Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/52

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36
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

by Kúthámí, but by one of the authors whom he quotes, Mási the Suranian. According to Dr. Chwolson’s theory, Mási cannot have lived later than two thousand years before Christ.[1] One is naturally curious to know at what day the Greeks could have shewn themselves to the eyes of a Babylonian at so remote a period. Here is the passage: “What I say to thee, Támithri,[2] I say also to thy neighbours, the Ionians (Yúnánís), whom, except for the great aversion that I have to abuse, I should not hesitate to call mere brutes, although excellent men have appeared among them; they outbid one another in vaunting up themselves as to be preferred to the natives of Babylon.”[3] “Twenty years ago,” says

  1. Page 92. Besides, p. 173, Dr. Chwolson speaks of 2,500 years.
  2. The treatise of Mási, from which this passage is extracted, was, according to Dr. Chwolson, addressed to Támithri, the Canaanite, and turns upon the literary precedence of the Canaanites and Chaldæans. I cannot pass by the improbability which a belief in the high antiquity of such writings calls forth.
  3. Page 91, note. ومثل قولي لك يا طاميري اقول لجيرانك اليونانيين الذين لولا كراهتي ان اسبّ احداً لقلتُ انّهم