Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/22

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6
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

dæan devoted his life to their translation, and thus created a Nabathæo-Arabic library, of which three complete works—to say nothing of the fragments of a fourth—have descended to our days. The three complete works are, first, كتاب الفلاحة النبطية “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture;” second, كتاب السموم “The Book of Poisons;” third, كتاب تنكلوشا البابلي “The Book of Tenkelúshá the Babylonian.” The incomplete work is كتاب اسرار الشمس والقمر “A work on the Secrets of the Sun and Moon.”[1] Of these four books, “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” is by far the most important and the most interesting. It is this one which will now principally occupy our attention.

  1. The first is a cyclopædia of agriculture, containing also remarks and dissertations on subjects incidentally mentioned, and it is these which give it the pre-eminence. The second, which is older than the first, treats of poisons and their antidotes. The third is a genethlialogic work. The fourth treats of plants and metals.—Translator’s note.