Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/37

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21
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

this Canaanite dynasty be placed, which, pretty much as the Hyksos did in Egypt, must have interrupted the series of native dynasties of Chaldæa? For various reasons Dr. Chwolson has concluded to identify it with the fifth of Berosus, composed of nine Arabian kings, of which he fixes the commencement between the years 1540 and 1488 before Christ. Kúthámí appears to have written one or two hundred years after the Canaanite invasion; the year 1300 is therefore the latest which can be suggested as that of the composition of the work which bears his name.

The astonishment excited by this conclusion is heightened by the circumstance that the author of “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” quotes a great number of works, which themselves, again, have quotations from other authors; thus suggesting whole centuries of culture and civilization before the time of Kúthámí. Professor Chwolson considers that a culture of some 3000 years must be admitted before his