Valens had gained, or rather purchased, the friendship of the Saracens, whose vexatious inroads were felt on the borders of Phoenicia, Palestine, and Egypt. The Christian faith had been lately introduced among a people reserved in a future age to propagate another religion (Tillemont, Hist. des Empercurs, tom. v. p. 104, 106, 141; Mem. Eccles. tom. vii. p. 593).