Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/11

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xi
PREFACE.

paramount importance. M. Renan’s essay is contemporary with the latter, and appeared in the Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions, et Belles-Lettres, Tome XXIV., in 1860. The third review is a notice of this memoir, which appeared in the Times on the last day of January in the present year, under the heading of “Pre-Adamite Literature,” which gives a masterly analysis of the whole subject.[1]

Husbandry was the first and earliest of the sciences to which man turned his attention, and our common father, when he

  1. The translator of the Strange Surprising Adventures of the Venerable Gooro Simple, published in 1860, in reference to the antiquity of Eastern legends, says: “Dr. Chwolson has recently issued a very curious and interesting volume on the remains of ancient Babylonian literature. According to it, a person named Kúthámí compiled a well-planned and ably executed work on general literature fourteen centuries before the Christian era, giving us glimpses of a previous civilization of some three thousand years. We are promised the Arabic text accompanied by a translation. When these appear we shall have more certain data than mere conjectural criticism for fixing dates. Kúthámí, it seems, speaks of ‘the ancients,’ the writers of periods then long passed away, as we do of the authors of classical antiquity.”