Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/23

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7
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

CHAPTER I.

The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture,” first referred to in Europe by St. Thomas Aquinas, was first known among Christian scholars, thanks to the quotations made from it by Jewish writers of the middle ages, particularly by Moses Maïmonides in his “More Nevochim.” The impression formed of it, from this source of information, was, however, very imperfect. Some supposed that the book treated of the religion of the Nabathæans, the word עבודה‎, by which the Hebrew translator of Moses Maïmonides rendered فلاحة, permitting the double sense of cultus, or cultura. Others supposed there were two distinct works, one on Nabathæan Agriculture, and one on the Religion of the Nabathæans. Moreover, by a confusion easily made between the name of the Copts (قبط)