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The chief use of the Genealogists' labours to the Biographer is that, besides legends of ancient battles and exploits, they have treasured up contemporary notices of the various tribes, and especially of the events which brought them into contact with Mahomet. They carefully note, for example, the names of any early converts who visited him; the part taken by the family or tribe in the campaigns of the Prophet; treaties made, or privileges conceded, etc. There is, in particular, an entire section of Wâckidi's work devoted to the Deputations which, chiefly in the 9th year of the Hegira, visited Medina from all parts of the Peninsula to tender their allegiance to Mahomet. Every surviving scrap of a treaty or letter connected with the Prophet was sacredly treasured up by the parties whom it affected; these were all sought out by the Genealogists, and transcribed in connection with the tribes to which they relate. In this way the historian finds much light thrown on the progress of Islam throughout Arabia, and even obtains casual glimpses of Mahomet himself. 

We have said nothing of the steps by which the Arabs endeavour to connect themselves with the patriarchs of the Old Testament. The grand division of the nation into two races, Northern and Southern, and the classification of tribes as proceeding from the one or from the other, is no doubt based on solid ground. The record of dynasties and leading events in Southern Arabia has a special claim on our attention, because we know that it was the custom there to inscribe public events on monuments; which must have been available to the collectors of tradition, although illegible to us now from the loss of the key to the Himyarite alphabet. But although this consideration may enable us to grope some little way farther back in Yemen than in the rest of Arabia, it still leaves the elaborate genealogies of patriarchal times a mere fiction of the Traditionists. These identify Cahtân, the mythical progenitor of the Southern tribes, at the distance of thirty-six generations, with Joktan of the Old Testament! And similarly the Northern tribes rejoice in having traced the links which connect their Prophet, and consequently the entire Northern race, with Ishmael and Abraham, the founders of 


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