Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/59

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43
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

solutions, which would explain every puzzling passage in ancient writings by characterising them as interpolations: it is more willing to admit of the hypothesis of successive retouching and remodelling carried on from age to age. It is certain that the remains of early antiquity have been altered much oftener in this way than by the frauds of copyists—copyists in all ages have proceeded more machanically.

But why dwell further on this passage, when Dr. Chwolson admits that the author of “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” speaks in many places of the Persians, their religion, their philosophy, and their science; and always with an expression of the greatest respect.[1] How is it possible to doubt that he was acquainted with the doctrines of the Zend Avesta, when he speaks of the plant which the “Magi term Hom[2] (هوم), calling this plant thus by the most modern form of its name. Dr. Chwolson

  1. Page 41.
  2. See Anquetil-Duperron, Livres Sacres de Zoroaster, Index, at the word Hom, 2.