Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/55

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39
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

he attempts to deny the identity of Armísá and Hermes. Armísá was a sage of Babylon; and, indeed, Armísá is represented in many Sabian traditions as a Chaldæan philosopher. But nothing can be deduced from that circumstance. The Hermesian books were accepted by all the East, and at Babylon as if their second country; it was from them that the Arabs derived all their traditions respecting Hermes; and this explains the singular transfer by means of

Trismegister as their countrymen ("Journal Asiatique," March–April, 1854, p. 263). Now the works attributed by Ibn-Abi-Oceibia to this Hermes are astrological. Besides, Ibn-Abi-Oceibia connects Hermes Trismegister with the Babylonians and the Harranians (ibid. August–Sept. 1854, pp. 185, 187, 189, 191, 192). I find in the Kitab thabacat al-úmen of Said (p. 20, 21 of M. Schefer’s manuscript) the following passage, where Hermes is represented as a modern Babylonian sage, contemporary with Socrates, and devoting his life to revising and correcting the writings of his predecessors:

واجلّهم هو هرمس البابلي وكان في عهد سقراط الفيلسوف اليوناني وذكر ابو جعفر بن محمد بن عمر البلخي في كتاب الالوف انه هو الذي صحح كثيرا من كتب الاوايل في علم النجوم وغيره من اصناف الفلاسفة ۞

This is in accordance with various legends in which Hermes is connected with Babylon. Hermes appears again in the chapter on Egypt.