Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/25

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9
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

the work which now engages our attention.[1] Unfortunately, out of the nine parts or books into which “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” is divided, the Paris manuscript (Ancien Fonds Arabe, No. 913), only contains two, being about one-third of the entire work. By examining the portion thus at his disposal, M. Quatremère ascertained the various features of the work. He saw that “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” was a translation from a Chaldæan author. He fixed, with much hesitation however, the name of the original author as Kúthámí. He gathered from the treatise in question much curious information as to the civilization of the Nabathæans. He shewed that “The Agriculture” contained much more than its mere title promised, and threw most valuable light on the ancient literature of Babylon. Finally, he promulgated an opinion as to the epoch of the composition of the work, which ap-

  1. “Memoire sur les Nabateens,” inserted in the “Journal Asiatique,” 1835. Since reprinted in the “Melanges d’Histoire et de Philologie Orientale,” edited by M. Barthélemey Saint Hilaire.