Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/53

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37
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

Dr. Chwolson, “when negative criticism was still at its height, it would no doubt have been concluded from this passage that Mási lived after Alexander; but now no one would do so.” I confess that I am strongly tempted to draw the conclusion which Prof. Chwolson rejects so disdainfully. How is it possible to place at an ante-historical date a passage which betrays so plainly that national rivalry, which was the characteristic trait of the epoch of the Seleucides, and which assuredly did not exist before the Median war; that is, earlier than the fifth century before Christ?

The passages where the Yúnánís are expressly mentioned are not the only ones which prove that Kúthámí had felt the influence of the Greeks. There are other passages more embarrassing still to scholars who attribute to “The Nabathæan Agriculture,” a remote antiquity. In the chapter

كالبهائم وان كان قد خرج فيهم افاضل فانّهم يفخرون علي اهل اقليم بابل الواحد بعد الواحد منهم ۞