests he hoped to turn the trade of India and China into its ancient course, through the hands of the merchants of Hamyar and Adulis.

An embassy to Auxuma and Hamyar was conducted by Nonnosus,[1] who ascended the Nile from Alexandria, crossed the Red Sea,[2] and landed on the Arabian coast, where he visited the district occupied by the tribes of Maad and Kendah, which were then ruled by Kaisus, or Amru'l Keis,[3] and were tributary to Hamyar.[4] Kaisus willingly contracted an alliance with the emperor, and delivered his son Mavia to the Romans as a hostage.[5] He afterwards joined the other Saracens in the invasion[6]

  1. Photius, Biblioth. cod. iii. p. 6. The grandfather of Nonnosus had been employed as ambassador to the king of Kendah, and his father had been sent on an embassy to the mondar, to negociate the delivery of prisoners. Nonnosus published an account of his travels in Arabia and Abyssinia during the embassy.
  2. Jo. Malala, pars altera, p. 193.
  3. Photius, cod. iii. Procopius de Bel. Pers. c. 19.—Μααδδηνοι—Χινδινων. Kaisus was, according to Photius, an exile from his country, and was made phylarch of the Maadites by the Hamyarites. Procop. c. 20.
  4. Procopius, c. 19.
  5. Photius, p. 7.
  6. Procopius, de B. Pers. c. 20.