Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/13

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xiii
PREFACE.

Galen, of Euclid and others, become known to us only by Arabic versions in which they really exist, should we not probably suspect them to be forgeries, and exclaim against the possibility of the Greeks having had so cultivated a literature four centuries before Christ, when our own forefathers were in a state of dense darkness, in which they continued comparatively for some fifteen centuries afterwards, though their connection with classical antiquity was by no means dissolved?” As this might well have happened in regard to Greek literature, he asks us not to look upon as forgeries authentic documents, brought to light by similar agency, respecting a pre-existing ante-Grecian culture.

In M. Ernest Renan, Professor Chwolson has met an opponent at all points his equal in rank and in erudition. The Oriental