Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/57

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41
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

founder of a religion and benefactor of mankind, is Ἀσκληπιός (Æsculapius),[1] or rather Ἀσκληπιάδης. The part which is assigned to Asclepius in the apocryphal Hermesian legends is well known. Ibn-Abi-Oceibia[2] takes a singular mythology of Æsculapius from a Syriac work; in another place[3] he connects him expressly with Babylon. It is strange that Dr. Chwolson attaches any importance to such chimeras. He even supposes that his Askolábita[4] must be considered as the prototype of the Asklepios of the Greeks. In the same ephemeral spirit he asks in another place[5] whether Asklepios and Hermes were not, in reality, ancient sages deified after their death.[6]

  1. The termination سا causes very diverse readings. I think that here is to be seen a schin, remains of the final os. M. Quatremère reads it Kalousha.
  2. “Journal Asiatique,” August-Sept. 1854, p. 181.
  3. Ibid. p. 185.
  4. Page 19.
  5. Page 96.
  6. Ibn Wahshíya is often quoted as having translated the Book on Agriculture of Democrates or Democrites, surnamed الرومى (Herbelot, Bibl. Orientale, at the word Democratis; Wenrich, De Auct. Græc. vers. p. 92, 93; Larsow, De Dialect Syr. reliquiis, p. 12, note). But the conclusions which are attempted to be drawn from this fall to the ground, since the ascribing to Ibn Wahshíya