Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/58

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42
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

Kúthámí, however, does not only make allusions to Greece. I find also in “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” evident traces of Persian influence. The author speaks of a people of Pehlevis (الفهلوية); he describes the Pehlevian language as a Persian dialect.[1] Dr. Chwolson gets out of this difficulty by remarking that nothing positive is known as to the Pehlevian. But, most assuredly, sufficient is known to prove that this language did not exist fourteen centuries before Christ. Prof. Chwolson settles the matter by affecting to believe that the passage cited is an interpolation. I have already shown how unsatisfactory is this style of defence, especially when it is repeated and applied to every similar characteristic passage. The progress which criticism has effected during the last half century consists precisely in discarding, in the majority of cases, those very convenient

  1. of the translation of that work, rests on an error of Herbelot, who seems to have confounded the work of Kúthámí with that of Ibn-el-Awwam. (See the article Vahashíah.)

  2. Page 40.