Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/54

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38
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

which treats of the cultivation of beans, these words occur: "This is why Armísá (ارميسا) (Hermes) and Agháthádímún (اغاثاديمون) (Agathodæmon[1]) have forbidden persons of their country the use of fish and beans, and have strongly insisted on this prohibition."[2] Here Dr. Chwolson admits the difficulty, and tries various solutions of it; but all equally unsatisfactory. He who rebutted so energetically elsewhere, in the case of the composition of "The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture," all idea of successive compilation, has recourse this time to the hypothesis of an interpolation. Then, falling back on this concession, he volunteers a high antiquity to the philosophical and religious part of Hermes and Agathodæmon, though it is obvious that these are Neo-Platonic fictions, adopted, among others, by the Sabians or Modern Babylonians.[3] Finally,

  1. For the part assigned to Agathodæmon in Arabian traditions, which are but an echo of Sabian fables, see Ibn-Abi-Oceibia, in the "Journal Asiatique," August–September, 1854, p. 186, in Dr. Sanguinetti’s translation.
  2. Pp. 93, 94.
  3. Ibn-Abi-Oceibia says that the Nabathæans looked upon Hermes