Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/30

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BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

gards its source, the apparent contradictions of the work could be reconciled. It was in pursuance of this idea that I ventured[1] to throw some doubt on the antiquity of the compilation of “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture,” while willingly admitting that it might contain a certain amount of very ancient matter. Professor Ewald agrees with me in thinking that the book might be considered as the work of successive hands and many revisions.[2] It is, he contends, the sole method of defending the antiquity of some parts of the book against the overwhelming objections which arise from some others where the influence of Alexandrian Hellenism cannot possibly be ignored. As to the conjecture of M. Paul de Lagarde,[3] formerly hazarded by M. J. Niclas, according to which “The Nabathæan Agriculture” was nothing but a translation

  1. “Histoire générale des Lanques Semitiques” (1855), l. III. c. ii. sect. 1; and in the “Memoires de l’Academie des Inscriptions,” t. XXIII., 2nd part, p. 330 (1858).
  2. “Gœttingen gel. Anzeigen” (1857, Nos. 9 and 10); 1859, p. 1456.
  3. “De Geoponica vers. Syriaca” (Lipsiæ, 1855), pp. 18, 19 and 24.