Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/45

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his own piety to the propagation of the Christian faith.[1]

The next Christian mission to Hamyar occurred in the reign of Constantius. Amongst the hostages who had been delivered to the Romans by the people of Adiabene, was a man named Theophilus, afterwards known by the surname of Indus, or the Indian.[2] His native country appears to have been the island of Dibu; or Divu, at the mouth of the river Indus.[3] He soon displayed extraordinary

  1. Tantopere vero eum laudatum esse ferunt, ut parem cum Apostolis laudem et honorem tulerit. . . . Et locupletem nactus gratiam, plurima Deo constituit templa. Nicephorus Callistus, Hist. Eccl. lib. viii. c. 35. Perhaps we may still recognize some traditions of the history of Frumentius among the Arabian histories. By two authors, cited by Sir W. Ouseley, (Travels, vol. i. p. 369—71), we are informed that the Arabs of Nadjran were first converted by a Syrian Christian, who was taken by robbers and carried among them. Jews in the earlier times might naturally be confounded with Christians; it often happens so in Roman historians. The tobbaa Hassan, with his brothers Amrou and Zerraah, were said to have been left infants on the death of their father Assaad, and during their minority "the sovereign power was exercised by an Arab Jew of the Benni Lakhem. As soon as Hassan had attained the age of discretion, Rebbeiah (the name of the Jew), who was probably his tutor or guardian, retired with his children to Heirah." (Modern Traveller, Arabia, p. 37.) It was about this time, which must have been nearly contemporary with Constantine, that Abd Celâl reigned, who was reputed to be a Christian.
  2. Nicephorus, ix. 18.
  3. Philostorgius, lib. iii. num. 4. Pagi, p. 329. Gothofredus,