Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/41

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BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

tion; and it is in that distant period that Professor Chwolson places Kámásh-Nahari, the author of a work on agriculture; the saints and favourites of the gods, Aámi, Súlina, Thúlúni, Resáï, Kermáná, etc.; and finally the martyr Tammúzi, the first to found the religion of the planets, who was put to death, and afterwards lamented by his followers. Dr. Chwolson stops here: he acknowledges that before that period all fades into the mist of fabulous antiquity.

Certainly, to many persons, the promulgation of such a system would be its surest refutation. Indeed, the assertions of Prof. Chwolson assume an aspect to which persons who adopt the usual principles of criticism are quite unaccustomed. Such, however, is the singular chain of evidence which has led Dr. Chwolson to adopt this system; so great is the authority which his opinion seems to derive from that of M. Quatremère; that it becomes the duty of criticism to examine his assertions step by step, without resting on the improbability

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