ABSTRACT

Bevan speaks of the desert land as " offering a refuge . . . to all the enemies of order " . How far is this accurate ? So far as modern observation extends i t is extremely rare for citizens of the settled area to seek a refuge amongst the Bedwin, save only in the case when settled Arabs become discontented with political conditions and revert to the nomadic life which they had but recently abandoned. Of this there are examples in history: the B. Bakr of Hira returned to nomadic life when the Sasanid government displaced the Arab dynasty of Hira and appointed a Persian satrap ; and the case of Terah and Abraham who went out of Ur of the Chaldees to become pastoral nomads in the Syrian desert as their ancestors had doubtless been seems another instance of the same sort. No doubt from such reversions some at least of the culture of the settled communities were carried out amongst the denizens of the desert, but this could never have been on a sufficiently extensive scale to make any deep impression.